Humanity and The West

Helen Joanne Cox was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Batley and Spen constituency from her election in May 2015.

At 12:53 pm BST on 16 June 2016, Cox was fatally shot and stabbed outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where she was about to hold a constituency surgery at 1:00 pm. A 77-year-old local man, Bernard Kenny, was also stabbed in the stomach while trying to fend off her attacker.

Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old Batley and Spen constituent had links to the U.S.-based neo-Nazi group National Alliance, shouted “This is for Britain. Britain will always come first” as he carried out the attack.

Cox was born Helen Joanne Leadbeater on 22 June 1974 in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. She was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School, where she was head girl. During summers, she worked packing toothpaste. Cox studied Social and Political Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1995. She later studied at the London School of Economics.

Following her graduation, Cox worked as an adviser to Labour MP Joan Walley. From 2001 to 2009, she worked for the aid groups Oxfam and head of Oxfam International’s humanitarian campaigns in New York City in 2007. Her work for Oxfam in which she met disadvantaged groups in Darfur and Afghanistan influenced her political thinking. Cox’s charity work led to a role advising Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was spearheading a campaign to prevent deaths in pregnancy and childbirth. Cox was the national chair of the Labour Women’s Network and a senior adviser to the Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery charity.

Reasons for Cox’s Murder

Cox, a supporter of the Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, called for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Cox campaigned for a solution to the Syrian Civil War. In October 2015, she co-authored an article in The Observer with Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, arguing that British military forces could help achieve an ethical solution to the conflict, including the creation of civilian safe havens in Syria. During that month Cox launched the All Party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group, becoming its chair. In the Commons vote in December to approve UK military intervention against ISIL in Syria, Cox abstained because she believed in a more comprehensive strategy that would also include combatting President Bashar al-Assad and his “indiscriminate barrel bombs”.
She wrote:
By refusing to tackle Assad’s brutality, we may actively alienate more of the Sunni population, driving them towards Isis. So I have decided to abstain. Because I am not against airstrikes per se, but I cannot actively support them unless they are part of a plan. Because I believe in action to address Isis, but do not believe it will work in isolation.

Army major who ‘tied’ Kashmiri man to jeep honoured

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley. Reports Rahul Singh of Hindustan Times, New Delhi (India). May 22, 2017 Indian Standard Time

An army major, who was in the eye of a storm for allegedly tying a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, has been awarded the army chief’s commendation card. Confirming the development, army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said the officer had been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation (COAS) card for “sustained efforts in CI (counter insurgency) operations”.

The army found itself in the middle of a firestorm after the surfacing of a video clip that showed a man tied to the fender of a Rakshak jeep and paraded through villages. A day after the video clip surfaced on April 14, 2017 the army ordered a probe into the incident.

In the video, announcements of people being warned that “this will be the fate of stone-pelters” could be heard in the background. The incident had triggered outrage in Kashmir, with separatists saying it was on “expected lines from an oppressor”.

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley.

Finding the Best Leaders (The Bosses – 5th installment)

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There is also the question of finding leaders who are more interested in receiving prestige and respect than having power. This is a particular challenge since many people who desire power tend to self-select into positions of leadership, while prestige-motivated workers may be happier working in less flashy positions.

“A real trick for organizations is to identify who those people are and raise them up into positions of leadership, whether or not they ask for it, because they might not always be as inclined as power-hungry people are to seek high-status positions in their organization,” Maner says.

But Maner cautions against seeing these prestige-motivated leaders as a cure-all. “Our work has painted a pretty magnanimous portrait of prestige-oriented leaders,” Maner says, “but I think that’s probably an oversimplification.”
In future research, he hopes to explore how prestige-motivated leaders make decisions when forced to choose between what will make the group happy and what is best for the organization.

“We have some preliminary evidence that they will undermine the goals of the group if it means maintaining prestige within the eyes of their subordinates,” he says.

In the end, the goal of his research is to help organizations function smoothly and productively.
“The ultimate goal here is to figure out how to help groups perform better,” he says. “That means selecting better leaders and bringing out the best in leaders. By understanding the motives that might drive leaders to behave in ways that hurt their organization, we’re better armed to combat those behaviors.