Chinese Lunar New Year Festival Friday!

– Great Visuals & Fun Local Story of an Exotic Happy Celebration Full of Students/Chinese Nationals Celebrating the Lunar New Year –

WHEN: TODAY (Friday/Jan. 17) , from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: ASU’s Hardy Student Center, first floor – past the Book Store, in its Student Cyber Lounge.

Don’t miss out on what will be the most visually appealing and fun story in the River Region that is happening TODAY, which is the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival at Alabama State University, which is sponsored by Troy University’s Confucius Institute and ASU’s International Affairs & Diversity Office.

LOTS OF CULTURAL DISPLAYS, FUN, FOOD & PEOPLE

Over 100 students and Chinese nationals will be in attendance for such fun items as a cultural fair, performances, Chinese food, martial arts and so much more. The event will offer you the FUN & SIZZLE that your news consumers desire — and it allows you to localize a world event celebrated this upcoming week by billions of people.

SEND A REPORTER OR PHOTOG AND I WILL ASSIST

Send a reporter or photog to Alabama State University on Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and I will be present to assist them get the right interviews, have access to the perfect visuals and even snack on an egg roll, as I make sure that their time at the event is quick and well spent!

This is a wonderful example of a news feature story that will have awesome visuals of  one of the world’s most exotic happy celebrations happening right here in the Gump.

BACKGROUND ON CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year is the grandest festival in China, and is a seven-day long holiday. This celebration is dominated by iconic red lanterns, loud fireworks, massive banquets, parades, and the festival  triggers exuberant celebrations across the globe like the one at ASU on Friday.

In 2020, the Chinese New Year festival begins now through Jan. 25, and it honors 2020 as the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. Like Christmas in Western countries, the Chinese New Year is a time to be home with family, drinking, cooking, and enjoying a hearty meal together. All streets and lanes are decorated with vibrant red lanterns and colorful lights which marks the Lunar New Year.

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.

Here’s exactly how much the Sussexes were financially dependent on the Crown. And here’s what has changed.

-Written by Israel Afangideh-

As soon as Sussex announced their decision to step back from being senior members of the royal family, siting a need for financial independence, there were many reactions to the news. 

But there were certain questions, no one was asking, namely: How much exactly were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dependent on the Crown, how much did that affect their autonomy, and what has now changed. 

Before we begin, it is Important to note the following: 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were formerly prohibited from earning ANY income, other than the income given to them by the Duchy of Cornwall, controlled by Harry’s father. And the money given to them through the Sovereign grant, dispersed to them by Harry’s grandmother. 

Out of all the funds received from the crown,  by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 95% came from the Duchy of Cornwall, under the direction of the Prince of Wales. While the remaining 5% come from the Sovereign grant.

But where does that money come from? The oldest son of the current British monarch gains control of the Duchy of Cornwall, at birth. And so Prince Charles, Harry’s father, is  the Duke of Cornwall, and controls the Duchy of Cornwall along with all of its Assets. As it turns out, these Assets are quite extensive, including 205.1 Square Miles of land, or 0.2% of land in the United Kingdom. These are farming, residential, or commercial properties, which are rented out, and bring constant revenue to the duchy. The Duchy also has special legal rights, and privileges. For example, the property of  anyone who dies in the county of Cornwall, without any identifiable heirs, automatically becomes the property of the duchy of cornwall. And any company that is registered in cornwall, and then dissolved, forfeits its assets to the duchy of cornwall. It is some of this revenue that was being used to cover Harry and Meghan’s expenses. 

Similarly, The Queen’s estate generates revenue from land and other assets, although much larger in scope. 

All of these revenues from the Crown Estate are surrendered to the British government. Specifically, HM Treasury, (Her Majesty’s Treasury, sometimes referred to as The Exchequer, or The Treasury.) The British government department responsible for fiscal and economic policy in England.  

From that money, a percentage, usually about 10-25% is given back to the Queen for her use in performing the duties she and the rest of the royal family is responsible for, and maintaining property and assets which belong to the royal family. 

See the chart below:

So, for example, from 2017-2018, £329 million was surrendered by the Crown Estate, to the British Government, and subsequently. £82 million was given back to the Queen to cover the expenses of her office in 2019 . 

And from 2018-2019, £343 million was surrendered by the Queen’s estate, and it has been announced that the sovereign grant for 2020-2021, will be £85 million.

Sussex has chosen, to no longer receive any money from this grant. Which covered 5% of their expenses. Or to receive any money from the Duchy of Cornwall, which covered the other 95% of their expenses. 

As for travel expenses, the Sussexes have issued a statement saying: 

“All travel arrangements undertaken by The Duke and Duchess in their private time have always been and will continue to be paid for privately and not by UK taxpayers.”

The only expenses of the Sussexes, which will still be covered by the Crown, are security expenses, which is mandated by the Home office. In addition to being mandatory, the government of the UK does not disclose the cost of security, as stated on its website:

“No breakdown of security costs is available as disclosure of such information could compromise the integrity of these arrangements and affect the security of the individuals protected. It is long established policy not to comment upon the protective security arrangements and their related costs for members of the Royal Family or their residences.”

Sources:

https://sussexroyal.com/

https://duchyofcornwall.org/frequently-asked-questions.html#question_17

https://www.royal.uk/financial-reports-2018-19

Why Donald Trump Still Needs to be Checked

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Written by Antoine Stokes

Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States on January 20, 2017.  Some Americans celebrated the inauguration as a joyful day. Other Americans felt as if the ceremony was a woeful and tragic experience. What is undebatable is that it was a turning point in American politics. The 2016 election was a clear victory for the conservative right wing. Some political scientists believe that Trump’s Victory was the outcome of a masterfully executed campaign strategy lead by   Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Others believe that the results of the election were more due to incompetence on the part of the Clinton campaign. In reality it was a healthy dose of both variables, rooted in the Democratic Party’s detachment from their rural working class base.

 The reason Trump won the 2016 election is complicated and will be analyzed by political scientists for generations. The more pertinent and pressing question to the average American is how to react to the transfer of power.  The fact that Trump lost the popular vote 62,979,879 to Clinton’s 65,844,954[i] is more than just a trivial point made by defensive liberals disenchanted by the election process. It shows that more American voters disagree with Trumps divisive politics, as opposed to the voters that support them. The 65,844,954 that voted for Hillary are obligated to continue to voice their opposition to president’s Trumps ideology.  While Trump’s administration is still in its infancy, already many protests have been conducted by those who feel disenfranchised.

America must be tolerant of the side that lost the election and respect the criticism it will produce. Without this criticism America will become the bar in the movie 1989 film Roadhouse before the arrival of Patrick Swayze’s character. Suppression of healthy criticism will create political atmospheres that can possibly lead to Trump and the GOP controlled government becoming unrestrained without a sense of order, morality, or accountability. President Trump must be forced to fulfill his campaign promises that benefit the country, but more importantly be prevented from those that infringe on American civil liberties. So although it might seem counter intuitive, criticism of President Trump is absolutely a vital part of America’s future success as a legitimate government.

[i]2016 Election Results

The Hilarious Reason Why Joe Biden Could become the 45th President of the United States

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Even more history could be made this political season, at least if the good people of Reddit and Twitter have anything to say about it.

There has been a hilarious, grassroots movement to make Joe Biden the 45th president of the United States. Fans of the Vice President have been lobbying for Barack Obama to resign early and let Joe Biden take the mantle of office for a limited period of time.

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The proposed length of Biden’s reign has been hotly debated, and the specific points of his administration have been as well, but “Biden Bros” everywhere agree on one point: It would be the perfect cap to the perfect bromance.

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President Barack Obama Gives His Best and Last Speech

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History was made tonight, as President Barack Obama made a speech that will do down in infamy. Although he did not begin with a “fourscore and seven years ago,” the words spoken tonight will inspire many generations to come.

In perhaps his best, and certainly his most quotable speech to date, Obama spoke clearly and directly on issues ranging from racism, to terrorism, to the future of democracy, and the principles that threaten it.

So, on behalf of us here at The Insider, these are our favorite and most impactful moments from President Barack Obama’s speech:

On the Nature of True Change: “Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system. That’s what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change.”

On Understanding each Other: “For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American, and also the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.

“For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ‘60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our Founders promised.”

On Openness to True Discussion: “This trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Politics is a battle of ideas; in the course of a healthy debate, we’ll prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts; without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we’ll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.”

On the Power of the People: “Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.”

“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.”

“Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America – and in Americans – will be confirmed.”

In Conclusion: “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain. For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.

I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:

Yes We Can.

Yes We Did.

Yes We Can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.”

Why Dylan Roof Deserves to Die

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By now, the world knows that Dylan Roof, the Charleston church shooter, has been sentenced to death. Prosecutors argued that he is a calculating cold killer who deserves the death penalty because of his motive, his lack of remorse, and the massive impact the shooting had on the families of the 9 people who were killed. The Jury agreed.

Truthfully however, there is no surprise in this verdict. The facts convict Dylan Roof, they do not need any argument to aid them. Roof scouted the church three different times before striking, he sat in the service for 40 minute before attacking. These alone prove the murder was premeditated. He pulled the trigger 75 times, standing over some targets and shooting them multiple times. In addition, he did not, and has not shown any remorse about his actions, stating in a investigative interview: “somebody had to do it, black people are killing white people every day.” Again, in a journal he kept while in jail, Roof wrote: “I would like to make it crystal clear. I do not regret what I did, I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.” Even more, no mental illnesses were responsible for the crime. During his opening statement, Roof told the jury: “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically,” and then asked them to forget everything his lawyers had said in his defense.

However, despite all of this, Dylan Roof hoped to be spared, saying: “From what I’ve been told, I have a right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that will do anyway, But what I will say is only one of you has to disagree with the other jurors.”

Dylan Roof deserves to die, not just because he abruptly ended 9 human lives, not just because he did this with no provocation whatsoever, not just because it was a crime of pure unadulterated hate, but because he feels absolutely no remorse or guilt over what he did, he is proud of himself, and given the opportunity, not only would he do it again, he would influence others to follow in his footsteps.

All of this makes Dylan Roof worse than a killer, it makes him inhuman, and when something inhuman dares to leave a scar on humanity, it deserves to be put down.

The Inauguration Imperative

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Is a dysfunctional nation, a dubious president, and an obscure small-town college the Next Frontier for a country raging verbal civil war?

President elect Donald Trump earlier this week sent an invitation to Alabama’s oldest historically Black college to march at the upcoming Inauguration.

Talladega college is considering preforming, while other academic institutions and artists have declined the offer such as Howard university, Elton John, Celine Dion and The Chain-smokers.

Talladega College was founded in November 20, 1865 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant.

Graduates of the famous institution have voiced tremendous concern over the possible acceptance of this invitation.

Shirley Ferrill of Fairfield, Alabama, a member of Talladega’s Class of 1974 said: “I don’t want my alma mater to give the appearance of supporting him,” Ferrill said of Trump on Monday. “Ignore, decline or whatever, but please don’t send our band out in our name to do that.”

Moreover, with the Talladega College decision still looming in the balance, where should they look to guide their choice in the matter?

Loking at their mission statement, the answer is clear.

Talladega College is an institution rich in history, whose mission is to equip its graduates for the global community, through academic excellence, moral values, community service and professional development.

Ultimately, the final decision rests with the staff and faculty but in keeping with their mission statement a choice must be made. And that choice, whatever it is, it must lead to a stronger and more united nation.

 

Pan Pan: World’s Oldest Male Panda Dies at 31

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His name was Pan Pan, and he was the worlds oldest male panda. He was almost singularly responsible for taking his species from being endangered, to only being “vulnerable.”

Pan pan was considered a “natural breeder” by scientists, especially for being part of a species that is notoriously hard to breed. Female pandas only ovulate once a year, and the male has less than two days to fertilize the egg. Yet Pan pan  was ancestor to more than 130 descendants, 25% of pandas in captivity are related to him.

He died of a cancer, and was over 100 years old in panda years.

Carrie Fisher Dies at 60

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This morning, the family of Carrie Fisher released a statement, a statement that shook the world: “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning, she was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly, our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Mrs. Fisher was on a flight from London to Los Angeles, on December 23rd when she suffered a heart attack, she was immediately rushed to the hospital, but did not recover.

Carrie Fisher was a brilliant actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker. She was best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars Franchise.

She will be greatly missed.

Angry Preschool Parents beat pedophile to death.

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Marcelo Fabian Pecollo was a music teacher and trumpeter. He was arrested in 2007 for molesting a 4 year old child. After he was arrested, six more cases of abuse came to light; five of the six cases went to court. Marcelo was found guilty in 2010, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but due to a sentence reduction, he was released in 2014; after only serving 4 years behind bars.

Finally, on October 30th, the trumpeter was performing in a cathedral near Buenos Aires when parents rushed in yelling: “There is a pedophile and a rapist in the church and he is playing in this orchestra.”

Pecollo began to run away, but the group caught up with him and began beating him, one parent even began to beat him using his own trumpet.

“When I arrived, those people were leaving,” priest Jorge Oesterheld told local media. “He was in a very, very bad way, until the police and ambulance arrived. He was in a coma and died on Friday.”

The priest also criticized the attackers.

“They say they took justice into their own hands, but it was revenge, it was murder.”

What do you think? Justice or murder?

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