Armed police have flooded London's streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again. The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

Scotland Yard said it is making 'excellent' progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London at 8.20am.

It was the middle of rush hour when the crude bucket bomb - which had a timer - went off at 8.20am inside a tube train packed with commuters, including children and a pregnant woman. The device was hidden in a builder's bucket and could have killed dozens but failed to properly detonate and sent a 'wall of fire' through the carriage at Parsons Green, injuring at least 29 people.

Terrified passengers were left covered in blood with scorched hands, legs, faces and hair - others suffered crush injuries during a stampede as they 'ran for their lives' over fears the 'train would blow up'. There are concerns the open-plan tube carriage the bomb went off in helped spread the fire.


A good way to measure how well the migrant population has been integrated into German society is to examine its economic standing relative to the native population. To this end, recent data from the German Federal Statistics Office shed some very important light. But first,

Who is a Migrant?

For the 5th time in a row last year, the population with a migrant background reached a new record high. An individual living in Germany is said to have amigrant background if she or he has a migration history of his or her own (post 1949), is a foreign national born in the Federal Republic or was born as a German citizen to at least a parent who is either an immigrant or was born in Germany as a foreign national. The total population with a migrant background in 2016 was roughly 18.6 million, representing more than 22% of the total population and an increase of about 8.5% from the previous year. The vast majority of these migrants - or nearly 70%, - have a European background. Other regions include Asia (18%) and Africa (4%).   

The economic state of migrants

While the national economy as a whole is doing fairly well, its benefits have not been equally shared by all groups. Annual percentage GDP growth rate in Germany remains far below the 4% level in 2010 but has risen each year since the 2011-2012 slump. Last year, the economy grew just shy of 2% according to the World Bank. Employment rates have also improved significantly since theglobal economic crisis of 2008. The Unemployment rate last year (as a percentage of total labor force) was just 4.3%. In economic parlance, this represents near full employment. Also, average gross monthly income continues to rise. In 2016, German workers took home on average 3,703 euros per month. However, the population with a migrant background earns significantly less than the native population.

Last year, 28.1% of the population with a migrant background earned not more than 900 euros per month compared to 20.7% of the native population. On the contrary, 23.5% of the native population earned 2,000 euros or more per month compared to just 13.1% of the population with a migrant background. Even more striking was the fact that only 15.3% of the native population had no monthly income in 2016 compared to 28.4% of the population with a migrant background. This means that altogether, more than 56% of the population with a migrant background have either no monthly income or earns not more than 900 euros per month compared to just 36% of the native population. The gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category is symptomatic of a host of factors.

Making Sense of the Gap

A host of factors underpins the gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category. The labor force participation rate among the native population is relatively higher than the participation rate among the migrant population (although the gap is quite narrow). The rate ofunemployment for the migrant labor force in 2016  was more than twice the rate of unemployment for the native labor force. This partly explains why more migrants earned no income last year than natives. Furthermore, the population with a migrant background is less likely than the native population to be self-employed or engage in salaried employment. While there are some important advantages of wage employment such as overtime pay and no take-home work, salaried jobs are better paid, more secure and are often accompanied by additional benefits including maternity/ paternity leave than wage employment. The underrepresentation of the population with a migrant background in salaried employment is hence significant not just in terms of income in the narrow sense, but also in terms of job security, health benefits, and the overall welfare migrant families.

Why is the migrant population disproportionately represented in low-paying jobs? A possible explanation may lie in the differences in average human capital accumulation between the two groups; i.e., differences in levels of education and vocational training. The higher educational attainment gap between the two groups is quite small. Thus, 15.2% of the native population have attained aBachelor's degree or higher ( Bachelor's, master's, Diploma and Doctor`s degree) compared to roughly 12.8% of the population with a migrant background. However, Roughly 70% of the native population have a vocational qualification of some sort compared to just 41% of the population with a migrant background. Average differences in earnings between the two groups could, therefore, be explained by their average differences in education and vocational training.

However, differences in education and vocational training alone do not fully explain the income gap. This is illustrated by the fact that migrants with general higher education entrance qualification are at least 2 times more likely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. Those with an entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences are nearly 3 times morelikely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. This suggests that other factors such as occupational crowding or even discrimination may also be at play.  

Why is it important?

The population with a migrant background represents more than 22% of the total population of Germany, many of whom are German citizens with no migration histories of their own. For these people, Germany and German are likely the only country and language they know. At a minimum, their full economic inclusion is important for the simple reason that Germany is their home if not their only home. Full economic integration is also necessary for migrants`social and emotional identification with Germany and to bring out the best in them both for their own development and for the development of the country. For full economic integration to be reached, the creation and proper implementation of policies that address the standing deficiencies in vocational training qualification of migrants and other barriers to their economic inclusion such as discrimination must be prioritized at both national and state levels. Closing the income gap between the two groups is not only important for the sake of equity but also for the sake of economics. Money in the hands of migrants is more likely to be spent since households with migrant members have, on average, more mouths to feed than households without migrant members.

Mohammed Adawulai is a columnist for TopAfric 

Athens (CNN)At least 74 people have died in the worst wildfires to hit Greece in more than a decade, with some residents forced to flee into the sea to escape the advancing flames Residents told of horrifying scenes as flames engulfed a seaside village, where the only way out for some was to run for the water.

Boats were mobilized in a hurriedly-organized rescue operation as the flames took hold on Monday night. Reuters reported that 696 people were picked up from beaches and 19 from the sea. Rescuers also retrieved four bodies from the sea. The Greek fire service confirmed that 25 people were found dead close to the seaside resort village of Mati as they tried to escape the fires.

At least 164 adults and 23 children have been injured in the blazes, which are burning in five main fronts in the Attica region, including one that is currently out of control near Mati. The area is popular with Greek tourists, in particular retirees and children who go to holiday camps there. The fire service said many of those trying to escape were prevented from doing so by "increased wind intensity," which helped fan the flames at a rapid pace.
People whose relatives are missing are still making calls to the fire service. In addition to about 500 firefighters battling the five major blazes, more than 100 members of the armed forces and fire brigade are searching for the missing, according to Greek National Fire Brigade spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri. Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of mourning.

"There are no words to describe the feelings of all of us," he said during a televised address Tuesday. "The country is going through a tragedy," Tsipras said, adding that the events were "unbearable for everyone." The Greek government has approved 20 million euros (about $23 million) to address the immediate needs of people and towns affected by the country's devastating wildfires, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Tuesday.

So far 715 people have been evacuated, mainly from the area of Mati, according to government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos. The fires are the deadliest to have hit the country since blazes that burned through the southern Peloponnese in August 2007, killing dozens. "Attica is facing a very difficult night. The combination of intense winds and multiple parallel fronts has created an unprecedented extent and difficulty for firefighters," Tzanakopoulos said in a briefing late Monday.
The Attica region, which has a population of around 3.5 million people, is home to the capital Athens, the port of Piraeus and a number of suburban towns. The fires forced the Prime Minster to fly back early from a state visit to Bosnia. He has urged citizens to forget their property and focus on survival. "Everyone should keep their temper and take care to protect the most precious good that is human life," he said.

"Property, all that has a material value, (can be) recreated. Human lives are the ones that cannot come back." Mati resident Nana Laganou told journalists that she had escaped by running into the sea, that the fire was "lightning fast" and that it was the first time she'd encountered something like this.  "I would have liked to see some (reaction) from the state, but we didn't and we won't and that makes me angry."

Another Mati resident, Kostas Laganos, said that he had also escaped the flames by diving into the ocean. "Thankfully the sea was there and we went into the sea, because the flames were chasing us all the way to the water, it burned our backs and we dove into the water," he said.  "It reminded me of the eruption (of Vesuvius in 79 AD) at Pompeii, exactly that, and I said my God, we must run to save ourselves, and nothing else. Terrible."

The nearby port town of Rafina has also been hit by the wildfires. Anastasiya Pontikas, 32, told CNN that she returned from the supermarket on Monday to find her home surrounded by flames. She quickly packed up some belongings and fled with her husband.

"The wind became stronger and black smoke was coming for us," she said. "We could not breathe, panic started everywhere." "The fire stopped 100 meters from our house. When we came back home to see what happened, all the trees in our street were still on fire." So far Spain and Cyprus have offered assistance, and Greece has called on other fellow members of the European Union to help battle the blaze.
180725113956 01 greece wildfires 0725 exlarge 169
Various governments, including the US and the Netherlands, offered sympathy to the beleaguered region. Much of Europe has been baking under a massive high-pressure ridge that is allowing tropical heat to climb all the way to the Arctic. Temperatures above 32˚C (90˚F) extended to the northern reaches of Scandinavia, setting records in Sweden, Finland and Norway for stations above the Arctic Circle. The result has been a string of unprecedented wildfires in Sweden that have prompted the country to request assistance from other nations such as Italy, with more resources to fight wildfires.

Source CNN

Donald Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North Korea along with providing it with security guarantees, the nation’s state news agency has claimed.The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which also reported Kim Jong-un had accepted an invitation to visit the White House, said Mr Trump had indicated he would lift sanctions along with ending military exercises with South Korea.

There was no independent confirmation of the claim and no immediate comment from the White House. On Tuesday, while Mr Trump had indicated he wanted to end “very provocative” war games, he said that sanctions would remain in place to exert “tremendous pressure”.

The Wall Street Journal said the North Korean report quoted Mr Trump as crediting Mr Kim’s “proactive peace-loving measures” for having created the atmosphere of peace this year. It also suggested Mr Trump had adopted North Korea’s preferred phased approach towards any denuclearisation process, saying the two men had agreed to the “principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action”.

The White House did not immediately respond to queries about the report on Wednesday. Mr Trump did not make any mention of sanctions as he posted a series of tweets as he flew back to Washington via Hawaii, praising the talks and scoffing at those who had said such a meeting could not take place.

“The world has taken a big step back from potential nuclear catastrophe! No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic,” he said in one tweet.

In another, he added: “A year ago the pundits & talking heads, people that couldn’t do the job before, were begging for conciliation and peace – “please meet, don’t go to war.” Now that we meet and have a great relationship with Kim Jong Un, the same haters shout out, “you shouldn’t meet, do not meet!”

KCNA said Mr Trump also expressed his intention to offer security guarantees to North Korea and lift sanctions “over a period of good-will dialogue” between the two countries. It said Mr Kim had said the North could take unspecified “additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them” if the US takes genuine measures to build trust.

It quoted Mr Kim as saying: “It’s urgent to make a bold decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other.”

On Tuesday, Mr Trump had been asked about whether he planned to lift sanctions against Pyongyang. 

“The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor. Sanctions played a big role, but they’ll come off at that point,” he said. “I hope it’s going to be soon, but they’ll come off.  As you know, and as I’ve said, the sanctions right now remain. But at a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off.”

Mr Trump said he had decided not to press ahead to impose 300 new proposed sanctions as it would be “disrespectful” to do so while preparing for the summit. Yet he said he would not lift sanctions that existed unless there was a significant improvement in regard to North Korea’s notorious human rights record.

“No. I want significant improvement. I want to know that it won’t be happening. And again, once you start that process, there will be a point at which, even though you won’t be finished for a while because it can’t happen scientifically or mechanically, but you’re not going to be able to go back. You know, once we reach that point, I’ll start to give that very serious thought,” he said.

He said he believed that 34-year-old Mr Kim, whom he described as a “strong” leader, said he would live up to the agreement they signed to work towards denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. He said the summit marked a “great moment in the history of the world”.  

The agreement with North Korea did not currently envision removing the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea. However, Mr Trump said he favoured a long-term plan to reduce US troop numbers from South Korea and said the US “will be stopping the war games”, a major concession that was seized on by critics of the president.

Mr Trump was also criticised for failing to make human rights in North Korea a central part of his negotiations. Mr Trump had said they had been raised, but not in great detail. 

“While we welcome news that President Trump raised human rights at the summit, Amnesty International urges the US government to continue to push for urgent reforms in North Korea,” said Francisco Bencosme of Amnesty International USA. “Human rights should not be a footnote in any engagement with Kim Jong-un, but rather a crucial component in negotiations between the two countries.

He added: “There are no “great winners” when North Korea continues to commit systemic, widespread, and grave violations of human rights, some of which may amount to crimes against humanity. It must close its prison camps, where up to 120,000 people continue to be held, protect freedom of expression, and reunite families separated through displacement during the war, forced disappearances, or abductions.”

Campaigners working for denuclearisation said Mr Trump’s meeting with Mr Kim had been a start, but that more work needed to be done.

Christine Ahn, the founder of Women Cross DMZ, who was in South Korea recently to lead a women’s peace delegation, said: “Although the document signed by Trump and Kim is thin, it is bold in its direction of re-orienting relations between historic adversaries.”

She added: “The fact that the first two points start with a commitment to establish new relations and to build a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula demonstrates Trump’s pragmatism and understanding that peace and security assurances are paramount to North Korea’s concerns and pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
Source: The Independenct

To be an immigrant of any race in any part of the world is hard. To be an immigrant of a darker race in any part of the world is very hard. But to be an immigrant particularly from sub-Saharan Africa in any part of the world is the very bottom of hardships. This is as true in New York City as it is true in the city with big ships; Hamburg.

The African migrant's story is one of ambition born out of human-caused poverty and lack of opportunity. The connection between slavery and colonialism and the present factors that push large numbers of Africans out of their homes to Europe and the Americas is one that is often not clearly made. In England and later the United States, the slave trade was abolished in the early 19th century.The abolishment of slavery as a system in Britain and later in the United States under the 13th amendment in 1865 made both moral and economic sense. By the mid-20th century, imperialism had become too burdensome politically and economically for the war distracted colonial powers of Europe. The haste with which some of the European colonizers left Africa and the ill-prepared and ill-suited local leaders and governments that followed the departure set the continent on a rocky path from which it has not significantly recovered. Even under the best and brightest leadership, the task of undoing hundreds of years of damage to human and natural resources done by slavery and colonialism in about half a century would have been an extremely difficult if not impossible one.

And so Africa since independence has been playing catch-up and for nearly 60 years the much-anticipated convergence with the developed world has eluded the continent and its people. But that is not the worst thing- for practical and psychological reasons, many Africans have given up the hope of making it at home; poverty is a door that can only be broken down by a pilgrimage to Europe and the America`s. And it is in pursuit of opportunity, a chance to free themselves from the grips of poverty and to see just how far they can go when their talents and wills are given a fertile ground to germinate that many Africans set their foot on the shores of Europe and the Americas - by flight they came as students, workers, guest workers, and professionals; by boat they came across the Mediterranean Sea as political refugees or economic refugees disguised as such.  

By design and by accident, many have found themselves in this great country, Germany. More than22% (18.6 million) of the total population of Germany last year had a migrant background. In Hamburg, the foreign population was estimated at the end of 2015 at 14.7% (262,000) of the city's total population of roughly 1.8 million. It is home to migrants from Asia, North and South America, Australia, other parts of Europe and Africa.

Germans of African descent represent  4% (800,000)  of the total German population with a migrant background. In Hamburg, a significant portion of the migrant population is of African origin. Unofficial statistics indicate that the Afro-German community in Hamburg is roughly 50,000 members strong. The African community is as diverse as any other in terms of places of origin, religion, language, political ideology and occupational status. However, this diversity is hardly recognized by the outside world, - a world that sees the so-called African through a veil that is made up of symbols and stereotypes. Arguably, the biggest frustration of the African migrant is having to see himself through the lens of the other, to embrace an imposed identity which hitherto was foreign to him.

To be an African is to live outside Africa. It is not until one finds him or herself abroad that one truly becomes an African. The Ghanaian or the Eritrean living in Hamburg is often denied the luxury of defining herself as she sees fit, - her identiy precedes her; neatly sewn into a one-size fit all uniform called African which she must wear. And how could she dare not wear it? - would that not be a sign that she is ashamed of who she is?

The tragedy of the so-called African identity is not that it puts into a small box a people from fifty plus countries, belonging to different families, ethnic groups, religions, and social and economic class. Neither is it because such generalization is unique to Africans, - there are plenty of equally troubling generalizations about Europeans, Americans, and Asians. The distinction lies in just how effortless it is made and how very basic Africans are perceived. No serious publisher will agree to publish a book titled How Europeans Live based on an anthropologist`experience in a Belarusian Village of less than one hundred people. But how often does one sees publications of various kinds with the title African culture or African this or that based on a do-gooder`s or a photographer's experience on a hunting expedition in a Kenyan village of fewer than 100 households that is unbeknown to most citizens in the same country?

The discrimination that an African experience in Hamburg is generally based on two not unrelated things: race and place of origin. Thus, while the African may be discriminated against based on his appearance, the more removed he or she is from Africa ``the heart of darkness,`` the more he is embraced and considered modern. A person of African origin who was born in Germany and speaks German flawlessly or a black person from the United States who dolls out his English in slangs is more likely to get a seat at the table, be considered cool and modern than his fellow of similar characteristics with an African accent. It reminds me of an advice I once received from a mate well-nigh 3 years ago, - ``tell them you are from the United States, they prefer that`` he said, in his distinctively Nigerian sound.

The discrimination against the African has produced in some anger against and distrust of many things white, but in others, it has resulted in self-dislike and self-criticism. Few things are as cringe-worthy as the sight of a Ghanaian with a face partly black and partly white and of young lighter skin boys poking fun at their darker-skin classmates. Thus, the closer one is to Africa, the less beautiful, more backward and unsophisticated he or she is perceived even by his own kind. But perhaps the most disturbing of all is the numerous accounts of African mothers advising their daughters not to choose African men, - but how could they not?

Two things are true about the African mother; she has the greatest story as well as the saddest. Her ability to not only survive but thrive in style from racism, repressive traditional customs and sexism, particularly in the hands of African men, speaks to her genius and unbreakable spirit.

Sexism against women is of course not exclusive to any particular community. But it is much more difficult for a man to take advantage of or abuse a woman who is living in her own country, is more educated and is financially more secure. The lack of education, money, and sometimes legal documents limits the amount of resources and recourses available to many African women living abroad; which makes them far more vulnerable than their native German counterpart. The African community in Hamburg has a deluge of extremely hardworking and responsible family men. But it also has its fair share of abusive jerks and crooks who have successfully turned their wives and daughters into strong critics and distrusting souls of the so-called African man. In this context, one could at least understand why some mothers in the African community cringe at the thought of their daughters with yet another so-called African man. However, it is much easier for a mother to encourage her daughter not to associate with the stereotypical African man when she sees her very self through the lens of the dominant community that she strives to be associated with.

Not long after one begins to pay close attention to self-dislike in the African community and the different manifestations of it does one realizes that more than anything, it is a desperate attempt to be accepted by a world that is at the very minimum suspicious and at the extreme thinks as much of the African as it thinks of a monkey.

When it dawns on the African in Hamburg and elsewhere in Germany that he can't be trusted to walk into the supermarket with his own debit card, sit next to a bag on the train without touching it, get into any major club without a white posse, be treated equally by the police  or that his chances of getting a loan, an apartment or a job is higher the more white recommenders she or he has, of being liked the more relaxed and straight her hair is, and of being taking seriously as intelligent by his or her teachers and colleagues the less he or she speaks with an African accent, - when that happens, an all too common reaction by many Africans is to assimilate instead of integrating and hang with fewer so-called  ``too`` African people. In other words, their reaction is to embrace whatever the dominant culture holds as the symbol of modernity.

Following its visit in February this year to a number of German states including Hamburg to assess the human rights situations of people of African descent living in Germany, the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent discovered, inter alia, that minority groups including people of African roots are the usual victims of stop and search by the police and housing discrimination by property owners. But perhaps the most disturbing finding was in the area of education where children with migrant backgrounds were twice as likely to drop out of school than their non-migrant background counterparts, and children of African background in particular  ``were increasingly recommended by teachers to take up school paths that reduced their opportunities for higher education (UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017).`` The Working Group concludes:

People of African descent are at the lowest rungs of German society. They end up with the jobs which nobody else wants. These are demonstrated by toilet cleaning jobs into which they are forced. They drive people of African descent into poverty, forcing them into depression, and raising serious risks of mental health issues (UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017)

The invitation of the Working Group by the German Government was a pretty good indication that the country's leadership is taking this issue seriously. As the Working Group points out, Article 1 and 3 of the Basic Law and the General Act on Equal Treatment of 2006 protect human rights and outlaw discrimination based on race. The launch of the International Decade for People of African descent in Germany and the State coalition agreements which ``recognize the people of African descent as a particular victim group are important steps in the path to recognition``(UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017). What is seriously lacking, however, is the enforcement of existing laws and the inclusion of crimes committed by state agencies like the police within the scope of the Equal Treatment Act.

The conversation about equal treatment and the provision of justice to minorities are often dressed in the garments of moral righteousness and the need to follow the law. But perhaps it is equally important to highlight just how regressive it is for any society to treat some of its members unequally, - does not the elementary school teacher who is more eager to recommend an African child to take up a path that reduces his or her chances for higher education realize that the country and the government that pays her loses when that child`s talents are misdirected? What good is there for the country if an Einstein, a Neil Degrasse Tyson, a Barack Obama or a Merkel in the African community is advised to take up football or stand in the factory line? All of the nation`s problems or the problems inherent in the African community will not be solved by the complete eradication of discrimination,- but with each step toward a more just and equal society, the country and its African folk just might discover how far they can go.

By: Mohammed Adawulai

Another WWDC has come and gone, and even though Tim Cook and company showed off the future of Apple software, the company's Mac hardware has been left untouched. The Mac faithful, those devoted members of the community that kept the company afloat in the dark days, cling to every shred of hope that Apple throws their favorite Mac a little love.

Unfortunately, many Macs have been left behind by cheaper, better options on the Windows PC side of the fence. Consider for a moment that Apple still sells the 2013-era Mac Pro for $3,000—highway robbery from a pure performance perspective. Would you buy a car at its original MSRP even though it's been sitting on the lot for five years? I don't think so.

With that in mind, I've put together a list of excellent Windows alternatives to the most popular Mac models. Especially if you rely on your computers for your livelihood, there's no reason to wait on Apple to finally cater to your needs. From the low-end to beastly 32-core prosumer rigs, the PC world is getting really exciting again.

Sure, macOS has its advantages, but Windows 10 is a mature, stable platform that's updated and improved on the regular. Switching to PCs means you'll be able to grab the latest and greatest computers at a wide array of prices from any number of PC manufacturers, without having to light prayer candles at a shrine dedicated to Steve Wozniak.

MacBook/MacBook Air

Apple's most portable notebooks are in an awkward spot. While the MacBook has seen recent spec bumps, its small screen and single USB-C port feel limiting. The MacBook Air soldiers on with the same screen, processor, and chassis it's had for three years. If you prefer a cushier keyboard, USB-A, and magnetic charging connection, you'll be paying top dollar for a dowdy display and crusty Intel processors from generations long past in the MacBook Air.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is a solid substitute for these slimmer Macs. You get newer chips, a brilliant 13-inch display, a wonderful keyboard, and an eye-catching design. Starting at only $799, it's a premium notebook without the performance drawbacks of what Apple's offering right now.

MacBook Pro

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is arguably the only MacBook worthy of the professional branding, since it has the biggest screen, fastest graphics, and hottest processor of Apple's laptop lineup. Plus, you get Apple's Touch Bar, which, is of dubious value, but is a nice bonus.

But it's put to shame by Razer's latest flagship Razer Blade laptop. With a six-core Intel processor and Nvidia 10-series graphics as the standard configuration, it's positioned to make the mightiest Mac notebook look downright antique. Peep that slim display bezel … gaze lovingly upon its traditional style RGB-backlit keyboard and humongous glass trackpad. It even has USB-A ports, Thunderbolt 3, and RAM that you can—gasp—upgrade!

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is one of my all-time favorite computers. Unfortunately, the last update this model received from Apple was all the way back in 2014, and the refresh made the poor Mini slower in some configurations and nigh impossible to upgrade in all of them. It's still sold at outrageous prices all these years later, starting at $500 for a wimpy fourth-generation Intel i5 processor.

If you love tiny-yet-powerful mini computers, might I recommend the Intel NUC? These computers are mini-er than Apple's Mini and feature newer seventh and eighth-generation chips that run rings around the li'lest Mac. You can buy them either as complete models running Windows 10, or as barebones kits where you add your own RAM, storage, and OS of choice.

If you're a gamer or want to get into VR, there's even the Hades Canyon model, with powerful AMD Radeon Vega graphics under the hood. And, whereas Apple charges you beaucoup bucks for a three-year AppleCare warranty, you'll get that standard with each NUC.

I'll be the first to admit that the iMac is a super-nice desktop computer. While many other PC makers try to ape this stylish, slim all-in-one, few truly match its appeal. It's also one of the models Apple's been the most consistent about keeping fresh; the current lineup runs on Intel's seventh generation chips, and many include AMD graphics to boot.

The machine I'd recommend checking out is HP's epic desktop, the HP Envy Curved All-in-One. With a wide 34-inch curved display, you get the real estate of two separate monitors in one contiguous LCD panel. But whether you're popping full apps next to one another with room to spare, or just blowing up a widescreen movie to take up this entire screen, HP's Envy stands apart.

Apple has promised its demanding users an update to the long-in-the-tooth, 2013-vintage Mac Pro. It said the new system was in the works last year, but it's looking unlikely a new Mac Pro will hit store shelves before 2019. Until then, the five-year-old, thermally constrained, expansion-averse cylinder can be had ... at 2013 prices. The iMac Pro is a good pick for professional needs, but it's seemingly not built to last, cramming its storage, RAM, and display into a hermetically sealed, non-upgradeable chassis. If you're tired of waiting for Apple to offer a true pro desktop, why not check out what Dell's dishing out?

The Dell Precision 7820 starts at $1,700 for a six-core Xeon-powered workstation—roughly half the price of Apple's competing model. These modular, upgradeable towers offer plenty of possibilities to make this machine last for a decade or longer. Unlike Apple's old-ass trash can, Dell's workstations can be upgraded with ridiculously powerful processors with dozens of cores, modern graphics, and up to 384 GB of RAM. You don't even have to open the case up to add more storage thanks to an externally accessible caddy solution.

For users clinging to their trusty cheesegrater Mac Pro towers, Dell's traditional, functional, buttoned-down tower should feel like coming home. Plus, Dell's pro machines all come with a three-year on-site repair agreement, so you'll never be caught waiting around for someone to pay attention to you at the crowded Apple Store (and you'll save hundreds over buying AppleCare).

By Brendan Nystedt

The annual award, which pays tribute to and raises the visibility of entrepreneurs with a foreign background, aims to increase interest in entrepreneurship and inspire the next generation of foreign-born business owners. The Local spoke to two previous winners about their experience.

Starting your own business is a challenge few people will attempt in their lifetime. That challenge is doubled when you’ve also moved halfway around the world and opened a company in a new country. Despite that, one in five businesses in Sweden is founded by ‘new Swedes’, a wave of immigrant entrepreneurs who are reshaping Sweden’s business landscape. Yet their contribution often goes unnoticed.

It's what led the Internationella Företagare i Sverige (IFS) Foundation to establish H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf's prize Årets Nybyggare in 1999. The prize is awarded by His Majesty each October at Stockholm Castle.

Nominate a foreign entrepreneur who deserves to win a prize from the King of Sweden. Entries accepted until June 30th.

Palestinian-born, Malmö-based cheesemaker, Mohamad Godeh won the award in 2017 after starting his own cheesemaking company, Nablus Mejeri. Their company is named after the Godeh family’s home city of Nablus, famous for its traditional cheese. Mohamad, his wife Samar and their children, migrated to Sweden in 2004, following years of unrest in their homeland.

After a trip back to Palestine in 2008 they began to think about how they could make their generations-old family recipe in their newfound homeland, Sweden. The plan was originally just for home consumption. Little by little, as both Swedish and Palestinian friends and family began to get their hands on the coveted cheese, suggestions came rolling in that they start to produce it commercially. In 2010 they officially launched the company and began operations.

"My wife and I did not realise how much work and effort we were going to invest in this family business, but looking at where we are now and what we have created makes every hour we spent on the dairy worth it," Mohamad says.

Last year, after being nominated and winning the Årets Nybyggare award, the business expanded from its largely Skåne-based activities to a national level with large supermarket chains around the country, as well as local restaurants and shops stocking Nablus Mejeri products.

"I feel really proud of what my family has achieved. We moved to Malmö, Sweden hoping for a bright future. The award is a huge acknowledgement reflecting the high quality we produce and also a great help for our success on the Swedish market," he concludes.

In 2016, a similarly inspiring story emerged. Moa Gurbuzer, who emigrated with her family from Turkey to Sweden as a teenager, was a family therapist and social worker before founding her company, MRG Wines, making non-alcoholic still and sparkling wine in 2013. “I had seen many families and parents mostly, that can’t handle the drinking and where the children are suffering or neglected because of the parents drinking,” she says.

The recognition Moa has received from Swedes has been extremely positive because they understand the importance of MRG Wines’ mission. “Our interest is to make things for society. So for me this was a social movement that I wanted to do. It’s another form of social work,” she explains.

Her experience of navigating the process of starting her own business in Sweden was an easy one, she says. “To start a business is just to go to the tax services and they will help you and give you information”. As easy as the process was, she still has some advice for anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps.

“One of the things that is very important in Sweden is that you have to have a strong network behind you”.

Since winning, Moa says her life has changed astronomically, in part due to the fact that the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf presented her with the award. “It changed a lot of things. Having the award from the King was something special,” she says.

It also boosted the public’s confidence in her business. “To be seen in photos with the King also gives the status for international markets, which was really very good to have,” she adds. MRG Wines currently exports to between 10-15 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 award. If you know somebody who you think deserves this very special prize, visit the IFS website and nominate them for Årets Nybyggare 2018.

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