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MINSK, 13 December (BelTA) – In 2018 furniture output in Belarus may reach roughly $612 million, 60.6% up from 2013, the press service of the Belarusian timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry concern Bellesbumprom told BelTA after an IKEA business forum took place in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone on 12 December. Presenting the Belarusian furniture industry, Bellesbumprom Deputy Chairman Mikhail Kasko said that the number of furniture producers has more than doubled in the last three years, rising from 600 to 1,294. New Belarusian companies as well as foreign-owned ones are being set up while the existing enterprises are expanding and modernizing their manufacturing. In 2018 Belarus’ furniture output is expected to reach some $612 million, 60.6% up from 2013. Belarusian companies export over 80% of the furniture they make, 30 percentage points more than in 2013. The main target markets are Russia (50%), Poland (10%), and Kazakhstan. Deliveries to the European Union rise in a measured fashion. According to Bellesbumprom, furniture export exceeds furniture import by three times. On the whole, the Belarusian furniture industry develops dynamically. The fact owes a lot to the accomplished modernization of woodworking enterprises.
Read full text at: https://eng.belta.by/economics/view/furniture-production-in-belarus-up-by-over-60-in-last-five-years-117329-2018/
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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance won a historic vote in May.
The rally, backed by the country’s two largest opposition Malay parties, was initially aimed at protesting a government plan to ratify a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination. Critics allege that ratifying the treaty would end Malay privileges under a decades-old affirmative action policy. The plan to ratify was eventually abandoned, but organizers decided to proceed with what they called a “thanksgiving” rally.
Racial clashes have been rare in multiracial Malaysia since deadly riots in 1969. A year later, Malaysia instituted a preferential program that gives Malays privileges in jobs, education, contracts and housing to help narrow a wealth gap with the minority Chinese. Ethnic Malays account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s 32 million people, with large Chinese and Indian minorities.
Saturday’s rally came less than two weeks after more than 80 people were arrested in a riot at an Indian temple in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur. The government was quick to stress that the violence was due to a land dispute and was not a racial riot. Still, the government warned Saturday’s rally-goers not to make any provocative statements that could fan racial tensions.
Mahathir said the government allowed the rally as part of democracy, but warned against any chaos. The rally was held under tight police security, but ended peacefully after rain started to fall.
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with multiple counts of corruption, was among opposition lawmakers at the rally.
Police said there were at least 55,000 people on the streets. Many wore white T-shirts and headbands with the words “Reject ICERD,” referring to the U.N. treaty — the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The protesters gathered at three locations before marching to a nearby historic square, chanting “Long live the Malays” and “Crush ICERD.”
“Yes, we did not ratify ICERD, but we are still here to say that we are still against it,” said shopkeeper Rosli Ikhsan. “Even if the government has said they won’t endorse it, we are still protesting with all our might from all of Malaysia.”
Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal involving Najib and his government, but many Malays still support Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organization, and the Malaysian Islamic Party, which controls two of the country’s 13 states.
Some analysts say Najib and his party were using the rally to shift attention away from corruption charges against Najib, his wife, his party’s president and former government officials.
“For me, ICERD is bad,” university student Nurul Qamariah said at the rally. “It’s bad because it will erode the position of Malays. This is a country for Malays. We want Malays to be superiors, but why do these people want to make Malays the same level as Chinese and Indians?”
by keyboard musician
The evolution of the Romanian education system has been rather unstable in the past 30 years. With 27 different ministers at helm and an education law that has been adjusted about 200 times in the last seven years alone, the Romanian education system has been dealing with many other problems. Under these circumstances, the Presidential Administration has launched the project “Educated Romania”, which is in fact a strategy to be put into practice by 2030.
According to President Klaus Iohannis, the project is aimed to recreate a value-based society and develop a success culture based on performance, work, talent, honesty and integrity. After being open to public debate for three months, the project will be negotiated by President Iohannis and political parties so that it is introduced into the government policies. According to President Iohannis, the “Educated Romania” project is also meant to contribute to the development of an education system for the 21st Century, a stable, sustainable and performing system.
Klaus Iohannis: “Educated Romania is a strategic project that wants to create the foundation of the education system for Romania of the 21st Century. Educated Romania is not a draft law. Educated Romania is not a simple recipe and is not my electoral programme. Educated Romania is our Romania, the Romania of all, for the generations to come.”
The project proposes two scenarios of education system restructuring. The first scenario is similar to the present one in terms of the number of years spent in every pre-university cycle. It introduces, alongside the baccalaureate exam, an “applied” exam, that includes a limited number of subject matters as well as practical tests, in keeping with the specificity of each vocational training option.
It gives access to the non-university tertiary education, that is two-year colleges, and then to a one-year or two-year vocational training cycle. The second scenario brings in a change in the structure of pre-university cycles. Thus, the primary education cycle is extended to six years from five at present while the secondary education cycle is reduced to three years instead of four.
The same thing is proposed for the high-school cycle. The baccalaureate covers the basic subject matters – Romanian, Math and a foreign language – and students get to pick three optional subject matters for the exam, including practical tests conducted within a company or another relevant institution.
In keeping with the Educated Romania project, the current school inspectorates, operational in every county and the capital Bucharest, should be closed down. Educated Romania is the most comprehensive and longest public consultation held so far in the field of public policies in education, that enjoyed the contribution of more than 10 thousand people and dozens of public institutions, NGOs and representatives of decision-makers in the field.
Huda al-Saleh, Al Arabiya English
For the first time in US political history, two Muslim women joined the ranks of the US Congresswith Western and Arab media widely reporting on their win during the first midterm elections under US President Donald Trump. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, is the first Somali American to serve in Congress and Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib is a Palestinian American.
The common ground between Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib is that both are anti-Trump and his political team and options, especially his foreign policy starting from the sanctions on Iran to the isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood and all movements of political Islam. Those sponsoring and supporting the two Muslim women to reach the US Congress adopted a tactic to infiltrate through their immigrant and Black minority communities in general, and women’s groups in particular. One example of that is the Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour with roots in Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations known as CAIR
A social media site still carries a previous US Department of State promotional tweet, published in July 2014 saying: “Share with Mrs. Linda Sarsour about Islam in America.”
As she said in one of her conversations with the Arab Muslim community in New York via Skype: “What happened in the Middle East revolutions inspired the Arabs in the United States,” adding that: “After the Arab Spring, we worked harder than the last four decades, because in this country there are rights and freedoms which do not exist in the Arab countries. We began to exercise our rights here. Tthe Arab Spring encouraged us to be involved in the political life – you gave us courage.”
The document, entitled “Explanatory Note to the Strategic Objective of Muslim Brotherhood in North America,” was presented in 1991 by Mohammed Akram, the secretary of the group’s Shura Council, in what he described as an attempt to explain the long-term plan adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood’s North American Shura Council in 1987, in which he notes that the Empowerment Memorandum is based on the realization of the overall strategic objective of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, namely, the establishment of an Islamic movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood that embraces Muslim issues locally and globally and proposes Islam as an alternative to civilization.
The document consideres the work of Muslim Brotherhood in North America as a kind of great jihad in the removal and destruction of Western civilization.