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Archive 24 April 2007


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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.

Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.

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April 2007
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April 25 2007

Experience Strength & Hope - DonInLondon 'Day In the Life'

A Day and a half yet again with calls and much to do. Not for me to do, but trying to support others and see a way forward. And knowing also sometimes we cannot possibly help as another might wish.

And having suggested actions and outcomes sometimes people want more and more. And the answer is to gently show them where to get the help they feel they need. One element of being helpful is not doing everything oneself.

There is also something I do which others may not do, that is listen.


As people listen, they are half a moment in the know and relating what is heard to their own story, their own experience and their own ways of living. Which is why most people are rubbish when it comes to listening at all to anything!

Listening is not knowing and is suspending judgment long enough to hear the truth of another’s thinking and feeling. We are so often driven by our own ways of understanding the world we neither understand or care too much what others are saying.

Most People

Yes most people are so driven to make their days work their way, or to follow as they are led, or to be ok and e left alone. And often fearful of what they don’t understand. The process of listening can either be enlightening or frightening as we get to understand what is in others peoples minds, or that bit we show others.

Words and dictionaries

If there is a word for it, and its in the dictionary, then its ,most likely happened a lot of times. And when people fear their truth about certain matters like alcoholism, or any ism, they are fearful and often driven by shame and guilt. This applies to behaviour which others don’t agree with or have phobias or prejudice against.

Listening then is also about trying to find out what is behind the words people speak so they fit in and don’t often share the truth, as the speaker often is ashamed to be the way they are.


If there is a word for certain behaviour, its common, even the bad stuff that goes on. Otherwise there would be no word for it, like for example, email. Email is a common word now, but 25 years ago it did not exist.

Language and listening

Often we hear people speak in the same language, for example English, yet we do not understand. So common and so true, as each generation changes and new words come along for old behaviour.

So listening is an art, I have studied listening for years and become adept to an extent. And this helps me, as does suspending judgment and not accessing prejudice. Listening is one of the hardest and most difficult jobs we all have become less clever at utilising in our fragmented living.

Actually these days the art of listening is made scientific as we process and change who we hear and how we express feelings and thoughts.

Nothing is easy as the world seems to spin ever faster. We are best served sometimes to slow down and wait and then have patience and time to listen.

Try it, it may make you realise what is being missed in everyday living more than words will ever inform. Listening - the art of conversation and sharing. Empathy and all those good words which lead to the riches of connection, peace and tranquil and shared understandings…

The thirst for life and living can kill the very thing we seek most, peace and harmony, love and well being. Our rapacious natures unable to process and find acceptance in being in the moment of now, the true spiritual gift of reality in this one day we experience best without filters or denials. Elusive and ephemeral, the spiritual connection is always right now…

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In 2005, G8 pledged $50bn for Africa. Now the reality April 25 2007

West accused of putting lives at risk as fund reaches just 10% of promised total

Larry Elliott and Kate Connolly in Berlin

The west's foot-dragging over aid pledges to Africa was described last night as "grotesque" and a threat to the lives of the world's poor by the body set up by Tony Blair to monitor the results of Britain's Gleneagles summit.

Almost two years after the G8 group of leading industrial nations promised to boost development assistance by $50bn a year by 2010, the Africa Progress Panel headed by the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said rich countries were only 10% of the way to their target

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Times OnLine April 25 2007

Smokers need time off to quit says NHS watchdog April 25 2007

Employees who smoke must be given time to attend clinics to help them to quit during working hours without loss of pay, new public health guidance recommends today.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) claims that the proposal will cut the £5 billion annual cost of lost productivity, absenteeism and fire damage caused by smoking.

It believes that a business with five smokers could spend just £66 on providing advice, including the cost of lost employees’time, and see an overall saving of around £350 in improved productivity.

It is the first time that NICE has issued guidance that applies beyond the NHS, effectively including every workplace in England. The recommendations come as all workplaces, from offices to factories and pubs, prepare to go smoke-free on July 1.

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The Great Pall of China April 25 2007

Explosive growth means China will overtake America this year as world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases

By Michael McCarthy and Clifford Coonan

In a seismic shift for the world, China will overtake the United States as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases this year, far earlier than thought - and present the problem of tackling climate change in even more difficult terms. The Chinese economy, which is now growing at the unprecedented rate of 11 per cent annually, is sending carbon emissions from China's mushrooming coal-fired power stations beyond those of the whole of the US, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday.

Less than three years ago the Paris-based IEA forecast that China would overtake the US as the world's biggest polluter - but not before 2025. More recently it said that China would be first by 2010.

Now, however, the growth of its economy (10 per cent annually for the past three years and now higher) and its underlying power sector are such, said the Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist, that the Chinese are expected to overtake the Americans this year. IEA estimates that the Chinese, who in 2006 are thought to have emitted about 5,600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the Americans' 5,900, will this year emit about 6,020 million tonnes of CO2 to about 5,910 from the US. (Britain by contrast emits about 550 million tonnes.) It is these emissions from around the world which are causing the atmosphere to warm, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The development underlines the critical importance of this June's G8 summit at Heiligendamm in Germany, where the world's rich nations will meet with the five leading developing countries led by China and India - and attempt to build the framework of a new international climate change agreement. The future emissions of China, India and their fellows are increasingly recognised as the key to the future in preventing global warming. As Mr Birol said yesterday, their growth will swamp any cuts that the industrialised countries can make in emissions of their own; developed country cuts would have a "minimal" effect on the future

C02 position compared to Chinese growth. "There is an order of magnitude of difference," he said.

The Chinese and the others are fiercely resistant to the idea of CO2 cuts being imposed on them, as they feel they should be entirely free to pursue economic growth, just as western countries have done for 200 years. They also still have much lower carbon emissions in per capita terms than do western nations.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News April 25 2007

Reforms 'boost' anti-terror fight April 25 2007

Splitting up the Home Office will greatly improve Britain's security, Home Secretary John Reid is to say. The new Office for Security and Counter Terrorism will play a "pivotal role" in allowing the home secretary to focus on national security, Mr Reid will argue.

The Home Office is to be split from 9 May, to concentrate on crime reduction, terrorism and mass migration. In a speech Mr Reid will claim that the changes will provide a "more agile" response to the terrorist threat.

Terror threat

He will tell a conference organised by the Royal United Services Institute: "It is vital that in the 21st Century we have a department concentrating on managing migration, cutting crime and tackling terrorism.

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BBC OnLine History April 25 2007

April 25 1980: Tehran hostage rescue mission fails

A top-secret attempt by the United States to free American hostages held in Iran's capital,Tehran, has collapsed in failure, with the death of eight soldiers.

President Carter announced the disastrous mission in a broadcast to the nation earlier today. "I ordered this rescue mission prepared in order to safeguard American lives and protect America's national interests, and to reduce the tensions in the world that have been caused among many nations as this crisis has continued," he said.

He took full personal responsibility for the operation, and its cancellation, but did not rule out another attempt.

It was the first the American public, or the wider world, had heard of the mission, although it had been planned since shortly after the US embassy in Iran was seized last November by Islamic militants. They have held 53 US citizens hostage there ever since.

The dramatic attempt to free the hostages began yesterday when six Hercules C130 transport planes set off to rendezvous with a group of nine helicopters at a remote desert airstrip, south-east of Tehran.

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Archive April 24 2007

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.

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