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America's highest paid female executive had sex change at age 40

RT -

The New York Times has published the Equliar annual list of the 200 highest paid chief executives in the United States, and the top-paid female executive has only identified as female for the last 20 years of her life.

Rothblatt, who used to be a married father of four children, founded the biotech company United Therapeutics in 1996 after undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 1994.

She founded the company after her child was diagnosed with a rare illness, pulmonary arterial hypertension, which can restrict bloodflow to the lungs and is life-threatening.

The company has created a drug, Orenitram, for the disease, and now is a publicly traded company that had a market capitalization of $4.6 billion at the time of publication on June 10, 2014. Stock prices more than doubled after the drug got approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Most of Rothblatt’s compensation last year is a result of her decision to unload 9,066 company shares on Thursday June 5. The final transaction was valued at $874,506.36. After the sale, the CEO directly owns only 140 shares in the company, valued at around $13,000.

A lawyer by training and a graduate of UCLA, Rothblatt addressed a group of entrepeneurs at her alma mater in January.

“Always be open-minded,” Rothblatt told audience members, and added “but also be practical. Finally don’t give up. Entrepreneurs need that burning passion. Everybody’s life is an entrepreneurial project and I encourage everyone to find what they are passionate about,” Rothblatt said.

Lonely at the top

Only one in every 20 top executives in the US is a woman. Among the top 200 top CEOs, only 11 were women, 189 were men.

Yahoo’s prominent front lady Marissa Mayer made $25 million is the second highest-paid female, Carol Carol Meyrowtiz, owner of clothing retailer TJ Maxx, raked in $21 million in position number three, and Meg Whiteman of Hewlett Packard earned $17 million in 2013, at number four.

Though the pay is outstanding on its own, the average female CEO salary is still $1.6 million less than their male counterparts. Most of the men featured on Equilar’s list grossed more than $1 billion the last year.

Discrimination against women in the workforce is reflected not only in the nominal number of CEOs, but also in management and board positions, as well as salary, which both pale in comparison to their male colleagues.

​Pakistan shoots its messenger

RT -

The orders to shutdown Geo News were issued by the same government whose civilian leaders (Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid) had hitherto publicly announced that that they respect the independent media and would never contemplate closing television channels.

Something drastic happened between the Pakistani government’s initial hints of solidarity for Geo — which had been facing fire from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for “acting illegally in furtherance of an anti-Pakistan agenda” — and the decision last Friday to take its channels off air.

The notorious ‘state within the state’, as the ISI is known, along with the military that is infamous as an ‘army with a state under it’, prevailed over the legitimately elected civilian government and forced Geo’s gagging. Ironically, Geo TV was last banned during a state of emergency declared in 2007 by the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf.

The immediate background to Geo’s latest victimization by Pakistan’s entrenched defense establishment lies in an assassination attempt in April on the channel’s most famous anchor, Hamid Mir, in Karachi. Mir, who miraculously survived six bullets, was raising hackles in the military elite due to his outspokenness against the army’s brutal counter-insurgency in Balochistan province and his criticism of anti-India extremism in Pakistan.

As Hamid Mir was fighting for life in a Karachi hospital, his journalist brother Amir Mir went live on Geo TV to unleash a broadside against the ISI chief, General Zaheer ul-Islam, for orchestrating the assassination. Geo responded to the brazen shooting of its star anchor in typical overblown fashion, carrying General Zaheer’s photograph in the backdrop as Amir Mir vented spleen at the holiest of cows in Pakistan’s security apparatus.

The lesson of silencing

Even for the in-your-face pugnacious universe of Pakistani private television, a taboo had been crossed with such no-holds-barred panning of the ISI. Geo News had to be taught a lesson to remind Pakistan’s entire media industry about the red lines. Immediately after Amir Mir’s bravura performance, the Defense Ministry demanded that Geo be closed as punishment for “false and scandalous reports” against the ISI.

The military’s campaign to intimidate and financially ruin Geo included fantastic canards that Hamid Mir was an agent of RAW (India’s external intelligence agency) and that his channel was a mouthpiece for “pro-India propaganda.” The Geo network’s public opinion-shaping peace initiative with The Times of India group (Aman ki Asha or Hope for Peace), and its coverage of liberal Indian popular culture, earned the ire of Pakistan’s belligerent military top brass.

But where the tide turned ugly was when the ISI’s plot for taming Geo TV was aided and abetted by internecine rivalries among Pakistan’s fiercely competitive private media houses. Professional jealousy and personality clashes among immensely wealthy TV titans were exploited by the military establishment to whip up a frenzy against Geo as an unpatriotic outlet that must be silenced.

Geo’s executives, who were facing this full-scale assault, even apologised for telecasting content immediately after Hamid Mir’s assassination attempt which was “excessive, distressful and emotional”. But the tirade went on until the Geo network was pulled out of the broadcasting lineup, depriving Pakistan’s news-hungry citizens of their favorite news source.

By downing Geo, the ISI scored a goal against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had begun to show old signs of independence from the military. In the bitter assessment of a Geo spokesman, “the government had finally surrendered in the face of tremendous pressure from unseen forces.”

Political angle

The Pakistani Prime Minister’s determination to keep prosecuting his past nemesis, General Musharraf, and his intent to pursue a path of peace with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP (which launched a sensational terrorist attack on Karachi airport this week) have ruffled feathers in the security establishment. Pakistani army officers do not see much value in negotiating with the TTP and prefer an all-out assault on it, even if that involves massive civilian collateral damage. Time alone will tell whether Prime Minister Sharif is being naïve in seeking a political solution with hard core Islamists of the TTP, but with the military at odds with his desires, his credibility as a negotiator is already weakened with the TTP.

Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony in May was also contested by hawks in the Pakistani military, who remain wedded to the notion that ‘Hindu India’ is an eternal foe that must never be placated. Sharif had to dispatch his brother and Chief Minister of Pakistani Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, to personally meet the Chief of the Army and secure his approval before visiting New Delhi for Modi’s swearing-in.

Hamid Mir and Geo are thus pawns in this bigger tug-of-war between a popularly elected civilian Prime Minister, who told an Indian TV channel that the Chief of the Pakistani Army must “work under the federal government”, and the men in camouflage who believe they have a birthright to run their country.

As is the wont of a penetrative and sophisticated intelligence agency like ISI, the bulk of the attacks on Geo’s ‘anti-national’ programming were delivered by fellow media persons rather than the powers that be. But the outcome of this episode, with Geo under a temporary ban and facing a bleak future, is one which Pakistan’s boisterous print and electronic media houses would come to regret.

Muzzling Geo just as it was upping the ante against the unaccountable military will shrink the political opportunity space in which all Pakistani media organizations thrive. Mir and his Geo TV may not be paragons of virtue, but they were awakening audiences to the Praetorian military menace that has crippled Pakistan for six decades. Shooting the messenger is a regressive step for Pakistan’s fragile democracy and an alarm bell for a country adjudged by international advocacy bodies as one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists.

Hamid Mir’s brush with death was preceded by a gun attack on another notable TV anchor and liberal intellectual, Raza Rumi, in Lahore in March this year. Rumi too barely escaped his assailants, suspected to be Islamist extremists who derive patronage from the intelligence agencies. He poignantly remarked in The Wall Street Journal that, “if the state doesn't kill you, non-state actors will.” Unlike Mir and Rumi, the investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad (this author’s longtime colleague at the Hong Kong-based Asia Times) was kidnapped, tortured and killed in central Punjab province in 2011 for daring to probe the unsavory links between the ISI and anti-India jihadist groups.

The Pakistani military’s crackdown on media personalities and institutions which try to build confidence with India is a dreadful reminder of the thorny path to peace in South Asia. The harassment of Geo TV in the name of Pakistani nationalism shows that the minders of the airwaves will go to any length to ensure supremacy of the hostile narrative.

5 Americans allegedly killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan

RT -

On Tuesday, international coalition officials confirmed that five servicemen died on Monday in what appeared to be a friendly-fire incident, without giving the details or disclosing the nationalities of the deceased.

Reportedly, the servicemen came into contact with adversaries in Arghandab district of Zabul province and came under an airstrike alongside the enemy forces.

The soldiers who died in the incident allegedly called in the airstrike that killed them.

“ISAF troops were returning to their bases after an operation when they were ambushed by the insurgents. The airstrike mistakenly hit their own forces and killed the soldiers,” shared local Police Chief Ghulam Sakhi Roghlewanai.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban movement, claimed that a group of insurgents engaged with an ISAF unit when assault helicopters got into combat and mistakenly attacked the foreign unit.

"The casualties occurred during a security operation when their unit came into contact with enemy forces. Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation. Our thoughts are with the families of those killed during this difficult time,” the ISAF announcement said.

A friendly-fire incident of a similar scale took place over a decade ago, back in April 2002, when an American F-16 jet fighter dropped a bomb on a group of Canadian soldiers near a nighttime firing exercise in southern Kandahar, killing four of them.

The incident has brought the total 2014 death toll of coalition forces to 36. Of those, eight service personnel were killed in June.

If proved true, this could become probably the worst coalition friendly-fire loss of soldiers’ lives in over nearly 13 years of military campaign against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, just month ahead of the majority of foreign troops withdrawing from the country.

We All Must Become Zapatistas

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24075-we-all-must-become-zapatistas

We All Must Become Zapatistas. "Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesman for the Zapatistas (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or EZLN), has announced that his rebel persona no longer exists. He had gone from being a “spokesman to a distraction,” he said last week. His persona, he said, fed an easy and cheap media narrative. It turned a social revolution into a cartoon for the mass media. It allowed the commercial press and the outside world to ignore traditional community leaders and indigenous commanders and wrap a movement around a fictitious personality. His persona, he said, trivialized a movement. And so this persona is no more. “The entire system, but above all its media, plays the game of creating celebrities who it later destroys if they don’t yield to its designs,” Marcos declared..."

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

MagPi issue 24, out now!

Raspberry Pi -

The MagPi’s a little late this month, but it’s full of good things. The MagPi is the free magazine for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, written, typeset and edited by the community for the community.

This month’s issue has plenty for Pi fans of all levels to get their teeth into.

Click the image to visit The MagPi

We’re biased, but our favourite article this month is the interview with our very own Carrie Anne Philbin about Picademy, our free teacher training courses, where she talks a lot about the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s approach to education. And our hearts went pitter-patter when we saw the Wolfram Language-powered spectrophotometer from Robert J LeSuer, which can be used to calibrate colours: in this instance Robert is using it to make sure his watermelon punch is precisely the correct shade of red. There’s the final instalment in Michael Petersen’s Weather Balloon series, a project from Daniel Pelikan which turns your Raspberry Pi into an oscilloscope, and much more.

The MagPi is a free download: the volunteers on the project donate their time and skill every month for free, and we are very grateful to them. If you’d like a printed magazine, we’re selling the MagPi’s Kickstarted binders of the first nineteen issues in the Swag Store: get them while they’re hot!



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