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France Consults On Putting Teachers At Heart Of Society

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France on Thursday launched a countrywide three-month consultation on education. This position comes a day after a solemn national tribute to murdered French school teacher Samuel Paty.

Since his death last Friday, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer says he want this national consultation to put “the teacher at the very centre of society”.

The minister and teaching unions have been planning these discussions for several months. Confirming that they would go ahead as planned, the minister added that the safety and social recognition of teachers had always been key elements on his agenda, but they had taken on additional resonance and significance in the wake of Paty’s murder.

Money, Modernising and Safety

The minister went on to say that the key words under discussion in these consultations will be “financial recognition”, “cooperation”, “modernisation” and “protection”.

Invoking the “national wave of revulsion” after Paty’s death, Blanquer went on to suggest that the time has come for a reassessment of the place of the teacher in French society, in the lives of individual families, of individual citizens.

“We must respect teachers,” the minister said. “We must consider them as central to our society.”

On the question of salary increases, the minister has promised that the entire profession will benefit from a broadened pay structure, including the youngest, more recent recruits.

“And I want the national education system to become less anonymous,” the minister continued. “I want us to pay more attention to what is happening in the careers of each teacher, so that every member of the profession will feel supported and appreciated.”

The education budget for 2021 has already been allocated, with an increase of 500 million euros. Much of this additional money will be used to boost French teachers’ salaries, currently 7 percent below the average of member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for those starting their careers.

RFI

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Europe

CGTN Kicked Out Of United Kingdom For Promoting Communism

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Chinese news network CGTN has been kicked out the United Kingdom because its state-backed ownership structure flouted British law.

“Following careful consideration, taking account of all the facts and the broadcaster’s and audience’s rights to freedom of expression, we have decided it is appropriate to revoke the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK,” the British government Office of Communications (Ofcom) said in a statement.

The English-language satellite broadcaster has long faced criticism for parroting the Communist Party line in its global broadcasts.

Ofcom added, “We have given CGTN significant time to come into compliance with the statutory rules. Those efforts have now been exhausted.”

Ofcom added that it would conclude an ongoing investigation into alleged breaches by CGTN of impartiality, fairness and privacy requirements “shortly”.

On Thursday,the UK’s broadcast regulator revoked the licence of Chinese news network CGTN after finding its state-backed ownership structure flouted British law, and warned of punishment ahead after it aired an alleged forced confession.

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Business

A New Britain Outside Europe’s Customs Union

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2021 is an unforgettable year for Britain after successfully walking out of Europe’s Customs Union and single market bringing an end to almost fifty years of corrosive relationship with her neighbours.

“We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson as his country ushered in the New Year.

This entire move means EU rules have become invalid and the free movement of more than 500 million people between Britain and the 27 EU states has suddenly ended.

The EU has lost 66 million people and an economy worth $2.85 trillion, but Brexit, with its appeal to nationalist populism, also triggered fears other disgruntled members could follow suit.

As well as ensuring tariff- and quota-free access to the EU’s 450 million consumers, Britain has recently signed trade deals with countries including Japan, Canada, Singapore and Turkey.

It is also eyeing another with India, where Johnson plans to make his first major trip as prime minister next month, and with incoming US president Joe Biden’s administration.

However, Fear of disruption at the ports has stoked concerns about food and medicine shortages, as well as delays to holidaymakers and business travellers used to seamless travel in the EU.

The British government said some border controls will not be implemented for months as part of Britain’s staged plan, and it was not expecting much disruption around the ports until next week, with traffic light due to the holiday period.

However, it also warned that around 50 percent of small and medium exporters might not yet be ready for the new trading arrangements.

British fishermen are disgruntled at a compromise to allow continued access for EU boats in British waters.

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Europe

Pope’s Reforms Take Effect To Fix Corruption In Roman Catholic Church

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Pope Francis on Saturday approved the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), which will henceforth be called the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority [ Autorità di Supervisione e Informazione Finanziaria (ASIF)].

He issued a “chirograph” to approve the new Statute that comes into effect immediately on Saturday, December 5. A chirograph is a form of a papal document with legal force circulated among the Roman Curia.

“In the overall reform desired by Pope Francis for the Holy See and the Vatican City State, aimed at greater transparency and the strengthening of controls in the economic-financial field, the Holy Father has approved the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority, which, from today’s date, will be called the “Supervisory and Financial Information Authority” (ASIF),” said the Holy See Press Office in a release on Saturday.

The change of name had been hinted at earlier in July when FIA published its annual report.

Following the Pope’s approval of the ASIF Statute, FIA President Carmelo Barbagallo, who now becomes ASIF’s president, explained some of its important features.

As part of the Pope’s overall reform of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, he said, it is regarding “transparency and strengthening of controls in the economic-financial field”.

In this context, the most important changes are regarding the governance and organizational structure of the Authority.

Supervisory role

The word “supervisory” that has been integrated, Barbagallo said, is “not just a name change” but allows the Authority “to be aligned with the tasks actually assigned to it”.

He pointed out that since 2013, in addition to its original task of intelligence to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, the Authority has also been exercising “prudential” regulatory and supervisory functions on institutions providing financial services on a de facto professional basis, such as to IOR (Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank).

“This is the reason behind the addition of the term ‘supervisory’, which of course, is to be understood in the financial field,” he said.

Distribution of Roles

The Press Office said that the “main changes include a renewed distribution of roles between the Chairman and the Management – of a strategic nature for the former, aimed at effectiveness and operational efficiency for the latter – and the establishment of a new unit, dedicated to ‘Regulation and Legal Affairs’”.

Commenting on this, Barbagallo said that while confirming the governing Council’s role, the new Statute also underscores the President’s proactive role in the development of the Authority’s strategy, reinforcing his responsibility regarding supervision.

“At the same time, the role of the management, namely the Director and the Deputy Director, has been consolidated in order to ensure the effectiveness and operational efficiency of the Authority.”

Barbagallo also spoke about changes in the internal organization of the Authority.  “In line with international best practice,” he said, “the Regulatory and Legal Affairs Office has been set up to deal with all legal issues, including regulation.”

Thus, “the tasks of setting the rules have been separated from those of exercising control”.  This divides the Authority’s activities into three units: “Supervision”, “Regulation and Legal Affairs” and “Financial Information”.

 

Source:  Vatican

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