NEWS YEAR 2017

SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2017

ZEIT.de
The UN humanitarian help coordinator Stephen O´Brien warns over 20 million people dying from hunger in Jemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. The situation needs 4.4 billion dollars by July. Undernourished children cannot perform optimally at school and it can have consequences in education level and economy.

SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2017

Trump vs. Media

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iamtrump.org

The New York Times and CNN were not let into the White House for a press briefing on Friday 24 February, which resulted in further protests. “Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said in a statement. CNN said that it is a revenge for the criticism of the presidency of Donald Trumps that appeared in the media lately.

Donald Trumps called selected media “a great danger to the country”, accusing them of publishing fake information without reliable sources. The president also excused himself from the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, breaking a tradition. It escalated the argument with the media.

WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY 017

Putin and Trump spoke on the phone in order to improve the relationships between the countries. Several Euroepan leaders are attracted to the Russian president, including the president of France, Hungary and Czech Republic. Experts in political sciences from the universities of Kent and New York point out to the double standards in the relationship with Russia: build on the willingness to cooperate but also be aware of Russia´s interests, especially in Crimea and Ukraine.

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Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary. photo: LASZLO BALOGH, Reuters

Hungary, experts say, isn´t aware of the danger, experts claim. The article mentions that the sanctions on Russia limit the export of the Mangalica pork meat from Hungary. Again, local vs. global problem.

TUESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2017

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photo: AFP

The crisis in Venezuela caused that the government cannot cover the health care and people need to find alternative ways to obtain medications: to have them mixed individually, get them from abroad, barter within the community – helped by a radio program.

SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2017

Iraq´s government started an offensive to take back the western half of Mosul from the Islamic State.

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photo: KHALID AL-MOUSILY, Reuters

The Guardian reports men in Iraqi security force uniforms carrying out torture and executions in the streets of Mosul.

“There is no such thing as a good war and there is no such thing as a bad peace.” BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2017

Sergei Karaganov, dean of the School of International Economic and Foreign Affairs, Moscow offers the Russian view: degradation of governance within the international system is a hot topic…
‘forces now moving the world, from digitization to globalization, led to a governance vacuum’
Karaganov stresses Russia´s role in the new global order.

FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2017

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photo: JEAN FRANCOIS-BADIAS/AP

The European Parliament passed the CETA trade partnership between Europe and Canada with 408 to 254 votes. Dozens of people protested in front of the building.

The Guardian: Controversial CETA deal aims to eliminate 98% of tariffs on exported goods but critics say it will lead to privatisation of public sector.

The disputes between the investors and national authorities will be settled by special courts, which according to the opponents gives too much power to the corporate giants.

TUESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2017

Laboratory tests confirmed that large part of the foods produced for the Slovak and Austrian market differs in composition and quality. The biggest difference is in non-alcoholic drinks.

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photo: SITA

Some suppliers make differences whether they offer the product in Slovakia or abroad. A 30 g bag of tea in Bratislava is lighter than in Austria and packaged in paper instead of foil. Survey compared grocery products in Slovakia and the nearby Austria. The argument behind the double standards, that they want to appeal to the regional tastes, is irrelevant. Who would like to have meat products with less meat content?

Safety vs. quality
EU authorities are interested in the safety rather than quality. As long as EU legislation on labeling and safety is respected, products can differ from one country to another.

Manufacturers use older technology for the products shipped to the eastern Europe, explains Peter Šimko from the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technologies at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.

 

MONDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2017

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BURHAN OZBILICI/AP

Photograph of the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara from December last year became the World Press Photo of 2016.

SUNDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2017

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Guy Verhofstadt, photo: SANDER DE WILDE

We have 28 commissioners who do not know what to do

Guy Verhofstadt, the chief of the Liberals in the Euro-parliament and the chief Brexit negotiator with an image of a radical European, argues that the EU must reduce the number of ‘staff’ and bureaucracy.

‘I am a radical, Europa has massive problems,’ he admits.

We (Europe) are a loose confederation of nation states that cannot agree on the important decisions.

He suggests going back to the roots: an economic union, a political union a monetary union envisaged by the forefathers.

SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2017

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techbox.dennikn.sk

Roaming fees within different EU countries will end in June 2017. Slovakia contributed to the price settlement. The new prices are €0.32 for one minute call, €0.01 for a SMS and €7.7 for one GB of data, which should fall to €2.5 by 2022.

New Fair User Policy FUP was applied that should protect mainly the operator, for example the domestic prices will be available for the maximum of 30 days in a row or 90 overall within a year.

WEDNESDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2017

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BBC Mundo

A war on the Islamic culture: the village of Ásotthalom na banned Muslims and gays in order to preserve the Christian traditions, the mayor said. I stop feeling a Christian seeing this…

A village solves it´s local problem…but is it acceptable in the global community?

TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2017

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Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands Romanians went to the streets in a protest against the prime minister Sorin Grindeanu,  who is blamed for deliberately blocking anti-corruption laws and protecting his allies. It is the largest protest in the country since the overthrow of the Communist government of Nicolae Ceausescu.

Media praise Romania as an example for the European countries with high corruption but expert point out that the protests have deeper roots, including intelligence services and organizations operating on the margin of legality.

MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2017

New England Patriots won the Super Bowl LI after beating Atlanta Falcons 34:28 in the first overtime in the Big Game history and the Patriots came back from losing 9:28 at the end of the third quarter.

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Running back James White after one of his three touchdowns. photo: DOUG MILLS, NYT

Football scholarships helps hundreds of guys to earn an university degree every year. Super Bowl helps the advertising companies as the price for a 30 second commercial climbs up to 5 million dollars. Incredible sport full of athleticism, tactics and commercial success.

SUNDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2017

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photo: ĽUBOŠ PILC, Pravda.

Life in the Slovak countryside has changed: only a few households rely on home grown meat and eggs. Villages copy the lifestyle of the cities, as a result of the economic development and generation change.

SATURDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2017

Trump’s first victims

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Cover of Der Spiegel magazine. Der Spiegel.

US president Donald Trump has been criticized for his domestic and foreign politics. Experts point out that his tax cuts will help only the wealthy and Iran announced that they will carry on on nuclear tests – responding to the US sanctions. Legislators still cannot agree on the legitimacy of the executive order that caused chaos in Muslim travelling and a federal judge blocked the order nationwide.

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton writes that the first victims of Trump’s presidency emerged with the executive ban on the selected Muslim travellers. He sees it as a test to what degree the US courts can restrain president´s decisions.

Bradford Delong, economics professor from Berkeley, writes that the fall in the employment in the US is not caused by the international trade agreements but by general decline in demand.The primary culprits are productivity growth and limited demand, which cut the share of non-farm employees in manufacturing from 30% in the 1960s to 12% a generation later.

Nouriel Roubini a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business argues that ‘This traditional Republican embrace of trickle-down supply-side economics will mostly favor corporations and wealthy individuals, while doing almost nothing to create jobs or raise blue-collar workers’ incomes.’

Thursday 2 FEBRUARY 2017

All countries in 9 years on a shoe string budget

93890159_54549344-acd5-4cda-bd65-079e2463f68dHenrik Jeppesen from Denmark visited all 193 countries recognized by the UN in a nine-year journey, before he reached 28 years of age. On average he spent 28 dollars a day.

Most of the days he managed to survive on less than 5 dollars a day. “Instead of a taxi, you can use auto-stops or local busses. During the travels he earned several sponsors that helped him with the costs.   Now when asked “how do you know” he can say “I´ve been there.”

Here is a photo from every country in the world on Henrik´s blog.

WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2017

Legally I can kill him, Queen confirms

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Pinterest.com

Donald Trump was invited to the Buckingham Palace. The British government is afraid that he might cause a faux-pas. Queen seems to be ready, though: Palace staff have assured the Queen that, according to English law, Trump is a subject of the Crown and can, if judged to be damaging the monarchy, be dispatched without repercussion.

SUNDAY 1 JANUARY 2016

At least 39 people, including 16 foreigners, died in an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey’s interior minister said.

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A video showing the attacker entering the Reina club. photo: APA

Experts suspect the Islamic State of Iraq and Levante (ISIL) group, Al Jazeera reported.
One of the attackers wore Santa Claus costume.
17,000 police officers were deployed in the streets of Istanbul.

MONDAY 2 JANUARY 2017

SIMON FRASER, chief of the UK diplomacy said that 2016 was the end of the post-cold war era dominated by western liberalism, lead by the US. Now, the power starts to decentralize and shift to Russia and China.

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The US election are not a problem. The problem are the relationships between the other countries with the new president. Especially when the president prefers bilateral ‘personal’ agreements to global treaties. Modern politics is favorable for those who can convince the electorate by common sense local logic and not those who think globally but in the long term. The article on BBC Mundo pointed out this issue but in more politically correct manner.

France & Germany are in front of an election, Italian prime minister left & the UK left completely. Changes that will arise from the vote can affect the direction Europe is taking. Soon, the international agreements will not depend on the laws but rather on the relationships between the European politicians and Donald Trump.

TUESDAY 3 JANUARY 2017

net-migration-01-14-600x390According to a study by University College London from 2014 immigrants in the UK pay more in taxes than they receive in social benefits. Positive economic impact of migrants was also confirmed by more recent study from 2016. They contribute to the budget several pounds a year. Britain has always been very successful at attracting skilled workforce from all around the world. About 60 percent of all migrant workers have university education, compared to 24 percent of UK born workers. It was three years ago. Now, Britain wants to leave EU and one of the main reasons is excessive immigration. The position has changed probably due to strong influx of people from the Middle East and Africa in the recent years and also an increasing number of attacks, related to extremism.

The study was criticized as shallow, ignoring wasting of human capital – when university educated young people work as waiters or baristas. Moreover, their arrival causes brain drain to their home economies. Last year, only four experts came back to Slovakia under the ministry of education scheme that offered one-off payment of 10,000. The problem lacks systematic solution.

WEDNESDAY 4 JANUARY 2017

93217473_chinahamburg2013arrivesrugFreight train link between China and the UK should ‘bring closer’ the world’s fifth and second biggest economy. The train will cover the 12,000 km distance in 18 days, passing through the English tunnel. Geopolitically, it will improve China’s access to the European market with cheap transport option. Manufacturing output of China is losing volume, therefore they seek ways how to improve efficiency of offer.

THURSDAY 5 JANUARY 2017

Bitcoins helps the people in Venezuela as the local currency is collapsing

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Bitcoin was the most productive currency of 2016. It was traded at $1,029 on Tuesday 3 January. The increase was helped by the increasing demand from China and the inflation in Venezuela, where the people in uncertainty trade bolivars for bitcoins. Bitcoin represents an alternative currency, free from government regulation, and the parallel market is flourishing. People use it to buy food, medicines or pay their employees.  

Transactions in crypto currencies are impossible to trace down  and if they are used excessively in illegal transactions, they can ruin the traditional economy. There is a suspicion that bitcoin is used in China for transactions in order to avoid government rules.

FRIDAY 6 JANUARY 2017

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Photo by AFP.

Donald Trump threatens Toyota with high tariffs on Mexico-produced cars if the company builds the planned car manufacturing plant in Mexico and eventually sell the cars in the US. ‘Open in the US or pay a ‘border tax’.
Trump protects domestic economy and jobs. Recently he scrapped the plans of Ford to open abroad.
Donald Trump threatens Toyota with high tariff on Mexico-produced cars if the company builds the planned car manufacturing plant in Mexico and eventually sell the cars in the US. ‘Open in the US or pay a ‘border tax’.

Trump protects domestic economy and jobs. Recently he scrapped the plans of Ford to open abroad.

SATURDAY 7 JANUARY 2017

SURREAL means ‘marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream’. It is the Merriam-Webster’s word of 2016, used in connection with the attacks in Brussels in March, coup attempt in Turkey in July & Trump’s presidential victory in November.

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Word of the year of the Oxford dictionary is POST-TRUTH, which is an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

SUNDAY 8 JANUARY 2017

US tanks and military equipment arrived to Germany to be stationed in the Eastern Europe as a NATO build up against potential threat from Russia.c5ddad0703ba47098928d2840648f0e5_18

“The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation,” said US Major General Timothy McGuire.

It sounds similar to Ronald Reagan´s “Peace is not absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” It also reminds us of the “Star Wars” the Strategic Defensive Initiative, announced by Reagan in 1983 in order to avert potential nuclear attack. It was never truly adopted.

US claim that the deployment is justified by Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support of separatists in Ukraine. Baltic states fear that they might be the next target of Russian pressure.

MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2017

On 9  January 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone.  “It is like a life in your pocket,” he said.91550212_gettyimages-76830024

Success of iPhone was helped by the magic of the product: its catchy name, design, compact format, functions and customer lock-in and also by the fact that the competitors, including Microsoft and Nokia, underestimated the product.
Apple is at the top of the Best Global Brands for the fifth consecutive year. 

In 2008 I spent summer in London, working part-time. Many part-timers already had iPhones, it was a normal thing in the city.

TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 2017

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WHITE HOUSE/BBC Mundo

Barack Obama gives a farewell speech in Chicago: Tonight it´s my turn to say thank you.

During his presidency the US:

  • Provided healthcare for additional 20 million citizens via Obamacare
  • Supported an international climate change agreement
  • Embarked on decreasing the dependence on fossil fuels
  • Cooled down the relationship with Cuba
  • Started a nuclear dialogue with Iran
  • Fought against racial hatred and discrimination

None of the above mentioned achievements can be described as perfect. Not even American president can help all.

On Friday 13th, the US Congress scrapped the Obamacare reform, which was on the agenda of Donald Trump.

WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2017

Investigative journalist MAREK VAGOVIČ interviewed Marek Gajdoš, the former head of investigation of the Gorila file. Gorila file is the biggest corruption case, aspiring for the “Water Gate affair” of the Slovak politics in the 2010´s. The file contains recordings of meetings between politicians, oligarchs and state officers in a suspicious flat in Bratislava and might include evidence on corruption and family business.

p0qf_-oercys6ujehi-7ga-1280New “Water Gate” story is going in the US politics too. The Guardian obtained a series of reports that confirm that Russians hold compromising material on Donald Trump. Main concern are the contacts between Trump´s team members and Russian officials. It might close the case over alleged hacking and disparage of the Democratic candidates before the presidential election.

THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 2017

French paradox 
french-bakeryFrench people have one of the lowest incidences of hearth diseases despite the fact that their diet is rich in saturated fats. Experts agree that their comparatively good health state is due to moderation and regular movement. French prefer quality to quantity, which is a problem in many poorer countries, when people prefer cheaper products, including Slovakia. These, however, are poorer in vitamins, minerals and other micro-substances, although they are dense and full of ’empty calories’. French also know moderation. For breakfast, they would have a butter croissant but just one. Similarly, they rarely finish the whole bottle of wine in one sitting. Moderation and regular movement is the key to longevity, proved with the people in the Blue Zones – regions where many people do not retire but just change career when they reach a certain age. Journalist Dan Buettner in his TedTalk says that people in Okinawa or Sardinia live long thanks to certain isolation, which forces them grow the majority of food locally, and active lifestyle.

FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 2017

lietala-btsReading press releases and promotion mail you find a lot of interesting info:
Frozen water on the fuselage can increase the weight of the plane by several hundreds of kg and change the aerodynamics. Airports  trained staff who defreeze the planes at the request of the captain.

SUNDAY 15 JANUARY 2017

 THE NEW YORK TIMES (US issue) from 31 December 31. The content is still topical – timeless. Here are the main issues that still make headlines:newyorktimes31dec16

US vs. Russia
A diplomatic cold war is going on between the US and Russia, but The New York Times show respect to Putin. Senator John McCain, a veteran from Vietnam and POW, sees the things differently and is suspicious of the intentions of the Russian president – towards the relationship with Trump.  

China
China’s limitations on foreign non-profits as President Xi Jinping fears that the unchained/unfettered civil society will be a treat to the one-party rule. The more homogenous the society, the less threat for the rule of the one party….

Ceasefire in Syria
It can be one common interest of Trump and Putin, which, according to the experts, is not enough for a permanent relationship between the two “cold war” nations.

Solution in Israel
The US Secretary of the State John Kerry said that Israeli settlement on the Palestinian land destroyed the two-state solution, criticizing the current Israeli government for being to rightist and extremist. British Prime Minister May and Donald Trump criticized Kerry.

Bronx
Violence in the South Bronx is high and the number of officers is low.

MONDAY 16 JANUARY 2017

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One in ten people in the world survive on less than 2 dollars a day. (photo: Altaf Qadri/AP)

INCOME INEQUALITY
Eight richest people in the world own as much as the poorer half of total population, which is 3.6 billion people, Oxfam reported. Income inequality is growing; in 2010 it required 43 richest people to match the poorer half of the globe.

The problem is not new to the mankind but recently it grew into one of the major challenges for the society. American Economist Max Lorenz was the first one to display the inequality graphically in 1905 on what is known as Lorenz Curve. Thomas Malthus pointed out to the unequal redistribution of wealth 100 years earlier. He said: “The histories of mankind are histories only of the higher classes.” He also put the uneven redistribution of wealth in relation with demography.

Nevertheless, income inequality is one of the accompanying features of neo-liberalism. It proves that mankind needs some kind of checks and balances in order to maintain balance. Recently, the issue has been addressed by the French Economist Thomas Picketty, who suggested a special tax on wealth.  Nevertheless, income inequality is one of the accompanying features of neo-liberalism.

TUESDAY 17 JANUARY 2017

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tunisiaweekly.wordpress.com

BBC Mundo writes that in Tunisia you can see women wearing miniskirts and drinking wine at the disco bars despite the fact that 99 percent of the population is Muslim. Tunisian women can divorce, vote, be elected, own businesses and even go for an abortion.

Tunisia achieve independence from France in 1956. The new prime minister Habib Bourguiba abolished certain orthodox laws regarding women and introduced a secular state. These policies, unmatched in the Arabic world, improved the literacy and economic performance of the country. It is ranked among the countries with high human development index, it signed association agreement with the EU and is an non-NATO ally of the US. However, a Muslim coalition emerged victorious after the revolution in 2011. Immediately, 4,000 refugees landed at the Italian island of Lampedusa and the rights of women are one of the hot topics. Backed by the legal backing established by Bourguiba, the women enjoy more freedom than in other countries in the region but there are unwritten laws that are enforced by force. That you can wear miniskirt does not mean that you live in a democracy.


WEDNESDAY 18 JANUARY 2017

hostages-skiersOne day before Christmas, Slovak skiers Veronika Zuzulová and Petra Vlhová received an email from the Slovak Ski Association. They were asked to sign the statute of a representative otherwise they are facing ban on representing the country on all FIS events.

 The battle between our top skiers has been going on for several years, concerning sponsorship and logos on the athlete´s suits. Skiers argumented that they receive only minimal support from the Association, obtaining most of their finances alone. Associations often try to cash up on the successful sportsmen .657gzkqs0crkz3ugjqibaveronika-velez-zuzulova-killington-nov16-tasr-ap

Now the chair of the Slovak parliament Andrej Danko warned the skiing association that the state will stop funding if it continues to hold the skiers hostages. According to Danko, statutes of the Ski Association are not in accordance with the new law on sport. Sport associations must adhere to the rules of the ministry of education and sport.

Happy people who do sport for enjoyment. Unfortunate if they are so good that they could do it for living, they run into the unpredictable business of sport…

FRIDAY 20 JANUARY 2017

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Bilt.de

Donald Trump was inaugurated into the presidential office as the 45th president of the US. Only 40 percent of people are satisfied with the new president, Democrats boycotted the inauguration and organized protest gatherings. Police in Washington arrested 270 protesters. trump-protests

Slovak newspaper commentator Dag Daniš writes that it is a significant change in American politics. Point of view from central Europe but there is some truth. For 30 years, Republicans and Democrats had similar foreign policy aimed at spreading globalization. Now Trumps decided to limit the globalization, which is the bone of contention with China.trump-panda

Taking the point of view of the western neo-liberal society, Trump is:

  • Something unusual in politics – so was Thatcher,  Churchill or Reagan
  • He does unconventional politics – so did Thatcher, Churchill or Reagan
  • People in his own party are against him – so where party members against Thatcher or Churchill

A politician that suits all tastes does not exist. Not even one who suits the majority all the time. Eight people own more than the poorer half of the world: we are far from balance and democracy. In the upcoming months Trumps wants to join Russian president Putin for official talks. 

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MONDAY 23 JANUARY 2017

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source: BBC

BBC set up Permanent Reality Check team that will scrutinize false stories circulating on the web. It is in response to the fake news, spreading from the social media in order to push advertising(many of them are hidden adverts) but also manipulate the public opinion. One example is the war between Donald Trump and the media.

“We also need to explain what’s driving the news. We need slow news, news with more depth – data, investigations, analysis, expertise – to help us explain the world we’re living in.” said news chief James Harding

TUESDAY 24 JANUARY 2017

Slovak average in the PISA tests for the five grade students (11 years old) is 62% but the children in socially less developed areas scored 24% on average. It is i big gap in comparison with their “better off” peers.

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Server.sk

I was a teacher for several years at different types of school and I confirm that there is a big difference between kids from better situated families and kids from poorer background. I think it is rater in the approach of the parents and environment in general, although financial situation is a common underlying factor of several negative effects. The differences are not only in performance but overall reasoning and acceptance of the world. Though, you can always find exceptions.

Ministry wants to allocate 80 million of Euro fund money to the critical areas. Stanislav Boledovič from Teach for Slovakia says that it requires large-scale investment. Teachers should spend more time with the students and educate them also outside the school. Children spend at school only a fraction of the time, which does not help if they are exposed to bad environment. Teach for Slovakia project has been going on for several years, pushing also an educational reform, but more or less on voluntary basis. Not many teachers enter the challenging environment under current conditions in education.

The PISA tests focus on logics, understanding written text, skills and application of the knowledge from mathematics in real-life context, including graphics and tables.

WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY 2017

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source: HB Reavis

The new business centres and residential areas in Bratislava remind me of the City of London, where I used to live.  


The panorama of Bratislava has changed significantly in the recent years. It is helped by several real estate development companies. Most of them are international enterprises, active also abroad. 

HB Reavis, ranked by the Property EU magazine the third largest office estates developer in Europe. Bratislava they  run the Twin City – commercial and business complex project and it is also working on the renovation of the bus station in Bratislava. HB Reavis is also active in Prague, Budapest, London, Warsaw, and Istanbul. Recently it completed the 33 Central project in the City of London, which was sold to the American bank Wells Fargo even before completion.

Penta Investment is responsible for the Bory Mall shopping centre and the nearby residential area. J&T Real Estate completed the River Park on the shore of the Danube river and currently is building the Zuckermandel quarter under the castle hill.

According to the data, 90 percent of residential estates in Slovakia is privately owned, which causes that the state cannot provide affordable housing for the people. Situation in office rental and commercial real estates is similar, prices in Bratislava are much higher than in the rest of Slovakia, sometime even higher than in other European metropoles.

THURSDAY 26 JANUARY 2017

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Nuclear missile test in North Korea. EPA

People will rise against N Korean regime, says defector

Thae Yong-ho a government official who fled from the North Korea in August 2016 said that the people hate the regime. Kim Jong-Un knows that nuclear weapons are the only means to threaten the US. Mr Thae hopes that the regime will be overthrown before it gathers enough power to materialise the threats. He left the country in order to contribute to the fall of the regime from abroad although his family was punished for his defection. It reminds me of this book, Escape from Camp 14.

FRIDAY 27 JANUARY 2017

NATO unit in Slovakia

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Source: ministry of defense

An unit of 41 NATO soldiers are assigned to Slovakia as a part of the Readiness Action Plan on the borders of the Alliance.  They should provide support in the collective defense.

The role of the NFIU unit is to provide and coordinate quick deployment of the allied forces in the region, support of the collective defense within NATO and assistance in military training.

SATURDAY 28 JANUARY 2017

model-dom-2017Real estate tax in Slovakia experienced its highest increase since 2013, driven mainly by Bratislava. Compared to 2016 the tax increased on average by 2.33 percent. Tax on residential estates is high in the capital – Bratislava and the nearby districts of Malacky, Senec and Senica. The lowest tax is in Medzev in the east of Slovakia, where you pay €16.3 for a model house. In Senica you pay €171. Tax on doing business estate is high in the regions with high investment and development, Púchov, Žiar nad Hronom, Bratislava.

SUNDAY 29 JANUARY 2017

Chinese buying the steel plant in Košice.

chinese-us-steel-smeChinese steel maker He Steel Group will buy the steel plant in Košice. Company owned by the government of the Chinese province of Hebei offered the current owner US Steel €1.4 billion. Further billion is necessary for modernization so that the factory can compete with other European steel makers.

US Steel is the biggest employer in eastern Slovakia. Effectiveness measures might cause that certain number of employees will be released. Manufacturing of raw steel is cheaper in China, therefore the factory near Košice will focus on production of special products with an added value.

Recently, Donald Trump with his aids wanted to combat the below-cost Chinese steele that, as he said, was killing the American steel workers.

SUNDAY 29 JANUARY 2017

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Protesters at the Dullest International Airport in Washington. photo: Paul J. Richards

Chaos at the airports: 173 people stopped before boarding the planes heading for America

Hundreds of people were banned from the flights to the US and many of them are held up at the American airports. Donald Trump banned refugees from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Jemen, Sudan and Iran to enter the US for 120 days. Syrians are banned indefinitely. The order of the president from Friday 27 January caused chaos on airports all around the world. The airlines had to exclude passenger from these countries from transport. A federal judge blocked part of the executive order that included deportation of the travellers back home.

MONDAY 30 JANUARY 2017

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CNN

Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration met with criticism in many countries, even at the American allies.

Parliament of Iraq called for reciprocal ban on US citizens. War against terrorism does not justify such measures, said Angela Merkel. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is ready to welcome refugees, he said in a response to Trump’s order, even when at least six persons died in an attack in a mosque in Quebec. Starbucks vowed to hire 10,000 refugees in 75 countries in the next five years in response to the Trump’s executive order. The world is getting even more polarized.

Legal scholars are divided on whether the order is anti-constitutional in terms of religious freedom.The state of Massachusetts and the city of San Francisco already appealed against it.

The order might be the best non-compromising solution but how do we explain it to our children. I mean it is practical but ethically unacceptable.

TUESDAY 31 JANUARY 2017

e15919c1b0cb4953802e2c99db95a704_18
Aljazeera.com

Tension in Ukraine is high again. Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels are exchanging fire in the -20 degree temperatures near the government held Avdiivka town in the eastern Ukraine, blaming each other for starting the fire

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