His Royal Highness Bhumibol Adulyadej has sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and the Thai People.
The BBC has set targets for its 2020 workforce. According to this article, these are as follows:
- 50% women
- 15% black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds
- 8% disabled people
- 8% lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons
I’m completely in favor of equal opportunities. But that doesn’t leave much room for straight Caucasian men without a disability, now does it? 🙂
Today’s headlines reveals all three possible approaches to communicating budgetary deficits, in Belgium:
The Flemish region of Belgium has just proudly announced that its budget for the coming year will be balanced. A commendable achievement in the current economic climate one might think. Well, kinda. To get their checks and balances in order, the Flemish government has had to keep one of the largest investments out of the books. The Oosterweel connection is a project that plans to complete the highway around the city of Antwerp, turning it into a completed ring road. The investment will require a yearly investment of about half a billion Euro for the years to come. It’s exclusion from the budget is justified by the fact that it will generate a return on in investment, once finished. We would hope so, but isn’t making projections for future income and expenses part of the budgeting exercise, M. Bourgeois? Budgeting is not a PR opportunity. Well it shouldn’t be, at least.
This time, a playlist that doesn’t tell the story of a subculture but rather that of a geographical area: my home country of Belgium. This is a collection of records that have an international appeal, but have slipped into relative obscurity. It’s a trip starting in the clubs, moving past trip-hop, visiting rock venues and ending up in a tropical ska atmosphere. Isn’t Belgium wonderfully diverse? Full track listing if you continue reading.
Today’s quote comes from Nadine Callens, a Belgian youth support professional. ‘To avoid self-mutilation from spreading, schools need private areas to practise self-harm’. Following the same line of reasoning schools also need designated areas for smoking, bullying, shoplifting and drinking. In her leaflet ‘Automutilation … unpleasant and other reactions‘, she also clearly states that ‘these [self-harming] youngsters really do need help most of the time‘. You’ll be relieved to know that she also wrote a book on the subject. #problemsolved
The Belgian railway authority (NMBS) is not one to waste a good crisis. Following a recent change in policy, railway personnel gets their holiday entitlement cut for every minute they are late due to train delays. Before you label this as appalling, consider how cunning that plan really is: *#sarcastic mode on*
- Reduced holiday entitlement, means increased labour/employee at the same cost. This improves the budget.
- Reduced incentive for employees to use public transportation. This frees up capacity for paying commuters and lowers the chance of trains at full capacity, which also reduces tardiness
- Increased peer pressure from colleagues for timely trains, and against railway strikes
… and you thought these things were not completely thought through 🙂
This is just about the most hilarious piece of privacy-related news I’ve read in months. Microsoft is building a case against the US government, leading the way for a ‘growing resistance by technology companies to government attempts to snoop on the electronic communications of their customers’. Giant pot, humongous kettle, deep black 🙂
“Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation” – Christian Kern (Austrian Chancellor)