The Easiest Way To Find Ethical Places To Shop

Now you can go green while spending some green.

DoneGood, which launched nationally on Nov. 28, is a new Chrome extension and app that helps users find ethical and sustainable places to shop online. Businesses the app favors include those that are green, make high-quality, long-lasting products and support their workers. The companies that work with DoneGood also offer discounts to people who use the app and extension.

A discount pop up from DoneGood.

To use DoneGood, all you have to do is download it for free. Once installed, shop online like you typically would by searching for a product — like buying baby gear — on Google or Amazon.    

If there’s an ethical or sustainable company that makes baby products that are, say, natural or toxin-free, DoneGood will alert you.

And baby, that’s pretty much it.

What a Google search result will look like after you install DoneGood.

Cullen Schwarz and Scott Jacobsen, DoneGood’s cofounders, met in 2007 while working in Washington D.C. After becoming friends, they soon discovered they shared a mutual frustration.

We talked about how we wished there was something that made it easy to make sure the money we were spending was supporting the things we believed in. We decided we ought to build that thing.” Scott Jacobsen, cofounder of DoneGood

“Cullen was talking about how hard it was to find a hoodie he knew wasn’t made by a little kid or someone earning a poverty wage,”Jacobsen told The Huffington Post. “I complained that my favorite sandwich shop used plastic containers even for people dining in and didn’t even recycle so I had to stop going there. We talked about how we wished there was something that made it easy to make sure the money we were spending was supporting the things we believed in. We decided we ought to build that thing.”

In 2014, Schwarz and Jacobsen began to develop DoneGood as part of Harvard Innovation Labs’ Venture Incubation Program. While in development, the partners began talking to social enterprises and soon discovered why people had a hard time finding them.

Schwarz explained to HuffPost that these small to midsize companies don’t have the marketing budgets of the global corporate brands and get buried in searches by big-box stores.

“The extension solves that problem for them,” Schwarz told HuffPost.

DoneGood search on Amazon.

As a way to rectify this problem, DoneGood shows its results on popular sites such as Google or Amazon when its users are searching for products. DoneGood also screens the companies they suggest by looking to social impact certifications like certified B Corps, fair trade certified and GOTS certified organic. But other factors also come into play. For instance, DoneGood also looks for companies that make high-quality products built to last in order to combat waste.

“Stuff made out of natural material by skilled craftspeople who are paid well is just naturally going to be higher quality than stuff mass produced in a sweatshop,”Jacobsen said.

The personalization the DoneGood app allows users.

Though the Chrome extension is a handy tool (which you can download here), the mobile app (which you can download here) takes responsible spending one step further. The app allows users to customize the app so that it searches for companies with values that reflect their own, such as “women-owned,” “cruelty free” and “made in the U.S.A.”

 “The greatest tool each one of us has to create change is the dollars we spend,” Schwarz said. “When we support companies that do the right thing, we help them succeed, and the more other companies follow suit. The world gets better — just because we got something we needed to buy anyway.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/app-chrome-extension-finds-sustainable-ethical-companies_us_583c8986e4b04b66c01b3809

Texas A&M confirms white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at university

Alt-right figure invited to campus by former student, not university, which defends event on grounds of free speech despite protests


Texas A&M University has confirmed that Richard Spencer, a prominent figure in the white nationalist alt-right movement, will be allowed to speak at the university, despite protests against his appearance.

Spencer hosted a widely criticized event in Washington DC earlier this month. At the event attendees gave Hitler salutes while Spencer himself quoted Nazi propaganda and shouted Hail Trump. Spencer was invited to appear at Texas A&M by Preston Wiginton, a former student.

Wiginton met with university officials on Monday, in a meeting protesters had hoped might lead to the cancellation of Spencers appearance. Almost 10,000 people had signed a petition urging Texas A&M to cancel the 6 December event and denounce Spencers neo-Nazi, white nationalist rhetoric.

Amy Smith, a spokeswoman for Texas A&M, told the Guardian the event would be held as planned, however. Smith said the university had not invited Spencer, but would not cancel the event for reasons of free speech.

Texas A&M plans to hold its own event at the same time celebrating the inclusive environment and core values that we hold dear, Smith said.

Wiginton, who described himself as sympathetic to nationalists, told the Guardian he had invited Spencer before the Washington DC event which highlighted the racism and sexism of some in the alt-right movement but had not considered withdrawing the invitation.

He said he had invited Spencer primarily because hes been in the news quite a bit with the Trump election.

At American universities the education is so left-leaning that its more of an indoctrination than a discussion of ideas, Wiginton said. Ive brought other controversial speakers to A&M on topics that people dont want to discuss. Things such as immigration. So I just thought it was an opportunity.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Spencer as a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old, a kind of professional racist in khakis. He is the president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist thinktank, and has proposed a 50-year ban on immigration to the US, to preserve a white-dominant America.

More than 9,800 people signed a petition calling on Texas A&M to cancel the Spencer event. Smith, the universitys senior vice-president and chief marketing and communications officer, described Spencers views as reprehensible but said the event would go ahead.

Our students and our faculty, our staff and our alumni are outraged that this is happening to our campus when no one from our campus desires it, Smith said.

Smith said Wiginton had booked the event space before Texas A&M had realised he would use it to host Spencer. When the university discovered Wiginton planned to host a white nationalist event they were unable to cancel it due to free speech laws. Smith said Texas A&M planned to review its booking policies.

Texas A&M will hold an alternative event at the same time as Wigintons event, Smith said, which will be a celebration of the universitys core values and diversity.

Well have people address the crowd and itll be more of an inclusive event focus [rather] than giving credence to some person and their rhetoric that we find reprehensible, she said.

Wiginton, who attended Texas A&M in 2006-07, said he had invited Spencer as a private citizen. He said he had not yet decided whether the event would be exclusively for university students or would allow members of the public.

Spencer is due to speak at Rudder Tower on the university campus. Wiginton said he did not know how many people would attend, but the space would hold 400 people.

Wiginton said that he had previously hosted an event with Jared Taylor a white nationalist who also appeared at the alt-right event in Washington DC at Texas A&M in October 2012.

On that occasion 11 people came to see Taylor speak, Wiginton said, after college lecturers asked students not to attend.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/28/texas-am-university-richard-spencer-white-nationalist-confirms

Trumpitecture: what we can expect from the billionaire cowboy builder

The tower with a combover, the 90-storey skyscraper with just 72 floors, the name in huge shiny letters Trump says his buildings are beautiful. But all they stand for is money, status and power

As the self-styled builder president, Donald Trump began his electoral campaign with a grand architectural promise. I will build a great wall, he said, standing in the lobby of his proudest creation, Trump Tower in New York, surrounded by 240 tonnes of pink Breccia Pernice marble. Nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And Ill build them very inexpensively.

The billionaire real estate tycoon and president-elect has made a career out of building inexpensive walls and filling them with very expensive apartments. But this would be a wall of a different kind: an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall that would march along the Mexican border, to keep out the drugs, crime and rapists, punctuated with one big, beautiful door presumably so his Trump Tower taco bowls could still come in.

Like most of Trumps policies, the wall has always been big on bluster but light on detail. It mysteriously grew in height as his campaign snowballed, from 30 to 55ft, while budgets rose from $8bn to $12bn. Independent assessments suggest it would cost more like $25bn and require more than three times as much concrete as the Hoover Dam. Unperturbed, Trump insisted his wall would have beautiful everything and be just perfect. Maybe someday theyll call it the Trump Wall. So I have to make sure its beautiful, right? Since winning the election he has conceded that, in places, it might actually be a fence.

Trump
Tall storeys Trump Tower apartments start on floor 30 despite there being just 19 floors below them. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/ Getty

If its anything like the other edifices that bear his name, in 20ft high bronze letters, beauty might be stretching it. From the serrated flanks of his brooding Trump Tower to the gold lam attire of his Las Vegas hotel, his buildings glow with a surface sheen, like his own bronzed face, but it is a veneer of luxury that masks a prosaic product underneath.

As the former New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp put it, Trumps towers dont quite register as architecture but instead stand as signs of money, status, power like the diamonds, furs, yachts and other tokens of the deluxe life enjoyed in Marbella. What Muschamp found objectionable about Trumps taste was not the desire for attention, for the best, the most, the tallest, the most eye-catching but his failure to realise these desires creatively in the architectural medium. For the king of superlatives, nothing has ever turned out quite as tremendous as he promised.

His first Manhattan project, completed in 1980, set the tone, taking the ailing Commodore hotel, a handsome brick and limestone building from 1919, and entombing it inside a shell of mirrored glass. It spawned the Trump style of wrapping standard buildings in paper-thin party costumes of chrome, bronze or gold depending on the occasion, and adorning them with sparkly signifiers of glitz and glamour.

Just like his policies, Trumps real estate projects are often characterised by bold claims that dont quite stand up beginning with their height. He famously inflates the floor numbers of his buildings: the 90-storey Trump World has 72 floors, while apartments in Trump Tower begin at floor 30, despite there being just 19 commercial storeys below them. People are very happy, he has said, openly proud of his marketing ruse. They like to have apartments that have height, the psychology of it.

The Trump Tower in Chicago was planned to be the tallest building in the world when it was announced in 2001, but it was hurriedly scaled back following the 9/11 attacks despite Trumps rhetoric of not being cowed by terrorists. It now stands like a stunted Mini-Me version of Dubais Burj Khalifa (designed by the same architect), at less than half the height of its Arabian cousin.

Lacking the desired height, Trump tried to make up for it with the size of his sign, which spells out his name in back-lit stainless steel letters running the length of half an American football field across the 16th floor. Mayor Rahm Emanuel slammed the sign as tasteless and set about changing the citys regulations to prevent a repeat of such vulgarity. As ever, Trump hurried to Twitter to defend his creation: Before I bought the site, the Sun Times had the biggest, ugliest sign Chicago has ever seen, he thundered. Mine is magnificent and popular.

Taken
Taken down a billboard in Dubai, where Trump is building a golf course in the desert. Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty

But the popularity of the Trump brand a byword for Superior Quality, Detail and Perfection according to his website has suffered hammer blows as a result of his vitriolic presidential campaign. In Dubai, where he is building a golf course in the desert, a large billboard featuring the man himself swinging a club was taken down following the announcement of his plan to ban Muslims from entering the US, while sales of his home decor range were also suspended.

In Istanbul, where the conjoined tilting shafts of the Trump Towers loom 150 metres above the city, President Erdoan has declared that the ones who put that brand on their building should immediately remove it. Even before his comments, the $300m scheme had not provided the premium that investors were promised.

The
Prices slashed the Trump Ocean Club, Panama City. Photograph: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images

Similar stories of inflated expectations, followed by legal wrangling, are repeated across the globe. The Trump Ocean Club in Panama was plagued by delays. By the time the yonic edifice was completed in 2011, there was a glut of high-end apartments, so prices were slashed and many buyers walked away. The condo owners association is trying to sack Trumps management company, claiming it exceeded budgets and used its fees to cover hotel costs. Trump, in turn, is now seeking $75m in damages.

The Trump Tower hotel in Toronto topped with a strange quiff like the man himself also opened late to find the market flooded with five-star hotels. It has been subject to a lawsuit by buyers who say they were misled by marketing materials, while the local developer is also trying to remove Trumps name from the project.

Trump
Topped with a strange quiff like the man himself the Trump Tower hotel in Toronto. Photograph: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/ Getty

The story is repeated in New York, where Trump unusually settled a lawsuit brought by buyers of his $450m Trump SoHo development. They asserted that they had been defrauded by exaggerated claims. He admitted no wrongdoing however. According to the New York Times earlier this year, a separate lawsuit stated that the project was developed with the undisclosed involvement of convicted felons and financing from questionable sources in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Elsewhere, plans for further Trump towers, from Rio to Azerbaijan, have hit the buffers, while recent records show his controversial golf courses in Scotland have made losses of almost 26m. In sum, it all suggests that Trump might not be quite the star deal-maker he claims to be. So what is it like to be on the wrong side of his famous deals?

Architect
Architect Andrew Tesoro. Photograph: UPI/Barcroft Images

Architect Andrew Tesoro had first-hand experience of being on the receiving end of the Trump Organisations deal-making machine when he was commissioned to design the Trump National golf club in New York state, a process that left him on the verge of bankruptcy. Driven by Trumps infectious enthusiasm, the project quickly tripled in size along with the associated workload but the additional fees were not forthcoming.

By the time the building was completed, Tesoro had amassed unpaid invoices to the tune of $140,000. After endless requests and meetings with his associates, he finally got a face-to-face meeting with Trump, which proved to be a textbook lesson in Trumps trademark cocktail of charm and ruthlessness.

He told me that we built the most spectacular clubhouse in the world, Tesoro recalls. I was the finest architect hed ever met, he was going to make this project the best-known building of its type in the world, the next project was going to give me the opportunity to recoup any money that Id lost and, just because Im such a nice guy, he was going to offer me $25,000 to go away.

The
The Trump National golf club in New York state. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

At first Tesoro declined, so he was handed over to Trumps attorney. The attorney told me quite directly that, if I sued, I would probably get all the money I was owed, but that it was his job to make it take so long, and cost me so much, that it wouldnt be worth it.

It raises questions over how Trump plans to administer his $500bn infrastructure plan, a scheme that has already got the construction industry salivating at the thought of the tax-credit-driven contracts. We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals, Trump declared in his victory speech. Were going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.

Tesoro featured in this Clinton campaign video

The American Institute of Architects was quick to pledge its unwavering support to the new administration, writing that its 89,000 members stand ready to work with Trump on his grand building plan. But it turns out that the AIA had neglected to consult its members, many of whom have pointed out that Trumps bigoted pronouncements dont quite chime with the institutes diversity and inclusion goals.

The Architects Newspaper, meanwhile, warned that architects who contributed to the proposed border wall or its attendant detention centres, federal and private prisons, and militarised infrastructure would be perpetuating inequality and the racist patriarchy of Trumps ideology.

As architect and critic Michael Sorkin writes in an open letter: Trumps well-documented history of racial discrimination, tenant harassment, stiffing creditors, evasive bankruptcies, predilection for projects of low social value such as casinos and his calculated evasion of the taxes that might support our common realm are of a piece with his larger nativist, sexist, and racist political project.

He concludes: We call upon the AIA to stand up for something beyond a place at the table where Trumps cannibal feast will be served. Let us not be complicit in building Trumps wall but band together to take it down!

The AIA has since issued a grovelling video apology, admitting their statement was tone deaf while no doubt rushing out to stock up on security fencing and gold glazing catalogues.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/nov/27/architecture-donald-trump-tower-president-elect

Sex Pistols Manager’s Son Torches Punk Memorabilia Worth Millions

LONDON – Piles of punk music memorabilia went up in flames on a river barge in London on Saturday in a protest against the way the once rebellious genre has been subsumed into mainstream culture.

Joe Corre, son of former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and designer Vivienne Westwood, set fire to clothes and paraphernalia he valued at between 5 and 10 million pounds ($6.2 million – $12.5 million), on the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut single “Anarchy in the UK”.

Neil Hall / Reuters
A collection of punk music memorabilia went up in flames on Saturday in a protest meant to highlight how the genre has been subsumed into the cultural establishment.

Standing in front of flags bearing the names of global corporations, Corre also burned firework-stuffed effigies of Prime Minister Theresa May and her predecessors David Cameron and Tony Blair, dressed in Sex Pistols clothes.

“Punk was never meant to be nostalgic,” Corre said, addressing a crowd of around 100 people on the bank of the River Thames in the affluent Chelsea area of London.

“Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need,” said Corre, who himself co-founded lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

Neil Hall / Reuters
Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you dont need, Corre said at the event.

He directed his “Burn Punk London” protest at a celebration of punk music backed by the Mayor of London and the British Council, called Punk.London.

Corre’s punk collection, which he began burning a few days ago and will continue to destroy over the coming weeks, includes rare Pistols recordings.

Sex Pistols guitarist Glen Matlock told Sky News that Corre’s protest was “dopey”.

“I want to paraphrase Monty Python – he’s not the savior, he’s a naughty boy. I think that Joe is not the anti-Christ, I think he’s a nincompoop,” Matlock said.

(Reporting by Georgina Cooper and William Schomberg, writing by Andy Bruce; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sex-pistols-burn-memorabilia_us_583a275ae4b01ba68ac4beae

The three things Donald Trump really cares about

(CNN)Two weeks into his transition from President-elect to America’s commander in chief, Donald Trump has signaled his priorities and demonstrated the habits of mind he will bring to the most powerful position in the world. The clues tell us we shouldn’t expect this 70-year-old showman to be transformed into a genuinely sober, predictable leader, but this is not necessarily a bad omen.

There are lots of things ordinary politicians care about — rules about what kinds of things can be said while in office or on the campaign trail, traditions that have been tested in the history of US government and politics — that Trump may not care about. But it’s clear from his career and evident from his period as President-elect so far that there are three things he does care about:

    He still cares about the media — a lot.

    Trump has attended two big gatherings in the days since he seized the presidency. Neither of these sessions brought him together with the campaign staff that served him so well or a large group of men and women who might serve in his administration.
    Instead Trump chose to spend hours with the key leaders of the major TV news networks and the writers and editors of The New York Times.
    No one in such a high position should feel compelled to respond to the rather mild types of commentary expressed on “SNL” or at the “Hamilton” performance. Barack Obama, to cite one very apt comparison, didn’t respond every time Donald Trump suggested inaccurately he might not be legitimately the president because he could have been foreign-born.
    Behind Trump’s resentful tweets, of course, resides his deeply felt insecurity and constant concern for his public image. He may be poised to accept the most powerful job in the world, but the comments prove he doesn’t really feel powerful. He remains needy and obsessed with making sure everyone recognizes his greatness.
    Complaint is Trump’s longstanding practice and in the transition period he has shown he remains vulnerable to insult. Sometimes he sees insult when it isn’t even present. The “Hamilton” tweet is a case in point. As the cast member gave his brief speech, the object of it, Pence, told his children that the moment demonstrated what freedom looks like.

    Trump still cares about personal profit

    Although he has referred to the arrangements he is making for his businesses as a “blind trust,” Trump is keeping his holdings intact and will put his kids in charge. To expect them to do anything inconsistent with his wishes is like expecting lion cubs to turn vegetarian. We should, instead, assume that they will not only inform him of their activities but they may also exploit his status as president.
    No one elected president has carried into office the complex and far-flung interests Trump has built over his many decades of entrepreneurial activity. Trump partnerships and branded projects can be found across the United States and around the world. Trump has already been subject to reports that in post-election contacts with leaders in Argentina and the United Kingdom he may have mixed business with affairs of state.
    Despite the demands of the transition, Trump made time to meet with business partners from India.
    Worse, in terms of the image it conveyed, was the effort by one of Ivanka Trump’s businesses to market the bracelet she was seen wearing during an interview with the TV news program “60 Minutes.” Priced at $10,800, the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry piece is made of gold and diamonds. A “style alert” her company sent to the media noted it is her “favorite bangle.” (An executive of the brand said a marketing employee had sent the alert to the media and that the company was still adjusting to the post-election reality. The company said it is considering new policies about how it sells her products.)

    Join us on Twitter and Facebook

    As he moves between business and government, President-elect Trump has made the point that “the law’s totally on my side” and a president “can’t have a conflict of interest.” That is consistent with his lifelong practices of equating what is “legal” and what may be the right thing to do. It is also not entirely accurate. Presidents have long been given the benefit of the doubt by those who assume they will avoid conflicts and they are exempt from regulations covering other government officials. However the US Constitution bars officeholders, arguably including the president, from receiving “foreign emoluments.” This clause of the Constitution indicated the Founders concern about undue influences and could provide the basis for a challenge to Trump’s practices should he indicate a conflict.
    Although one can imagine a legal challenge if Trump mixes business and his role as president, the true counterweight to his more risky impulses is his desire for approval. Here the time he spent at The New York Times is most illuminating.
    On position after position, from climate change to the use of torture against terror suspects, Trump offered the editors and reporters more nuanced and flexible attitudes than he ever showed during the campaign. On a personal level, though, his comment about Republicans who rejected him during the campaign but want to be in his good graces now showed where his heart tends to go. “Right now, they’re in love with me,” he said at the meeting.
    In his candid references to critics who now love him, and new policy positions that would reassure those who worry about a future with Trump in the White House, the President-elect reminded us that he wants, more than anything else, the security that comes when admiration is added to his wealth. He wants love to go with his money and he’s willing to behave more like a responsible politician if it means he will get it.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/25/opinions/what-does-trump-care-about-dantonio/index.html

    Crewe Alexandra: how a football talent factory has been thrown into turmoil | Owen Gibson

    Crewe Alexandra are famed for developing talented youngsters but are now tainted after former players spoke of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the coach Barry Bennell at the club in the 1980s

    Based in a place once best known for its railway junction and its former Rolls Royce engineering works, Crewes unusually named and unashamedly progressive football club once gave its home town something of which to be proud.

    Now, the opposite is true, as the staff and fans of Crewe Alexandra find themselves under the microscope after revelations from their former players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters, who have waived their right to anonymity to speak of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the serial paedophile Barry Bennell while with the club in the 1980s.

    When Dario Gradi, an Italy-born former schoolteacher who had made his managerial name at Wimbledon but was still smarting from an ill-starred spell at Crystal Palace, arrived at Gresty Road in June 1983 he found a club in the doldrums. They had finished 91st of 92 and, in the days before automatic relegation for finishing at the bottom of the professional games pile, had not for the first time been forced to seek re-election to the Football League.

    Since then, and over more than three decades, Crewe Alexandra have prospered on their own terms there were five promotions, including two trips to Wembley, amid a climb to footballs second tier and back again and Gradi became revered as a footballing alchemist, setting up a steady production line of talented youngsters who went on to bigger and better things.

    The transfer fees they reaped along the way, said in 2014 to total at least 32m, were reinvested in rebuilding the ground, growing the academy and developing the club in a cost-effective, sustainable way within a strict wage structure. Attendances crept up and the club formed strong bonds with their fans and the wider community, despite the allure of more glamorous clubs nearby.

    Jules Hornbrook, an advertising copywriter and Crewe fan, wrote in 2000 in his book The Gradi Years: Under his leadership, Crewe Alexandra gained a reputation for playing excellent football and nurturing numerous young stars while surviving in an industry increasingly obsessed with money. Put simply, Gradi has instilled passion and belief in people who, years before, had written the club off.

    These days young players now opt for Crewe ahead of many clubs, and fans know that for every player sold there will be two, maybe three, fresh names emerging from the homegrown ranks.

    At the heart of all this was Crewes much admired academy and talent scouting network, even in the hypercompetitive market for young players in the white heat of footballs northwest hotbed. As a result, many young players and their families chose Crewe over bigger, wealthier clubs, confidently scanning the glittering list of alumni.

    The production line of names include several internationals and many more who have gone on to play at the highest level including David Platt, Dean Ashton, Rob Jones, Geoff Thomas, Craig Hignett, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Robbie Savage and Neil Lennon.

    In an era when income flooded into English football as successive TV deals fuelled rampant inflation in wages and transfer fees, managers tenures grew ever shorter as owners sought quick fixes and supporters demanded instant results. Gradi and Crewe, meanwhile, were almost alone as standing for what was painted as a purer vision of footballs allure.

    His name may not be as well known to casual observers of the national sport as those of Sir Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein but among his contemporaries Gradi was spoken of in the same revered terms. Sir Bobby Robson called him honest, diligent and remarkable.

    His first spell as Crewe manager lasted an almost unheard of 24 years, during which he was handed a 10-year contract with a controversial clause giving him a proportion of transfer fees as a bonus, and spanned 1,244 games.

    Dario
    Dario Gradi was manager of Crewe Alexandra for 26 years and built the club up after taking over in 1983. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

    When Gradi initially stepped down in 2007 to take up a role as technical director, he passed on the role to Steve Holland now assistant manager to Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Gareth Southgate with England. But he then returned twice more as manager, for a month as caretaker in 2008, and then for two years between 2009 and 2011.

    When he stepped down for a final time, Gradi returned to the role of director of football and retained oversight of the academy that made his name. It was in keeping with a club often described as tight-knit or like a family that the man who succeeded him, his assistant Steve Davis, had played under Gradi between 1983 and 1987. One of Daviss sons, Harry, plays for him at Crewe.

    Davis, who retained his job despite relegation to League Two last season, had a very brief stint as player-manager at Northwich Victoria in 2003. On the books there was a player at the tail-end of his own playing career, who felt he could no longer be involved in football given the pressure of the secrets inside his head.

    Woodward, whose decision to speak about the horrors he endured at the hands of the Crewe coach Bennell, would have been just beginning his career at Alexandra when Davis played his final game for them.

    It is one of many haunting, troubling aspects of the stand made by Woodward and Walters in recent days that the very thing that has come to define Crewe is now so horrifically tainted. Hornbrook said there was a strange atmosphere on Tuesday night during the league game at Gresty Road, where a below-average crowd watched Crewe run out 2-1 winners against Morecambe under stormy skies.

    Key to Crewes success over Gradis three decades was his relationship with John Bowler, the chairman. Bowler, a former marketing director at the pharmaceuticals giant Wellcome and a committed Christian, joined the Crewe board in 1980 and became chairman three years into Gradis tenure.

    Andy
    Andy Woodward now and in his time as a Crewe player. He has spoken of the abuse he suffered as a young player at the club. Composite: Chris Thomond for the Guardian/Rex Features

    It was Bowler, who brought his business acumen to bear on Crewe and awarded Gradi that unheard of 10-year contract, who told the Guardians David Conn in his 2005 book The Beautiful Game that he believed football had a higher purpose. It can sound a bit Holy Joe, but we believe football has a special place in society, he said. It unites people around a common cause and we have a responsibility to use that to benefit a community.

    Gradi was named an MBE in 1998 for services to English football, inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and got the Professional Footballers Association merit award the same year. Bowler was also awarded an MBE in 2014 and Crewe have repeatedly won prizes and plaudits for the values they are seen to represent to their fans and the game at large.

    Now 79, Bowler cut a rather more diminished, troubled figure when after several days of silence that had distressed Crewe fans and Woodward himself he eventually recorded an interview for the BBCs News at Ten on Tuesday after Walters had become the second Alexandra player to publicly tell his story of abuse at the hands of Bennell.

    At the match on Tuesday night, Hornbrook who had branded the clubs initial refusal to comment on the matter disgusting but later welcomed the fact they had now done so said that Bowler looked a shaken man.

    The club is a tight-knit family literally in some senses, with Bowlers daughter Alison employed as operations director. Whatever their intention, the undoubted impression from the outside has been of a club closing ranks. The unravelling scandal has badly shaken a supporter base who see themselves as part of that family.

    Steve
    The former Crewe player Steve Walters was abused by Barry Bennell while at the club. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

    Hornbrook said on his blog: Every other message posted by Alex fans on social media recently seems to include the word disillusioned. That is sad, that so many seem disconnected from the club they love.

    As with the Jimmy Savile scandal, to which the slowly unravelling crisis at Crewe has been compared by Woodward, this has been festering for a long time. Just as the BBC was at the dark heart of Saviles abuse, its tentacles reached out to his other charitable and media interests.

    Bennells position at Crewe appears to have given him similar power and opportunity, but as the former England international David White affirmed this week, his sphere of influence appears to have spread throughout the north-west. Bennell was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998.

    While the broad reaction from the so-called football family has been warm and supportive, many former players and those connected specifically to Crewe speak vaguely of rumours they heard at the time but were unwilling to dwell on, as though unable to interrogate them for fear of what they might have found.

    All of which makes the stand taken by Woodward, his fellow Crewe graduate Walters and the former Manchester City player White and others all the more remarkable.

    There has been mounting pressure on Gradi, the garlanded and revered architect of Crewes academy over so long, to say more about what he knew and when. On Thursday he issued a statement to express sympathy to the victims of Barry Bennell not only at Crewe Alexandra but at other clubs in the north-west and said no one at the club was aware of Bennells crimes until Bennell was arrested in the US in 1994. Crewe have said they take any allegation seriously and that any form of abuse has no place in football or society.

    But for victims, Crewe fans and the wider public there remain questions to answer.

    As Hornbrook contemplated the crisis breaking over a club that for so long has been held up as an example to the rest of football, he added: As a supporter base, were all familiar with the story that is slowly emerging. Many of us questioned from the sidelines what had happened. There was perhaps a reluctance from the club to dig. Now they will have to.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/24/crewe-alexandra-barry-bennell

    ‘Songaminute Man’ Ted heads JustGiving awards – BBC News

    Media captionTed McDermott and his son Simon sang Quando, Quando, Quando

    An 80-year-old ‘carpool karaoke’ star with Alzheimer’s disease has been named the UK’s “most creative” fundraiser.

    Teddy McDermott – known as the Songaminute Man – helped raise 130,000 for charity after son Simon recorded videos of the pair singing in the car.

    Dean Ovel, who built and ran on a human-size hamster wheel in aid of dementia, was also recognised by the awards from website JustGiving.

    Lyla Brown was named Young Fundraiser, after raising money for Water Aid.

    She raised nearly 1,700 having asked for donations to the charity instead of presents for her fifth birthday.

    She had been saddened by the number of children in developing countries with no access to clean drinking water and asked her mother for buckets of water.

    Image copyright Lyla Brown
    Image caption Lyla Brown put fresh water before presents

    They were some of the winners picked by 110,000 votes from 14,000 charity fundraising nominees.

    ‘He remembers songs’

    Mr McDermott is a former Butlin’s Redcoat, who spent decades travelling the country singing in clubs.

    He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013.

    His son’s video of them singing Quando, Quando, Quando in the car as they drove around Blackburn, Lancashire, has been viewed two million times.

    Simon began an appeal in June, with the aim of raising 1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, and it snowballed.

    Image copyright Simon McDermott
    Image caption Ted McDermott has been a singer all his life

    He said: “Dad could become violent as the Alzheimer’s kicked in, but singing seemed to help. Some days he might not remember me properly but he can still remember songs.”

    His father is dubbed the “Songaminute Man” because he knows thousands of songs by heart, with Frank Sinatra among his favourites.

    He “can’t grasp” the enormity of the support from across the world, his son said, but “gets more excited about having some fans in Birmingham where he’s from”.

    Mother’s inspiration

    Natalia Spencer, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, won the Endurance Fundraiser of the year.

    She walked 6,000 miles around the English coastline in aid of the hospital which cared for her daughter Elizabeth.

    Elizabeth died last year, aged five, after contracting a rare autoimmune condition, and her mother had fond memories of taking her to the seaside.

    Image copyright Natalia Spencer
    Image caption Natalia Spencer walked in memory of her daughter, who died in December

    Also honoured was Nicole Sedgebeer, a 21-year-old from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, who won a Life Changer award.

    She raised 13,143 to help mark Mark, a homeless man who sleeps rough in London, get back on his feet.

    He helped Ms Sedgebeer when she missed her last train home after a night out, directing her to an all-night cafe, and making sure she made it safely to the first train in the morning.

    Image copyright Paul Trueman
    Image caption Paul Trueman, with his children Theo and Gracie, was inspired by tales from Ambridge

    Where radio fiction met reality, Paul Trueman, a fan of The Archers, raised 171,000 for domestic abuse victims.

    The 41-year-old was inspired to raise money for Refuge by the Radio 4 soap’s story of Helen Titchener, a character who fled her abusive husband.

    Earlier this year she was tried, and cleared, of the attempted murder of Rob.

    “The tale gripped me,” he said. “Very quickly people began donating and even sharing their own stories of abuse.”

    Mr Trueman, who works in marketing, has now been appointed trustee for a domestic abuse charity in his home county of Devon.

    “It’s changed the way I see the world, probably for the sadder,” he said.

    Image copyright East News Press Agency
    Image caption Dean Ovel ran on a hamster wheel for 24 hours without stopping

    His efforts were named alongside Dean Ovel’s 24 hours spent running on a giant hamster wheel in aid of Southend Hospital Charity’s Dementia Appeal.

    Mr Ovel raised nearly 8,000 by building a human-sized wheel in his garden and then moving it to his local high street, to run in front of shoppers for a day.

    Zarine Kharas, JustGiving’s founder, who has run the awards for seven years, said: “More of us give to complete strangers than ever before, because we have been moved by their stories.”

    Related Topics

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38051023

    Aiba president CK Wu accused of personally securing controversial loan

    Amateur boxings world governing body and its president, CK Wu, face more serious questions after it was alleged a controversial loan deal was secured by the president himself

    A former senior executive at world boxings embattled governing body who was ousted in a bitter power struggle has claimed its president was intimately involved in securing a controversial loan from Azerbaijan.

    The new claims about the genesis of the deal come amid wider concern over the organisations finances and the details of a looming 100-year commercial deal with a Chinese firm.

    Aiba, the world governing body for amateur boxing and a recipient of millions of pounds in International Olympic Committee funds, negotiated the controversial Azeri loan in 2009. It was alleged by the BBC in 2011 that the deal was linked to a promise to favour Azerbaijani boxers at the London 2012 Games. Aiba has consistently denied there was any link and said earlier this year, after the Guardian revealed fears over a corruption crisis at the Rio Olympics that later led to all 36 judges being suspended pending a continuing investigation, that the loan was in the process of being repaid. Last week the governing body said it was still in discussions with the Azerbaijani investor.

    Since then a confidential PriceWaterhouseCoopers report compiled in 2015 and seen by the Guardian has revealed a host of financial issues at Aiba related to the loan, including irregularities so serious that the auditor recommended a criminal lawyer be retained by the governing body.

    Amid a hail of claim and counter claim, Aiba has said the former executive director Ho Kim was solely responsible for the operations of World Series Boxing an ambitious attempt to establish a new global tournament between competing franchises in America and that he found the Azeri investor and enjoyed wide discretion in the negotiations and implementation of the transaction.

    It is believed that Aiba plans to take legal action against Kim in Switzerland, where its headquarters are based, but it is as yet unclear on what grounds. But Kim, who denies any wrongdoing, has now told the Guardian that Dr CK Wu, the controversial president of the amateur world governing body, who is also an IOC executive board member, was intimately involved in signing the deal.

    A long story to be short, yes, [the] president went to Baku for the final negotiation to sign the investment agreement. After this visit the agreement was signed with the Azeri company based in Switzerland, Ho Kim said. However, later Azerbaijan could not do this way and changed the agreement by investing directly from Azerbaijan we had to sign the agreement again. Yes, [the] president was involved [in] all negotiations and progresses from the start to the end of this deal.

    Documents seen by the Guardian, including a letter from Dr Wu to the Azerbaijani minister of emergency situations, Kamaladdin Heydarov, in August 2010 appear to back up the claim that the president was closely involved in negotiating the loan. In the letter, in which Dr Wu appears to mention meeting the minister (who is also head of the Azerbaijan boxing federation) in Baku the previous month, he asks Heydarov to finalise the payment as soon as he can.

    The details of the letter also appear to raise questions over the conclusions of Aibas own internal review, which concluded in December 2011 that the loan came from a private sector investor, about the extent of the governments involvement. In a statement to the Guardian Aiba again insisted it was Kim who was chiefly responsible for negotiating the loan and for how it was spent. We confirm that Ho Kim found the investor and enjoyed wide discretion in the negotiation and in the implementation of the transaction. Significantly Mr Kim signed alone the first Memorandum of Understanding that eventually led to the loan, said a spokesman.

    This loan was arranged for a separate legal entity from Aiba, WSB America Operations SA, which was operated solely by Mr Kim. The loan was expected to be used to help grow boxing in North America under Mr Kims responsibility. Mr Kim was the sole board member not only of WSB America Operations SA but also of all its affiliates.

    Kim denied that he was responsible for any accounting irregularities.

    Kim, who alleges that Dr Wu was personally involved in the loan and employed a consultant to act as his eyes and ears in America, was acrimoniously ousted in 2015 to be replaced as executive director by Karim Bouzidi. The Guardian can reveal that Bouzidi has now also left the governing body after his role was reassigned in the summer at the height of the controversy over claims of judging corruption. Bouzidi has not yet commented publicly about his position.

    Kim also spoke in detail about a $10m loan he and Dr Wu solicited from a Kazakhstani investor and a Chinese investor, Di Wu, who discussed lending 35m Swiss francs ($34.9m) and is said to have eventually invested around half that amount.

    Aibas critics believe the rush to conclude a wide-ranging, 100-year commercial deal with AliSports, a division of the Chinese giant AliBaba, is partly due to the urgency in repaying the various loans and part of an attempt by Dr Wu to entrench his powerbase before a special congress he has called next month. Aiba denies the proceeds from the Chinese deal will be used to repay the Azerbaijan loan.

    Wus current term as president runs out in 2018. Some insiders believe he is looking for ways to extend that tenure, others that he will give the new Chinese investors greater influence. Some in the boxing world fear that the Chinese firm will be given unprecedented influence over the future of the sport.

    In response to questions from the Guardian, Aiba insisted the deal which it is understood will give AliSports a 67% stake in a new 100-year joint venture in return for an up-front investment of around 110m Swiss francs ($109m) was purely a commercial one and had nothing to do with repaying outstanding loans.

    The two entities are close to reaching a final agreement. Details will be announced shortly, a spokesman said. This agreement has nothing to do with the repayment of the said loan you mention. It is a long-term partnership which will benefit our sport and its boxers. The Joint Venture with Alisports will focus essentially on the commercial and marketing rights of boxing. The governance of boxing remains under the attributes of Aiba.

    Negotiations over the Chinese deal are believed to be close to a conclusion and some Aiba executives and national boxing federations are currently in StPetersburg for the Youth World Boxing Championships.

    In the wake of the scandal in Rio, when the Guardians warnings about fears of corruption among concerned senior Aiba insiders were followed by a global outcry during the Olympics and the suspension of all 36 officials afterwards pending investigation there were calls for more transparency and a comprehensive overhaul of Aibas governance. Those loyal to Dr Wu insist his recent actions including an internal review into the judging claims prove that he is serious about cleaning up the sport and that the Chinese deal is part of a plan to put it on an even keel financially. They claim that Ho Kim is a bitter ex-employee and that his account is therefore compromised.

    However, Dr Wus long list of critics believe the opposite is true and that the power-hungry president is increasingly desperate to find a quick fix to the mounting financial and organisational problems by sealing the AliBaba deal before Decembers special congress in order to cling on to power. Under Wu a series of increasingly ambitious schemes to expand Aibas influence including WSB and the Boxing Marketing Arm have combined with a push to allow professionals into the Olympics and the rejection of headguards to make its competitions more attractive. But well-placed insiders alleged they also coincided with financial and organisational chaos that left Aiba unable to function effectively.

    An Aiba spokesman reiterated that it had commissioned the PWC report itself to try to get to the bottom of where the Azerbaijan loan had gone and planned to take further action. We would like to underline that in the draft PWC report you mentioned and which was circulated illegally, much of the findings require further investigation, he said. This is why Aibawho has taken the initial step of commissioning the report and is addressing the contents of the report in a serious mannerhas requested an additional report to confirm the financial discrepancies found in the initial report.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/21/aiba-president-ck-wu-loan-azerbaijan-rio-olympics

    JarettKobek: The internet has been enormously detrimental to society

    The author of Silicon Valley satire I Hate the Internet on the evils of social media, and how novelists have failed to tackle it

    When the novel I Hate the Internet came out in the US earlier this year, it had every likelihood of sinking without trace. It was self-published, it was by a young unknown Jarett Kobek and its main selling point was naked, gleeful contempt for the devices and technology platforms that are an essential part of all our daily lives. Nothing says individuality like 500 million consumer electronics built by slaves, he says at one point. Welcome to hell. Hell, for Kobek, a 38-year-old American of Turkish heritage, became daily life in San Francisco, where the novel is set. Along with many of the citys artists and writers, he found himself driven out by the forces of gentrification, moved to Los Angeles, where hes now based, set up his own small press, and wrote this book a scorching satire of how a few hypercapitalist companies in Silicon Valley have come to dominate everything. I Hate the Internet didnt sink without trace. It found a readership thirsty for its funny, acerbic edge, got a rave review in the New York Times, went to the topof the bestseller charts in Germanyand has now been published here by Serpents Tail.

    So, do you actually hate the internet, Jarett?
    Not particularly. Theres part of it that I find really contemptible. The title is offered like the sneer of a 15-year-old into Twitter, after theyve just seen a meme of someone having sex with a chicken or something. I hate parts of it. I certainly think its been enormously detrimental to society.

    You seem particularly down on Twitter.
    Its not Twitter per se. Its the undue amount of importance that very serious people put on Twitter. That,to me, is whats infuriating. Its a social network that makes everyonesound like a 15-year-old and then very serious people take it way too seriously. And thats not how to run a society. Thats not how to effectchange.

    You say: One of the curious aspects ofthe 21st century was the great delusion that freedom of speech and freedom of expression were best exercised on technological platformsowned by corporations dedicated to making as much money as possible. And yet youre not exempt from that: your novel is available as an ebook
    Ah, yes. Ultimately, we live in a very dark moment where if you want to be part of any extended conversation beyond a handful of people, you do have to sign on to some things that, ultimately, are very unpalatable. Every era has its unanswerable questions, so maybe the thing to do, which is what I did in the book, is to just acknowledge the inherent hypocrisy of all of it. Though maybe thats an easy dodge.

    One of the things that comes up time and again is the undercurrents of misogyny and racism that seem to have been enabled or unleashed by technology. Do you think theres something fundamental about that?
    I do think it has to be acknowledged that this technology which seems to be really good at enabling misogyny and abuse of women was created in rooms where there were no women. The people who seem to be the recipients of the most abuse online look like the people who were simply not in the room when all of this stuff was being created. If the book does anything, it acknowledges that.

    It seems like a particularly interesting moment to think about that in terms of where were at now. Would Trump have been possible without the internet?
    Of course not. Look who benefits from all the endless newspaper inchesabout how the oppressed peoples of the world are going to be liberated by technology. Ive just been on book tour to a lot of battleground states where I spent a lot of time 10 years ago. And if you want to look what hypercapitalism looks like, do a before and after of the Midwest, with a 10-year-break in between. Its so devastated. Was it always a wonderful place to live? Probably not, but was it sort of like a road of ruination and emptiness? No. And I think the internet has been really good at aiding that process, certainly in destroying jobs.

    Reading your book made me think that we simply havent even had the language to criticise the internet until now. That theres been no outside to the internet. No place to oppose it from
    I think the outside is publishing, actually. I mean publishing in the most Platonic sense of the word, rather than the squalid industry that we have. I think that books actually can be anything. Publishings response to the internet has been completely pathetic, but God, if theres going to be an opposition, a response, its not going to come in the form of tweets.

    You claim writers have chosen to ignore the dominant story of the 21st century and have instead rolled over and embraced Twitter as a marketing device. Do you think theres just been a complete dereliction of duty?
    Not from everyone, but yes, if you see the literary novels that have been coming out even in the last two or three years, very few of them have much of a connection to anything now. How many of the literary novels published by the four major companies in the US have much to do with a world after which Trump wins the presidency? Have they published even a single working-class writer? I cant think of one.

    Youre pretty scathing about some of thetechnology companies. You say that the idea that Google and Twitter contributed to the Arab spring is like saying the Russian revolution was sponsored by Ford…
    I went to Egypt in 2011, about four weeks after Mubarak fell and no one mentioned Facebook or Twitter. Whatthey were talking about was money, and how they didnt have any. At the same time, I was living in San Francisco, where there were Facebook employees who seemed to believe they were bringing enlightenment and freedom to the oppressed masses of the world, evicting Latino families whod lived in the same place for 60 years. Its just absurdIts absurd to think that a complex, social thing, like a revolution, happening 7,000 or 8,000 miles awaywas being fuelled and generatedby some stuff some nerds put out on a cellphone.

    You had to make legal changes to the UK edition, which youve done with the device of writing [JIMLL FIX IT] where youve redacted passages such as those about Googles Larry Page and Amazons Jeff Bezos. How did that come about?
    I didnt want to delete the text per se, and Id just read Dan Daviess biography of Jimmy Savile and it really fascinated me, because in the US youre constantly being told everything is a conspiracy and actually nothing ever is. Rich people tell you what theyre going to do and then they do it. Whereas here, there really was a conspiracy. It really did happen.

    I Hate the Internet is published by Serpents Tail (12.99). Click here to order a copy for 10.65

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/20/jarett-kobek-internet-enormously-detrimental-i-hate-the-internet-interview

    Plans to ban pension cold calls – BBC News

    Image copyright PA

    Cold calls offering exotic investment opportunities to people cashing in their pension pots will be banned under government plans.

    Ministers estimate eight scam calls are made every second to UK residents, leading to an annual loss of 19m.

    Advice services and legitimate companies said such calls had “plagued” the pensions world for years.

    The ban, which could be enforced with fines of up to 500,000, would not cover texts and emails.

    However, the government will gather views on extending the proposed ban to all electronic communications.

    The police already have powers to take down fraudulent websites, but calls from overseas are likely to remain a problem as the Treasury says it can do little about them.

    Pension changes

    The move, which will be formally announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement next week, is aimed at tackling a surge in scam calls resulting from the Treasury’s change to pension rules.

    Savers can now cash in their pension pot from the age of 55.

    When that access was permitted for the first time last year, people were taking out sums averaging close to 20,000. The latest tax authority figures show typical withdrawals have fallen to about 10,000.

    As predicted when the reforms were introduced, these sums have attracted the attention of fraudsters offering highly risky or spurious investment opportunities.

    The Pensions Advisory Service said that the changes “have seen scammers trade off the back of the public having a recollection that the government has introduced new legislation”.


    Pension reforms

    • People aged 55 and over can withdraw any amount from a defined contribution (DC) scheme, subject to income tax
    • Tax changes make it easier to pass pension savings on to descendants
    • Many people with defined benefits (DB) schemes will be allowed to transfer to DC plans
    • All retirees have access to free guidance from the government’s Pension Wise service

    Scams can begin with cold calls that promise “free” pension reviews or access to pensions before the age of 55.

    They are followed by offers of investments in hotels in exotic locations or ethical projects offering massive returns, the Treasury said.

    As revealed by the BBC, others have offered stakes in storage units, offering returns that never materialise. Many of those tricked have lost their life’s savings.

    Under the government’s proposals, there would be a ban on all calls where a business has no existing relationship with the recipient of the call.

    This would include banning calls to individuals who have inadvertently opted-in to receiving marketing calls.

    Image copyright PA

    Cases would be dealt with by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which could impose fines of up to 500,000.

    A petition to the government, launched by a financial adviser and backed by former pensions ministers, has been calling for a ban of these pension cold calls and unsolicited emails.

    It has yet to reach the 10,000 names needed for the government to be required to respond, nor the 100,000 required for it to be considered for a debate in Parliament.

    The Treasury will also consult on plans to hand extra powers to pension providers to block transfers of savings to suspicious operations.

    ‘Many-headed beast’

    It also will gather views about the abuse of small, self-administered schemes which it said were too easy to set up and often used by scammers.

    One pension company has called on the chancellor to go further in the future.

    “Policymakers must see this as the beginning of the process of tackling pension scams, not the end,” said Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell.

    “Banning cold calling will cut off one of the heads of this many-headed beast, but the government, regulators and industry must remain vigilant and consider what further measures might be necessary to deter fraudsters.”

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38029133