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piątek 13 kwietnia 2012 17:26:46

List sekretarz Gminy w sprawie trzech radnychList sekretarz Gminy w sprawie trzech radnych

Dwa dni temu zamieściliśmy informację o wątpliwościach Stowarzyszenia "Gmina Bochnia dla wszystkich" odnośnie radnych gminnych, piastujących równocześnie stanowsika w zarządach OSP w miejscowościach, z których zostali wybrani. Zaprezentowaliśmy też pismo Wydziału Nadzoru Prawnego przy Wojewodzie, zaniepokojonego takim stanem rzeczy. Dziś na naszą redakcyjną pocztę wpłynął list pani Lucyny Płaczek, sekretarz Gminy Bochnia.



Bochnia, 13.04.2012 r.

Redakcja portalu „Czas Bocheński”


Na podstawie art. 31 punkt 2 ustawy „Prawo prasowe” proszę o zamieszczenie niniejszej odpowiedzi:
„W związku z sytuacją powstałą na skutek doniesienia Wacława Woźnic-kiego, byłego sołtysa Brzeźnicy i jego stowarzyszenia w sprawie rzekomo bez-prawnego pełnienia funkcji radnych Rady Gminy Bochnia przez członków OSP: Stanisława Cagla, Władysława Skoczka i Piotra Gajka, odpowiadając na treść materiału prasowego zawartego w internetowym portalu „Czas Bocheński” informuję że radni – Panowie Cagiel i Skoczek nie pełnią żadnych funkcji w Za-rządach OSP w Siedlcu i Baczkowie, natomiast radny Gajek jest naczelnikiem OSP w Gierczycach, która nie prowadzi działalności gospodarczej na mieniu komunalnym (...)

/-/ Lucyna Płaczek - Sekretarz Gminy Bochnia”


Informacje pani sekretarz sprawdziliśmy w internecie. Okazuje się, że wszystkie OSP: w Siedlcu, Gierczycach i Baczkowie figurują w Krajowym Rejestrze Sądowym, co wskazuje, że mogą prowadzić działalność gospodraczą.
Władysław Skoczek (dane z lipca 2011) nie jest już naczelnikiem OSP w Baczkowie, mimo, że jeszcze wczoraj figurował jako taki na stronie internetowej swojej jednostki. Dziś można jedynie przeczytać, że był naczelnikiem w kadencji 2001-2005:
http://www.zopzosprpwbochni.masternet.pl/jednostki/jednostki/gmbochnia/OSPBaczkow/ospbaczkowwladze.htm

Natomiast sprawa nie jest jasna co do Stanisława Cagla. Na stronach KRS wystepuje dwóch strażaków o tym nazwisku: Franciszek jako skarbnik i Piotr Stanisław jako gospodarz. Co prawda - informacje na KRS dotyczące Siedlca nie były aktualizowane od 2001 roku.

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Czasbocheński nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za treść komentarzy zamieszczanych przez użytkowników. Osoby zamieszczające wypowiedzi naruszające prawo, naruszajace dobra osób trzecich lub wypowiedzi prawem chronione mogą ponieść z tego tytułu odpowiedzialność karną lub cywilną.

gil

2012-04-13 17:40:49
na stronie internetowej widziałem wczoraj, że prymasem polski jest kardynał józef glemp.
glemp

2012-04-13 18:03:07
gil wisi u nosa
Kamil J.

2012-04-13 20:01:08
To wszystko co się dzieję w gminie to jest jeden wielki przekręt, wójt wybiera sobie pionków radnych, których ma w swoim ręku, każda osoba musi być mu podporządkowana bo grozi to utratą pracy. Jak wyjdzie jakiś przekręt to odrazu go odkręcają i się głupio tłumaczą. Nagle się okazało, że ten nagle już nie jest naczelnikiem i nie prowadzi takiej działalności. Władze gminy powinny się wstydzić za takie zachowanie. Ile osób i z jakimi kwalifikacjami pracuję w urzędzie gminy? Ile osób takich osób pracuję w szkołach? Wstyd!!! Jeden wielki przekręt!!! Coraz więcej osób opuszcza ten kraj bo tylko to nam zastało by godnie żyć.
Zosia

2012-04-13 20:29:49
Pani Sekretarz coś się pomyliło, to nie jest stowarzyszenie Pana Woźnickiego, ale stowarzyszenie kilkunastu osób które postanowiły coś wspólnie zrobić. Zreszta cały liścik jest doskonałą wizytówką właśnie tego, czego członkowie i sympatycy stowarzyszenia maja juz dość. Myslę, że na takim stanowisku odrobina uwielbianej przez wójta "elegancji politycznej" by Pani nie zaszkodziła.
ooo

2012-04-13 21:53:10
a moze to stowarzyszenie zajmie sie sprawa rzekomej niezdolnosci do pracy woznickiego bo gosc co miesiac pobiera rente (w tym z moich podatkow) a przeciez ostro pracuje jako ratlerek polityczny pajaka
do ooo - stara, niegodna śpiewka

2012-04-13 23:37:45
pewnie co niedzielę biegasz do kościólka, błeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
tomek

2012-04-14 00:08:38
a co masz oooo - stara, niegodna śpiewka do koscioła? wyżywasz się że nasz Proboszcz powiedział co wieś myśli?
Krzych

2012-04-14 08:24:09
Lu cynko ....mijasz się z prawdą!!!!!!!Ale robisz to jak zwykle nieporadnie i naiwnie.Żal mi cię ale wiadomo że obowiązuje całkowita subordynacja nagradzana - zawsze możesz tego swojego gniota puszczonego w internet wytłumaczyć niewiedzą bez konsekwencji jakoś to spłynie. Ale zobaczymy czy Zofia wykaże się rozumem czy jak ty bezwiedną subordynacją
do gucio

2012-04-14 10:23:20
Ludwiś a gdzie te twoje ''he he he !!!!!BIEDACZKU do późna w nocy ślęczysz przy kompie a od rana musisz wertować dokumenty OSP - poczytaj sobie lepiej ''Przeminęło z wiatrem''
pani sekretarz

2012-04-14 10:52:40
pani sekretarz pracowała w stadninie koni w Ochabach , ale to ją wcale nie upoważnia do tego , żeby traktować mieszkańców gminy i nie tylko , jak bezrozumne " bydło ' , / przy całym szacunku dla bydła za pełnioną służebną rolę wobec człowieka / , bo nawet bydło ma swój rozum i wie co jest dla niego dobre , a co nie . W Gminie Bochnia to władza najlepiej wie co je dobre a co nie . My wiemy jaka jest prawda .
cenzura Czasu

2012-04-14 11:23:56
A czemu Czas Bocheński nie opublikował całego oświadczenia, tak jak to zrobiła Moja Bochnia? Pamiętacie panowie czasy cenzury? Sami ją widać stosujecie... Moja Bochnia napisała całość. Oto treść oświadczenia: Redakcja portalu „Moja Bochnia i Powiat” Na podstawie art. 31 punkt 2 ustawy „Prawo prasowe” proszę o zamieszczenie niniejszej odpowiedzi: „W związku z sytuacją powstałą na skutek doniesienia Wacława Woźnickiego, byłego sołtysa Brzeźnicy i jego stowarzyszenia w sprawie rzekomo bezprawnego pełnienia funkcji radnych Rady Gminy Bochnia przez członków OSP: Stanisława Cagla, Władysława Skoczka i Piotra Gajka, odpowiadając na treść materiału prasowego zawartego w internetowym portalu „Moja Bochnia i Powiat” informuję że radni – Panowie Cagiel i Skoczek nie pełnią żadnych funkcji w Zarządach OSP w Siedlcu i Baczkowie, natomiast radny Gajek jest naczelnikiem OSP w Gierczycach, która nie prowadzi działalności gospodarczej na mieniu komunalnym. Wskazanym pismem-doniesieniem do Wojewody Małopolskiego, pan Woźnicki i jego polityczni sojusznicy kolejny raz udowodnili, że głównym celem ich działalności jest dezinformowanie społeczeństwa Ziemi Bocheńskiej oraz wprowadzanie w błąd instytucji kontrolujących. /-/ Lucyna Płaczek Sekretarz Gminy Bochnia”
rafał

2012-04-14 13:01:08
ciekawe czy woznicki prezio stowarzyszenia teraz publicznie przeprosi w/w radnych ze "minal sie z prawda"???ma na tyle honoru??? watpie...
do rafała

2012-04-14 13:20:32
a ciekawe czy pani sekretarz przeprosi Pana Woźnickiego za to , że nazywa go donosicielem , a pismo Stowarzyszenia doniesieniem . O ile wiem Stowarzyszenie działa w oparciu o Statut a nie w oparciu o jakieś widzimisię takiego ,czy siakiego prezesa i powstało między innymi po to aby przeciwstawiać się łamaniu prawa w gminie Bochnia .
kolo

2012-04-14 14:07:14
Najlepiej byłoby jakby sami w\w radni złożyli publiczne oświadczenia że nigdy nie byli w zarządach OSP
niezależny

2012-04-14 15:08:35
Tak naprawdę chodzi o to aby w dalszym ciągu obrzucać się błotem, W tych donosach komuś zależy na podziale już tak bardzo skłóconego społeczeństwa- narodu. Opamiętajcie się kreatorzy nowej władzy pseudo demokratycznej !!!
prawnik

2012-04-14 15:10:05
Woźnicki i całe to jego stowarzyszenie zniesławiło pana Cagla. Skoczka i Gajka - bez podstawowego zweryfikowania faktów - zarzuciło im złamanie prawa. Wiem, że np. panowie Skoczek i Cagiel, tak jak pan Bachmiński na początku kadencji zrezygnowali z funkcji w zarządach swoich OSP, a teraz zostali nieprawdziwie oskarżeni. Służę pomocą w napisaniu pozwów cywilnych. Wygranie sprawy jest bardzo prawdopodobne!
jankiler

2012-04-14 20:06:48
Pani Płaczek jak wójt kazał tak napisała. Każdy wie jak wójt i jego pionki nastawione są na osobę Wacława Woźnickiego, który w Brzeźnicy był sołtysem z powołania, który był w stanie przeciwstawić się wójtowi, a nie jak radny nie-poradny czy była pani sołtys być na każde jego zawołanie, ale dzięki temu wnuczka nie mająca pojęcia o administracji pracuję w szkole jako sekretarka, ciekawe czy umie chociaż PIT wypełnić ale mniejsza z tym. Chciałem tylko wszystkim uświadomić, jakie są realia. Wójt i jego ludzie nie mają honoru. Osoby, które staną wójtowi na drodze z góry są poniżane, ośmieszane i niesłusznie odkażane. Mam nadzieję, że kiedyś ta patologia się skończy.
odpowiedź

2012-04-15 06:35:41
Skończyły się argumenty, więc zmieniasz temat. A to jeszcze nie koniec...
igor

2012-04-15 06:53:42
Ludzie, którzy stanęli przy Woźnickim wykazali się odwagą. Nie mieli z tego korzyści. Bronili tylko prawa i własnej godności. Przydupasy są po drugiej stronie, bo mają w tym układzie swoje korytko.
Pigmej

2012-04-15 08:35:01
Płaczek Lucyna=Tatiana Grigorijewna Anodina
julasz

2012-04-15 10:36:24
nie udało się do końca zrobić tej kanalizacji - gmina zalega wykonawcy z zapłatą a nie dużo tylko ciut powyżej 10000000 (dosłownie jeden milion)
jankiler

2012-04-15 12:09:40
Woźnicki jest poprostu mądrzejszy iż Lysy i reszta szarańczy, który go osaczyli i dał sobie chłop spokój - podziwiam go za odwagę. TO JEST CZŁOWIEK, KTÓRY MA SWOJE ZDANIE A NIE SWOJE INTERESY !!! w tym jest jest ta różnica. I nie wygłupiajcie się ludzie udający się za mieszkańców Brzeźnicy że macie go dość, bo każdy wie ile osób podpisało petycję w obronie Woźnickiego, która rzekomo była sfałszowana jak stwierdził to detektyw Lysy. Każdy wie jakie Lysy ma poparcie w Brzeźnicy. Także nie wypisujcie tu bzdurnych komentarzy, bo się sami ośmieszacie. I po takim komentarzu zaraz ktoś zmieni temat - dotyczący renty Woźnickiego. Taka jest właśnie polityka ludzi Lysego.
do tomek

2012-04-15 13:01:40
A co wieś myśli? czy proboszcz każdego spowiadał w tej sprawie i dostał zezwolenie na wyrażanie opinii od całej wsi? Ksiądz wyraził tylko swoje zdanie. Czasy "Pana, Wójta i Plebana" na szczęście minęły bezpowrotnie choć jak widać Gmina Bochnia jest reliktem w tej dziedzinie. Na szczęście świadomi demokracji ludzie zakładają stowarzyszenia, a ksiądz powinien się modlić aby ich było jak najwięcej. zachowanie pani Płaczek- skandaliczne- zamiast rzeczowej odpowiedzi atak na pana Woźnickiego - na taką niekompetencję i arogancję też należy złożyć skargę do wojewody.
Lui

2012-04-15 16:31:21
W stosunku do sytuacji Pana Gajka rodzi się pytanie, czy rzeczywiście OSP w Gierczycach nie prowadzi działalności komercyjnej? W budynku, w którym mieści się remiza OSP i Wiejski Dom Ludowy wynajmowane są odpłatnie pomieszczenia(np. ostatnio odbyło się przyjęcie chrzcielne) i pytanie jest czy nadzoruje to OSP czy gmina bezpośrednio? OSP W Gierczycach organizuje również rok rocznie festyn ludowy. A i jeszcze jedno. Informacji nie należy sprawdzać tylko w Internecie, czy za jego pomocą.
do lui

2012-04-15 16:36:19
Nie mąć... Sala zarządzana i wynajmowana jest przez Gminne Centrum Kultury Czytelnictwa i Sportu.
Zyczenia z brzeżnicy

2012-04-15 17:20:29
Z okazji setnej rocznicy urodzin cudownego Wodza Kim IR Sena życzymy NASZEMU WSPANIAŁEMU WODZOWI samym wspaniałych rzeczy i by jak Tytanik szczęśliwie dopłynął do celu- zawsze wierni mieszkańcy BRZEŻNICY
Obserwator

2012-04-15 19:31:13
Wydział Prawny Wojewody także będzie sprawdzał jak były przeprowadzone wybory sołtysów w Gminie Bochnia zgodnie ze statutem. Jest podejrzenie, że wybory były przeprowadzone niezgodnie ze statutem.Będą sprawdzane protokoły wyborów, także wybory sołtysa w Pogwizdowie.
Obserwator

2012-04-15 20:34:43
Wydział Prawny i Kontroli Pana Wojewody także będzie sprawdzał, jak Wójt Gminy Bochnia Jerzy Lysy wyzbywał się dróg gminnych we władaniu, co spowodowało odcięcie mieszkańców od świata, at także plan przestrzennego zagospodarowania bez dróg dojazdowych.
j23

2012-04-15 23:01:06
wydz. Prawny sprawdzi Obserwatora !
bravo lysy

2012-04-15 23:05:43
Kolejna próba zatajenia przekrętów w gminie zakończona sukcesem.
do bravo lysy

2012-04-17 14:21:06
spokojnie, nadzieja umiera ostatnia, sprawa dopiero nabiera rozpędu, bo Pani Sekretarz zataiła prawdę o prezesowaniu i radnych, a przecież była na zawodach strażackich w Siedlcu w ubiegłym roku ( tak pisze "moja bochnia") więc musi wiedzieć kto jakie funkcje piastuje.
ogi

2012-04-17 18:19:12
Wiadomo, że urzędnikowi za poświadczenie nieprawdy grozi sankcja karna. Czy warto tak ryzykować ?
dred

2012-04-17 20:15:12
Żałośni jesteście w swoich wywodach... Fakt, że strażak jest delegatem na zjazd albo przedstawicielem do zarządu nie stoi w sprzeczności z zapisami ustawy o funkcji radnego. Żeby ktoś z radnych-strażaków złamał prawo, musiałby być jednocześnie członkiem zarządu danej OSP i jednocześnie ta jednostka OSP musiałaby prowadzić działalność gospodarczą NA MAJĄTKU KOMUNALNYM. A więc np. wynajmować dom strażaka na imprezy, wydzierżawiać komuś itp. Po pierwsze jak czytam i sprawdziłem w Krajowym Rejestrze Sądowym - Władysław Skoczek i Stanisław Cagiel nie pełnią żadnych funkcji w zarządach swoich jednostek OSP (zrezygnowali w okresie 3 miesięcy od dnia wybory na radnych), a Piotr Gajek pełni funkcję naczelnika OSP w Gierczycach, ale tamta jednostka nie prowadzi działalności gospodarczej na majątku komunalnym - bo świetlicą w Gierczycach zawiaduje Gminne Centrum Kultury w Łapczycy (wiem, bo wynajmowałem tą salę na imprezę rodzinną). Woźnicki i jego kolega z Rady Gminy jak widać strzelili kulą w płot!!! A jak widać, jeżeli fakty nie pasują do ich teorii, to próbują nagiąć fakty!
do dreda

2012-04-17 21:13:00
Ustawa o samorządzie gminnym obowiązuje od 1990 roku. Zarówno pan Stanisław Cagiel jak i Władysław Skoczek są radnymi od co najmniej od 2002. Rozumiem, że już wtedy nie byli we władzach swoich OSP, w przeciwnym razie łamali prawo - co w Gminie Bochnia jest normalką
Nikowiec

2012-04-18 14:50:42
Trzeba sprawdzić , czy radni Gminy Bochnia nie przekroczyli prawa włącznie z paniaą przewodnicząca
hik

2012-04-21 08:25:17
Ja 77.255.118.192 sierota po ORMO chciałbym sprawdzić każdego komu nie podoba się Ludowa Władza<br />
powiatowy nikowiec

2012-04-21 14:39:47
trzeba sprawdzic przede wszystkim czy starosta nie przekroczyl uprawnien w sprawie lapanowskiej i dlaczego doplaca 900 tys zl do sali i do inwestora zastepczego???
Mieszkaniec Gminy

2012-04-24 20:11:58
a Kto sprowadził panią Sekretarz do Gminy Bochnia z Dębna?
Mieszkaniec Gminy

2012-04-24 20:22:22
a Kto sprowadził panią Sekretarz do Gminy Bochnia z Dębna?
Pająk chce odwrócić uwagę od Łapanowa?

2012-05-16 10:11:32
Ja też odnoszę wrażenie, że Pająk chce odwrócić uwagę opinii publicznej od afery łapanowskiej . W dziwnych okolicznościach rozwiązano umowę z wykonawcą , któremu wcześniej zapłacono masę pieniędzy. Teraz inwestycja będzie droższa prawie i milion złotych !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A takich strażaków-radnych są setki .
pomówieniem zajmie się prokurator

2012-05-16 10:43:58
woźnicki będzie miał kłopoty z prawem bo strażacy mu nie darują - ciągle donosi na wójta, księdza, radnych. teraz miarka się przebrała !
odebrać rentę "choremu"

2012-05-16 10:48:32
Mają rację . Zauważyłem że gdy trzeba pobierać rentę to ten Woźnicki jest choory, jak trzeba politykować i rozrabiać - jest zdrowy. ZUS powinien to dokładnie sprawdzić bo wszyscy widzą że coś tu nie gra.
do odebrać rentę...

2012-05-29 09:45:27
mądrość nie zawsze idzie w parze ze zdrowiem i urodą, właśnie chorzy z racji nie wykonywania prac fizycznych mają więcej czasu na myslenie, widać jesteś zdrowy jak ryba...
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2013-08-12 16:59:06
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It's an exhibit that speaks to the disappearing farmlands surrounding Hamilton.</p> <p>By day, solar energy charges lights that lie inside a frosted glass barn. Then by night it glows, ethereally.</p> <p>Surrounding the barn are pieces of wood that were scavenged from a farm just south of the Hamilton airport.</p> <p>This one is both cool and creepy.</p> The Hamilton Farmers' Market <p>Nestled inside the Lister Block alongside hordes of other exhibits is a cart bursting with apples from the Hamilton Farmers' Market.</p> <p>The market turns a stunning 175 years old this October — a feat that belies the love for local produce in Hamilton.</p> <p>Stop by and say hi — and get an apple. They're good for you.</p> The Community Centre for Media Arts <p>The Community Centre for Media Arts is brandishing a new mural on the side of its building.</p> <p>The CCMA is just rebranded and reinvigorated itself. They provide a valuable service, providing communications services for non-profits.</p> <p>Check them out Saturday, and get a photo taken with a goofy mustache.</p> Collaborative art <p>The walls started bare Inside the Urban Arts Initiative Friday night — but didn't stay that way.</p> <p>Hordes of blank pieces of paper lined the walls and art crawlers were encouraged to create their own art throughout the night.</p> <p>Pieces evolved as people added to drawings all night.</p> Live jazz at Humble Pie <p>There was music up and down James Street North the entire night. Nestled beside the knickknacks and art in Humble Pie was a smooth jazz trio belting out standards for the amassed crowd.</p> <p>Well worth a listen on Saturday night.</p> Young Rival <p>Hamilton rock trio Young Rival had to deal with some technical problems during their set on the Exclaim/Sonic Unyon stage — but a dead mic didn't deter them from blasting out their guitar driven tunes.</p> <p>And as much as they gave, the crowd gave right back. Check the band out at Youngrival.com.</p> A travelling wishing well <p>Crawlers seemed to love Mitch Robertson's Travelling Wishing Well — a mobile version of North American roadside motel wishing wells from the 1930s-1960s.</p> <p>“It's like an artistic drive for donations,” exclaimed one onlooker.</p> <p>He wasn't wrong — the bottom of the well was filled with coins.</p> The Lines <p>Not far from the well was another clever piece — Mark Prier's The Lines.</p> <p>It's a sculpture made from over 100 interlocking hemlock and spruce timbers that spiral outwards onto the street.</p> <p>“I have no idea what this is,” exclaimed one onlooker. “But I love it.”</p> Swinging in the street <p>The over by Mulberry Street Coffee House they were dancing in the streets to the swing stylings of the Highnote Ramblers.</p> <p>Couples and kids spun their way through classics and danced under the September night sky.</p> <p>So are you warmed up, Hamilton? Friday was just a precursor to Saturday, when 75,000 people or so are expected to stream onto James Street.</p> <p>Head over to Facebook and have a look at our Supercrawl night one gallery here.</p> <p>For more information, visit Supercrawl.ca.</p><p>Olympic champion Denise Lewis, fashion designers Sir Paul Smith and Dame Vivienne Westwood and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson have been drafted in as ambassadors to bolster Britain's image abroad.</p><p>They top a string of senior figures in sport, fashion, film and music who have been brought on board to support the government's GREAT campaign which aims to give a £1 billion boost to business.</p><p>The initiative will be launched across 17 key cities, including LA, Tokyo, Beijing and Sydney, with events including a show in Rio during which images of Britain will be beamed onto Sugarloaf Mountain.</p><p>Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "2012 - with the Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee - will be one of the most exciting and momentous years in this country's magnificent history.</p><p>"We must not waste the once in a lifetime opportunity we have been given to showcase to the world all that is great about Britain.<br>"The GREAT campaign is rousing and inspirational. It will take our message right around the world - Britain is the place to visit, study and invest in right now."</p><p>The government aims to deliver 4.6 million visitors to Britain over the next four years, generating tourist spending of £2.3 billion and creating almost 60,000 new job opportunities.</p><p>Its GREAT campaign focuses on areas of "UK excellence" including heritage, culture, the countryside, sport, shopping, music, entrepreneurship and technology.</p><p>London City Airport, and airports within the BAA Group, will be the first to use the campaign to welcome visitors to Britain this year.</p><p>A number of UK companies and organisations - including Burberry, Mulberry, Universal Music, McLaren, the Premier League, the London Stock Exchange and Land Rover Jaguar - have been announced as supporters.</p><p>They are joined by others such as British Airways, Virgin, Space NK, Coutts, BAFTA, BT and the National Grid, along with Facebook UK, Google UK, James Bond film-makers EON Productions and Sony Pictures.</p><p>The countries targeted are: Brazil, China (including Hong Kong), USA, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, India, Canada.</p><p>The key cities are: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, New Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne.</p> <br><p>Don't these pictures make you yearn for sunny summer days? Mulberry pays homage to the Great British Seaside in its candy-coloured Spring/Summer 2012 ...</p><p>MANARA, Afghanistan &mdash; Corpses lay stinking in the shade of mulberry trees and in the ruins of a collapsed storehouse. Villagers rushed home to see if their livestock had died in the heat. Afghan soldiers placed red signs warning of bombs planted alongside the road.</p><p>With the battle in Arghandab valley apparently over, grim signs remained Friday of the fight government and NATO troops waged against Taliban militants who had crept within range of Afghanistan's second-largest city.</p><p>The grinding violence that has plagued the country for much of the past three decades persisted elsewhere Friday, with suicide attacks and a roadside bomb killing five civilians and two members of the U.S.-led coalition.</p><p>The advance of up to 400 militants on Arghandab early this week raised particular alarm, because it is considered a potential springboard for attacks on Kandahar, the Taliban's capital until U.S. bombs drove the Islamic militia from power in late 2001.</p><p>Hundreds of government and NATO troops launched their counter-strike Wednesday, and two days later the provincial governor escorted reporters through army checkpoints on the 10-mile route from Kandahar to witness the aftermath.</p><p>In the village of Manara, an Associated Press reporter counted 19 bodies, some of them missing limbs. Some were piled in a mud-brick storehouse, which was missing its roof. Others lay prone in an alleyway beside a tree-shaded stream.</p><p>Afghan and French soldiers pointed to a 3-foot-deep crater in a nearby field and to broken and scorched trees as evidence of an airstrike. There was no sign of a gunbattle, though residents of other villages reported hearing heavy fire.</p><p>NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Carlos Branco said the fighting was over by early Thursday. He said there had been only small ground skirmishes, though an alliance helicopter had returned fire against gunmen in one incident and warplanes carried out "very limited" airstrikes.</p><p>The Afghan Defense Ministry said 56 militants were killed in all. Two Afghan troops also died. However, Gov. Asadullah Khalid said Friday that militants were killed in about 10 locations, and that the death toll was over 100.</p><p>He said villagers reported some militants spoke the Pashto dialect of tribes from across the border in Pakistan, who are suspected of harboring Afghan insurgents as well as al-Qaida leaders and sending volunteers of their own.</p><p>"We want to tell the Taliban, especially the Pakistani Taliban, that if they come again they will get the same treatment," Khalid said.</p><p>NATO sent 600 reinforcements to back government troops confronting the militants, who Afghan officials said numbered some 400 and had seized 10 villages.</p><p>The alliance has played down the threat to Kandahar amid concern that the Afghan public, already dismayed over a mass Taliban jailbreak in Kandahar last week, would further lose faith in the central government. Western nations have also urged President Hamid Karzai's administration to get tougher on the corruption and drug trafficking undermining effort to stabilize the country.</p><p>Branco said the lone reported civilian casualty and the deployment of 1,100 Afghan troops within 24 hours were "very important" positives from the operation. "We understand people were frightened after the jailbreak," he said. The big NATO deployment was to "make sure everything would go right."</p><p>On Thursday, NATO declared Arghandab safe enough for some 700 families who had fled the fighting to return.</p><p>Din Mohammed, a farmer returning to Manara with 12 relatives, said Taliban fighters had been bent on combat.</p><p>"They said they wanted to fight the Afghan and foreign forces. I asked them what should I do, but they said they didn't care, so I left everything, my land, my possessions, my animals," he said.</p><p>"Last night I heard on the radio that the Taliban were either dead or gone, so we came home," he said.</p><p>Several other vehicles laden with people and possessions headed into the district, though the governor urged villagers to wait a few more days until troops had finished searching the area for militants and bombs.</p><p>In Manara, red warnings signs marked the location of two roadside bombs. At one site, red wires protruded from a green container buried near a bridge, and troops told Khalid not to proceed farther.</p><p>Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the chief of operations for the Afghan Defense Ministry, said the search operation had turned up weapons caches and resulted in a "small number" of arrests.</p><p>"We offered to send fresh supplies, but the commanders said there was no need," Karimi said. "That means there is not much problem."</p><p>___</p><p>Associated Press writers Stephen Graham and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.</p> <br><p>Watch me tour the city's premier vintage archives: the hush-hush resources for celebrity stylists, fashion insiders and top designers, and the most eccentric, amusing dress-up chests imaginable. I also share some vintage shopping tips.</p><p></p><p>She certainly has a type - Alexa Chung has reportedly found love with yet another rocker in the form of The Strokes star Albert Hammond, Jr.</p><p>The TV presenter split from Arctic Monkeys vocalist Alex Turner last year, and she is now said to be dating new man Albert after the pair were spotted together at a fashion event in New York on Friday night.</p><p>They enjoyed one another's company as they attended a private dinner party for fashion house Mulberry at the Crown venue in Manhattan.</p><p></p><p>The couple allegedly refused to pose for pictures together as they arrived, in a possible bid to hide their budding romance from onlookers.</p><p>A source told the New York Post's Page Six:</p><p>Alexa announced the end of her four-year relationship with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex last July and the pair hoped to remain close at the time.</p><p>A source told The Mirror: </p><p>> CELEB PICS OF THE DAY<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>www.mydaily.co.uk:</p><p>Alexa Chung has gone from Saturday morning TV star to savvy style icon. She is often spotted on the front row at the likes of Chanel and Christopher Kane and with a Mulberry bag named after her, it's safe to say she's in the know when it comes to fashion. Take a look at some of her best looks so far.</p><p></p> <br><p>Last week, I was having a conversation with my friend about some decisions she needed to make regarding leaving her job to go back to school full-time. Of course, the questions/thoughts ran the entire gamut:</p><p>"Why does God want me to do this?"<br>"Why does it take another degree to do xyz?"<br>"I have to know why things are working the way they are."<br>"I know I probably shouldn't be questioning God by asking why but I want and need to know!"</p><p>I listened intently to her series of questions and the holy spirit brought something up.</p><p>"The problem with a lot of believers is that they always have to know why. They need to know every intricate detail before they can move forward with what I've told them to do. Instead of focusing on the why, focus on the how."</p><p>Whoa.</p><p>My friend and I, as we always do, got to squealing and hollering about such good revelation -- but it wasn't over yet.</p><p>"Focusing on the why reveals a trust issue. If you truly trust God, why question the details? You say you're in faith but you prove each and every time you're not if you have to spend countless days wondering why something is the way it is."</p><p>Say word! We stay playing "20 Questions" with God.</p><p>I was reminded of the story of David and his battle against the Philistines in 2 Samuel 5. David was the newly appointed king of Israel and hadn't been in his seat for very long before he was faced with an uphill battle against those who hated him. He captured Jerusalem (verses 6-9) and by verse 17, was up against a HUGE army of Philistines.</p><p>When David learned that the Philistines had covered the valley of Rephraim, he went to God and asked:</p><p>"Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"</p><p>The Lord replied to David, "Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you." (verse 19, Amplified version)</p><p>Notice, David wasn't all like, "Lord, I just got here -- why these folks hatin' on me? Why I got to do all this? Why? Why? Why?</p><p>He simply wanted to know HOW this thing will happen. He sought God about how things would go -- would he be successful? God told him "Yes." That was all David needed to move forward.</p><p>But check this: in verse 22, David was faced with the SAME problem -- those big head Philistines were back (after getting their first crew's tail whooped) to try to take David down.</p><p>David inquired of God of what to do (the HOW) and God said:</p><p>"You shall not go up, but go around behind them and come upon them over opposite the mulberry (or balsam) trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then bestir (or move around) yourselves, for then has the Lord gone out before you to smite the army of the Philistines.</p><p>And David did as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba to Gezer." (verses 24-25 Amplified version)</p><p>God gave David instructions on HOW to defeat the Philistines again (and notice, it wasn't the same instructions as the first time -- this is why we have to seek God daily on what to do and how to handle things. What worked in the past may not work this time around.) The second time, all David and his crew had to do was hide behind the trees and move around like there was tons of folks behind the trees hiding. Made no sense (the why), but David's obedience to the how is what made him victorious.</p><p>What my friend (and even I) learned in our conversation is that the only thing we have to focus on is the HOW. She believed God was moving her into preparing for a new season in her life where education would be the focus -- instead of asking why, she's decided to ask God how: what do I need to do? How do I need to prepare? How should I best position myself for what's coming next?</p><p>And don't you know God will answer? Just as He did for David! He will give specific instructions on what to do, how to do it, and when to do it!</p><p>Let's shift the focus of our questions. No longer should we ask why, but how. God's promises are true and will come to us -- we just have to know how to get them to manifest.</p> <br><p>Follow Alisha L. Gordon, M.Ed. on Twitter:</p><p>More often than not, our cultural heroes are barely of drinking age when they make their mark: Orson Welles was 25 when he created his masterpiece, "," and Mozart composed his groundbreaking at the ripe old age of 21. Both live on as emblems of the magic of innate genius rather than the slog (which, let's be honest, no one likes to think about).</p><p>But to define genius as the province of the young is simply inaccurate. To prove it, we've put together a slideshow of 15 artists, writers, actors, opera singers and musicians who found success later in their careers. While they may not have been prodigies, by definition, these cultural figures reached the top echelons of their careers without the jumpstart. Malcolm Gladwell .</p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>If you keep your head down while walking down Mulberry Street in the boutique-laden depths of NoLita this week, you might miss it.</p><p>But for those planning on going to the (running through October 19th at the Openhouse Gallery, between Spring and Kenmare), an entire mini-world awaits inside. A convincing replica of the famed Cafe Sacher (where you can enjoy coffee and cakes flown in daily from Vienna), an oversize print of Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" (in front of which visitors are inspired to imitate the painting's subjects), and a smattering of Austrian crystal and ceramic works set the scene for an enjoyable break from shopping. </p><p>Put on by the Austrian Tourist Office in coordination with Openhouse, the Pop Up is meant to inspire New Yorkers (tourists and locals alike) to trip it to see the originals. As Teresa Faudon with the office told The Huffington Post, the intent is to get Americans to want to "sip a cup of coffee at the real Cafe Sacher, wander in the footsteps of Gustav Klimt in Vienna, and be among the first to see the newly opened Chamber of Wonders at the Kunsthistorisches Museum next December."</p><p>Visitors will also be treated to samplings of local vinegars, cheeses and desserts. There are replicas of paintings by Diego Velazquez, Mazzola and more. The space has played host to a Mozart recital, a Sissi marathon and readings. </p><p>Admission to the gallery is free, but for purchase for a closing event on the 19th called "A Taste of Austria." </p> <br><p>Kitten heels have a bad reputation. Notoriously unforgiving and frequently spotted on schoolgirls at their first social, your scepticism is justified. As the contrary fashion merry-go-round spins, prepare to embrace a new kind of shoe, a whole load less kitteny. Out with the old, in with the...old. You know the drill.</p><p>Could it be that, in the course of us paying attention to her, looking at her, examining her visually, she is feeling compelled to say what so many of us bisexuals say every day and every time we come out: "You can look all you want, but there are things you'll never see"?</p><p>The Government will come under greater pressure today to tackle rising youth unemployment and bankers' "excessive" bonuses.</p><p>Labour hopes to seize on controversy around reports RBS chief executive Stephen Hester is set to net a £1.6 million bonus from the bailed-out bank and last week's record high of 1.04 million jobless young people.</p><p>Speaking ahead of a Labour-led Commons debate this afternoon, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves said: "We are already starting to see that David Cameron's promises to rein in excessive bonuses have been just warm words, with multimillion-pound bonuses set to be paid out even at banks bailed out by the taxpayer where the share price has almost halved.</p><p>"And there are now a record number of young people out of work, with the number of young people on the dole for more than six months doubling since this time last year."</p><p>She said ministers should be "compelled" to rethink their economic plans and called on the coalition to repeat Labour's tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people.</p><p>Ms Reeves added: "We need a change of course from this Government, whose failing economic plan is leading to £158 billion more borrowing than planned."</p> <br><p>A visit to the city of dreaming spires is always rewarding, but check out Oxford's Hidden Gems for a different experience.</p><p></p><p>Tucked away in the heart of Woodstock, and a short stroll from the magnificent Blenheim Palace, is , a luxury boutique B&B with a difference. From the moment of arrival, guests feel like visitors at an ancestral home, rather than customers at a hotel, due largely to the history of the property built using the same pale honey stone as Blenheim and in a similar Vanbrughian style, and the warmth of owner Paul Hageman, a descendent of Woodstock's Money family with its own ties to the palace.</p><p>This personal reception continues throughout the stay, with guests being able to order silk or feather pillows and specify a choice of milk before arrival, so that the experience feels bespoke and unique. Like the best country breaks arranged by the most welcoming of hosts, you quite simply never want to leave.</p><p>Suites are grand and imposing, but offer contemporary touches (like a retro Smeg fridge) that merge surprisingly seamlessly with the oak beams, the traditional four-poster and a host of other original period features. The rooms all have free Wi-fi, iPod docks and handmade Mulberry Tree silk duvets and pillows. The bathrooms are a veritable haven of relaxation, with spacious baths, heated marbled floors, a television complete with splash-proof remote control, and a delicious array of custom-made, local bath products in addition to the Bulgari range. </p><p>A locally sourced, organic and positively mouthwatering breakfast in the Vanbrugh Restaurant caps off the experience. No wonder then that Hope House has attracted considerable success since opening as a B&B in 2009. Its list of accolades, including most recently being named a winner in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, pay testament to the opulence of the property and the beauty of its surroundings. </p><p>Suites from £395. To book contact Hope House. (01993 815990; )</p><p></p><p>Oxford's first fully self-governing college, Merton was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, sometime Chancellor of England and later Bishop of Rochester. Eminent Mertonians include TS Eliot, JRR Tolkien, and Andrew Wiles, as well as Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library. </p><p>Today, the College is home to a vibrant and diverse intellectual community and boasts some of Oxford's loveliest gardens. Of particular interest is the College Chapel, which dates back to the end of the 13th century. Visitors are welcome to join members of the College at all their services.<br></p><p></p><p>The Duke of Marlborough's residence is widely recongised as one of the UK's finest stately homes. Standing in a romantic park created by 'Capability' Brown, the palace was presented by the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. Taking nearly two decades to build (between 1705 and 1722) and characterized by an eclectic style and a return to national roots, it was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Listing in the late 20th century. </p><p>Since then the plaudits have kept on coming. A BBC documentary recently ranked it one of Britain's best buildings - and the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter filmed several key scenes there. But why settle for seeing it on the big screen when you can experience it in the flesh? Take a tour of the gilded State Rooms and enjoy one of the finest private art collects in Europe. You can even see the room in which Sir Winston Churchill was born. Or have a family day out with a picnic, over two-thousand acres of parkland and a lake. </p><p></p><p><br>Immortalised by Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels, The Trout is an Oxford institution. Popular with tourists and students alike, the pub boasts a large terrace overlooking the river Thames and was a favourite with Lewis Carroll and CS Lewis. <br>The seasonal menu incorporates local produce and embraces traditional pub grub including fish and chips, homemade pies and a great selection of cask ales, super chilled draft and bottled beers.<br></p><p>Every August I spend a week or so in Oxfordshire visiting my in-laws, who live in a sweet little village six miles outside of Oxford. While we are there, we take long walks in the countryside, have lunch by the river and barbeques in the evening, spending time with our five year old nephew who we don't see enough of.</p>Located at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in historic downtown Memphis, the showcases the history and impact of the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000. The museum's , housed in the renovated Lorraine Motel, includes a visual timeline of the civil rights movement, a re-creation of the room where King stayed in April 1968, a tribute to Mohandas Gandhi and his nonviolent protest methods and a life-sized bus with a statue of Rosa Parks bravely sitting at the front. Guided tours of the museum are available for groups of at least 20 people. The museum maintains a gift shop, bookstore and cafe where visitors can sit down for a meal or purchase books and commemorative souvenirs. In honor of 2012's Black History Month theme "Black Women in American History and Culture," the museum will host a special "" lecture on the role of women during the civil rights movement. The temporary exhibit "" will run throughout the month of February to showcase the connection between visual imagery and racial struggles.--Lydia SchrandtAddress: 450 Mulberry St., Memphis, TN 38103Telephone: 901-521-9699Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.Cost: $13 for adults; $11 for seniors and students; $9.50 for children 4 to 17 years old; children 3 and younger and museum members admitted free.<p>So far this season there have been approximately ten gazillion ad campaigns, each setting the runway collections in a different landscape (, and have all made appearances) on the backs of this year's hottest models (Gisele, Daphne Groeneveld, Lindsey Wixson, etc.). </p><p>Most have managed to make something original out of the ad experience -- use cool props, unexpected lighting, interesting poses, the like. But some are dumbfounding in their unoriginality. Case in point: Blugirl's latest spots, which feature the ever-popular armpit pose. </p><p>, when it seemed like every other covergirl and campaign star was airing herself out or trying to keep her head from falling off her neck. The trend, unfortunately, has not abated. Armpits, like skinny jeans or ankle booties, are not going anywhere. </p><p>Unfortunately Blugirl decided that the concept for their Spring 2012 campaign would be Pits In The Garden. At least, that's what we imagine the shoot is called... we can't focus on anything else in these photos.</p><p>Check out the shoot below. <br></p> <br><p>Townsfolk claim the mysterious German writer who used the name B. Traven wrote his famous novel Treasure of the Sierra Madre in the village of out in western Mexico's Sonoran desert.</p><p>It's easy to see how this old Spanish mining town might have inspired a book about the lure of riches waiting to be ripped from the hills.</p><p>A stroll along Alamos' cobbled lanes, porticoed walkways and Andalusian courtyards takes you back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when the silver mines of the nearby Sierras made this city one of the richest spots on Earth. You half expect to see mining barons in silk shirts, velvet breeches and knee-high leather boots strutting off to count the day's take. You can imagine ladies in hooped skirts and white petticoats heading to afternoon teas. Silver-plated carriages, it's said, once lined Alamos' cobbled lanes like Rolls-Royces along Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive.</p>Tourist at doors to a fabulous mansion.<p>The mines gave up so much silver that the town had its own mint (the building is now a schoolhouse). From there, the shiny stuff was loaded on mules, which went plodding off to Mexico City on a segment of the Royal Highway specially built to carry the loot from Alamos. The city also had its own silk factory -- even silver barons had to dress for success -- the worms having been cultivated in white mulberry trees imported from Japan along with gardeners and silk weavers.</p><p>The city sprung up in the 1680s as a bedroom community for the fabulously wealthy mining jefes (bosses). Their mansions were handed down from generation to generation and until a few years ago were one of Mexico's best bargains, even after the cost of a facelift. For example, not too long ago an American expatriate snapped up an aging villa for $300,000, with plans to turn it into a hotel. In on-the-beaten-track colonial cities such as San Miguel de Allende, the tab to buy the same building could easily have topped a million dollars. </p><p>Centuries-old homes in this town of 13,000 are still said to be a good deal, but prices have been heading upward. In part, that's come from the "discovery" of Alamos by expats from across the globe, including a hefty number from the U.S. and Canada. More than 300 of them have moved in so far.</p>Pool at the Hacienda de los Santos.<p>The dons and donas may be gone, but tourists can enjoy their legacies in 188 preserved buildings in Alamos -- everything from mansions and mills to the local jail -- tagged as national historic monuments. </p><p>Wander around the city (you can walk from one side of it to the other in 20 minutes) and you'll find historic gems such as the Museo Costumbrista, a museum where exhibits make Alamos' golden age come alive. Other displays take you through the mining process, complete with vintage equipment and aging photos.<br> <br>Keep walking, and you'll run across the home-turned-museum of Mexico's old-time movie queen and Alamos' most famous daughter, Maria Felix, known as "The Mexican Marilyn Monroe." Elsewhere in the city are the former homes of American stars Mary Astor and Carroll O'Connor.</p><p>Sooner or later you'll end up in the zocolo (the town square), the village's most popular spot. Here, families drop by for picnics or to catch up on the latest gossip. At night, you might hear the sweet strumming of Mexican guitars from the square's bandstand -- mixed now and then with loud, thumping sounds.</p><p>Look close, and you'll likely see the thump-a-thumps are coming from boom-boxes in the vintage jalopies of teenagers cruising the zocalo. The kids probably don't know it, but they're re-enacting a centuries-old mating ritual once done with carriages circling the country's zocalos.</p><p>At Alamos, perhaps in silver-plated carriages.</p>Alamos looks much like it did centuries ago.<p>Getting there: Check out a map of Mexico and you'll see the state of Sonora just below Arizona. Now, look for a tiny speck down at the lower end of Sonora, literally at the end of the road. That's Alamos.</p><p>Airline flights from U.S. gateways can take you most of the way. Passengers typically fly via Los Angeles or Phoenix to Sonora's main international terminal at Hermosillo, then connect to a commuter flight to Ciudad Obregon, Alamos' closest commercial airport. From there, it's a little over an hour's drive to Alamos in a taxi or hotel van. </p><p>Many visitors opt to drive down from the U.S. and do some sightseeing along the way. The highway from Tucson takes you across the border at Nogales then down Sonora to the state capital at Hermosillo then to the beach resorts at Guaymas and San Carlos on the Sea of Cortes. When you get to Alamos you'll have driven close to 500 miles. </p><p>Whether you travel to Alamos by air or ground, chances are it'll take you a long, long day or a couple of days to get there. But most visitors agree, the town is worth every minute of the trip.</p><p>Staying there: Alamos offers a dozen or so tourist-class hotels, inns and guest houses, mostly once the mansions of mining moguls (and now mostly owned by American and Canadian expats). Among the favorite spots of foreign visitors are the and<br>the.<br> <br>More info: Visit the or the. </p><p>About B. Traven: That was the pen name of a German writer who came to Mexico in the 1920s. Beyond that, not much is known about him for sure, not even his real name. Among his literary works were 12 novels, including some in which his main characters were German political activists who fled to Mexico in the '20s. He departed from that theme in his 1927 masterpiece, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.</p><p>Photos by Bob Schulman</p><p>Lana Del Rey made headlines after her "Saturday Night Live" performance of came under fire for being The singer soon became the internet's punching bag, even inspiring one of the of the year. </p><p>Despite Del Rey's awkward "SNL" performance, however, "Video Games" became a viral hit, launching Del Rey into superstardom. Now, even Boy George is getting into the act. The Culture Club singer has released a video for his cover of "Video Games" -- and he's added a bit of Nashville flair (sliding guitars!) to the songstress' sweeping love song.</p><p>In this video, Boy George's cover is accompanied by a vivid tale of two lovers, played by and Cesar Polini. The clip shows the couple enjoying happier times -- like riding a merry-go-round together, making out and getting ice cream -- while coming to the realization that they're only just that: memories. </p><p>Watch Boy George's version of "Video Games" above and Del Rey's Instagram-esque original version below. Which one do you prefer?</p><p></p><p></p><p>PHOTOS: See Lana Del Rey's style<br></p><p>Related on HuffPost:</p><p>Britain’s most cosmetically enhanced family have joined Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the This Morning sofa to discuss their multiple boob job...</p><p></p><p>Nothing warms the body and soul likeholding a steaming mug, inhaling its subtle scents as you slowly sip. Why belimited to caffeinated beverages when the herb world can bring flavor,nutrients and health benefits? </p><p>Herbtea offers an opportunity during busy days for time out, reflection and evenaffirmation. One might think, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m nourishing my immune (or digestive, nervous,etc.) system, &rdquo; while drinking. The brain, being in close proximity tothe nose and tongue responds to the message of the aromas. </p><p>Teasare available in tea bags and provide convenience for an on-the-go lifestyle.Herbs available in loose bulk form(from health food and herbal stores) make a wider world of herbsavailable, and minimize packaging. Bulk herbs are a good value and offer theopportunity to select exactly what you desire. You may even have a few wildthings in your backyard (providingpesticides haven&rsquo;t been used in at least a couple of years) that can be used astea!</p><p>Storedried herbs in a glass jar or a non-plastic airtight container and label.Storing herbs near light and heat (such as in windowsills and above the stove)can deteriorate the herb quality quickly. Keep teas in a cupboard where theycan be protected to better conserve their flavors and therapeutic properties.Nature will provide more herbs the next year, purchase no more than you arelikely to use within the year. </p><p>Whenmaking tea, use fresh cold water. Avoid aluminum cookware, which is a softmetal and can come out in the tea. Best choices are glass, cast iron, stainlesssteel or unchipped enamel. </p><p>For those that can't be bothered with tea strainers,you may find tea balls or infusers in shops where herbs are sold. These areperforated utensils that can be filled with herbs, and placed in a teapot orpot of water for about ten minutes. This work best for leaves and flowers. Teacan be enhanced with a touch of or asqueeze of fresh lemon.</p><p>Expandyour herbal repertoire. Herbs can have potent effects and just becausesomething is natural, it is still wise to learn about their properties. A fewuser-friendly herbs might include:</p><p>Aniseseed (Pimpinella anisum) is a member of the Apiaceae (Parsley) Family. Ithas a lovely licorice- like flavor for those who enjoy sweets and don&rsquo;t wantthe calories. Anise seed aids digestion and freshens the breath. </p><p>Chamomileflowers (Matricaria recutita) aremembers of the Asteraceae (Daisy) Family and have been used to calm anxiety waybefore Peter Rabbit&rsquo;s mother gave him some chamomile after his stressful day atMr. McGregor&rsquo;s garden. Theflavor is pleasantly bitter with an aroma reminiscent of apples. Chamomile calmsthe nerves and stomach. </p><p>Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a member of the Zingiberaceae (Ginger) Family.This relative of cardamom and turmeric is zippy and warming. It improves poorcirculation that results in cold hands and feet. It is one of the best herbsfor improving digestion and nausea (including motion sickness). Consider thisan ally after a large holiday meal. </p><p>Lemonbalm leaf (Melissa officinalis), amember of the Lamiaceae (Mint) Family has a lemony flavor loved by mosteveryone. Lemon Balm has long beensaid to lift the spirits yet calm overactive children and improve focus. </p><p>Raspberryleaf (Rubus species), a member of theRosaceae (Rose) Family, and relative of apples, strawberries and peaches has aflavor similar to black tea, though without the caffeine. It is rich inminerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. </p><p>Rosehips (Rosa species) another Rose Familymember have a tart taste and are natural sources of vitamin C and flavonoidsthat help strengthen the body&rsquo;s capillaries. </p><p>Peppermint(Mentha piperita) is one of the manydelectable members of the Lamiaceae (Mint) Family and fresh tasting. It hasbeen used for thousands of years as a gentle stimulant, and to calm upsetstomachs. </p><p>Invite some ofyour favorite friends over for a tea party and have a toast to a great fall. </p><p>You don&rsquo;t haveto be a tease to enjoy a variety of teas!</p><p>What are some ofyour favorite herbal teas?</p><p></p><p>For more ideas,check out the many recipes in my book, .<p></p><p>BrigitteMars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is anutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine forover forty years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University,Omega, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman Holistic College ofNutrition. She has a weekly local radio show called "Naturally" on KGNUand a private practice. Brigitte is the author of twelve books,including . at </p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p> <p>Follow Brigitte Mars on Twitter:</p><p>London Fashion Week is one of the most glamorous events in the calendar, and at a time when many of Britain’s most loved high street clothing stores are struggling, one niche area is making an exciting come back.</p><p>In the same year when Jane Norman, Aquascutum, Hawkins Bazaar and La Senza have all failed, a revival for British manufacturing of unique garments, accessories and footwear is occurring.</p><p>The resurgence of all things Britannia is partly driven by the industry pegging its cost margins in line with rivals in Europe and China, but partly because costs are no longer the only thing to consider – creativity and new designs are putting Brits back on top.</p><p><br>British designs are much-coveted by overseas shoppers, particularly in the Far East</p><p>Lee Coleman, founder of Quintessentially Gifts, told the Huffington Post UK that in a recession, people were opting to spend what little cash they have on hand-created bespoke items.</p><p>“Over the last two months we’ve seen a surge in sales from international clients who came over to London for Jubilee, Wimbledon, Queens and The Olympics,” she said. <br> <br>“The British industry also pumps a lot of money into growing new designers which is how we’ve retained our edginess and freshness approach to design. </p><p>“British heritage has always been an influence. Designers such as Mulberry and Ettinger are bringing all their business back to the UK in order to retain its heritage and history, in turn making their brand stronger.”<br> <br>The public also likes buying into the ideal of the British countryside, according to Coleman. </p><p>“A lot of manufacturing takes place in the countryside – Mulberry in Sussex for instance. People buy into this. All the above brands are steeped in Britishness and designers are still discovering the hidden treasures that this island has in abundance.”</p><p><br>A model wears a Celtic Sheepskin coat in a typical countryside pose</p><p>Huff Post UK has spoken to dozens of UK fashion manufacturers, some are decades old, others are new start-ups, but there are two things they all have in common; they’re niche and they’re exporting huge amounts of their product.</p><p>At the top end, you’ve got the elite fashion designers and manufacturers; think Christopher Kane, Erdem and JW Anderson. </p><p>All based in London, these darlings of the fashion world were greatly assisted by a revamped and refocused British Fashion Council and a more collegiate atmosphere, where designers old and new helped each other in business and shared shows abroad.</p><p>The British Fashion Council's ambassador for emerging talent, Sarah Mower, has written an for the Telegraph.</p><p>But the more exciting movement is within the small manufacturers. </p><p>Niche is good</p><p>Most of the manufacturers Huff Post UK spoke to said exports made up a quarter of their business. </p><p>Knitwear specialists Johnstones of Elgin is a good example; 25.5% of its sales are overseas, with total profits hitting £2.6m. </p><p>“Our key unique service points are design and innovation, quality, service and production flexibility,” said managing director James Dracup.</p><p>“We have a commitment to people, craft, quality, bespoke manufacture and concentrate on producing products for customers worldwide who value and can afford to pay a fair price for a product made in the United Kingdom.”</p><p>This is a key point raised by many of the manufacturers – there’s no cutting cost and lowering prices in this market; it’s about reaching out to discerning customers worldwide.</p><p><br>Accessories are also performing well as customers value the craftsmanship</p><p>Christopher Ward makes bespoke watches and exports 25% of its produce to more than 90 countries. It’s “beautiful watches at accessible prices combined with a bespoke approach to customer service that harks back to an earlier, less frenetic age” that has helped it stand out, according to its spokesman.</p><p>Lingerie is big business for British manufacturers too – Derbyshire-based David Nieper designs and manufactures 100% of its garments in its own UK factory and design studios, employing 230 skilled staff.</p><p>Exports represent 35% of the business, with a rising customer base appearing in the US and Australia according to managing director Christopher Nieper.</p><p>“We only use the finest fabrics, that drape properly, from sustainable sources such as Swiss cotton, Italian Satin and delicate French lace,” he said. “They are all selected from Haute Couture mills in Europe then brought to Derbyshire to be sewn using local skills.”</p><p>Such is the demand in Europe that Nieper has had to recruit bilingual sales staff with French, Dutch and German language skills. And more than 90% of customers return, with sales expected to increase over the next year both at home and abroad.</p><p>From a business making £12m profit to a brand new start-up; Betty Blue Loungerie, which specialises in vintage style lounge wear and lingerie. </p><p><br>British sewing skills are making a comeback</p><p>Owner of Betty Blue's Loungerie Betty Hobcraft told Huff Post UK that after a year of trading she exports 50% of her wares. </p><p>“I want to expand my wholesale customers both here in the UK, but especially abroad as there is a vast market out there,” she said. </p><p>“I want to keep providing women with glamorous and comfortable alternatives to sweat pants and hoodies.”</p><p>Some businesses even exceed 50% exports – Red By Wolves has gone from exporting just 20% to 90% in the past few years.</p><p>“Smaller labels are able to offer substantial added value in terms of design. Companies such as ours are able to move quickly to adapt to demand in certain areas of the range and also to create what might be considered fringe design,” a spokesman told Huff Post UK.</p><p>The future</p><p>There’s no getting away from the fact that trading will continue to be difficult for all manufacturers.</p><p>Data from insolvency trade body R3 shows 37 manufacturers of apparel and leather related products went into liquidation in the past six months. </p><p>And another 159 companies in these sectors are considered to be at a high risk of failure in the next 12 months - about 4%.</p><p>"Fashion retail is by definition a risky venture," said R3's president Lee Manning.</p><p>"It is a business people like to come in and try, despite others having failed before them. Retail is experiencing its own upheavals as bloated store portfolios compete, or take advantage of, the convenience of online shopping. And online hasn’t added sales but merely diversifies existing sales.”</p><p>Despite this, niche British fashion houses remain bullish; Celtic Sheepskin, the makers of the original Uggs, said its trading had been on a long-term strong trend of double digit growth, although it started to soften toward the end of 2011. </p><p>“The current conditions are clearly more difficult than we have previously experienced but still capable of delivering growth,” they added. “We recognise the need to be continually improving on our offer to remain competitive and relevant. Even the most successful brands can’t be complacent at this time.”</p><p><br>Overseas shoppers can help to offset weaker markets in the UK</p><p>Jewellery manufacturer The Great Frog’s Reino Lehtonen-Riley was among many who told us they expected to expand in the next 12 months.</p><p>“We have been able to grow while the economy has been in down turn, as things pick up our investments should see reward,” he said.</p><p>“I also feel that our market in Japan will expand significantly and I hope to make forays into Hong Kong and China.”</p><p>Diversifying is popular too; Northampton-based shoe manufacturer Grensons (which is part of Global Footprint - an initiative to boost Northamptonshire shoes) plans to expand into handbags and small leather goods.</p><p>And of course, personalised customer service; Maternity wear specialists Isabella Oliver said it worked hard to create a bond with the customer at what is one of her most emotional and fashion challenging times.</p><p>Co-founder Geoff van Sonsbeeck said the focus on service and quality had helped take the company from a single digit loss figure into double digit profit in just 12 months.</p><p>So while the future may be rocky, the innovation, service, style and attention to detail, which Brit fashion manufacturers have always mastered, should ensure these businesses are here to stay.</p><p><br><br>Me with my personal Mercedes Benz car at Somerset House on Day 1 </p><p></p>Outside the Zoë Jordan venue <p>For Day 1 of London Fashion week I'm wearing shades of electric midnight and deep cobalt. These are my favourite colours in the world.</p><p>If I could wear no other colours for the rest of my life I'd be happy. The top and leggings I'm wearing are comfortable and chic and this Mother of Pearl jacket may be 2 years old, but it's still one of my favourites.</p><p>Nestled at my hip is the cutest bag EVER; the Mulberry Mini Lily in black leather. Just big enough for the essentials (lipstick, phone and credit card), Mulberry's mini Lily is keeping my back pain free this Fashion Week!</p> <br><p>Follow Brix Smith Start on Twitter:</p><p>Usually this time of year I'm running around London Fashion Week rushing from show to show and no matter what shoes I wear I end up with my feet punishing me in some way. So this season I decided on something slightly different. I decided to stay at home and see what brands were doing to promote their new collections via the internet and digital media.</p><p>Associated Press</p><p>CAIRO -- Firing tear gas and rubber bullets, Egyptian riot police on Sunday clashed for a second day in downtown Cairo with thousands of rock-throwing protesters demanding that the ruling military quickly announce a date to hand over power to an elected government.</p><p>The police battled an estimated 5,000 protesters in and around the capital's Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 18-day uprising that toppled authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in February. Tear gas filled the air as protesters, many chanting "freedom, freedom," pelted the police with rocks.</p><p></p><p>Sunday's clashes, which come a day after two people were killed and hundreds wounded in similar unrest in the capital and other major cities, are stoking tensions eight days before the start of the country's first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections. The violence reflects the rising public anger over the slow pace of reforms and apparent attempts by Egypt's ruling generals to retain power over a future civilian government.</p><p>"We have a single demand: The marshal must step down and be replaced by a civilian council," said protester Ahmed Hani, referring Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's military ruler and Mubarak's longtime defense minister.</p><p>"The violence yesterday showed us that Mubarak is still in power," said Hani, who was wounded in the forehead by a rubber bullet. He spoke over chants of "freedom, freedom" by hundreds of protesters around him.</p><p>Rocks, shattered glass and trash covered the pavement in Tahrir and the side streets leading off the square, while a cloud of white smoke from tear gas hung in the air. Several hundred protesters were camping out on the lawn of the square's traffic island, and protesters manning barricades into the square checked the IDs of anyone trying to enter.</p><p>The windows of the main campus of the American University in Cairo, which overlooks the square, were shattered and stores were shuttered. "The marshal is Mubarak's dog," read one of a fresh crop of graffiti in the square.</p><p>An Interior Ministry official said 55 protesters have been arrested since the violence began on Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.</p><p>Yahya el-Sawi, a 21-year-old university student, said he was enraged by the sight of riot police beating up protesters already hurt in an earlier attack by the security forces. "I did not support the sit-in at the beginning, but when I saw this brutality I had to come back to be with my brothers," he said.</p><p>Many of the protesters had red eyes and coughed incessantly. Some wore surgical masks to help combat the tear gas. A few fainted, overwhelmed by the gas.</p><p>Hundreds of protesters gathered near the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, to offer the Muslim noon prayers, but came under police attack using tear gas and rubber bullets. Ali Saber, a protester who attended the prayer, said the man who led the prayer was hit in the shoulder by a gas canister.</p><p>Doctors staffing two field hospitals in the square said they have treated around 700 protesters so far on Sunday. Alaa Mohammed, a doctor, said most of those treated suffered breathing problems or wounds caused by rubber bullets.</p><p>"The police are targeting the head, not the legs as they normally do," said Mohammed.</p><p>Protesters were using social networking sites on the Internet to call on Egyptians to join them, and there were reports of several demonstrations headed to the square, including one from Cairo University.</p><p>The military, which took over from Mubarak, has repeatedly pledged to hand over power to an elected government but has yet to set a specific date. According to one timetable floated by the army, the handover will happen after presidential elections are held late next year or early in 2013. The protesters say this is too late and accuse the military of dragging its feet. They want a handover to take place immediately after the end of parliamentary elections in March.</p><p>Sunday's clashes mark a continuation of the violence a day earlier, when police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and beat protesters with batons, clearing the square at one point and pushing the fighting into surrounding side streets of downtown Cairo.</p><p>At least one protester was killed in Cairo, and another in Alexandria, officials said, and 676 injured.</p><p>The government has urged protesters to clear the square.</p><p>A member of the military council, Maj. Gen. Mohsen el-Fangari, said protesters' calls for change ahead of the election were a threat to the state.</p><p>"What is the point of being in Tahrir?" he asked, speaking by phone to a private TV channel. "What is the point of this strike, of the million marches? Aren't there legal channels to pursue demands in a way that won't impact Egypt ... internationally?"</p><p>"The aim of what is going on is to shake the backbone of the state, which is the armed forces."</p><p>In a warning, he said, "If security is not applied, we will implement the rule of law. Anyone who does wrong will pay for it."</p><p>Saturday's confrontation was one of the few since the uprising to involve the police, which have largely stayed in the background while the military took charge of security. There was no military presence in and around the square on Saturday or Sunday. The black-clad police were a hated symbol of Mubarak's regime.</p><p>Some of the wounded had blood streaming down their faces and many had to be carried out of the square by fellow protesters to waiting ambulances. Human rights activists accused police of using excessive force.</p><p><p>Cambridge University is hoping to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to apply by forging links with schools in London's east end. </p><p>The principal of Cambridge's Newnham College Patricia Hodgson has told head teachers from Tower Hamlet schools how the university's area links scheme would create opportunities for schools who have never sent pupils to Cambridge.</p><p>"We need to challenge the imagination of young people to aspire", she told the 96-strong audience. "The best advice we can give to young people is to aim for the best, whether it’s a job, course, college or university. </p><p>"Above all, we have to equip young people to go where their imagination and potential leads them."</p><p>In the past two years, Newnham College has been establishing a relationship with Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets by putting pupils from the school in touch with Cambridge students to get advice and information about the university and writing personal statements. For the first time, the secondary school will be sending a pupil to the Cambridge college to read English. </p><p>But there are those who believe no amount of encouragement will change the status quo.</p><p>Jordan, a sixth-form pupil at a school in Tottenham, said: "One speech is not going to change anything. People like me don't end up at Oxford or Cambridge. It's just the way things are."</p><p>Certainly, a report published by the in July this year revealed shocking statistics showing where Oxbridge entrants had previously been educated. Four leading independent schools (St Paul’s, St Paul’s Girls, Westminster and Eton) and one sixth-form college (Hills Road, Cambridge) produced more Oxbridge students in the past five years than 2,000 state schools and colleges combined.</p><p>, director of Policy Exchange, an independent think tank, feels far too many children still think of Oxford and Cambridge as "something akin to a distant planet".</p><p>In his blog he writes: "The independent school sector (plus a few leading state schools) has always produced a disproportionate number of entrants to top universities. </p><p>"The real focus should be on ensuring that all school children are enabled and encouraged to fulfil their true potential, regardless of background."<br></p> <br><p></p><p>OTTAWA - A generation of solid economic growth has meant little in the everyday lives of most Canadians, according to a new index of wellbeing.</p><p>The finding is a yellow light for decision-makers that social unrest is just around the corner unless deep changes are made, warns Roy Romanow, the advisory board chairman of the University of Waterloo group that created the index.</p><p>The index suggests the middle class, in particular, is eroding.</p><p>"There are some very, very troubling signs," Romanow said in an interview.</p><p>"I think if we continue on this trajectory we're going to have bigger and bigger disparities. You can never build a solid political, social and economic community with wide disparities."</p><p>The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is meant to be GDP's alter ego, measuring the quality of life in society in ways gross domestic product does not.</p><p>The index has been years in the making, pulling together 64 indicators to track progress in areas such as community spirit, education, health, environment, leisure and democratic engagement.</p><p>While GDP measures what companies and government produce, the wellbeing index measures how Canada and its people are faring.</p><p>It shows that between 1994 and 2008, wellbeing improved by just 11 per cent. The economy over that period grew by 31 per cent.</p><p>So while investment and corporate activity were ticking along at a decent pace, Canadian households saw only minor improvements in their lifestyle.</p><p>"The divergence in the (index of wellbeing) and GDP tells us emphatically that we have not been making the right investments in our people and in our communities. And we have not been doing it for a long time," the report on the index says.</p><p>The index's subcomponents show that quality of life actually deteriorated over that time frame in areas such as the environment, leisure and culture, and time use.</p><p>Researchers noted that metal reserves are at rock-bottom, species abundance has declined, greenhouse-gas emissions have soared, and ground ozone has risen.</p><p>When it comes to leisure, Canadians are working out more and taking longer vacations, but they spend less time engaged in arts and culture.</p><p>Health care saw a slight gain — we're smoking less and getting our flu shots, but diabetes and depression were on the rise. Wealthier people had better health status.</p><p>Living standards rose 26.4 per cent, but at the expense of income inequality. The rich took the lion's share.</p><p>While parents are reading more to their young children and signing them up for all sorts of classes, kids are also spending more time in front of screens. And seniors are seeing less of their families.</p><p>In other words, a typical household is now working harder and longer to keep on track financially, at the expense of having free time with family and friends, enjoying arts and culture, and volunteering.</p><p>"Many Canadians are simply too caught up in a time crunch to enjoy leisure and culture activities in the company of friends and family. The question raised by the results of this domain: Is that progress?" the study asks.&l
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