Aek and Apoel’s 100 per cent start under threat

first_imgApoel’s and Aek’s perfect start to the season is under threat as both teams face tricky away games in their rescheduled fixtures against Anorthosis and Ethnikos Achnas respectively.Even though Apoel have not been beaten at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium since 2013, Anorthosis have always been a tough opponent to overcome.More so on Wednesday as Anorthosis will want to prove they remain a force to be reckoned with since they were not given much of a chance at the beginning of season securing a European spot.Anorthosis, who were held at home last Saturday by newcomers Karmiotissa, will be without three of their summer signings: Herrero, Colunga and Shehu. However, in Rayos they have a quality player capable of unlocking any defence that faces them. And Kalo, who was an Apoel player for a couple of months during the summer period before being shipped off to the Famagusta team, will be out to prove the visitors made the wrong decision in letting him go.Apoel were handed a blow on Monday when their star striker Igor de Camargo was ruled out of the game after sustaining an injury, while their Argentinian midfielder Bertolio is ineligible for the game. Cypriot Pieros Sotiriou will lead the attack with Orlandi, an ex-Anorthosis player, poised to come in for the Argentinian.A massive police force is expected at the game especially after the violence that erupted between the two set of fans during the futsal Super Cup earlier this month.Aek, clearly buoyed by their impressive win over Apollon, have no injury concerns and will be favourites to overcome Ethnikos.‘Unfortunately we had no time to celebrate our win in Limassol last Sunday with the Achna game just around the corner,’ said Aek’s Spanish coach Imanol Idiakez and concluded, ‘unless we play to the best of our abilities we cannot expect to beat our strong opponents’.Ethnikos Achnas are rooted at the foot of the table with just one point and need to get something out of this game to pull away.Achna’s coach Danilo Dončić was disappointed by his team’s weekend loss to Omonia but said that results will come if they continue playing as they did last Saturday.Anorthosis vs Apoel 18.00 & Ethnikos Achnas vs Aek 19.00last_img read more

Investors told to wise up over cost of environmental crime

first_imgLack of knowledge of environmental crimes doesn’t protect companies or financial investors from prosecution, warns a new Climate Advisers report.The case of U.S. hardwood flooring company Lumber Liquidators is a salutary reminder to others of the pitfalls of ignoring where timber products are sourced from.The report also calls for U.S. authorities to use a greater range of laws to tackle forest crimes. Companies and their investors are exposing themselves to massive legal and financial risks by trading, sometimes unwittingly, in products derived from illegally harvested timber, according to a new report.Published earlier this month by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Climate Advisers, the report recommends that U.S. authorities look beyond purely environmental legislation to prosecute any crimes associated with the illicit sourcing of timber products.“Despite recent progress, a continued lack of transparency in sectors most at risk of illegal forest clearing, such as cattle, oil palm, soy and timber, means that investors may not know the extent of their exposure to material financial risks from deforestation through companies they invest in,” the report says.The potential for companies to become involved in such activities is vast, with Interpol estimating the scale of illegal logging at somewhere between $50 billion and $150 billion a year.Climate Advisers highlights the case of Lumber Liquidators in its report: in 2016, the U.S. firm paid more than $13 million in fines and forfeited assets in connection with the importing of hardwood flooring from timber that had been illegally logged in Russia’s Far East.The Mongolian oak the company used for its products came from forests that are home to two of the world’s rarest big cats: the Amur, or Siberian, tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).Forest clearance and plantation development in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya (PT MJR) palm oil concession in Papua. New Guinea Island is home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, but is facing intense pressure due to the logging and palm oil industries. Image by Ulet Infansasti/Greenpeace.The Lumber Liquidators case showed “the true cost of turning a blind eye to environmental laws,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden said at the time in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “This company left a trail of corrupt transactions and habitat destruction. Now they will pay a price for this callous and careless pursuit of profit.”Lumber Liquidators was prosecuted under the Lacey Act, a law dating back to 1900 that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife. It was amended in 2008 to include plants and plant products such as timber and paper.More can be done, according to Anthony Mansell, director of policy and research at Climate Advisers. Mansell said his organization’s report highlighted how activities such as illegal logging could also be addressed using other laws. “Forest crime involves many of the same crimes or violations of the law that goes with any other organized crime,” Mansell said in an interview. “Crimes such as money laundering, racketeering and corruption, for example.”The next Lumber LiquidatorsThere are an increasing number of examples of corporate involvement in illegal forest clearing or land grabs leading to financial hits, according to Susanne Breitkopf, policy manager for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The nonprofit works to expose environmental crimes through its on-the-ground investigations, and was responsible for uncovering Lumber Liquidators’ role in the illegal timber trade.The share price of Lumber Liquidators fell nearly 90 percent, from a high of $119.44 before the scandal broke in 2013, to less than $20 in 2015.“This case had big consequences for the industry,” Breitkopf said in an interview. “Nobody wants to be the next Lumber Liquidators. But if investors are not looking where they are putting their money, especially when it comes to land banks, they are taking really high risks.”In a different case, in 2017 United Cacao was delisted from the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market after the EIA said it had financed more than 111 square kilometers (43 square miles) of illegal deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. A report in the U.K.-based Mail on Sunday newspaper in February 2017 revealed that United Cacao’s share price had plummeted by a third in just over two years. It was described as having been “a disastrous investment.”Using the law more extensivelyThe Climate Advisers report sets out a whole suite of U.S. statutes, not specifically environmental in nature, that could be used against companies involved in illegal logging, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money-laundering laws, and wire and mail fraud legislation. The FCPA has already been used extensively in multiple international lawsuits against companies with complaints of aiding and abetting terrorism.The report gives a hypothetical example of a U.S. investor that funds an agricultural commodity producer knowing it will offer bribes to officials to turn a blind eye to illegal forest clearing.Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), a species that lives in northeastern Madagascar, where rosewood logging has been severe. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.“Because of its global reach and robust enforcement, the FCPA has major, if untested, potential in application to forest crime,” the report says. “Bribes help unscrupulous companies to obtain forest land rights, to frustrate enactment and enforcement of relevant regulatory regimes, and to export and market illegally-trafficked agricultural products.”Mansell said one of the advantages of using laws other than the Lacey Act (or the Endangered Species Act), like the FCPA, was that it could make it easier to prosecute environmental crimes.“Proving something is a particular species is very hard,” Mansell said, pointing to highly technical issues like the need to demonstrate that a particular wood was illegally logged. “Money laundering is the same, no matter where it occurs.”The bottom line, according to the 2013 EIA report that blew the lid off the Lumber Liquidators issue, is that companies and investors should take extra precautions if timber is being sourced from countries where illegal practices are known to be rife.Breitkopf pointed out, though, that the concept of using additional laws on the books was still far from simple. “I agree there are more laws that lend themselves to prosecute this type of illegal activity,” she said, “but crimes such as corruption and money laundering are very difficult to prove.”Banner image: In 2015, the largest seizure of Peruvian timber was made from the ship called the Yacu Kallpa. Photo courtesy of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Article published by Genevieve Belmaker Deforestation, Forests, Governance, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Rainforests, Supply Chain, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Province announces reconstruction of Parsnip River Bridge near Mackenzie Junction

first_imgMACKENZIE, B.C. – The provincial government announced yesterday that the Parsnip River Bridge on Highway 97 at the Mackenzie Junction will be rebuilt, beginning next fall.The current steel truss bridge, which was built in 1953 will be replaced with a wider, open-top structure that will be able to handle larger loads, and will eliminate the current height restrictions on the bridge. Construction on the new bridge is scheduled to begin in the fall 2017, and should be completed by the summer of 2019. The project is the second major bridge replacement on Highway 97 between Prince George and the Peace Region, after work began on replacing the Salmon River bridge near Prince George earlier this year.“We are continuing work to upgrade Highway 97 to ensure the safe, efficient movement of goods to support our resource sectors, as we committed to in B.C. on the Move,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone. “The replacement of the Parsnip River Bridge will remove another height restriction from this corridor, and help keep commercial traffic flowing safely and smoothly.”- Advertisement -The Government of Canada is contributing up to $13,653,246 in funding, while the Province will contribute the remaining funds to build the new bridge, which is estimated to cost approximately $31.6 million in total.last_img read more

Local lawmakers see their bills progress

first_img“I’m happy they’re out,” he said. “They’re important bills.” AB 502 would create a test program in which a city attorney would be assigned to assist undocumented immigrants who are victims of rape and domestic violence, he said. In all, the Assembly Appropriations Committee considered 591 bills that included $7 billion in new spending. But the committee rejected about a third of the proposals Thursday, trimming proposed spending by 92 percent, said Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the committee chairman. Seven of nine of Calderon’s proposals made it out of the committee, while five of six of Mendoza’s survived. Two freshmen state legislators from the Whittier area were celebrating Thursday after several of their bills passed in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, a key step in the lawmaking process. The bills ranged from Assemblyman Charles Calderon’s AB 502, which would create a pilot program to help undocumented immigrants who are victimized by domestic violence, to Assemblyman Tony Mendoza’s AB 97, which would ban trans fat in restaurant food. “I’m very pleased,” said Mendoza, D-Norwalk. “Even though this is my first year as a legislator, I have several substantive and ambitious pieces of legislation, and we’ve been able to move them through the process very well.” Calderon, D-Industry, said he, too, was pleased about his bills’ progress. All of the bills passed Thursday must now go to the full Assembly for votes. Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, was not as successful; only two of four of his proposals passed through the committee. Meanwhile, in the state Senate, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, saw one of his bills approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. To get their bills through, the legislators sometimes had to accept changes. Mendoza’s trans fat bill, for instance, was amended to exempt schools. The committee apparently was concerned about economic impacts and spending. The committee, for example, also held back El Segundo Democrat Assemblyman Ted Lieu’s bill that would have banned trans fat from schools. The proposal would have cost the state up to $50 million to implement. “I am very concerned about making school cafeteria food healthier,” Mendoza said. “But there is still a bill pending in the Senate specifically relating to that issue. So by amending our bill, we let them carry that part of the fight against artery-clogging trans fats and we can concentrate on making restaurant food healthier.” Both Calderon and Mendoza failed to get bills passed to increase full-time faculty at community colleges and state universities. But Calderon touted his bill, AB 1486, that seeks to add 5,000 more state mental health counselors. It was approved by the appropriations panel, probably because it would cost relatively little money. “We have a huge shortage of mental health counselors,” said Calderon. “About 5,000 people can’t practice because of \ license requirements. This will set up a whole new licensing scheme and result in 5,000 more counselors.” mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

PSG join Liverpool and Man United in the race for Atletico Madrid star

first_img1 Manchester and Liverpool target Koke Paris Saint-Germain are ready to join the race for Liverpool and Manchester United target Koke.The Atletico Madrid ace is in demand after some sensational displays helped his side win La Liga last season.United and Liverpool have both been linked with moves for the talented 22-year-old, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also in the hunt.But now, according to reports in France, PSG are considering an offer of their own.Following the arrivals of defenders David Luiz and Serge Aurier this summer, the Parisians still want to sign a big-name midfielder before the window shuts.They have been extensively linked with Real Madrid’s flying Argentine Angel Di Maria but now appear to have switched targets.But they know that any move for Koke will require some manoeuvring due to FFP restrictions.Atletico are said to want around £50m for the Spain international and PSG will need to sell before they can legally move for Koke – with Javier Pastore the most likely departure.last_img read more

Chelsea warned over West Ham star, Man United defender wanted and Lukaku news

first_imgThere’s just over two weeks until the summer transfer window opens on July 1.One man expected to spend well in the market is incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.And there are plenty of rumours on who the current head coach of Italy might be interested in. Check out the latest transfer news on the Blues by viewing the slideshow above. 3. Chelsea contact Lyon defender’s agent over summer transfer – Mundo Deportivo claim Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has approached Samuel Umtiti’s brother and agent, Yannick about a potential move to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal are said to also be considering a bid for the Lyon stopper, but the Blues look to be leading the race for his signature. However, Barcelona are also reportedly interested. 1. West Ham warning over Dimitri Payet – click the arrow above, right, to read more Chelsea transfer rumours – The Blues, according to the Mirror, are interested in signing Payet but have been told there’s no chance the ‘priceless’ playmaker will be sold. Chelsea’s scouts have reportedly urged manager Antonio Conte to make a move for the France international. 5 2. Antonio Conte eyeing Manchester United right back Matteo Darmian? – Conte is considering a move for Darmian, according to Bleacher Report insider Dean Jones, who claims Chelsea will enquire about the Italy international’s availability to establish whether he is a realistic target this summer. Darmian is currently playing for Conte at Euro 2016. 5. Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone still keen on re-signing Diego Costa? – Diego Costa has regularly been linked with a return to the Estadio Vicente Calderon during his two seasons at Chelsea, and Atletico manager Simeone is still interested. The Mirror state he has made the 27-year-old striker his priority signing as he targets a top centre forward in the summer. The Argentine will reportedly assess the Blues’ transfer activity under new manager Antonio Conte, in the hope of receiving a boost over Costa’s availability. 5 5 5 4. Paris Saint-Germain closing in on Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku? – Chelsea have been linked with a bid to re-sign Lukaku this summer, while Manchester United have also been credited with interest. According to reports from France though, PSG are leading the chase with everything allegedly in place for his move to the Parc des Princes to be completed. 5last_img read more

CONFIRMED: Leicester City sign Spanish centre-back on four-year deal

first_img Luis Hernandez in action for Sporting Gijon 1 Leicester have confirmed the signing of Luis Hernandez from Sporting Gijon.talkSPORT revealed back in April that the 27-year-old had agreed to join the Premier League champions. Hernandez, who was out of contract at Gijon, has now sealed his free transfer switch.The Spanish centre-back began his career at Real Madrid but failed to make an appearance for the first team.He joined Gijon in 2012 and went on to make 140 appearances for Los Rojiblancos, scoring one goal.He will now link up with the Foxes from July 1, having agreed a four-year deal with Claudio Ranieri’s side.Hernandez becomes Leicester’s first summer signing as they prepare for the Champions League next seasonlast_img

MOTORING: DIVERS HYUNDAI SETS CANAL ROAD ALIGHT!

first_imgThe brand new forecourt of Diver’s Hyundai in Letterkenny.After a number of hectic weeks at Divers Hyundai on Canal Road, which saw the complete refurbishment of the exterior of the premises by Bonner Engineering as well as the refit of the interior by Divers/Hyundai, motorists and pedestrians have been treated to a flavour of real Christmas cheer. The full order of the all new Tucson for January delivery bordered the entire premises with their LED lights switched on celebrating the end of works at the renowned establishment.Over the past few years the ‘Hyundai’ switch-on at Divers has become an annual event. Terence Diver he said that he had been inundated with calls and messages from customers asking if they would be lighting up the sold line up this year so the push was really on to get everything finished on time, and they just made it.The chilly evening sky was set alight by the all new Tucson and this was complimented by the number plates having the surnames of all the purchasers of this new model.Divers have been getting phone calls, text messages all evening from customers old and new and from many of their competitors commenting on the new look premises and the Tucson Christmas cheer.Some customers have already visited the premises and have taken photos of their new 161 new vehicles and have been posting them on their face book pages. The new Tucson has broke all records so much so that they have doubled their January order book from last year.It certainly looks that we’ve seen the worst of the recession and here’s hoping that ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Town’, Letterkenny and indeed the entire county can look forward with confidence to a new era for all businesses in 2016.The management and staff at Diver’s takes this opportunity to thank all customers, old and new for their continued support.We wish each and every one of you a Happy Christmas, New Year and the best in Hyundai motoring for 2016.MOTORING: DIVERS HYUNDAI SETS CANAL ROAD ALIGHT! was last modified: December 23rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DiversHyundailetterkennylast_img read more

David Ginola explains why Ibrahimovic return could cause problem for Man United

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to action for Manchester United could cause a problem for Jose Mourinho, according to David Ginola.The maverick Swedish striker is closing in on a comeback after seven months out with a serious knee injury.Ibrahimovic was United’s top scorer with 28 goals last season and is a hugely popular figure around the club.But Ginola reckons the 36-year-old’s return could unsettle £75million summer signing Romelu Lukaku, giving manager Mourinho a headache.“Zlatan is a player you put in the starting eleven. If not, leave him at home because he will not be helpful,” began the former Premier League star.“He is not a super sub. He wants to play, he wants to shine, he wants to be the top man.“He was like that at Barcelona, he was like that at AC Milan, he was like that at Paris Saint-Germain.“Lukaku is the main man [right now], surrounded by young players like Rashford and Martial.“Zlatan is the man so playing him and Lukakau… When Zlatan played in Paris alongside Cavani, Cavani couldn’t say a word. Cavani was relieved when Zlatan left Paris.“It is going to be interesting in the next few weeks to see how Mourinho manages that.”last_img read more

Consider world full of Herods

first_imgI was reminded of a point C.S. Lewis made in an introduction to “The Screwtape Letters,” a fictional series of exchanges between two demons plotting the damnation of an anonymous believer: “Some have paid me an undeserved compliment by supposing that my Letters were the ripe fruit of many years’ study in moral and ascetic theology,” Lewis wrote. “They forgot that there is an equally reliable, though less creditable, way of learning how temptation works. `My heart’ – I need no other’s – `showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly.”‘ There is a little bit – thank God, generally only a tiny bit – of Herod in all of us. Oh, no, we don’t poison those whom we find professionally threatening, but we do nurse grudges for years. We don’t actually cheat on our spouses, but we do fantasize, in drool-inducing detail, about evenings in the No-Tell Motel with that hottie down the hall. We’ve heard a great deal recently about the words used to describe this time of year and about why Christmas is celebrated. And behind much of the holiday – certainly not all of it, given the presence of Rudolph, Frosty and Ralphie Parker and his coveted Red Ryder BB gun – is the figure whom a heavenly messenger described as “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” But behind that lies another factor: human beings marred by the Fall, captives bound and double-ironed, a host of souls dead in their moral trespasses and desperately in need of Immanuel – God with us. A world full of Herods, great and small – that’s the reason for the season that we don’t hear much about. Alan Cochrum is a copy editor and writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Write him by e-mail at amcochrum@star-telegram.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d seeFor Herod, this was all in a night’s work. According to history, his reign saw the killings of three of his sons, one of his (many) wives and her mother, brother and grandfather. Augustus Caesar reportedly said it was better to be one of Herod’s animals than his son. This put the reaction to my performance in “Wee Three Kings” in an interesting light. Again and again, people came up to me and said I had portrayed the old killer so well! Hmmm. Thanks. I think. (My own observation was that, given that I was Herod and our preacher was the angel of the Lord, it was obvious that typecasting either was or was not employed, depending on your personal viewpoint.) So how to explain my bravura acting job, aside from the presence of a large slice of spiced ham on my mental plate? GIVEN the reaction to the Christmas pageant, I obviously missed my calling. I should have been either a professional actor or a bloody-minded Middle Eastern monarch. As staged by my church, the pageant included the usual shepherds and Magi (one of whom observed that Herod’s “royal buffet” left much to be desired), courtiers and jesters, a Joseph considerably shorter and younger than Mary, a donkey who tossed his cookies in the family car hours before the first performance, and an angel who discovered the difficulty of ascending a narrow stairway while bent over and wearing large, feathery wings. I had the honor of playing Herod, who according to Matthew, learned that his visitors from the East were seeking one “who has been born king of the Jews” and told them: “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him” (Revised Standard Version). Of course, the scheming tyrant had other ideas. When the Magi failed to return, he sent out forces who “killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.” last_img