World Leprosy Day: tackling exclusion

The “Fondation Follereau Luxembourg” has been campaigning for people with leprosy for 50 years. In recent years, however, the organization has expanded its scope of activity significantly. However, action against the social exclusion of those affected remains central.

The “Fondation Follereau Luxembourg” has been campaigning for people with leprosy for 50 years. In recent years, however, the organization has expanded its scope of activity significantly. However, action against the social exclusion of those affected remains central.

(bl) – The “Fondation Follereau Luxembourg” (FFL) was founded in 1966. It was triggered by a meeting between the then President of the organization, Jos Hilger, and the publicist Raoul Follereau. In the 1930s and 1940s, Follereau traveled the world to share his findings on leprosy and the social exclusion associated with it. He also came to Luxembourg with his request, where he met Hilger.

Inspired by Follereau’s message, Jos Hilger finally founded the organization together with a few friends in order to raise public awareness of the disease in this country too …

US election campaign: This is how the primaries work in the US

Why are Republicans and Democrats holding primaries for the US presidential election?

VElections within the respective parties are not anchored in the American constitution, but they have developed over the years. Until 1820, for example, the congressmen each appointed a representative of their party who was to run as a candidate in the presidential election. Later it was party delegates at the district or state level who voted for a particular candidate.

Not until 1910 was the first experiment with primary codes in Oregon, which was then slowly expanded to other states. The aim was to reduce the influence of party bosses and backroom deals, to test the popularity of candidates and to give the internal party selection process greater democratic legitimacy. It was only after a chaotic Democratic party conference in 1968, at which Hubert Humphrey was nominated even though he had not won a primary, that primary elections became binding for the delegates who represented their respective states at the national nomination party conferences.

What is the difference between caucus and primary?

The individual US states decide for themselves how the voters decide on the candidates for the presidential election. Most states do this by primary – a secret ballot. A few states have chosen the caucus system.

In Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming and Iowa, party meetings take place at the district level – with a show of hands or by dividing the participants into different groups depending on the candidate.

Only those who are registered voters of the respective party can participate in a caucus. There are different systems for the primaries. In some states only registered voters can vote, others are open to all citizens of a state. A caucus is organized and paid for by the relevant party, while primaries are held by the state.

How are the votes of the states weighted?

The number of voting delegates that each state can send to the national nomination party congress is usually dependent on its population. For the Democrats, the delegate votes are distributed proportionally according to the election result. However, the states are allowed to set up a hurdle of up to 15 percent, above which votes are only credited to a candidate.

For Republicans, this hurdle can be up to 20 percent. However, there are still some cases where the leading candidate receives all delegate votes. However, many states have a mixed form: the votes are largely given according to proportionality, but there are mechanisms that give the winner bonus votes.

What about the super delegates?

Superdelegates are participants at the nomination congresses who are entitled to vote who were not sent via the pre-election system and who are therefore not bound in their voting. The Democrats are former and active party leaders, including former presidents, vice-presidents, party leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as active governors, congressmen or elected representatives of the party.

These delegates can tip the scales in the event of a stalemate or a tight election result, after all, the Democrats make up around a sixth of the delegates. With the Republicans, the “undetermined delegates” play a less important role and only make up about a tenth of the electorate at the nomination convention.

As a rule, each state sends three high party officials as super delegates. In view of the volatile situation among the Republicans, this time the undefined delegates could play an important role at the nomination party conference.

When are the primaries decided?

This year, the primaries begin on February 1 with the caucus in Iowa and end with the Democratic vote on June 14 in DC. Republicans end the primaries on June 7 with primaries in five states, including weighty California.

Traditionally, the votes in the first three states, i.e. Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, play an important role because they can trigger an unexpected dynamic – for example, Barack Obama’s 2008 Iowa victory against Hillary Clinton was very important to him in in the eyes of donors and supporters as a possible alternative. The most important milestone after that is Super Tuesday on March 1st, when 15 states will vote. Convincing victories on Super Tuesday often resulted in candidates being nominated.

This year, however, it is quite possible that the race, especially with the Republicans, will remain open until the end and may not be decided until the nomination party conference (July 18-21). The Democratic nomination convention will take place shortly thereafter, July 25-28.

Not everyone is happy with the system. What is being criticized?

Iowa (February 1) and New Hampshire (February 9) have special roles in the election calendar as early pre-election states. The per capita allocation quota that the citizens of both states experience through the politicians is many times higher than in later area code states. Criticism is mainly inflamed by the fact that Iowa in particular is not representative of the rest of the USA. It is mostly rural, the population is mostly white and more affluent than other regions. Iowa happened to be the first state on the Democratic election calendar in the 1972 primary. In the meantime, this prelude has become a tradition in both parties that the state tenaciously defends.

In Iowa, the state constitution even wrote that the area code should be held at least eight days before the other states. This poses a significant problem for candidates with limited financial means. Should they invest a lot of money in the fight for Iowa, even though only about one percent of the delegate votes are given there? Or should they plan for the long term and thus run the risk that their campaign will quickly lose momentum after poor results in the early states?

What role do money and the super PACs play in the primaries?

The socialist Bernie Sanders contests his election campaign for the Democratic nomination mainly with the accusation that America’s politics were bought with big money. His campaign is the best proof that large donors do not make elections. He’s neck and neck with Hillary Clinton ahead of the primaries, despite the fact that he’s raised far fewer funds. The Republican Jeb Bush raised by far the most money. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is far behind in the polls.

However, it is clear that candidates need more and more money to campaign successfully. US campaign funding laws are a patchwork of regulation and deregulation. Individuals are limited to a maximum of $ 2,700 to donate to a campaign. At the same time, according to a constitutional court ruling from 2010 (“Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission”), non-profit organizations, companies, trade unions or associations can spend as much money on election campaigns as they want – although donations may not go directly to the candidates.

Since this ruling, independent action committees, the so-called Super-PACs, have grown in importance. They are allowed to advertise a candidate, but are not allowed to work directly with the campaign team. According to another ruling, Super-PACs are now also allowed to accept unrestricted donations from individuals. For some candidates, this leads to increasing dependency on some major donors. And because of that, more and more Americans feel that politics can be bought.

In which states do you vote and when?

February 1: Iowa (first area code)

9. Februar: New Hampshire

February 20: Nevada (Democrats); South Carolina (Republican)

February 23: Nevada (Republicans)

February 27: South Carolina (Democrats)

1. März (Super Tuesday): Alabama, Alaska (Republikaner), American Samoa; Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

March 5: Kansas, Kentucky (Republicans), Louisiana, Maine (Republicans), Nebraska (Democrats)

March 6: Maine (Democrats), Puerto Rico (Republicans)

March 8: Hawaii (Republicans), Idaho (Republicans), Michigan, Mississippi

March 12: DC (Republicans), Northern Marianas Islands (Democrats)

15. März: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Northern Marianas Islands (Republikaner), North Carolina, Ohio

March 19: Virgin Islands (Republicans)

March 22: Arizona, Idaho (Democrats), Utah

March 26: Alaska (Democrats), Hawaii (Democrats), Washington (Democrats)

5. April: Wisconsin

9. April: Wyoming

19. April: New York

26. April: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

May 3: Indiana

7. Mai: Guam

10. Mai: Nebraska (Republikaner), West Virginia

17. Mai: Kentucky (Demokraten), Oregon

24. Mai: Washington (Republikaner)

June 4: Virgin Islands (Democrats)

June 5: Puerto Rico (Democrats)

7. Juni: Kalifornien, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexiko North Dakota, South Dakota

June 14th: DC (Demokrats)

July 18 to July 21: Republican Nomination Convention

July 25th to July 28th: ​​Democrats Nomination Congress


Manchester United signs a partnership with the outdoor brand Columbia

At the end of last week, the outdoor brand Columbia announced the signing of a partnership with Manchester United on the occasion of ISPO 2016 in Munich.

As part of this agreement, the American brand will launch a range of products in the Club’s colors for outdoor and mountain activities such as hiking and climbing as well as water and winter sports. We are delighted with this opportunity to associate one of the most prestigious names in sport with the world leader in the outdoor industry. Commented Joe Boyle, Senior Vice President Columbia Merchandising and Design.

While the Mancunian club has signed a record equipment supplier partnership of 96.4 million euros per year over 10 years with adidas, it is surprising to see that the mega deal does not include all the sports equipment sectors. A “detail” which therefore enhances the adidas – Man United contract a little more, which covers a number of categories lower than one might think.

For the club, the deal with Columbia therefore means additional cash flow and new support to expose its brand to new consumers. ” Available in over 100 countries, Columbia has an international reach akin to that of the Club. We are eager to start working together to make available to our fans, via this line of products marked with the colors of the Club, a new way of expressing their attachment to the Club, via a line of outdoor products. ” Richard Arnold, Managing Director of Manchester United, commented in the statement. An interesting partnership also for the Premier League club in terms of image since Columbia is the world leader in its market with technical products whose quality is well established.

The first Columbia / Manchester United co-branded collection will be available for sale in Fall 2016.

columbia doudoune manchester United columbia manteau manchester United columbia outdoor manchester united Columbia manchester united hooded puffer jacket

Manchester United and Columbia Sportswear formalize their partnership – Sports Marketing

Last Friday, Columbia Sportswear has become Manchester United’s first official outdoor clothing partner.

This agreement will include the creation of a range of clothing in club colors, for some outdoor adventures such as hiking, climbing, mountaineering and even winter and water sports.

Richard Arnold, Managing Director of Manchester United said on the subject: “Manchester United is proud to sign a partnership with Columbia Sportswear to bring our fans a new range of co-branded products […] Present in more than 100 countries, Columbia has an international reach similar to that of the club. We are impatient to start working together to make available to our fans, through this line of products marked with club colors, a new way of expressing their attachment to the Club, via a line of outdoor products. “

An interesting partnership also for the Manchester United club in terms of image since Columbia is the world leader in its market with very technical products.

Joe Boyle, Senior Vice President of Columbia Merchandising and Design also said: ” We are delighted with this opportunity to associate one of the most prestigious names in sport with the world leader in the outdoor industry.. “

In July 2014, Manchester United had taken the lead in the classification of equipment suppliers for football clubs following their contract with Adidas. After his caps New Era, this collaboration with Columbia will allow the club to launch a new line of derivative products in order to complete its range. The collection Columbia – Manchester United will be available for sale in Fall 2016.

Coat-Accord-Columbia-Manchester-UnitedDown jacket-Accord-Columbia-Manchester-United

Manchester United signs partnership with Columbia Sportswear

The management of Manchester United formalized at the end of last week the signing of a partnership with the American company Columbia. This new agreement should give birth to a new line of clothing in the colors of the Mancunian club. Explanations …

Despite a financial commitment to the tune of £ 75m per financial year, the German supplier Adidas does not seem to have the exclusivity of the textile partnerships concluded by the formation of the Red Devils. Indeed, the management of Mancun made official at the end of last week the signing of a partnership with the American company Columbia Sportswear.

This new collaboration will give birth to a new collection of clothing in the colors of Manchester United which will be available from autumn 2016. The duration of the partnership and the amount of the contract were not mentioned in the press release. However, through this signing, Manchester United will expand its range of derivatives.

“Manchester United is proud to sign a partnership with Columbia Sportswear to bring our fans a new line of co-branded products […] Like Manchester United, Columbia has a long tradition of creating innovative products. Distributing its products in more than 100 countries, Columbia has a significant international reach which coincides with the ambitions of Manchester United ”said Richard Arnold, Managing Director of Manchester United.

With a turnover of over $ 1 billion, Columbia is banking on this new sporting experience to increase its activities while undertaking marketing repositioning work. The Oregon-based firm had already initiated a large-scale sports sponsorship experiment in the late 2000s by collaborating with the US cycling team HTC.

For Manchester United, this collaboration will allow the club to launch a new line of derivative products to complete its range. This association should help the Mancunian club to increase its merchandising revenues even if the economic model of the partnership has not been specified. In less than a week, the management of Manchester United has therefore formalized two co-branding agreements because it announced a few days ago the release of a range of golf articles in the colors of the club in collaboration with the subsidiary from Adidas, TaylorMade.

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Featured photo source: © Columbia Sportswear

Michigan: 100,000 people poisoned by lead – Panorama

Of the 80,000 employees who once worked at the General Motors car factory, only a few thousand remain; the city’s population has halved since the sixties. People know what it feels like to be abandoned in the industrial town of Flint, Michigan. But who could have expected to be poisoned?

For a year and a half, the residents used leaded water, washed it, boiled it and drank it. They had suspected that the Flint River, misused as a flowing garbage dump, could not provide clean water. They saw the smelly broth coming from the tap, but when they inquired they were told lies. The American media calls it a “water crisis”, but it is a catastrophe. For the 100,000 residents of Flint, but also for their trust in all institutions.

How could this happen? Let’s start at the beginning. In the spring of 2011, Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that expanded the skills of emergency finance administrators. Until then, these officials could be used to control the finances of over-indebted cities and communities; under the new regulation they were given extensive control over city politics. Flint also got such an emergency administrator in 2011.

The mayor solemnly raises a glass of river water

The position is controversial because it can determine over the heads of the elected representatives. Black civil rights activists also believe that communities in Michigan that are predominantly African-American are placed under supervision. Like in Flint.

In April 2014, the manager, who changed several times over the years, made a momentous decision: In order to save money, the highly indebted Flint should no longer get its water from Detroit, but from the regional Lake Huron. That should save millions, but there is still no pipeline there. Therefore, the city will temporarily receive water from the Flint River. On April 25, then Mayor Dayne Walling pushes a button and solemnly raises a glass with the new river water.

After just a few days, the first residents complain of a rash, nausea and exhaustion. You ask questions but get no answers from the administration. “Nobody cared, they weighed down,” councilor Wantwaz Davis told the Fusion portal. In the summer, Michigan’s environmental authority issued the instruction to only consume the water boiled – E-Coli bacteria were found. “My family and I drink the water and use it every day,” says the mayor, trying to calm the angry residents down. In the fall, General Motors stops using the water in its engine factory because it causes rust damage. The automaker then has the water delivered by truck.

The residents of Flint cannot afford this luxury, as the city’s water prices are among the highest in the country. At the beginning of 2015, it was suspected that the water contained lead. Michigan’s environmental agency weighs in. The Emergency Administrator refuses to return Detroit to water – no money. Instead, Flint sets up a commission that releases funds for improving water quality.


My student life in Nashville: Thomas, in second year at EM Normandie

Direction Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where Thomas, a second year student at the Normandy School of Management, has just returned to school. On the program: business lessons and… lots of concerts!

It’s been a few days since Thomas, 19, dropped his bags in Nashville, Tennessee, the birthplace of country music. A second year student at EM Normandie, the young man has a goal for this semester in the United States: improve your level in English.

“When choosing the destination, I had also selected Monterey, California, and Bellingham, Washington State, near Seattle. I wouldn’t have thought of going sightseeing in those cities. but at least, I was sure not to find ten students from my school“, he sums up.

He finally got a place at Belmont University, which has only three other French people this year. “It added a bit of stress to my departure, but it’s great for immersing yourself in American culture!”

Belmont University, a city within a city

Upon disembarking, Thomas was very impressed with the size of the facilities. “Everything is huge compared to EM Normandie: the lawn, the fountain, the buildings, the sports complexes … “Located a quarter of an hour by car from downtown Nashville, the university, surrounded by shops, is a town in the city.

As for accommodation, registration at the university guarantees a room on campus for the semester sum of € 2,330. “I’m in a shared apartment with a student from Chicago, it forces me to speak English. “Each floor of the residence has a common room where students can meet.” We create our little band. “

Thomas also subscribed to “meal plan”, which provides for two meals a day and points that can be used in campus businesses. Cost: 2,058 €. “The dining hall has several stands: burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, mixed salads … And an unlimited soda dispenser. Americans don’t have the same food philosophy as we do, but I try to have vegetables with every meal! “

From the first week of class, Thomas was surprised by the relaxed attitude of the teachers. “They go very easily on the personal ground and you do not feel the hierarchy. They are there to transmit the knowledge to us, not to place themselves above us.”

The workload also confused the student. “Before the first international business course, I had to read a 30-page chapter that the teacher then relied on to provide details. It’s quite disturbing when you are not used to it. This is also why we practice exchanges, it is a way of discovering other ways of learning. “

Selecting third-year courses, the second-year student feared that he would struggle to keep up, but he was quickly reassured of his level. “We had a first quiz and less than a third of the students were able to indicate on which continent Malaysia is located”, he is surprised.

Music around every corner

In Nashville, music is everywhere. Thomas, who has been playing the guitar for almost ten years, has discovered a little paradise. “You can listen to music on the campus lawn, in the street, in all the bars.” But since he’s under 21, he became a minor again under American law and can not take advantage of it. The solution: go out to bars-restaurants authorized for minors.

Finally, the EM Normandie student is delighted with the welcome from the Americans. A frank sympathy that owes a lot to the fact that Tennessee is a southern state, according to him. “The students are kind and very curious.We meet them once and they want to take our phone number and be our friend on Facebook. “Something to reassure him for the next five months!

Before leaving…
Don’t waste time on the visa. The procedure for obtaining the J1 visa as part of an exchange program takes one to two months. You must have the DS-2019 form attesting to your registration in an American establishment and register it on the SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), before going to the United States consulate. Cost: 152 €.

Don’t take language tests lightly. Whether you are going on an exchange or a double degree, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are required to study at an American university. Belmont University requires a minimum score of 6.5 out of 9 on the IELTS, which puts it slightly above average.

On the spot…
The university automatically offers students accommodation on campus. The monthly rent reaches 900 € in a double room with two meals a day. Although expensive, the formula is interesting because the campus is located outside the city.

– Bus: it is free for university students, but many organize their trips with the Uber app. Convenient and inexpensive for several (less than 6 € to get to the city center).
– Round trip flight: between € 500 and € 1,000, depending on the period. Mandatory stopover in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago or Charlottesville. Or a journey that lasts from twelve to fifteen hours. And don’t forget to take into account the seven hour time difference with France.

Winegrowers have started harvesting ice wine

For the Luxembourg winemakers, thanks to the frosty temperatures, it could finally work out with the ice wine. Now all that matters is the Oechsle grades.



From our online archive

Thanks to the frosty temperatures, it could finally work for the Luxembourg winemakers with the ice wine. Now all that matters is the Oechsle grades.

(vb) – After unfavorable weather conditions prevailed in December, it could finally work for the Luxembourg winemakers with the ice wine. Thanks to the frosty temperatures, the noble ripe grapes were picked on Monday.

In December, the state viticulture institute had already seen black for the ice wine vintage – the weather was simply too mild. Because in order for grapes to be processed into ice wine at all, they have to freeze for one night at at least minus seven degrees Celsius.

Only when this condition is met can the frozen berries be harvested by hand, delivered to the cellar and processed into ice wine. As it became known at the New Year’s reception of the Institut viti-vinicole in Remich, three winegrowers read the ice wine on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday morning the temperature was -8 degrees. The last vineyard should be harvested on Wednesday.

The must from the cold is sweet: First measurements showed 178 degrees Oechsle. For a wine to be classified as ice wine, the must must have at least 130 degrees Oechsle.

Read more about this

Austerity Poisons Water in Michigan City

Volunteers distribute bottles of mineral water outside a church in Flint, Michigan, January 11, 2016. CONOR RALPH / AP

The city of Flint, Michigan, an hour’s drive north of Detroit, has been best known until now as a symbol of the auto crisis. Its factory closings, its unemployment rate almost twice the national average, its 41% of the population living below the poverty line. But, for several months, this agglomeration of 100,000 inhabitants has been struggling with another scourge: lead. Contamination of the city’s drinking water, caused by a change in the mode of supply which should allow short-term gains, has forced the President of the United States to declare an emergency situation on Saturday January 16. .

Read also Barack Obama declares state of health emergency in Michigan after water contamination

The aid, decided by Barack Obama, will speed up the distribution of water bottles and filters by the National Guard and free up a budgetary envelope, while anger is mounting against local authorities who have turned a blind eye for months.

In 2011, Flint, on the verge of bankruptcy, was placed by the Republican governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, under the supervision of a regulatory authority. Until then, the community purchased drinking water from the city of Detroit. But the controller considers the solution too expensive and decides that from April 2014 Flint will pump water into the local river, before it is treated. Very quickly, the inhabitants complained about the color and the taste of the water. Some suffer from vomiting, hair loss and skin rashes.

Boil the water before consuming it

After discovering a bacteria in tap water, the city is issuing notices recommending that it be boiled before consumption. The solutions adopted by the treatment plant only increase the level of contaminants.

A few months later, in October 2014, General Motors, which has factories in the city, stops using municipal water, deemed too corrosive for the parts of its cars. Should the pipes have been stronger? Attacked, the pipes gradually distill their lead into drinking water.

Then begins an Erin Brockovich scenario, this environmental activist, played on screen by Julia Roberts, who, in the early 1990s, had revealed a case of water pollution in California. Faced with disbelief from Michigan authorities, a Flint mother who worried about her son’s rashes ended up alerting the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Blood tests on children show lead levels twice as high as the norm.

It was not until September 2015 that the evidence of poisoning was recognized by the authorities. Since then, the scandal has continued to escalate. The justice ministry announced an investigation on January 8. Mr. Snyder’s repeated apologies struggle to calm the people. “We are going to make sure that this never happens again in the state of Michigan”, he declared on January 13.

“It’s a poverty crisis”

But the damage is done. To date, authorities have identified 43 people suffering from excessive doses of lead. This metal can damage the nervous system and delay brain development in young children. In parallel, since June 2014, legionellosis was diagnosed in 87 people. Ten of them died.

“Ten people were killed here because of a political decision. They knew “, Michael Moore

Saturday, filmmaker Michael Moore, originally from Flint and a defender of societal and economic dysfunctions in the United States, came to support the inhabitants. ” It is not an error. Ten people were killed here because of a political decision. They knew “, he launched during a demonstration that brought together a few hundred people, accusing the authorities of neglect of a poor city with a large black population.

“They would never have done that at West Bloomfield or Ann Arbor [deux communes aisées de la région]. It’s not just a water crisis. It’s a racial crisis, a poverty crisis. “

Since October 2015, Flint has been getting water from Detroit again, but the lines are still damaged. The cost of the necessary repairs is estimated at 1.5 billion dollars, without it being clear who will pay. And without counting the numerous prosecutions to come.