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Refugees Occupy Mexican Border

Refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. who are camped in a perilous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas earlier this week, leading U.S. officials to close the crossing, observers and authorities said. Hundreds of the asylum seekers have been residing for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city infamous for gang violence and cartels that regulate human trafficking. Many of the people residing in tents or on the ground in a plaza adjoining the bridge are waiting for hearings in the U.S. several weeks and even months later under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Video filmed by a Reuters photographer showed men, women, and children, some sitting on blankets, halfway across the bridge over the Rio Grande. Tens of U.S. border agents stood behind a gate covered in razor wire, which congested the path into the U.S. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY has noted that this crisis is being severely mishandled by authorities. Some migrants noted that they were attempting to cross as a unit into the U.S., and were upset that court dates continued to be pushed backwards, leaving them in the dark over how long they would be locked in Mexico. 

“We want to argue to cross over – we didn’t ask to be in Mexico, they sent us here unjustly,” said an unnamed man. He mentioned that he had an impending court date in the U.S. Matamoros mayor Mario Jon Purizhansky Lopez and a Mexican migration official begged migrants to clear the blockage. is sympathetic to the plight of the migrants seeking asylum. A Honduran man responded by denoting the rash and lumps on the throat of his young daughter, which he ascribed to unsanitary conditions in the camp.

Jon Purizhansky: He reflected that Mexican officials encouraged those in the camp to take a government-run bus back to the border with Guatemala, instead of following their U.S. asylum claims. He said this was an unsafe option for his family. “I’d have to go back to Honduras. And you know the news there. If we go back to Honduras, in one day, in 24 hours, we’re dead.” Tens of thousands of Hondurans have attempted to escape gang violence and criminality in the country, whose murder rate ranks among the world’s highest. Elias Rodriguez, public affairs liaison for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Brownsville, wrote in a statement that traffic between the two cities stayed closed in both directions and that this week’s immigration court hearings were in the process of being rescheduled.

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Mexico Halts Migrant Convoy

Jon Purizhansky: The Mexican National Guard busted a caravan of refugees and migrants last Saturday. As the U.S and Mexico continue to limit options for migrants and asylum seekers, many have been held for months in Tapachula, a city in the southern Chiapas, hopeful for documentation that allows them to travel north through Mexico and into the U.S. Early Saturday morning over 1,000 migrants and asylum seekers from various Caribbean, African, and Central American nations departed together from Tapachula.

Following in the footsteps of prior caravans, they intended to spend the first night in Huixtla, twenty-five miles north, but their journey was halted roughly 3/4 of the way there. Mexican immigration and security forces executed a major operation on Saturday afternoon to stop the caravan’s progress. National Guard troops gridlocked the highway, the main passageway for commercial traffic between Mexico and Guatemala, while other National Guard troops, federal police, and immigration agents spread out in the area. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the severity of this scene and sympathizes with the refugees and their plight.

“What can we do?” one refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said as she pointed at the security forces hindering the route. “We have no other option. We have to pass,” she said. Most of caravan occupants, faced with few choices, got on transport to go back to Tapachula. A smaller group declined and began walking on their own back along the highway, with National Guard troops and immigration agents following in an organized pursuit. The Mexican security personnel eventually partly opened the highway to traffic. One National Guard branch marched south and blocked the next turn-off while other troops and immigration agents followed migrants and asylum seekers retreating and spreading onto back roads and neighboring fields.

Jon Purizhansky sympathizes with these asylum seekers and their plight. The Mexican forces took small family units and individuals traveling alone, many of them hysterical, into custody, packing strollers that were used to carry infants and toddlers into the rear of immigration vans. The Mexican National Immigration Institute noted in a statement on Saturday that the organization, “with complete respect for human rights, carried out actions to invite the foreign nationals who formed the contingent that departed from the city of Tapachula, Chiapas, to turn to the institute to get to know the options for the regularization of their stay in the country.”

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Russia in Libya

Jon Purizhansky: Russian President Vladimir Putin looks to be exploiting ways immigration can undermine Western nations. Putin suggested to the West last month that the spreading havoc in Libya after nearlya decade of war should have been clear: “A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe,” he said in an interview, noting the displacement of refugees that has reached critical levels in the past few years. “They have what they were warned about,” he said. This week, The New York Times noted the deployment into Libya of Russian hired guns. While Moscow refutes its participation, the situation resembles schemes Russia has successfully utilized in Syria and Ukraine to gain influence in chaotic war zones by sending out private forces Putin can disavow until the point of victory.

The Russian leader’s warning about Libya, many experts believe, reflects an ambition to intercede in the conflict at least in part to regulate refugee flows into Europe, indicating a far-reaching understanding of the disruptive power that the shifting of immigrants has had on western nations. “Russia’s efforts to manipulate refugee flows is aimed at destabilizing and politically weakening the European Union,” says Agnia Grigas, a member of the Atlantic Council. “Libya’s proximity to Europe just across the Mediterranean is likely to unleash another refugee catastrophe,” he notes. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the profundity of the refugee crisis at hand.

The chance of another mass migration is dreaded in Europe, after popular protests that swept across the middle-east beginning in 2011 ignited the greatest migrant wave since World War II. Over 1 million migrants fled, generating political and social upheaval in nations from Hungary and Austria to Germany and northwestern Europe over issues like how to integrate them and whether to even integrate them at all. The crisis hamstrung the NATO alliance and incited domestic cynicism in governments across the region.

Demonstrations in some regions turned violent and right-wing nationalist movements expanded. And the debate over refugees is regarded as at the very least partially responsible for the decision by the U.K. to separate itself from the European Union. And now Putin’s government appears to believe it can continue to exploit these vulnerabilities in an entirely new fashion. Libya, which has been at times referred to as the “gateway” to Europe, has served as the starting point for migrants escaping from Senegal all the way to Somalia to those escaping war-torn Syria. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the problems inherent in the refugee crisis.

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Italian Mayor Makes Unfounded Claims

Jon Purizhansky: Italian mayor Susanna Ceccardi claimed that there are “no migrants” in Malta as countries continued to fight over the Mediterranean migrant crisis. She made these comments after countries came to an impasse over which nation would be responsible for 450 saved migrants. Susanna Ceccardi made the claims in front of the Prime Minister of Malta’s home. This claim that there are “no migrants” in Malta took place as the two nations continued their conflict over the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Susanna Ceccardi, this mayor from the far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) party, made the accusation that Europe was “emptying the barrel of migration onto Italy” as she made her address in front of the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s headquarters, the Auberge de Castille. “Walking around this island’s streets, you won’t see a single migrant,” she mentioned. “I’ve been here one day now and people I spoke to here tell me you won’t see any migrants, simply because Europe has emptied the barrel of migration onto Italy.–We’re now punching our fists at the tables of Europe as well as Rome’s,” she said. This is a poorly thought out stance reflects Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY.

The mayor, who hails from Cascina, asserted that the League’s leader Matteo Salvini was the only one attempting to stop migrants enjoying “the good life” in Italy and she blamed the nation’s left-wing parties for driving the “business” of migration. This occurred within days of Italy and Malta’s deadlock over which nation would be responsible for 450 migrants pulled from the Mediterranean. The migrants were seen near Linosa, an Italian island, and more than 100 miles from Malta. But Salvini refused to let them land, instead directing the boats to Malta. Malta then refused to receive the migrants, claiming the ship was clearly closer to Italy.

Italy’s interior minister, Salvini, has vowed to stand in the way of new refugee boat arrivals, who are rescued by ships from anti-trafficking and border control operations. Salvini has also barred charity rescue ships from landing in Italian ports, asserting that they help human traffickers. This is a patent falsehood, reflects Jon Purizhansky. The number of migrants who have drowned has “skyrocketed” in the past few months due to Italy’s harsher stance. Over six hundred people are assumed to have been killed in the Mediterranean in the past month alone because of this hardened stance.

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French Police Allow Provisional Migrant Campsites

Jon Purizhansky: French officials have vowed to evacuate refugees from other sites after clearing the Porte de la Chapelle and Seine-Saint-Denis area. French authorities have evacuated hundreds of migrants from two sites in Paris this week, just after the government disclosed a series of procedures to a “take back control” of immigration. Roughly 600 policemen ushered the migrants from tents where they were then moved to reception centers, in a process that began under rainfall in the early morning, an AFP news agency reporter notes. The two sites near the Porte de la Chapelle were estimated to hold between 800 and 1,000 migrants.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe noted that his country must “take back control of immigration” and devise clear choices regarding refuge and assimilation. Granting refugees the right to stay in the country, he mentioned in a speech on Wednesday, must be “actively based on our principles and goals”. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the problematic way refugees are being regarded and handled in this scenario. Many of the occupants, much of which were families with children, maintained that they were from Afghanistan or Africa.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said to Al Jazeera that these large-scale operations have occurred before. “Every time, we’re told it won’t happen again, but we need proper processing procedures when people arrive in France in order for them to have their rights respected,” Hidalgo noted. “In camps like these, about 20 percent of people are refugees who are here legally but have not been offered any kind of housing,” she reflected. “There are also homeless families.”

It appears the French government is looking to introduce immigration quotas for laborers in an attempt to address the nation’s skilled labor shortage industry. There are also plans in place to make things more difficult for refugees seeking asylum. Their access to healthcare is going to be restricted and all government services are going to be restricted as well. Jon Purizhansky maintains that these harsh rules need to be re-examined.

During the evacuation this week, Paris police chief Didier Lallement noted that the massive operation, the largest of its kind in years, was “decided in the framework of the implementation of the government plan”. “It did not happen by chance,” he said to reporters. “I will no longer tolerate these installations by the roadside here or anywhere else on public spaces in Paris,” he reflected. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to reign stricter on immigration, a gesture widely regarded as an attempt to keep right-wing parties from stealing votes from him in the forthcoming French elections.

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Calls to Reposition Migrants in Europe

“The European Union hasn’t shown enough solidarity with countries handling first arrivals,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday. The established system, he added, was particularly unfair with regards to Italy. Hundreds of migrants made it to Italy and Greece this week, many of whom were travelling by boat from Libya and Turkey. The steep rise in the past few days has led to dilemmas at establishments on Greek islands that have taken in and sheltered arrivals during the determination process. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the EU’s struggle to address the migrant and refugee crisis.

On Lesbos, a structure built to accommodate as many as 3,000 people is currently lodging over 10,000 people. Some other Greek islands, among which are Samos and Kos, are also grappling with the over-abundance of people, the latest data reveals. On Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Macron held talks in Rome. Shortly afterward, two stated that the EU had to introduce a more equitable system for accommodating migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea. Macron reflected that France is ready to help develop the framework to overhaul the existing system. Italy, who has currently been staying ahead of the incoming migrants in the EU, has already chastised other states in the EU for not shouldering their fair share of the responsibility.

The country’s former interior minister and leader of the far right wing League party, Matteo Salvini, regularly blocked charity-run transports carrying migrants from entering Italian ports.

The rescue ships were then forced to wait while EU countries revised settlement agreements. Italy’s new coalition government, which entered office last week, reflected a change of approach to migration after allowing 82 migrants to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend. Thousands of migrants attempt to cross the Mediterranean to parts of Europe every year. Those who undertake the journey often travel in poorly run and overcrowded ships, and many have died on their voyage. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the stakes involved here and makes a case for more humane conditions.

Jon Purizhansky: Early this week Turkey, who has been accommodating over 3.6 million Syrians who have fled the nation’s civil war, advised that it would “be forced to open the gates” if it couldn’t get “logistical support” to set up a refugee “safe zone” in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that as many as 3 million Syrian refugees may return to their country to reside in the north, but that transnational cooperation was required in order for that goal to be met. Several tens of thousands of Syrians have already fled north of Idlib, a province overseen by rebel and jihadist forces, to the Turkish border. Under a 2016 agreement with the European Union, Turkey put in place more stringent controls to abate the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe.

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Welcome, Unwelcome

Central America is only one source of the West’s migrants, and the U.S. is only one of many destinations. Turbulence in Venezuela has also expelled large numbers of people from their homes to find refuge in many other places in the region. Under Maduro’s ever more authoritarian rule, the nation has been plagued by violence and economic turmoil since late 2015. Venezuela now maintains one of the highest murder rates in the world. Ninety percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In 2018 there was nearly 1.7 million percent hyper-inflation. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the need for people to escape such a dire environment.

People fled in increasingly drastic numbers in 2017 when the full weight of the economic crisis began to be felt. Since then, as many as four million Venezuelans, at least 7% of the country’s population, have departed. This is an unprecedented change in the region, arguably beaten only by the period between 1979-1992, when over 25% of El Salvador’s population escaped a civil war. Venezuela’s neighboring nations have responded in quite different ways with Colombia having the most progressive approach of all.

Colombia opened itself up to about 1.5 million Venezuelans and has given them the right to work and receive basic government services. Colombia has recognized Venezuelan immigration as an opportunity for growth, receiving a $31.5 million grant from the World Bank earlier this year, along with additional privileged finance, to extend job opportunities and improved basic services to the migrants and their host communities. Jon Purizhansky maintains that we need more countries to adopt approaches like these if we are going to meaningfully address the current migrant crisis.

Colombia’s government refuses to call these Venezuelans refugees, since doing so might worsen a bureaucratic logjam in the asylum system and jeopardize a political backlash in a country where anti-immigrant rhetoric is growing in its border regions. Other nations have been less welcoming than Colombia. Peru initially opened its borders, allowing Venezuelans to apply for short-term visits or for asylum and, from early 2017 to late 2018, offering Venezuelan migrants momentary access to work, education, and banking services.

Jon Purizhansky: But by the end of 2018, Peru adjourned that policy after concerns were raised that it was creating an incentive for more Venezuelans to travel there. In 2017, Brazil began offering Venezuelan migrants two year residency visas and extended all asylum seekers from Venezuela access to work permits and basic services. However, Brazil has also tried, with little success, to execute an internal relocation scheme. As a result of this around 5,000 Venezuelans in the border area have been transferred to seventeen other states across the nation. Ecuador at first welcomed fleeing Venezuelans but eventually enacted stricter border controls in August 2018.

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American Governments Mismanaging Migrant Crisis

Just this year, U.S. Border Patrol has detained 800,000 people at its southern border—this is the highest number in a decade. The former height of apprehensions was in 2000 and was primarily a result of the skyrocketing demand for cheap labor. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the U.S.’s high demand for affordable labor. Today’s migrants, in comparison, are reacting to many of the same factors that inspired droves of people to flee to Europe four years ago, namely failed or fragile states, violence, and economic insecurity.

Jon Purizhansky recognizes the plight of displaced workers and spends a great deal of time helping connect migrants with steady work.

To deal with the new migrants, the U.S. is weighing many of the same approaches that European countries have attempted but ultimately found ineffective. Ranging from border walls to bilateral deals connecting immigration to trade and aid, Washington is repeating many of the same tactics that failed overseas. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, requiring migrants wishing to gain asylum in the United States to have their claims evaluated while they stay and wait in Mexico, reflects the EU’s long-failed attempts to establish similar systems in Libya and other nations.

Despite the differences between these cases, there are a couple approaches that we could draw on from history. The primary lesson learned from the European experience of 2015 is that when it comes to migration, there are limits to unilateralism and bilateralism. The sense of calamity began to subside only when the European Union assumed a multi-layered approach founded in cooperation among the migrants’ nations of origin, passage, and destination.

Jon Purizhansky: The European and American crises are similar in a few different ways. The total number of people detained at the U.S. border or barred from admission at a U.S. port of entry since October 2018 is now about the same as the number of asylum seekers who arrived in Europe in all of 2015. Onlookers across the globe have stumbled on unnervingly similar scenes. The widely published photo of the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23 month old daughter, Valeria, who drowned struggling to cross the Rio Grande in June, resembles the photo of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler who drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2015. Both images now serve as symbols for the dreadful cost of international migration in a world of closed borders.

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Modes of Transportation in Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY notices the important of transportation systems in urban environments. Buffalo, NY has a smooth transportation system. While Buffalo transportation system is monopolized by automobile usage, there are many other aspects of transportation that exist in Buffalo and one can get to Buffalo vi  rail road transport, airways and waterways.

THE FOLLOWING ARE MAJOR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK:

Railroad transportation system

The major transportation system of the Buffalo city is the Railroad transportation system that includes New York Central system. Buffalo has an urban metro system, which is also widely used and is supposed to be developed further says Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY.

Airport

Another transportation mode is the airways. There are are major airports in the vicinity – Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls airport. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) regulates the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport.

The main hub, however, is Buffalo Niagara International Airport which is situated in a suburb of Buffalo.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport indexes among the top five cheapest airports to commute to.

The average round trip of the flight will cost you around $295.58. In the last few years the flight rates have fluctuated due to the growing demand of passengers. The flights from the city are much cheaper as they save a lot of tax and airline surcharges. This is not the case with Canadian airports. Hence, Buffalo based airport attracts a great deal of Canadian passengers.

Rail transport

Another mode which has influenced the city transport is The Buffalo Metro Rail mode which is very convenient and travel friendly. The mode is safe and economical and easily accessible for the commuters, therefore a large number of people enjoy this mode of transportation. It is regulated by the NFTA. It is a 6.4 miles long single-line light rail system which broadens from Erie Canal Harbor in downtown Buffalo to the University Heights district.

Rail transport

The downtown area of the line operates above ground until North of Theater Station, at the northern end of downtown, where the line strides underground. The travelers love this mode as they have to pay a reasonable a fare for comfortable transportation.

The above described are the basic modes of transport in Buffalo, NY says Jon Purizhansky.

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Problems within space of employment based international relocation

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY notices that while optically the process of international employment based relocation appears to be straight forward and simple, in actuality the process is extremely inefficient and riddled with fraud, due to the absolute absence of transparency and lack of pre-arrival communications between employers in Host Countries and employees in Origination Countries.

The root of the problem is currently unavoidable presence of multiple middlemen, often unethical and greedy, between the employer in the Host Country and the employee in the Origination Country.

Essence of the problem is best described by the following hypothetical example of how a foreign migrant worker, located in a third works country, is currently relocated for employment with an employer in the EU (could also be North America, Australia, New Zealand, The Middle East, Japan or South Korea).

The process takes place as follows:

1) Employer decides to hire foreign workers.

2) Employer dedicates monthly budget ( Budget) per foreign worker that includes:

a) foreign worker’s net monthly salary;

b) monthly taxes that apply to the net salary;

c) monthly accommodation per worker;

d) monthly expense on food per worker ( typically 500g of rice/500g of vegetables/500g of meat products per day per worker)

For example, let’s assume that a construction company in the EU wishes to hire 100 general laborers and it decides to spend:

a) 700 Euros on net salary; and
b) 300 Euros on taxes; and
c) 500 housing; and
d) 500 food

Then, the employer’s budget per foreign worker per month will be 2,000 Euros.

3) Employer comes in contact with Middleman 1 and agrees that Middleman 1 will find foreign workers to accept employment with the Employer based on the terms of employment offered by the Employer. The employment terms are largely, but not totally, based on the Budget. Typically, the employer documents its intent to offer employment to foreign workers by issuing a Job Order to Middleman 1 that reflects terms of employment.

Here is an example of a Job Order provided by Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY

JOB ORDER

ISSUED BY:     EMPLOYER

ISSUED TO: MIDDLEMAN 1


Whereby, the Employer agrees to employ 100 citizens of “Origination Country” as general laborers on the following terms:

a) 700 Euros net salary
b) employment taxes paid by the Employer
c) housing paid by the Employer
d) food ( breakfast, lunch, dinner – 500g rice;500g vegetables; 500g meat products ) covered by the Employer
e) transportation to and from work – covered by the Employer
f) overtime – covered in accordance with Hist Country laws

Term of employment agreement – 2 years

NAME AND POSITION OF EMPLOYER’S REPRESENTATIVE

SIGNATURE

NOTARY STAMP

4) Middleman 1 contacts Middleman 2 and offers to sell to Middleman 2 the opportunity (The Opportunity)  to place 100 foreign construction workers with the Employer. NOTHING IS STOPPING MIDDLEMAN 1 FROM ALTERING THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE JOB ORDER AND INFORMING MIDDLEMAN 2 THAT THE SALARY WILL BE HIGHER OR THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT TERM WILL BE LONGER, ETC…

For example: Middleman 1, who secured the Job Order from the Employer, is located in the Host Country. Middleman 1 is aware that Middleman 2 has contacts in the Origination Country that may allow Middleman 2 to recruit the 100 foreign workers for employment with the Employer. Middleman 1 and Middleman 2 then enter into an agreement, whereby Middleman 2 promises to pay Middleman 1 a fixed fee (let’s assume it’s $2,000) for every foreign worker that the Employer will hire because of the efforts of Middleman 2 .

5) Middleman 2 contacts Middleman 3, who may or may not be an HR recruitment agency, licensed in the Origination Country able to offer The Opportunity to prospective foreign workers in the Origination Country. Middleman 2 and Middleman 3 then enter into an agreement, whereby Middleman 3 promises to pay Middleman 2 a fixed fee (let’s assume it’s now $4,000) for every foreign worker that the Employer will hire because of the efforts of Middleman 3.

NOTHING IS STOPPING MIDDLEMAN 2 FROM ALTERING THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE JOB ORDER RECEIVED FROM MIDDLEMAN 1 AND INFORMING MIDDLEMAN 3 THAT THE SALARY WILL BE HIGHER OR THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT TERM WILL BE LONGER, ETC…WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF UPSELLING THE OPPORTUNITY.

6) Middleman 3 will then employ the services of so-called “SUB-AGENT”, which is now Middleman 4. Middleman 4, consequently, promises to pay Middleman 3 a fixed fee (let’s assume it’s now $6,000.00) for every foreign worker that the Employer will hire because of the efforts of Middleman 4.

7) Middleman 4 recruits foreign workers, usually in remote areas of the Origination Country, and sells them The Opportunity for an amount that is higher than the amount that Middleman 4 has to pay to Middleman 3 (here in after referred to as The Fee. Let’s assume it’s now $8,000)

8) Foreign worker typically takes out a loan to pay The Fee to Middleman 4. Typically, the conditions of the original Job Order are grossly misrepresented when The Opportunity is sold by Middleman 4 to the foreign worker.

9) Middleman 4 collects the documents from foreign workers that the Employer needs to file with the authorities in the Host Country for the purpose of securing work permits for the foreign workers.

10) Middleman 4 forwards to Middleman 3 “The Fee less Middleman 4’s percentage of the Fee” and foreign workers’ documents required to support the application for the work permit in the Host Country.

11) Middleman 3 forwards to Middleman 2
“The Fee less Middleman 3’s percentage of the Fee” and foreign workers’ documents required to support the application for the work permit in the Host Country.

12) Middleman 2 forwards to Middleman 1
“The Fee less Middleman 2’s percentage of the Fee” and foreign workers’ documents required to support the application for the work permit in the Host Country.

13) Middleman 1 retains “The Fee less the percentages of the Fee retained by Middlemen 2,3 and 4” and either keeps The Fee in its entirety or shares it with the Employer. Middleman 1 submits to the Employer the foreign workers’ documents required to support the application for the work permit in the Host Country.

14) Employer files for work permits for foreign workers with the relevant government agency of the Host Country.

15) Work permits are issued.

17) Middleman 3, typically in cooperation with Middleman 4, facilitated filing for applications for Work Visas for foreign workers with the appropriate Consular Post of the Host Country that has jurisdiction over the foreign workers (typically Host Country Embassy located in Origination Country).

18) Work Visas are issued.

19)Foreign Workers fly to the Host Country to commence employment with the Employer.

20)PROBLEM STARTS

NATURE OF THE PROBLEM STEMS FROM

THE FACT THAT FOREIGN WORKERS’ EXPECTATIONS AND EMPLOYERS’ EXPECTATIONS ARE NOT ALLIGNED UPON FOREIGN WORKERS’ ARRIVAL

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that as long as foreign workers are required to pay fees to middlemen for the opportunity to relocate abroad for employment, various middlemen will continue to take advantage of the foreign workers , resulting in a wide array for problems both, for the worker and for the employer.

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Tourist Attractions of Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY describes some of the tourist attractions of Buffalo, NY, the second largest city of New York State.

Buffalo is rich with architectural jewels and scenic views. The city is placed on the confluence of the Buffalo River, the Niagara River, and Lake Erie. It is still believed to provide a crucial role in the thriftiness of the state. Buffalo happens to be one of the best tourist destinations in summer majorly due to its enormous waterfront. Often called The Queen City, Buffalo is a city full of accumulation of cultural jewels, ancient skyscrapers and different assortment of modern artwork.

Below are some of the two tourist attractions one can’t miss when visiting Buffalo:

The Niagara Square

One of the most visited places in the City of Buffalo, Niagara Square is a perfect spot in the heart of Queen City. This is a major tourist attraction due to another reason says Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY, which is the history of the place which witnessed the assassination of President McKinley and French and Indian War in 1763. This area of Buffalo also serves as central hub for hanging out by many locals and tourists.

Buffalo City Hall

Buffalo City Hall is another major tourist attraction of the city says Jon Purizhansky. He says that this place is situated near the Niagara Square in Buffalo City. Your tour to Buffalo is incomplete if you don’t go and visit this amazing City hall that has incredible architectural style. It is a 32 floor story building and has amazing Art and Decor. The style is quite complex but it’s incredible.

There is a great deal of other famous tourist attractions in Buffalo, NY. Noticeably, Buffalonians place are warm and friendly and will typically make you feel at home. If you happen to be travelling in New York, Buffalo is surely worth the visit.

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Development of the Global Sensor Market

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY notices the global sensor market. The sensor market has been expanding and has been becoming more sophisticated. The global sensor market was valued at $138,965.0 million in 2017, and is projected to reach $287,002.0 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2018 to 2025.

Sensors are devices that detect events or changes in the environment and then provide the corresponding output. They sense physical input such as light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, or any other entity, and respond by producing an output on a display or transmit the information in electronic form for further processing. Medical sensors collect data from human body and are extremely valuable in telemedicine.

Their use case enables preventive medicine to expand and it allows physicians to analyse data that sensors collect while not being in the presence of their patient. Importantly, advancements in smart sensor technologies offer additional features to the medical devices and equipment.

These smart sensors are used by doctors to monitor routine check-ups, such as blood pressure and body temperature of the patients. Moreover, smart sensors measure the heart beat and blood oxygen content and transfer medical information through cloud to the healthcare professionals. The wearable technology market is an emerging market in the biomedical sector. This market comprises hi-tech wearable devices, consisting of sensors that monitor different physical activities.

These sensors collect the information about respective parameters, convert them into digital form and display them on screen, allowing doctors and healthcare professionals to analyse them. The growth in demand for wearable devices and increase in investment by governments of several countries to improve healthcare conditions are the reasons anticipated to increase the demand in the overall sensor market. Conversely, surge in adoption of wearable devices and innovative application in biomedical sector are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the market globally.

However, Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that sensor usage is most common in consumer electronic products, followed by automotive, and IT & telecom. Smartphones incorporate sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and temperature detector, to keep a track on parameters and provide a centralized system for automatic control. Additionally, the ever increasing adoption of wearable devices, innovative application in the biomedical sector, and rise in advancements in the automotive sector are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the sensor industry.

 

Development

The key companies profiled in the sensor market report are STMicro electronics, NXP semiconductors N.V., Infineon Technologies AG, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Atmel Corporation, Texas instruments Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Johnson Controls International PLC., Sony Corporation, and Honeywell International Inc. Jon Purizhansky says that the sensor market is one of the industries that will be growing and we will see many new companies emerge within this space globally.

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History of Buffalo’s city infrastructure and design

Jon Purizhansky discusses the history of Buffalo, NY infrastructure and design. The Buffalo city plan was developed in 2003. This Queen City Hub Plan formulated modern policy and conception for downtown Buffalo. Buffalo is famous for being the regional center for recreation, education, the start-up scene and life science R&D. An award-winning plan controls the town; downtown Buffalo has been experiencing an upswing in redevelopment and involvement of new public and private sector investment over the last few years. This new development is also evidenced by many new projects.

Jon Purizhansky says that the City is Buffalo is experiencing challenges to attaining its full capacity, encompassing specifying creative explanations to motivate and benefit ongoing downtown reinvestment. In 2012 Buffalo’s Building Reuse Project  was an acknowledgment to an overabundance of office vacuum in downtown, much of which is in class B and C buildings whose development is hampered by small floor plates, the outdated building systems, environmental interests, and surrounding public infrastructure.

The plan designed for the city sets out a frame for the City of Buffalo to make strategic infrastructure investment in the near term that will incrementally work towards the plan’s long term vision framework, helping to fuel development, bolster tourism, enhance downtown’s image, and attract investment that supports downtown’s renewal.

Jon Purizhansky points to the fact that the BBRP needs improvement of “a downtown master Modification for public infrastructure and conveniences, which is context susceptible and catches the personal characteristics of each downtown area district”.

The whole project is financed by National Grid and National Fuel, and this Master Plan has been formulated under the recommendation of the BBRP project team, encompassing the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning, the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation.

The Downtown Buffalo Infrastructure and Public Realm Master Plan was established by a receptacle to harmonize and prioritize infrastructure investments in downtown. It is done by evaluating the occurring circumstances and making suggestions for what infrastructure interests should be intending for to accomplish for key roads and public spaces.

To open the path to investment, the plan recognizes four preference areas for new interest and a list of more certain priority undertakings in each area. This is funded by a series of decision-making standards to help in the examination of infrastructure proposals and a series of general design approaches to guarantee that new infrastructure is constructed to meet the desires of the developing downtown.

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Rising Regulations of Cryptocurrency

According to Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY illicit use of crypto currencies is on the rise globally and nation states, including Iran and North Korea are taking advantage of that. For example, the US has imposed heavy sanctions on Iran. Iran, in turn, is doing all it can to evade these sanctions by using crypto currencies. But the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is not happy with Iran’s use of cryptocurrencies to bypass the sanctions.

Due to US restrictions on Iran, the country was slapped with a universal prohibition from acquiring US dollar banknotes. However, Iran went ahead and released their plans to launch the country’s own state backed cryptocurrency.  According to the US, Iran’s crypto activities pose a significant threat to financial institutions across the world.

Jon Purizhansky says that according to the FinCEN directive, despite Iran’s Central Bank’s ban on domestic financial institutions from trading in cryptocurrencies, a lot of internet avenues are available for potential investors to access crypto platforms and exchanges. Consequently, 15 global jurisdictions, including the G7 countries, will reportedly develop a system for tracking crypto transactions to prevent illicit uses of cryptocurrencies.

Rising Cryptocurrency

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is planning to prepare detailed measures by 2020, according to a report by Tokyo-based newspaper Nikkei. The new system intends to collect and distribute personal data on individuals who conduct crypto transactions in order to prevent funds from being used for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing, the report notes.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is planning to prepare detailed measures by 2020, according to a report by Tokyo-based newspaper Nikkei. The new system intends to collect and distribute personal data on individuals who conduct crypto transactions in order to prevent funds from being used for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing, the report notes.

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY also says that according to Cointekegraph four major South Korean crypto exchanges, including Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone and Korbit reportedly faced tighter regulation when they renewed their banking accounts. Further, on July 18, G7 finance ministers voiced their concerns that cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s stablecoin project Libra risk upsetting the global financial system if they are not regulated strictly. For these reasons, we will see more and more regulations and restrictions as they relate to crypto currencies and their movements.

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Labor Shortage in the EU

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY points to a new report by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies that shows that, while most of central and eastern European countries have been growing at their highest rates since the global financial crisis about a decade ago, this boom may be overdue to severe shortage of labor in the EU.

Global relocation of economic migrants stands at an all-time high in modern history. With Central and Eastern Europe being a large part of the EU, both skilled and unskilled labor has migrated to Western European EU member states. Simply put – if you are a carpenter in Western Poland, then why would you work in Poland when you can make double in Germany, which is just an hour drive away. As Western Europe has been feeding on labor, originating from Eastern and Central Europe, a vacuum of labor has emerged and is growing in Central and Eastern European countries.

Central and Eastern European countries, which have been struggling to fill up vacancies as more and more workers migrate to Western Europe in search of better pay. The labor shortage has pushed down unemployment rates in the region to record lows and driven job vacancies to their highest levels. The shortfall can also be attributed to a decline in the overall population. Most countries in the region have experienced shrinking populations over the past 15 years even as the total population in the EU has gone up.

The working-age population in these countries has been shrinking due to migration and other demographic factors such as low fertility rates. This shortage might result in lower GDP growth rates which could have severe implications for the welfare systems. As the aforementioned report stated, migration and low fertility rates are expected to cause the working-age population (aged 20-64) in central and eastern European countries to shrink by about 30 percent by 2050.

So, how does the EU solve its shortage of labor? Primarily by bringing in workers from outside the EEU. The organic economic trend of EU employers searching for workers globally is driving the numbers of EU bound foreign workers into dozens of millions annually.

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, New York notices that in December 2011, the so-called Single Permit Directive was adopted. It creates a set of rights for non-EU workers legally residing in an EU State, notably the right to equal treatment with nationals in the country they reside and work. The Directive applies to most non-EU nationals with authorization to reside and work in the EU, independently of their initial reason for admission, unless they are explicitly excluded from the scope of the Directive. Its scope includes both non-EU nationals seeking to be admitted to an EU State in order to stay and work there and those who are already resident and have access to the labour market or are already working there. It provides for:

A single permit giving the right both to residence and work

A single application procedure for this permit

A set of rights for non-EU workers, notably the right to equal treatment with nationals of the country where they reside and work, in a number of key areas: working conditions, freedom of association and joining organisations representing workers, education and vocational training, recognition of diplomas, social security, tax benefits, access to goods and services including procedures for housing and employment advice services. Some exemptions may be applied by the Member States. The right to social security can, for instance, be limited to those in employment, or who have worked for at least 6 months and who are registered as unemployed.

Jon Purizhansky says that a foreign worker can work in the Schengen Area if she/he holds a National (D) Visa for employment purposes issued by one of the 26 European countries parts of the Schengen Zone. The fact that dozens of millions of D Visa recipients enter the EU annually coupled with the fact that the manpower recruitment industry is full of fraud, inefficiency and non-transparency creates risk not only to the economic health of the EU but also to the domestic security in Europe. European employers largely meet their employees for the first time when employees arrive.

Often times so-called “manpower brokers” or “recruiters” charge prospective employees exorbitant amounts of money by promising them unreal employment terms and when the non-European employees show up in the EU, their expectations are not aligned with the expectations of their European employers. Consequently, employees leave their employees, file complaints with government agencies and NGOs and become illegal aliens in the EU by illegally migrating in violation of their “D Visa” conditions. Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY points out that without a systemic technological solution the situation will continue to get worse.

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Important to understand global migration flows

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY defines the concept of global migration as a permanent move to a new location. Global migration is at its most active point in modern history. It’s rapidly changing the demographic, social and economic landscape of the planet. For this reason, it’s important to understand global migration flows. Data on migration flows are essential for understanding global migration patterns and how different factors and policies in countries of origin and destination may be related to flows. Currently, only 45 countries report migration flow data to the United Nations (UN DESA, 2015). Migration flows “refer to the number of migrants entering or leaving a given country during a given period of time, usually one calendar year” (UN SD, 2017). However, countries use different concepts, definitions and data collection methodologies to compile statistics on migration flows. Definitions of who counts as an international migrant vary over time in the same country and across countries. That’s why it’s important to understand how many people actually leave countries of origin and actually enter countries of destination.

Although the number may not be accurate, global estimates based on census data suggest that 0.5 percent – or approximately 37 million people – left their native country to live in another country between 2010 and 2015 (Abel, 2016). Some countries report data on annual flows to the UN Statistics Division (UN SD), who has a mandate to collect migration statistics, including on migration flows, from countries through the Demographic Yearbook data collection system. Some countries report data to OECD or the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) as well. OECD data on permanent migration inflows allow to distinguish between different types of migration flows including work, family and humanitarian migration (OECD, 2017). However, the number of countries reporting flow data is limited and the data are often not harmonized.

 

According to Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY, absence of systemic flow data has led researchers to develop their own estimates of global migration flows based on 5-year intervals (see Abel and Sander, 2014; Raymer et al., 2013). These estimates are based on UN statistics, some of which are available from the DEMIG Country-to-Country database (C2C) of the University of Oxford, which contains bilateral migration flows data for at least 34 countries. The database also provides gender breakdowns were available and more historical depth.

Another tool worth mentioning is DTM.

The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), a system to track and monitoring population displacement and mobility, collects migration flows data through flow monitoring component in more than 30 countries. DTM flow monitoring assesses areas of high mobility, often at key entry, exit, and transit locations. Flow monitoring activities aim to derive quantitative estimates of the flow of individuals through specific locations and to collect information about the profiles, intentions, and needs of the people moving. Numbers of people moving within areas of free circulation such as the European Union or the Southern Common Market (Mercosur in Latin America) are also indicated separately in the OECD’s International Migration Database.

The system off tracking data, however, is still very fragmented and inefficient. The tracking system is dependent of collecting data from administrative sources, but such sources usually record events (e.g. issuance/renewal/withdrawal of a residence permit) and may not necessarily reflect actual migration movements (e.g. a residence permit is not renewed but the person stays in the country, or the permit is renewed but the person leaves the country).

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, New York notices that without a systemic global technological solution, tracking and monitoring global relocation will become more and more difficult. Creating a unified blockchain technology system will help government agencies in both, destination and origination countries, employers, and third-party organizations by tracking and storing not only migrants’ identification documents, but also their migration history (renewals, visas, approvals, denials, supporting documents, etc….). It will not only generate transparency and efficiency for all participants of the global relocation ecosystem, but it will also assist researchers to understand and quantify global relocation data.

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Blockchain and Electronic Medical Records

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that current electronic medical records (EMR) systems are a mess in the United States. If a patient visits a doctor, there is no efficient way for the doctor to obtain transparency into this patient’s medical history. For example, when you go visit your primary care doctor, unless you allow him to obtain your medical records from all the other doctors you have visited, there is no way for your primary to understand what issues you have had before, particularly if you don’t remember. This creates serious inefficiencies and results in lower-quality care for all US patients. Additionally, if the data cannot be integrated into existing systems, doctors are unable to take full advantage of innovations in health data to make the best decisions about a patient’s health.

Blockchain network

However, Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that applying blockchain technology to EMR could fix the problem. Blockchain is a database that leverages cloud storage infrastructure to maintain a secure list of data records or transactions. Smart contracts within the blockchain platform allow logic to be programmed into the blockchain and executed when a transaction is made.

With respect to the EMR system, blockchain would create the ability to upload, store, and transfer files securely and cost-effectively. Rather than requiring health data to be stored in a centralized database, blockchain utilizes secure cloud technologies enabling data to be seamlessly shared and accessed from multiple sources. For example, during annual check-ups, physicians could review data synced from apps and wearable devices like the Apple Watch or Fitbit, instead of relying on patients to accurately, and honestly, divulge their health and exercise habits. In more urgent situations, a doctor may access blockchain-sourced data to determine whether the patient is allergic to certain medicines, or gather other critical information necessary for treatment.

Despite the efficiencies, blockchain provides, the concerns for maintaining the integrity of healthcare data is legitimate. In the first half of 2017, there were 233 health data breaches, affecting more than 3 million people, reported in the United States. Over 41 percent of the breaches were insider-caused. However, the services provided by blockchain help assuage the anxieties of bringing valuable, personal healthcare data into the digital world. Blockchain offers particularly strong benefits in three areas: integrity, permission, and decentralization. Blockchain ensures the information on the chain is verified by requiring users to provide a signature and time-stamp with a private key to access the data.

Blockchain can trace successful, or attempted, hacks and falsified records to an exact user to mitigate data breaches and insurance fraud. Blockchain maintains a permanent ledger, making it much more difficult for records to be lost or misplaced. Instead of relying on photocopies from their doctor’s office or third-party provider, patients have control over their data. Blockchain uses the logic that powers smart contracts, allowing users to give permissions, and control with whom their data is shared. The logic built into blockchain allows patients to have the best of both worlds, providing access to doctors when they need it, while simultaneously protecting data from unauthorized users. It’s important to note that Blockchain does not require data to be centrally maintained. Healthcare information can be stored in cloud databases and devices around the globe, ultimately providing patients with the power to control and share their data.

By removing the requirement for doctors, hospitals, and other care providers to be stored into a single health data system, patients are empowered to decide when, how, and to what extent their information may be shared with those who provide care. Private, public, and government agencies are all looking towards the potential uses and innovations for blockchain. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the theory on how to integrate blockchain with the EMR is clear, a systemic efficient solution has not yet been created.

If a single blockchain platform is created and is integrated with all EMR systems in a HIPAA compliant way, the quality of patient care will increase substantially due to the newly created ability for physicians to analyze patient data. Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY hopes that the United States will become a leader in safe, private, and secure storage and distribution of health records, thereby increasing the efficiency of patient care in a previously unrealized way.

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Cybersecurity and why it’s important

According to Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY, one hears a lot about cyber security these days. So, what exactly is cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These digital attacks, also known as the cyberattacks, target governments, corporations, non-governmental institutions and private individuals and are aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money; or interrupting business or government processes.

Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is becoming more difficult, because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative. Cyber attackers can be governments, companies, criminal organizations, terrorists and individuals.

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY mentions that multiple layers of protection must be implemented to create successful cybersecurity approach. In an organization, the human factor, processes, and technology must all complement one another to create an effective defense from cyber attacks. Human factor is important, because people must choose strong passwords, be thoughtful when opening email attachments and remember to back up data. Processes are important, because organizations have to have protocols for dealing with both attempted and successful cyber attacks. It’s important that both, members of organizations and private individuals are able to identify attacks, protect systems, detect and respond to threats, and recover from successful attacks and this ability comes with following protocols.

Lastly, technology is important because it provides organizations and individuals with computer security tools needed to protect themselves from cyber attacks. Three main entities must be protected: endpoint devices like computers, smart devices, and routers; networks; and the cloud. Common technology used to protect these entities include next-generation firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.

Cybersecurity attacks can have truly devastating effects in today’s world. Everyone relies on critical infrastructure like power plants, hospitals, defense infrastructure and financial service companies. Securing these and other organizations is essential to keeping our society functioning. There are four classical types of cyber-attacks. They are:

 

1) Ransomware, which is a type of malicious software designed to extort money by blocking access to files or the computer system until the ransom is paid. This attack is typically perpetuated by criminals and criminal organizations.

2) Malware is a type of software designed to gain unauthorized access or to cause damage to a computer.

3) Social engineering is used to trick you into revealing sensitive information. They can solicit a monetary payment or gain access to your confidential data. Social engineering can be combined with any of the threats listed above to make you more likely to click on links, download malware, or trust a malicious source.

4) Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails that resemble emails from reputable sources. Once you click on a link or open an attachment , the attackers become able to steal sensitive data like credit card numbers and login information. It’s the most common type of cyber attack.

Jon Purizhansky mentions that cyberwarfare is also becoming part of warfare employed by nation states. North Korea and China are good examples , although with time we will probably see every military in the world establish branches that engage in cyber warfare both offensively and defensively.

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Karpeles Manuscript Library of Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky says that Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents. The library was founded in 1983 by California real estate magnates, David, and Marsha Karpeles, with the goal of stimulating interest in learning. Buffalo, NY is the only city with two museums. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Buffalo was once the former First Church of Christ, Scientist. The congregation commissioned Chicago architect Solon S. Beman to design the building at 220 North St. The structure was built in 1911. The Christian Scientists occupied the building until the early 1980s, followed by a succession of Baptist congregations, until it was purchased by the Museum in December 2003. It formally opened in 2006.

 

Karpeles Manuscript
Karpeles Manuscript

Jon Purizhansky says that there are now 10 museums in 9 cities across the United States. The museums are located in small and midsize cities although the Karpeleses put on an exhibit on Central Park West in New York City in 1991.

As of September 2017, there were eleven museums. Worth noticing is The Queen City Market, which has become a keystone event for the Buffalo holiday season. Each year, over 50 artists and artisans take over the beautiful Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Buffalo to showcase their wares, in a setting that is like no other in the region. The Queen City Market is a wonderful social gathering spot, filled with all sorts of surprises. The market is the perfect setting for anyone who is looking to source locally made wares that are completely unique to Buffalo, NY.

Weddings are often held at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum of Buffalo. Jon Purizhansky says that guests have typically nothing but amazing things to say about the architecture and historical beauty of the buildings, and they required minimal decoration because they’re already so beautiful on their own. The staff is also incredibly helpful and accommodating. There are many great hotels nearby and although there are nine more Karpeles Manuscript Museums throughout the United States, the museum based in Buffalo, NY is definitely worth a visit

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Economic Developments in Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo international airport is busy. “When we first opened the airport in 1997, we were doing about 3 million passengers a year, and now we’re doing 5 million passengers a year. So, we need the additional space downstairs in the baggage claim area to make a better experience for our visitors in Western New York,” said NFTA Director of Aviation Bill Vanecek. The airport is currently undergoing an 80 million enhancement project. Some of the improvements include the building of two new exiting concourses to ease congestion at the security checkpoint. The baggage claim area will also be 50 percent bigger and includes the addition of four new baggage return belts.

Economic Developments

The airport, however, is not the only development underway in Buffalo. Jon Purizhansky says that there is no shortage of new construction and renovation activity heading toward completion in 2019 and beyond. Large projects have been completed at HarborCenter at Canalside, RiverBend in South Buffalo, the Delaware North Building at 250 Delaware, and the new Convent us Building, Oishei Children’s Hospital and University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and Ellicott Development Co. has launched the 500 Pearl project, a very cool 12-story downtown tower with a new hotel, apartments, office space, retail space and even a bowling alley.

Washington, D.C., developer Douglas Jemal last year kicked off his $120 million remake of the Seneca One Tower, which is Buffalo’s tallest building. The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. is investing over $120 million in the Northland Project, which is turning a 35-acre swath of industrial land on the Buffalo’s East Side into a light-industrial economic development hub that will bring jobs and investment to the poorest neighborhood in Buffalo.

Stuart Alexander & Associates and Rhonda Ricks are spending $50.7 million to convert the vacant former Buffalo Forge Manufacturing Co. plant at 490 Broadway into a new residential community, with 158 affordable apartments and some retail space in the two-building main complex. LP Ciminelli is also continuing work on its $90 million remake of the 27-acre former Central Park Plaza site into a new residential community, dubbed Highland Park, with more than 663 new apartments, town homes and for-sale homes. Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is finalizing its proposal for 201 Ellicott St., where it wants to construct a multistory building with 201 affordable apartments and an unspecified fresh-food market, but not a previously proposed parking facility. The mayor of Buffalo says that “This has been an incredible decade of growth, development and progress in the City of Buffalo. It is a special time in our City’s history – we are in the midst of a transformation that will be felt for generations to come.”

Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo is no longer a depressed rust belt town, but is now a bustling city in New York flushed with new investment capital that features many new projects and that is now home to a great deal of entrepreneurs and young professionals and is well on its way to become a major economic hub.

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Things to do in Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo, NY has become a real tourist attraction lately. It is seeing a movement to preserve a number of historical buildings, including the works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who has several famous homes in the Buffalo area. One can set sail on the Spirit of Buffalo for a scenic day cruise or evening sunset sail. Buffalo is also the gateway to the Niagara Falls, a globally known landmark.  Niagara State Park is America’s oldest, and each year tourists make the short drive from Buffalo to watch more than 750,000 gallons rush over the edge each second.

Jon Purizhansky also notices Niagara Wine Trail as a great wine trail. There are many wineries on the wine trail that are open to the public for tastings and tours.   

The micro-climate around the Great Lakes allows for the production of fine wines including Riesling, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and ice wines. There are currently 19 wineries in the Greater Buffalo area and plenty of B&Bs, restaurants, and bars. Buffalo is also home to Ralph Wilson Stadium, the only professional NFL football stadium in New York State and to the third oldest zoo in the United States, which hosts wild species from around the world and is a participant in global conservation efforts.

More than 1,000 animals are housed at the Buffalo Zoo that includes some of the rarest animals in the world. There are many great parks in and around Buffalo, including the Eternal Flame Falls, where the eternal flame is supported by natural gas seeps that break through the earth’s surface. Another great Buffalo area attraction is Fort Niagara, which sits on the head of the Niagara River. First held by General La Salle and his French troops in 1678, the fort eventually was a stronghold for both the British and Americans.

Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo is also home to the bustling urban cultural scene. Founded in 1862, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is among the world’s leading collections of international sculptures and paintings, including works by Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Matisse, and Van Gogh. There are many other galleries, including Burchfield Penney Art Center with its outstanding collection of regional art. Most galleries are located in the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo.

The Elmwood Village was named by the American Planning Association as one of the country’s 10 best neighborhoods and boasts some of the city’s most popular boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Elmwood Village has been Buffalo’s “cool” neighborhood since before it had any real competition for that title. Now, however, there is a number of up-and-coming districts in Buffalo that include Hertel Avenue, Allentown, and a resurgent downtown, all full of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. These attractions and much more make Buffalo a great place to visit any time of the year.

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The Re-Emergence of Buffalo, NY

The Sunday Times of London, UK recently called Buffalo, NY “America’s coolest summer city” (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/buffalo-new-york-america-cool-summer-city-guide-dl0mgmvr2 ). According to Jon Purizhansky, Buffalo, NY has gone through an unbelievable turn around from being a backward Rust Belt town to a successful urban center full of talent, culture, and entrepreneurship, not to mention the sports.

Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo has seen billions of dollars of investments in Buffalo’s future. New York State pledged a Billion dollars through its Buffalo Billion initiative, which developed an organization called 43North that awards funds to entrepreneurs through an annual competition. This has catalyzed the development of a budding technology entrepreneurship scene in Buffalo.

When you visit the innovation center on Elicott Street downtown Buffalo and you see all the young technology entrepreneurs turning ideas into businesses, you see no difference between Buffalo, Boston or the Silicon Valley. The ambiance is the same – it’s energy, its confidence, it’s about building new things and it’s about the new Buffalo.

Another sign that the region has changed, according to Jon Purizhansky, is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), a collaboration between several downtown institutions, including Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University at Buffalo, and Upstate New York Transplant Services (Unyts). Since the commencement of operations, BNMC has created tens of thousands of jobs and entire neighborhoods that surround the BNMC have been revitalized, a truly remarkable development.

Jon Purizhansky also mentions the START-UP NY initiative, which has been launched as an incentive for entrepreneurs and small business owners to bring their business to New York State and operate tax-free for 10 years. Since the program’s beginning, over 70 companies have come to Greater Buffalo. This has not only resulted in many new jobs but has also led to an influx of millennials into the city of Buffalo.

Young professionals are now attracted to Buffalo by its hip urban environment combined with a relatively low cost of living. Since 2000, the number of college grads ages 25-34 living within a 3-mile radius of downtown Buffalo has risen 34%, one of the highest percentages among the country’s largest metro areas. So, according to Jon Purizhansky, not only Buffalo became full of opportunities for the youngest members of the workforce, it’s an affordable and desirable place to live, too.

To conclude, Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo is not only rising up but may rather be in the path to its old glory, when it was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the United States of America.

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Rapprochement between Israel and Gulf States

The political landscape in the Middle East has gone through astonishing changes over the last 10 years. Every Arab country in the world used to be Israel’s enemy. According to Jon Purizhansky, it is no longer the case. Gulf monarchies have not only become Israel’s strategic allies but have come out in the open by proclaiming that peace with Israel will create nothing but benefits for their constituents.

More recent diplomatic exposure has brought the relationship between Israel and the Arab States out into the open and has signaled that the establishment of formal relations is just around the corner for the first time. Jon Purizhansky says that this development will not only change the Middle East – it will change the entire world

Recently, Israeli political leaders have held much-publicized meetings with the governments of Bahrain and Oman. There is talk about establishing formal relationships with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Jon Purizhansky says that the Iranian threat coupled with excessive regional instability and the mistrust between various nation-states in the neighborhood is driving this development forward.

Israel stands to benefit in countless ways from the alliance. Israel is constantly criticized for mistreating the Palestinians by the liberal West and by the Palestinians themselves. Clear demonstration of alliance and friendship between Israel and its non-Palestinian Arab neighbors destroys the flawed premise on which the anti-Israeli propaganda is built. Any reasonable person would conclude that “if the Arab States that lost land in wars with Israel even before the term “Palestinian” had been created want to be Israel’s friends now, then why can’t Palestinians do the same?” The growing alliance with the Arab states also points to the fact that Israeli strategic policies have worked.

If the Israeli government can show that the wealthy Arab countries of the region are willing to normalize relations with Israel despite continued settlement building in the West Bank and no peace on the horizon with Palestinians, then the criticism of Netanyahu holds no water, and he will have been proven right—at least in the medium term.

Jon Purizhansky points to Neganyahu’s recent statement that while other Israeli leaders had tried to bridge the relationship with the Arab and Muslim world through “concessions” to the Palestinians, he had adamantly refused to do so. “We believe in peace out of strength,” Netanyahu countered. “We believe in alliances born out of Israel’s value as a technological, financial, defense, and intelligence powerhouse.”

Jon Purizhansky identifies three premises on which the alliance between Israel and the Gulf States is based.

The first premise is Iran, the danger Iran’s policies pose in the neighborhood and the geopolitics of the Middle East after 2011.

Israel does not have to face Iran alone now. The Islamic Republic is a regional threat, giving Israel more legitimacy in how it responds.

The second premise is Israel’s ability to provide the Gulf states with most developed security systems, thereby ensuring that current ruling families will continue to rule.

The third premise according to Jon Purizhansky is Israel’s close relationship with the United States. By positioning themselves as Israel’s partners, the Gulf States will be able to score in Washington. They will also be able to link their own security with Israel’s security in the eyes of the US Government.

Jon Purizhansky says that although Israel is highly unpopular on the Palestinian street, inevitably Palestinians stand to benefit economically in many ways from the new Israeli/Gulf States alliance. There will be investments and jobs will be created on the Palestinian Territories. Absent force major circumstances, which are so common in the Middle East, economic prosperity will create a stronger desire for peace amongst the Palestinian masses. Undoubtedly, it will take years, but the Israel/Gulf States alliance is the sign of things to come – much waited for peace and prosperity in the Middle East.