Take a knee.On Memorial Day Weekend, as President Trump and Congressman Pete King made idiots of themselves over protesting NFL players, they should have been taking a knee to apologize for the endless war in Iraq.I took a quiet moment to reflect on the family of Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, 30, an HH-60G special missions aviation flight engineer of the 106th Rescue Wing who was home based since 2010 at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach.Briggs was a full-time husband, father, and military member. He previously deployed to Afghanistan as a munitions system specialist with the 106th Maintenance Group, and to Texas and the Caribbean for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as a member of the 101st.On March 15, Sgt. Dashan Briggs, the man of the Briggs house on King St. in Port Jefferson Station, was killed with six other soldiers — three from Long Island — in a helicopter crash in Iraq.That crash, in western Iraq near a town called Al Qa’im, killed Sgt. Briggs and Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, Master Sgt. Christopher Raguso, 39, of Commack, and Capt. Christopher Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City in a war that was started by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who never served a day of military combat.This war in Iraq continues today under President Trump, who couldn’t fight a cold without a bodyguard. When he was of military draft age in the late-1960s, Trump supported the war in Vietnam.But, see, Donald Trump was different than other kids from Queens who got drafted and were sent to Vietnam. Donald Trump was a rich kid from ritzy Jamaica Estates, so his wealthy daddy found a doctor to diagnose his little boy with heel spurs.Trump became a draft dodger and those heel spurs kept him off the battlefield. But funny how they never seem to interfere with the over 100 days of golf Trump put in since taking office, even though in a campaign speech in August 2016 he promised, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”Those heel spurs also never stop Trump from telling us how tough and patriotic he is. So, leading up to Memorial Day, Trump and Long Island Congressman Pete King were busy telling us how disrespectful NFL players who take a knee were to our troops. Tough-guy Trump said of the protesting players, “Maybe they should leave the country.”But when it came to showing us how tough he was when kids his age were leaving the country to fight the war in Vietnam, Donald Trump took a rich kid deferment.Trump took a knee.Then, in a 1993 radio interview with Howard Stern, Trump talked about how brave he was bedding women during the AIDS epidemic: “You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam — it’s called the dating game. Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.”Tell that to the families of the 55,000 kids Trump’s age that came home from Vietnam in flag draped coffins.In 1997, Howard Stern again asked him how he dealt with having lots of sex with lots of women without contracting STDs and AIDS. Trump answered, “It’s amazing, I can’t even believe it. I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world; it is a dangerous world out there. It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.”This is now our Commander in Chief.The same CIC Trump who finds no problem with bashing the Muslim Gold Star parents of US Army Capt. Humayan Khan, who died in Iraq saving fellow soldiers. The same Trump who told the wife of US Army Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, who died in an ambush in a secret operation in Niger, that her husband “knew what he was getting into.”Right.He wasn’t getting into a pair of golf shoes, Donald.Sgt. Johnson died with his combat boots on. Which no Trump has ever worn, especially his loudmouth sons who love to pose for photos over slaughtered jungle animals killed with high tech rifles, but who couldn’t fistfight their way out of a convent.When Trump was busy bashing NFL players for disrespecting our troops by taking a knee, I was reminded that, in 2016, Donnie the Draft Dodger said of John McCain, who was tortured for five years in the Hanoi Hilton as a POW, “He’s not a hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, okay?”This from a guy who never served anyone but himself.Then we have Congressman Pete King who, in 2016, commented on Trump to Newsday: “He is not fit to be president —morally or intellectually.”Today, like the rest of the Republican Congress, King takes a knee daily to kiss the ring of Don Trump and has even adopted Trump’s same reckless tweeting that he once criticized: “Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!”Nazis?Um, Pete, it was your new best friend forever Trump who said of the Nazi march in Charlottesville: “There were very good people on both sides.”Ya know, alternative Nazis.Pete King is a good guy who was once the loudest voice in Congress calling for civil rights for the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, crossing the aisle to help President Bill Clinton to broker the peace in Ulster.So, one wonders if King would have objected to Irish Catholic soccer players taking a knee in a Belfast stadium when they played “God Save the Queen” to protest the brutality of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British military in their minority community.Remember, too, that Pete King took the king’s shilling when Bush and Dick Cheney lied us into the war in Iraq with bogus claims of weapons of mass destruction.Fifteen years after the invasion of Iraq, Bush, Cheney, Trump, and King, who never saw a day of combat among them, should all take a knee to apologize to the American people for this never-ending war in Iraq that this year claimed Sgt. Briggs, Capt. O’Keefe, Master Sgt. Raguso, and Capt. Zanetis of Long Island.For shame. Share
Thank you notes from students in the Southold and Greenport school districts. Independent/Courtesy Stony Brook Eastern Long Island HospitalA special delivery brought smiles to health care workers at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital.On April 17, Greenport and Southold school districts Superintendent David Gamberg handed over hundreds of handmade thank you notes from students in the district to hospital staff on the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Each letter was personally addressed to a Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital employee.Thank you notes from students in the Southold and Greenport school districts. Independent/Courtesy Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital“During these trying times, it is so touching to receive such powerful words of encouragement from our local youth,” the health care center’s Chief Administrative Officer Paul J. Connor III said. “Many thanks to Mr. Gamberg for spearheading this heartwarming initiative.”Gamberg was accompanied by Ryan Case, director of educational technology in the Greenport Union Free School District.With schools closed due to the novel coronavirus, the project was part of an initiative implemented by both school districts to encourage students to engage in non-screen time community service activities over spring break.For more information about how to help Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and the Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation, call 631-477-5164 or email firstname.lastname@example.org@indyeastend.com Share
Image: Nord Stream Russian gas giant Gazprom and BASF of Germany signed on Friday a memorandum of intent stipulating the cooperation within the project for constructing the Nord Stream II gas pipeline.The document reflects the parties’ intents to implement a project for constructing two strings of the gas pipeline that would connect the Russian and the German coasts under the Baltic Sea, Gazprom said in a statement.The new gas pipeline capacity will total 55 billion cubic meters a year.According to Gazprom, Germany is the biggest Russian gas consumer. In 2014, the company sold 40.3 billion cubic meters in the German market.
A report published by RenewableUK shows for the first time that UK-based companies working in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors are exporting goods and services worldwide on a massive scale.“Export Nation: A Year in UK Wind, Wave and Tidal Exports” reveals that in 2016, an illustrative sample of 36 UK-based firms featured in the report signed more than 500 contracts to work on renewable energy projects in 43 countries in Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australasia. The contracts featured ranged in value from GBP 50,000 up to GBP 30 million each.This is the first time that the industry has assessed the extent of Britain’s global reach in these innovative technologies, and the wide range of products and services the country sells overseas. The diverse reach of the contracts indicates that the UK is well placed to benefit from the USD 290bn global renewables market, trading with countries inside and outside the EU, RenewableUK said.Projects featured include: Gaia-Wind in Glasgow which is exporting small onshore wind turbines as far afield as Tonga; JDR Cables which is manufacturing massive subsea power cables in Hartlepool for German offshore wind farms; and Sustainable Marine Energy in Edinburgh, which is making tidal turbine platforms for Singapore.The UK is exporting its knowledge too, with renewable energy consultancy firms in places such as Bristol, Newcastle, Colchester and Winchester, winning contracts to plan and oversee the development of wind farms and other renewable energy projects in dozens of countries including the USA, China, India, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mauritius.“The UK’s wind, wave and tidal energy exports are great British success stories on the international stage. Our businesses are securing hundreds of contracts, worth millions of pounds, across six continents. Our leadership in this $290bn renewables marketplace will be even more important as we leave the EU,” RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said.“We need to act swiftly to retain this competitive advantage or other nations will capitalise on the hard work our businesses have done to build opportunities. This year, as part of its Industrial Strategy, the Government will be looking to identify and support world-leading, innovative industries with global trade potential. This report shows that the UK’s wind and marine energy sectors can offer much to the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Britain must secure its position as a leading exporter in tomorrow’s global energy market.”
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To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters
The Solicitors Regulation Authority today lost its challenge against the decision to clear human rights firm Leigh Day of misconduct.The SRA appealed last summer’s ruling of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that the firm and three of its lawyers breached its rules in the handling of claims by Iraqi civilians against the Ministry of Defence.But the divisional court of the High Court dismissed the appeal, saying the tribunal was entitled to find the 19 charges unproven against the firm, senior partner Martyn Day, equity partner Sapna Malik and solicitor Anna Crowther.In Solicitors Regulation Authority v Day & Ors, the judges Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Foskett and Mr Justice Holgate said dissatisfaction on the part of the SRA with the tribunal’s decision could not of itself be grounds for a successful appeal. In almost all material respects, they said, the SRA’s challenge was on the basis on primary fact and the assessment of whether those facts could determine whether there was professional misconduct. No errors of law material to SDT’s conclusion had been cited by the SRA. The judges added: ‘There is, overall, no proper basis on which the appellate court, on established principles, can legitimately interfere with the assessment of the evidence and the evaluative judgment of the Tribunal on any of the allegations which are the subject of this appeal.’The ruling is likely to bring an end to a prosecution that has cost at least £9m, featured suggestions of undue pressure from government departments, and required a seven-week hearing at the SDT – the longest in its history.Speaking after today’s ruling, Martyn Day said: ‘We are both pleased and relieved by today’s findings. The investigations and prosecutions have been ongoing for many years and my greatest regret is that it has diverted me from doing the human rights work that I love. I am very pleased that today’s judgment will enable me to put my full energies back into that work.’Allegations against the firm and solicitors included personally endorsing claims in a 2008 press conference, late disclosure of a key document, disposal of a translation of that document, unlawful payments to a third party and not acting on the use of the word ‘bribe’ in three emails handled by the firm. All allegations were found unproven, albeit some by a majority ruling of the three-person tribunal panel.An SRA spokesperson said today: ‘We note the judgment, and will review it over the coming weeks.’Costs are still to be decided for the latest hearing. The tribunal proceedings cost the SRA £1.5m and Leigh Day around £7.8m, although the firm is insured to cover such costs.
FRANCE: Metal processing, casting and forging group Manoir Industries sold its Outreau Technologies railway crossing casting subsidiary to Vossloh Cogifer on July 10.Outreau Technologies employs approximately 200 people at a plant in Pas-de-Calais which produces crossings for railway, tramway and metro trackwork. It has a long-term sales co-operation agreement with Vossloh Cogifer, and Manoir said the sale would help accelerate the business’s development in the global marketplace. Read about Outreau Technologies’ research into the explosive hardening of crossing noses in the February 2013 issue of Railway Gazette International.
FRANCE: The Commercial Court in Valenciennes has approved a bid by Chinese steel and railway wheel supplier MA Steel to take over the activities of wheelset manufacturer Valdunes, which had entered receivership in April. The deal includes the Valdunes plant in Dunkerque, which has the only dedicated wheel forge in France, and the Valenciennes wheelset finishing facility. The takeover will enable the retention of 487 employees. A new company has been formed, MG Valdunes, which is to implement an investment and modernisation plan and established a global rail products research and development centre. MA Steel has with an 80% share of the Chinese wheel market and said the deal would enable MG Valdunes to access the Chinese repair and high speed rolling stock wheel market, and offer a wider range of wheels for the metro and tram sectors. MG Valdunes will take over MA Steel’s current exports to Europe, which amount to around 10 000 wheels/year.The MS Steel group has 41 220 employees, with subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Australia and Germany and revenue of €9bn in 2012.
Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Belgravia, the new limited series from the creative team behind Downton Abbey, kicks off on ITV this Sunday.Julian Fellows adapts his best-selling novel of the same name with arnival’s Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant executive producing alongside Liz Trubridge and Fellowes. John Alexander (Sense & Sensibility, Trust Me) will direct all episodes with Colin Wratten (Killing Eve) producing.Watch the trailer below:Belgravia stars Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Philip Glenister (Mad Dogs), Harriet Walter (The Crown) Alice Eve (She’s Out Of My League), Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children), Richard Goulding (The Windsors), James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Adam James (Band of Brothers), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Diana Hardcastle (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Paul Ritter (Chernobyl), Saskia Reeves (Luther) and Jack Bardoe in his first television role.The synopsis for episode 1 is:The Trenchard family have recently ascended to the aristocratic society of London’s Belgravia, but a decades old love affair comes back to haunt them and jeopardise the happiness of many.Belgravia begins at 9pm Sunday on ITV. Preview it with our gallery below: Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV Credit: Carnival Films / ITV