Judicial Whispers by Caro Fraser

Judicial Whispers by Caro Fraser is a compelling and engrossing courtroom mystery thriller which was published in 1995. It features Leo Davies a charming, brilliant barrister at one of London’s most prestigious chambers, who applies to take silk and become a QC.

However his hopes of election to the Queen’s Counsel are being threatened by a salacious rumour campaign concerning his scandalous sex life. The rumors are based on truth, for Leo’s sex life is hardly conventional however Leo is still unnerved to discover just how much his colleagues seem to know. Faced with the possible threat of blackmail or murder, Leo is forced to struggle with issues of sex, love, class, and ambition.

Then Leo is Advised that the best way to stop the rumors is to take a wife. Meanwhile fellow barrister Anthony Cross falls in love with a beautiful solicitor named Rachel Dean, Leo realises he may have to callously hurt them both to save his own career. So he also becomes involved with Rachel Dean, a beautiful and emotionally rigid solicitor and arouses her sexual passion. Anthony then accuses Leo of using Rachel to further his own ambitions. However Rachel has a dark and frightening secret of her own…

Whispering Shadows by Jan Philipp Sendker

Whispering Shadows is An absorbing mystery set in a Hong Kong tourists only glimpse. It is Equal parts crime thriller, romance and view of China’s Cultural Revolution, this novel is at its heart, a story about the burden of survival. It feature two different concurrent stories, a romance and a murder mystery. It features Paul Leibovitz, once a successful journalist for the South China Morning Post

Paul is a loving father and husband but is left bereft and alone after the tragic death of a child. But following a chance encounter in Hong Kong with fellow American Elizabeth, whose son has disappeared, Paul decides to investigate. Along with a detective friend, he risks everything and crosses the border to mainland China, there descending into the criminal underworld where he must confront the dark secrets and corruption hidden beneath the veneer and wealth of the new and rapidly changing China where the past can still have a detrimental effect on the present

Equal Opportunities Day

Equal Opportunity Day Takes place annually on 19 November. The purpose of Equal opportunities day is to encourage equal opportunities in the workplace and in other areas of life and to educate those who feel they are not being given equal opportunities, about the things they can do to improve the situation.

Equal opportunities (also known as equality of opportunity) arise from the similar treatment of all people, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. According to this often complex and contested concept, the intent is that important jobs in an organization should go to those persons who are the “most qualified” – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for reasons deemed arbitrary or irrelevant, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, having well-connected relatives or friends, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, caste, or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Though accommodation of persons with special needs and disabilities are done through job restructuring activities considering their potential for same level of performance, for experiencing same level of benefits and privileges as others.

Chances for advancement should be open to everybody interested, such that they have “an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established”. The idea is to remove arbitrariness from the selection process and base it on some “pre-agreed basis of fairness, with the assessment process being related to the type of position” and emphasizing procedural and legal means. Individuals should succeed or fail based on their own efforts and not extraneous circumstances such as having well-connected parents. It is opposed to nepotism and plays a role in whether a social structure is seen as legitimate. The concept is applicable in areas of public life in which benefits are earned and received such as employment and education, although it can apply to many other areas as well. Equal opportunity is central to the concept of meritocracy.

The concept of Equal opportunities assumes that society is stratified with a diverse range of roles, some of which are more desirable than others The benefit of equality of opportunity is to bring fairness to the selection process for coveted roles in corporations, associations, nonprofits, universities and elsewhere. According to one view, there is no “formal linking” between equality of opportunity and political structure, in the sense that there can be equality of opportunity in democracies, autocracies and in communist nations,although it is primarily associated with a competitive market economy and embedded within the legal frameworks of democratic societies. People with different political perspectives see equality of opportunity differently: liberals disagree about which conditions are needed to ensure it and many “old-style” conservatives see inequality and hierarchy in general as beneficial out of a respect for tradition. It can apply to a specific hiring decision, or to all hiring decisions by a specific company, or rules governing hiring decisions for an entire nation. The scope of equal opportunity has expanded to cover more than issues regarding the rights of minority groups, but covers practices regarding “recruitment, hiring, training, layoffs, discharge, recall, promotions, responsibility, wages, sick leave, vacation, overtime, insurance, retirement, pensions, and various other benefits”.

The concept has been applied to numerous aspects of public life, including accessibility of polling stations, care provided to HIV patients, whether men and women have equal opportunities to travel on a spaceship, bilingual education,skin color of models in Brazil, television time for political candidates, army promotions, admittance to universities and ethnicity in the United States.The term is interrelated with and often contrasted with other conceptions of equality such as equality of outcome and equality of autonomy. Equal opportunity emphasizes the personal ambition and talent and abilities of the individual, rather than his or her qualities based on membership in a group, such as a social class or race or extended family. Further, it is seen as unfair if external factors that are viewed as being beyond the control of a person significantly influence what happens to him or her. Equal opportunity then emphasizes a fair process whereas in contrast equality of outcome emphasizes a fair outcome. In sociological analysis, equal opportunity is seen as a factor correlating positively with social mobility, in the sense that it can benefit society overall by maximizing well-being. There are different types of equality:

Formal equality of opportunity: This is sometimes referred to as the nondiscrimination principle or described as the absence of direct discrimination, or described in the narrow sense as equality of access. It is a basic “no frills” or “narrow” approach to equality of opportunity, a minimal standard of sorts, limited to the public sphere as opposed to private areas such as the family, marriage, or religion. What is considered “fair” and “unfair” is spelled out in advance and that:

“There should be an equal opportunity for all. Each and every person should have as great or as small an opportunity as the next one. There should not be the unfair, unequal, superior opportunity of one individual over another.”

John Roemer, used the term nondiscrimination principle to mean that “all individuals who possess the attributes relevant for the performance of the duties of the position in question be included in the pool of eligible candidates, and that an individual’s possible occupancy of the position be judged only with respect to those relevant attributes”.

Substantive equality of opportunity,: This sometimes called fair equality of opportunity, is a somewhat broader and more expansive concept than the more limiting formal equality of opportunity and it deals with what is sometimes described as indirect discrimination. It goes farther and is more controversial than the formal variant; and has been thought to be much harder to achieve, with greater disagreement about how to achieve greater equality; and has been described as “unstable”, particularly if the society in question is unequal to begin with in terms of great disparity of wealth. It has been identified as more of a left-leaning political position, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. The substantive model is advocated by people who see limitations in the formal model:

In the substantive approach, the starting point before the race begins is unfair since people have had differing experiences before even approaching the competition. The substantive approach examines the applicants themselves before applying for a position and judges whether they have equal abilities or talents; and if not, then it suggests that authorities (usually the government) take steps to make applicants more equal before they get to the point where they compete for a position and fixing the before-the-starting-point issues has sometimes been described as working towards “fair access to qualifications”. It seeks to remedy inequalities perhaps because of an “unfair disadvantage” based sometimes on “prejudice in the past”.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs is observed and discussed, held on the nineteenth of November of each year. The inaugural event was held in New York City at the United Nations, with additional events being held simultaneously in several other countries. 144 nations overall recognized the first WED in 2014, which included the presentation of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. The organization behind WED also has an ambassadorship and fellowship program.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was founded and implemented by Wendy Diamond, Pet Pioneer, Animal Fair Media Founder and Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient after she volunteered with the Adelante Foundation who provides microcredit to low income women while in Honduras. Upon her return to the US she decided she wanted to develop something to help this and similar philanthropic causes. The first day was held on November 19, 2014, and was observed in 144 countries that year. It was described by Fortune Magazine as “a global movement to celebrate and support female founders and shed light on some of their challenges and “to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers who support and empower this community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses.

November 19 was proclaimed an “official day” by both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and is celebrated annually at the United Nations and around the globe. The U.S. House of Representatives also annually recognizes the WEDO movement November 19th as “A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs” under the leadership of Congresswoman Grace Meng.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event convenes at the United Nations in New York City including a conference, speakers, and the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. An Education Philanthropy Pioneer Award was given to Barack Obama’s grandmother Sarah Obama, for her work in bringing gender equality to education in that country. Obama was presented the award by actress Quvenzhané Wallis. Loreen Arbus received an award for her philanthropic work, as did to Lynn Tilton.Other attendees included actress Rose Byrne; Miss Universe Gabriela Isler; Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon; and First Ladies Gertrude Maseko of Malawi and Penehupifo Pohamba of Namibia. Delegations were sent from many different nations attended the event as well. The United Nations Foundation is a founding partner of the events.

Additional events were held internationally, including one at the University of Luxembourg, which held a conference that featured speeches from women entrepreneurs as well as discussions between local entrepreneurs. The keynote address was provided by Deputy Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Marjut Santoni. Other events were also held, in Lagos, Nigeria. Where WED founded and launched the Women Wednesday social media event held on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving in 2014, to support women in business and related causes.

Matt Sorum (Guns’n’Roses)

Matt Sorum, American musician with The Cult, Guns ‘N Roses and Velvet Revolver was Born 19th November 1960. Originally formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The classic lineup, of Guns’n”Roses consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Today, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member, in a lineup that comprises Use Your Illusion–era keyboardist Dizzy Reed, lead guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, lead and rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboard player Chris Pitman. The band has released six studio albums. Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine“, became their only single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and The album became the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. Thanks to songs like Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle

The success of their debut was followed by the eight-song album G N’ R Lies. The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, which debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The cover album “The Spaghetti Incident?” was the band’s last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan. After more than a decade of work and many lineup changes, Guns N’ Roses released the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy in 2008 which, at an estimated fourteen million dollars in production costs, made it the most expensive album to ever be produced in music history. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but underwhelmed industry expectations, despite mostly positive critical reception.Guns N’ Roses have been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock ‘n’ roll, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Their late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a “hedonistic rebelliousness” reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, a reputation that had earned them the nickname “The Most Dangerous Band in the World” The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility

Matt Sorum was also a member of the Cult after he met Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury. As early as The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”, Duffy began establishing a distinctive sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”. In the late 1980s, the band dropped their post-punk sound in favour of metal-blues with their third album, 1987′s Electric, which contained wonderful songs like “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower. credit for this change also goes to producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction polished the new sound and also produced the album.

In 1988 they recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience, but the public’s attention could not be sustained with their next album, Ceremony, at the dawn of the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury pressured Duffy to return to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure in1995.Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006, to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material, and Their latest album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012.

International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated every year on 19 November. Inaugurated in 1992 on February by Thomas Oaster, the project of International Men’s Day was conceived one year earlier on 8 February 1991. The project was re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The longest running celebration of International Men’s Day is Malta, where events have occurred since 7 February 1994.

Jerome Teelucksingh, who revived the event, chose 19 November to honour his father’s birthday and also to celebrate how on that date in 1989 Trinidad and Tobago’s football team had united the country with their endeavours to qualify for the World Cup.[5][6] Teelucksingh has promoted International Men’s Day as not just a gendered day but a day where all issues affecting men and boys can be addressed. He has said of IMD and its grass roots activists, “They are striving for gender equality and patiently attempt to remove the negative images and the stigma associated with men in our society”

The objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day, set out in “The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day”, include focusing on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.

International Men’s Day is celebrated in over 70 countries, on 19 November, and global support for the celebration is broad. International Men’s Day is followed by Universal Children’s Day on 20 November, forming a 48-hour celebration of men and children, respectively. Additionally, the month of November is also occasionally recognized as International Men’s Month. International Men’s Day is supported by a variety of organisations including UNESCO. Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, “This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance.” She added that UNESCO was looking forward to cooperating with the organizers.

The idea for an International Men’s Day has been noted since at least the 1960s, when many men were reported to be campaigning to make 23 February International Men’s Day, the equivalent of 8 March, which is International Women’s Day” In the Soviet Union this day was The Red Army and Navy Day since 1922, which in 2002 was renamed to Defender of the Fatherland Day. The date was informally viewed a male counterpart of Women’s Day (8 March) in some territories of the Union, however due to the day’s limited focus to historical events some countries of the former union have moved to adopt the more ‘male specific’ 19 November as International Men’s Day, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Georgia.

In 1968 American Journalist John P. Harris wrote an editorial in the Salina Journal highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system, which promoted an International Women’s Day for the female workers without promoting a corresponding day for male workers. Harris stated that although he did not begrudge Soviet women their March day of glory, its resulting gender inequality clearly exhibited a serious flaw in the Communist system, which, “makes much of the equal rights it has given the sexes, but as it turns out, the women are much more equal than the men.”[16] Harris stated that while the men toiled along in their grooves doing what their government and womenfolk tell them to do, there was no day when males are recognised for their service, leading Harris to conclude that “This strikes me as unwarranted discrimination and rank injustice.” Similar questions about the inequality of observing women’s day without a corresponding men’s day occurred in media publications from the 1960s through to the 1990s, when the first attempts at inaugurating international Men’s Day were made.

In the early 1990s, organizations in the United States, Australia and Malta held small events in February at the invitation of Thomas Oaster who directed the Missouri Center for Men’s Studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Oaster successfully promoted the event in 1993 and 1994, but the 1995 event was poorly attended so he ceased plans to continue the event. Australians also ceased to observe the event (until they re-established it on 19 November 2003) whilst the Maltese Association for Men’s Rights continued as the only country that continued to observe the event each year in February. As the only remaining country still observing the original February date, the Maltese AMR Committee also voted in 2009 to shift the date of their observation to 19 November.

Although International Men’s and Women’s Day are considered to be ‘gender focussed’ events, they are not ideological mirror images because they highlight issues that are considered unique to men or to women. The history of IMD primarily concerns celebrating issues that are considered unique to men’s and boys experiences, along with the emphasis on positive role models “is deemed necessary in a social context which is often fascinated with images of males behaving badly… In highlighting positive male role models IMD attempts to show that males of all ages respond much more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative stereotyping.”

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day (WTD) is celebrated on 19 November. The purpose of World Toilet day is to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis, to inspire people to take steps to address the global sanitation crisis and raise awareness of the billions of people who do not have access to a toilet. The aims of World Toilet Day include Creating awareness of the global sanitation crisis, inspiring action around the world to improve sanitation, encouraging UN-Water Members and Partners to take collaborative action. Strengthening the voice of the UN system on WASH-related issues, Increasing awareness and knowledge of water and sanitation and improving sanitation for households and communities.

World Toilet Organization (WTO) was founded by Jack Sim in 2001 who declared 19 November as World Toilet Day (WTD). In the following years, the WTO began pushing for global recognition for World Toilet Day. In 2007 the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) began to actively support WTD and promote awareness. In 2013, a joint initiative between the Government of Singapore and the World Toilet Organization led to Singapore’s first United Nations resolution, named “Sanitation for All”. This resolution calls for collective action to end the world’s sanitation crisis. World Toilet Day was declared an official United Nations day when it was adopted by 122 countries at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Lack of access to sanitation (toilets) has a profound impact on public health, dignity, and safety. Open defecation contributes to the spread of many serious and fatal diseases such as soil-transmitted helminthiasis, diarrhea and schistosomiasis. Stunted growth in children is another problem when children are being exposed to human feces when toilets are absent, ineffective or not used. An analysis of 145 countries estimated that 58% of all cases of diarrhea were caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene practices, including inadequate handwashing. This has resulted in more than 526,000 children under the age of 5 dying from water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) related diarrhea in 2015 alone. This means, nearly 1,400 children die each day. Providing sanitation has been estimated to lower the odds of children suffering diarrhea and has lowered under-five mortality This is because preventing human contact with feces in the environment prevents many diseases.

Lack of toilets in schools and health facilities is also a problem in many developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, 19% of health care facilities in low and middle income country settings lack improved sanitation; 35% lack access to water and soap for handwashing. The absence of water and sanitation make it difficult to provide routine medical services and to prevent and control infection. The provision of clean and safe school toilets (together with water and hygiene in schools) significantly reduces hygiene related disease, increases student attendance and contributes to dignity and gender equality. However, more than half of all primary schools in the developing countries with available data do not have improved water facilities and nearly two thirds lack improved sanitation.

World Toilet Day aims to inspire people to take action on these issues related to the lack of toilets. Now Thanks to initiatives like World Toilet Day, the importance of toilets for sustainable development is being recognized more and more. For example, the Sustainable Development Goals from 2015 include a target under Goal 6 to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030. This is done through public communications, campaigns, reports and events. Worldwide, 4.5 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation.” The global sanitation crisis affects people in developing countries the most. World Toilet Day is a call to action. The right to water and sanitation was officially declared a human right by the UN on 28 July 2010. World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001. In 2013, the UN passed a resolution recognizing World Toilet Day as an official UN international day and The activities and action for World Toilet Day are coordinated by UN-Water. In 2015, as part of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Goal number 6 (SDG 6) was launched. This goal commits the world to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all” by 2030. The universal provision of effective toilets is now recognized as a global development priority at the highest political level.