Eat Pray Love Commute Work Stress
March 11, 2020
“Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t figure out what from.” ― Mae West
“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget.” ― Robert Jordan
North Korea’s Two-Face Dictator
A United Nations Panel of Experts report soon to be released provides more details on how North Korea is successfully evading UN sanctions — exporting coal, sand and petroleum to Chinese companies to raise millions for its nuclear program, and importing luxury goods for the ruling elite, including armored sedans, alcohol and robotic machinery.
The UN did its own investigation after a July, 2019 article appeared in the New York Times describing how two armored Mercedes sedans were smuggled into the North through a supply chain involving numerous countries. The Times investigation and contemporaneous research by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a non-profit Washington group that looks at smuggling networks, revealed how high-end Western goods were making their way to North Korea’s elite through a complex system of port transfers, secret high-seas shipping, and shadowy front companies. Satellite images, shipping data and further interviews with analysts supported the UN experts’ conclusions.
President Trump made diplomacy with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un a signature foreign policy initiative, ultimately embarking on a strange ‘friendship’ with the North Korean dictator. But Trump’s vision of himself as the consummate dealmaker, able to succeed where other presidents had failed, dissolved after a disappointing second summit between the two leaders in February 2019.
The US has pushed the UN to pass five rounds of sanctions resolutions against North Korea since 2016. But analysts say China and Russia have weakened the sanctions and are aiding illegal smuggling. This means the Trump administration’s pressure campaign against the North is far from effective, and American officials say they are losing what is their only real leverage.
Russian History in a Nutshell: Tsarist Russia, Bolshevik Communists, and Autocracy Meets Kleptocracy
- Presidential term limits in Russia’s constitution require Vladimir Putin to step down in 2024, but it looks like that may not happen after all. On Tuesday Putin endorsed a stunning proposal — passed by the Parliament’s lower house just hours after it was introduced — that would allow him to serve two additional six-year terms once his current tenure expires.
- The legislation must still be approved by Russia’s Constitutional Court and a nationwide referendum in April, although with Moscow’s tightly controlled political apparatus there’s not much chance it won’t pass.
- Apparently the 67-year old former KGB spy and strongman icon intends to stay well past the 20 years he’s already put in at the Kremlin — perhaps for the rest of his life.
- Putin would then have joined China’s President Xi Jinping and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the list of authoritarian leaders who escaped what seemed to be ironclad limits on tenure, and extended their rule. (NYT)
Schools Out For Somalia
- Northeast Kenya has a long porous border with Somalia. It’s an extremely marginalized region, inhabited mostly by nomadic, ethnic pastoralists whose access to education has been very limited. What schools did exist in the rural areas along the border have come under repeated attack by militia in Kenya, believed to be part of the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabaab. After a series of targeted killings of schoolteachers in the last two months, hundreds of schools have closed and thousands of teachers have left their posts.
- Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission (TSC) — the national body responsible for teachers’ employment — insists that teachers won’t be posted to the northeastern region until their safety is assured. Local leaders criticize the TSC for creating an “education crisis” in the region by pulling non-local staff out of area schools.
- “The national government forced us to keep the schools open symbolically because shutting them down means al-Shabaab would win,” said one official in a county where 100 primary schools are closing. “But they are not doing anything practical on the ground to help with the continuity of learning.” (Guardian)
- Pandemic disease is the greatest threat to humanity in the 21st century. Bill Gates says we’re not ready. (Vox)
- Bill Gates and Elon Musk Just Issued Very Different Responses to the Coronavirus. It’s a Lesson in Emotional Intelligence (Inc)
- Politicians’ Use of ‘Wuhan Virus’ Starts a Debate Health Experts Wanted to Avoid (NYT, $) & China Pushes Back as Coronavirus Crisis Damages Its Image (NYT, $)
- What America can learn from Taiwan’s coronavirus response (Vox)
- Why doesn’t coronavirus make kids sick with covid-19? – The (WaPo, $)
- Got a medical question? Ask Dr. Trump! (WaPo, $)
- How Coronavirus Spread From Patient Zero in Seattle (Bloomberg, $)
- Gyms and Coronavirus: What Are the Risks? (NYT, $)
- Don’t Touch Your Stocks During the Coronavirus Crisis (Atlantic, $)
Additional World News
- The Peace Corps Breaks Ties with China (New Yorker)
- Ecosystems the size of Amazon ‘can collapse within decades’ (Guardian)
- Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why (NPR)
- ‘I swapped my gun for binoculars’: India’s hunters turn to conservation (Guardian)
- One billion Android devices at risk of hacking (BBC)
- Strikes and Attack Ads: The Hard Roads to Universal Health Care (NYT, $)
- 12 Days on the Most Storied Highway of Them All: The Silk Road (NYT, $)
- We don’t know about you, but a lot of us are struggling to stay awake at work this week after Daylight Savings this past Sunday. A little trick to help spring you back into action: these tasty energy bars.
- Each Verb Energy Bar has as much caffeine as an espresso and only 90 cal. They’re seriously the most effective way to power through those early mornings and sleep-deprived afternoons. Our team swears by them to get fresh news out to you all each and every day.
- Lucky for you, Daily Pnut readers can try 4 bars for free, just cover shipping. So give ‘em a try and see for yourself. Rise n’ grind, my friends.
A Digital Leak That Will Spread in Infamy
- After a week of deliberations, a federal jury delivered a split verdict Monday in the four week trial of Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer accused of leaking a massive amount of classified documents to WikiLeaks that one government witness called “the equivalent of a digital Pearl Harbor.”
- Schulte, 31, was found guilty of making false statements and contempt of court, lesser charges related to his conduct after the March 2017 publication of the CIA materials. The jury deadlocked on the remaining eight counts, including the illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information.
- The verdict was a setback to the Justice Department, who had portrayed the defendant as a disgruntled employee determined to harm the agency. The defense claimed the CIA had set Schulte up because he was a difficult employee who had antagonized his colleagues and superiors.
- Schulte has pleaded not guilty in another federal case involving child-pornography charges. Federal agents said that while investigating the WikiLeaks disclosure they discovered thousands of images and videos of child porn on devices in Schulte’s home. (WSJ)
- As the U.S. spied on the world, the CIA and NSA bickered (WaPo, $)
- Unfortunately, the greatest threat almost always come from those who are suppose to protect us, and the reason they post such a great threat is because they have so much power from authority (Boy Scout instructors, Catholic priests, police brutality, etc…): Your VPN or ad-blocker app could be collecting your data (Techcrunch)
Additional USA News
- In crushing blow to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden scores big Michigan win (Reuters)
- ‘Hard to comprehend’: Sanders’ loss in Michigan crushes staff and supporters (Guardian)
- How a ban on pro-Trump patterns unraveled the online knitting world (Technology Review)
- Why the US Sucks at Building Public Transit (Vice)
- Last Meals on Death Row, a Peculiarly American Fascination (NYT, $)
- Federal Court Sides With House In Fight Over Mueller Grand Jury Materials (NPR)
- How Trump Won Over the Never Trumpers (Atlantic, $)
Eat Pray Love Commute Work Stress
- If the transportation you use to get to work is suitable, say, an uncrowded train with reliable wi-fi connectivity, can you work on the commute and count that as paid time? A lot of people in Switzerland and Norway can. So can EU employees, since the European Court of Justice ruled in 2016 that employees required to commute to remote sites can count their journey as part of their working day.
- It’s a popular idea. In 2019 a global survey found that 48 percent of respondents work on their commute, and 42 percent think official hours should include that time. One labor law professor says there’s no question whether these commuters should be able to log this time: “If the employee is willing to work on the way to work, especially on the railways, this is also working time for which payment is due.”
- But other experts caution that while it might seem like an attractive option, it could erode an important buffer between work and home that is already under siege. And in terms of work practices for businesses, it’s complicated, because many people admit to interspersing work with personal tasks, like browsing the web, checking social media or replying to personal messages.
- Yet another expert thinks it’s an unsatisfactory compromise compared to truly flexible working, such as coming to work on specific days for meetings, and other days just working from home. (BBC)
- People Who Use These 5 Toxic Phrases at Work Have Very Low Emotional Intelligence (Inc)
- Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think (BBC)
- The Zodiac Killer has been a mystery for 50 years – but one man thinks he’s solved it (Guardian)
- Sorry, but It’s Tax Time, and You Should Probably Read All This Stuff (NYT, $)
- The Case for Reading Fiction (HBR)
- Testosterone is widely, and sometimes wildly, misunderstood (Aeon)
The Many, The Sad, The Silent Majority of Men
“The mistake … is to look only at the top of society and draw conclusions about society as a whole. Yes, there are mostly men at the top. But if you look at the bottom, really at the bottom, you’ll find mostly men there too. These are the worst outcomes society has to confer. And in each case, men far outnumber women.
Look at the prisons, for example…nine out of ten prison inmates is a man … Another group at the bottom of society is the homeless … a recent Italian study on homelessness concluded that about 15% are women.” – Roy F. Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?
Quick note: we don’t recommend the book (many critical reviews) but there are a few select passages that are interesting.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU