Public works are a broad category of infrastructure projects and constructed by the government, for recreational and health and safety uses in the greater community. They include public buildings, transport infrastructure, public spaces, public services, other long-term, physical assets and facilities. Though interchangeable with public infrastructure and public capital, public works does not carry an economic component, thereby being a broader term. Public works has been encouraged since antiquity. For example, the Roman emperor Nero encouraged the construction of various infrastructure projects during widespread deflation. Public works is a multi-dimensional concept in economics and politics, touching on multiple arenas including: recreation, economy and neighborhood, it represents any constructed object that augments a nation's physical infrastructure. Municipal infrastructure, urban infrastructure, rural development represent the same concept but imply either large cities or developing nations' concerns respectively.
The terms public infrastructure or critical infrastructure are at times used interchangeably. However, critical infrastructure includes public works as well as facilities like hospitals and telecommunications systems and views them from a national security viewpoint and the impact on the community that the loss of such facilities would entail. Furthermore, the term public works has been expanded to include digital public infrastructure projects; the first nationwide digital public works project is an effort to create an open source software platform for e-voting. Reflecting increased concern with sustainability, urban ecology and quality of life, efforts to move towards sustainable municipal infrastructure are common in developed nations in European Union and Canada. A public employment programme' or'public works programme' is the provision of employment by the creation of predominantly public goods at a prescribed wage for those unable to find alternative employment; this functions as a form of social safety net.
PWPs are activities which entail the payment of a wage by an Agent. One particular form of public works, that of offering a short-term period of employment, has come to dominate practice in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Applied in the short term, this is appropriate as a response to transient shocks and acute labour market crises. Investing in public works projects in order to stimulate the general economy has been a popular policy measure since the economic crisis of the 1930s. More recent examples are the 2008–2009 Chinese economic stimulus program, the 2008 European Union stimulus plan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. While it is argued that capital investment in public works can be used to reduce unemployment, opponents of internal improvement programs argue that such projects should be undertaken by the private sector, not the public sector, because public works projects are characteristic of socialism. However, in the private sector, entrepreneurs bear their own losses and so private sector firms are unwilling to undertake projects that could result in losses or would not develop a revenue stream.
Governments will invest in public works because of the overall benefit to society when there is a lack of private sector benefit or the risk is too great for a private company to accept on its own. According to research conducted at the Aalborg University, 86% of public works projects end up with cost overruns; some unexpected findings of the research were that: Technically difficult projects were not more to exceed the budget than less difficult projects Projects in which more people were directly and indirectly affected by the project turned out to be more susceptible to cost overruns Project managers did not learn from similar projects attempted in the pastGenerally contracts awarded by public tenders will include a provision for unexpected expenses, that amount to 10% of the value of the contract. This money is only spent during the course of the project if the construction managers judge that it is necessary, the expenditure must be justified in writing. Contingencies fund an economic discussion.
Madaket Ditch, one of the first public works projects in AmericaIndividual programs: Egyptian Public Works New Deal, USA, 1930s Opera Publica Public Works Administration, part of the New Deal in 1930s The dictionary definition of public works at Wiktionary American Public Works Association - Professional society
The Shinwa-kai is a yakuza group based in Takamatsu, Kagawa on Shikoku, Japan. The Shinwa-kai is a designated yakuza group with an estimated 70 active members; the Takamatsu Shinwa-kai was renamed the Shinwa-kai in 1971. The Shinwa-kai was registered as a designated yakuza group in December 1992; the Shinwa-kai has been based in Takamatsu, Kagawa since its formation, the only designated yakuza group based in the Shikoku region. The Shinwa-kai is one of the four designated yakuza syndicates active in Kagawa Prefecture, along with the Yamaguchi-gumi, the Sumiyoshi-kai, the Kyodo-kai. Since 1996, the Shinwa-kai has been a member of an anti-Yamaguchi federation named the Gosha-kai, along with four Chugoku-based organizations, the Kyosei-kai, the Kyodo-kai, the Goda-ikka, the Asano-gumi
Kyushu Electric Power
Kyūshū Electric Power Company is a Japanese energy company that provides power to 7 prefectures, to some parts of Hiroshima Prefecture. Its shortened name of 九電 is sometimes used. In 2011 the company was criticised for attempting to manipulate public opinion in favor of reactivating two reactors at the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant. Kyushu Electric Power was founded on May 1, 1951; the company began supplying electricity to Hiroshima in November 2005 - the first provider in Japan to supply energy outside its area. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant Nuclear power in Japan
The Dojin-kai, or "Dojin group", is a yakuza organization headquartered in Kurume, Fukuoka, on the Kyushu island of Japan, a designated yakuza syndicate, with 850 members. As well as being known as a militant yakuza organization, the Dojin-kai has been known as a de facto drug cartel, as its activities have included large-scale drug trafficking methamphetamine trafficking, traditionally shunned in the yakuza world. With its activities of drug trafficking, the Dojin-kai has been Japan's largest wholesale dealer in drugs since the late 20th century, after the disbanding of three other yakuza groups based in northern Kyushu; the Dojin-kai was formed in 1971 from four old yakuza groups united by the first president, Isoji Koga. Seijiro Matsuo, the Secretary General of the first-generation Dojin-kai, succeeded as the president in 1992. In the same year, 1992, the Dojin-kai was registered as a designated boryokudan group under the Organized Crime Countermeasures Law. Referred to as a "particularly vicious group" by Jake Adelstein and much like other yakuza groups based in the northern Kyushu region such as the Taishu-kai and Kudo-kai, the Dojin-kai has been noted for its bellicose nature, causing numerous bloody conflicts with other yakuza groups.
Notable ones include the Yama-Michi War, where the organization expelled the largest known Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate from the northern Kyushu area. Another notable one is a brief conflict occurred in 1983, with the Kanto-based large yakuza syndicate Sumiyoshi Union, in which a majority of Dojin members moved to Tokyo and had been hiding out around Tokyo with the plan of slaying all of the Union's 76 senior bosses until the Union made a conceding offer of peaceful resolution; the Dojin-kai is noted for having been isolated in the yakuza world in an uncanny way, in contrast to most other yakuza organizations which have at least one ally. In one notable anecdote, during the time of the Yama-Michi War, there were several offers of help from other organizations but the Dojin-kai rejected all of them; the Dojin-kai is a member of an anti-Yamaguchi fraternal federation, the Yonsha-kai, formed with three other northern-Kyushu based independent yakuza syndicates, the Kudo-kai, Taishu-kai and Kumamoto-kai, however the Kudo-kai, the principal member, is said to have avoided getting involved in the Dojin-kai.
The Dojin-kai again started a blatantly vicious conflict, with its splinter group Kyushu Seido-kai, in 2006. When the long-time boss Seijiro Matsuo announced his resignation in May 2006, a war broke out between the headquarters and a splinter group in Omuta who, naming themselves the "Kyushu Seido-kai," aligned themselves with the Yamaguchi-gumi, the Dojin-kai's rival and the largest yakuza syndicate in Japan. Seven people were killed during the beginning of the war. In one incident, a gangster walked into a hospital and shot an innocent man twice, mistaking him for a rival. In another, the Dojin-kai's headquarters was sprayed with AK-47 fire. More than five Dojin offices in Kurume and Fukuoka were attacked with bombs and firearms on May 21 of that year, soon after that, on 24th, Seido-kai's Jinsei group headquarters office in Chikugo was destroyed by Dojin-kai's bombs. On June 13, 2007, Zenji Tsurumaru was killed. On June 19, Hidenori Irie was killed. On August 18, the leader of Dojin-kai, Yoshihisa Onaka was killed.
On November 8, a civilian Hiroshi Miyamoto was killed by mistake while receiving treatment at a hospital. On November 12, Shigeki Koga was killed. On November 27, Yoshikazu Matsuo, one of the chairmen, his driver were killed. Both groups announced a cease-fire on December 18 and on February 5, 2008, the war ended; the Fukuoka Prefectural Police discovered that the Seido-kai built a cenotaph in July 2009 in Omuta to pay tribute to their casualties. The names inscribed on its surface not only included those of Seido-kai members but included those of Dojin-kai members; this cenotaph, disappeared by early 2011. The Dojin-Seido war has been escalating since the late 2000s in 2011, when they started using military machine guns and tossing grenades at each other. Many Seido members have escaped from Kyushu since the late 2000s, building an eight-story bulletproof building in Taito, Tokyo as their new base; the first Seido president, Chojiro Murakami, was arrested in Ibaraki Prefecture. Kazuma Umeki, one of the top underbosses in the Seido-kai, was attacked with a 10-ton dump truck driven by a Dojin yakuza, in April 2011 two Seido seniors were shot with revolver cannon fire in Imari by a Dojin hitman, Sueharu Matsunaga, the head of the Seido's Matsunaga group, was killed with a bomb.
Sometimes informally and mockingly dubbed the "Dojin Pharmacy", the Dojin-kai's activities, just same as its splinter group Seido-kai's largely consist of drug trafficking. In one notable case, as introduced in the "Drug Criminal Organization" section in the National Police Agency's 1991 Police White Paper, a Fukuoka-based 20-member small Dojin-affiliate had managed a systematic trafficking ring, selling methamphetamines to various drug-dealing yakuza organizations throughout the country; this group had smuggled methamphetamines from Taiwan where it had a connection with a local Taiwanese drug ring. This group had used a small island located in Kagoshima Prefecture as a smuggling base, for example in 1986, this group smuggled 570 kg of m
A consul is an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, to facilitate trade and friendship between the people of the two countries. A consul is distinguished from an ambassador, the latter being a representative from one head of state to another. There can be only one ambassador from one country to another, representing the first country's head of state to that of the second, his or her duties revolve around diplomatic relations between the two countries. A less common usage is an administrative consul, who takes a governing role and is appointed by a country that has colonised or occupied another. In classical Greece, some of the functions of the modern consul were fulfilled by a proxenos. Unlike the modern position, this was a citizen of the host polity; the proxenos was a wealthy merchant who had socio-economic ties with another city and who helped its citizens when they were in trouble in his own city.
The position of proxenos was hereditary in a particular family. Modern honorary consuls fulfill a function, to a degree similar to that of the ancient Greek institution. Consuls were the highest magistrates of the Roman Roman Empire; the term was revived by the Republic of Genoa, unlike Rome, bestowed it on various state officials, not restricted to the highest. Among these were Genoese officials stationed in various Mediterranean ports, whose role included duties similar to those of the modern consul, i. e. helping Genoese merchants and sailors in difficulties with the local authorities. The consolat de mar was an institution established under the reign of Peter IV of Aragon in the fourteenth century, spread to 47 locations throughout the Mediterranean, it was a judicial body, administering maritime and commercial law as Lex Mercatoria. Although the consolat de mar was established by the Corts General of the Crown of Aragon, the consuls were independent from the King; this distinction between consular and diplomatic functions remains to this day.
Modern consuls retain limited judicial powers to settle disputes on ships from their country. The consulado de mercaderes was set up in 1543 in Seville as a merchant guild to control trade with Latin America; as such, it had branches in the principal cities of the Spanish colonies. The connection of "consul" with trade and commercial law is retained in French. In Francophone countries, a juge consulaire is a non-professional judge elected by the chamber of commerce to settle commercial disputes in the first instance; the office of a consul is a consulate and is subordinate to the state's main representation in the capital of that foreign country an embassy or – between Commonwealth countries – high commission. Like the terms embassy or high commission, consulate may refer not only to the office of consul, but to the building occupied by the consul and his or her staff; the consulate may share premises with the embassy itself. A consul of the highest rank is termed a consul-general, is appointed to a consulate-general.
There are one or more deputy consuls-general, vice-consuls, consular agents working under the consul-general. A country may appoint more than one consul-general to another nation. Consuls of various ranks may have specific legal authority for certain activities, such as notarizing documents; as such, diplomatic personnel with other responsibilities may receive consular letters patent. Aside from those outlined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, there are few formal requirements outlining what a consular official must do. For example, for some countries, consular officials may be responsible for the issue of visas. Nonetheless, consulates proper will be headed by consuls of various ranks if such officials have little or no connection with the more limited sense of consular service. Activities of a consulate include protecting the interests of their citizens temporarily or permanently resident in the host country, issuing passports. However, the principal role of a consulate lies traditionally in promoting trade—assisting companies to invest and to import and export goods and services both inwardly to their home country and outward to their host country.
Although it is not admitted publicly, like embassies, may gather intelligence information from the assigned country. Contrary to popular belief, many of the staff of consulates may be career diplomats, but they do not have diplomatic immunity unless they are accredited as such. Immunities and privileges for consuls and accredited staff of consulates are limited to actions undertaken in their official capacity and, with respect to the consulate itself, to those required for official duties. In practice, the extension and application of consular privileges and immunities can differ from country to country. Consulates are more numerous than diplomatic missions, such as embassies. Ambassadors are posted only in a foreign nation'
Mexican Drug War
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. In 2006 when the Mexican military began to intervene, the government's principal goal was to reduce drug-related violence; the Mexican government has asserted that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking and demand, left to U. S. functionaries. Although Mexican drug trafficking organizations have existed for several decades, their influence increased after the demise of the Colombian Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market and in 2007 controlled 90% of the cocaine entering the United States. Arrests of key cartel leaders in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States. Federal law enforcement has been reorganized at least five times since 1982 in various attempts to control corruption and reduce cartel violence.
During that same period there have been at least four elite special forces created as new corruption-free soldiers who could do battle with Mexico's endemic bribery system. Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 to $49.4 billion annually. The U. S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico with US$1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative to provide Mexico with law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice to strengthen the national justice systems. By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration, the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000. Estimates set the death toll not including 27,000 missing. Since taking office, Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared. Due to its location, Mexico has long been used as a staging and transshipment point for narcotics and contraband between Latin America and U. S. markets. Mexican bootleggers supplied alcohol to the United States gangsters throughout the duration of the Prohibition in the United States, the onset of the illegal drug trade with the U.
S. began when the prohibition came to an end in 1933. Towards the end of the 1960s, Mexican narcotic smugglers started to smuggle drugs on a major scale. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Colombia's Pablo Escobar was the main exporter of cocaine and dealt with organized criminal networks all over the world; when enforcement efforts intensified in South Florida and the Caribbean, the Colombian organizations formed partnerships with the Mexico-based traffickers to transport cocaine by land through Mexico into the United States. This was accomplished because Mexico had long been a major source of heroin and cannabis, drug traffickers from Mexico had established an infrastructure that stood ready to serve the Colombia-based traffickers. By the mid-1980s, the organizations from Mexico were well-established and reliable transporters of Colombian cocaine. At first, the Mexican gangs were paid in cash for their transportation services, but in the late 1980s, the Mexican transport organizations and the Colombian drug traffickers settled on a payment-in-product arrangement.
Transporters from Mexico were given 35% to 50% of each cocaine shipment. This arrangement meant that organizations from Mexico became involved in the distribution, as well as the transportation of cocaine, became formidable traffickers in their own right. In recent years, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel have taken over trafficking cocaine from Colombia to the worldwide markets; the balance of power between the various Mexican cartels continually shifts as new organizations emerge and older ones weaken and collapse. A disruption in the system, such as the arrests or deaths of cartel leaders, generates bloodshed as rivals move in to exploit the power vacuum. Leadership vacuums are sometimes created by law enforcement successes against a particular cartel, so cartels will attempt to pit law enforcement against one another, either by bribing corrupt officials to take action against a rival or by leaking intelligence about a rival's operations to the Mexican or U. S. government's Drug Enforcement Administration.
While many factors have contributed to the escalating violence, security analysts in Mexico City trace the origins of the rising scourge to the unraveling of a longtime implicit arrangement between narcotics traffickers and governments controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which began to lose its grip on political power in the late 1980s. The fighting between rival drug cartels began in earnest after the 1989 arrest of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, who ran the cocaine business in Mexico. There was a lull in the fighting during the late 1990s but the violence has worsened since 2000; the dominant party PRI ruled Mexico for around 70 years until 2000. During this time, drug cartels expanded their power and corruption, anti-drug operations focused on destroying marijuana and opium crops in mountainous regions. There were no large-scale high-profile military operations against their core structures in urban areas until the 2000 Mexican election, when the right-wing PAN party gained the presidency and started a crackdown on cartels in their own turf.
In the year 2000 Vicente Fox, from the right-wing PAN party, became the first Mexican president not to be from the PRI party.
The Benelux Union is a politico-economic union of three neighbouring states in western Europe: Belgium and Luxembourg. The name Benelux is formed from joining the first two or three letters of each country's name – Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg – and was first used to name the customs agreement that initiated the union, it is now used more to refer to the geographic and cultural grouping of the three countries. In 1951, West Germany and Italy joined these countries to form the European Coal and Steel Community, a predecessor of the European Economic Community and today's European Union; the main institutions of the Union are the Committee of Ministers, the Council of the Union, the General Secretariat, the Interparliamentary Consultative Council and the Benelux Court of Justice while the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property cover the same territory but are not part of the Benelux Union. The Benelux General Secretariat is located in Brussels, it is the central administrative pillar of the Benelux Union.
It handles the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Economic Union and the various committees and working parties. A Benelux Parliament was created in 1955; this parliamentary assembly is composed of 21 members of the Dutch parliament, 21 members of the Belgian national and regional parliaments, 7 members of the Luxembourg parliament. In 1944, exiled representatives of the three countries signed the London Customs Convention, the treaty that established the Benelux Customs Union. Ratified in 1947, the treaty was in force from 1948 until it was superseded by the Benelux Economic Union; the treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union was signed on 3 February 1958 in The Hague and came into force on 1 November 1960 to promote the free movement of workers, capital and goods in the region. Under the Treaty the Union implies the co-operation of economic and social policies. In 2017 the members of the Benelux, the Baltic Assembly, three members of the Nordic Council, all EU-member states, sought intensifying cooperation in the Digital Single Market, as well as discussing social matters, the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, the European migrant crisis and defence cooperation.
Relations with Russia and the United Kingdom was on the agenda. The Benelux Union involves an intergovernmental co-operation; the unification of the law of the three Benelux countries is achieved by regulations of its Committee of Ministers, that only bind the three states, but are not directly applicable in their internal legal orders. They only become valid after having been incorporated into national law, with the exception of Belgium; the Belgian Court of Cassation decided in 1971 that any self-executing treaties have priority over laws by the Belgian parliament. The Treaty establishing the Benelux Union has provided the Committee of Ministers with the following legal instruments: decisions, conventions and directives; the Committee of Ministers can promulgate decisions in the fields for which it has competence - those fields are explicitly set down in the Union Treaty or the additional conventions. When the Committee of Ministers adopts a decision, it becomes binding on the three governments.
For a decision to be applicable to the citizen, it must be transposed into national law. The Union Treaty is not exhaustive. For this reason, Article 19 of the Treaty provides that the Committee of Ministers may conclude additional conventions; these therefore constitute extensions of the Union Treaty. They are submitted to the national parliaments for approval in keeping with the ratification procedure applied in each of the Member States, thus there are a large number of Benelux conventions in a wide range of subject matters. In 1965, the treaty establishing a Benelux Court of Justice was signed, it entered into force in 1974. The Court, composed of judges from the highest courts of the three States, has to guarantee the uniform interpretation of common legal rules; this international judicial institution is located in Brussels. The Benelux is active in the field of intellectual property; the three countries established a Benelux Trademarks Office and a Benelux Designs Office, both situated in The Hague.
In 2005, they concluded a treaty establishing a Benelux Organisation for Intellectual Property which replaced both offices upon its entry into force on 1 September 2006. This Organisation is the official body for the registration of trademarks and designs in the Benelux. In addition, it offers the possibility to formally record the existence of ideas, designs and the like; the Treaty between the Benelux countries establishing the Benelux Economic Union was limited to a period of 50 years. During the following years, more so after the creation of the European Union, the Benelux cooperation focused on developing other fields of activity within a changing international context. At the end of the 50 years, the governments of the three Benelux countries decided to renew the agreement, taking into account the new aspects of the Benelux-cooperation – such as security – and the new federal government structure of Belgium; the original establishing treaty, set to expire in 2010, was replaced by a new legal framework, signed on 17 June 2008.
The new treaty has no set time limit and the name of the Benelux Economic Union changed to Benelux Union to reflect the broad scop