The questions of poverty and wealth have been with and will most likely stay with mankind forever. Jesus himself says that we will always have the poor with us (John 12:8). Poverty and wealth are found in every part of the world. Millions wallow in abject poverty in most parts of the globe and a small minority lives in luxury. While the vast majority of the people in the Western World (Western Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have their basic needs met, the vast majority in Africa, parts of Asia and Latin America live in appalling conditions without adequate food, shelter, safe drinking water and basic medical care. The Christian Church is part and parcel of both worlds with both the extreme poor and the extreme rich among its ranks. What then is the Christian perspective and attitude towards both? What should be the Christian view and attitude to both?We propose a series to explore both of these issues of poverty and wealth. This introductory article will zero in on some definitions of poverty and wealth and a survey of prevailing Christian attitudes to both. Articles two and three will focus on issues of poverty and the last two articles (four and five) on issues of wealth. In article two the thrust will be on why the widespread realities of poverty in the world, and article three will consider what can and should be done to drastically reduce it. The fifth article will delve into the Christian perspectives on wealth, and the concluding (fifth) will gauge the Christian views on wealth (its creation and distribution).It is very hard to give a definition of poverty that fits all kinds and degrees of poverty. Who are the poor? What is considered poor in one part of the world may be seen as wealthy in another. For example, having a television and access to electricity may be signs of relative wealth in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world while in developed nations those who possess these two may be among the poor. It might help to begin our definitions of poverty with the kinds of poverty. According to research done by John Stott, there are three major categories of poverty. These categories are the indignant or economically poor, the oppressed or powerless poor, and the humble or spiritual poor.Economically speaking the indignant poor are those who lack the basic necessities of life, namely, food, shelter, clothing and basic health needs. They are sometime referred to as the destitute. We may refer to people who have more than the basic necessities of life such a television, a vehicle, a smartphone, washing machine, two or three decent meals a day and the like that make life a bit more comfortable but in comparison with the rich poor relatively. They do not have luxury goods and items in abundance as the rich have. The word poor is also employed in reference to the one deserving pity and sympathy. Like we would say, “Poor Flomo, he recently lost both his job and his wife”.The oppressed poor, sociologically and politically speaking, are those whose rights are denied because of their race, tribe, religion, political affiliation or place of residence. They may have some material comforts but have no say in the decision making of the society they belong to. The spiritually poor are those who recognize and acknowledge their need and dependence on God. They do not confide solely in their own strength or any other human strength. Jesus calls them, “blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:8). Our main concern in this series is with the materially poor.The rich on the other hand are those who have material abundance. This again is relative in relation to a particular society and depending on whom one is comparing the rich to. It is the complete opposite of the poor. They have lot of money and property and can afford the comforts of life. Poor can be used in terms of interesting and variety. “The country has a rich history and culture”.A study of Church history reveals that there has been and still is a variety of Christian views on poverty and wealth ranging from seeing material poverty as the way of the true Christian life to regarding wealth as the reward of genuine faith, from seeing poverty as a mark of true spirituality to regarding wealth as an offense or obstacle to faith. We shall explore these a bit more in subsequent articles. Suffice it to say at this stage that poverty and wealth do affect real lives and how we regard them matters very much.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
British Airways has decided to stop providing complementary snacks and drinks in economy class on domestic and short-haul international flights from next year.A glass of water still will be free of charge, but passengers will have to pay for a soft drink, a cup of tea, a bag of chips or a sandwich if they are thirsty or hungry. The practice of charging for food is standard for low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2.com and WizzAir, but more and more full-service airlines are now copying their no-frills competitors and have started to unbundle their service offering and fares.Current food options on BA short-haul flights in the economy cabin vary depending on the length of the service and time of day. Examples include a choice of twin pack biscuits, crisps, roasted nuts, sesame sticks or raisins on flights of less than two hours, or small salads on flights over that.The airline, a subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG), said it is making the changes to its short-haul economy food service after customer dissatisfaction with the current catering on offer.“We know our customers expect a great experience with British Airways. They’ve told us we are experts in flying and service, but when it comes to catering on short-haul flights, they want to choose from a wider range of premium products,” BA chief executive Alex Cruz said. Cruz was CEO of IAG’s Barcelona-based budget Vueling till April.But lots of passengers are not happy with the change and have been venting on Twitter.The move however aligns BA’ s short-haul economy catering policy with all of IAG’s subsidiaries, including Aer Lingus and Iberia that scrapped free food and drinks in the economy cabin on short-haul flights years ago. This makes the on-board catering service on the group’s codeshare flights a lot more streamlined.British Airways contracted Marks & Spencer as its new food supplier on short-haul flights and said products are selected for their flavour at altitude. “Like British Airways, Marks & Spencer is a well-known, premium British brand that is respected and trusted, so it’s an ideal partnership, providing our customers with a choice of products they recognise and value,” according to Cruz.By partnering with M&S “I firmly believe what we are delivering breaks the mould and sets a new standard in short-haul catering,” he added.Element of the new British Airways menu will change on a quarterly basis to reflect the seasons, the airline said, while touting it is the first airline to offer “leading brand sandwiches, all of which are fortified with added fibre and vitamin D.”Menu choices include vegetarian, gluten free and healthy fresh options plus snacks and comfort foods such as a grab-bag sized milk chocolate covered popping popcorn and pretzels, packs of mini oat biscuits and the famous M&S Percy Pigs candies.Prices will range from £1 for a bag of chips up to £4.95 for a spiced chicken with quinoa and rice salad. Soft drinks are priced from £1.50 and alcoholic drinks from £4.Cash payments will not be accepted; purchases can only be paid for via debit or credit card, including contactless transactions. Customers will also be able to pay with points they have accumulated on Avios, the airline’s frequent flying program, via the BA app or with their Executive Club card.The new catering policy is the latest in a tranche of changes to the airline’s short-haul services. Since 2014, 95 short-haul aircraft have been revamped with an updated interior and earlier this year, British Airways also simplified its short-haul fares to just three options: Basic, Plus and Plus Flex. Basic fares are the cheapest and passengers have to pay a fee for checked luggage.The new catering policy – which does not apply to business class— comes into effect for short-haul flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick from January 11, 2017, and from London City and London Stansted by summer 2017.The London-based airline last month already cut its food service on longer haul flights. Instead of two full meals per journey, BA now provides just one meal to passengers in economy class on flights under eight and a half hours and to premium economy passenger on flights of less than seven hours.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday once gain took recourse to sarcastic poems to target the economic policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government at the Centre. She alleged there was a “dangerous situation” for common people and also asked where the country was heading to with depleting foreign exchange reserve.“Rupee suffering from low fever, petrol and diesel prices highest ever,” she said in a post on social media. Earlier this month, she had written a similar poem titled ‘Identity’ expressing her opposition to the ongoing exercise of National Register of Citizens in Assam. In the post, she alleged that foreign exchange reserves had fallen by $21.84 billion between March end and August 3 and current account deficit was moving up towards 2.8% of the GDP. “The unprepared bravado of launching GST has resulted in a massive loss to State revenues to the tune of ₹48,178 crore during July 2017 and March 2018,” she said. She also alleged that the makeshift filing of GST has now “charges of racketeering, black marketing and hawala.” “Everyone of this country is concerned now. Where are we heading to,” she asked.
Liberty Global-owned German cable operator Unitymedia Kabel BW has added Sony’s AXN HD and A+E Networks’ History HD to its line-up of channels.The channels are available on the platform from today as part of the Digital TV Highlights and HD Option packages.Christian Hindennach, vice-president of marketing and product management at Unitymedia Kabel BW, said that the addition of the two channels meant that subscribers could now benefit from an event greater variety of HD services.
Nordic pay TV operator TDC has selected Appear TV’s XC5000 video processing platform to provide encoding and multiscreen transcoding for live linear broadcasts.The platform will be deployed for all TDC’s broadcasts, including the YouSee cable service and its OTT and multiscreen offerings.With the deployment, TDC aims to provide high quality picture across 100 linear OTT channels to around 1.2 million subscribers in Denmark and Norway.“When choosing our next generation video compression platform, we were looking for a single, user-friendly platform that would enable us to update our signal processing equipment to offer best in class image quality. This meant that we had to take into account a number of parameters, including video quality, power consumption, ease of integration and operation and the number of switches required to operate multiple TV services with hundreds of channels,” said Mads Arnbjørn Rasmussen, vice-president TV and coaxial technology, TDC.The Appear TV XC5000 platform is designed to accommodate customers’ preferred system architectures while reducing complexity. It is possible to build an entire broadcast system in a single chassis consisting of discreet stages or distributed architectures. Appear TV will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.C61
Channel provider SPI International has struck two commercial agreements with Coca-Cola in Turkey and Lay’s potato chips in Poland to promote its video-on-demand service FilmBox Live. In Turkey, the company is offering a free FilmBox subscription as part of the Coca-Cola Choice Menu offered by online grocery Yemeksepeti.A free one-week subscription to FilmBox Live gives all users who place a Coca-Cola Secilmis Menu order the opportunity to receive a special code via email or SMS, enabling them to access the FilmBox on-demand catalogue and live streaming channels.FilmBox Live has also launched a promotional campaign with Lay’s potato chips in Poland. Promo codes offering 24-hour access to 70 movies can be found in specially marked Lay’s bags available in stores throughout the country.“FilmBox Live, with its great, diverse content, a user-friendly interface and various advanced technological features is currently one of the most valued, reliable and widely available VOD services in Europe. We are looking forward to the successful outcome of the on-going promotional campaigns and we hope to attract more global brands to team up with FilmBox Live in Turkey, Poland as well as other countries where FilmBox Live is available,” said Guney Yasavur, COO of FilmBox Live.