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Members of Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh appealed to Tural Ganjaliyev

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 25

By Samir Ali – Trend:

Chairman of the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Tural Ganjaliyev, has responded to the appeal of the Armenian community, Ganjaliyev told Trend on March 25.

Ganjaliyev noted that he was concerned about the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Recently, a number of members of the Armenian community (names were not disclosed for security reasons) of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, turning to me as an elected representative, informed about the increase in the number of people infected with acute respiratory infection, pneumonia in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the deplorable state of the health infrastructure, lack of tests, lack of medical personnel, expressed concern that Armenia and the illegal regime are concealing the cases of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) from the population,” the chairman noted.

“As an elected representative, I urge the Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to strictly observe personal hygiene rules, such as self-isolation, social distance to protect against coronavirus. I am sure that after the end of the Armenian occupation, the Azerbaijani state will restore the health infrastructure in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country and both communities will use the capabilities of a medical system meeting modern standards,” Ganjaliyev said.

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Let’s prove the EU is a true community with a shared future! – VoxEurop (English)

In this open call, a group of academics, politicians, professionals and European citizens are asking the EU institutions and Member States for a series of urgent measures to address the current coronavirus pandemic at the European level.

We, as European citizens, understand that Covid-19 is a common threat, that may hurt one country sooner than another, but will eventually hurt us all, and can impact our daily life and economy almost like a war.

We, as European citizens, are worried and scared by this threat; and even more by the cacophony, selfishness and self-destructive short-sightedness of the different, un-coordinated national responses; by the lack of foresight of our national leaders, who pretend not to know that our interdependence requires a single European answer with strict containment measures of the pandemics, and an EU-wide plan to re-start the European economy afterwards.

We, as European citizens, denounce that the current EU is an incomplete Res Publica, thus ill-equipped to face this challenge, with little competences and powers to face the pandemics. We welcome the timely decision by the Commission to provide 25 billion euro and financial flexibility to cope with this threat.

Maybe it’s the most it can do, but it is not enough.

We call upon the European Commission and Parliament to propose, and on the national governments to adopt (starting with the Eurogroup meeting of March 16, and a following extraordinary European Council to be called soon after) the following urgent measures, also using the Lisbon Treaty passerelle clause and simplified Treaty revision provisions:

  1. Make public health and contrast to epidemics a concurrent competence of the EU, subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, and provide the Commission with extraordinary powers to coordinate the response to the epidemics, as a federal government should do.

  2. Enlarge the scope of the European Stability Mechanism to finance the immediate strengthening of the European and national health systems to cope with the pandemics, which threatens the lives of European citizens, and thus also the economic and financial stability of the EU.

  3. Abolish the compulsory balanced budget provision for the EU and create a EU Safe Asset to be issued to finance an EU-wide plan to promote the EU economic recovery and social cohesion during and after the emergency.

  4. Move fiscal issues to the ordinary legislative procedure and provide the EU with fiscal powers to adopt new own resources – such as the carbon tax (and carbon tariffs), the digital tax, the financial transaction tax – to finance the EU budget (or the Euro-area Budgetary Instrument, if the decision could be reached only at the Euro-area level).

  5. Immediately approve the next Multiannual Financial Framework increasing the budget to at least 1,3% of the EU GDP, as requested by the European Parliament, on the basis of the current structure of the budget financing; and with the provision to reach 2% with the new own resources, to ensure the provision of crucial EU-wide public goods.

  6. Turn the planned Conference on the future of Europe into a fully-fledged European Convention to draft a new Constitutional Pact among the EU citizens and Member states.

We, as European citizens, believe this is the defining hour for the EU. Social perception of the EU will be shaped for years by its response to this crisis. This is the time to prove the EU is a community of values with a shared destiny, the life-line for its citizens and member states in the face of a turbulent global world with political, economic and health threats. It’s time for bold common steps to overcome fear. It’s time for European unity, not for national division.

All citizens are invited to sign this Appeal, available in several languages here. It was promoted by philosophers Roberto Castaldi and Daniel Innerarity, and signed by over 400 personalities from academia, civil society, business community, institutions from all over the EU, and even from countries still outside it.

Among the signatories are some of the most prominent European academics of their fields, relevant figures from civil society, many of whom had relevant roles in institutions, including former President of the European Parliament, EU Commissioners, national ministers, central bankers, members of the European and National Parliaments, etc. Here is a provisional list:

Gian-Paolo Accardo, journalist, co-founder of Voxeurop; Alberto Alemanno, École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) Paris; Founder and Director, the Good Lobby; Catherine André, journalist, co-founder of Voxeurop; Daniele Archibugi, Acting Director, IRPPS – Italian National Research Council; Enrique Baron Crespo, Chair Jean Monnet ad personam, Former President European Parliament;Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament, Head of the Italian delegation in the Socialist and Democrat Group, Board of the Spinelli Group; Vítor Bento, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas Universidade de Lisboa; former Director of the Foreign Department of the Portuguese Central Bank; former General Director of Treasury, President of Junta de Crédito Público and member of the European Monetary Committe; Tito Boeri, President Triennale di Milano; Full professor Urbanistica Politecnico di Milano; Pierre Brunet, Directeur du Département des Masters de Droit public de l’Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne; Maria Chiara Carrozza, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, former Rector, former Italian Minister of Education, University and Research; Innocenzo Cipolletta, President Assonime, former director general of Confindustria (Association of Italian Business); Carlos Closa, European University Institute, former Director of the European, Transnational and Global Governance research area; former Deputy Director at the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies (CEPC) in Madrid, and member of the Venice Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe; Anna Diamantopoulou, President To Diktio, former Greek Minister and European Commissioner; Rafał Dymek, President Polska Fundacja Robert Schuman; Sergio Fabbrini, Director School of Government at Luiss University; Piero Fassino, President Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, Vice President Foreign Affairs Committe of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy; Elsa Fornero, University of Turin, Scientific Coordinator of CeRP – Collegio Carlo Alberto, Vice President of SHARE and Research Fellow of IZA and Netspar, Former Italian Minister of Labour and Social Policies; John Erik Fossum, Arena Center for European Studies, Oslo Mahmoud Gebril, former Prime Minister of Lybia; Sandro Gozi, Member of the European Parliament, President of the Union of European Federalists, former Under- secretary of state for European Policies; Aldo Kaslowski, Chairman of Organik holding, former Vice-President of Tusiad (Association of Turkish Business); Guillaume Klossa, writer, founder of EuropaNova and Civico Europa, Sherpa to the reflection group on the future of Europe 2020-2030, former Director at the European Broadcasting Union; Anna Krasteva, New Bulgarian University and CERMES, editor-in-chief of Journal Southeastern Europe; Peter Jambrek, President of the New University, Slovenia; Cristophe Leclercq, Founder of Euractiv Network, President of Euractiv Foundation; Jo Leinen, Former MEP, former President of the Spinelli Group, the European Movement International, the Union of European Federalists; Francesca Longo, President Società Italiana di Scienza Politica; Paolo Magri, Director Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionali (ISPI); Sylwia Majkowska-Szulc, University of Gdańsk, Secretary of the Board of the Polish Association of European Law; Fabio Masini, University of Rome 3, Co-director International Centre for European and Global Governance (CesUE); Giovanni Moro, Chairman of Cittandinanza Attiva; Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, President Istituto Affari Internazionali, former European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship; Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford; Claus Offe, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin; Gianfranco Pasquino, University of Bologna, Johns Hopkins Bologna Center and Fellow of the Accademia dei Lincei; Otto Pfersfmann, Directeur d’Etudes Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales / Lier-FYT Paris; Mikolaj Pietrzak, Dean of the Warsaw Bar Association of Advocates; Gaetano Quagliarello, Luiss University, Senator; Dimitrij Rupel, Nova univerza Ljubljana; former Foreign Minister of Slovenia (1990-1993, 2000-2008); Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015; Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Chairman East-West European Institute; Richard Sennett, OBE FBA; Visiting Professor, The Senseable Cities Lab, MIT; Chair, Council on Urban Initiatives, United Nations Habitat, Chair, Theatrum Mundi; Enzo Siviero, Rector eCampus University, Architect; Arnaud Thysen, Director European Business Summit; Nathalie Tocci, Director Istituto Affari Internazionali, former Advisor to VP/HR Federica Mogherini; Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University; Livio Vanghetti, Executive Vice President of Philip Morris; Anna Wessely, ELTE University of Budapest, President of the Hungarian Sociological Association, Editor-in-chief of BUKSZ – The Budapest Review of Books; Vladimiro Zagrebelski, Carlo Alberto College in Turin, former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights; Bénédicte Zimmermann, Directrice d’études at the EHESS Paris

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Community unites for prayer vigil

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A prayer vigil at a Pensacola-area church Saturday started with a poignant sentiment.

“Today Pensacola hurts,” Pastor Ted Taylor said to those gathered at Olive Baptist Church in Warrington, which is located less than a mile from NAS Pensacola, where a gunman on Friday killed three people and wounded eight others before he was killed by deputies.

The vigil ended with another powerful display of unity as more than a dozen active duty military members and veterans locked arms and moved toward the front of the church.

“We thought it would be good just to gather together where we like to come and have a few folks share their hearts with us, read scripture and pray,” Taylor said. “And that’s what this is about.”

Close to 100 people attended the vigil at the church, whose congregation is comprised of about 60% military members, many of whom are or have been stationed at NAS Pensacola.

First responders and members of the military come together at Olive Baptist Church in Warrington Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, during the memorial service for the victims of the shooting at NAS Pensacola.

“This vigil means a lot,” said Caleb Fields, 23, of Richmond, Virginia.

An active member of the U.S. Air Force, Fields has trained to be a navigator for the past year at NAS Pensacola. He was not on base when the shooting occurred but said he had friends who witnessed the gunfire.

“I had friends who were in the room when it happened. Talking to them, it’s starting to get a little bit harder for me now,” he said. “It’s great to get all this love and support.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chip Simmons spoke at the vigil and shared more details about the law enforcement officers who rushed to the base to respond to the shooting.

He said three law enforcement officers were injured in the shooting, and all of them were “going to be OK.”

Pensacola shooting:FBI investigating tweets purportedly from suspect

Simmons said he spoke Friday at the hospital with the two Escambia deputies who authorities have said took down the shooter. He said one deputy was treated for an arm injury and released from the hospital Friday. The second underwent surgery after being shot in the knee and was expected to recover.

Simmons said he also spoke with a Navy police officer who was injured in the shooting. He said that officer sat up in his hospital bed and seemed “as jovial as could be given the circumstances” when Simmons spoke to him.

Mourners pray at Olive Baptist Church in Warrington Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, during the memorial service for the victims of the shooting at NAS Pensacola.

Simmons also recounted what he experienced Friday morning as he listened to the situation unfold over his radio.

“To hear an active shooter, and then to hear our officers, our deputies, who are getting to the location, and you can hear in the background that shots are being fired,” Simmons said. “All this is going through your mind, but you are trying to get there as fast you possibly can.”

Simmons said he kept waiting for a dispatcher to say it was all a false alarm, but that never happened.

“The closer I got to the NAS, the more gunshots I heard over the police radio,” he said.

Then Simmons said he heard those words you never want to hear: “Officer down!”

‘He just shot through the door’::Injured airman describes base shooting

The names of the law enforcement officers injured in the shooting have not been released. But the deputy who was injured in the shooting and released from the hospital Friday is a member of Olive Baptist Church, according to Mike Dimmick, the church’s military pastor.

Dimmick asked that everyone be mindful when speaking to others about the shooting in the coming days, saying that Pensacola is a tight-knight community and everyone has been personally affected by the shooting in different ways.

Mayor Grover Robinson said vigils like the one at Olive Baptist help the community heal, particularly in a military town like Pensacola.

“They are a part of us and we are a part of them,” Robinson said of the base. “I have told the FBI and all other authorities that if there is anything that they need from us, we’re there.”

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All joking aside, Trudeau isn’t doing much to convince the business community he’s serious

Poor Mona Fortier. She was so close to a title that would look great on any resume: associate minister of finance. But whoever runs Team Trudeau decided that moniker wasn’t descriptive enough. So Fortier, a member of Parliament from Ottawa, will spend the next phase of her career being introduced as the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity as well.

No need to spend a lot of time on the stupidity of that title. Chris Selley has already done so wonderfully in the National Post. “The title is kind of odd,” John Manley, the former minister of just about everything in Jean Chrétien’s government, including finance, said in an interview.

The unveiling of the cabinet was done without mandate letters, so we don’t know yet what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expects of his 36 ministers. I asked for an interview with Canada’s new junior finance minister, but her assistant said that she was too busy too talk. No doubt. Whenever we can speak, I pledge to take Fortier more seriously than the Prime Minister’s Office did when it was handing out titles.

But I said we wouldn’t dwell on superficial stuff. What does the new cabinet say about how the Trudeau government will approach the economy? That matters, as one of Fortier’s first formal briefings surely will include the latest from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which on Nov. 22 predicted that the global economy will expand 2.9 per cent this year, the weakest rate since the financial crisis a decade ago.

The OECD sees Canada’s gross domestic product growing only 1.5 per cent in 2019, compared with three per cent in 2017 and about two per cent in 2018. It also doubts the economy is on track to grow much faster for the next two years. The OECD called on the Bank of Canada to cut interest rates half a point by early next year, and advised governments against aggressive spending cuts at this time.

“Business confidence and investment in Canada are projected to recover only gradually,” the OECD said. “Exports and imports will remain subdued. Private consumption will support growth, but households will remain reluctant to spend from their income due to uncertainty, a slowing labour market and deleveraging.

Canadian retail sales increased 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, compared with a 1.1 per cent gain in the second quarter, Statistics Canada reported Nov. 22. Households “haven’t been very apt to spend in recent quarters, resulting in virtual stagnation in real retail sales since early 2018,” said Royce Mendes, an economist at CIBC World Markets.

The appointment of a minister for the middle class will do nothing to correct the business community’s impression of Trudeau.

The trouble with the first Trudeau government from the perspective of the business community was that it came across as entirely unserious about economic policy.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who was re-upped on Nov. 20, was afforded none of the stature that typically comes with his position. Trudeau was right to turn his back on balanced budgets, but he failed to tell a convincing story for why he was content to allow the deficit to grow wider and wider.

The government’s struggle to spend the infrastructure money in a timely manner appeared to be a lesson for what happens when you overpopulate your leadership team with thinkers and dreamers, at the expense of ministers with extensive real-life experience in business and politics.

The appointment of a minister for the middle class will do nothing to correct the business community’s impression of Trudeau.

“I’m looking for the government to do less virtue signalling and more listening to people,” said Manley, who is now special business adviser at Bennett Jones LLP, a law firm based in Toronto. “They were taken to the woodshed. I hope they know that.”

If John Ivison, the National Post’s political columnist, is right, the cabinet barely matters because a cabal of unelected advisers makes all the big decisions. And from the outside, it sure looks like the prime minister and his whisperers have created a system made to keep economic ministers busy figuring out who is in charge of what.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson lead the cabinet’s economy and climate committee. Morneau will have Fortier underfoot at Finance, while Navdeep Bains, who returns as innovation minister, will share his department’s resources with Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly.

I’m looking for the government to do less virtue signalling and more listening to people

John Manley, former cabinet minister

Also in the picture: Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Trade Minister Mary Ng and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Reagan.

There’s your economic-crisis committee, more or less.

Manley said junior ministers aren’t necessarily a bother, and he included Maurizio Bevilacqua, the one-time minister of state for finance, in just about everything because he liked having “another pair of political eyes.”

However, under Jean Chrétien, everyone knew what his or her job was. At Industry, Manley had little involvement with the day-to-day oversight of the regional development agencies, but they required his signature to spend money. Ministers were given a lot of responsibility and it was their fault if they screwed up. Harsh, but it left room for the prime minister to get involved before it was too late.

There might be a lesson for the current prime minister in that. “When the PM owns everything, it’s all on him,” Manley said.

Financial Post

Email: [email protected] | CarmichaelKevin

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