PEOPLE are funny about food. Throughout history they have mocked others for eating strange things. In 1755 Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined oats as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people”. Nineteenth-century Japanese nationalists dismissed Western culture as bata kusai, or “stinking of butter”. Unkind people today deride Brits as “limeys”, Mexicans as “beaners” and French people as “frogs”. And food-related insults often have a political tinge. George Orwell complained that socialism was unpopular because it attracted “every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer [and] sex-maniac…in England”. In many countries today, politicians who wish to imply that their rivals have lost touch with ordinary voters sneer that they are latte-drinkers, muesli-munchers or partial to quinoa.
This South American grain gets a particularly bad rap. To its fans, it is a superfood. To its detractors, it is like the erotic sci-fi murals found in Saddam Hussein’s palaces—pretentious and tasteless. An advertisement for Big Macs once riffed on this prejudice. “Foodies and gastronauts kindly avert your eyes. You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa,” it said, adding that “while [a Big Mac] is massive, its ego is not.” Even those who love quinoa sometimes fret that scarfing it may not be ethical. What if rising hipster demand pushes the price up, forcing Andeans to eat less of their beloved grain? Or what if the price falls, making Andean farmers poorer? A headline from Mother Jones, a left-wing magazine, perfectly captured the confusion of well-meaning Western foodies: “Quinoa: good, evil or just really complicated?”
Source: The Economist
Centrist Emmanuel Macron saw his position as favorite to win France’s presidential election boosted on Thursday in two polls, with one showing him ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of the two-stage contest.
A monthly Cevipof survey, seen as the most authoritative because it has a far bigger sample size than most polls, put Le Pen well ahead in the April 23 first round though Macron was seen easily beating her in a May 7 runoff.
However, a Harris Interactive poll showed Macron winning the first round with 26 percent of votes, with Le Pen taking second place on 25 percent, setting him up to trounce her in the run-off with a score of 65 percent.
It was the second poll in the space of a week that put the 39-year-old ahead of Le Pen in the opening round, a signal that the centrist former economy minister may be consolidating his position 45 days from the first stage of the contest
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was barred from inciting illegal land grabs by the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The court granted an interdict to civil and business rights watchdogs Afriforum and AfriBusiness‚ which had submitted an application for such a ruling in November 2016.
Malema‚ at the time‚ had made statements about occupying land in South Africa.
Tarien Cooks‚ safety coordinator for AfriForum‚ said in a statement on Tuesday that the EFF had been asked last year to stop inciting land grabs as it was a criminal offence.
In a crisis there are always people saying something must be done. Most of their plans are worse than doing nothing. I’d like to have coined that maxim but I borrowed it from a former Downing Street adviser – someone who has seen first hand how the attraction of doing something drastic in politics conceals the risk of doing something stupid.
The context was discussion of a new party. It isn’t hard to find this conversation in Westminster. It takes place whenever there is a gathering of two or more people who despair equally at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and Theresa May’s navigation of Brexit. It isn’t a plot: no one is recruiting MPs to some new force. But there is a lot of speculation that someone should.
The conversation begins with the thought that Labour is doomed. Corbyn’s closest allies insist he can still be prime minister, but with dwindling conviction. John McDonnell complains about conspiracies by MPs and the media, not because he fears a coup but because he needs one. It isn’t a coincidence that the Corbyn locomotive ran out of steam once Owen Smith’s leadership challenge was crushed. Battle against “Blairites” was the coal in the furnace. Without an internal enemy to fight, the wheels stop turning.
Manchester United has become the first sports team to partner with Stonewall, in a “ground-breaking” initiative.
The most successful team in British football history announced today that they will work with the charity “to tackle LGBT issues in sport and society”.
After joining in with Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign last year, the club – which is worth £2.2 billion, the third-most in the world – moved to cement its relationship with the charity and the LGBT community.
The partnership will see United’s ground play host to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Summit in May, with sports leaders gathering at Old Trafford to gain skills and knowledge for LGBT activism.
It is appropriate that United would be the first British club to partner with Stonewall, considering how iconic the on-field kiss between Gary Neville and Paul Scholes in 2010 has become.
Source: · PinkNews
MPs have passed a government amendment to make sex and relationship education mandatory.
Education Secretary Justine Greening had drawn up plans that she would act to make SRE mandatory in all schools, after pressure on the issue from sexual health and children’s campaign groups.
The plans do not include a commitment to LGBT-inclusivity, but LGBT charity Stonewall says it will be “working with the Government to ensure [LGBT issues] are reflected in updated guidance for schools”.
Her plans were given the green light by MPs today in a vote in the Commons, with the amendment to the Children and Social Work bill passing with near-unanimous support.
Source: · PinkNews
The ruling party is at risk of further splits amid a battle for senior positions in the ANC, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said.
There is intense jostling to replace President Jacob Zuma, 74, as the head of the party and for other top positions, despite rules forbidding active campaigning, Duarte, 63, said in an interview. The concern is that the losing group could break away to form a new party, as has happened in the lead up to or after previous ANC elective conferences, she said.
The ANC’s leadership contest comes at a time when the party risks losing the majority it’s held in every vote since 1994. A split could drag its support down to below 50% in the 2019 national elections, giving an opportunity for the opposition to join forces to take power. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 64, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 68, are seen by analysts as the main contenders to lead the ANC.
“Since 2007, every ANC conference has led to one or other split,” Duarte said. There could be “a spoilers’ breakaway after this conference,” she said.
Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and the gap is widenin
“IT’S all to do with their brains and bodies and chemicals,” says Sir Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a posh English boarding school. “There’s a mentality that it’s not cool for them to perform, that it’s not cool to be smart,” suggests Ivan Yip, principal of the Bronx Leadership Academy in New York. One school charges £25,000 ($38,000) a year and has a scuba-diving club; the other serves subsidised lunches to most of its pupils, a quarter of whom have special needs. Yet both are grappling with the same problem: teenage boys are being left behind by girls.
It is a problem that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls, and were more likely to graduate from university. Now, across the rich world and in a growing number of poor countries, the balance has tilted the other way.
Source: The Economist
Manchester city council has announced plans to create the UK’s first retirement community aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
According to the local authority, the city is home to the country’s largest number of LGBT people outside of London and is due to see a rapid growth in the number of LGBT residents over 65 in the next two decades. More than 7,000 over-50s living in Manchester identify as LGBT.
A recent report by the Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, commissioned by the council, revealed that older LGBT people experience higher levels of loneliness and isolation.
Many were fearful of discrimination in existing accommodation and there was a desire for affordable LGBT-specific housing where people could be open about their identity in later life.
Source: The Guardian
Marriage equality is legal in 22 countries, including Argentina, South Africa and the United States. Germany is not one of them. But now members of the junior governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pushing to change that. They are calling on their coalition partners, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), to go along with a change of law that would grant same-sex couples the right to get married and not just obtain civil unions.
Thomas Oppermann, the head of the SPD in parliament, said he planned to put marriage equality on the agenda for the next coalition meeting of the SPD, CDU and CSU.
“Everyone’s talking about preserving our values these days. That shouldn’t just be a talking point in grant speeches, but rather a part of actual policies,” Oppermann told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. “Among these values are not only the protection of marriage and family, but also equal rights for different kinds of relationships.”