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With Catholic Votes In Play, Sanders Plans Vatican Visit

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will speak at an event in the Vatican next week, likely broadening his appeal to Catholic voters ahead of crucial nominating contests in a series of Northeastern states.

Like Pope Francis, Sanders has made economic inequality and the plight of the working class a central tenet of his message. Sanders’ April 15 visit to Vatican City, where he will give an economic address at a conference, will come just days before Democrats in New York vote in their state primary.

The trip may help the U.S. senator amplify the anti-corporate line of attack he has employed against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as he tries to keep his insurgent campaign for the Nov. 8 presidential election alive.

Sanders, who would be the first Jewish U.S. president if elected, described himself on MSNBC as a “big, big fan of the pope,” who leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Speaking to reporters in New York later, Sanders said he hoped to meet with Francis.

“The pope’s schedule is determined by the Vatican but I would certainly be enthusiastic about that,” said Sanders, 74, the Brooklyn-born son of Polish-Jewish immigrants.

A meeting with the Argentine pontiff could provide an electoral boost to Sanders, who has trailed former Secretary of State Clinton in support among America’s Catholic Democrats.

“Pope Francis has criticized the ‘make money at all cost’ capitalist mentality and called for more compassion for the poor,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist in Washington. “That’s exactly the way, Bernie Sanders wants to define his campaign against Clinton.”

Clinton has scored victories over Sanders in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Texas, all of which are more than one-quarter Catholic.

A survey by the Pew Research Center earlier this year found that while almost 70 percent of Catholic Democrats thought Clinton would make a good president, just 46 percent thought Sanders would be one.

“This is a great play for Sanders because it ties directly his messaging related to income equality, it puts him on the world stage as a leader, and it does it with an institution and leader important to a key voting bloc in a state where every vote is going to count heading into the primary,” said Virginia-based Democratic strategist Bud Jackson.

Sanders was invited to speak at the Vatican event by the Vatican, a senior papal official said, denying a report that Sanders had invited himself.

“I deny that. It was not that way,” Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told Reuters. Sorondo, a close aide to Pope Francis, is chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is hosting the event.

SANDERS, BILL CLINTON BACK OFF

Late April brings nominating contests in Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, all states with large populations of Catholic voters.

Sanders’ victory earlier this week over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary marked his sixth win in the past seven contests, sparking renewed talk of Clinton’s political vulnerability despite her substantial delegate lead.

Sanders this week said Clinton, who is also a former first lady and former U.S. senator, was not qualified to be president.

After heavy criticism from Clinton’s campaign and other Democrats, he backed off Friday morning in an interview on NBC’s “Today.”

“On her worst day, she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates,” he said, referring to New York developer Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Clinton has been under fire from progressives since her campaign began. On Thursday, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a testy exchange at a campaign rally in Philadelphia with protestors from the Black Lives Matter movement over the effects of an anti-crime bill passed during his presidency.

At one point, Bill Clinton accused the movement of “defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”

On Friday, he seemed regretful.

“I rather vigorously defended my wife, as I am wont to do, and I realized, finally, I was talking past her (the protestor) the same way she was talking past me,” Clinton said at an event in Erie, Pennsylvania. “We have got to stop that in this country. We’ve got to listen to each other again.”

In the Republican race, Trump extended his lead nationally over Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The national online poll showed that 42 percent of Republicans support Trump, compared with 32 percent for Cruz and 20 percent for Kasich.

(Additional reporting by Megan Cassella and Doina Chiacu in Washington and Philip Pullella in Vatican City; Editing by Bill Trott and Alistair Bell)

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Top 10 Business Ideas You Can Start for Free With Barely Lifting A Finger – Entrepreneur


Entrepreneur

Top 10 Business Ideas You Can Start for Free With Barely Lifting A Finger
Entrepreneur
You can start blogging about traveling, tips to get around your city, or any other topic that you feel comfortable sharing. Once you have a solid base of followers, you can make money by selling ad spots on your page, joining programs like Google

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What the Cowboys can do to get back into the playoffs – Blogging The Boys (blog)


Blogging The Boys (blog)

What the Cowboys can do to get back into the playoffs
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Blogging The Boys Blogging The Boys, a Dallas Cowboys fan community. Log In or Sign Up · Log In · Sign Up · Fanposts · Fanshots · Sections; Library; Cowboys · Odds · Shop · About · Masthead · Community Guidelines · StubHub; More. All 319 blogs on.

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Taylor Swift & Katy Perry Put Aside Their Bad Blood To Support The Reform Of THIS Law!

BITCH

Recently, the two divas — along with artists including Paul McCartney, Kings Of Leon, Steven Tyler, and Lionel Richie –have signed a petition urging Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1998.

The petition — organized by music manager Irving Azoff — believes that tech companies have used the law to make money while singers and songwriters get zilch.

“It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish Music consumption has skyrocketed, but the monies generated by individual writers and artists for that consumption has plummeted The growth and support of technology companies should not be at the expense of artists and songwriters.”

He does have a valid point!

On the flip side, The Internet Association — a group that represents companies such as Netflix and Facebook — asserts that DMCA is working perfectly fine!

“The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates safe harbors for Internet platforms by ensuring they will not be liable for what their users do, so long as the platforms act responsibly These smart laws allow people to post content that they have created on platformssuch as videos, reviews, pictures, and text. In essence, this is what makes the Internet great.”

YouTube defended their practice, believing their current model benefits everyone.

“The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them Today the revenue from fan uploaded content accounts for roughly 50 percent of the music industry’s YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false.”

Only time will tell whether Congress will reform the law or not!

[Image via WENN.]

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5 Ugly Things You Learn As A Sex Slave In The Modern World

Last year we wrote an article with a woman who spent her childhood and early adulthood as a sex slave in the United States. It was horrifying and depressing and, for some reason, a bunch of readers declared our source a fraud. Their arguments boiled down to, “There’s no way this kind of shit happens today!”

Well, it not only goes on, it’s common. Globally, the U.N. estimates the yearly value of the human trafficking industry at $32 billion, making it the third-largest criminal industry on the planet, lagging only behind guns and drugs. The vast majority of it is sex slavery, and law enforcement almost never succeeds in punishing the culprits.

We’re talking about millions of victims, probably 80 percent of them female (though all numbers are just educated guesses). How is that shit even possible? Well, to get an even clearer picture of the horror, we spoke to an expert who works with sex-trafficking victims in Europe and a former victim from right here in the U.S. of A. They said …

#5. Pimps Are Subtle

This one is probably very surprising to those of us whose entire concept of pimps comes from pop culture and/or flamboyant Halloween costumes.

“Costume?”

“Christina” got ensnared by a man she thought was her boyfriend. It started when she got pregnant at 18 and, angry at her family’s reaction, moved to Las Vegas to start stripping. “Then I met a guy on the strip I thought was the answer to all my dreams: bought me a nice car, put me in a nice house, took me shopping. He was amazing.” Holy shit, Christina got Pretty Woman‘d without even having to work a street corner. That’s basically the best-case scenario for a runaway in Las Vegas, right? But you already know where this shit is going:

“So here I am, thinking I’d made it. I’d met Prince Charming and my life was going to be amazing. A couple months later, Halloween night, he sat me down in the kitchen and said, ‘I’m actually a pimp. And the time you’ve spent with me isn’t free.'” Yeah, then the “subtle” technique was replaced by the more direct approach. “He told me, ‘If you leave or tell anyone, I’ll kill you, and I’ll kill your family.’ That started a year and a half of complete hell. I didn’t know anything about pimps aside from rap songs or ‘pimp your ride.’ He explained, ‘I’m going to take you, drop you off at the casino. Sit at the bar. The first person who walks up to you, tell them you want to negotiate a price.'”

And if you think casino security would help stop this? It doesn’t.

See, this is what complicates the “Why not legalize prostitution? It’s a transaction between two consenting adults!” argument. Where you find prostitution, you always find some who are there against their will. Not that the customers knew, or cared. “I wouldn’t be surprised if not one of them knew [I was trafficked]. Nobody ever asked. It was all fun and games — party time.”

We also talked with “Kay,” who works for a charity helping former trafficking victims in Europe’s sex-trafficking capital, Bulgaria. Christina’s story sounded very familiar to her. She told us the story of one woman she worked with:

“She’s from a small village in Bulgaria. And she started dating an older man. … She was 13 or 14 and he was 19 or 20. It’s normal here for a 16-year-old to date a 20- to 21-year-old.” (The age of consent there is 14 — 18 if you’re gay.) “So … she was dating him for about a year. She didn’t know this, but he was grooming her. ‘Grooming’ means you’re making and creating a woman who will at some point prostitute herself for your affection.”

Which is a process as common as it is alarmingly sophisticated.

This is pimping on a level much more unsettling than anything a man with gold teeth, a cane, and a fabulous hat could accomplish. And it also rings true with the experience of the former sex slave we spoke with last year, who was forced into prostitution by her parents. “You have this man who says he loves you,” says Kay, “and he’s providing for you. He may even seduce your family with his charm. Then behind closed doors he gets you to start doing things sexually, starts with, ‘I owe my buddy a big debt. If you can do this one time it’ll clear my debt …'”

And from there it escalates to open prostitution. But why don’t the girls just bail out once it crosses that line? “That’s what I would do,” you confidently shout at your screen. Well …

#4. They Make Escape Impossible

In the United States, keeping a person trafficked is a matter of constant vigilance (“There was always someone watching me,” says Christina). The process is often strangely cult-like, including total isolation from the outside world. “The other girls my pimp trafficked were ‘sisters.’ My pimp’s brother’s girls were my ‘sister-in-laws.’ If I see a sister or a sister-in-law, I can talk to them.” Otherwise, she was cut off. “I had zero contact with anybody. I went to prison and didn’t even know we were at war with Iraq. I’d been so isolated from the world.”

Christina’s pimp had also used the time he was grooming her to track down information about her family: That made his threats against them much more credible, and thus made leaving even harder. For the worst kind of pimps, Google is a much more dangerous tool than a backhand. “He had my birth certificate, pictures of my family — he’d spent all this time gathering information. … He had pictures of my mom.”

The “victimless crime” defense just got a bit harder to justify.

Still, she attempted to escape between 100 and 150 times, she says, most of which were shut down immediately. On a few occasions, she ran away and took shelter at home, at which point the pimp would have one of his employees/buddies shadow the house. Christina was too scared to tell her family what had happened. So when her pimp inevitably picked her back up — ensuring her compliance with threats of violence — she left home again without a struggle.

In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, many victims don’t even consider themselves as being “trafficked.” As Kay says, “Most of my girls come from a culture of prostitution. Which means they were bred to be prostitutes. So you have whole cities dedicated to the business. … They are sent all over Bulgaria, all over Europe to do this business, and they provide millions of euros to the organized crime rooted in Bulgaria.”

Basically, farmers of free-range and organic human misery.

These women often get into the sex trade when they’re still too young to consent. By the time they’re adults they may say they “consent” to do the work … but it’s also all they’ve ever known, and all they’ve been groomed for. “They manipulate so well these girls won’t believe they’re trafficked, ever. Even if you get a girl away from a situation, drag the girls out, and rescue them, it takes years for girls to realize they’re trafficked. What is trafficking when your whole family has been doing it?”

So when does it end? “Most trafficked women in Bulgaria simply age out of being trafficked. Eventually they’re too old to make money — at which point, they’re out on the streets.”

If your response to that is, “Damn, Eastern Europe sounds like a shithole!” please keep in mind …

#3. Trafficking Victims Are Exported Everywhere — And Always Find Willing Customers

If the traffickers in places like Bulgaria can keep hold of their victims and groom them to adulthood, they can send them off to the bits of Europe where prostitution is legal and make shitloads of legal money off of them. One of the top five countries in Europe with the most victims of sex trafficking is the goddamn Netherlands, a nation that’s about as First World as they come.

The girls who are groomed and moved to other countries lose control of their own travel documents in the process — that’s part of what keeps them from escaping. In other cases, girls answer ads for what look like legit jobs in other countries (like, say, the USA) with promises of room and board — maybe a service job that advertises for an attractive young female candidate. Then, once they arrive, the victims get eased into the real job by the same process Christina did — they’re told they owe money and now have to “work” it off.

We’re no economists, but we’re pretty fucking sure that’s not a legally recognized exchange rate.

Kay says the girls she deals with are “typically sent to Greece first. Legal, but indoor brothels. Italy is sorta the same way. … It’s not legal, but it is everywhere. If you can get a girl to survive through that, they’ll send them to Western Europe. So if the girl is still under your control, you can put them out into the red light districts.”

Oh, and in case we’re making the international sex slave trade sound like a foreign problem involving exotic Taken villains, keep in mind up to 17,000 humans are trafficked into the USA every year, though that number is a blind guess. As for how many girls are trafficked within the USA, like Christina? The government doesn’t even have an estimate. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police alone have recovered 2,229 victims of sex trafficking since 1994.

So, here’s the reality: If you’ve paid for sex, there’s a significant chance the person you fucked was there against their will.

See: “he had pictures of my mom” from earlier.

Why do we know so little about this problem? Because …

Last year we wrote an article with a woman who spent her childhood and early adulthood as a sex slave in the United States. It was horrifying and depressing and, for some reason, a bunch of readers declared our source a fraud. Their arguments boiled down to, “There’s no way this kind of shit happens today!”

Well, it not only goes on, it’s common. Globally, the U.N. estimates the yearly value of the human trafficking industry at $32 billion, making it the third-largest criminal industry on the planet, lagging only behind guns and drugs. The vast majority of it is sex slavery, and law enforcement almost never succeeds in punishing the culprits.

We’re talking about millions of victims, probably 80 percent of them female (though all numbers are just educated guesses). How is that shit even possible? Well, to get an even clearer picture of the horror, we spoke to an expert who works with sex-trafficking victims in Europe and a former victim from right here in the U.S. of A. They said …

#5. Pimps Are Subtle

This one is probably very surprising to those of us whose entire concept of pimps comes from pop culture and/or flamboyant Halloween costumes.

“Costume?”

“Christina” got ensnared by a man she thought was her boyfriend. It started when she got pregnant at 18 and, angry at her family’s reaction, moved to Las Vegas to start stripping. “Then I met a guy on the strip I thought was the answer to all my dreams: bought me a nice car, put me in a nice house, took me shopping. He was amazing.” Holy shit, Christina got Pretty Woman‘d without even having to work a street corner. That’s basically the best-case scenario for a runaway in Las Vegas, right? But you already know where this shit is going:

And if you think casino security would help stop this? It doesn’t.

See, this is what complicates the “Why not legalize prostitution? It’s a transaction between two consenting adults!” argument. Where you find prostitution, you always find some who are there against their will. Not that the customers knew, or cared. “I wouldn’t be surprised if not one of them knew [I was trafficked]. Nobody ever asked. It was all fun and games — party time.”

We also talked with “Kay,” who works for a charity helping former trafficking victims in Europe’s sex-trafficking capital, Bulgaria. Christina’s story sounded very familiar to her. She told us the story of one woman she worked with:

Which is a process as common as it is alarmingly sophisticated.

This is pimping on a level much more unsettling than anything a man with gold teeth, a cane, and a fabulous hat could accomplish. And it also rings true with the experience of the former sex slave we spoke with last year, who was forced into prostitution by her parents. “You have this man who says he loves you,” says Kay, “and he’s providing for you. He may even seduce your family with his charm. Then behind closed doors he gets you to start doing things sexually, starts with, ‘I owe my buddy a big debt. If you can do this one time it’ll clear my debt …'”

And from there it escalates to open prostitution. But why don’t the girls just bail out once it crosses that line? “That’s what I would do,” you confidently shout at your screen. Well …

#4. They Make Escape Impossible

In the United States, keeping a person trafficked is a matter of constant vigilance (“There was always someone watching me,” says Christina). The process is often strangely cult-like, including total isolation from the outside world. “The other girls my pimp trafficked were ‘sisters.’ My pimp’s brother’s girls were my ‘sister-in-laws.’ If I see a sister or a sister-in-law, I can talk to them.” Otherwise, she was cut off. “I had zero contact with anybody. I went to prison and didn’t even know we were at war with Iraq. I’d been so isolated from the world.”

Christina’s pimp had also used the time he was grooming her to track down information about her family: That made his threats against them much more credible, and thus made leaving even harder. For the worst kind of pimps, Google is a much more dangerous tool than a backhand. “He had my birth certificate, pictures of my family — he’d spent all this time gathering information. … He had pictures of my mom.”

The “victimless crime” defense just got a bit harder to justify.

Still, she attempted to escape between 100 and 150 times, she says, most of which were shut down immediately. On a few occasions, she ran away and took shelter at home, at which point the pimp would have one of his employees/buddies shadow the house. Christina was too scared to tell her family what had happened. So when her pimp inevitably picked her back up — ensuring her compliance with threats of violence — she left home again without a struggle.

In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, many victims don’t even consider themselves as being “trafficked.” As Kay says, “Most of my girls come from a culture of prostitution. Which means they were bred to be prostitutes. So you have whole cities dedicated to the business. … They are sent all over Bulgaria, all over Europe to do this business, and they provide millions of euros to the organized crime rooted in Bulgaria.”

Basically, farmers of free-range and organic human misery.

These women often get into the sex trade when they’re still too young to consent. By the time they’re adults they may say they “consent” to do the work … but it’s also all they’ve ever known, and all they’ve been groomed for. “They manipulate so well these girls won’t believe they’re trafficked, ever. Even if you get a girl away from a situation, drag the girls out, and rescue them, it takes years for girls to realize they’re trafficked. What is trafficking when your whole family has been doing it?”

So when does it end? “Most trafficked women in Bulgaria simply age out of being trafficked. Eventually they’re too old to make money — at which point, they’re out on the streets.”

If your response to that is, “Damn, Eastern Europe sounds like a shithole!” please keep in mind …

#3. Trafficking Victims Are Exported Everywhere — And Always Find Willing Customers

If the traffickers in places like Bulgaria can keep hold of their victims and groom them to adulthood, they can send them off to the bits of Europe where prostitution is legal and make shitloads of legal money off of them. One of the top five countries in Europe with the most victims of sex trafficking is the goddamn Netherlands, a nation that’s about as First World as they come.

The girls who are groomed and moved to other countries lose control of their own travel documents in the process — that’s part of what keeps them from escaping. In other cases, girls answer ads for what look like legit jobs in other countries (like, say, the USA) with promises of room and board — maybe a service job that advertises for an attractive young female candidate. Then, once they arrive, the victims get eased into the real job by the same process Christina did — they’re told they owe money and now have to “work” it off.

We’re no economists, but we’re pretty fucking sure that’s not a legally recognized exchange rate.

Kay says the girls she deals with are “typically sent to Greece first. Legal, but indoor brothels. Italy is sorta the same way. … It’s not legal, but it is everywhere. If you can get a girl to survive through that, they’ll send them to Western Europe. So if the girl is still under your control, you can put them out into the red light districts.”

Oh, and in case we’re making the international sex slave trade sound like a foreign problem involving exotic Taken villains, keep in mind up to 17,000 humans are trafficked into the USA every year, though that number is a blind guess. As for how many girls are trafficked within the USA, like Christina? The government doesn’t even have an estimate. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police alone have recovered 2,229 victims of sex trafficking since 1994.

So, here’s the reality: If you’ve paid for sex, there’s a significant chance the person you fucked was there against their will.

See: “he had pictures of my mom” from earlier.

Why do we know so little about this problem? Because …

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The company bosses sleeping outside in midwinter – BBC News

Media captionCEO coach and author Steve Tappin spent the night outside to raise money for charity

“Uncomfortable, a bit cold and not very nice,” is how Andy Preston describes spending the night outside in just a sleeping bag in the middle of winter.

As founder and chair of charity CEO Sleepout UK, Mr Preston not only braved the chilly temperatures himself, but persuaded around 180 other company bosses, MPs and community leaders to join him.

The corporate sleepers included teams from Coca-Cola European Partners, Morgan Stanley, William Hill and Greene King.

The point of the night – this time held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London – was to raise money for homeless charities.

The charity holds similar events across the UK each year, urging company executives to get sponsored to “swap your briefcase for a sleeping bag for one night”.

On this occasion the night raised 180,000, which as Mr Preston admits is “not huge” but can still “make the difference to people between being on the streets or being back in the system – holding down a job and paying tax”.

Yet isn’t it a bit, well, insensitive for highly paid executives to play at being homeless for a night?

Mr Preston, who started the charity in 2014, is adamant that they’re “not pretending to be homeless”, and says the aim of the experience is to show people some of the realities of not having a home.

Image caption CEO Sleepout UK founder Andy Preston says showing compassion should be part of a chief executive’s role

“People give up a night of comfort, a night of luxury, they give up their time, they miss their family and friends.

“So there’s a small sacrifice, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not very nice, but it raises awareness of an issue,” he says.

He admits that the experience sometimes has no impact on an individual, but says that in some cases it can change someone’s perspective on life.

“It’s very easy for people who have the good fortune to make money, whether that’s through pure skill and hard work or a bit of luck, it doesn’t matter.

“I think that when that happens to someone they can become very detached.”

Mr Preston himself used to work as a financial markets trader. He ran a number of trading businesses for international financial organisations, before later creating and managing a large hedge fund group for a European bank.

“I personally believe that if you have the good fortune to make some money or be influential, there should be more pressure on you to give more time or more money or raise more attention to help other people,” he says.

Image copyright CEO Sleepout UK
Image caption CEO Sleepout UK urges executives to “swap your briefcase for a sleeping bag for one night”

For chief executives under pressure to deliver the latest quarterly result to shareholders, it’s easy to imagine that charitable endeavours may take a back seat.

But Mr Preston is adamant that showing compassion should be part of a chief executive’s role and one that shareholders should demand, arguing that “rolling up their sleeves and getting involved” is good for leadership and part of a firm’s role within the wider community.

Reporting on their giving activity used to be a mandatory part of their annual report for publicly listed firms in the UK. However, in 2013 this became optional.

Since then, 13 of the UK’s biggest firms have stopped reporting on their charitable activity, according to Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which says the shift has been “disappointing”.

“Given the size and influence these businesses have over the sector, it is concerning that, without knowledge of their contributions, they may no longer be able to set an example for the rest of the business sector in the UK,” says Klara Kozlov, head of corporate clients at CAF

CAF’s most recently available research shows charitable donations by the UK’s 100 largest publicly listed firms fell 17% to 2.1bn in 2014, the lowest level since 2009, although this was in line with a similar drop in profit.

Yet the charity’s research shows that the majority of companies that evaluate their corporate responsibility activities find it has a positive impact on their reputation, improves customer engagement and can help them attract new staff.

Image caption Tech start-up Slack was valued at $1bn just eight months after it launched

Aside from the evidence of the advantages philanthropy can provide, Stewart Butterfield, chief executive of the company behind workplace communications tool Slack, believes profitable firms have a duty to give money to charity.

The US start-up hit the headlines when it achieved a $1bn (813m) valuation within eight months of its 2014 launch and is now valued at almost $4bn.

“Pretty much every employee here is in an incredibly fortunate position vis-a-vis the rest of the world in the amount of wealth that is created in this industry, and especially in markets like ours where it’s incredibly fast-growing,” he says.

Last year, the firm, which has offices around the world, raised enough money from staff and its founders to directly sponsor two Syrian families to move to Canada.

While he acknowledges the firm’s main purpose is business, not charity, he says they are still part of a community and “would like the company to have a good impact as well”.

Image caption Kaggle boss Anthony Goldbloom says governments should force firms to be charitable

However, Anthony Goldbloom, chief executive and founder of San Francisco-based Kaggle, a website which runs competitions for coding experts to solve problems, says in reality unless corporate social responsibility is made mandatory for firms, most won’t make it a real focus.

“CEOs are going to do what they are judged on. I think that it’s really the role of government to correct market failure and set a policy framework that means company incentives are in line with societal norms,” he says.

But CEO coach and author Steve Tappin believes those at the top can help drive the change by acting as role models. “A more charitable approach doesn’t just mean events or donations – it means changing attitudes,” he says.

“The best CEOs know it’s not just about giving money, it’s about getting personally involved and that means connecting better with people and communities.”

This feature is based on interviews by CEO coach and author Steve Tappin, and by series producer Neil Koenig, for the BBC’s CEO Guru series.

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Referrals Remain Leading Way Lawyers Get Clients, Per Legal Trends Report – Above the Law


Above the Law

Referrals Remain Leading Way Lawyers Get Clients, Per Legal Trends Report
Above the Law
Clio releases its annual Legal Trends Report to help lawyers make smart decisions about the future of their practice. Using anonymized data from 60,000 users, supplemented by large-scale surveys, Clio was able to make numerous findings, including where …

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Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA ask for rehearing from the 5th Circuit Court on injunction – Blogging The Boys (blog)


Blogging The Boys (blog)

Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA ask for rehearing from the 5th Circuit Court on injunction
Blogging The Boys (blog)
After the NFL won the latest round of the court battle with Ezekiel Elliott and the NFLPA, there were multiple options for a counter-move from the NFLPA. They have decided that they will file for a rehearing in the 5th Circuit Court. BREAKING: NFLPA

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The forgotten story of … Jack Johnson’s fight with Oscar Wilde’s poet nephew

When the first black heavyweight world champion took on Oscar Wildes nephew in the ring two very different and compelling figures collided

On 23 April 1916, a boxing match took place in Barcelona, between Jack Johnson and Arthur Cravan. In sporting terms it ran for six unmemorable rounds, was a terrible mismatch, and barely registers as a footnote in Johnsons remarkable career but as a moment when two fascinating cultural trajectories crossed each others paths, it deserves recognition.

Johnson was the former champion of the world and the first black man to win the title. But he was, and is, just as important as a cultural lightning rod whose Unforgivable Blackness (the title of Geoffrey C Wards biography and Ken Burns eponymous documentary) infuriated white America.

Johnson loved pursuing women and racing fast cars with equal recklessness, possessed a ready deadpan wit whose subtleties slipped past many of the cultural guardians of the time, and a smile he had a habit of flashing at the infuriated trainers and fans of the hapless white champions sent out to put him in his place usually as he put them in theirs. When Johnson had beaten the first Great White Hope, Jim Jeffries, in what was considered a referendum on racial supremacy billed as the fight of the century, on 4 July 1910 (and not only beaten him but toyed with him cheerfully), race riots had broken out across America in the aftermath.

Cravan, meanwhile, was a poet, often grouped in with the Dadaists (he would later feature in the book Four Dada Suicides), though his particular individual brand of studied obnoxiousness in the face of societal malaise was much more his own manifesto than representative of any movement. A nephew of Oscar Wilde, born Fabian Avenarius Lloyd to wealthy parents in Lausanne, Cravan could have seen out his life as a prototypical trust fund kid, were it not for a trait, possibly inherited from his uncle, of running his mouth into trouble.

In many ways both Johnson and Cravan shared a certain modernist restlessness lives striving to reach a kind of terminal velocity that might outrun the fate their births had decreed for them. As biographer Ian Carr would later say of Miles Davis, around the time the musician was recording his own tribute to Johnson, both men beat against the limit of their talents Johnson with pugilistic guile and the daring to be himself in his own hostile country; Cravan repeatedly hurling himself into trouble of his own making as if to see what it looked like.

Both would die sudden deaths freighted with symbolism appropriate to the way they had lived their lives: Johnson in a 1946 car crash, after speeding angrily away from a segregated diner outside Franklinton, North Carolina, that had refused him service; Cravan disappearing in a small sailboat in a storm off the Gulf of Mexico, only to resurface in numerous conspiracy theories that he had faked his own death.

But on a cloudy April 1916 afternoon in Barcelona, the day after the city had celebrated the 300th anniversary of Miguel Cervantes death, both men were preoccupied less with what windmill to tilt at next, and more with the impasses at which they both found themselves.

Both were near broke, for a start. The reason Johnson was in Barcelona in the first place led back to him fleeing trumped up US federal charges of transporting (white) women across state lines for immoral purposes, in violation of the recently drafted, staunchly segregationist, Mann Act. In the political atmosphere of the time, if Johnson beating up white men was an affront to white supremacy, his insistence on consorting with white women was intolerable.

Having escaped via Canada, a distracted Johnson had lost his title to the unremarkable but durable Jess Willard in Havana (think Buster Douglas hanging in to knock out Mike Tyson in Tokyo) a year before the Barcelona fight. Now he was in exile in Europe, holding court where he could, scuffling for money with exhibition bouts and deferring the inevitable return to America and the resumption of his prison sentence.

Upon his arrival in Barcelona, Johnson had formed an ill-fated advertising agency based on La Rambla, with the intriguingly contemporary title of The Information Jack Johnson & Co. Clients were few and far between, while local derision was in plentiful supply. Johnson was perhaps the last to realize that his loss to Willard (which he claimed for ever after to be a thrown fight) had markedly diminished his worth, and he had dwindling creditors to turn to. Those who asked for payments would be met with a dismissive Maana! Maana! and a derisive comment at their departing backs to the effect of Imagine asking the champion of the world to pay! But beyond the bravado, Johnson knew his options were running out.

Cravan, meanwhile, was fleeing both conscription and his own reputation. In Paris, he had been the editor of a literary magazine called Maintenant!.Lest that conjure up images of a genteel existence, Cravan had insisted on aggressively hawking the magazine from a greengrocers cart, and each of the five issues published in its brief existence was ripe with the poets entertaining but thoroughly scurrilous insults to the literary establishment. By the time Cravan left Paris it was primarily to avoid conscription into the British army (he famously held multiple passports, but few inclinations to defend any of the countries that printed them), but his departure may also have been hastened by the likes of the aggrieved poet Guillaume Apollinaire looking to fight him in a duel, after one ribald insult too far.

Cravans plan was to see out the war in America, helping support himself through boxing as he put it Id rather break American jaws than face German bayonets. After leaving Paris, hed made it as far as neutral territory in Barcelona, but lacked the funds for the voyage to America. His parentally funded apartment in Paris was gone, his poetry was decidedly uncommercial, but there was, he reasoned, money in boxing.

A
A poster advertising the fight between Arthur Cravan and Jack Johnson. Photograph: Public Domain

The problem was that despite his billing against Johnson as European Champion, Cravans claim to that title makes the modern day world of multiple belts and governing bodies look like a golden era.

When hed lived in Paris, Cravan had hung out with a loose circuit of bohemians, criminals and sports at the Bal Bullier ballroom, which was where hed first come across Johnson, passing through town with his wife Lucille. Whether the sighting had directly inspired him or not, around this time Cravan started taking lessons with a boxer named Fernand Cuny.

Eventually, Cravan entered a competition for rookie boxers and when nobody else showed up, he became, by acclamation, the light-heavyweight champion of France, without ever throwing a punch. By the time hed got to Barcelona he had parlayed that title into becoming European Champion (much of Europe being busy elsewhere in the spring of 1916) and commenced making a living as a boxing instructor at the citys Marine Club.

Cravan was still struggling to make the kind of money that would get him to America, however. So when he heard that a local promoter was looking for challengers to face Johnson, he volunteered.

As reckless as that was, Cravan was banking on the fight being fixed and in playing his part to uphold a spectacle without being hurt. The fight in Barcelona legally had to be billed as an exhibition the local chief of police, Bravo Portillo, would actually appear in the ring before the bout began to remind the competitors to limit their attacks but there was a tacit understanding among the crowd that they would be seeing a real contest. Superseding that convention though, there was an understanding among the fighters that, while this would be a contest, the priority was to get paid, and that meant making the fight look good for the cameras.

For a fight to truly make money, the film rights were paramount and the fight in Barcelona was to be filmed by the team of Ricard de Baos and his brother/camera operator Ramn. Ideally they would need at least six rounds of good boxing, preferably nearer 10, to make a saleable film. In that spirit, Cravan hoped to be more of a collaborator than an opponent.

Jack
Jack Johnson in action in 1910. Photograph: PA

Johnson was more than comfortable with this arrangement a showman in and out of the ring, he was used to carrying inferior opponents for the purposes of entertainment, before dropping them when it came time to truly fight. One of his more famous fights had seen him fight his friend, the great middleweight Stanley Ketchel, only for Ketchel, who sensed an unguarded moment and a chance to steal Johnsons thunder, to throw a huge punch that knocked Johnson to the ground. An aggrieved Johnson left the ring with two of Ketchels teeth embedded in his glove, after fashioning a quick and climactic response to this deviation from the script.

Ketchel though, was a great boxer. Cravan was a chancer and carrying him would require considerable effort. Still Johnson and Ricard hoped to concoct and sell something like a fight.

The venue was the newly built Plaza de Baos Monumental a bullring which still stands near La Sagrada Familia. Its open air, light-filled form supposedly lent itself well to Ricards planned shoot, and he duly positioned six cameras around the ring and the arena, but the elements had other plans.

The undercard started in the heat of the afternoon, with one of Johnsons entourage, the aptly named Kid Johnson, taking on Gus Rhodes. But barely two indolent rounds into that fight, Ramn came rushing up to Ricard to tell him that cloud cover was closing in. If Johnson and Cravan didnt get to the ring immediately there would not be enough light to shoot.

Word was swiftly dispatched to ringside and to the dressing rooms, and a fight duly broke out in the ring, as Rhodes and Kid Johnson swapped spirited blows in an exchange that would conveniently leave Johnson unable to continue at the end of round four.

Skipping the next two fights on the undercard, and indeed the arrival of many of the crowd, Johnson and Cravan were hurried to the ring. Cravan, in white shorts and a white bathrobe, was visibly trembling as he was led to the ring by his brother Otho, and had to be helped onto a stool to have his gloves placed on him. Perhaps the reality of his scam was just hitting him, or perhaps hed taken seriously a throwaway remark from Johnson that he intended to beat him up.

Johnson, in his customary black shorts and a natty striped bathrobe, relaxed in the other corner, grinning his customary grin, even as he glanced anxiously between Ricard and a still largely empty arena.

After Bravos warning the Chilean referee, Tony Berton, called the fighters together, with Cravan still shaking. The bell rang, and it swiftly became apparent that the weather was the least of Ricards problems. What was unfolding in front of him was a disaster. Cravan, frozen, simply would not fight. He covered up his head and appeared to be huddling into a bemused Johnson for protection, as the champion tried to push him off into punching range.

The crowd, whod been led to expect a credible European challenge to Johnson were first bemused, then restless. Johnson was equally bemused, but then took to openly laughing at his opponent. This in itself was not unusual Jeffries had been cheerfully trash-talked to his fate, and the man Johnson beat to win the title, Tommy Burns, had lost his title being chastised like a schoolboy (Poor, poor, Tommy. Who taught you to hit? Your mother?). When the history of braggadocio comes to be written, Johnson will have his own chapter. But as Cravan was all too aware, Johnson had the skills to back up his words, and even the great mans open mockery could not pull him out of his shell.

Finally, Johnson had had enough. After carrying Cravan for six rounds he glanced at Ricard to see if he had enough film, and with Ricard gesturing helplessly that what he had was useless, Johnson threw a big punch that flattened Cravan. As the ring cleared, the crowd jeered and a few chairs were thrown, before Bravos heavy police presence moved in to quell the trouble. And as Johnson and Cravan slipped out of the building, the remaining undercard played out to a resentful but largely quiet crowd.

Johnson and Cravan would cross paths again, briefly. When the USA entered the war a year later, Cravan helped make arrangements to get Johnson to the US consulate in Madrid, where the fugitive boxer somehow persuaded the then US consul to pay his expenses to monitor German boat movements through the notionally neutral Spanish ports, using his touring variety show as cover.

Cravan did eventually make it to New York, where in typical fashion he instantly alienated a significant part of the local intellectual life. Falling in with the artist Marcel Duchamps circle, he was invited to deliver a lecture at a salon soon after his arrival in the city. The supposed subject was humor, or entropy depending on who you ask, but it barely mattered, since Cravan turned up drunk, got drunker, stripped naked and offered to fight everyone there startled aesthetes being more his speed than true heavyweight champions.

From there Cravan charmed then married the modernist poet Mina Loy, and while honeymooning with a pregnant Loy in Salina Cruz, Mexico, in November 1918, he disappeared in their sailboat and was presumed drowned.

Cravans story doesnt end there though he became a minor romantic idol of various avant-garde movements for his life-as-art antics, and even a pioneer of the Elvis-sightings trope when rumors circulated that he had faked his own death, just as he had once claimed his uncle, Oscar Wilde had done (Cravans first public appearance in the US was actually in a New York Times article devoted to this claim, first published in Maintenant!). There was even speculation that the reclusive writer B Traven, author of The Death Ship and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, was actually Cravan. Like many of the claims and anecdotes that attached themselves to Cravan, it was long on front and short on substance.

Johnson meanwhile, eventually surrendered to US authorities and served his sentence a motion for him to be pardoned passed through Congress in December 2015, and is awaiting review by President Obama. There was to be no post-prison redemption for Johnson in the ring though the racist boxing scene had closed up again since his days as an unstoppable iconoclast, and the more subdued popular presence of Joe Louis would soon come to represent the acceptable face of the successful black boxer, much to Johnsons irritation.

Johnson spent much of the rest of his life in popular obscurity and despite the circumstances of his violent death, for a black man who had unapologetically provoked all he had in white America, that in itself was a triumph of sorts.

And his story, too, was not done. In many ways it was only after his death that Johnson would come to be truly appreciated for who and what he was. Fittingly it was often geniuses of black culture who understood only too well the significance of Johnsons own particular genius for both his craft and for performing a kind of avant-garde version of black personhood that daringly used white supremacy as its backdrop rather than its limit.

There is Miles Daviss propulsive/forlorn A Tribute to Jack Johnsonand Daviss marveling at Johnson in the sleeve notes (Johnson portrayed Freedom it rang just as loud as the bell proclaiming him Champion) ; there is the recurring image, both bathetic and heroic, of King Jack Johnson in Jean-Michel Basquiats work; James Earl Jones noble portrayal of Johnson in Howard Sacklers play, The Great White Hope; and of course theres the way Muhammad Ali adapted then refined Johnsons position as provocateur-in-chief. Alis second, Drew Bundini Brown, used to yell, Ghost in the house! Ghost in the house! Jack Johnsons here! Ghost in the house! from the corner before key Ali fights, and Ali himself was acutely aware of the sporting legacy and cultural blueprint set down by Johnson.

Partly through these tributes and insights, partly through the imperatives of the times, one hundred years on from that fight in Barcelona, Jack Johnson has been celebrated and re-examined as a man ahead of his time and a trailblazer for black lives too urgent to wait politely for white society to accommodate around them.

As Arthur Cravan put it in one of his more printable quotes, Every great artist has the sense of provocation. Johnson was the kind of artist Cravan could only dream of being.

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