Since the civil war in Syria escalated in 2011/12 with Syrian President Bashar Assad taking very aggressive, brutal measures against the rebels and innocent Syrians, nations in the Western world have been reluctant to intervene even for humanitarian reasons.In 2013 Assad crossed the ‘red line’ set by former President Barack Obama and launched a chemical attack against the rebels resulting in the death of over 1,400 men, women and children. For days Obama contemplated a military response against Assad’s brutality.For several reasons, Obama eventually decided against military intervention. One, he didn’t have the support of America’s main ally, Britain, as the British parliament voted down any involvement. Two, the US Congress which Obama sought authority from, also voted against intervention. Third, then Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a plan with Russia that ostensibly had Assad getting rid of his stockpile of chemical weapons.Obviously, Obama trusted the arrangement brokered by Kerry and the Russians. However, months later Putin, instead of using his influence with Assad to quell the civil war, entered the fray as Assad’s ally, along with Iran. Last week, when Assad launched sarin gas bombs against rebels and innocent citizens, it appeared Putin duped the US when in 2013 Russia confirmed Assad had gotten rid of the chemical weapon stockpile. Televised images of people, including infants, struggling and dying from the effects of the gas were heart wrenching.Reacting to Assad’s latest atrocity, on the evening of Thursday, April 6, President Donald Trump authorized a missile attack against a Syrian airfield used by aircrafts that dropped the chemical bombs against the rebels.Two days before the missile strike, Trump and members of his administration hinted at reaction against Assad. Nonetheless, the attack was surprising especially with Trump’s seemingly close relationship with Putin. Trump had also cautioned Obama about getting involved in a military intervention with Assad in 2013, cautioning such action could herald “World War III.”The suddenness of Trump’s action has fueled conspiracy theories that the strike against Syria was another attempt to deviate attention from investigations into collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential elections.Notwithstanding those theories, the big question is, what’s next? Does Trump have a clear strategy in dealing with Assad and the Syrian civil war? Assuming there’s such a strategy, doesn’t it pit the US military might against Russia and Iran? Is Trump ready to send large compliments of US troops to fight in Syria, or, would the strategy mean escalated air strikes? Does the strategy involve getting rid of Assad? Since Trump said he was so emotionally moved by images of “beautiful babies” dying from the chemical poison attack would he be now prepared to help create ‘safe zones’ in Syria to protect innocent citizens, especially since he’s not inclined to allow Syrian refugees to enter the US?These are just a few of several questions, but they are questions that has arisen since Trump’s surprise attack against Syria. But there is another interesting question. Was the attack meant to show Trump is a stronger, more decisive commander-in-chief than President Obama? If so that would be a reckless reason to initiate an international conflict. Or, was the attack to show the US is not reluctant to use its military might against Assad and his allies? If that was so, then the US’ attack was similar to a student hitting the school bully with a glancing blow that only provoked the bully to be more aggressive.Indicative of this similarity is within hours after the attack, Syrian planes took off from the same airfield. Moreover, these planes dropped more bombs, albeit not chemical bombs, over the same territory that the chemical bombs were dropped. Incidentally, this begs another question. Why didn’t the US missile strike seek to destroy the runways at the Syrian airfield. Trump’s explanation that runways are easy to repair doesn’t seem like a justifiable military explanation.Although most Americans are revolted by the images of Assad’s chemical attack, they remain wary of the country entering another war. But, Trump has struck a blow that could result in retaliation by Assad, and Syria’s allies. Americans have the right to know what is Trump’s strategy if such retaliation comes, or if Assad continues to butcher Syrians. One thing is evident. One missile strike against Syria by the US won’t do.
Hearts of Oak earned a narrow 1-0 win over Bechem United in the Ghana Premier League’s Saturday only game. Youngster Thomas Abbey netted from close range to bag his fourth goal of the season at the Gyeabour Park in the Brong Ahafo Region.Bechem were boosted by their victory at Aduana while Hearts preparations suffered a setback as influential midfielder Emmanuel Hayford and defender Reuben Gnage were ruled out.David Duncan named Selasi Adjei and Cobbinah in attack and their partnership yielded fruits when Cobbinah prodded home a fabulous effort to keep his scoring run in Hearts’ last three games.Moro Abubakar’s influence in the middle caused more problems for Miroslav Bogdanovic’s side to initial attacks while Romeo Agban and Thomas Abbey had the free will to torment the hosts’ defence.Under the second minute, a Stephen Tetteh pass found Selasi the box but the former Amidaus man’s effort went just wide. But the next minute, the game’s only goal arrived. The artistry of Agban lubricated the visitors defence laying a squad pass for Selasi who flicked to Abbey whose calmness allowed him to pick his spot remarkably.Bechem tried to fight back just two minutes after the opener but Philemon McCarthy became the difficult for them.Bechem could have levelled on the stroke of full-time but McCarthy produced a more classier save to keep the Phobians in the lead. The introduction of Oleenu Ashitey even caused further problems for the home side as his great tenacity made things had for the Bechem defence.
Facebook624Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Olympia Food Co-opThe collectively managed and member owned Olympia Food Co-op has adopted a gradated policy to bring the starting wage to $15 per hour by 2018. This decision follows the national movement of low wage workers mobilizing to demand a living wage.The Olympia Food Co-op stands out as a values based, community run and collectively managed grocer and for the last forty years has been a leader in the community, working to make good food accessible to more people and encourage economic and social justice. The decision to move to $15/hr starting wage supports the efforts by the Olympia Food Co-op to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society.The movement for a $15 minimum wage began in 2012 with New York City fast food workers walking off the job for day long strikes. Workers have argued that full time workers should not have to work second jobs or rely on public assistance, which many low wage workers must for basic subsistence. While the movement was initially criticized as unfeasible, the $15 minimum wage has gained considerable traction and has steadily become reality as many cities have passed or are considering raises to their minimum wage. In addition to the fast food industry, other employment sectors such as home care workers, childcare providers and big box retail workers have also joined the movement for higher wages, as well as sick leave and union organizing rights. Locally, Sea-Tac became the first city in the US to institute a $15 minimum wage, followed by a long term plan by Seattle. Now cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and many others are following suit in an attempt to reduce poverty.Long time Olympia Food Co-op staff member and Finance Committee member Grace Cox says, “The Co-op already offers a solid wage and benefits package. As a Co-op employee I hope that all employers will embrace the need to raise wages for the lowest paid workers.” Emily Van Kley of the Co-op’s Labor Systems Committee adds that, “By committing to $15 an hour, I hope the Co-op is lending its support to a movement that values the contributions of all workers.”
By Chris Rotolo |RUMSON – Murphy’s Tavern on Ward Lane, which came to life as a secluded gin-mill speakeasy, is preparing to mark 100 years since Prohibition.The saloon, located at the end of a driveway in a residential neighborhood, is a link to a nefarious moment in the Two River area’s past when smugglers and rumrunners navigated the twists and turns of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers using the cover of darkness to drop shipments of “wet goods” during the dry times of Prohibition-era America.“Where this place is situated and the surrounding geography of the area is a huge part of why it was able to endure,” said Robb McMahon, who owns the bar with friend and business partner Heather Vena Racioppi.They believe the underground speakeasy began illegally serving booze to law-breaking locals shortly after the 18th Amendment was ratified by a Utah in 1919. The business partners are planning a celebration to recognize the anniversary in the New Year.The story of the once secret, subterranean saloon makes for good conversation and, during a Nov. 27 interview with The Two River Times, McMahon is enjoying the storytelling from behind an oak bar.McMahon says if the surrounding residences weren’t blocking his shot, he’s fairly certain he could chuck a rock from the entrance of Murphy’s to the nearby riverfront. Or at least he could have back in his Little League days.The entrance to what is now the borough’s public boat launch sits about 200 feet from the bar’s location, which is designated with a sign on the home’s cream colored siding reading “Murphy’s – Since Prohibition.”In the basement of a Ward Lane residence near the Navesink River is Murphy’s Tavern, a former speakeasy. Photo by Chris RotoloThe boat launch overlooks a naturally formed cove, with a marsh-covered island situated between the Rumson riverfront and a patch of Hartshorne Woods that includes a portion of Mount Mitchill’s scenic overlook.“The coverage from the woods was key. The water access was key. Just look at what we have today in the Seastreak (Ferry). You’re in and out of New York City much quicker over the water than by rail. And when you’re doing something illegal, it’s a lot safer traveling by water,” McMahon added.In November 1918, the U.S. Congress passed a temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, banning the sale of beverages with an alcohol content greater than 1.28 percent. It was an attempt to preserve grain supplies for troops battling in World War I.In December 1918 the U.S. Senate proposed the 18th Amendment, effectively establishing the prohibition of intoxicating liquors, followed by Congress passing the Volstead Act in October 1919, which defined those liquors and the penalties against those who produced and sold them.By the time the country officially went dry Jan. 17, 1920, Murphy’s was well established near the banks of the Navesink.The Ward Lane establishment was also a mere seven-minute stroll from the police station, then located on Center Street.“Let’s just say, back then, the owners were only worried about the federal government knocking on their door and this was small potatoes compared to the likes Al Capone, Tommy Lucchese and Dutch Schultz. They weren’t really worried about the Murphy’s,” McMahon said. “But this wasn’t the only place to have an operation.”In 1923 one man was shot and killed, six others were hospitalized and seven more were jailed following a gun fight on the streets of Atlantic Highlands between a band of bootleggers and a gang of highjacking rum pirates.In 1924 George F. Grause was arrested in a raid with 20 other men for selling illegal spirits in the hidden backroom of a Red Bank haunt. Later that year the U.S. Coast Guard launched a sting operation off the coast of Monmouth Beach and seized a million dollars’ worth of product from a British vessel named the Frederick B.Holmdel resident James Maher stored a whiskey still in his attic, accessed by a staircase behind a removable panel in the closet of his daughter’s bedroom at their Hop Brook Farm home. In 1923 he designed a process to transform cider from his family’s lush orchards into apple jack and laid out a drive-through pathway for locals to purchase a bottle at his backdoor and motor off without detection. The still was discovered in 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed.Vena-Racioppi said structurally and cosmetically the tavern has changed, but the partners have never wanted to create a caricature of the era. “The last cosmetic redo we did, we made sure not to make a Prohibition them park out of it like so many others in the area have. We didn’t have to do that,” she added.Vena-Racioppi said originally the bar top ran along a wall where a 1950s shuffle board table now rests. The room itself was completely open back in the 1920s, with just a couple of booths located on the opposite wall.The new bar top is an L-shape, opening much of the room up to patrons. Photos from the 1940s hang around the room, as does a jackelope head, a couple of dart boards and modern jukebox.“This is a room that’s been around for about a century now. There wasn’t much we had to do, because it’s already from the Prohibition era. It’s already authentic. We just had to acknowledge the history and make it a little more accommodating in the process. People have responded really well,” Vena-Racioppi added.The tavern serves handcrafted cocktails, wine by the glass and bottle, and both bottled and draft beer. They also have a small snack menu with pizza, bar items like pigs in a blanket, and specialty French fries, including the quintessentially New Jersey Pork Roll Fries, crispy strips of Taylor Ham served with ketchup and cheese sauce.Murphy’s Tavern is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and features Friday happy hours from 6 to 8 p.m. with live music. They will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party Dec. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m. to coincide with the New Year in Dublin.For more information on the New Year’s Eve party and other special events visit murphystavernrumson.com. The bar is located at 17 Ward Lane.This article was first published in the Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value More From Roadshow Post a comment 50 Photos 2020 Cadillac CT5 brings a new look for the brand’s sedans to New York 0 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better More about 2019 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Auto Tech Future Cars Enlarge ImageIt’s more complicated than simply adding a few wires and hard drives here and there. General Motors Having a bunch of tech is no good if it doesn’t receive the juice it needs to operate alongside the myriad other systems, all of which have their own demands. That’s why GM has a new electronic architecture in the works.General Motors on Monday unveiled its latest electronic platform. “Platform” in this case doesn’t refer to the metal structure hiding beneath the car’s body panels. Rather, it covers the electronic underpinnings of the car, focused entirely on the wiring and components that provide the car with modern connectivity. It’ll give GM’s future cars the bandwidth they’ll need to pack all the latest in-car tech.The platform is capable of handling up to 4.5 terabytes of data processing per hour, which GM says is five times more than its current electronic architecture can handle. That should provide a boost to GM’s Super Cruise system, which needs to crunch a whole bunch of data to do its job. At the same time, various components inside the car should be able to talk with each other — and with systems outside the vehicle — even faster, because the new platform supports Ethernet connections up to 10 Gbps.So what will all this extra bandwidth permit? Well, GM didn’t speak too much to specifics, but it did promise more capacity for over-the-air updates, eliminating frustrating trips to the dealer and allowing for more content to show up after the fact. It should also give a boost to Super Cruise, which GM said will evolve, but it didn’t say how exactly. The automaker also made mention of improved cybersecurity, but it only said that there will be “additional protective features at the hardware and software levels.”It won’t be long before we get to experience this upgrade. GM’s new electronic platform will enter production later this year, and it’ll make its first appearance on the upcoming Cadillac CT5 sedan. GM hopes that it will be introduced on “most vehicles within GM’s global lineup” by 2023. Cadillac Tags 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Share your voice Review • 2019 Cadillac Escalade review: Large, luxurious and long in the tooth General Motors
Hindustan Unilever reported disappointing earnings for the quarter ended 31 December, 2015. Net profit fell sharply by 22.4% year-on-year to Rs 971 crore, while revenues grew at a modest 2.7% to Rs 7,981 crore from Rs 7,774 crore in the corresponding period in fiscal 2015.The overall volume growth was 6%.”The growth in the quarter continued to be impacted by the phasing out of excise cuty incentives and price de-growth, as the benefit of lower commodity costs was passed on to consumers,” the company said in a statement.”Net Profit at Rs.971 crores was impacted by the exceptional income from the sale of properties in the base quarter and provisions for restructuring & select contested matters,” it added.”In an environment of moderating growth and benign input costs, we remain focused on innovation and market development to drive volumes competitively whilst improving operating margins,” said Harish Manwani, Chairman, Hindustan Unilever, in his statement.Its soaps and detergents business grew by just 1%, which was attributed to price deflation due to falling input costs, which was passed on to consumers.Personal products grew by 5% while growth in the beverages segment remained unchanged at 7%.Falling crude oil prices benefitted the company during the quarter under review, with cost of material dropping to Rs 2,689.39 crore, down 7.4% from Rs 2,860.63 crore in the corresponding quarter ended 31 December, 2014.On Friday, shares of Hindustan Unilever hit a new 52-week low of Rs 776.60 on the BSE before closing at Rs 804.15, down 2.7% from its previous close.The company’s advertisement expenses fell marginally to Rs 1,137.79 crore during the third quarter ended December 2015, though the company’s brands continue to figure in the list of leading brands advertised on television. For the week ended 8 January, 2016, three of the company’s brands were on the list of top 10 brands, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council, India.The company’s rival, Proctor & Gamble Hygiene & Healthcare, will be declaring its results on 6 February, 2016.