Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Honorary Consul Missing in Chile

Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Concepcion, Chile, Missing Since Quake
Of one of the 57 missing Dutch citizens in Chile since the earthquake is an Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Concepcion, Chile.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will open in 2012 on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, was the focus of attention at a lavish reception and fundraiser hosted by Mrs. Wanda Presburger and Mrs. Helena Krol, at the Krol's beautiful Beverly Hills residence.

Ms. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Head of the Core Exhibition Planning Team gave a detailed presentation on the Museum,
the first and only museum to focus on the history of Polish Jews.

Poland was once home to the largest Jewish community in the world and center of the Jewish Diaspora. Many Jews trace their ancestry to Poland, which was one of the largest countries in Europe and one of the most culturally diverse. As a result, the legacy of Polish Jews extends also to areas that are today Lithuania, Belarus, and Latvia, as well as to parts of Ukraine, Estonia, and Western Russia. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews will be a portal, a place to begin an exploration of the world of Polish Jews.

Initiated by the Jewish Historical Institute Association in Warsaw in 1996, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will be a unique institution. It will seek to explore the Jewish presence in Poland across the ages, including the first settlements; the unique guarantees offered to Polish Jews in the 13th century; the “golden age” of Polish Jewry in the 16th and 17th centuries; the Shoah and the remnants of the extinguished presence in post-war Poland. Visitors will be taken on a virtual journey to a lost world in which countless generations lived and flourished. The Museum will discover the vibrant civilization of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world and center of the Jewish Diaspora.

In attendance were distinguished business owners, philanthropists, as well as the Consul Culture of Poland in Los Angeles, the Honorable Malcorzata Cup; the Honorary Consul of Poland in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Honorable John Petkus; the U.S. Representative to the World Federation of Consuls and Honorary Consul of Chile in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Honorable Paulina Biggs-Sparkuhl; the Honorary Vice Consul of Guatemala in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Honorable Dr. Aldo A. Aguirre; the President Emeritus of the Consular Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jonathan Warren; and Mr. Stanley Kolodziey and Peter Krol from KROL Vodka.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Immigrants Leap into Business Ownership

Overcoming language barriers and sometimes lacking business networks to secure financing or advertising, immigrants are anchoring downtowns in cities and remaking the suburbs across the nation with newly established businesses.

According to economist Robert Fairlie, producer of the Kauffman Index of Economic Activity, immigrants have higher rates of starting a business than do native-born Americans. Immigrant women are starting businesses at a rate of 57 percent than native-born women; immigrant men start businesses at 71 percent higher than native-born men.

Whether avoiding barriers that come with traditional jobs or becuse their job skills do not translate well into corporate America, immigrant business owners contribute to the economy by creating new jobs.

The full text of the article is available at http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/12/10/more immigrants making the leap

The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is available on the Kauffman Foundation's Web site.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Global Competitiveness Report for 2008-2009

The World Economic Forum, an independent, international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation, was founded on the belief that economic progress without social development is not sustainable, and social development without economic progress is not feasible. Its Vision is threefold:

  1. It aims to be the foremost organization which builds and energizes leading global communities;
  2. It aims to be the creative force shaping global, regional and industry strategies; and,
  3. It aims to be the catalyst of choice for its communities when undertaking global initiatives to improve the state the world.

The World Economic Forum annually hosts a Global Summit, in which it brings together the world's leading minds from academia, business government and society to address the most important global challenges in a collaborative, integrated and proactive way.

At the past Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which took place from November 7-9, 2008, 700 of the world’s leading minds who are Members of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, gathered to address the most important challenges facing the world in a collaborative and integrated way. Global Agenda Council Members addressed ways to tackle governance gaps at the local, regional and global levels, as well as examined the new and continued inter-linkages among the various Councils.

The highlights of the discussions were compiled in The Global Agenda 2009, which sets the platform for discussions at the next Summit. For more details go to The Global Agenda 2009.

The World Economic Forum's 40th Annual Meeting will take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from January 27-31, 2010.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Costa Rica's president has swine flu

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) -- Nobel Peace laureate and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said Tuesday that he has swine flu, showing that not even a head of state is safe from the virus that has caused worldwide concern but relatively few deaths.

The 69-year-old president and Nobel Peace Prize winner said in a statement that he was quarantined at home and is being treated with the anti-flu medicine oseltamivir.

"The pandemic makes no distinctions," Arias said. "I am one more case in this country and I am being submitted to the recommendations that health authorities have established for the entire population."

Arias suffers from asthma and is at higher risk than most, but was in good enough health to continue working.

"Aside from the discomfort of the fever and sore throat, I feel in good shape and in full capacity to carry out my work by telecommuting," Arias said in the statement.

The president had flu symptoms since Sunday, but participated in public activities as late as Tuesday morning, when he appeared at a call center.

Arias has been serving on-and-off as a mediator in the political crisis in Honduras after that country's president was ousted June 28 in a coup.


Honduran consuls ousted for disloyalty to Zelaya

Ex Consul of Honduras in Los Angeles, California, the Honorable Vivian Panting
Source: La Opinion (www.laopinion.com)

By E.J. TAMARA, Associated Press Writer

Four Honduran consular officials have been removed from their posts for refusing to declare loyalty to the ousted government of Manuel Zelaya or for supporting the man who replaced him, officials said Friday.

Enrique Reina, Honduras' ambassador in the United States, told the Associated Press that the consuls were dismissed in Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco.

The consuls were removed after Zelaya's Foreign Affairs Minister Patricia Rodas asked each consulate last month to provide a written statement outining its position on the coup.

Vivian Panting, (shown in picture above) Honduras' consul in Los Angeles, said she didn't respond to the letter because she didn't want to take sides.

Zelaya was rousted from his home at gunpoint in June and flown into exile. Roberto Micheletti's interim government has refused to consider Zelaya's restoration, despite calls from the United States and the European Union.

Because Washington recognizes Zelaya as Honduras' legitimate leader, consular officials appointed under Zelaya's government continue to hold their posts in the United States.

Reina said a total of 17 consular officials have been removed so far and more changes may be necessary.

Martha Lorena Alvarado, interim Assistant Foreign Minister in Honduras, said the situation was complex because the United States has not recognized consular officials named by Micheletti's government.

"To me, (this is) an unprecedented question from a diplomatic perspective," Alvarado said. "I don't know until when this situation will be sustainable for the Department of State."

Micheletti's government had recognized the four consuls as legitimate before they were removed.

A sign outside the Honduran consulate in Los Angeles stated that offices were closed because of security concerns.

A spokesman at the Honduran consulate in New York said the consul did not go to work on Friday.

Associated Press writer Claudia Torrens contributed to this report from New York.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

International Day of the World's Indigenous People August 9

Photograph Credit: Prensa Libre.com
The General Assembly of the United Nations decided in 2004 that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People would be observed on August 9, every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1).

"Today is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the Indigenous People throughout the world," stated Dr. Aldo A. Aguirre, Honorary Vice Consul of Guatemala in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Guatemala is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries in Latin America. With over 20 different languages and unique traditional clothing that displays their user's specific local identity, Guatemala boasts one of the largest and most traditional Indigenous populations. According to the 2002 Census, 42 percent of Guatemalans are of Mayan ancestry and live in greater numbers in the western highlands, particularly in the departments of Baja Verapaz, Quiche, Totonicapan, Huehuetenando, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos (2). The southeastern region of Guatemala includes groups such as the Ch' orti', the northern lowland Petén region includes the Itza population. The great majority of Mayans are young, with strong community structures and very deeply rooted traditions and customs. The Indigenous people of Guatemala contribute greatly to the local economy and have formed large communities outside of the country, contributing as well with monthly remittances which have been and will continue to be a fundamental pillar of economic support for hundreds of thousands of urban and rural families. I am deeply honored to celebrate the International Day of Indigenous People and encourage all to observe this Day with respect and gratitude," concluded Honorary Vice Consul Aguirre.


(1) By its resolution 59/174 of 20 December 2004, in which the Assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014), it also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People every year during the Second Decade, in New York, Geneva and other offices of the United Nations. The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to support observance of the Day from within existing resources, and to encourage Governments to observe the Day at the national level. Source: http://www.un.org/events/indigenous/2007/.

(2) http://www.ine.gob.gt/index.php/demografia-y-poblacion/42-demografiaypoblacion/75-censo2002