Wednesday, January 19, 2022

July 8, 2021  THE HAGUE - Dutch caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Mark Rutte has no objections to the decision of caretaker Undersecretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops to defer the April 23 resolution of the Kingdom Council of Ministers with regard to the payment of Naf. 38 million of liquidity support to St. Maarten.

The PM stated this in response to written questions from Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Jorien Wuite of the Democratic Party D66, Don Ceder of the ChristianUnion, Laura Bromet of the green left party GroenLinks, Frank Wassenberg of the Party for Animals PvdD and Sylvana Simons of the BIJ1 party.

According to Rutte, the “very worrisome developments with regard to corporate governance” at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) after the April 23 Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting made the undersecretary decide to again present the earlier decision in a changed format to the Kingdom Council of Ministers for new decision-taking.

“The undersecretary carries the ministerial responsibility for Kingdom Relations and he informed me early May of his intention to again present the fifth liquidity support tranche to the Kingdom Council of Ministers,” stated Rutte.

Responding to the questions of the Members of Parliament (MPs) about the Rules of Procedure of the Dutch Council of Ministers being relevant to the Kingdom Council of Ministers, Rutte confirmed that the regulation of the Council of Ministers was indeed applicable to the Kingdom Council of Ministers. He said he saw “no reason to change” the Rules of Procedure of the Council of Ministers.

The PM explained that changed facts and circumstances can be a reason for an earlier decision to be resubmitted in an adapted format to the Kingdom Council of Ministers. He reconfirmed that in the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting of May 28, it was decided to change the earlier decision of April 23, with regard to the fifth liquidity support tranche due to the integrity issues at the airport.

After Undersecretary Knops informed him of his intention to resubmit the liquidity support request to the kingdom government, Rutte also chaired a meeting with the responsible ministers/undersecretary for Kingdom Relations where the matter in question was discussed. As Chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, Rutte, at Knops’ request, placed the subject of the fifth tranche on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

“In case there are new or changed facts or circumstances, this can be a reason to retract a decision that was taken earlier. Such facts and circumstances were applicable in this specific case. Since it concerned a decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, it was up to the Kingdom Council of Ministers to take the changed decision and for this reason, it was again placed on the agenda,” stated Rutte.

In his reply, Rutte provided some background information as to the reasons for withholding the fifth tranche. As part of the country package which St. Maarten co-signed in December 2020, it was agreed, among other things, that St. Maarten would ensure the “continuance of vital processes,” including the airport operations and the implementation of the advice of the Corporate Governance Taskforce to improve corporate governance at government-owned companies.

“As the undersecretary wrote in his letter to the Second Chamber of May 26 and 28, the airport repeatedly violated the scope of good governance. St. Maarten’s prime minister also acknowledged that the hands-off approach by the government as airport shareholder has resulted in severe issues with regard to good governance. Through government’s lack of action, St. Maarten has failed to comply with two agreements from the country package,” stated Rutte.

According to the Dutch PM, this way of handling by the St. Maarten government caused a “substantial risk” for achieving good governance, while at the same time the “execution of the entire airport reconstruction was put in jeopardy and vital processes were put in danger in the long run.”

On June 17, Undersecretary Knops informed the Second Chamber that the payment of the fifth tranche to St. Maarten would take place because the actions that the local government had taken gave him, PM Rutte and Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra “sufficient confidence.”

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September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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