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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The pursuance of “gross national happiness”.


NEW YORK – We live in a time of high anxiety. Despite the world’s unprecedented total wealth, there is vast insecurity, unrest, and dissatisfaction. In the United States, a large majority of Americans believe that the country is “on the wrong track.” Pessimism has soared. The same is true in many other places.
Against this backdrop, the time has come to reconsider the basic sources of happiness in our economic life. The relentless pursuit of higher income is leading to unprecedented inequality and anxiety, rather than to greater happiness and life satisfaction. Economic progress is important and can greatly improve the quality of life, but only if it is pursued in line with other goals.
In this respect, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan has been leading the way. Forty years ago, Bhutan’s fourth king, young and newly installed, made a remarkable choice: Bhutan should pursue “gross national happiness” rather than gross national product. Since then, the country has been experimenting with an alternative, holistic approach to development that emphasizes not only economic growth, but also culture, mental health, compassion, and community.
Dozens of experts recently gathered in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, to take stock of the country’s record. I was co-host with Bhutan’s prime minister, Jigme Thinley, a leader in sustainable development and a great champion of the concept of “GNH.” We assembled in the wake of a declaration in July by the United Nations General Assembly calling on countries to examine how national policies can promote happiness in their societies.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lynas : share down & shareholders demand that chairman steps down.

Philip Wen | September 23, 2011 - the age 

 A VOCAL group of retail shareholders in rare-earths miner Lynas is seeking to remove mining entrepreneur Nick Curtis (pic) as chairman, citing concerns over ''risks to corporate governance''. Mr Curtis, who is also the chief executive of Lynas, had attempted to sell a lucrative rare-earth deposit to a related company, Forge Resources, earlier this year. 

Despite excluding himself from the sale process for conflict-of-interest reasons, the plan was abandoned on feedback from the company's major institutional shareholders. The transaction - which would have delivered Mr Curtis a lucrative parcel of shares, boosting his stake in Forge to close to 40 per cent - also drew the ire of the small group of retail shareholders. 

Having formed the Lynas Shareholders Association, they are now calling for support from more shareholders to put forward a resolution to replace Mr Curtis with an independent chairman at the company's annual meeting next month. The group must have the support of 5 per cent of voting power or 100 shareholders to have its resolutions put forward at the meeting. 

Corporate governance guidelines outlined by the Australian Securities Exchange recommend that ''the role of chair and chief should not be exercised by the same individual''. Lynas declined to comment yesterday, but did announce the appointment of Kathleen Conlon to the board as an independent non-executive director. 

Former Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski was also appointed to the board this year. Lynas is expected to report a full-year loss before tax of $57 million today as it ramps up towards production. 

Shares in Lynas closed 17.5¢, or 14 per cent, lower at $1.105 - more than 60 per cent off its April high of $2.70.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inequality could cause American Spring.

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Sep 19, 2011 - While Obama is trying to find ways to fix the US economy, there is a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Hundreds of Americans turned up recently in New York to protest Wall Street greed. Some predict that this could be the beginning America's own Arab Spring. David Degraw, author and journalist, shares his own opinion with RT's Kristine Frazao.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street -- America's own Arab Spring?

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Sep 19, 2011 - Crowds gathered in New York's financial district to protest Wall Street greed, corruption and lack of accountability. RT's Anastasia Churkina dove into the rally to find out whether this could be the beginning of America's own Arab Spring.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Islamic law of Qisas.

Lets have a look at this Irani experience: Eight years back he devastated the life of a young woman, Ameneh Bahraami, by throwing a jug of acid at her face.