Olivia Lum interview

Olivia Lum, Group CEO and president of Hyflux Limited, from Singapore, the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011, talks about how her company has achieved success.

Olivia Lum: President of Hyflux

Fortune Traders: In a freewheeling chat, Olivia Lum, President and MD of Hyflux, a water treatment company, talks about her childhood, career, building Hyflux and doing business in India. The company is building the world’s largest seawater desalination plan.

Malaysian Chinese success story

Olivia Lum is the founder, group chief executive officer, and president of the Singapore-based Hyflux Group. She also heads the Research and Development function.

Lum started corporate life as a chemist with Glaxo Pharmaceutical. After working for three years at Glaxo, she left in 1989 at the age of 28 to start up Hydrochem, the precursor to Hyflux, with just SG$20,000 of capital, which she raised by selling her condominium and car.[3] She hired three employees at the start; Lum herself rode around on a motorcycle selling her company’s water filters and treatment chemicals.[4] By January 2001, Hyflux had become the first water treatment company to be listed on SESDAQ, and was upgraded to the Singapore Exchange’s Mainboard in April 2003.[citation needed] By 2005, she had a net worth of over US$240 million, which earned her a place as the only woman on Forbes’ “Southeast Asia Rich List”.[5] As of 2007, Hyflux was worth SG$1 billion and employed more than 800 people.[3]

Lum holds several positions in public service. She is a board member of SPRING Singapore, the National University Singapore Council, and the Singapore Exchange, as well as the president of the Singapore Water Association. She is also a member of the UNESCAP Business Advisory Council and the Singapore Green Plan 2012 coordinating committee.[citation needed] Lum was a Nominated Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Singapore from 2 July 2002 to 1 January 2005.[citation needed] In 2003, she was awarded the International Management Action Award, followed by the Global Female Invent and Innovate Award the following year.[6]

On October 3]2008, Lum resigned her position as independent non-executive director of the Singapore Exchange and relinquished her position on the audit, regulatory conflicts and remuneration committees of the Exchange, according to the Exchange’s filing. She stated this was due to her heavy work commitments in line with Hyflux’s rapid expansion, and that her resignation would enable her to focus more time and resources on Hyflux’s growth.


More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws (Studies in Law and Economics) by John R. Lott Jr. (Author)

On its initial publication in 1998, John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime drew both lavish praise and heated criticism. More than a decade later, it continues to play a key role in ongoing arguments over gun-control laws: despite all the attacks by gun-control advocates, no one has ever been able to refute Lott’s simple, startling conclusion that more guns mean less crime. Relying on the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever conducted on crime statistics and right-to-carry laws, the book directly challenges common perceptions about the relationship of guns, crime, and violence. For this third edition, Lott draws on an additional ten years of data—including provocative analysis of the effects of gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C—that brings the book fully up to date and further bolsters its central contention.

John R. Lott, Jr., is the author five books, including Freedomnomics and Are Predatory Commitments Credible? Who Should the Courts Believe? , the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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John R. Lott, Jr. — economist and best-selling author of “More Guns, Less Crime”

joins Ed to discuss why the USPS and other federal agencies are buying up huge amounts of ammo

More Guns, Less Crime – Piers Morgan v John Lott CNN

A classic confrontation between two completely opposing views on the gun control debate. John Lott is author of “More guns, less crime”. Alan Dershowitz is a lawyer. Piers Morgan is CNN presenter.

This is the full, unedited interview recorded from CNN on July 24 2012. If you can make it to the end you may end up losing faith in humanity’s ability to reason calmly with each other to resolve the problems on the planet.

“Guns make it easier for bad things to happen, but they also make it easier for people to protect themselves. There are lots of things that affect crime rates”. – John Lott

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin


New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.


DANIEL J. LEVITIN, PhD, is the James McGill Professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at McGill University—where he also teaches in the graduate school of business—and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI. The author of two New York Times bestselling books, This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs, he splits his time between Montreal and Orinda, California.


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

he information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee (Author)

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—”Scout”—returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

Nelle Harper Lee is known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only major work. In 1999, it was voted “Best Novel of the Century” in a poll by Library Journal. Ms. Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature in 2007. Her father was a lawyer who served in the Alabama state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate, Truman Capote. After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to assist him in researching his bestselling book, In Cold Blood. Since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee has granted very few requests for interviews or public appearances. Her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, is scheduled to be released in July, 2015.


“Go Set A Watchman” incites controversy over race

Published on Jul 13, 2015

There’s criticism clouding the upcoming release of Harper Lee’s second novel, “Go Set A Watchman.” As CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller explains, fans are distraught over Atticus Finch’s change in racial attitude.

Harper Lee’s friends give readers special look at new book

Published on Jul 14, 2015

Readers are getting their first chance to pore over the controversial second Harper Lee novel, sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Go Set a Watchman” is a stunningly ominous portrayal of a character we all thought we knew. Michelle Miller spoke to several of the reclusive author’s friends about its mysterious origins.

Being Nixon : A Man Divided By Evan Thomas

“What was it really like to be Richard Nixon? Evan Thomas tackles this fascinating question by peeling back the layers of a man driven by a poignant mix of optimism and fear. The result is both insightful history and an astonishingly compelling psychological portrait.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs

Evan Thomas delivers the best single-volume biography of Richard Nixon to date, a radical, unique portrait of a complicated figure who was both determinedly optimistic and tragically flawed. The New York Times bestselling author of Ike’s Bluff and Sea of Thunder, Thomas brings new life to one of American history’s most infamous, paradoxical, and enigmatic politicians, dispensing with myths to achieve an intimate and evenhanded look at the actual man.

What drove a painfully shy outcast in elite Washington society—a man so self-conscious he refused to make eye contact during meetings—to pursue power and public office? How did a president so attuned to the American political id that he won reelection in a historic landslide lack the self-awareness to recognize the gaping character flaws that would drive him from office and forever taint his legacy?

In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America’s thirty-seventh president. The son of devout Quakers, Richard Nixon (not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. Through high school and college, in the navy and in politics, he was constantly leading crusades and fighting off enemies real and imagined. As maudlin as he was Machiavellian, Nixon possessed the plainspoken eloquence to reduce American television audiences to tears with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; meanwhile, his darker half hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, earning him the notorious nickname “Tricky Dick.”

Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was also deemed a liberal in some quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency, and end the draft.

A deeply insightful character study as well as a brilliant political biography, Being Nixon offers a surprising look at a man capable of great bravery and extraordinary deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too often reduced to caricature.

Evan Thomas is the author of nine books: The Wise Men (with Walter Isaacson), The Man to See, The Very Best Men, Robert Kennedy, John Paul Jones, Sea of Thunder, The War Lovers, Ike’s Bluff, and Being Nixon. John Paul Jones and Sea of Thunder were New York Times bestsellers. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years (1986–96) as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek’s fifty-thousand-word election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner of a National Magazine Award), and 2008. He has appeared on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and The Colbert Report, and has been a guest on PBS’s Charlie Rose more than forty times. The author of dozens of book reviews for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007 to 2014, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.


Malzberg | Author: Nixon, Powerful Yet ‘Ill-at-ease Around Other Human Beings’

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Evan Thomas, Author, Being Nixon “A Man Divided”, Journalist & Author, Newsweek Editor at Large, TV Panelist, “Inside Washington” joins Steve to discuss his book: Being Nixon: A Man Divided.

The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation by Charlene Li (Author)

NYT and WSJ bestselling author Charlene Li guides business leaders deeper than ever before into the uncomfortable and ever-changing terrain of the digital era

Technology has revolutionized the very idea and nature of relationships between leaders and their followers. Yet, many leaders remain stuck at arms-length from those they lead and serve, relying on specialized teams to interact with customers, their direct reports to keep tabs on how employees are doing, and on the digital natives in their organization to stay abreast of new technologies.

Now, in The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation, Li helps leaders adapt to the demands, and opportunities of digital leadership. To be a true digital leader requires a metamorphosis: you must connect directly by listening, sharing, and engaging using digital technologies. This metamorphosis is not easy, comfortable, or painless—if your palms aren’t sweaty or your stomach isn’t churning, then you probably aren’t really practicing digital leadership.

The Engaged Leader addresses why leaders need to master a new way of developing relationships, which begins by stepping out of traditional hierarchies; how to listen at scale, share to shape, and engage to transform; the art of making this transformative mind shift; and the science of applying the right tools to meet your strategic goals.

This transformation is not optional. Those who choose not to make this change will be abandoned for those who inspire people to follow them.

The Engaged Leader provides leaders with the skills and confidence they need to transform their leadership, and in turn, their organizations. The Engaged Leader also provides guidance to institutions— businesses, communities, and schools—on how to develop and nurture digital leadership. It is a must read for anyone who values a deeper connection between leaders and those they serve.

Charlene Li is the founder and CEO of Altimeter Group and the author of the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform How You Lead. She is also the coauthor of the critically acclaimed, bestselling Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, which was named one of the best business books in 2008.

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Charlene Li – How leaders can create a culture of sharing

Published on Apr 13, 2015

In her talk “Being A Leader in The Digital Age,” Altimeter Group CEO and author of “The Engaged Leader” Charlene Li talks about the importance of leaders becoming the facilitators of sharing within their organizations.

Charlene Li: Giving up control: Leadership in the digital era

In business today, the need for innovation and rapid decision-making trumps yesterday’s drive for efficiency. How does this influence what it means to be an effective leader? Charlene Li explains that it’s less about control and more about empowerment: enabling employees to acquire the information they need, so they can make their own decisions.

Charlene is the CEO and principal analyst at Altimeter Group, and author of The New York Times bestseller Open Leadership. She is also the co-author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell, named one of 2008’s best business books. She is one of the foremost experts on social media, and a consultant and independent thought-leader on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media and marketing. Fast Company recognized Ms. Li as one of the 100 most creative people in business in 2010, and one of the most influential women in technology in 2009. You can follow her blog at charleneli.com/blog.

About the TED Institute: We know that innovative ideas and fresh approaches to challenging problems can be discovered inside visionary companies around the world. The TED Institute helps surface and share these insights. Every year, TED works with a group of select brands to identify internal ideators, inventors, connectors, and creators. Drawing on the same rigorous regimen that has prepared speakers for the TED main stage, TED Institute works closely with each partner, overseeing curation and providing intensive one-on-one talk development to sharpen and fine tune ideas.

Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change ~ by Dean WIlliams (Author)

Leaders today—whether in corporations or associations, nonprofits or nations—face massive, messy, multidimensional problems. No one person or group can possibly solve them—they require the broadest possible cooperation. But, says Harvard scholar Dean Williams, our leadership models are still essentially tribal: individuals with formal authority leading in the interest of their own group. In this deeply needed new book, he outlines an approach that enables leaders to transcend internal and external boundaries and help people to collaborate, even people over whom they technically have no power.

Drawing on what he’s learned from years of working in countries and organizations around the world, Williams shows leaders how to approach the delicate and creative work of boundary spanning, whether those boundaries are cultural, organizational, political, geographic, religious, or structural. Sometimes leaders themselves have to be the ones who cross the boundaries between groups. Other times, a leader’s job is to build relational bridges between divided groups or even to completely break down the boundaries that block collaborative problem solving. By thinking about power and authority in a different way, leaders will become genuine change agents, able to heal wounds, resolve conflicts, and bring a fractured world together.

Dean Williams grew up in Geelong, Australia. He completed his graduate degrees at Harvard and became a faculty member of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1999. He has lived and worked in Madagascar, Japan, Singapore, the United States, Brunei, and Australia. Dean is also a big wave surfer, having surfed from the age of 5.

Dean Williams talks about his new book, Leadership for a Fractured World

Book launch at the Center for Public Leadership for Harvard Kennedy School professor Dean Williams’ new book.

The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism–From al Qa’ida to ISIS by Michael Morell (Author), Bill Harlow (Contributor)

Like See No Evil and At the Center of the Storm, this is a vivid and gripping account of the Central Intelligence Agency, a life of secrets, and a war in the shadows.

Called the “Bob Gates of his generation” by Politico, Michael Morell was a top CIA officer who played a critical role in the most important counterterrorism events of the past two decades.

A superb intelligence analyst and briefer, Morell now presents THE GREAT WAR OF OUR TIME, where he uses his talents to offer an unblinking and insightful assessment of CIA’s counterterrorism successes and failures of the past twenty years and, perhaps most important, shows readers that the threat of terrorism did not die with Bin Ladin in Abbottabad.

Morell illuminates new, growing threats from terrorist groups that, if unaddressed, could leave the country vulnerable to attacks that would dwarf 9/11 in magnitude. He writes of secret, back-channel negotiations he conducted with foreign spymasters and regime leaders in a desperate attempt to secure a peaceful outcome to unrest launched during the “Arab Spring.” Morell describes how efforts to throw off the shackles of oppression have too often resulted in broken nation states unable or unwilling to join the fight against terrorism.

Along the way Morell provides intimate portraits of the leadership styles of figures ranging from Presidents Bush and Obama, CIA directors Tenet, Goss, Hayden, Petraeus, Panetta, and Brennan, and a host of others.

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Michael Morell, the recently retired Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is one of the country’s most prominent national security professionals, with extensive experience in intelligence and foreign policy.

Bill Harlow is a writer, consultant and public relations specialist. He spent seven years as the top spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency. He co-authored George Tenet’s #1 New York Times bestseller At the Center of the Storm.

Malzberg | Michael Morell – Fmr. Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Published on May 20, 2015

Michael Morell – Fmr. Acting Director, CIA (2011; 2012 – 2013), Author, “The Great War of Our Time”, Top CIA analyst during 9/11.

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World Hardcover – General Stanley McChrystal (Author), Tantum Collins (Author), David Silverman (Author), Chris Fussell (Author)

What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization?

When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter.

It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many ad­vantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.

General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disci­plined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations?

McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to ex­tend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flex­ible—and beat back Al Qaeda.

In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small.

Stanley McChrystal retired from the U.S. Army as a four-star general after more than thirty-four years of service. His last assignment was as the commander of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. His memoir, My Share of the Task, was a New York Times bestseller. He is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the cofounder of CrossLead, a leadership consulting firm. Tantum Collins is currently studying international relations at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar. David Silverman and Chris Fussell are senior execu­tives at CrossLead and former U.S. Navy SEAL officers.

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018: General Stanley McChrystal | Why Elite Special Forces Succeed

Published on Feb 12, 2015

The fact that soldiers came out of retirement to follow General McChrystal back into a very challenging war in Iraq speaks to his effectiveness as a leader. He knows a thing or two about motivation and how to bring out the best in people. McChrystal has adapted this gift to start up a consulting firm. His facility to raise expectations and adapt in the most trying of circumstances has served his clients well in the equally competitive corporate world. McChrystal posits that adaptability is the new efficiency.
Watch the video episode at http://spartanuppodcast.com

A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad By Robert S. Wistrich

In this unprecedented work two decades in the making, leading historian Robert S. Wistrich examines the long and ugly history of anti-Semitism, from the first recorded pogrom in 38 BCE to its shocking and widespread resurgence in the present day. As no other book has done before it, A Lethal Obsession reveals the causes behind this shameful and persistent form of hatred and offers a sobering look at how it may shake and reshape the world in years to come.

Here are the fascinating and long-forgotten roots of the “Jewish difference”–the violence that greeted the Jewish Diaspora in first-century Alexandria. Wistrich suggests that the idea of a formless God who passed down a universal moral law to a chosen few deeply disconcerted the pagan world. The early leaders of Christianity increased their strength by painting these “superior” Jews as a cosmic and satanic evil, and by the time of the Crusades, murdering a “Christ killer” had become an act of conscience.

Moving seamlessly through centuries of war and dissidence, A Lethal Obsession powerfully portrays the creation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fateful anti-Semitic tract commissioned by Russia’s tsarist secret police at the end of the nineteenth century–and the prediction by Theodor Herzl, Austrian founder of political Zionism, of eventual disaster for the Jews in Europe.

The twentieth century fulfilled this dark prophecy, with the horrifying ascent of Hitler’s Third Reich. Yet, as Wistrich disturbingly suggests, the end of World War II failed to neutralize the “Judeophobic virus”: Pogroms and prejudice continued in Soviet-controlled territories and in the Arab-Muslim world that would fan flames for new decades of distrust, malice, and violence.

Here, in pointed and devastating detail, is our own world, one in which jihadi terrorists and the radical left blame Israel for all global ills. In his concluding chapters, Wistrich warns of a possible nuclear “Final Solution” at the hands of Iran, a land in which a formerly prosperous Jewish community has declined in both fortunes and freedoms.

Dazzling in scope and erudition, A Lethal Obsession is a riveting masterwork of investigative nonfiction, the definitive work on this unsettling yet essential subject. It is destined to become an indispensable source for any student of world affairs.

Robert S. Wistrich is professor of modern European history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and head of its Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Previously, he held the Jewish Chronicle Chair of Jewish Studies at University College London and was visiting professor of history at Brandeis and Harvard universities. A regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, he is the author of many books, including Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred, and scripted the PBS television series of the same name.

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Head to Head – Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Old fears, new threats?

Published on Apr 24, 2015

Mehdi Hasan challenges Robert S. Wistrich, one of the world’s leading scholars of anti-Semitism, on why he thinks criticism of Israeli policies is a modern manifestation of historical anti-Jewish hatred.

Jackie Chan: Never Grow Up, Only Get Older

Jackie Chan writes tell-all book, confesses he almost divorced over an affair
by Nancy Z

World famous martial artist and actor Jackie Chan has lived an extraordinary life. The #4 most admired man in the world is releasing an autobiography titled Jackie Chan: Never Grow Up, Only Get Older on the occasion of his 61st birthday in April this year. One of the biggest revelations is that he almost divorced his wife Lin Feng-Jiao in 1999 when his girlfriend Elaine Ng got pregnant.

Jackie Chan co-wrote the book with his friend, Zhu Mo, who he thanked for helping him write the book when he didn’t think he could write a book because he was brought up with a background in martial arts. While not hiding his regrets and mistakes, he said through his Weibo post, “I was often misunderstood and there are some things that happened in the past that I would rather explain myself. I’m done with letting someone else say things about me. I hope that through this book, people will see the real me.”

(Jackie Chan with wife Lin Feng-Jiao)

Jackie actually had numerous affairs during his marriage. His wife Lin Feng-Jiao always looked the other way. She married for love in a secret marriage held in Los Angeles in 1982, and they had one son, Jaycee. While Jackie traveled around to make movies, Lin stayed at home in Taiwan raising their only child. She was a popular and award-winning Taiwanese actress who gave up her flourishing career to become a supportive wife. Jackie admitted that he sometimes only spent two weeks a year with his wife and son.

(Jackie Chan with Elaine Ng)

When the affair with Hong Kong beauty queen and actress Elaine Ng and her pregnancy made explosive headlines, Jackie knew this time he made a serious error that Lin could not ignore. He wrote, “I wanted to call her but didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t explain away such a mistake. Saying sorry wasn’t enough. Later I thought, there’s no need to explain, just get a divorce. I made such a big mistake. There is going to be a divorce.”

Eventually he openly admitted and apologized for his error at a press conference, that he made “an error that every man in the world could make.” Although many people criticized him for lumping all men into the same category, his wife chose to forgive him. They did not divorce. The 60-year old martial arts star now appears happy in his family life, while still staying very busy with his filming career.

Jackie to this day has not officially acknowledged his daughter, Etta Ng, who Elaine Ng gave birth to in 1999 and is raising on her own. In Chinese entertainment news, Etta is often nicknamed “Little Dragon Girl” because her father’s acting name in Chinese is Chen Lon for “Becoming Dragon.”

The book took three years to write. Jackie Chan also mentioned his son Jaycee, his parents, and his 54 years of acting, from which he learned many lessons in life. He wrote a special passage to his son, Jaycee, who was arrested and convicted of marijuana violations in China and was just released this February, “I have made mistakes when I was younger. I would make the mistake and change for the better. In the end, I will become a real man, strong and independent, who will face everything he’s supposed to face.”

Birthday Wishes to Jackie Chan 2015

Published on Apr 6, 2015

Happy birthday Jackie Chan! (2015)
Fans all over the world wish Jackie Chan a Happy Birthday. See what fans have put together for Jackie.

In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria (Author)

CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world’s most valuable educational tradition.

The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, “I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.” These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline.

“I get it,” writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted.

Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education—how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders’ vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning—precisely the gifts of a liberal education.

Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.

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Fareed Zakaria Defends Liberal Arts Education

Published on Mar 29, 2015

I promise you. Folks and make a lot more. Potentially. Was Joseph manufacturing. For the troops and Lynn Martin where an art history degree. That I can present Obama represents exactly kind of thing you three to curry trying to counter in his newest book indefensible liberal education for his back with us now to talk about it. And for you make the provocative when the president of having to apologize and that planned by the way do you make of provocative point. That he actually reflects there are bipartisan consensus. In Washington that is both dangerous and un American what did you mean by. Well you know in Europe that’s always been true that education has been much more skills based much more job training by fourteen or sixteen you usually stream. In America we always took the view no it’s important to billboard general skills. Critical thinking. Intellectual curiosity because you know our economy has always move very fast it’s change you you know your first job was never the same as your fifth job.

I think of the wounded to date much more favors that kind of American general liberal education of course science and technology has to be a part of it. But so does English sodas history and you commit three you know him with a foot in both camps she grew up in India very and it is based in science math a lot of wrote. Learning to you really drawn to the idea deliberately education in America yeah I fell in love with the idea of off being able to take physics and portraits. And part of it is I think people don’t understand that. So much of what you do in life is. He is critical thinking it’s you know the good stuff good humor and specifically in a trade is obsolete five years later six years later but the ability to learn. The ability to get passionate about something is not that’s why Jeff days as the they ahead of Amazon the founder of Amazon says.

I won my senior. Executives to write six page single space memos to me. Because if you have if you to write down an argument. They can’t be any logical gaps and the what do you say to parents and students settled this huge debt we will not expensive college can be right now think like got to be sure them training. To get a job. And and they’ve got to have some faith the data shows that while engineering court technically trained students start our with a slight advantage it evens out over time.

And the most important thing they have to remember is that their son or dornin is going to be good. At the things he ocean can be passionate about the Confucian can really work hard at love. That’s you know that’s the most important thing we all of this if you love your work it doesn’t feel like work so push them to be passionate the war card. Obviously you gotta get lucky but that’s true even if you’re an engineer. So any parent should read this book in defense the liberal education for two cars thanks very much welcome back.

Lee Kuan Yew speaking at INSEAD in 2007 on leadership and global politics

Published on Aug 23, 2012
In a keynote session at the INSEAD Leadership Summit in Asia, the founder of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, revealed that during a meeting with Washington aides to presidential candidates, he was asked whether the US should regard China as a friend or foe.

His reply: “Neither at the moment.” He then added that in 20 years’ time, the US will be dealing with a different set of leaders.

What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher by Ann Lee (Author), Ian Bremmer (Foreword)

While America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, a high unemployment rate, and a surge in government debt, China’s economy is the second largest in the world, and many predict it will surpass the United States’ by 2020. President Obama called China’s rise “a Sputnik moment”—will America seize this moment or continue to treat China as its scapegoat?

Mainstream media and the U.S. government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China’s power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks, What can America learn from its competition?

Why did China recover so quickly after the global economic meltdown? What accounts for China’s extraordinary growth, despite one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world? How does the Chinese political system avoid partisan rancor but achieve genuine public accountability? From education to governance to foreign aid, Lee details the policies and practices that have made China a global power and then isolates the ways the United States can use China’s enduring principles to foster much-needed change at home.

This is no whitewash. Lee is fully aware of China’s shortcomings, particularly in the area of human rights. She has relatives who suffered during the Cultural Revolution. But by overemphasizing our differences with China, the United States stands to miss a vital opportunity. Filled with sharp insights and thorough research, What the U.S. Can Learn from China is Lee’s rallying cry for a new approach at a time when learning from one another is the key to surviving and thriving.

Winner of the Gold IPPY award in the category of current events.

Ann Lee is a professor of finance and economics at New York University and a senior fellow with the public policy think tank Demos. Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, she was a visiting graduate economics professor at Peking University in 2008. She has also been an investment banker at Bankers Trust and Alex. Brown & Sons and a partner at two multibillion-dollar hedge fund firms. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes, and Businessweek, and she regularly guests on CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, CNN, NPR, and many other television and radio stations.

Read Here

Ann Lee: What the U.S. Can Learn from China

Published on Mar 10, 2013
What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher, video from Authors@Google

Ann Lee, frequent media commentator on economic issues, former investment banker and hedge fund partner, provides an honest assessment of China’s political economy and governance structure, analyzing the sources of China’s success and identifying lessons that can be applied by other governments regardless of ideology.

Ann Lee has been quoted in hundreds of publications and has been an invited speaker at numerous industry and academic conferences. Ann is also an adjunct professor of economics and finance at New York University and a former visiting professor at Peking University where she taught macroeconomics and financial derivatives. While she was teaching at Peking University, she also acted as an economic adviser to Chinese economic officials as well as to several large Chinese asset management firms. She was educated at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, and Harvard Business School.

In addition to television and radio appearances on MSNBC, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and NPR, her op-eds have appeared in such publications as The New York Times,The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Businessweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, The American Prospect, and The American Banker.

Bio: http://www.speakersconnect.com/ann-lee/

Exclusive interview with Singapore’s founding PM Lee Kuan Yew: How did Lee view China?

Published on Mar 22, 2015
Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew passed away at 03:18 am local time Mon., at the age of 91. CCTVNEWS host Yang Rui interviewed Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in 2011. The late founding father of Singapore shared his view on his political legacy, along with regional economic integration and how China could learn from his country’s experience. Watch the video for more.
Subscribe us on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCTVNEWS…

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice By Bill Browder

A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.

Bill Browder’s journey started on the South Side of Chicago and moved through Stanford Business School to the dog-eat-dog world of hedge fund investing in the 1990s. It continued in Moscow, where Browder made his fortune heading the largest investment fund in Russia after the Soviet Union’s collapse. But when he exposed the corrupt oligarchs who were robbing the companies in which he was investing, Vladimir Putin turned on him and, in 2005, had him expelled from Russia.

In 2007, a group of law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear.

Browder glimpsed the heart of darkness, and it transformed his life: he embarked on an unrelenting quest for justice in Sergei’s name, exposing the towering cover-up that leads right up to Putin. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world.

Bill Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, which was the investment adviser to the largest foreign investment fund in Russia until 2005, when Bill was denied entry to the country and declared a “threat to national security” as a result of his battle against corporate corruption.

Following his expulsion, the Russian authorities raided his offices, seized Hermitage Fund’s investment companies and used them to steal $230 million of taxes that the companies had previously paid. When Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, investigated the crime, he was arrested by the same officers he implicated, tortured for 358 days, and killed in custody at the age of 37 in November 2009.

Since then, Browder has spent the last 5 years fighting for justice for Mr. Magnitsky. The Russian government exonerated and even promoted some of the officials involved so Browder took the case to America, where his campaigning led to the US Congress adopting the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act’ in 2012, which imposed visa sanctions and asset freezes on those involved in the detention, ill-treatment and death of Sergei Magnitsky (as well as in other human rights abuses). This law was the first time the US sanctioned Russia in 35 years and became the model for all subsequent US sanctions against Russia. Browder is currently working to have similar legislation passed in Magnitsky’s name across the European Union.


Going Head to Head with Russia

Published on Jan 29, 2015
Bill Browder, author of ‘Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice’ talks about being an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.

Bill Browder on Russian corruption and the experience of losing $900 million

Bill Browder, a leading global shareholder-rights activist and an outspoken fighter for improved corporate governance in Russia, asks ‘can the bear be tamed?’ Browder lost $900 million dollars as the Russian economy collapsed. Exposing massive corruption, he fought off the oligarchs and then took on the government.

When women are at the table | Fawzia Koofi

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Abandoned at birth to die in the sun, this Afghan woman has fought to survive, be educated and be elected to parliament. She has been the target of several assassination attempts, but carries on her work to give her daughters and all women a voice in her country. “We live, we fight”.

Fawzia Koofi, an Afghan politician and women’s rights activist has made her leadership journey in a country of harsh topography, internal conflict, intermittent wars and a militant government. She completed high school during the war-ravaged years and entered medical school. Soon after, the Taliban took over in 1995, and barred women from access to all education. Finding the doors of university closed to her, Fawzia focused her energy towards women’s rights and Internally Displaced People’s organizations. In 2005, after the fall of the Taliban, and the first elected parliament in 33 years, Fawzia was elected to Parliament to represent Badakhshan, then elected by her peers as the first woman Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the history of Afghanistan.

As a young woman in a heavily traditional country, to come this far, Fawzia has battled male domination, imposition of men’s selective religious interpretation on the rights of women and issues of power between men and women, and the old and new generations. Young people are seen as a threat by traditional power holders who do not want a new generation to organize, or to be in a position to challenge traditional authority. Fawzia has been re-elected to a second term to Parliament, and is now Chairperson of the Women, Human Rights & Civil Society Commission; she is currently the only woman Chairperson in the Lower House of Parliament.Fawzia is the author of Letters To My Daughters, and The Favorite Daughter, an autobiography and best seller in many countries around the world. Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places anywhere in the world to be a woman, or to be a politician, and Fawzia Koofi is both.

Malaysia Airlines Website Hacked by Group Calling Itself ‘Cyber Caliphate’

Jan. 25, 2015

SINGAPORE—Malaysia Airlines, still recovering from the loss of two aircraft last year that left 537 people dead or missing, had its website hacked by a group claiming be aligned with the Islamic State extremist group.

The browser window of the website, http://www.malaysiaairlines.com, said “ISIS WILL PREVAIL” and the airline’s ticket booking and other services were unavailable. Instead, a full-screen picture of a Malaysia Airlines Airbus Group NV . A380 plane and the messages “404—Plane Not Found,” and “Hacked by Cyber Caliphate,” were displayed on the home page.

The company said its web servers are intact and customer bookings and data are secure. It added that its domain name system was compromised. Later Monday, the website had returned to operation.

Earlier this month, hackers claiming to be similarly aligned with the Islamic State extremist group took control of the U.S. Central Command’s primary Twitter and YouTube accounts, posting office phone numbers of top military officers and what they said were confidential military documents.

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com

Airline’s Site Attacked by Group Claiming to Be Aligned With Islamic State

Egypt’s President Calls For A ‘Revolution’ In Islam


CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president opened the new year with a dramatic call for a “revolution” in Islam to reform interpretations of the faith entrenched for hundreds of years, which he said have made the Muslim world a source of “destruction” and pitted it against the rest of the world.

The speech was Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s boldest effort yet to position himself as a modernizer of Islam. His professed goal is to purge the religion of extremist ideas of intolerance and violence that fuel groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State — and that appear to have motivated Wednesday’s attack in Paris on a French satirical newspaper that killed 12 people.

But those looking for the “Muslim Martin Luther” bringing a radical Reformation of Islam may be overreaching — and making a false comparison to begin with. El-Sissi is clearly seeking to impose change through the state, using government religious institutions like the 1,000-year-old al-Azhar, one of the most eminent centers of Sunni Muslim thought and teaching.

Al-Azhar’s vision for change, however, is piecemeal, and conservative, focusing on messaging and outreach but wary of addressing deeper and more controversial issues.

Al-Azhar officials tout a YouTube channel just launched to reach out to the young, mimicking radicals’ successful social media outreach to disenfranchised youth. They proudly point out that clerics in the videos wear suits, not al-Azhar’s traditional robes and turbans, to be more accessible.

Young people “have a negative image toward this garb,” said Mohie Eddin Affifi, an al-Azhar official. “As soon as they see it they don’t listen.”

In a more ambitious effort, religious school textbooks are under review. Affifi said texts outlining rules for slavery, for instance, have been removed.

It’s a problem across the Muslim world: State religious institutions are burdened by stagnation and heavy control by authorities.

For decades, al-Azhar has lost credibility in the eyes of many Muslim youth who see it as mouthpiece of the state rather than an honest interpreter of religion. More appealing to some young men and women searching for identity in a rapidly changing world are calls for a return to the roots of the faith, including from the extremists of al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

In his Jan. 1 speech at al-Azhar addressing Muslim clerics — held to mark the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday — el-Sissi called on them to promote a reading of Islamic texts in a “truly enlightened” manner to reconsider concepts “that have been made sacred over hundreds of years.”

By such thinking, the Islamic world is “making enemies of the whole world. So 1.6 billion people (in the Muslim world) will kill the entire world of 7 billion? That’s impossible … We need a religious revolution.”

Radicals — and el-Sissi’s Islamist political opponents who have wide religious followings — angrily denounced el-Sissi, saying he was trying to corrupt the religion. Even secularists, who would normally promote a more modern interpretation of Islam, frowned at el-Sissi’s statist approach to such a complicated issue. “A state-approved revolution,” questioned Amina Khairi, a columnist in the generally pro-state newspaper al-Watan.

And even state religious officials pushed back against the use of the word “revolution” or the idea of dramatic change.

Affifi, from al-Azhar, told the AP that el-Sissi didn’t mean changing texts — something even el-Sissi quickly made clear in his speech.”What the president meant is that we need a contemporary reading for religious texts to deal with our contemporary reality,” said Affifi, who is secretary general of the Islamic Research Center. The center is an Al-Azhar body responsible for studying Islamic issues and for providing preachers to explain religious affairs to the police, military, schools, government and private companies. It is also responsible for censorship.

He said al-Azhar has already been working for months on such a campaign, following calls for modernizing the faith that el-Sissi has been making since his May presidential election campaign. Committees have been examining textbooks used in the large network of grade schools and universities that al-Azhar runs across Egypt to remove things that have “no place in modern life.” Texts on slavery and on refusing to greet Christians and Jews, for example, have been removed.

Affifi said positions on issues like slavery, jihad and dealings with non-Muslims were adopted by scholars five centuries ago in a particular historical context. “These were opinions of scholars, these interpretations are not sacred.”

There is also a push to encourage a nationalism that officials see as moderating religious sentiment. El-Sissi this week attended Christmas services for Egypt’s Orthodox Coptic Christians and declared that Egyptians should not view each other as Christians or Muslims but as Egyptians.

The sheik of al-Azhar has launched a campaign in schools and universities promoting the message that “love of nation is part of faith,” said Affifi. Al-Azhar also plans to introduce a new Islamic culture course in all of Egypt’s universities, Affifi said.

For el-Sissi, the impetus for his modernization campaign is not only the violence wreaked by extremist groups around the Mideast and the world. It’s also rooted in his political rivalry with the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sissi, then head of the military, led the overthrow in July 2013 of an elected president from the Brotherhood, and since then Egypt has cracked down hard on Islamists, with hundreds killed in street clashes and thousands jailed.

To counter Islamists’ claims of religiosity, el-Sissi has presented himself throughout his rise as a pious proponent of a moderate, mainstream Islam.

At the same time, his government has shown little tolerance for dissent of any kind. That raises a key problem with the “religion revolution” — state control over religious reform could just stifle it. Al-Azhar has always claimed to be the bastion of “moderate” Islam, but it has moved to silence progressive and liberal re-interpretations just as often as radical ones.

“Any religious modernization will ultimately be against al-Azhar, since it is the conservative fortress in the system,” said Amr Ezzat, religion researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. The “authority of religion over modern life and law is what needs to be reviewed. What we need is freedom to have more than one religious discourse to enrich discussion, because as it is pluralism is outlawed.”

State control of al-Azhar makes those most vulnerable to militancy least likely to listen.

If the sheik of al-Azhar speaks out against radicalism — as he often does — “no one who is remotely inclined to a violent interpretation will be impressed by that,” said H.A. Hellyer, a fellow at the Centre for Middle East policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “They will say: You are just an ally of the state, instead of a genuinely independent figure.”

Like Ezzat, he says only independent voices can present a counter-narrative to militant thought. But al-Sissi shows no sign of allowing that, Hellyer said.

His idea for the faith “is something rather docile to the needs of the state rather than independent,” Hellyer said.

Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 – Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown, Terrorism in the West by Anne Speckhard (Author), Mubin Shaikh (Author), Jessica Stern (Foreword)

Mubin Shaikh is a courageous hero that risked it all to go undercover to infiltrate and ultimately stop the Toronto 1Mubin Shaikh was born and raised in Toronto, Canada amidst twenty-first century, Western values. He attended public school. But at night, his parents insisted he also attend Islamic madrasa.

Mubin joined the Canadian Army Cadets, used drugs, had sex and partied just like the other kids. He fit right in—until he didn’t.

Going through an acute identity crisis at age nineteen, Mubin recommitted himself to Islam. But a chance encounter with the Taliban in Pakistan and then exposure to Canadian extremists took him down the militant jihadi path.

Mubin initially celebrated the 9-11 attacks, although he found the killing of innocent civilians in the name of Islam disturbing. 9-11 prompted him to travel again, to Syria—to become involved in the “great jihad”—the Muslim version of the final apocalypse in “the land of Sham and the Two Rivers.” There he learned the truth of his religion and faced a fork in the road.

Mubin went back in—but this time working undercover with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Ultimately joining the “Toronto 18”, Mubin walked a tightrope between Western culture and Islamic jihad. Risking everything, he gathered inside information about the group’s plans for catastrophic terror attacks—to detonate truck bombs around the city of Toronto, behead the Prime Minister, and storm the Parliament Building in retaliation for Western intervention in Muslim lands. Their cadres included Americans who had similar ideas for Washington, D.C.

Mubin Shaikh is one of the very few people in the world to have actually been undercover in a homegrown terror cell. His is a story of growing up Muslim in an age where militant jihad is glorified, of being caught between two identities and finally emerging victorious.

Because of this courageous experience, Shaikh is considered an expert for topics related to radicalization and violent extremism and has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBC, CNN and multiple outlets to speak on these topics. He remains closely connected to various governments and their national security functions.8, a group that plotted to storm the Canadian Parliament, behead the Prime Minister and explode truck bombs all around Toronto. Unfortunately with the arrests and convictions of many, extremism in Canada did not disappear and has in fact explosively grown in recent years. The original plot to storm Parliament was sadly carried out in October of 2014 just as this book was released. A gunman, likely inspired by ISIS, shot a soldier before entering the Parliament to cause more death and destruction and was thankfully stopped before he did. Clearly we need more heroes like Mubin Shaikh! — Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

Browse Here

Mubin Shaikh: Undercover Jihadi

Published on Nov 27, 2014
At the age of 19, Mubin Shaikh, born and raised in Canada, travelled to Syria to study militant jihadism. He later renounced his jihadist beliefs and volunteered at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) where he infiltrated the “Toronto 18,” Canada’s largest domestic terrorism case. Mubin sits down with Steve Paikin to discuss his book, “Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown Terrorism in the West.”

Confronting Religious Extremism – Reza Aslan

“I understand the impulse people of faith have to excise extremists in their communities. They’re not really Christians or Jews or Muslims. Many extremists appear to violate the fundamental values that many hold dear,” he says. “The problem is that there is no single authority who decides who is a Jew or a Muslim or a Christian, what is the proper behavior. It’s up to the individual. Whoever says he or she is a Muslim, he is. ISIL — with their sexual slavery, beheadings, killing of women and children, killing other Muslims — some might say is a violation of the Qu’ran. But because they choose to define themselves as Muslims, it has to be taken seriously.” “. . . The power of scripture can mean whatever you want it to mean. It’s up to the interpreter.” An open letter to the “fighters and followers” of the Islamic State from more than 120 Muslim scholars denounced them as un-Islamic. The writers used Qur’anic citations against torture, against attributing “evil acts to God,” and against declaring people non-Muslims “until he (or she) openly declares disbelief.” Aslan says he is “not in the business of saying who is [Muslim]. They would not call me Muslim. I don’t pray five times a day. But we have to deal with the fact that they are part of our community. They use things to justify their beliefs [that are] the same things we use to define our religion.” “A Christian blowing up an abortion clinic can find justification in the Bible” says Aslan. “Those blowing up a mosque can find justification. Jews killing Palestinians can find justification. The power of scripture can mean whatever you want it to mean. It’s up to the interpreter.” Reza Aslan: Radical Islam Is Still Islam http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/20…

EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists by Qasim Rashid (Author)

Terrorists and anti-Islam extremists are both wrong about Islam. Qasim Rashid proves just that in EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere. Rashid debunks extremists head-on, clarifying important issues like Islam’s view on free speech, women’s rights, and Jihad—among many more. He writes for non-Muslims and Muslims alike, asking you to stand for a narrative of moderation, civility, and compassion—and against the extremist narratives of Geert Wilders and all terrorists. Rashid empowers you with a tool extremists don’t have—knowledge of Islam, and invites you to join the fight for tolerance.

Qasim Rashid, Esq. holds a Bachelor s of Science in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a juris doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law. He s previously authored the critically acclaimed book, The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution & Perseverance (2013).

Qasim’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, NPR, among several other national and international outlets. He has published numerous peer-reviewed academic journals on Islam and human rights. is a frequent writer and lecturer on Islamic and human rights issues. He regularly speaks at various universities and houses of worship nationally and internationally. Qasim likewise frequently interviews on FOX, NBC, CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, and numerous local and regional radio programs. Today, Qasim is a practicing attorney in Richmond, Virginia, where he resides with his wife and two children. He is an avid runner and still dreams of one day walking on another planet.


American Muslims say ISIS ‘hijacked’ Islam

Published on Sep 26, 2014
Cherif Abou El Fadl and Qasim Rashid explain why terrorists doesn’t speak for their faith

Saving humanity from WW3 | Qasim Rashid | TEDxSpeedwayPlaza

Published on Nov 13, 2014
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The world is witness to more conflicts today than at any point in history. As humanity sits on the cusp of what appears an inevitable world war III, the key to protecting our future rests in each individual’s hands.

An attorney by profession, Qasim has written two best-sellers “Extremist” & “Wrong Kind of Muslim”. A frequent presence on American TV screens & social media.

Study Suggests Conspiracy Theorists Are More Positive & Reasonable Compared To Conventional Thinkers

A case study examining online commenting trends was performed by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent that revealed so called “conspiracy theorists” are actually more reasonable & sensible than those who are considered conventionalists.

Not that long ago, practically anyone who thought outside of the box, questioned the official stories, or did any type of investigation into certain subjects was labeled a “conspiracy theorist.” In fact, many of these people, including the majority of the writers here at Collective Evolution, are still considered conspiracy theorists by many even though the goal is simply to examine or verify the truth of something.

It is interesting how many of the people who are labeled as conspiracy theorists spend a lot of time with research and critical thinking. Sure there are always going to be more extreme people who lend a “bad name” to those who are legitimately assessing evidence, but it doesn’t mean the entire idea of conspiracy is invalid.

Many will check the facts, and look into the evidence on both sides of the coin. Generally the people who believe the mainstream idea of what is true, or is accepted as truth do not bother to look at the other side of the coin. They believe what they are told without question, and anyone who disagrees is, well, crazy, or a conspiracy theorist. Or in other words, paranoid.

The fascinating part is, it’s become some common place amongst society for people to not want to be labeled as a conspiracy theorist that anytime political leaders or the media wish to make something unquestionable, they will literally use the words “conspiracy theorists” in their speeches or reports when referring to anyone who wishes to question the story.

The Study

A study was published in July of 2013 by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, it was entitled “’What About Building 7?’ A Social Psychological Study Of Online Discussion Of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.” The study compared “conspiracist,” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist,” (anti-conspiracy theory) comments on various news websites.

The researchers were surprised that they found more “conspiracist” type comments than conventional ones. According to the researchers, “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.”

Among those who take the time to comment on news articles, those who discount official government accounts (the event’s on 9/11, or the assassination John F. Kennedy for example) aka “Conspiracy Theories,” outnumber those who believe in the official reports, two-to-one. Therefore, this means that the “pro-conspiracy” commenters are those who are now expressing what would now be considered conventional wisdom, while the “anti-conspiracy” commenters actually represent a small minority that is often shunned and discredited.

How The Times Have Changed

‘The research showed that people who favored the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals,” said the study.

It seems as though what were once considered mainstream viewpoints are no longer considered as such by the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often showed anger and disgust in their posts. Perhaps they are becoming frustrated that their ideals are no longer accepted as truth. Perhaps, underneath the angry façade, this scares them.

Limitations of The Study

To be balanced it’s important to recognize the limitations of this study. It’s a sample obtained from one website and although it shows a trend there is definitely more to the story. Regardless it is an interesting observation and one that likely carries truth. It certainly suggests that we should be more understanding of each others points of view and talk about things in a civilized manner.

Further Comments

“As someone who has been around “conspiracy culture” for over 6 years now and running a website (Collective Evolution), it becomes increasingly clear as time passes that there are multiple groups that exist within conventional thinkers and more open-minded thinkers. Conspiracy theorists has become more of a derogatory term used these days to pretty much suggest that someone is unintelligent or unstable in thought. There are extremists on all sides. Those who are intense and angry and those who are more calm and collected. But from an anecdotal perspective, I would definitely say those who fear thinking outside the mainstream are a lot angrier and aggressive in their approach. We get to see it everyday here. For them, it’s not even about evidence it’s simply the idea that what they believe can be wrong. It seems a common denominator is a general lack of wanting to believe their authoritative figures might be lying to them or not having their best interest at heart. All in all, truth is becoming more prominent today and by default “conspiracy theorists” will naturally become the majority as they simply are open to and see the truth. This doesn’t mean all claims they make are correct, many are far-reaching, but many are bang on the mark.” Joe Martino – Co-Founder of Collective Evolution

Much Love

Source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/

Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope by Nor Faridah Abdul Manaf (Editor), Rogayah A. Razak (Editor)

The memoir is a collection of Tan Sri Ani Arope’s writings on his rich and illustrious life. One reads about Ani Arope – his early roots, childhood, schooling days as well as his early adult life. He recounts the moments he met his wife. He writes about the start of his careers as a young agronomist, as an agricultural officer, a Fulbright sponsored graduate student in the US, and his succesful leadership at MARDI, RRIM and TNB. He talks about his ultimate challenge at TNB.

After retirement, Tan Sri Ani Arope takes up flying and talks about how flying is an excellent sport to take away the stresses of life. Tan Sri Ani Arope proved his mantle of strength at the face of adversaries when he writes about his challengers (or rather, accesptance) of his illness as well as dealing with the loss of a close friend and his astute responses to current issues despite his illness.
This memoir is a historical yet personal narrative to a life well-lived and provide remarkably clear insights into what shapes Ani Arope as a person and a leader.

Ani Arope: Even my Jew pal could say ‘Alhamdulillah’

Published on Dec 16, 2013
In a day and age when Christians in Malaysia are barred from using the word ‘Allah’, former Tenaga Nasional Bhd chairperson Ani Arope reminisced of the old days when even Jews could say ‘Allahamduillah’.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Author)

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Atul Gawande is the author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon.com as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1998, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won two National Magazine Awards, a MacArthur Fellowship, and been named one of the world’s hundred most influential thinkers by Foreign Policy and TIME. In his work as a public health researcher, he is Director of Ariadne Labs a joint center for health system innovation. And he is also co-founder and chairman of Lifebox, a global not-for-profit implementing systems and technologies to reduce surgical deaths globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.


Surgeon and Author Atul Gawande on his new book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End”

The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series will feature Atul Gawande, staff writer at New Yorker magazine and professor at Harvard School of Public Health, discussing his book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books). Moderated by Rob Stein, correspondent and science editor, NPR Science Desk.

Watch This Video & You’ll Never Eat McDonald’s French Fries Again

Michael Pollan is an author, activist, journalist and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He mainly focuses on the industrial food chain with regards to his research. He emphasizes how cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health, build communities, help fix our broken food system and perhaps most importantly, break our growing dependence on corporations. Michael Pollan is a food activist and you can find out more about him and his work by clicking here.

In the video below he illustrates how McDonald’s insists on using Russet Burbank Potatoes, a potato in America that is unusually long and difficult to grow. They further insist that their potatoes have no blemishes at all, which is hard because these potatoes commonly suffer from what is referred to as Net Necrosis, which causes unwanted spots and lines on the potatoes. If they have this, McDonald’s won’t buy them and the only way to eliminate this is through the use of a pesticide called methamidophos (Monitor) “that is so toxic that the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside and into their fields for five days after they spray.”

When McDonald’s is ready to harvest their potatoes, they have to put them in giant atmospheric controlled sheds the size of football stadiums because they are not edible for six weeks. “They have to off gas all the chemicals in them.”

I’ll let you watch the video for more information, you should have a hard time eating McDonald’s after this, but that’s not a bad thing.

How Cooking Can Change Your Life – Michael Pollan

Renowned activist and author Michael Pollan argues that cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health, build communities, fix our broken food system, and break our growing dependence on corporations. The event was chaired by Tim Lang, professor of Food Policy at City University London.

To find out more about this talk, visit the event page on the RSA website: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-an…

Cancer rates continue to rise,and study after study continues to surface every year showing how pesticides, GMOs and a number of other things we choose to surround ourselves with on a daily basis are indeed harmful to human health. It’s time for us to wake up and fully acknowledge it, it’s time to make better choices in our lives, it’s time to put two and two together and make connections.

Fast foods chains are no different from drugs. They are extremely addicting and extremely harmful. They should not exist and this video just adds to the long, continually growing list of why.

About the author
Arjun Walia

I joined the CE team in 2010 and have been doing this ever since. There are many things happening on the planet that don’t resonate with me, and I wanted to do what I could to play a role in creating change. It’s been great making changes in my own life and creating awareness and I look forward to more projects that move beyond awareness and into action and implementation. So stay tuned :) arjun@collective-evolution.com

Cosby His Life and Times By Mark Whitaker

The first major biography of an American icon, comedian Bill Cosby. Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with Cosby and more than sixty of his closest friends and associates, it is a frank, fun and fascinating account of his life and historic legacy.

Far from the gentle worlds of his routines or TV shows, Cosby grew up in a Philadelphia housing project, the son of an alcoholic, largely absent father and a loving but overworked mother. With novelistic detail, award winning journalist Mark Whitaker tells the story of how, after dropping out of high school, Cosby turned his life around by joining the Navy, talking his way into college, and seizing his first breaks as a stand-up comedian.

Published on the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of that groundbreaking sitcom as well as Cosby’s bestselling albums, breakout role on I Spy, and pioneering place in children’s TV. But it also deals with professional setbacks and personal dramas, from an affair that sparked public scandal to the murder of his only son, and the private influence of his wife of fifty years, Camille Cosby.

Whitaker explores the roots of Cosby’s controversial stands on race, as well as “the Cosby effect” that helped pave the way for a black president. For any fan of Bill Cosby’s work, and any student of American television, comedy, or social history, Cosby: His Life and Times is an essential read.

Mark Whitaker is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, My Long Trip Home. The former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, he was previously the Washington bureau chief for NBC News and a reporter and editor at Newsweek, where he rose to become the first African-American leader of a national newsweekly.

Bill Cosby Scandal

Numerous women have come forward claiming they were sexually assaulted by legendary comedian, Bill Cosby.

His NBC sitcom was cancelled and “The Cosby Show” was pulled from TV Land. Has his reputation been ruined?

My Trials and Tribulations | Anwar Ibrahim | TEDxGeorgetown

Published on Nov 19, 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim talks about his commitment to the ideals of empowerment, justice, and equity. His trials have included arrest and imprisonment for his unrelenting campaign against corruption and but he soldiers on as the strongest-ever challenge to the ruling coalition in Malaysia. In this talk, he explains his determination to continue the “Reformasi” campaign and the struggle for freedom and democracy despite a looming five-year prison sentence.

Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim, once a rising political star expected to succeed Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is now the leader of the Malaysian Opposition. The creator of the “Reformasi” campaign of reforming the Malaysian political structure, he is an ardent supporter of democracy and is an authoritative voice in bridging the gap between East and West. He is viewed as one of the forefathers of the Asian Renaissance and a leading proponent of greater cooperation among civilizations.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

How can the Yazidis preserve their spiritual heritage?

Published on Nov 16, 2014

Citing the example of the Parsi community, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar urges people from around the world to help the Yazidis preserve their culture and religion. He urges people to not convert the Yazidis to other faiths.

In a special session entitled “Peace in Middle East”, people from around the world sought the guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder, Art of Living & International Association for Human Values (IAHV).

Sri Sri has made a commitment to spread the message of peace and non-violence in Iraq. Since September 2003 when Art of Living and IAHV began trauma relief initiatives, around 10,000 people from Iraq have found relief and a new lease of life.

America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder by Bret Stephens (Author)

“A world in which the leading liberal-democratic nation does not assume its role as world policeman will become a world in which dictatorships contend, or unite, to fill the breach. Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Eden—alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor evil—will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium.”— From the Introduction

In a brilliant book that will elevate foreign policy in the national conversation, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Bret Stephens makes a powerful case for American intervention abroad.

In December 2011 the last American soldier left Iraq. “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq,” boasted President Obama. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul. The event cast another dark shadow over the future of global order—a shadow, which, Bret Stephens argues, we ignore at our peril.

America in Retreat identifies a profound crisis on the global horizon. As Americans seek to withdraw from the world to tend to domestic problems, America’s adversaries spy opportunity. Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to restore the glory of the czarist empire go effectively unchecked, as do China’s attempts to expand its maritime claims in the South China Sea, as do Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. Civil war in Syria displaces millions throughout the Middle East while turbocharging the forces of radical Islam. Long-time allies such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, doubting the credibility of American security guarantees, are tempted to freelance their foreign policy, irrespective of U.S. interests.

Deploying his characteristic stylistic flair and intellectual prowess, Stephens argues for American re-engagement abroad. He explains how military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was the right course of action, foolishly executed. He traces the intellectual continuity between anti-interventionist statesmen such as Henry Wallace and Robert Taft in the late 1940s and Barack Obama and Rand Paul today. And he makes an unapologetic case for Pax Americana, “a world in which English is the default language of business, diplomacy, tourism, and technology; in which markets are global, capital is mobile, and trade is increasingly free; in which values of openness and tolerance are, when not the norm, often the aspiration.”

In a terrifying chapter imagining the world of 2019, Stephens shows what could lie in store if Americans continue on their current course. Yet we are not doomed to this future. Stephens makes a passionate rejoinder to those who argue that America is in decline, a process that is often beyond the reach of political cures. Instead, we are in retreat—the result of faulty, but reversible, policy choices. By embracing its historic responsibility as the world’s policeman, America can safeguard not only greater peace in the world but also greater prosperity at home.

At once lively and sobering, America in Retreat offers trenchant analysis of the gravest threat to global order, from a rising star of political commentary.

BRET STEPHENS, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is the foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal. He was previously the editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. He was raised in Mexico City, educated at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics, and lives with his family in New York City.

Bret Stephens – The Coming Global Disorder

Since 1945, American power has been the principal guarantor of world order. Nearly 70 years on, what is America’s place in today’s global order, and do we stand at the dawn of a new and more chaotic age? How do the arrangements and understandings through which war is generally avoided, commerce generally protected, and the cause of civilization generally advanced, cease to function? Do natural and political events that seem unconnected actually relate, and together, portend a coming global disorder?

Watch as Bret Stephens, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, deputy editorial page editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of its “Global View” column, analyzes the key threats to the global order today in conversation with Tikvah Executive Director Eric Cohen.

World Order by Henry Kissinger (Author)

Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.

There has never been a true “world order,” Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the Emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world’s sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since.

Now international affairs take place on a global basis, and these historical concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously. Yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process, or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension.

Grounded in Kissinger’s deep study of history and his experience as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Kissinger offers a unique glimpse into the inner deliberations of the Nixon administration’s negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan’s tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s historical analysis in the decisive events of our time.

Provocative and articulate, blending historical insight with geopolitical prognostication, World Order is a unique work that could come only from a lifelong policymaker and diplomat.


Kissinger talks more about Obama and the New World Order

Kissinger talks more about Obama and the New World Order. Kissinger literally drooling at the prospect of a New World Order

Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia by Lukas Straumann (Author)

Money Logging investigates what Gordon Brown has called probably the biggest environmental crime of our times the massive destruction of the Borneo rainforest by Malaysian loggers. Historian and campaigner Lukas Straumann goes in search not only of the lost forests and the people who used to call them home, but also the network of criminals who have earned billions through illegal timber sales and corruption.

Straumann singles out Abdul Taib Mahmud, current governor of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, as the kingpin of this Asian timber mafia. Taib s family with the complicity of global financial institutions have profited to the tune of 15 billion US dollars. Money Logging is a story of a people who have lost their ancient paradise to a wasteland of oil palm plantations, pollution, and corruption and how they hope to take it back. Translated from German. Lukas Straumann is the executive director of the Bruno Manser Fund in Basel, Switzerland.

“Money Logging” author Lukas Straumann displays his new book in front of Abdul Taib’s mansion in the Malaysian state of Sarawak (Photo courtesy Bruno Manser Fund)

Al Jazeera interview with Lukas Straumann

‘RM4bil a small fraction of Taib family fortune’

Just a small fraction of companies linked to the family of Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud gives them a fortune amounting to almost RM4 billion, says Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) executive director Lukas Straumann.

Why India and Pakistan Hate Each Other

Three wars later, there’s no end in sight to the cross-border violence between India and Pakistan. Why exactly are these countries fighting each other and is there any hope for peace?

Learn More:
India-Pakistan Relations: A 50-Year History
“Despite the seeming suddenness of India’s and Pakistan’s decisions to test nuclear devices and in so doing seek to join the other five world nuclear nations, the headlines following the explosions “heard round the world,” had a fifty-year history.”

1. Why Is the USA Still Fighting in Iraq? 2. The war in Syria explained in five minutes | Guardian Animations 3. What Is Boko Haram And Why Are They Kidnapping Nigerian Girls?

The war in Syria explained in five minutes | Guardian Animations

What is going on in Syria and why? This animation explains the events that have led to the ongoing civil war in the Middle Eastern country, which is reported to have claimed over 100,000 lives. It’s a complicated issue, but this explainer should serve as a good starting point for understanding it all

What Is Boko Haram And Why Are They Kidnapping Nigerian Girls?

Boko Haram has again kidnapped women and children in Nigeria. We know they’re a terrorist group, but aside from grouping them under the universal term “terrorist,” do we actually know who the Boko Haram are? The answer is a little more complicated than you may think.

How to Reduce Stress with the Emotional Management Method ~ Kasia Wezowski (Author), Patryk Wezowski (Author)

Do you happen to experience stress, annoyance or a lack of energy?
Perhaps you’ve accumulated so many emotions that you’ve stopped being able to deal with them. In fact, our natural state is the state of a small child who takes life enthusiastically and resolves all emotional issues in 5 minutes to get back to play quickly and have more fun. As adults, we become more and more looped in different emotions, and thus we can’t use our creative potential in our work and everyday life. If you look at successful people, you will discover that they are great masters of their own emotions and still maintain the enthusiasm of a small child.

This book is for those who work under stress and often under huge responsibility for their decisions. Also for those who would like to gain more clarity about what they want, and at the same time without falling into extreme emotions. It’s also a book for those who would like to understand their emotions better and use this knowledge to build successful personal and professional relationships.

About the authors:

Kasia Wezowski – Business Strategist, Author, Body Language Expert:

Kasia is an optimist, and always finds a creative solution for everything. She believes that successful people usually do what others do only sometimes. She has three Masters’ degrees: psychology, sociology and law. She loves to put theoretical knowledge into practice, running her own companies, training and advising on company strategy for 10 years.

Kasia has done over 3000 hours of coaching. She loves to inspire people. She has written three books and authored over 30 techniques and methods in coping with stress, conflict resolution, creative solutions, effective communication and sales strategies.

Patryk Wezowski – Entrepreneur, Speaker, Body Language Expert:

Patryk is a visionary thinker with original ideas and the drive to see them through. He has a multi-disciplinary approach and a vast knowledge of non-verbal communication, psychology, sales, and internet marketing. He can make any start-up company profitable within six months.

Patryk has an amazing ability to read and accurately interpret body language signals. He is also a great speaker. This is the reason why the media ask him to analyse behaviour of politicians and famous people. Patryk also likes to inspire people and is often invited to present to large audiences.

Kasia Wezowski and Patryk Wezowski, are serial entrepreneurs. They are Europe’s leading Body Language Experts, and founders of the Center for Body Language with 25 trainers in 15 countries.


Emotional Management Method – How to Reduce Stress using EMM

Emotional Management Method is based on the newest research in the psychology of emotions, neurobiology, and brain research combined with Buddhist psychology and ancient healing systems.
Body Language courses and Facial Expressions training allow you to identify emotions that are not helpful. EMM helps you to transform these emotions and stress effectively from the inside-out.

Emotional Management Method will help you to:
– Reduce your level of stress and increase your energy level to find new inspiration and motivation at work
– Get more clarity about your decisions and goals to become more self-confident and achieve what you want
– Boost your creativity and effectiveness at work to gain more profit and success

Learn more about How To Reduce Stress using the Emotional Management Method on:

Patryk Wezowski: Subtle Expressions Indicate Emotions

Patryk Wezowski joins Freeman and Barnet for an interesting conversation about micro-expressions. This is about detecting emotions through subtle facial expressions and the indications of this awareness.

For more information about Patryk’s work, please visit: http://www.centerforbodylanguage.com/

All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life ~ Andrew M. Cuomo (Author)

In this full and frank memoir—a personal story of duty, family, justice, politics and resilience—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reflects on his rise, fall, and rise in politics, and recounts his defining personal and political moments and tough but necessary lessons he has learned along the way.

With 16-page of color photos.

ANDREW CUOMO, the 56th governor of New York, is the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and brother of news anchor Chris Cuomo. He formerly served as New York’s attorney general and U.S. Secretary of HUD. He has three daughters.

Take a Look Inside.

NY Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo 10/1/14

Reeva: A Mother’s Story by June Steenkamp (Author)

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, shooting her multiple times while she cowered behind the locked door of their bathroom. His trial has attracted more international media attention and public scrutiny than any since that of OJ Simpson.

What went on behind the scenes though? And what was the real Reeva like, away from the photo shoots and the attention of the media? A beautiful 29 year old from Port Elizabeth, Reeva graduated as a lawyer and campaigned for human rights causes before deciding to try the world of modelling in South Africa’s most vibrant city. Her relationship with international hero Oscar Pistorius seemed like a fairy tale of triumph over adversity – double amputee turned champion athlete meets small town girl with beauty and brains wanting to make her mark on the world. No one could have predicted the tragic and horrifying conclusion to that fairy tale.

Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, has kept a dignified silence throughout the long months since she received the phone call every mother dreads. In this painfully honest and unflinching account of Reeva’s life, she talks about what really went on in her mind as she sat in the packed Pretoria court room day after day and how she is coping in the aftermath of the verdict. Reeva is the only true insider’s account of this tragic story.

June and Barry Steenkamp express disbelief at Oscar Pistorius verdict

Published on Sep 14, 2014

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp say they are “disappointed and sad” after South African athlete Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of murdering their daughter. June and Barry Steenkamp told NBC News of their “disbelief” that the court had believed Pistorius’s version of events. Judge Thokozile Masipa found him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, saying the state had failed to prove he intended to kill. “There are so many things he {Oscar Pistorious} could have done to prevent this catastrophe from happening… I can’t believe that they believe that Reeva’s death was an accident.”

Oscar Pistorius ex girlfriend speaks out

Published on Oct 21, 2014

Samantha Taylor, Oscar Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend, talks about her testimony in the trial, her support for the Steenkamp family and her opinion on the sentencing…..http://owl.li/D5mDr

Latest Update:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority says prosecutors will appeal the verdict and sentencing of Oscar Pistorius, who was handed a 5-year prison term after being convicted of culpable homicide.

Prosecution spokesman Nathi Mncube said Monday that the next step is to file papers in court.

Pistorius started serving his prison sentence on Oct. 21 after he was acquitted of murder by a judge and found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.

Under the current terms, the Olympic runner is eligible for release after 10 months and would then complete his sentence under house arrest.

Lee Kuan Yew’s Insights with Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill

Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, is known around the world as an innovative leader and respected scholar of global strategy. Lee has been a mentor to every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, and a counselor to every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama.

In their new book, Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill distill the essence of Lee Kuan Yew’s visionary thinking about critical issues including the futures of China and the United States, U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization. At a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations program on May 6, 2013, the authors discussed their new book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, with National Committee President, Stephen Orlins.

THE SECRET SKY A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan by Atia Abawi

An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from veteran foreign news correspodent Atia Abawi

Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America’s War in Afghanistan.

Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.

Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell. You can follow her on Twitter @AtiaAbawi.


Author Atia Abawi describes her book, The Secret Sky

Atia Abawi, NBC correspondent and author of The Secret Sky, gives a synopsis of her novel about forbidden love in Afghanistan.

Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World by Kirsten Gillibrand (Author), Hillary Rodham Clinton (Foreword)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Fourteen years before Kirsten Gillibrand succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as senator from New York, she heard her future mentor say these life-changing words: “Decisions are being made every day in Washington, and if you are not part of those decisions, you might not like what they decide, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.” A young corporate lawyer at the time, Gillibrand felt as if she’d been struck by lightning. She instantly knew that her voice—all women’s voices—were essential to shaping the future of this country, and that she had a greater purpose in life: to speak up and effect change. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the senator, wife, and mother of two recounts her personal journey in public service and galvanizes women to reach beyond their busy lives and make a meaningful difference in the world around them.

Off the Sidelines is a playbook for women who want to step up, whether in Congress or the boardroom or the local PTA. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military).

Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office. She lays bare the highs and lows of being a young (pregnant!) woman in Congress, the joys and sacrifices every working mother shares, and the support system she turns to in her darkest moments: her husband, their two little boys, and lots of girlfriends.

In Off the Sidelines, Gillibrand is the tough-love older sister and cheerleader every woman needs. She explains why “ambition” is not a dirty word, failure is a gift, listening is the most effective tool, and the debate over women “having it all” is absurd at best and demeaning at worst. In her sharp, honest, and refreshingly relatable voice, she dares us all to tap into our inner strength, find personal fulfillment, and speak up for what we believe in.

A magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand went on to receive her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1991 and served as a law clerk on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. After working as an attorney in New York City for nearly a decade, Gillibrand served as special counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton administration, then as an attorney before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York’s 20th Congressional District, which spans ten counties in upstate New York. Gillibrand was first sworn in as United States senator from New York in January 2009, filling Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seat. In November 2012 she was elected to her first six-year Senate term with 72 percent of the vote, a New York State record, winning sixty of New York’s sixty-two counties. She lives in Troy, New York, with her husband, Jonathan, and their sons, Theo and Henry.

CLICK HERE to read instantly.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Off The Sidelines

Off The Sidelines: Join Us

Since Off The Sidelines launched in 2011, we’ve accomplished so much together. But we still have a lot of work left to do to empower more women, to urge more women to make their voices heard, and to elect more women to office.

The Socially Transmitted Disease That Has No Cure: Identity Theft ~ Adam K. Levin

Whether you are new to college, single and dating or newly divorced (because you panicked and confessed when news of the Ashley Madison hack hit the media), I’ll bet there is at least one socially transmitted disease you haven’t started worrying about: identity theft.

If you use Facebook, you’re making easy work for identity thieves. The same goes for the whole cosmos of social media whether you favor Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, or prefer to Tumblr your thoughts, preferences and predilections to anyone who cares to know what they are. The more you put out there in publicly viewable spaces, the more your personal identity mosaic is exposed. An identity thief’s day job is piecing together that mosaic into a passable, or useable, version of you: one that will get through the authentication process of financial, medical or governmental organizations.

The echo of another kind of disease here is intentional. Like the more widely known kind of STD, the socially transmitted diseases that fall under the rubric of identity-related crimes are contracted by unsafe personal information practices. Unlike the more familiar variety, where safety is taught in high school, tacked to college community boards and heralded by countless other media new and old, not as many people these days know how to stay as safe as possible from the threat of identity theft, especially online.
How to Practice ‘Safe Social’

Don’t overshare. It’s OK to let the world know you’re on vacation so long as you have a great security system at home, or you have a house sitter. Traditional trespassers use social media to know when houses are unguarded. It is far better to share the memory than report the experience as it’s unfolding.
Be careful when posting pictures. While it’s fun to brag about a new purchase–whether that be a diamond ring, a new car or the smartest TV on the market, just be aware that anyone following you now knows where they can get your newest trophy or indulgence for free.
Geotagging is for victims. There is no upside for you here. Companies like geotagging photos and other people-powered media assets because it gives them bankable information that could lead to future sales. Whether you are letting Twitter or Facebook or FourSquare narrowcast (or broadcast depending on your privacy settings) your location, failure to disable location services on your device permits geotagging, which also gives thieves bankable info that could lead to future crimes.
Know your privacy settings. Make sure you understand how your posts are being displayed or distributed by the social network you use. For instance, on Facebook you can set a post to “Public” or “Only Me” with many choices in between.
Lying is good. Facebook especially is a perfectly acceptable place to not be forthcoming about your age, hometown, place of employment, or even the college you attended and what years you were there. Identity thieves comb social sites for information to complete dossiers of personally identifiable information that will allow them to correctly answer security questions and thus open new financial accounts or empty existing ones. If you don’t want to actively fabricate answers to these questions, just don’t fill out those parts of your profile.
Beware of quizzes that require personally identifiable information. Make no mistake, your email address and name count.

There Is No Immunization

Unlike the other kind of STD, the socially transmitted disease of identity theft is not avoidable. There is no immunization, no safe way to avoid it–not even complete abstinence. There have been too many breaches with too much data for anyone but those living entirely off the grid to be completely safe. (And even still you can’t be sure.)

Your best bet, in my opinion, is a system detailed in my book (forthcoming in November). A key element to that approach is acceptance. Specifically, you need to come to terms with the fact that it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” you will become a victim of at least one, if not multiple types, of identity theft. Anyone who tells you that they can keep you from getting got is selling snake oil. In fact, they are running afoul of the Federal Trade Commission. There is no guarantee. There are, however, best practices.

The Three Ms

If you accept the basic premise that you are at risk for identity theft no matter what you do, here are some thoughts as to how you might stay as safe as possible. The good news may actually be that you are a seasoned and intelligent user of social media, because that means you already have several of the habits in place that you will need.

1. Minimize Your Exposure

The same strategies you can adopt to make yourself a harder-to-hit target on social media goes for the rest of your life. Whether that means saying “no” when asked for your Social Security number, limiting the amount of sensitive personal information you provide to anyone who contacts you, making sure all your accounts (email, social networking, financial or retail) have different and unique user names paired with unique long and strong passwords, properly securing your computers and mobile devices, or freezing your credit — there are a variety of things you can do to make your attackable surface smaller.

2. Monitor Your Accounts

If you use social media regularly, you are used to checking in on a regular basis — the Pew Research Center found that 70 percent of Facebook users check in daily as did about half of Instagram users, and nearly 40 percent of Tweeps. The same behavior, applied to your financial life, may keep you from getting got… or help you undo or minimize the damage in case you do. Get free annual credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. Review your credit reports, and get your credit scores — many sites offer them for free, including Credit.com, which updates your scores monthly — to watch for changes. Check your bank and credit card accounts daily. Other things you can do include signing up for free transactional monitoring alerts at your bank, credit union or credit card provider, or purchasing more sophisticated credit and non-credit monitoring programs.

3. Manage the Damage

When the dark day comes that your daily practice of monitoring your credit or financial life yields a compromise, you need to get on it immediately by informing the institution of the account that is involved as well as law enforcement and the fraud department of at least one credit reporting agency. Since many insurance companies, a number of financial services organizations and the human resources departments at a number of companies offer complimentary or low-cost identity theft assistance as a perk of your relationship with the institution, check to see if you are covered or if not, how you can get covered. Resolution experts can greatly help you speed your way back to normalcy.

Identity theft is a permanent threat. The best way to stay safe is to change your behavior. The above tips are only some of the ways to do that. In the age of universal data vulnerability, practicing safe information hygiene is a must – lest you contract the one STD that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years experience in personal finance, privacy, real estate and government service. A former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Levin is Chairman and founder of IDT911, Chairman and co-founder of Credit.com and serves as a spokesperson for both companies.