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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:21 on March 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    ` EU legislation banning the use of drones won’t diminish the number of Drone Attacks’ -Interview ‘ 


    #AceWorldNews says that an interview with RT reveals thoughts on Drones by former Pentagon official Michael Maloof.

    EU legislation banning the use of drones won’t diminish the number of drone attacks, it will just be much more selective in terms of where they can be used, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT.

    A number of European parliaments have voted in favour of a proposed EU ban on American drone strikes, which have resulted in massive casualties among the civilian population, and also demanded from the US more transparency.

    The new legislation is to put more pressure on such states as Germany and Britain who are closely involved into the US drone operations.

    RT: The EU’s bill banning drone attacks covers strikes outside of war zones, like in Yemen and Pakistan, as well as attacks in combat zones that violate international laws. So what kinds of strikes can still be carried out under these guidelines?

    Michael Maloof: The resolution reflects the will of a lot of people around the world on the use of drones because so many innocent people have been killed. While it reflects the sympathetic sentiment, the reality is that drone strikes are still going to continue.

    I think what it’s suggesting at least is that if you are going to use drones and designate it and be legal about it, you go to the UN Security Council and ask for it.

    And that does not appear to be the case either for the US, or for Germany or the UK, which are very eager to sell drones to the US and, in fact, have participated in some of their activities. I think it’s going to raise some problems for the UK and Germany. The US probably will ignore it.

    But the reality is that people are very upset that this is happening. The area has to be designated as a warzone, as I understand the resolution, but when you consider drones that are now being used from Pakistan to Yemen, perhaps into Somalia and into the Maghreb and North Africa, those areas have not been designated as the warzones because you deal with transnational terrorist activity.

    So this raises a dilemma and I think the UN is going to have to address this problem in very short order.

    RT: So far, the UK and Germany have resisted citing national security as their motive for involvement in US strikes. Facing increased scrutiny following this vote, what reasons might they cite to validate their actions now?

    MM: I think the concern they might have from a national standpoint is the potential threat of terrorism into Europe itself coming in from the Maghreb and North Africa. Those countries are becoming increasingly restive over that fact and also Britain has been concerned about Pakistan and the TTP, and also the fact that many Pakistanis are coming out of the UK and fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Consequently this is going to pose some serious national issues for Germany and the UK especially.

    RT: The US has been carrying out drone strikes for years. With this new legislation now, how do you think it is going to end up? Will there be more territories called warzones?

    MM: I think it’s not going to diminish it. The reality is while it expresses sentiments of concern about killing innocent people and many thousands have been killed, drone strikes are going to continue. The use of drones is really going to be the new 6th-generation type of warfare that the US instigated, initiated, and we are seeing other countries quickly adapting that process.

    And I don’t think it is going to diminish at all, it will require being much more selective in the use of drones and where they can be used and indeed the UN is going to have to deal with this transnational problem of terrorism, which is a subject and rather an object of drone strikes.
    It’s potentially a serious problem to come.

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ace News Group or RT News.

    #ANS2014

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 16:40 on February 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #AceFriendsNews,   

    ” Ace News Group says a Great Big Thank You to All our Readers” 


    #AceNewsGroup says this is just to say a great big thank you to all my readers on helping me to reach the most likes in one day.

    Thanks so muchIt makes it all worthwhile and l have added a category in your honour to be called simply:

    #AceFriendsNews so that anyone posting an agreed post on the news line, will be added as a news friend.

    I have a number of new and improved changes in the pipeline and will be advising further soon, as and when they are ready to launch.

    These are the groups news group sites:

    Ace Finance News 

    Ace Food & Health News 

    Ace History News  

    Ace Worldwide Goods & Services News

    History of Britain

    Soon to be launched the Ace Publishing Network

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  • #AceNewsGroup 15:42 on February 3, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Andrew Tyrie, , , , , , , , Sainsbury,   

    #UK:` Financial Crisis for the Poor’ Meanwhile the `Wealthy Gain Rich Pickings’ from this Government’s Strategy’ 


    #AceGuestNews says Financial crisis for many, bonanza for the few.  

    Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.
    Published time: February 03, 2014 13:42
    Reuters/Kacper PempelReuters/Kacper Pempel
    Despite what the UK’s ruling politicians or statisticians from palm-greased think tanks may say, the UK’s economic “recovery” is visible nowhere on the country’s streets.

    The opiate of Quantitative Easing (QE) or Printing Money, the £375 billion fraudulently spirited up so far, is making some of the figures look good, but it is killing the patient.

    The effect of QE is to propel the nest eggs of the rich from prudent “savings accounts,” where interest rates are at an all-time low, into capricious stock and bond markets to be managed by hedge funds and other pushy players. Meanwhile, everything with half a brain that moves, including the Parliamentary Commission on Banking, chaired by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, is demanding to see clear blue water between public-facing banks and the casino economy. However, precisely the opposite is happening, as billions of savings leaves the safe ground in search of higher returns.

    The London media have no excuse to talk of a “recovery.” They don’t have to look very far to see the tell-tale signs of a nation falling apart: Try looking down next time you’re in the street. None of the infrastructure of the nation is being maintained. From jutting-out high street paving slabs to potholed roads and even silted up rivers in the Somerset Levels that have been flooded since Christmas, the vital systems of the nation are clogged and breaking.

    For a country with one of the highest living standards in the world to have 20 percent of its population, ticking up every month, existing below the poverty line, something must be very wrong. And the “democratic” strings that are supposed to tie Britain’s 65 million people to the cosseted elite that spend the nation’s taxes are also horribly frayed. The period before a general election is when a government courts its voters.

    And what is the role of Britain’s third-party in all this? The Liberal Democrats (with 56 MPs) hold the balance of power between Labour (256) and the Conservatives (303). Any party in such a position should call the shots, as Irish MPs did with the 1885 Ashbourne Act which forced absentee English landowners to hand over land to Irish farmers who had been impoverished by the famine: A dramatic change in ownership that was one of the main catalysts for Irish Home Rule.

    A broken labour market

    Like the “Balance of Payments,” which compares British exports to imports, taking stock of the “Cost of Living” has fallen out of fashion in the London media. Maybe it’s the lack of the feel-good factor in both sets of statistics – but that doesn’t make either of them any less crucial to understanding whether or not the economy is working. Cost of living is rarely mentioned because an enormous, economically driven, social engineering by the power elite has been played out in our lives in a generation. Britain has fallen from a high-wage, unionized, high-job security economy, from a developed world to a third-world economy in those 30 years.

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFPSpencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

    A broken housing market

    Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) has a “great plan” to exterminate Britain’s welfare benefits. So as Work and Pensions Secretary he has put the onus on the claimant, however disabled, mentally ill or otherwise infirm, to prove they are in need, and many are struggling to do so. Scores have already taken their own lives because the vulnerable cannot endure his“survival of the fittest” ATOS test. Duncan-Smith’s own family, though, continue to receive around £1.2 million in annual welfare benefits – in the form of agricultural subsidies for their inherited land.

    IDS’s other “flagship” policy is the Bedroom Tax. So vicious is this tax that it puts the most vulnerable in constant fear of eviction and, unbelievably, costs the government more! Both to pay the higher rents the private sector demands and in eviction fees. Meanwhile, Britain is encouraging mass economic migration and building fewer homes than any time since the 1920s, so as to keep property prices artificially high. Now Britons who don’t get Housing Benefit are, on average, paying a staggering 45 percent of their income on rent or mortgage costs.

    A broken food market

    The international grain trade, according to Oxfam, is now dominated by only five multinational companies. ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Glencore and Louis Dreyfus control 90 percent of this fundamental trade. Through the unregulated derivative markets’ ability to speculate on a future collapse in world food supplies, a hideous profit motive is being whispered of which enriches the few by pushing billions of people to the edge of starvation.

    With the demise of the biggest traditional fish, meat and fruit and vegetable markets, deals are now cut behind closed doors for vast quantities of food, the economies of scale suiting buyer and seller alike. With only seven supermarket chains in the UK (Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) selling 85 percent of the country’s food they are able to coax almost every consumer with other basic essentials on the same site: petrol, banking and pharmacies, for example, driving traditional, locally owned shops to the wall.

    As historian E.P. Thompson wrote in his 1979 book, “Writing by Candlelight,”quoting from an Elizabethan diary he found behind an oak panel in his library:

    Fruit cannot go to Markett, not for Money nor even yett as Charitye for the Poor. Some say it be through a Sort of Monopolisers in the Dealing Trade, wch wd keep all Price at its Customary Heighth as it is set in any Leen Yeer. And that these Dealers wd rather that the Poor Starve, the Fruits fall Rotted and Wormey, and the Husbandmen & their Familys Toile & Swinke for no Reward – all so that their Proffits be not Sunke.

    Prices paid to farmers today, they say, are driven down by the supermarkets while what the consumer pays is ratcheted up. The small grocers go to the wall and the poor cannot afford to eat, while the multinational food cartels become more powerful every day. With an exponential threefold rise in food bank use this Christmas, and food bank users set to top the 1 million mark in 2014, it seems that monopolies – after 400 years, the crooked markets of Elizabethan times – are back.

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

    A broken energy market

    One of the most damning indictments of Coalition Britain is the obscene way in which the destitute have been quietly and gradually made to pay the energy bills of the rich. An investment now in an energy company of £20,000, peanuts for the rich, delivers annual share dividends which will pay the annual gas and electricity bill of the average two or three-bedroom home. That investment grows above inflation too and will provide a tidy sum if the investor ever tires of his free energy. Through the privatization of the utilities, indentured servitude has been hardwired into the economy and the suffering.

    At the other end of the spectrum, those living hand to mouth are forced off cheap direct debit payment schemes onto key meter energy tariffs, where they can pay as much as double what the rich are paying, or not paying, for each unit of energy they use. Such injustice and cruelty is scarcely conscionable in a nation proud to suit among the top ten wealthiest in the world. One can only speculate that this must be worked out on average wealth, a handful of billionaires surrounded by hoards of 16th Century destitute.

    Perhaps these markets are not ‘broken’ at all?

    Given that Britain’s plutocrats are doing very nicely, thank you, out of the £850 billion bank rescue in 2008 and the subsequent financial “crisis,” and that their friends in the London media have promised not to tread on their toes, let’s take an educated guess at what the real game might be here.

    Perhaps there is no democracy? Perhaps all the political parties are bought and paid for lock, stock and barrel by the power elite who have no conscience, letting accountants run their affairs.

    And when they have filled all their garages with the most ostentatious sports cars money can buy, the next thing up the pecking order perhaps is a government department or a newspaper or two?

    “Nobody wants a crash,” some might say. But they’d be wrong. One of the unintended, or intended, consequences of deregulation in financial markets is that it’s now easier than ever to make a fortune from betting on disaster. What Naomi Klein calls “Disaster Capitalism” – economic warfare and deliberate sabotage of a nation’s economy – is more profitable than ever before.

    The ordinary people of the world had better wise up and look sharp, because we are swimming in shark-infested waters. What the power elite don’t seem to have realized, though, is that we are teaching our children to watch those overnight subjects like hawks. The younger generation are good swimmers, and getting ready with their rocket harpoons.

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and full editorial rights to print have been obtained.

    Though they do not necessarily represent those of: Ace New Group

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 16:24 on January 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    #UKGov: “Using Immigration as a Scapegoat to Cover up Austerity Failures” 


    #AceNewsServices says having watched UK TV news yesterday evening and being told that people working for the “Immigration Services” will get “Gift Vouchers” that according to the Guardian [Incentives for officials who hit target of winning 70% of tribunal cases include vouchers, cash bonuses and extra holiday's]  so this column according to John Wright in my opinions column of the local UK news.,just seemed the right one to print.

    RT: Get short URL

    Published time: January 15, 2014 15:15
    Romanian children are moved along by their father as he arrives with some of their possessions at the Ozone Leisure Centre in East Belfast (Reuters / Cathal McNaughton)Romanian children are moved along by their father as he arrives with some of their possessions at the Ozone Leisure Centre in East Belfast (Reuters / Cathal McNaughton)
    The poisonous climate which currently prevails in Britain on the issue of immigration reflects the extent to which the British government’s extreme austerity agenda has been responsible for a lurch to the right in British politics.

    This has been most pronounced within the government itself as, under pressure from the upsurge in support for the anti-immigration politics of the far right UK Independence Party, it has embraced this until now marginal political party’s anti-EU and anti-immigration narrative.

    Up to the last UK general election in 2010, which brought into existence the current Tory and Lib Dem coalition government, UKIP and its noxious brand of xenophobic and anti-immigrant views were considered beyond the pale by the political mainstream and the majority of people.

    Three years later a recent poll of marginal Conservative parliamentary constituencies found that UKIP’s support had gone up by 8 percent since the last general election, while support for the Tories has plunged by around 10 percent. With the next general election now only 18 months away, the conclusion is clear – natural Tory voters have turned to UKIP in significant numbers, attracted by their more robust views on the EU and immigration – both widely though wrongly perceived to constitute a threat to the British economy, jobs, and a drain on the welfare state.

    Such anti-immigration sentiment has grown in popularity and traction since 2010, which has been created by the government’s dogged determination to implement austerity, regardless of the damage it has done and is doing both to the economy and social cohesion in the wake of a relentless assault on public spending, wages, and the welfare state. It has given rise to fear, anger, and alienation among a large section of the population, making people more receptive to the scapegoating of immigrants as a consequence.

    Most recently, the rhetoric from the government over the prospect of hordes of Rumanian and Bulgarian migrants invading the country after temporary work restrictions were lifted on January 1 in accordance with EU legislation – an invasion which is yet to materialize – is a case in point. Citizens of both nations have been slandered and smeared in a manner that can only be described as racist, with them characterized as criminals, thieves, and benefit scroungers. For any politician to descend to this level is a disgrace. For government ministers to do so is worse. It even produced a schism within the cabinet, when the Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable recently compared Prime Minister David Cameron to Enoch Powell, the notorious Tory MP of the 1960s whose infamous speech against the flow of migrants to the UK has gone down in British political history as a racist manifesto.

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is shown around a house in Southall in London on December 18, 2013 which was raided earlier in the day by immigration officers. (AFP Photo / David Bebber)Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is shown around a house in Southall in London on December 18, 2013 which was raided earlier in the day by immigration officers. (AFP Photo / David Bebber)

    The truth when it comes to immigration is that it has benefited Britain. A recent study by academics from University College London’s Migration Research Unit revealed that over the past decade migrants have made a net contribution of £25 billion to the economy, with migrants from the EU making the largest contribution of all; according to the study they have paid on average 34 percent more in taxes than they received in benefits between 2001 and 2011.

    One of the co-authors of the report was Professor Christian Dustmann. On its findings, he told The Guardian: “Our research shows that in contrast with most other European countries, the UK attracts highly educated and skilled immigrants from within the EEA as well as from outside. What’s more, immigrants who arrived since 2000 have made a very sizeable net fiscal contribution and therefore helped to reduce the fiscal burden on UK-born workers.”

    He continued: “Our study also suggests that over the last decade or so the UK has benefitted fiscally from immigrants from EEA countries, who have put in considerably more in taxes and contributions than they received in benefits and transfers. Given this evidence, claims about ‘benefit tourism’ by EEA immigrants seem to be disconnected from reality.”

    The idea of implementing a 5-year ban on migrants being able to claim benefits contains its own logic in the context of austerity, wherein a crisis of greed and recklessness in the private sector has been turned into a crisis of public spending. Immigration offers an easy scapegoat for the pain being felt by millions as a result of the extreme cuts being made to public spending, with the poor and low waged bearing most of the burden. However it sets a dangerous precedent, given that around 1.6 million British people are currently living and working throughout the EU. In other words, the scapegoating of migrants in Britain could result in the scapegoating of British expatriates overseas.

    Demonstrators gather in central London on October 20, 2012, as they prepare to march against the government's austerity policies and call for an alternative economic strategy that puts jobs and growth first. (AFP Photo / Carl Court)Demonstrators gather in central London on October 20, 2012, as they prepare to march against the government’s austerity policies and call for an alternative economic strategy that puts jobs and growth first. (AFP Photo / Carl Court)

    But by far the most worrying aspect of the poisonous turn which the debate on immigration has taken in Britain recently, is that it illustrates the extent to which mainstream politicians have failed to learn the lessons of history. During the last great global depression in the 1930s, the scapegoating of foreigners, and national, ethnic and religious minorities led inexorably to the rise of fascism and everything that followed. While we may be some way from that particular abyss today, the fact that the normalization of anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain has reached the point where it has been embraced by the government itself has to be a matter of deep and growing concern.

    At the beginning of 2014 Britain is one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, with one in three children living in poverty, millions suffering fuel poverty, and the number of food banks multiplying up and down the country in response to growing demand. This state of affairs is not the fault of immigrants or immigration. This state of affairs is the fault of the rampant greed that has blighted British society over the past three decades.

    The enemy of people in Britain is neither immigrants or immigration. It is the rich and a government that governs on their behalf.

    John Wight is a writer and commentator specializing in geopolitics, UK domestic politics, culture and sport.

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:52 on January 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Boston Dynamics, DARPA, , Larry Page, , , Regina E. Dugan, , ,   

    #NSA #Darpa & #Google “Join Forces As Military Contractor” 


    #AceWorldNews says this post outlines the tie up between three parties, #NSA for Spying, #Darpa for the defence and research into robot’s as future warfare machine, where games become reality and #Google as the robotics provider and computerization techniques.

    Google has spent the last decade building databases on everything, including each and every computer-using American citizen. Now it intends to join forces with the United States Military to put all that info to good use. The giant “swooshing sound” you are hearing right now is the major leap forward of the Mark of the Beast.

    The DC: Google CEO Larry Page has rapidly positioned Google to become an indispensable U.S. military contractor. Google recently purchased Boston Dynamics, a robotics pioneer that produces amazing humanoid robots for the U.S. Defense Department.

    This development invites attention to Google’s broader military contracting ambitions — especially since Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company that Google has bought in the last six months.

    google-becomes-military-contractor-for-the-pentagon-war-machine

    Just like drones are the future of air warfare, humanoid robots and self-driving vehicles will be the future of ground warfare according to U.S. defense plans.

    There are many other reasons why the U.S. military is on path to become Google’s single largest customer. Likewise these reasons indicate Google has a closer working relationship with the NSA than it acknowledges publicly.

    First, consider the military value of Google’s research and development efforts and the military contracting pipeline revenue it could represent.

    Page created Google X, which is Google’s secretive research and development lab tasked with pursuing “moon-shot” technology breakthroughs. So far, Google X is best known for its earth-bound self-driving cars and Google Glass.

    Tellingly, the purpose of the original “moon-shots” by the Soviet Union and America was military. The two Cold War superpowers were in a “space race” to publicly showcase the technological and military supremacy of their rival ideologies.

    Simply, America’s Cold War “moon-shot” was about winning the military space and arms race with the former Soviet Union.

    Even more tellingly, the greatest application for almost all of Google X’s “moon-shot” technological efforts — are military. Like drones, self-driving vehicles, and robot soldiers could enhance military surveillance and payload delivery while reducing risks to military personnel.

    Google Glass’ advances in wearable augmented reality could offer American soldiers tactical advantages over enemy combatants. Google’s Project Loon could quickly provide a supplemental battlefield bandwidth advantage in remote areas.

    Second, Google’s personnel hiring signals its aspirations for a closer Google-military relationship

    English: This was the most up-to-date DARPA lo...

    English: This was the most up-to-date DARPA logo as of January 2009. It is obsolete now. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    In 2012, Google hired Regina Dugan, the head of DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), DOD’s in-house “moon-shot” idea factory. At the time a Google spokesperson said: “Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA.  She will be a real asset to Google.”

    Simply, few people could have a better insider knowledge of the U.S. military’s future technology needs that Google could exploit than Ms. Dugan.

    Third, Google has a long history of working for, and with, the NSA and the other U.S. intelligence services.

    In 2004, Google purchased satellite mapping company Keyhole, which was strategically important enough to be funded by the CIA’s investment fund In-Q-Tel. Google turned the aptly named “Keyhole” surveillance capability into the wildly popular Google Earth and Google Maps service used by over a billion people and over one million websites.

    In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that U.S. spy agencies use “Google equipment as the backbone of Intellipedia, a network aimed at helping agents share intelligence.” The article also reported that Google had a support contract with the NSA.

    In 2010, the Washington Post reported that Google worked with the NSA to figure out how Chinese hackers broke into Google. The New York Times later reported that those Chinese hackers stole Google’s entire password system called Gaia.

    Fourth, Google has too many unique capabilities and metadata sets that are of strategic value to the NSA to believe Google’s denials that it does not work closely with the NSA

    Snowden’s NSA revelations have underscored the high value the NSA puts on collecting the metadata of who is communicating with whom, when, where, and how much.

    Remember Google is metadata central. It is veritable surveillance catnip for the NSA Think about it. Google’s cookies track the Internet behavior of nearly 2 billion people. Over a billion people regularly use Google Search, Maps, Android, and YouTube. And about a half billion people use Gmail and Google + social media.

    Former NSA Director Michael Hayden has said “Gmail is the preferred Internet service provider of terrorists worldwide.”

    Thus Google has the unique capability to surveil for the NSA the online behavior of a targeted group of people by country, language, interests, keywords, names, communications, physical location, movements, time and more.

    Simply put, Google’s world’s largest computer already can do what the NSA wants to do most.

    Add to all this Google’s unique capability to instantaneously translate 80 different languages across applications, and why wouldn’t the NSA covet a close working relationship with Google?

    Finally, the behavior of America’s greatest military rivals, Russia and China, speaks volumes about the likely extent of unreported close cooperation between Google and NSA/DOD.

    Remember it was the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that invented the Internet in the early ‘70s. It is no coincidence that Russia and China have been the most hostile to allowing Google’s Internet dominance to extend into their countries.

    In summation, the accumulating evidence indicates that the U.S. military is on path to become Google’s single largest customer.

    Page’s strategic positioning of Google’s biggest investments to strongly align with future U.S. military needs are no coincidence. It is likely tacit confirmation of a much stronger relationship than Google has acknowledged to date.

    Page’s creeping militarization of Google will increasingly become problematic for the privacy of Google’s foreign users, which generate over half of Google’s revenues. While U.S. law purportedly prevents the #NSA from surveilling Americans without a warrant, the NSA’s official mandate is to surveil foreign signals intelligence.

    Scott Cleland is President of Precursor LLC, a consultancy serving Fortune 500 clients, some of which are Google competitors. He is also author of “Search & Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc. Cleland has testified before both the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees on Google and also before the relevant House oversight subcommittee on Google’s privacy problems.

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:50 on January 13, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Alan Milburn, , , , , John Major, , , , , Work Foundation   

    “Social Mobility Has the Power to Help the Poor in Society” 


    #AceNewsServices says in a speech to the Resolution Foundation Alan Milburn calls for more action to restore the link between economic growth and earnings, highlighting the fact ,that where you are born affects your life and the future prospects for your children. What l found was that even though he agree’s with the present incumbents sticking to their policies ,though he realises that good intentions, need to be worked through to the end.

    Speech: 

    It is part of Britain’s DNA that everyone should have a fair chance in life. Yet too often demography is destiny in our country. Being born poor often leads to a lifetime of poverty. Poor schools ease people into poor jobs. Disadvantage and advantage cascade down the generations. Over decades we have become a wealthier society but we have struggled to become a fairer one.

    Social MobilityThe global financial crisis has brought these concerns to the fore. In its wake a new public consensus has begun to emerge that unearned wealth for a few at the top, growing insecurity for many in the middle, and stalled life chances for those at the bottom is not a viable social proposition for Britain. As birth not worth has become more a determinant of life chances, higher social mobility – reducing the extent to which a person’s class or income is dependent on the class or income of their parents – has become the new holy grail of public policy. These are developments I regard as most welcome.

    Recently my Commission issued our first annual state of the nation report to Parliament. In it we acknowledge that these are challenging times to make progress. Britain faces a triple squeeze: on economic growth, family incomes and public spending. In these circumstances it would have been all too easy for Government to abandon the aim of ending child poverty by 2020 and to avoid the long hard haul of making progress on social mobility. We believe the UK Government deserves credit for sticking to these commitments and making new ones. The test we apply, however, is not about good intentions. We take those as read. It is about whether the right actions are being taken.

    Social Mobility Statistics  There is much to welcome in what Government, employers, schools and universities are doing. We see considerable effort and a raft of initiatives under-way. The question is whether the scale and depth of activity is enough to combat the headwinds that Britain faces if we are to move forward to become a low poverty, high mobility society. The conclusion we reach is that it is currently not. We conclude that the statutory goal of ending child poverty by 2020 will likely be missed by a considerable margin, perhaps by as many as 3 million children. We conclude too that the economic recovery, of which we have seen further evidence in today’s jobs figures, is unlikely to halt the trend of the last decade, where the top part of society prospers and the bottom part stagnates. If that happens social inequality will widen and the rungs of the social ladder will grow further apart. Poverty will rise. At best, mobility will stall. At worst, it will reverse.

    To avert this we believe that policy-makers need to come to terms with a new truth that emerges from the mass of evidence contained in our Report. Although entrenched poverty has to be a priority – and requires a specific policy agenda – transient poverty, growing insecurity and stalling mobility are far more widespread than politicians, employers and educators have so far recognised.

    Social Mobility StatisticsToo often – in political discourse and media coverage – these issues are treated as marginal when in fact they are mainstream. Poverty touches almost half of Britain’s citizens at some point over a nine-year period. The nature of poverty has changed. Today child poverty is overwhelmingly a problem facing working families, not the work less or the work-shy. Two-thirds of Britain’s poor children are now in families where an adult works. In three-quarters of those households someone already works full-time. The principal problem seems to be that those working parents simply do not earn enough to escape poverty. If we are to successfully tackle poverty and increase mobility we will have to do much more, as a nation to help the working poor of Britain.

    There is a growing cohort of low and middle-income families squeezed between falling earnings and rising house prices, university fees and youth unemployment, who fear their children will be worse off than they have been. The proportion of 25-34 year olds owning their own homes has fallen from around 60% to 40% in just a decade. Too many able children from average income and middle class families – let alone low-income families – are losing out in the race for the top jobs. A society where opportunities are frozen rather than fluid hurts more than those at the very bottom end. It hurts the people President Clinton once famously called the ‘forgotten middle class’.

    There is a glass ceiling in British society – and more and more people are hitting it. Whether it is law or medicine or journalism or politics the upper echelons of Britain are dominated by a social elite. One third of MP’s, half of senior doctors and over two-thirds of high court judges all hail from the private schools that educate just 7% of our country’s children. The data is so stark, the story so consistent, that it has all the hallmarks of social engineering. Sir John Major is right to be shocked. Elitism is entrenched.

    Where Sir John is wrong is to argue this is the consequence of the actions of any one government. Deep-rooted inequality and flat-lining mobility have been decades in the making. Some say it is an impossible task to undo them. I do not succumb to that pessimism. There is no natural order that makes our society like it is. Of course there is no single lever that on its own can make a nation more socially mobile. No single organisation can make it happen either. All sorts of things make a difference. Family networks and parenting styles. Careers services and school standards. Career development opportunities and university admission procedures. But the key is employability and education.

    Social mobility speeded up in the 1950′s thanks to a big change in the labour market. The shift from a manufacturing to a services economy drove demand for new skills and opened up new opportunities for professional and white-collar employment. More room at the top enabled millions of women and men to step up as a consequence. Social mobility has slowed down in the decades since primarily because of another big change in the labour market: the move to a more technologically based knowledge economy. Since the 1970s technological change has been skills-biased. People with higher skills have seen large increases in productivity and pay while those with low skills have experienced reduced demand for labour and lower average earnings.

    The Work FoundationThis is not a peculiarly UK phenomenon. It is a trend that afflicts the developed world. The polarization into what the Work Foundation calls “lovely jobs” and “lousy jobs” first saw wages at the bottom end of the labour market become disconnected from GDP growth in countries like America and Canada. More recently the same has happened in Australia and Britain. Now it is happening in Germany and France and, to a lesser extent, even the Nordic countries. In most developed countries there has been a declining share of economic growth going to labour (and a higher share to capital) at the same time as there has grown wage inequality. In the UK, the share of national income going to wages of workers in the bottom half of the earnings distribution decreased by a quarter between 1979 and 2009.

    Over recent decades, increases in zero hour contracts and self-employment, the decline of collective bargaining and strong trades unions, the collapse of internal careers ladders – in part a consequence of increased outsourcing and specialisation within firms – and the replacement of jobs with technology have all impacted opportunities for low paid workers to progress. Work just published by the Resolution Foundation finds there are 320,000 workers, overwhelmingly women, who have been trapped at the minimum wage pay level for five years or more and 140,000 for 10 years or more. But it is not just workers at the bottom who are being affected. These same forces are hollowing out the middle of the labour market and it is likely that as the cost of computing power continues to fall technology will replace many more middle-class jobs that rely on repetitive and routine tasks. Or at least make them less valuable in the labour market. In other words, the earnings squeeze already felt by people at the bottom could increasingly spread to those in the middle.

    Across the developed world, we are witnessing a profound change in the labour market. This change is being experienced as a cost of living crisis by many families in our country. As their wages stagnate, prices – of energy, food, housing – roar ahead. Living standards are falling. Public anger is rising. And politicians are scrambling to keep up. It is welcome that the cost of living issue is now high on the political agenda. The problem is that the answers that the political parties are reaching for – whether caps on gas bills or more competition in the energy market – can, at best, provide only short-term respite. What is lacking – across the political spectrum – is a long-term answer about how the gap between earnings and prices can be closed. With inflation and interest rates across the developed world at record lows the cost of living crisis is as much a problem of falling earnings as it is of rising prices.

    Without corrective action the risk is that the UK’s economic recovery, though welcome, merely perpetuates a decade-long decline in real earnings. Even at the height of the boom in the 2000s earnings were stagnating. The changes we are seeing in the labour market and the experiences of the last decade suggest that the old assumption of a tide of economic growth causing all boats to rise may no longer hold. Economic growth has become decoupled from earnings growth. That has profound consequences for our prospects of Britain becoming more mobile and more fair. A recovery that sees national wealth rise might be an economic success but if earnings fall it will be a social failure.

    Just as the UK government has focused on reducing the country’s financial deficit it now needs to redouble its efforts to reduce our country’s fairness deficit. All parts of society have had to shoulder the pain of fiscal consolidation. In turn all parts of society should share in the proceeds of renewed economic growth. It should be a new and explicit objective of government policy to re-forge the link that has been broken between economic growth, average earnings and social fairness. That will require new thinking and some new approaches.

    Unemployed StatisticsFor decades the public policy focus has been on moving people from welfare into work. With 2.5 million people still unemployed and appallingly high levels of youth unemployment renewed effort is still needed there. A job remains the best safeguard against being poor. But it is not a cure for poverty. Today the UK has one of the highest rates of low pay in the developed world. Five million workers, mainly women, earn less than the Living Wage. Outside of London, it is £7.65 an hour, hardly a King’s ransom. These are the people that heed the urgings of politicians of all hues to do the right thing, to stand on their own two feet, to strive not shirk. They simply do not earn enough to escape poverty. The working poor are the forgotten people of Britain. They desperately need a new deal. Of course, many more children in working families would be in poverty were it not for the State supporting their incomes. The cost of tax credits for families who are in work was almost £20 billion in 2011-12. My Commission estimates that the cost of Housing Benefit for families who are in work could be as high as £3 billion. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, public spending through higher tax credits effectively subsidized stagnating earnings and propped up living standards. In fact government-funded tax credits were the only substantial source of real income growth for low to middle-income households between 2003 and 2008. Austerity removes that prop. Quite simply, the taxpayer alone can no longer afford to shoulder the burden of bridging the gap between earnings and prices.

    Across the political spectrum more and more questions are being asked about a system in which half of families with children have their incomes supplemented by the State even though they are in work to compensate for employers – many of whom are making large profits – simply not paying their staff enough to live on. We concluded in our Report last month that the time is right for Government to devise new ways to share the burden of bridging the gap between earnings and prices with employers in a way that is consistent with growing levels of employment.

    Clearly, there are tensions and trade-offs that will need to be made. That is why we argue government, employers and trades unions should collaborate on a new low pay strategy for Britain. The Resolution Foundation has done excellent work mapping out some of the areas where progress is needed. Key elements could include raising the national minimum wage which today is worth £1,000 less in real terms than in 2008; considering the merits of a sector-based approach to raising minimum pay levels as they do in Australia; reducing the direct and indirect taxes that low paid workers face in order to boost their net incomes; and encouraging and provide incentives for more employers to pay the Living Wage. As a first step Government could deploy more muscular transparency to promote higher wages: it could change the law to require firms to publish pay ratios as well as the number of staff earning below particular hourly pay benchmarks. And it could change how Job Centre Plus and Work Programme providers are able to pay incentives so that they are rewarded for the earnings people they help receive not just the jobs they are found.

    These are short-term steps. The long-term solution to how Britain can overcome its low pay problem is likely to lie in improving skills so that Britain has many more high quality jobs that will allow us to compete successfully in the expanding global markets for high-value goods and services. That will require employers to more consciously invest in skills, training and career development for their workforces. Outside of the workplace my Commission believes there are four other key steps we need to take if all parts of society are to share in the proceeds of economic growth.

    OECDFirst, extending early years’ education. The OECD evidence shows that child poverty is lowest and social mobility is highest where parents can rely on universal, quality and affordable childcare. Early education packs a double punch. It positively impacts children’s development and it enables more parents to work. Having all parents in a household in employment massively reduces the chances of a family being in poverty. Widely available, affordable childcare is the best means of securing income for a family, since it dramatically lifts the maternal employment rate. This is the conclusive evidence from the experience of the Nordic countries. In Scandinavia child poverty rates are less than half of British rates. Year by year we are making progress as a nation to extend and improve early years education but what we lack is a long-term plan for doing so. Government should devise one.

    Second, closing the attainment gap between better-off and less well-off children in schools. For a long-time it was widely accepted by governments and publics alike that – when it came to learning – deprivation was destiny. Better off children would naturally excel. Poorer children would naturally fall behind. We now have extensive evidence that such social determinism is plain wrong. Countries as different as Canada, Poland and Singapore have demonstrated a great track record in raising attainment levels across their societies. In our country only 36% of children on free school meals – roughly the poorest sixth in society – get good results at aged 16 compared to 63% of other children. But over the last decade or so educational inequality has narrowed. Progress has been most startling in London where pupils who are entitled to free school meals now have attainment at the age of 16 which is 50 per cent higher than free school meal students elsewhere in the UK. London used to have some of the worst state schools in the country. Today they are among the best. That not did happen by chance. A decade of effort to raise standards and recruit good teachers has paid off. But it is not enough to lift children off the bottom. More needs to be done to get them into the top. So Government should ensure that raising standards and closing attainment gaps are the twin objectives for all teachers and all schools through the standards it sets, the inspection regimes it sanctions, the league tables it publishes and the reward mechanisms it deploys. Critically, it needs to incentivize the best teachers more to teach in the worst schools, including through higher pay.

    Third, ensuring fair access to higher education and vocational training. In the most mobile societies students are helped to make the transition to employment, via higher education for the most academically able and via vocational education for those wanting to develop their technical skills. In Britain by contrast we face twin challenges – unequal access to higher education and a low priority being given to vocational education. When four private schools and one college send more students to Oxbridge every year than 2,000 state secondaries it is obvious that schools and universities need to do far more to ensure doors are open to a wider pool of talent. Meanwhile public policy, which for decades has prioritized university education over vocational education, desperately needs to devise a long-term plan to address the lower funding and greater complexity that “the other 50%” of young people face. Further education is less generously funded than higher education and has been subject to large cuts. Many FE colleges do sterling work but 1.5 million learners are in provision that is rated less than good. Alison’s excellent report points the way to a more demand-led system, where, for example, colleges are paid according to the outcomes students achieve rather than simply the numbers they recruit. And we look to Government to lead a national effort to end long-term youth unemployment – now at a 20 year high – by providing new job guarantees and by helping half of all employers to provide work experience or apprenticeships.

    Fourth, opening more doors to a career in the professions. The upsurge in professional employment in the middle of the last century created an unparalleled wave of social mobility in Britain. It created unprecedented opportunities for millions of women and men to move up and get on. Today, 42% of all employment in the UK is in the professions. That is set to rise to 46% by 2020. The professions will account for over 80% of employment growth in Britain in the next decade. The question is whether the growth in professional employment is creating a new social mobility dividend for our country. The short answer is not yet. At the top, the professions are dominated by a social elite. But it is not much better at the bottom. Last month we published new data about the social profile of doctors. One-third was privately educated. The pattern is similar among law students. Action is long overdue here. Take internships. They are a new rung on the professional career ladder. But they tend to go on the basis of who, not what you know. In professions from medicine to journalism most interns are still recruited informally, so favouring those in the know and those with connections. Most intern-ships are also unpaid, so disadvantaged those from less affluent backgrounds who cannot afford to work for free for any length of time. Last month we called on professions from law to medicine, politics to journalism to end the practice of unpaid internships. And we called on our country’s top employers to broaden the range of universities from which they recruit.

    These are all challenging proposals. They are a challenge not just to national and local governments. But to employers and professions, councils and communities, schools and universities alike. A far bigger national effort will be needed if progress is to be made on reducing poverty and improving mobility. Economic recovery is not enough. Britain needs a social recovery too. That will require leadership at every level. Government cannot do it alone. But it does have a special role to play in setting the framework for policy and mobilizing the country to action. Despite the tough climate for doing so I believe that progress can – and must – be made. If Britain is to avoid being a country where all too often birth determines fate we have to do far more to create a level playing field of opportunity. That has to become core business for our nation.

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:40 on January 12, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   


    #AceNewsGroup says latest and #mustread post for #AceFoodNews simply called #Chefs-tip:”Too Much White Sugar in Your Diet Can Cause Real Problems” http://wp.me/p2QGMH-fK

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:22 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , executive orders, Firearm, , , Involuntary commitment, , mental health problems, mental health records, National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS, , , The Obama Administration,   

    Obama Administration Issues “Two New Executive Orders” on Gun Control in Attempt to Erode Second Amendment 


    #AceWorldNews according to by  in his story on January 4th, 2014 that was last updated at 9:07 pm. The Obama Administration announced two new executive orders on gun control Friday, after countless other attempts to erode Second Amendment rights failed to gain public support.

    gunconfiscationAccording to one of the proposed actions, patient privacy laws would be pushed aside to allow increased government access to mental health records. Currently required to protect that information, states would now be exempt, instead encouraged to submit a patients private records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

    A second proposal from the Department of Justice would “clarify” who is barred from owning firearms, which would include anyone involuntarily committed to an inpatient or outpatient mental institution. In an attempt to diminish concern, the administration claims that seeking help for mental issues does not prohibit a person from firearm ownership.

    “The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm,” the statement said.

    Unfortunately, even without the executive orders currently applied, the government has already deceptively used this exact tactic to revoke legitimate gun ownership without due process, an issue that will undoubtedly increase.

    READ MORE: SL

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 11:12 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , kind support, , , ,   

    #AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts” 


    WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

    So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 12:55 on January 2, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Fast Track, free-trade agreement, free-trade agreements, , , Office of the United States Trade Representative, , , Trans-Pacific, Trans-Pacific Partnership, , ,   

    “Ordinary Citizens Protest on the Internet to Block the Obama Administration’s Plan to Ram Through Congress Globalist Free Trade Agreements” 


    New Event On 08/01/2014 at 10am - Visit Link of Article Under Trans-Pacific-Partnership TPP  #AceWorldNews says according to this article written by Jerome R Corsi  - NEW YORK – on the 1st January 2014 in his article asking – Can ordinary citizens protesting on the Internet block the Obama administration’s plan to ram through Congress one of the most ambitious globalist, “free-trade agreements” ever negotiated?

    IF YOU MISSED THE LAST EVENT NEXT ONE IS 08/01/2014 at 10 AM BST  

    Very quietly, opposition is building on the Internet to oppose legislation that may be introduced as soon as Jan. 8. The measure would grant President Obama what is known as “fast track authority” to ram through Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership with limited debate and no opportunity to propose amendments. The international trade agreement, negotiated largely in secret by the Obama administration, is regarded by globalist free traders as a cornerstone of the emerging “New World Order.”

    A Facebook page has been created to call for a “Anti-TPP Twitter Storm” on New Year’s Day beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and continuing  on Wednesday 8th January 2014.

    “Anti-TPP Twitter Storm Wednesday 08/1/14 @ 4 p.m. PST/7 p.m. EST, the whole world tweeted and posted an ANTI-TPP hashtag (to be announced) with posts about why people should stop the Trans Pacific Partnership,” the Facebook page reads.

    “The goal of this ‘hashtag storm’ is to get this hashtag trending on both Twitter and Facebook, so we can inform the public about the dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership and agitate people to ACT to stop the TPP. Join us and help expose the corporate coup known as the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

    Obama’s ‘two –ocean’ free-trade agenda

    As WND previously reported, Obama, in his State of the Union address Feb. 12, announced a two-ocean globalist free-trade agenda:

    “To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”

    For the first time, a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative within the Executive Office of the President was made public to expand the ongoing negotiations for a free-trade zone with Pacific Rim countries to include a a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European Union countries.

    Now there is no doubt the Obama administration has decided in the second term to double-up on a globalist agenda to develop massive new free-trade agreements across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, adding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TAP, to what is being developed as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

    Fast-track authority

    WND has reported Obama administration plans in development for the past two years are ready be implemented as Democrats in Congress plan to pass the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement with a simple majority vote that would skirt the two-thirds vote in the Senate that the U.S. Constitution requires to ratify a treaty.

    The strategy centers on what is known as “fast track authority,” a provision under the Trade Promotion Authority that requires Congress to review a free-trade agreement, or FTA, under limited debate, in an accelerated time frame that is subject to a yes-or-no vote by Congress without any provision for Congress to modify the agreement by submitting amendments. Fast-track authority is also intended to reassure foreign partners that the FTA negotiated by the executive branch will not be altered by Congress during the legislative process.

    A report released Jan. 24 by the Congressional Research Service, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress,” makes clear the Obama administration does not have fast-track authority to negotiate the TPP, even though the office of the U.S. Trade Representative is acting as if it were in place:

    The present negotiations are not being conducted under the auspices of formal trade promotion authority (TPA) – the latest TPA expired on July 1, 2007 – although the Administration informally is following the procedures of the former TPA. If TPP implementing legislation is brought to Congress, TPA may need to be considered if the legislation is not to be subject to potentially debilitating amendments or rejection. Finally, Congress may seek to weigh in on the addition of new members to the negotiations, before or after the negotiations conclude.

    The CRS report states that the TPP is being negotiated as a regional free-trade agreement that U.S. negotiators describe as a “comprehensive and high-standard” FTA that they hope “will liberalize trade in nearly all goods and services and include commitments beyond those currently established in the World Trade Organization (WTO.)”

    That the Obama administration is treating the TPP like a TPA and not a formal treaty obligation strongly suggests the Obama majority will seek passage of the TPP by a simple majority vote in Congress.

    Still, the impact of the TPP will be equivalent to a formal treaty obligation in that agreements made within the TPP will be designed to supersede U.S. law with the regional authorities as specified within the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

    So, the last hurdle the Obama administration faces in making the TPP law is to get Congress to vote fast-track authority as the terms under which the TPP will be introduced to Congress.

    As a consequence, one of the few remaining strategies left to opponents of the TPP is to urge Congress to vote against giving the Obama administration fast-track authority when the issue comes up for debate, possibly as early as next week.

    Advancing the NWO agenda

    The globalists advising the Obama administration appear to have learned from the adverse public reaction to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama has avoided the leader summit meetings that exposed to a critical alternative news media the international “working group” coordination needed to create international free-trade agreements.

    Globalists have learned from the adverse reaction that such internationalist adventures as the Trans-Texas Highway, known as the NAFTA Super-Highway, will only succeed if such initiatives are pursued covertly with a determination to ridicule anyone who dares contemplate its larger purpose of increasing global sovereignty.

    The Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, SPP.gov. The last joint statement issued by the newly formed North American Leaders Summit, operating as the rebranded SPP, was issued April 2, 2012, at the conclusion of the last tri-lateral head-of-state meeting held between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in Washington, D.C.

    Now, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration appears to have leapfrogged SPP ambitions to create a North American Union by including Mexico and Canada in the TPP configuration.

    The 10 nations involved in the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

    A graph presented in the CRS report on the first page shows the reach of the agreement across the Pacific, including Peru and Chile in South America; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia; Singapore; and Japan.

    As seen in the North American detail below, trade from Canada extends down into roughly Oklahoma in the United States, and trade from Mexico extends north roughly to Colorado.

    At the same time, trade from Mexico is seen both as extending up into the United States, reaching across the Pacific Ocean to the Asian and Pacific Rim nations involved in the FTA.

    International tribunal dispute resolution

    leaked copy of the TPP draft makes clear in Chapter 15, “Dispute Settlement,” that the Obama administration intends to surrender U.S. sovereignty to adjudicate disputes arising under the TPP to the processes of an international tribunal.

    Disputes involving interpretation and application of the TPP agreement, according to Article 15.7, will be adjudicated by an “arbitral tribunal” composed of three TPP members whose purpose under Article 15.8 will be “to make an objective assessment of the dispute before it, including an examination of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with this Agreement, and make such other findings and rulings necessary for the resolution of the dispute referred to it as it thinks fits.”

    The TPP draft agreement does not specify that these arbitral tribunals must render decisions in compliance with U.S. law or that the decisions of the arbitral tribunals are invalid should they violate or otherwise contravene U.S. law.

    Investment disputes under the TPP appear to be relegated for resolution to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an international authority created by 158 nations that are signatories to the ICSID Convention created under the auspices of the World Bank.

    The TPP draft agreement specifies that foreign firms from Trans-Pacific signatory countries that seek to do business in the U.S. can apply to the arbitral tribunals to obtain relief under the trade pact from complying with onerous U.S. laws and regulations, including environmental regulations and financial disclosure rules.

    Because the TPP agreement places arbitral tribunals created under TPP above U.S. law, the Obama administration appears to be intent on creating a judicial authority higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. The tribunal could overrule decisions U.S. federal courts make to apply U.S. laws and regulations to foreign corporations doing business within the U.S.

    #Tweet Hashtag to be announced or visit  the events page and sign up today  Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
     
  • #AceNewsGroup 21:24 on December 31, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Classroom, , God Bless, Happy New Year, , , , Prosperous New Year,   

    #AceNewsGroup Wishes All Our Readers A Happy New Year And A Prosperous 2014#Peace 


    https://acenewsservices.com/

    Ace News Group Wishes All Its Readers A Happy And Prosperous New Year

    #AceNewsGroup wishes all its readers a ” Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2014″ and may your life be filled with goodness and mercy. 

    Reflections on a New Year that has not yet arrived, and one that began for me by “Caring” and ended with “Sharing” as l spoke to more people about their lives. 

    As l grew into a person with greater compassion and humility, than l ever believed possible, by understanding forgiveness, that comes from experiences, never from judgement.

    That allowing myself to release feelings, sometimes good and sometimes bad, allows want to turn to need, and need to turn to forgiveness.

    So let 2014 be a year of “Peace and Love and let us all “Care and Share” and let “Charity” be from the “Heart” not our Pocket.  

    God Bless.

    Editor  

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:06 on December 31, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Thank You   

    We thank you all 


    #AceNewsGroup says as the New Year swiftly approaches we try to remember such events that have changed our world, one such as reported by "Reporters Without Borders" is the number of Journalists who have died or been imprisoned in 2013. So to all those just reporting the #Truth l salute your work. Editor

    This was just received about an hour ago and says thank you from them as well.

    Dear donors, friends, correspondents and staff members,

    It is not easy to end such a difficult year. According to our tally, 75 journalists were killed in 2013 just for doing their job and 177 were in prison as the year drew to a close. The situation of freedom of information is still alarming.

    Many of you work all out, day and night, for our organization. Some of you are operating in the field and are constantly taking risks to defend freedom of information.

    I would like to express my thanks to you all! We are infinitely indebted to you for your courage, commitment and generosity. We are proud to work for Reporters Without Borders for many reasons, but most of all because you are working with us.

    To all the others, I would like to say that, while we constantly have more to do, our resources have been compromised by the crisis, which has hit us hard. We are desperately short of funds and I must therefore appeal to you again for your financial support.

    I know that that the crisis helps no one and that not everybody is in a position to give, but it would make a big difference for freedom of information if those who are able were to give within the limits of their possibilities.

    I would finally like to say that, for our fight on behalf of those who need freely reported news and information into order to live in freedom, each gift, each dollar counts.

    https://donate.rsf.org/

    I thank all of you, I wish you a festive New Year’s Eve, and I hope your goals are realized in 2014.

    With best regards,

    Christophe Deloire
    Secretary general
    Reporters Without Borders

    This transmission is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain sensitive or protectively marked material up to RESTRICTED and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this transmission in error please notify the sender immediately.

     
  • HAD A GOOD TIME BLOGGING 02:14 on December 31, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , BEGIN PREPARATIONS FOR POSSIBLE RADIATION CLOUD WITHIN 3 TO 5 DAYS, , , , FUKUSHIMA REACTOR # 3, , MEDIA BLACKOUT OVER FUKISHIMA, SongsTagged 30th December breaking news, , , , , ,   


    ** NEWS FLASH — URGENT ** STEAM SUDDENLY EMANATING FROM FUKUSHIMA REACTOR # 3 – WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA SHOULD BEGIN PREPARATIONS FOR POSSIBLE RADIATION CLOUD WITHIN 3 TO 5 DAYS

    I ask you check this link here http://enenews.com/category/japan and this http://enenews.com/ Reactor 3 blew again early Monday morning and was NOT reported by the media, TEPCO should be taken to a field and SHOT for this as should the Japanese Government. Another could has traveled the globe 3 times over already, this one will directly hit the USA and Canada in the coming days and also Australia and parts of Russia and China and that area. This is bad, I am NOT FEAR MONGERING. I SAYING, PREPARE!!! This is HELL. If you can get Potassium Iodide drugs do so. I have sat on this all day today and yesterday and pondered to blog or not. I will. DO NOT EXPECT THIS ON YOUR NEWS, You are on your own. This is killer. I am sorry….

    This is also heartbreaking. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/30/us-fukushima-workers-idUSBRE9BT00520131230

    NEWS FLASH – URGENT – December 28, 2013 11:00 PM EST — (TRN http://www.TurnerRadioNetwork.com ) — Persons residing on the west coast of North America should IMMEDIATELY begin preparing for another possible onslaught of dangerous atmospheric radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says radioactive steam has suddenly begun emanating from previously exploded nuclear reactor building #3 at the Fukuishima disaster site in Japan. TEPCO says they do not know why this is happening and cannot go into the building to see what’s happening due to damage and lethal radiation levels in that building. Experts say this could be the beginning of a “spent fuel pool criticality (meltdown)” involving up to 89 TONS of nuclear fuel burning up into the atmosphere and heading to North America. Steam photo, full details and suggested methods to protect yourself appear below.

    The announcements from TEPCO (in Japanese) can be viewed here http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu-news/2013/1233168_5304.html You can use Google Translate to convert to English.

    On December 28, 2013, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted steam was seen billowing out of reactor building #3, saying the steam appeared to be coming from what’s left of the fifth floor of the mostly-destroyed building. It is widely known that persons cannot get inside Reactor Building #3 because it is severely damaged and highly radioactive, so TEPCO cannot state for certain what is happening in that building or why. TEPCO admits they do not know why this steam is being generated, but matter-of-factly revealed today (December 28) the steam was first spotted on December 19 for a short period of time, then again on December 24 and again on December 25.

    Nuclear energy experts have told TRN that the ONLY way this could be happening is if radioactive material previously ejected from the reactor explosion in March, 2011 has mixed together with other materials and has begun its own self-sustaining reaction(s), also known as a “criticality.” Put simply, another “meltdown” may be taking place.

    There are basically two possibilities if another meltdown is in progress:
    1) Pellets of radioactive fuel, ejected when the reactor exploded, have mixed together and “mini” meltdowns are taking place with those small clumps of pellets. This would not be a horrific problem and may be manageable, OR;
    2) Pellets of radioactive fuel, ejected when the reactor exploded, went into the spent fuel pool located above the reactor and have begun melting down so seriously they are boiling off the water in the spent fuel pool.

    Since steam is visible, experts tell TRN that Scenario #2 above is is the most likely scenario and if so, it would be an absolute nightmare — WORSE than the original Fukushima disaster! The Spent Fuel Pool was situated on the fourth floor above Reactor #3, and if this is the source of the steam, the situation could escalate rapidly out of control.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:47 on December 30, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Confindustria, , , Overseas Chinese, Prato, , Zhejiang   

    “Changing Labelling to “Made in Italy” Can Lead to Loss of a Person’s Lifestyle in an Instant when the Police Arrive” 


    #AceWorldNews says according to this latest news post by Silvia Aloisi on Dec 30, that changes to labelling can lead to loss of a person’s lifestyle in an instant, when the police arrive. This happened to Shen Jianhe who lost both her job and home when Italian police shut down her garment factory in the Tuscan city of Prato.

     

    Shen Jianhe lost both her job and home when Italian police shut down her garment factory in the Tuscan city of Prato.

     

    An SVG map of China with Zhejiang province hig...

    An SVG map of China with Zhejiang province highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

    By day, the 38-year-old mother of four would sew trousers at one of the nearly 5,000 workshops run by Chinese immigrants in Prato, which largely turn out cheap clothing for fast-fashion companies in Italy and across Europe.

     

    At night she slept in a plasterboard cubicle hidden behind a wooden wardrobe at the Shen Wu factory – until the police arrived one cold December morning. They sealed the doors and confiscated the 25 sewing machines under a crackdown on an industry that is booming but blighted by illegality and sweatshop conditions.

     

    Amid rolls of fabric, food leftovers and dangling electric cables lay Shen’s belongings: a pink baby coat, a blue children’s stool, a laptop. She stuffed them into a van, ready to be transported away.

     

    “What choice do I have?” said Shen, tears filling her eyes.

     

    Prato, the historical capital of Italy‘s textile business, has attracted the largest concentration of Chinese-run industry in Europe within less than 20 years.

     

    As many as 50,000 Chinese live and work in the area, making clothes bearing the prized 

     

    Piazza del Comune, Prato Italia

     

    label which sets them apart from garments produced in China itself, even at the lower end of the fashion business.

     

    In some ways, the Chinese community of Prato has succeeded where Italian companies have failed. Italy’s economy has barely grown over the past decade and is only just emerging from recession, partly due to the inability of many small manufacturers to keep up with global competition.

     

    Yet Prato, which lies 25 km (16 miles) from the Renaissance jewel of Florence, is also a thriving hub of illegality committed by both Italians and Chinese, a byproduct of globalization gone wrong, many people in the city say.

     

    Up to two thirds of the Chinese in Prato are illegal immigrants, according to local authorities. About 90 percent of the Chinese factories – virtually all of which are rented out to Chinese entrepreneurs by Italians who own the buildings -break the law in various ways, says Aldo Milone, the city councilor in charge of security.

     

    This includes using fabric smuggled from China, evading taxes and grossly violating health and labor regulations. This month a fire, which prosecutors suspect was set off by an electric stove, killed seven workers as they slept in cardboard cubicles at a workshop.

     

    Italian officials acknowledge they haven’t cracked down effectively on the mushrooming illicit behavior.

     

    prato fountain

    prato fountain (Photo credit: Travlr)

     

    Prato mayor Roberto Cenni, himself a textiles entrepreneur, arrived in 2009 promising to clean up the area. Cenni says he has trebled inspections since then, but still only a small fraction of the factories are monitored regularly.

     

    “We don’t have the ability to fight this system of illegality,” he said, noting that Prato has only two labour inspectors.

     

    In some cases, local officials share the blame. Prato chief prosecutor Piero Tony ordered the arrest of 11 people this month, including a city council employee who is suspected of issuing false residency permits – for between 600 and 1,500 ($820-$2,100) euros a piece – to more than 300 Chinese immigrants since May.

     

    STIFF COMPETITION

     

    Maps of Zhejiang Province of China

    Maps of Zhejiang Province of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

    Most of Prato’s Chinese come from Wenzhou, a coastal city in Zhejiang province. They started flocking to Prato in the mid-1990s to work in Italian-owned textile factories and quickly mastered the entire production chain.

     

    Andrea Cavicchi, local head of the Confindustria business lobby, says China’s entry in the World Trade Organisation in 2001 sounded the death knell for many of Prato’s local clothing artisans as trade barriers imposed by the European Union to protect its manufacturers were gradually phased out.

     

    As local companies specialized in high-quality fabric began cutting jobs to compete with cheaper foreign imports, Chinese entrepreneurs started renting abandoned Italian warehouses to set up their own factories. Gradually, the Chinese of Prato offered the speed, efficiency and high productivity that many Italian businesses had lacked.

     

    Now they export millions of low-cost garments – a woman’s cotton shirt sells for under 2 euros, a coat for 12 – across the continent. The Prato branch of Confindustria estimates this business is worth 2 billion euros a year, or half the turnover of Italian-run textile manufacturers in the district.

     

    Logo de Confindustria

    Logo de Confindustria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

    “Between 2001 and 2011, the Italian textile industry in Prato has seen its turnover and its workforce halve. But the reality is we can’t really blame the Chinese. The problem is our labor and energy costs mean we can’t compete,” says Cavicchi. “Speed is crucial. In just three days they can churn out thousands of garments. And the final result – even though it’s cheap cloth imported from China – is perfect.”

     

    Trucks ferry the clothing to shoppers in the major European markets within a day or two. In the fast-changing fashion business, this gives the Prato workshops a competitive edge over rivals in China, which take 40 days to ship their output by sea to Europe.

     

    Outside Prato’s city walls, the main Via Pistoiese has turned into a bustling Chinatown, with Chinese restaurants, hairdressers, schools, travel agents, and youths practicing the martial art of Tai Chi in the park.

     

    For many years, Prato’s local government did little about the growing Chinese community, whose presence helps the local economy. “There was a tacit pact to look the other way, because the Chinese were also bringing in a lot of money, helping cushion the impact of the global financial crisis on the region,” said Massimo Bressan, a researcher on immigration issues at Prato’s Iris institute.

     

    When Cenni became Prato’s mayor, he promised to restore the rule of law in the city of just under 200,000. In addition to increasing the number of inspections on factories, the local government raised the cost of reclaiming confiscated machinery and introduced a decree that allows a warehouse to be declared “unfit” until it meets safety regulations.

     

    But part of the problem is that 60 percent of Chinese workshops last just two years, often closing and reopening under a different name to evade checks by tax authorities. Illegal immigrants found by the police are ordered to leave Italy within five days, but there is no way of making sure that they actually do so, said the city councilor for security, Milone. “It’s a joke,” he said.

     

    Moreover, many illegal immigrants arrive on three-month tourist visas but stay in Italy for a few years, until they make enough money to go back to China.

     

    “I have done inspections for 15 years, and I can tell you that for every factory we close, another one will sprout the next day. Here the attitude is too lax, there is a form of connivance,” said a judicial police officer who did not want to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the press.

     

    FLAMES

     

    Outside the Teresa Moda factory which went up in flames this month, charred coat hangers and rolls of fabric lie scattered on the ground, the remains of burnt black out curtains preventing people from looking inside.

     

    “Pain has no color” read a sheet of paper outside the gate taped above pictures of the seven victims, whom police say took days to identify because relatives were too scared to come forward. One of the dead suffocated as he tried to escape through a window guarded by iron bars.

     

    A Chinese worker who had come to pay his respects said he made on average 70 shirts a day and was paid 70 cents for each shirt. In a good month, the worker – who said he was afraid to give his name – said he could earn 1,500 euros.

     

    Nearby, at the Shen Wu factory workers had regularly sat at their sewing machines for up to 14 hours a day. Li Hong, 29, had been working there for nearly a month, every day, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

     

    Shen Jianhe was the longest-serving worker at the factory. She had been in Italy for 10 years, and was the only worker there with a residency permit and work contract. “What will happen to my sewing machine? I need it to work,” she said, as police began sealing all tools found on the premises.

     

    Shen said her children did not live with her at the factory, although children’s items – including a storybook with the title “Where is my mummy?” – were strewn across the floor of her windowless, damp cubicle, which measured about 2 square meters and was almost entirely filled by a bed.

     

    “Now I need to find another job. I must feed my children,” she said.

     

     

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:34 on December 30, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Bloemfontein, Extreme poverty, Game reserve, Kerosene lamp, , Shanty town,   

    ” Paying to Look Poor When You are Rich and your Vacation is in South Africa” 


    English: A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa.

    English: A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceWorldNews says in South Africa. While half the world’s population would give anything to escape the extreme poverty they’re living in, wealthy corporations are paying big bucks to vacation in sprawling countryside resorts pretending to be shanty-towns. To the casual eye, it’s like any other third world hunger stricken town. But they’re actually luxury accommodations for the rich and famous.

    Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa

    Located in South Africa, the resort owners tout their facility as the, ‘Shanty Town at Emoya Estate for Accommodation in Bloemfontein.’ They describe it as a, ‘shanty town for a unique accommodation experience.’ Promotional materials are aimed at corporate outings, wealthy vacationers, big game hunters, and anyone looking for a unique experience.

    Millions of people are living in informal settlements across South Africa,’ the resort’s website explains, ‘These settlements consist of thousands of houses also referred to as Shacks, Shantys or Makhukhus. A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small “house” or shelter where they make a normal living. A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.’

    For those who will never have to know the poverty of a shanty town, that’s how the resort owners describe what a ‘shanty’ is. And while that may be a fair representation of a real shanty, what wealthy vacationers will find in their custom-built metal box is something right out of New York penthouse suite.

    Courtesy of WP

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:00 on December 24, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Calendar, , , , , Merry Christmas, Opinions, , , Religious   

    “Merry Christmas To All Our Readers” 


    jesus_and_merry_wallpaper-450903

    “Every Picture Tells a Story And This One Speaks Volumes For Those Willing To Listen”   

    “HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND SEASONS GREETINGS TO EVERYONE AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY”

    Editor

    #AceNewsGroup  

     
    • Gary James 20:27 on December 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Merry Christmas ans Happy New year to the AceNewsService group… May your days in 2014 be merry and bright… Thank you for the great work.

  • #AceNewsGroup 15:26 on December 19, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Balcombe, , , Cuadrilla Resources, , , , , , , , Nicholas Boles, , Salford Greater Manchester, , ,   

    UK Government: Changing Law So #Fracking “Could be Carried out Under People’s Home’s Without Need to Notify Owners” 


    #AceNewsServices says according to the latest from RT that Hydraulic fracturing may soon take place under thousands of homes across the United Kingdom without their owners’ knowledge. Based on a proposed law change the burden of notifying home-owners will be lifted from energy companies, the Guardian reports.

    Planning Minister Nick Boles said a change in UK law will allow gas companies to put in drilling applications without notifying those in the area whose property could be affected, the Guardian reported. Companies will instead have to post notices in local newspapers and erect site displays in local parishes.

    #SayNo2Fracking

    #SayNo2Fracking

    Many opposed to #fracking cite potential health risks, air pollution and water contamination, as well as possible earthquakes. Nevertheless, the government portrayed alerting all those possibly impacted by localized #fracking as too much of a burden for companies to weather.

    It would require a “disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses” to receive notice, said Boles in a statement to MPs.

    Hydraulic fracturing, or #fracking, is the highly controversial process of injecting water, sand and various chemicals into layers of rock in hopes of releasing oil and gas deep underground. Because it takes place far below ground, the gas companies themselves may not understand exactly where they are drilling.

    “The associated underground extraction takes place very deep below the Earth’s surface, over a wide geographical area,” Boles said. “As a result, it is often not possible to identify the exact route of any lateral drilling.”

    Without the changes to the secondary legislation, the widely drawn area on planning applications for onshore oil and gas projects would require the notification of a disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses. This would be unnecessarily excessive when other forms of complimentary notification exist.”

    Ministers have dismissed any safety or environmental concerns posed by #fracking, instead touting the economic benefits while saying any drilling will be done responsibly. Other MPs are nervous about the new edict, The Guardian reported, based on high-profile protests in areas where drilling has been proposed.

    On Tuesday the Conservative-led government issued a 49-page energy roadmap outlining ways in which oil and natural gas, including shale deposits, could be exploited in the country.

    Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change identified new areas across the UK thought to hold rich, untapped stores of shale gas, The Daily Telegraph reported. As part of a new initiative by Westminster, these areas may become subject to test drilling, which could pave the way for #fracking if large deposits of shale gas are found.

    “The government is keen to explore the potential for shale gas in the UK which could bring major benefit in terms of growth, jobs and energy security,” British Energy Minister Michael Fallon said in a statement. “However we must develop shale responsibly, both for local communities and for the environment.”

    In a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made public on Tuesday, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that European Union regulations could stifle investment in Britain’s shale gas industry.

    “I am not in favour of new legislation where the lengthy time frames and significant uncertainty involved are major causes for concern,” Cameron wrote in the letter dated December 4, Reuters reports. “The industry in the UK has told us that new EU legislation would immediately delay imminent investment.”

    #NoFrackingHere

    #NoFrackingHere

    #Fracking has met widespread opposition in the UK, with local communities taking to the streets in protest. In the city of Salford, Greater Manchester, activists blocked access to a test drilling site on Monday, placing a 1.5-ton wind turbine blade in front of the Barton Moss facility in what they called a “symbolic” act of protest.

    Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth called the government’s moves on #fracking objectionable given the drilling technique has been identified by officials as having “potentially significant local impacts.”

    #StopFrackingUpOurLives

    #StopFrackingUpOurLives

    “People should be notified personally if firms want to drill or frack for oil and gas under their homes. Removing that right is a further blow to local communities who are rightly concerned about the impacts of #fracking,” he said. “Ministers should be strengthening rules to protect local people, not weakening them in yet another sop to an industry that wants to keep us hooked on dirty fossil fuels.”

    A new report published in the latest edition of the journal Endocrinology shows a dozen chemicals used regularly in #fracking are suspected of being endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs — chemicals that can interfere with the human body’s endocrine functions and have been linked to heightened risks of cancer, low fertility rates and decreased sperm quality.

    EDITOR: says so how can this situation have arisen and who really owns the land two metres below the surface? Well having done some recent research and this article it states as follows:

    COLUMN-Frack on Your Majesty, you may be a shale gas winner:Kemp
    Fri, Dec 14 15:22 PM GMT

    By John Kemp

    LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II could be in line for a windfall now that her government is prepared to start granting licences to frack for shale gas again.

    In her capacity as the Duke of Lancaster, the Queen owns more than 50,000 acres and subsurface rights to tens of thousands more across northern England, the part of the country that has drawn the most interest from companies hunting for shale gas. #Fracking firms will have to pay to put wells on her property or to drill through the subsurface mineral layers that she owns.

    Potential payments to the Duchy are just one example of a wider phenomenon. The prospect of widespread #fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has helped set off something of a rush among the owners of ancient mineral rights to register them ahead of an October 2013 deadline set by the Land Registration Act, in order to claim possible compensation.

    THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER:

    The Duchy of Lancaster, which dates back to the 14th century, is separate from the Crown Estate, historical land holdings and other royal possessions. Revenue from that property goes to the government in exchange for an annual payment to help cover the costs of running the monarchy.

    The Duchy holds assets in trust to provide an income for the Queen and her successors as sovereign. In March 2012, it had assets valued at 405 million pounds ($653.5 million) and was providing an annual income of 13 million pounds, which the Queen uses to meet her private expenditure and official expenditure incurred as sovereign.

    The Duchy has valuable commercial property in central London (clustered around the ancient manor of the Savoy around the Embankment and the Strand) as well as in northern England.

    But the major part of its landholding, in terms of surface area, is held as rural estates spread across the counties of Lancashire (10,000 acres), Yorkshire (16,000 acres), other parts of northern England and the Midlands.

    In addition, over the centuries when the Duchy sold off some of its holdings, it reserved ownership of the subsurface mineral rights. As a result, it also owns mineral rights beneath tens of thousands more acres across the north of England, even though the surface is now owned by others.

    ANCIENT LORDS OF THE MANOR:

    Mineral rights and royalties produced an income of just $270,000 in the year ended March 2012. However, like other major landowners, including the Church of England, the Duchy has been busy registering its historic ownership of these mineral rights ahead of the deadline set by the Land Registration Act.

    “Mineral interests are a relatively small element of the Duchy portfolio, but windfall opportunities do emphasise the importance of protecting these interests,” the Duchy explained in its annual report.

    “The Land Registration Act has necessitated mineral owners to register their titles with the Land Registry, and the Duchy has been doing this in respect of both its surface and mineral ownership.

    #Fracking has set off a modern land rush. According to the “Daily Telegraph” newspaper: “The Duke of Northumberland, Duke of Bedford and Earl of Lonsdale have all registered manorial rights. Ordinary people who live in manor houses or old rectories may also have ‘lordships of the manor’ and therefore own mineral rights in the area.” (“Lords of the manor to cash in on fracking” November 2012)

    DRILLING AND ANCILLARY RIGHTS:

    Like other private landowners, the Duchy of Lancaster does not own the oil and gas found under its estates or as a result of its reserved mineral rights.

    In contrast to the United States, where oil and gas deposits are in private ownership and the owner receives royalties from #fracking firms for extracting them, in the United Kingdom petroleum resources are in state ownership.

    Under the 1934 Petroleum Production Act, all oil and gas deposits are owned by the Queen in her official capacity as “the Crown”, which in practice means they are government property.

    Section 1 of the Act states: “The property in petroleum existing in its natural condition in strata in Great Britain is hereby vested in His Majesty, and His Majesty shall have the exclusive right of searching and boring for and getting such petroleum”, which means oil and natural gas.

    Licences to explore and exploit oil and gas resources onshore are granted by the government. But “the rights granted by the landward licences do not include any rights to access, and the licensees must also obtain any consent under current legislation, including planning permission,” according to the British Geological Survey.

    So anyone wanting to get at the oil and gas must negotiate with the surface owner for permission to drill a well and build other facilities such as access roads and storage tanks. If the surface owner refuses, the driller must apply for a court order under the 1966 Mines Act to acquire the ancillary rights needed to get access to the oil and gas and pay what the court rules to be appropriate compensation.

    As a major landowner in the north of England, the Duchy of Lancaster will be able to charge anyone who wants to drill on surface land it owns. Under a recent court ruling, however, it may also be able to charge anyone who wants to drill through the underground areas it owns, even if they build surface facilities on someone else’s land.

    DEVIATED WELLS, SUBSURFACE OWNERS:

    In 2009, in a case that pitted Star Energy against Bocardo, a company ultimately owned by well-known businessman Mohammed Al-Fayed, the Court of Appeal ruled that Star had to pay compensation for trespass for drilling a deviated (angled) oil well under Bocardo’s property, even though the well started on someone else’s land and was at least 800 feet below the surface when it entered the area under Bocardo’s land.

    “I reach this conclusion with reluctance,” the judge explained. “The trespass is purely technical, because it did not interfere with Bocardo’s use or enjoyment of its land one iota. More over, Bocardo has lost no rights because it neither owned the oil that has been removed from strata within its land; nor did it have the right to search, bore for and get such petroleum. Those rights belonged exclusively to the Crown and its licensee (Star)”.

    Nonetheless, even though Star possessed a licence, it still needed to negotiate Bocardo’s permission to drill through all the other layers and mineral’s Bocardo owned underneath its property or apply to court and pay compensation. Having failed to do either, Star was ordered to pay £1000.

    But that was for using three pipelines  beneath Bocardo’s land at depths between 800 and 2800 feet below the surface, and extending just 500-700 metres below Bocardo’s Oxted estate. Fracking will employ much longer horizontal wells and affect much bigger areas of the subsurface. The compensation required could be correspondingly larger.

    Since the Duchy of Lancaster owns the mineral rights across large swathes of the north of England, frackers will have to negotiate appropriate payments to drill through all the strata it owns (including for example the coal deposits it has been busy registering).

    In contrast to conventional oil and gas fields, which have a fairly limited impact on the surface and cover a restricted underground area, fracking involves drilling a much larger number of wells with horizontal sections extending thousands of feet. It has a very large footprint on both the surface and the subsurface, and a corresponding increase in compensation payments to a large number of land owners.

    Revenues  from #fracking are unlikely to put the Queen’s personal income on a par with the sultan of Brunei, and she should probably not starting ordering a new Royal Yacht, but they could make a small addition towards the cost of running her household.

    Ace Related News: 

    EPA

    Natural Gas

    Birth Defects 

    White House Government View 

    Public Health Authority View  

    New York’s View  

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 11:15 on December 10, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , December 2013, , , , Nelson Mandela Foundation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, President of South Africa, Republic of South Africa, , State Funeral   

    #Nelson Mandela Messages of Condolence Add Yours Here #Peace 


    English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo date...

    English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo dates from 1937. South Africa protect the copyright of photographs for 50 years from their first publication. See . Since this image would have been PD in South Africa in 1996, when the URAA took effect, this image is PD in the U.S. Image source: http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela/index.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation

    Ace News Group – Tribute – 10th December 2013

    NELSON MANDELA  Just click the link and add yours to his page? RIP #NelsonMandela

    Legacy Of The Man 

    It was with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and shortly after-ward further official announcements.

    EXTRACT: We all now want to express our sadness at this time. No words can adequately describe this enormous loss to the nation and to the world.

    Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

    Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for our freedom. The three charitable organisations that he created dedicate ourselves to continue promoting his extraordinary legacy.

    Hamba Kahle Madiba

    Arrangements

    To support the government and the Mandela family we will endeavour where possible to assist with access to information.

    Arrangements for the laying to rest of former President Nelson Mandela

    Media accreditation arrangements for the State Funeral of President Nelson Mandela

    Keeping the legacy alive

    For a background document on the history and work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, as well as details of how to support their work, please click “Legacy of a Man” above

    Nelson Mandela’s retirement video: 

     

    Send a message of condolence:

    Messages can be entered by submitting the form below following the directions. We undertake to collect all messages received and hand them to Madiba’s family.

    Send your message of condolence

    Name*

    First Name*
    Email*
    Message*

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:55 on December 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Albert Pike, , , Glenn Beck, , , NWO, , , ,   

    #ALERT #NEWS We are seeing the last days of America – Oh, and the World Trade Centre is Whistling? 


    #ALERT #NEWS We are seeing the last days of America – Oh, and the World Trade Centre is Whistling?

    December 9, 2013
    By DD

    The end of the US Dollar is inevitable which will herald the start of global chaos leaving not one edge of the world free from the attempted NWO take over.

    American-Constitution-Headstone--59716

    I understand Glenn Beck is somewhat ridiculed in the US but from here in the UK he seems to be going the right way and his conclusion in this video about where we go from here is the same as mine. Perhaps I should be ridiculed too, but I’m so sick and tired of watching this Albert Pike plan come to fruition and the majority of people are still so asleep.

    At present in the world there are race riots in Singapore, war in Syria, Iraq (Yes Iraq, Mr Rothschild has to keep this one going, right ol money spinner), Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, riots in The Ukraine, innocent people being ‘Droned’ in Pakistan and the first signs of the west going in for the big gold oil and mineral rape of Africa. French troops are now in there tickling and getting the juices flowing and today the Americans said they’d help out too with the African Rape Process.

    CAfrica
    What about the UK? Our turn next and if you’re living anywhere near London you can feel the energy getting more and more unhinged, people are behaving differently, there’s an air of anxiety and fear of something of magnitude about to go off.

    protestg20PA_450x300

    Share this:CS2012

     

     
    • STLloyd 15:25 on December 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on servehiminthewaiting and commented:
      Ok, the “noises heard around the world” are now coming from 1World Trade tower? That is pretty spooky!

    • education 07:10 on December 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      *Immigration Lawyers… [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]…

    • #AceNewsGroup 20:01 on December 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      #AceNewsServices says “21 Trillion and Counting ” standing at $17 Trillion as at 09/12/2013 at $21 #EndOfDays

  • #AceNewsGroup 18:22 on December 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Open government, Open Government Directive,   

    ” Obama’s Transparency and Open Government” 


    Stop Watching US

    #AceNewsServices says “Government Should Be Transparent” as transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Sounds great in saying it ,problem is with the #Edward-Snowden and #NSA together with #GCHQ debacle’s all that is spoken does not reach fruition.
    The words “Though, Word and Deed” should mean just that giving #truth to any speech. This is not so in the case of any “Government Being Transparent” as they thought about what to do, wrote and spoke the words and then committed a “Cardinal Sin” they lied ,covered up and used covert tactics to spy on the citizens of their country.
    Big Brother is Watching YouWELL HERE IS OBAMA’S SPEECH:  
    SUBJECT:      Transparency and Open Government
    My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
    Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
    Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.
    Government should be collaborative.  Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.  Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.
    I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.
    This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
    This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.
     
  • #AceNewsGroup 16:26 on December 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Bank of America Home Loans, Biggs, , Center for Responsible Lending, , Home Affordable Modification Program, Laura Biggs, , , , Select Portfolio Servicing, Subprime lending, Wells Fargo   

    Obama’s “Home Affordable Modification Program” Modifies a Way to Foreclose this Person’s Home just Before #Christmas 


    HAMP#AceNewsGroup  says WASHINGTON  - Courtesy of MCDC  who have found and reported this story about how companies use HAMP! As Billions of dollars in foreclosure settlements between big banks and government regulators haven’t helped Laura Biggs.

    The California woman is scheduled to lose her home nine days before Christmas because her mortgage company concluded that the house is no longer the primary residence of her husband, who’s been dead since 2003.

    Technically, though, it still is George “Kenny” Mitchell’s primary residence. He resides at the home in Rialto, east of Los Angeles near San Bernardino, in an urn. His cremated remains are part of an altar that Biggs, 65, keeps in memory of the trucking-company manager. Many mementos from their marriage surround his smiling photo.

    Biggs faces a Dec. 16 sale date, a holiday spoiler. It’s a property in which she’s built up more than $100,000 in equity and where she’s lived for 13 years, making payments on time. Her issue is back taxes, but more on that later.

    “I’m getting ready to get tossed out. Whoever buys the property could toss me out,” she said.

    The struggles of the career nurse who spent a lifetime helping others underscore this key point: Despite high-profile legal settlements in recent years that have resulted in large banks such as Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase paying billions of dollars for past sins, the foreclosure process remains a mess.

    Centre for Responsible Lending “It’s just a continuing misalignment of incentives: that a (mortgage) servicer doesn’t get paid for figuring this stuff out, but they get paid for foreclosure,” said Michael Calhoun, the president of the Durham, N.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending, which has fought to hold servicer’s accountable. “Even today, the servicers are understaffed and overwhelmed. If this were your local community bank, they of course would be working with you.”

    Servicers are essentially mortgage-payment collectors for investors who bought slices of complex mortgage bonds, composed of thousands of mortgages that combine to provide the investor an income stream through the monthly payments made by Biggs and millions of other American homeowners.

    SPSThe company that collects Biggs’ mortgage is Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., a Utah-based company that services many of the poorly underwritten sub-prime mortgages that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis and a collapse in home prices. On its website, the company lists a P.O. Box in Salt Lake City for an address, offers no information on corporate officers and gives only toll-free phone numbers that feed to automated call centers.

    BOFAThe company became a sub-servicer last year for Bank of America, which purchased disgraced subprime lender Countrywide Financial and its loan portfolio during the financial crisis.

    HAMP ProgramPaperwork that McClatchy obtained shows that Select Portfolio Servicing initially worked with Biggs to find a solution, including a potential mortgage modification through the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

    But in a Nov. 13 letter addressed not to Biggs – who’s on the deed to the property, though not on the loan – but to her late husband, who’d been dead for a decade, the servicer did an about-face.

    “We are unable to offer you a HAMP modification because the property is not your primary residence,” the letter said, saying there’d be no foreclosure for at least 30 days. There now is a foreclosure date that’s three days after the 30-day window expires.

    The problem of surviving spouses not being on loans is big enough that the Treasury Department, which devised a series of incentives for servicers to modify mortgages, has an entire section of a manual devoted to it.

    “In this case, servicers should collect an Initial Package from the non-borrower who now owns the property and evaluate the request as if he or she was the borrower,” the guidance says, seemingly allowing Select Portfolio Servicing to treat Biggs as the homeowner. A Treasury spokeswoman, speaking only on the condition of anonymity as a matter of policy, said the agency didn’t comment on individual cases and didn’t collect data on the number of surviving spouses in loan modifications.

    Mitchell’s loan originated with Countrywide, which underwrote it in April 2000. One reason Countrywide was so successful is it offered unsuspecting homeowners low monthly payments that didn’t include taxes and insurance. Only after signing the contracts did many homeowners learn that they were on the hook for taxes and insurance, too.

    Mitchell and Biggs married in 1971, and although Biggs didn’t have her name on the title at the time, her name was on the check the couple sent to pay the mortgage. When he got sick with a disease that causes a cluster of veins in the brain to bleed, the couple started the process to add Biggs to the title but Mitchell, lapsing in and out of a near-comatose state, died before that could happen.

    California law recognizes spouses as inheritors of property, and Biggs continued to pay the monthly mortgage with a check in her name. In 2005, Biggs had health problems, and while she kept making the mortgage payments she couldn’t pay the separate taxes and insurance. Select Portfolio Servicing added an escrow account and folded those payments into her monthly mortgage payments until they were paid off.

    Fairbanks Capital CorpThe servicer had been renamed a year earlier from Fairbanks Capital Corp. after a $40 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2003 for illegal loan servicing practices. On its website today, Select Portfolio Servicing boasts that it handles more than 300,000 “nonprime residential mortgages.” That’s a more generous way of saying lower-performing subprime loans.

    Biggs continued to pay her mortgage month after month but she fell behind again on the property taxes in 2011. Select Portfolio Servicing initially said in a letter on Jan. 5, 2012, that it would do the same as in 2005 and add those monthly amounts to the mortgage statement, like what’s done today on most new mortgages.

    But when Biggs tried to talk directly with the company, customer services representatives refused to deal with her, insisting on speaking with Mitchell, something that’s impossible. The offer to roll the taxes into the loan was abruptly withdrawn, she said.

    “Because my name was not on the loan, they wouldn’t talk to me,” Biggs said. “It always had my name on the checks. My name has been on those checks ever since we got the property. It was never an issue until last year.”

    Biggs tried to continue making monthly mortgage payments but the servicer refused to accept them. The mortgage became delinquent and later was placed in default, despite more than $100,000 in equity built up.

    “A little common sense. . . . Why wouldn’t you deal with this person?” said Calhoun, who has no involvement in the Biggs case. “It is just a lack of common sense, capacity and incentives. This is not a unique case.”

    It wasn’t until this September that Select Portfolio Servicing began talking with Biggs, as an Oct. 2 sale date loomed. By then, her name was on the deed but still not on the loan.

    “It wasn’t until I came to George that they realized that my husband was dead,” Biggs said.

    George is George Bosch, the legal administrator for the Los Angeles-area law firm of Edward Lopez, which has taken the Biggs case pro bono.

    “If you have a surviving spouse, legal documents are not necessary. (Select Portfolio Servicing) didn’t realize they were in California,” said Bosch, who did the paperwork for Biggs to seek a mortgage modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program. “They came with a new loophole. The guy doesn’t reside here.”

    Select Portfolio Servicing, which doesn’t list a media contact on its website, didn’t return calls requesting comment.

    Biggs authorized a McClatchy reporter to speak to a relationship manager with the company last week, and a representative of the servicer said Biggs didn’t qualify for a mortgage modification because she wasn’t the executor of Mitchell’s estate. When reminded that Bosch had cleared up this issue weeks ago, the representative agreed to escalate the case with an eye toward postponing the sale, which hadn’t happened as of the close of business Friday.The Treasury Department, in its third-quarter 2013 servicer assessment report, said Select Portfolio Servicing “has areas requiring moderate improvement” but stopped short of discontinuing the provision of financial incentives to the company to remain in the mortgage-modification program.

    And Biggs? With a bad back that’s partially disabled her, she may not spend Christmas decorating her home but rather finding somewhere else to live.

    “I couldn’t move in with family,” she said ruefully, noting that she has too many belongings and two dogs. “I’d actually have to find somewhere else to live.”

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:24 on December 8, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Afghan Women's Network, , , , , , UNAMA, , United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan,   

    “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Ends 10 December on “Human Rights Day” #Peace 


    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner...

    #AceWorldNews says Afghan authorities registered an increased number of reported acts of violence against women and girls in the past year, but prosecutions and convictions under a landmark law  remained low with most cases settled by mediation, according to an annual United Nations report released today.

    While registration of reported incidents such as forced marriage, domestic violence and rape increased by 28 per cent in 16 provinces since the previous year, the use of the law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) as a basis for indictment increased by only two per cent, according to <”http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/Documents/UNAMA%20REPORT%20on%20EVAW%20LAW_8%20December%202013.pdf“>’A Way to Go’ co-authored by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

    “Police, prosecutors and courts, in our view, need increased resources and technical and political support and direction from the highest levels of Government to deal adequately with the increase in reporting and registration of cases of violence against women documented in this report,” Georgette Gagnon, director of the human rights unit at UNAMA and OHCHR representative, told journalists in the Afghan capital of Kabul at the report launch.

    Women are “coming forward in demanding justice”, Ms. Gagnon said flanked by the heads of two key civil society group – Hasina Safi from the Afghan Women’s Network, and  the Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre’s Mary Akrami. “The Government needs to step up and provide that justice.”

    Presenting the report findings, Ms. Gagnon said that of an estimated total of 1,669 reported incidents registered throughout the country only 109 cases or seven per cent went through a judicial process using the EVAW law.

    Parties to the Convention on the Elimination o...

    Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, from the OHCHR. Parties in dark green, countries which have signed but not ratified in light green, non-members in grey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “What we found is that, instead, the police and prosecutors were mediating more cases of violence against women,” said the UN official, speaking on behalf of Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan.

    Mediation whether through formal or informal dispute resolution bodies often fails to protect women from further violence by not applying criminal sanctions and legal protections for women, according to the report.

    It compares and updates findings from UNAMA’s December 2012 report on EVAW law implementation and is based on consultations with 203 judicial, police and Government officials, and monitoring of almost 500 cases of violence against women throughout Afghanistan. The report analyses statistical data on the law’s application obtained from police, prosecutors and other judicial officials in 18 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces over the one-year period October 2012 to September 2013.

    Enacted in 2009, the EVAW law criminalizes acts of violence against women and harmful practices including child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation, ‘baad’ (giving away a woman or girl to settle a dispute) and 18 other acts of violence against women including rape and beating. It also specifies punishment for perpetrators.

    English: Staffan de Mistura, UNAMA

    English: Staffan de Mistura, UNAMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “The landmark law on the Elimination of Violence against Women was a huge achievement for all Afghans,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in a <”http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=12316&ctl=Details&mid=15873&ItemID=37528&language=en-US“> news release from UNAMA. “But implementation has been slow and uneven, with police still reluctant to enforce the legal prohibition against violence and harmful practices, and prosecutors and courts slow to enforce the legal protections in the law.”

    “Afghan authorities need to do much more to build on the gains made so far in protecting women and girls from violence,” Ms. Pillay urged.

    Among its recommendations, the report calls on the Government to put in place a concrete plan, within six months, for the next two-year period for improving implementation of the EVAW law, including measures recommended to Afghanistan by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in August 2013.

    Another recommendation is that major donors establish a joint monitoring framework with specific indicators to measure progress in EVAW law implementation.

    The release of the report coincides with the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

    The campaign begins annually on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked on 25 November, and ends on 10 December Human Rights Day.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:40 on December 3, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, , International observance, , , ,   

    #AceWorldNews says “We Need a Concerted Action to Eradicate Modern Day Forms of Slavery” 


    Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign...

    Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign to abolish slavery. The image is from a book from 1788, so there can be no effective copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    According to the  “Top United Nations officials marking the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery ” yesterday with a call for concerted action to eradicate the contemporary forms of this heinous practice.

    “It is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups – including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous people’s,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <”http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp“>said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 2 December.

    The International Day marks the date in 1949 of the adoption by the General Assembly of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The focus of the day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

    Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world, according to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), which has teamed up with prominent artists, athletes and advocates in its campaign to “End Slavery Now.”

    Mr. Ban noted that there has been important progress in the last year, including stronger legislation and greater coordination by a number of countries to combat slavery. Also, more and more businesses are working to ensure their activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace and their supply chains.

    “I strongly support these initiatives and urge all Member States to ratify the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, develop robust and effective domestic legislation and boost enforcement on the ground.  The partnership of the private sector in implementing these efforts is critical,” said the Secretary-General.

    Slavery

    Slavery (Photo credit: quadelirus)

    He also urged continued support for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which has helped restore human rights and dignity to tens of thousands of children, women and men for over 20 years, he said.

    General Assembly President John Ashe said in his message that the Day serves as a reminder to all people that, much like its historical antecedent, modern slavery is an egregious violation of a person’s basic human rights. “The majority of those who suffer are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society,” he <”http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_for_the_abolition_of_slavery2013.shtml“>stated.

    “Each year, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are kidnapped and sold into bondage across international borders. Trafficking in persons is an issue of great global concern and affects almost all countries,” Mr. Ashe noted.

    “This inhumane activity continues to flourish owing to vast economic disparities between nations, increasing flows of labour and commodities across international borders and transnational organized criminal networks.”

    He called on Member States to eradicate slavery in all its forms; to boost initiatives that promote social inclusion; and to end all forms of discrimination. “We must promote and protect the rights of those most vulnerable within our societies, and help to restore the dignity of victims of slavery.”

    New York, Dec  2 2013 11:00AM

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:21 on December 2, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Global Fund, , Panorama, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria   

    Panorama’s Investigation of Global Fund Aid and Obtained Leaked Reports About Corruption 


    #AceWorldNews says a  report on corruption involving UK aid money has been watered down and another delayed, Panorama has discovered. 

    WATCH : Panorama: Where’s Our Aid Money Gone?, BBC One, Monday 2 December at 19:30 GMT and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

    Global Fund AidBBC: leaked report shows alleged corruption – involving tens of thousands of dollars – was discovered by investigators working for the Global Fund.

    When the final report on the case was published, all but one of the allegations had been removed. The Global Fund says it is “transparent and has zero tolerance of corruption”. The Global Fund is one of the biggest providers of international aid and fights malaria, Aids and tuberculosis in the developing world. 

    In 10 years the fund spent £13.5bn and saved millions of lives, the UK government recently announced it was giving the Global Fund £1bn according to an Internal draft. One official report looking at corruption in projects funded by the Global Fund in Cambodia was published two weeks ago.

    But Panorama has obtained a leaked copy of an original internal investigation report from inside the fund.

    There are significant differences between what the investigators wrote in the initial, leaked report and what the official one says.

    Some of the allegations relate to money sent to a non-profit health organisation called Medicam by a British charity working for the UK government.

    In the internal draft seen by Panorama they were accused of double billing for staff and computers, charging more than £61,000 for consultants who were never employed and charging thousands for hotels that were never used.

    Richard BiltonPanorama obtained leaked reports about corruption in aid spending in Cambodia

    The leaked report also detailed how investigators found allegedly falsified documents on the office computer of the director of Medicam, Dr Sin Sumony.

    In the final report, just one of the four allegations remains.

    Bea Edwards, from the Government Accountability Project in Washington, said: “The fact that a report is suppressed for almost a year and then is somewhat less detailed than the original version, that is a cover-up.”

    The Global Fund said that “procedural due process made this report take longer than usual” and that only “evidence that can be confirmed as fact is included in the final version”.

    The scope of Global Fund investigation reports “should be limited to Global Fund grants”, they said.

    Panorama spoke to the director of Medicam, Dr Sumony, who sits on the Global Fund committee that oversees its projects in Cambodia.

    “Number one, we did not commit that corruption, number two, through the Global Fund support, their financial management system has improved,” he said.

    Dr Sumony confirmed they were about to receive more money from the Global Fund: “This year it is over $720,000.”

    Mosquito net ‘scam’

    Panorama also obtained an unpublished Global Fund report into corruption in Burkina Faso.

    It details an alleged scam involving an £8.3m contract that might have left two million people more vulnerable to malaria.

    MalariaThe BBC’s leaked copy reveals how a company with apparently no experience of supplying mosquito nets won a contract to provide two million of them.

    The company took the £8.3m but bought cheaper nets from China that had not been properly treated with insecticide to kill mosquitoes.

    The Global Fund announced it was replacing the nets last year and stressed that the nets “while untreated, still give protection”.

    The fund said it had “since distributed replacement nets to replace all untreated bed nets“.

    It said the investigation would be published when it was complete.

    The leaked report shows that the investigation was completed a year ago but still has not been published.

    Panorama has seen details of a series of investigations that were started more than a year ago but which have not been published. They reveal potential fraud of £16.5m.

    The countries investigated are Niger, Ghana, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The Global Fund says it doesn’t comment on open investigations and it expects to report on its findings.

    It says the fund is transparent and has zero tolerance of corruption: “Twenty-seven reports have been published in the last 12 months. Standards of disclosure remain exceptionally high.”

    Past controversy

    Many of the investigations were initiated by the fund’s former inspector general.

    In November 2012, John Parsons was sacked for “unsatisfactory” performance.

    A year earlier his department had been described in an independent report as “the only risk-mitigation strategy within the Global Fund that has worked”.

    Panorama can reveal that before he was dismissed, Mr Parsons wrote to his bosses complaining about “harassment, intimidation and retaliation”.

    “Your true intention is to weaken the function, simply because you don’t like what we find and report upon,” he wrote.

    Documents from inside the fund show the inspectors felt they were being undermined, saying they were repeatedly told “not to look so deep”.

    One said: “The organisation, while parading ‘transparency’ and openness, in practice views disclosure of results as negative, harmful and unwanted.”

    The Global Fund says it is “committed to a strong and effective office of the inspector general, and has not tried to weaken it at all”.

    Global Fund for ChildrenThe fund denies it put pressure on inspectors to water down reports. “If the Global Fund saw disclosure as harmful, it could have stopped openly publishing reports. But it did not stop.”

    Panorama: Where’s Our Aid Money Gone?, BBC One, Monday 2 December at 19:30 GMT and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:56 on December 2, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Premier League   

    Cameron’s Visit to China the People Or the Profit 


    Camerons Visit to China#AceWorldNews says the British Prime Minister David Cameron flew into China saying he wanted to lay the groundwork for a multi-billion-dollar free trade deal between Beijing and the European Union, despite growing unease about his own country’s membership in the bloc.On a three-day visit with a delegation of around 100 business people, the largest-ever British mission of its kind, Cameron said he wanted his country to play an important role in China’s expansion as the world’s second biggest economy is talking about opening up its markets.“China’s transformation is one of the defining facts of our lifetime,” Cameron wrote in Caixin, a Chinese weekly news magazine, on the eve of the visit.

    “There is a genuine choice for every country over how to respond. They can choose to see China’s rise as a threat or an opportunity. Britain’s answer is clear. We want to see China succeed,” continued Cameron.

    Cameron’s push for an E.U.-China trade deal will irritate the European Commission, which is understood to be strongly opposed to such a move on the grounds that it risks flooding the bloc with cheap Chinese imports and comes as the bloc is embroiled in a dispute with Beijing over solar panel exports.

    It is also likely to be seized upon by political opponents, as he has put a question mark over Britain’s continued membership of the 28-nation E.U. by promising Britons an in/out referendum on leaving the bloc if re-elected in 2015.

    “I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive E.U.-China Free Trade Agreement,” Cameron wrote.

    “And as I have on the E.U.-U.S. deal, so I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year,” promised Cameron.

    Cameron is expected to raise the subject in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. His office said he was the first European leader to champion such a deal in this way.

    He had already discussed the idea of an E.U.-China trade deal with other E.U. member states, it added. Such a deal would address services liberalization and better intellectual property rights protection.

    Cameron told reporters on the plane to Beijing he was aware the idea was not universally popular among E.U. member states, but said it could be a chance to tackle Beijing on intellectual property rights and trading standards.

    “It’ll be the normal thing in the EU which will be a discussion where there will be some skeptics. There will be some enthusiasts and I think the enthusiasts have the wind in our sails,” said Cameron.

    Human Rights

    British finance minister George Osborne opened the door to further Chinese investment in Britain during a visit to Beijing last month, during which he announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China’s currency and bonds.

    He also paved the way for Chinese investors to take majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.

    Camerons Visit to Dalai LamaCampaigners have often accused Cameron of putting trade before human rights. On this trip, activists want him to raise what they say are rights abuses in Tibet.

    A senior source in his office said before the trip that Britain had turned the page on a rift with China over Tibet, adding that Cameron had no plans to once again meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile, after their meeting last year angered Beijing.

    Asked on the plane whether he would be raising Tibet, Cameron was non-committal, but said nothing was “off limits” in Britain’s relationship with China.

    As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Cameron said the two countries would also discuss Iran and North Korea.

    Cameron visited a training academy for Jaguar Land Rover sales staff in Beijing on Monday to mark its official opening as the carmaker unveiled a deal worth 4.5 billion pounds to provide 100,000 cars to the National Sales Company in China.

    England’s Premier League is also expected to announce an agreement with the Chinese Super League to develop football in China and boost the Premier League’s profile.

    Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, is travelling with Cameron.

    The business delegation also includes Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. The company was drawn into a bribery case in China earlier this year which resulted in police detaining four Chinese GSK executives.

    Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group, was also detained and is still being held.

    VOA NEWS  

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:20 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Gurgaon, , , , Thanksgiving,   

    Taking Food Banking From Delhi to Gurgaon 


    Gurgaon, July 2009

    Gurgaon, July 2009 (Photo credit: Anannya Deb)

    #AceFoodNews says “Hunger and Malnutrition remain critical issues in contemporary India, despite key economic advancements. However, on National Education Day (Nov 11), an event saw the launch of the first ever Gurgaon Food Bank, marked a successful feat – a step in the right direction – in this seemingly insurmountable challenge.

    Delhi Food Bank (DFB) and its partners, building upon its critical success – in the presence of key dignitaries and supporters – helped to launch the Food Bank in Gurgaon, Haryana. The occasion also marked the end of its intensive Food-A-Thon 2013 campaign by honouring key organizations and individuals for their contribution at an awards ceremony.

    There are vast numbers of transitionary populations in places such as Gurgaon in search of better economic opportunities, who as well as other vulnerable populations, face serious nutrition challenges that have a plethora of negative impacts on their lives.

    READ The FULL STORY ATAFN

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 16:10 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Consumer, Customer experience, , , GMC Software Technology, Ipsos MORI, Percentage   

    Over Half the Customers Surveyed Said They Felt Undervalued by Their Bank 


    Ipsos MORI

    Ipsos MORI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceFinanceNews says over half of “Consumers feel undervalued by their Bank” leading banks to look at closer at  their customer experience gap,  with friendly, knowledgeable staff and banking services as the consumer demands.

    Almost half of consumers in GBGermanyFrance and the US feel their bank does not value them as a customer ( 48 per cent), according to new Ipsos MORI research commissioned by GMC Software Technology. Consumers want to decide how they bank, with almost three-quarters wanting to request the format in which they receive information from their bank (72 per cent) and also at a time that suits them (74 per cent). Banks therefore need to listen to consumers to deliver the services they need. However, only 19 per cent of consumers really believe banks understand
    how to deliver good customer experience.

    FULL STORY AT: AFN

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:21 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Asbestos, Bruce Vento, Cancer, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, Identity theft, Member of Congress, PR Newswire, ,   

    Congress the Other Day Forced Asbestos Victims and Their Families to Release Private Information that will Put Them at Risk of Identity Theft 


    United States House of Representatives Seal

    United States House of Representatives Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

     

    #AceWorldNews  says ” Asbestos Victims React To House Vote On H.R. 982 a few days ago that requests them to release private information ,that will put them at risk of identity theft”

     

    Leaders of the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign today reacted strongly to the 221-199 vote to pass the FACT Act, H.R. 982, by the House of Representatives.

     

    Susan Vento, widow of Rep Bruce Vento (D-MN):

     

    “I’m deeply disappointed in the vote, but grateful to the Members of Congress who stood up for asbestos victims and their families in opposing legislation that hurts cancer victims. We will continue to oppose this legislation and ensure that it never becomes law.”

     

    Judy Van Ness, widow of Naval Veteran Richard L. Van Ness, commented after the vote:

     

    Congress today forced asbestos victims and their families to release private information that will put them at risk of identity theft. This delays and could deny badly needed compensation to victims and their families.”

     

    Contact: Joy Howell, ACVRC
    202-828-7838, c-202-302-5932

     

     

     

     

     

     

    English: photograph of Bruce Vento from http:/...

    English: photograph of Bruce Vento from http://bioguide.congress.gov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

    SOURCE  Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign

     

    Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign

     

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –

     

     

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:02 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Diabetes Care, Diabetes mellitus, Endocrine Disorders, , , International Diabetes Federation, , Medical device   

    High Number of People With Diabetes in Europe Receiving Inadequate Care 


    English: The blue circle is the global symbol ...

    English: The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes, introduced by the International Diabetes Federation with the aim of giving diabetes a common identity, supporting existing efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and placing the diabetes epidemic firmly in the public spotlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceHealthNews says Hundreds of thousands of people living with diabetes in Europe do not have access to the treatment they need, putting their health at risk. These are the initial findings of a
    study by the International Diabetes Federation Europe (IDF Europe) on Access to Quality
    Medicines and Medical Devices for Diabetes Care in Europe.

    READ FULL STORY: IDF

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 14:09 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Barack Obama presidential campaign 2008, Barack Obama presidential campaign 2012, BlueLabs, Cory Booker, Democratic National Committee, , , Terry McAuliffe   

    Obama for America Senior Analysts Launch BlueLabs, New Strategic Analytics Firm 


    The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.

    The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AcePoliticalNews says following major victories in New Jersey and Virginia, a team of senior aides from President Obama’s ground breaking analytic’s team a few days ago the launch of Blue Labs, a strategic data, analytic’s, and technology firm that brings its innovative big data solutions to political campaigns, progressive organizations, and non-profits around the world.

    Blue Labs’ founders transformed the campaign world with sophisticated micro-targeting and media analytics both before and during the 2012 election cycle. They designed and implemented the state-of-the-art technology infrastructure that powered the Obama analytic’s team and currently underlays the Democratic National Committee‘s continued support of advanced analytics for campaigns. Blue Labs has reassembled the team that constructed these highly accurate predictive models for Obama for America, including the first-ever voter persuadability model that guided the campaign’s ad buying, field, and digital programs.

    “We’re not number crunchers – we’re problem solvers,” said co-founder Chris Wegrzyn. “We are pushing boundaries to create the next generation of analytics tools that will help our clients work smarter.”

    “Our analytic’s team was key to the President’s victory in 2012,” said Jim Messina, manager of the Obama for America reelection campaign. “I’ve been excited to watch as Blue Labs continues to develop cutting edge approaches to analytics.” Strategic use of data has continued to be instrumental in the biggest races of 2013, including Cory Booker‘s special New Jersey Senate election and Terry McAuliffe‘s Virginia gubernatorial win.

    Blue Labs has expanded its applications of data beyond politics, bringing its methods to new sectors such as healthcare, education, and civil rights. The firm offers a comprehensive set of services, including modeling, media optimization, data architecture development, analytics and data staffing, and consulting.

    English: CCHP + BL

    English: CCHP + BL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ winner and founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP) in New Jersey, has already seen the success of BlueLabs’ partnership. “The Obama campaign revolutionized the use of advanced analytics in political campaigns,” says Dr. Brenner. “CCHP is a leader in applying those same techniques to improving public health outcomes in cities like Camden. This makes Blue Labs a natural partner for us, and we’re thrilled to work with them to keep CCHP on the forefront of analytic’s.”

    With today’s launch, organizations will be able to leverage BlueLabs’ proven techniques, honed in winning political campaigns, to improve results and tackle important global issues.

    Success with Booker, McAuliffe Proves Power of Data for Democratic Campaigns, Non-profits

    Courtesy of : WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 13:03 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Antonio Patriota, , , , , , , , Peter Wittig, , ,   

    RT: Reports Green for Go for Internet Privacy Resolution 


    privacy

    privacy (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

    #AceSecurityNews says UN human rights committee unanimously passed a ‘right to privacy‘ resolution sponsored by Germany and Brazil that protects the right to privacy against illegal surveillance, following revelations about NSA spying.

    The resolution states that surveillance and data interception by governments and companies “may violate or abuse human rights.”

    This is the first document that establishes protection of human rights in the digital sphere, Brazil’s Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota told the AP. It “establishes for the first time that human rights should prevail irrespective of the medium, and therefore need to be protected online and offline,” Patriota said.

    The resolution is concerned with the “the negative impact” that surveillance, “in particular when carried out on a mass scale, may have on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights.”

    German Ambassador Peter Wittig added, “Is the human right to privacy still protected in our digital world? And should everything that is technologically feasible, be allowed?”

    France, Russia and North Korea were among the 55 countries that co-sponsored the resolution that only made indirect references to US global spying techniques.

    The fact that the resolution was unanimously passed by the committee seems to guarantee that it will get the votes of all 193 members of the General Assembly in December. Although the resolution will not be legally binding, it will have some political weight.

    The US did not go against the measure, though it did lobby the ‘Five-Eyes’ intelligence sharing alliance of UK, Britain, Australia and New Zealand to water down the language of the resolution. By the end of the day, language stating that foreign spying would be a rights violation was weakened, according to AFP.

    Privacy

    Privacy (Photo credit: g4ll4is)

    #Human Rights Watch specialist Philippe Bolopion lamented that the language had been watered down. But, Bolopion still believes that it was “a vital first step toward stigmatizing indiscriminate global surveillance.”

    Brazil and Germany introduced to the UN General Assembly their draft resolution in early November, calling for internationally recognized rights to privacy. The document further urged an end to global electronic espionage and the extension of internet freedom.

    The resolution comes amid international scandal over #NSA spying over much of the world’s population and eavesdropping on a number of foreign leaders, including Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    NSA spying revealed by former intelligence contractor #Edward-Snowden revealed that Washington has spied on at least 35 world leaders besides the exposed the mass surveillance against private citizens and business.

    According to Snowden’s leak intelligence agencies from all signatories of the ‘Five Eyes’ agreement – the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – collaborated with the #NSA

    Since Snowden’s leaks surfaced in June, protests demanding more privacy protections have emerged in countries around the globe, with thousands of people worldwide having joined in recent Million Mask March rallies organized by the amorphous Anonymous movement.

    RT:

     

     
    • 11buzz 15:23 on November 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      NSA surveillance can be bypassed if you have the proper Internet knowledge. I have created an eBook which teaches the users how to protect themselves from the NSA surveillance. You can check the eBook page here http://www.gofundme.com/yeswescan

      • Ace News Group 15:28 on November 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        #AceNewsServices says ” Hope this Helps” have Approved your comment and sent it across my network if you would like me to feature your gofundme page and video let me know!

        Editor

  • #AceNewsGroup 12:45 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Freedom of religion, Heiner Bielefeldt, , , Politics of Malaysia, , ,   

    “Freedom of Religion or Belief is a Right of All Human Beings, Not a Right of the State” 


    #AceWorldNews says the UN Rights Experts Urge Malaysia to Reverse Decision to Restrict Use of ” ALLAH’ TO MUSLIMS”

    English: Martin Scheinin, United Nations Speci...

    English: Martin Scheinin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism, in front of Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Several independent United Nations human rights experts today urged the Malaysian Government to reverse its decision to ban a Catholic publication from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, warning that the case may have far-reaching implications for religious minorities in the country.

    Freedom of religion or belief is a right of human beings, not a right of the State,” the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, <”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14023&LangID=E“>stressed in a news release. “It cannot be the business of the State to shape or reshape religious traditions, nor can the State claim any binding authority in the interpretation of religious sources or in the definition of the tenets of faith.”

    The Bahasa Malaysia, or standard Malay, translation for one God is ‘Allah’, which entered the language from Arabic and has been used by Christians in the region for many centuries, according to the press release.

    In January 2009, the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the newspaper Herald-The Catholic Weekly to stop using the word ‘Allah’ or face losing its publication permit. The newspaper argued the ban was unconstitutional and won an appeal in the Malaysian High Court.

    However, last month, the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that non-Muslims cannot use ‘Allah’ to refer to God. It stated that the usage of the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity.

    “Such usage, if allowed, would inevitably cause confusion within the community,” the appeal court judges ruled. The case is currently pending consideration at the Federal Court level.

    An example of Allāh written in simple Arabic c...

    An example of Allāh written in simple Arabic calligraphy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Mr. Bielefeldt cautioned that “the current case may affect the right of all non-Muslims in Malaysia to use the word ‘Allah’ while referring to God.”

    Also speaking out is Rita Izsák, the Independent Expert on minority issues, who said discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in this instance is a breach of the rights of a religious minority to freely practice and express their faith.

    “Such actions may present an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between faith communities,” she warned.

    The Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, called on the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Malaysian Government to take steps to immediately secure the right to freedom of opinion and expression of the newspaper and withdraw unconditionally from further litigation on this issue.

    Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

    New York, Nov 25 2013  1:00PM

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 12:32 on November 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Nauru, , Portable Network Graphics, ,   

    Asylum Seekers Transferred From Australia to Pacific Islands – Are Living in Harsh Physical Conditions 


    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representation in Cyprus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceWorldNews says Asylum-seekers transferred from Australia to Pacific island processing centres, including survivors of torture and trauma and unaccompanied children, are living in arbitrary detention and harsh physical conditions that do not meet international standards, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

    Two reports by the UNHCR detailed continuing concerns voiced several times over the past 15 months with the centres on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where Australia has sent thousands of refugees who have braved the dangerous sea crossing from Indonesia after fleeing conflict, persecution or poverty in the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

    “While UNHCR understands Australia’s determination to respond robustly to the challenges of people smuggling and to dissuade people from undertaking dangerous irregular travel by sea, those responses must not neglect the compelling protection needs, safety and dignity of the individuals affected,” the agency’s Director of International Protection, Volker Türk, <”http://www.unhcr.org/52947ac86.html“>said in Geneva.

    “These reports must be seen in the context of what UNHCR has observed to be a sharp deterioration, during the course of the year, in the overall quality of protection and support available to asylum-seekers and refugees who come to Australia by boat.”

    The reports (available at: http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/) called for pre-transfer assessments in Australia to consider the specific needs of vulnerable individuals, including the elderly, survivors of torture or trauma and the disabled. A realistic assessment must also be made of the actual quality of support and capacities of service providers at the centres. No children or families should be sent to PNG and unaccompanied children already there should be returned to Australia.

    “In both Nauru and PNG, UNHCR was deeply troubled to observe that the current policies, operational approaches and harsh physical conditions at the centres not only do not meet  international standards, but impact very profoundly on the men, women and children housed there,” UNHCR Regional Representative, Richard Towle, said on releasing the reports in Canberra, Australia’s capital.

    Topographical map of Admiralty Island in Papua...

    Topographical map of Admiralty Island in Papua New Guinea. Largest islands have been named. Created with GMT from publicly released SRTM data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    He stressed that they do not provide a fair and efficient system for assessing refugee claims, do not provide safe and humane conditions of treatment in detention, and do not provide for adequate and timely solutions for recognised refugees.

    The centres, Australia’s so-called ‘Pacific solution’ to the influx of refugees, were first opened in 2001, but closed at the end of 2007. The policy was resumed again last year.

    The report on Nauru acknowledges some positive developments since UNHCR’s last visit in March but also cites significant setbacks in processing and worsening reception conditions. Despite a processing system being in place under Nauru law, only one decision has been handed down in the 14 months since the centre reopened.

    In PNG no decisions at all have been finalised, the report on Manus said. While some improvements were observed since the last inspection in June, physical conditions, slow processing and lack of clarity regarding safe and sustainable solutions are likely to have a serious negative effect on the refugees’ health and welfare.

    UNHCR called on all three states not to transfer children, particularly those who are unaccompanied, unless and until there has been a marked improvement in conditions in both centres.

    New York, Nov 26 2013  4:00PM

     

     
    • Cecelia 16:55 on January 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs
      on the web. I will recommend this site!

  • #AceNewsGroup 19:47 on November 26, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , British African-Caribbean people, General Certificate of Secondary Education, , , , , Rahm Emanuel, Russell Group,   

    Would that it be True That All Men and Women are Born Equal – Then Equality in Education Would be for All 


    #AceNewsServices says would that it be true what all politicians say, would that it be true that all that is said will be implemented, would that it be true that what is spoken comes without strings, and would that it be true that all men and women are born equal.    

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civ...

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, look on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove‘s Speech to the Mayor of London’s Education Conference.      

    The other day marked the fiftieth anniversary of John F Kennedy’s assassination – and the death of a president who promised so much for the people of America.

    It also – of course – marks the fiftieth anniversary of Lyndon B Johnson’s assumption of presidential office. LBJ’s initials do not inspire the affection in our memories that JFK’s do. But whatever else he did – and did not – do President Johnson achieved something both wonderful and powerful in office – he passed the civil rights legislation which at last allowed African-Americans the opportunity to take their place alongside white Americans as equal citizens of their republic.

    When we look at America’s story the crimes of slavery, the horrors of Jim Crow, the ugliness of segregation are all – mercifully – in the past.

    But even now – 50 years after Kennedy died, 50 years after Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech, 150 years after Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg address that all men are created equal, there is still terrible inequality in America.

    Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

    Black children face a tougher fight than others to get up and get on – they are less likely to succeed, more likely to fall on hard times.

    As President Obama has pointed out – the struggle for civil rights goes on. And the arena in which that fight is fiercest is education. Because black children are less likely to graduate from high school, less likely to go to college and less likely to graduate from college than their peers, their futures are blighted and their horizons are narrower. That is why Barack Obama has said that school reform is the civil rights struggle of our time.

    That is why he has championed reforms which create more charter schools, like our academies here, which demand minimum standards for every child, like our national curriculum tests here and which reward great teachers more generously, as our pay and conditions reforms do here.

    He has been joined in that fight by African-American political leaders like Cory Booker – the newly elected senator from New Jersey who was mayor of Newark – and Deval Patrick the highly successful 2-term governor of Massachusetts. Other Democrat leaders in cities with large African-American populations – like Rahm Emanuel – have prosecuted the struggle with rare political courage. And Republican leaders who take their heritage as Lincoln’s heirs seriously are in the fight too – which is why Jeb Bush secured so much support across all ethnic communities in Florida and why Governor Chris Christie won by a landslide in New Jersey.

    I’m lucky enough to have met many of these politicians – and I admire their commitment to social justice.

    The challenge for Britain

    Just as I admire the commitment of politicians – across party lines – in our country who are dedicated to advancing opportunity through education. Whether it’s David Laws or Andrew Adonis, Tony Blair or Boris Johnson.

    Because we need to fight more energetically for social justice in this country just as they’re doing in America.

    We too have anniversaries that should spur us to new action.

    Pie chart of religions of African Americans

    Pie chart of religions of African Americans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Sixty-five years ago, the Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury, Queen Elizabeth I’s old stomping ground – carrying to these shores the first West Indian immigrants, hoping to start a new life.

    Sixty-five years on – we have to ask – have we fulfilled our promise to those new Britons?

    Twenty years ago, Stephen Lawrence was brutally murdered on a London street by a gang of racist thugs – one of the darkest episodes in the history of race relations in this country.

    Twenty years on – we have to ask – have we created a truly colour-blind society in which every single child in this country, no matter what their background, no matter what their ethnicity, is given an equal opportunity to succeed?

    I don’t believe we have – yet.

    But I do believe we are getting there – making progress – and making progress because this government is committed heart and soul to the civil rights battle of our time – the fight to give every child a great school.

    For too long, there have shocked, stubborn gaps in attainment between children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and their peers.

    These things are never simple, either to see, or to fix.

    But even as we can identify many different factors at work, one huge reality remains. The gaps in achievement between BME children and their peers have been far too large for far too long.

    At key stage 1, black children show the lowest proportion of pupils achieving the expected level in reading, writing, maths and science.

    At key stage 2, a smaller proportion of black pupils than of any other ethnicity achieve the level we expect to see in English and maths – a full 3 percentage points below the national average. In fact, there is a staggering gap of 14 percentage points between black pupils and the top-performing ethnic groups about how many children achieve a level 4 or above in maths.

    At age 16, almost 3 in 5 pupils in the country achieved 5 or more A* to C grade GCSEs or equivalent including English and mathematics last year. But only around half of all black pupils managed to do so.

    At age 18, fewer black pupils than the national average achieve 2 or more A levels or equivalent qualifications.

    And although 8% of all pupils studying at this level in 2009 to 2010 went on to a Russell Group university, the equivalent figure for black pupils was only 5%.

    Of course, the challenges faced by BME children are all the greater when they come from materially deprived backgrounds.

    We already know that children from disadvantaged backgrounds fall further behind as they move through school.

    But the problem is particularly acute for black Caribbean boys. Boys from a black Caribbean background who are eligible for free school meals have been among those suffering from the worst academic performance.

    Of course, there is no single change we can make that will instantly transform the education of disadvantaged or minority ethnic children.

    That is why this government is determined to radically reform the whole school system.

    We are determined do everything we can to make sure that every child, from every background, is given an equal opportunity to succeed.

    Over the last 3 years, this has been our top priority.

    By giving schools independence and autonomy so that heads and teachers are free to support and challenge all pupils, including ethnic minority pupils, to achieve their full potential.

    By embedding higher standards, and higher aspirations, in a new national curriculum and new accountability measures.

    By raising the quality of teaching and raising the bar for new entrants to the teaching profession.

    And by finally rejecting the soft bigotry of low expectations which has governed education for too long – by refusing to accept that children from poorer homes can’t be expected to do just as well, to achieve just as highly, as their wealthier peers.

    School reform extending opportunities

    President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Marti...

    President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    One of the first education reforms we put in place was the Academies Act – which gave many more schools the chance to enjoy greater freedoms.

    When this government came to power, there were just 203 academies. They’re schools with all the freedoms of independent schools – but in the state sector – free to all. They’re free to innovate in every area, to recruit and reward the best staff, and to tailor their curriculum, school day and year to suit pupils and parents.

    In the last 3 years on, the number of open academies has grown from 203 to 3,444 – with many, many more in the pipeline.

    These new schools are already teaching more than 2 million pupils.

    And a crucial – and often-overlooked – fact is that academies are specifically benefitting those BME pupils who most need new educational opportunities.

    Many academies have far higher levels of BME pupils than the rest of the state sector, both at primary and secondary.

    Almost 40% of pupils in primary sponsored academies come from minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to just 28.5% in all state-funded primaries; and 30.0% of pupils in secondary sponsored academies from minority ethnic backgrounds (compared to 24.2% in all state-funded secondary).

    In some schools, the numbers are even higher.

    Like Harris Girls’ Academy in East Dulwich – a school in a disadvantaged area where the proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is more than twice the national average; almost half of students speak English as an additional language; and around 85% are classified as coming from minority-ethnic groups, mostly black Caribbean or black African.

    Yet at its last Ofsted inspection, the academy scored outstanding in all categories – and the value added scores show that students make more progress at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich than at 99% of other state schools in England.

    In fact, across all 27 Harris academies – set up by Lord Harris of Peckham, a Streatham boy who is determined to transform London education for the better – 44% of last year’s GCSE cohort came from black or minority ethnic backgrounds (double the figures in 2012 across the country as a whole – just 22%) and 31% just from black backgrounds (almost 10 percentage points higher than the equivalent figure for London in 2012 and fully 6 times as many as across the country as a whole in that year – where the proportion is just 5%).

    ARK academies – another of this country’s leading chains – have similarly high BME levels.

    In recent years the results of sponsored academies like these have gone up faster than other state-funded schools.

    Their performance has continued to improve this year, in fact the longer they are open the better on average that they do.

    And BME pupils in sponsored academies outperform pupils from similar backgrounds in comparable local authority maintained schools.

    Last year, for example, the proportion of mixed race pupils achieving 5 or more good GCSEs or equivalent (including English and mathematics) rose by just 1.3 percentage points nationally; but by 5.7 percentage points in sponsored academies.

    Earlier I mentioned Harris Girls’ Academy in East Dulwich, where around 85% of pupils are classified as coming from minority-ethnic groups. But this year, figures provided by the school show that 67% of all pupils got 5 goodGCSEs including English and maths, 7 percentage points above the national average of 60%.

    And across all ARK academies, the school’s own figures show that 58% of black children achieved at least 5 GCSEs at A* to C including English and maths – above the national average for all black children.

    So the numbers are clear. Sponsored academies have higher proportions of black children than other state schools – and black pupils’ results are improving faster in those academies than in comparable LA maintained schools.

    That’s why the academies programme is a major step forward for racial equality in this country.

    It’s bringing high standards and high expectations – the sort of education traditionally available only to the privileged – to those children who have historically been left behind.

    Isaac and Rosa, emancipated slave children fro...

    Isaac and Rosa, emancipated slave children from the free schools of Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    And in free schools…

    Our free schools programme is another powerful route to greater opportunity for more disadvantaged children.

    Free schools are entirely new schools, set up by dedicated and passionate teachers, parents, local communities and charitable organisations in communities often poorly served for generations.

    In the last 3 years, 174 free schools have opened and over 100 more are in the pipeline.

    What’s more, almost half (44%) of all those free schools open so far are located in the 30% most deprived communities in this country.

    These new schools are bringing choice to parents who can’t afford to pay a premium for a house in a prized catchment area.

    And they are offering higher standards – free schools are outperforming the rest of the maintained sector. Three-quarters of the first cohort (those open in September 2011) were rated good or outstanding by Ofsted under its tougher new inspection framework. Just 64% of maintained schools inspected under the same inspection regime achieved that.

    And free schools achieved that level of success starting from scratch – indeed over the same period only 50% of new local authority schools were rated good or outstanding.

    But most important of all, just like academies, free schools are catering disproportionately to BME pupils, with higher proportions of BME pupils than the national average – and, often, higher than the average for their local area.

    Overall, 40% of pupils in all mainstream free schools for which we have figures come from minority ethnic backgrounds – compared to a national average in mainstream state schools of 26%.

    And the proportion of BME pupils is often disproportionately high in free schools, even compared to other neighbouring schools.

    In Krishna-Avanti Primary School in Leicester, the proportion of minority ethnic pupils is more than 33 percentage points higher than in the local authority ; in Rainbow Primary School in Bradford, the proportion of minority ethnic pupils is more than forty-one percentage points higher than in the local authority .

    And there are examples here in London too.

    At the Greenwich Free School, where all children study politics, philosophy and economics and ICT has been replaced with computer programming, 53% of children are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

    At Peter Hyman’s School 21 in Newham, where science classes start in Reception and extra curriculum time is devoted to ensuring all pupils leave with exceptional English language skills, 71% of children are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

    Nine in 10 pupils at the Aldborough E-ACT Free School in Redbridge and the Woodpecker Hall Primary Academy in Enfield are from a minority ethnic background – higher than in both local authorities.

    Using a rigorous curriculum

    What all these successful schools demonstrate is the importance of high expectations – specifically the vital importance of a rigorous and demanding academic curriculum for every child.

    Children of every ethnicity and every socio-economic group – not just those in the most expensive schools, or in the most wealthy communities – have an absolute right to be introduced to the best that has been thought and written.

    Every child should be able to enjoy the type of knowledge-rich, subject-specific curriculum which gives them the best possible preparation for university, apprenticeships, employment, and adult life.

    That means physics, chemistry and biology not play-based learning, project-work and an anti-knowledge ideology.

    Every child should have the chance to read great literature – from Charles Dickens to Derek Walcott – appreciate great music – from Ludwig van Beethoven to Jelly Roll Morton – and enjoy great art – from Poussin to Basquiat.

    Because these great creative figures help us understand the human condition – they appeal to the emotions and the sensibilities we all share as one human race – and they are the legacy our civilisation has bequeathed to us all.

    And every child should have the chance to acquire the proper rigorous qualifications that our best employers and academics value.

    Far from such an insistence being oppressive and reactionary it is liberating and progressive.

    But don’t just take it from me – listen to Diane Abbott, the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and one of this country’s most active and most respected BME campaigners, has said:

    An emphasis on rigorous education and on obtaining core academic subjects is not, as is sometimes argued, contrary to the interests of working class children, and of black and minority ethnic children.

    On the contrary, precisely if someone is the first in their family to stay on past school-leaving age, precisely if someone’s family doesn’t have social capital, and precisely if someone does not have parents who can put in a word for them in a difficult job market, they need the assurance of rigorous qualifications and, if possible, core academic qualifications.

    I couldn’t have put it better myself – giving every child the chance to enjoy a traditional academic education is the most powerful lever for greater social mobility and racial equality we have.

    And monitored by tighter accountability

    We want to make sure that as many pupils as possible benefit from new opportunities.

    Which is why in our reform of the way we hold schools accountable for results, we’re focusing particularly on the attainment of pupils who’ve been overlooked for too long.

    Schools will be expected to close the gap in attainment between children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers.

    We’ve introduced a new secondary accountability system which will no longer concentrate just on the proportion getting 5 GCSEs at A* to C – a flawed approach which perversely incentivised schools and teachers to narrow their focus to just a few subjects and just a few pupils on the C/D borderline.

    From 2016, every school will be judged on the progress students make in a combination of 8 subjects (3 from the EBacc, maths and English and 3 other). This will mean that schools in poor areas, which achieve great results for their pupils, get particular credit. It will recognise achievement across all grades, not just between a C and a D – incentivising schools to focus on high-flyers and low-attainers alike. And it will encourage schools to offer (and pupils to study) a broad, balanced range of subjects, including the academic core which is the best possible preparation for employment and further study.

    That academic core is the subjects contained in the English Baccalaureate, or EBacc - our new measure looking at how many young people study at least 5 of the essential academic subjects: English and maths, the sciences, foreign languages, history and geography.

    Figures from 2012 show that black children were less likely to achieve or enter for the EBacc.

    In the country as a whole, 23% of children were entered for the EBacc - but just 18% of black pupils. Sixteen per cent of young people in the country achieved it; just 11% of black children.

    But across the whole system, the EBacc has seen the number of children studying those subjects starting to rise.

    These increases will help drive up the number of black pupils studying these subjects, in turn – meaning that more BME children leave school with the subjects most prized by employers and universities.

    And in London – under the leadership of the mayor – those schools which have the very best record in raising standards for disadvantaged and BMEchildren have been recognised and charged with supporting others to improve. The Mayor’s Gold Club of outstanding schools is a rare – and welcome – example of principled leaders in local government not just accepting the higher standards we have been setting in Whitehall but raising the bar even higher. The beneficiaries of this ambition are the poorest and most disadvantaged children of London – especially those fromBME backgrounds.

    Driving forward racial equality

    Since this government came to power we have seen the achievements of black and minority ethnic children improve.

    At primary school, the proportion of black children achieving level 4 in maths has risen from 75% in 2010 to 80% in 2012 – narrowing the gap with all children.

    And at secondary, the proportion of black children achieving 5 A* to C including English and maths has risen from 49% in 2010 to 55% in 2012 – narrowing the gap with all children from 6 percentage points down to 4.

    We have seen more schools than ever before – with more freedoms than ever before – transform the lives of more BME children than ever before – by giving them the sort of opportunities which were once restricted to a privileged few.

    But there is more – much more – still to do.

    That is why it is so welcome that the Mayor of London is not just driving up standards for BME children through the Gold Club – but also helping us to establish new free schools in areas of deprivation and disadvantage.

    That is why it is so welcome that more great educators from within the BMEcommunity – Lindsay Johns who works with Leaders of Tomorrow – Dr Tony Sewell of Generating Genius, Devon Hanson of Walworth Academy, and Katharine Birbalsingh who is setting up the new Michaela Community School in Brent – have been given the opportunity to help more young people thanks to our reforms.

    And that is why we must not allow the pace of our reform programme to slacken.

    Why we must not succumb to what Martin Luther King called the tranquilising drug of gradualism.

    Because we have it in our power – in this generation – to fulfil the dream of equality which has inspired so many of the great heroes whose memories we cherish this week.

    Conclusion:  

    #AceNewsServices says sounds great does it not – would that it be true that it gets implemented – shall we wait and see?  

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:31 on November 26, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Adam Thomson, , , High Commissioner (Commonwealth), , , Scholarship,   

    Most Deprived Students in Pakistan get Helping Hand to Attain Higher Education 


    #AceNewsServices says the UK Government is helping 278 of the brightest but most deprived students in Pakistan to attain quality higher education this year at the Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS).

    These students are from some of the poorest areas of Pakistan and would otherwise not be able to afford quality higher education. They are pursuing degrees in subjects such as business, law, engineering and economics.

    The initiative aims to enable these young people to get better jobs and so lift themselves and their families out of the cycle of poverty.

    The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson said:

    Education is the single most important factor that can transform Pakistan’s future. This is a chance to help remove financial barriers and provide these bright young minds with the opportunity to pursue their dreams and build a future free of poverty.

    If well educated, Pakistan’s burgeoning youth population offers a vast mine of talent and productivity, which will help bring prosperity and stability, fuelling Pakistan’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

    This investment will not only benefit the lives of some of the poorest but brightest students in Pakistan, but will also benefit those around them by enabling them to lift their families out of poverty and help inject some prosperity in to their community.

    English: Flag of Punjab, a province of Pakista...

    English: Flag of Punjab, a province of Pakistan Deutsch: Flagge von Punjab, ein Provinz in Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Dr. Sohail Naqvi, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, said:

    This initiative will change the lives of some of the most intelligent young people from underprivileged families in Pakistan. Our existing financial aid has transformed lives across Pakistan for many years now: this partnership with the UK will allow LUMS to significantly scale up this support, helping more of the youth to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

    The scholarships – worth £7.1 million (1.2 billion rupees) – will help an estimated 1,000 of the brightest students from the poorest households over the next five years. The aim is for half of these to be girls. Students are awarded yearly scholarships which are renewed at the end of the academic year if they maintain a minimum level of performance during each semester.

    The five-year programme will be managed by LUMS, who will select students on merit and provide financial aid on the basis of need, verified by family income and inspection of applicants’ homes.

    As part of the scholarships, students are required to work in their local communities as ambassadors for LUMS, by spreading awareness about the importance of higher education, and supporting other aspiring but impoverished higher education students.

    Flag map of Pakistan

    Flag map of Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Across Pakistan, the UK is working closely with provincial governments and partners on ambitious plans which will benefit millions of children and improve the standard of their education. This will not only make a dramatic difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged girls and boys, but will also benefit their families and communities as they get better jobs and earn more money.

    Pakistan is now one of the UK’s largest recipients of development investment. As well as tackling the education emergency, other priorities for the UK include preventing thousands of women dying in childbirth by funding skilled midwives, nurses, or doctors; providing job skills training to tens of thousands of the poorest people; and giving women in deprived households small monthly cash grants to purchase essentials, such as food and medicine. This investment is dependent on continuing to secure value for money and results.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:21 on November 26, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Colombo, Crisis intervention, , Elimination of Violence Against Women, High Commissioner, International Day, , Psychotherapy, Royal Highness,   

    “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” 


    #AceWorldNews says that on 25 November 2013 it was “International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women”   

    On 25 November 2013, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the British High Commission recalled the recent visit of The Duchess of Cornwall to Women In Need (WIN)’s Colombo Crisis Centre during Her Royal Highness’ stay in Sri Lanka.

    Established in 1987, WIN provides services and support for women and children subject to domestic and other forms of violence. They operate in all nine provinces in the country.

    WIN’s work covers several areas: medical, psychological counselling, temporary shelter and legal. They provide crisis intervention services in hospitals, a 24 hour hotline accessible to women who are subject to violence, counselling desks in six police stations island-wide and training for counsellors. WIN is the only organisation in the country that offers a multi-faceted approach to victims/survivors of violence. WIN also works with men and boys on a campaign called “Men against Violence Against Women”.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:14 on November 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: #abusedmen, , , abused men, abused women, Clare, Clare Wood, Domestic abuse, , Domestic Violence Protection, Domestic Violence Protection Notice, Domestic Violence Protection Orders, , George Appleton, Home Secretary, Norman Baker, ,   

    Clare’s Law or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Becomes Law Through-Out England 


    #AceNewsServices says this new now nation wide law that protects partners is a good ruling ,as long as this also becomes fair not just for abused women and girls as was detailed and now highlighted ,in the press release! This must also equally apply to men and boys as well, as “Equal Rights” for both genders.       

    Domestic Violence and Abuse are Wrong For Both Male and Females!

    Domestic Violence and Abuse are Wrong For Both Male and Females!

    A scheme allowing police to disclose to individuals details of their partners’ abusive pasts will be extended to police forces across England and Wales from March 2014, Home Secretary Theresa May announced today.

    It follows a successful 14-month pilot in four police force areas, which provided more than 100 people with potentially life-saving information.

    Home Secretary Theresa May said:

    Domestic abuse shatters lives – Clare’s Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy.

    The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary.

    This is one of a raft of measures this government has introduced to keep women and girls safe. The systems in place are working better but sadly there are still too many cases where vulnerable people are let down. Today is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future.

    Every request under Clare’s Law is thoroughly checked by a panel made up of police, probation services and other agencies to ensure information is only passed on where it is lawful, proportionate and necessary. Trained police officers and advisers are then on hand to support victims through the difficult and sometimes dangerous transitional period.

    The government also announced today the national extension of Domestic Violence Protection Orders from March 2014, which will provide further protection to vulnerable victims.

    Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said:

    This is further proof of the government’s determination to combat a crime that claims two lives every week.

    Allowing police to ban abusers from contacting victims provides immediate protection in the aftermath of a domestic violence incident and breathing space to a vulnerable person while they consider their next steps. The pilot has shown this is a powerful intervention which can save lives.

    Clare’s Law, or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme has two functions:

    • ‘right to ask’ – this enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts. A precedent for such a scheme exists with the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme; and
    • ‘right to know’ – police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances.

    The Domestic Violence Protection Orders approach has two stages:

    • Where the police have reasonable grounds for believing that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour, they can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice on the spot, provided they have the authorisation of an officer at Superintendent rank.
    • The magistrates’ court must then hear the case for the Protection Order itself – which is the second step – within 48 hours of the Notice being made. If granted, the Order may last between a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days. This strikes the right balance between immediate protection for the victim and judicial oversight.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:59 on November 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Antibiotic resistance, Caesarean section, , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infection, Jennifer Welsh, Surgery, Transplantable organs and tissues   

    People are Becoming Resistant to Antibiotics But Infections are Killing People at an Alarming Rate 


    Diagram depicting antibiotic resistance throug...

    Diagram depicting antibiotic resistance through alteration of the antibiotic’s target site, modeled after MRSA’s resistance to penicillin. Beta-lactam antibiotics permanently inactivate PBP enzymes, which are essential for bacterial life, by permanently binding to their active sites. MRSA, however, expresses a PBP that will not allow the antibiotic into its active site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceHealthNews says according to a recent study by the CDC there is a stark warning about liberally popping anti-biotic‘s and then dumping them with out any form of care!  

    Soon, the antibiotics we’ve relied on to heal minor bacterial infections will no longer work, the CDC has warned.

    If that happens, almost everything and anything could kill you, just like things were before penicillin was discovered in 1928.

    Here’s an incomplete list, created with help from Maryn McKenna’s excellent post on our post-antibiotic future on Medium.

    • Eating meat — bacteria on meat can be resistant to antibiotics, and kill you.
    • Getting scratched — before penicillin, 1 in 9 skin infections killed.
    • Having any kind of surgery or biopsy — even the most minor surgery leaves you open for infection.
    • Treatments like dialysis or a blood transplant — an open portal to your blood leaves you open to sepsis.
    • An insect bite — insect bites, especially those that are itchy, lead to infections if scratching opens the wound and microbes under your fingernails invade.
    • A mild cold or flu — if a virus takes down your immune system, pneumonia can set in. Without antibiotics, 30% of cases kill.
    • Childbirth — natural childbirth used to kill 5 mothers out of 1000, and Cesarean sections are a surgery, which opens you up to infection.
    • Being put on a ventilator or catheter.
    • Implanted medical devices like artificial hips or pacemakers.
    • Minor burns — burns are the most infection-prone wound.
    • Cosmetic plastic surgery — this falls under surgeries, but deserves its own mention because society acts like getting a couple of Botox injections is risk free. In the post-antibiotic era, it’s not.
    • Getting a tattoo — No one wants to voluntarily open themselves up to an infection in the post-antibiotic era.

    Because any type of surgery could produce an untreatable infection, we would also lose the ability to treat non-infectious diseases like cancer, put people back together after car accidents, perform surgery to unblock arteries due to heart disease, and transplant organs.

    And these types of infections are already killing people. The CDC released numbers a few months ago stating that antibiotic-resistant infections kill 23,000 people a year. That may seem small, but these infections are increasing at a rapid rate.

    As McKenna notes in her post, it takes only a few years for resistance to emerge to a new antibiotic. And drug companies aren’t investing in the market — there are only five new antibiotics in development. And we haven’t seen a new one in 25 years.

    And we aren’t doing much about it. Antibiotics are used liberally in agriculture. Doctors prescribe them for viral infections like the cold and flu. People don’t take their entire dose and dump their extras into the water supply.

    All of these add up to increasing levels of resistance. If things continue as they are, we have about 20 years until a minor scrape can become potentially life-threatening again.

    Read McKenna’s post (produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, non-profit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health) to learn more about what we have to look forward to in a future without antibiotics.

    Courtesy of  Jennifer Welsh on Nov 21, 2013, 3:40 PM

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:37 on November 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Arthur Goldberg, Goldberg, , Johnson, , , New Frontier, W. Willard Wirtz   

    JFK the Man the President and the Legend 


    Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President o...

    Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceNewsServices says before John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960 in a dramatically close election, he promised a “New Frontier” of domestic social and economic reform. As President he offered a wide agenda of legislative proposals to realize this goal. The major proposals included establishing a volunteer Peace Corps to assist underdeveloped countries, raising the minimum wage and broadening its coverage, raising Social Security benefits, providing medicare, providing federal aid to education, creating a federal department of urban affairs, and giving greater powers to the federal government to deal with economic recessions. The Congress and the country were not ready to adopt all of this program, however. The Peace Corps was established, Social Security benefits and the minimum wage were raised, and a historic housing law was enacted, but little else was enacted. Kennedy’s term was tragically shortened by an assassin’s bullet in November 1963.

    Kennedy brought an eager and able throng of people anxious to serve under him. One of the most notable among them was Arthur J. Goldberg, special counsel to the AFL-CIO and considered the leading labor lawyer in the country. Kennedy named Goldberg to be his Secretary of Labor. Known as the “Davey Crockett of the New Frontier”, Goldberg became involved in a wide range of social and cultural issues in the Kennedy Administration. He was instrumental in improving cultural life in the Capital and in beginning redevelopment of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor from Capitol Hill to the White House. In the labor sphere, Goldberg concentrated on dealing with labor relations problems and on improving equal employment opportunities.

    The official portrait of Arthur J. Goldberg ha...

    The official portrait of Arthur J. Goldberg hangs in the Department of Labor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Early in his term Goldberg had to bring bad news on two fronts to the country: unemployment rose to 6.8 percent in January 1961; and, in March the “steel gap” closed and the Russians finally matched American steel production. Later in the year, however, the economy was in better shape. George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, said that under Goldberg’s leadership the Department came closer to realizing its mission of promoting the welfare of working people “than it has at any time in my … experience in Washington.” Goldberg left the Department in September 1962 to become an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Collective bargaining was Secretary Goldberg’s main interest and he actively made the “good offices” of the federal government available to help settle or prevent strikes. In February 1961 President Kennedy created an advisory committee on labour- management relations to help the Administration devise sound labor policies. While he was Secretary, Goldberg helped mediate many disputes, particularly in the defense-related aerospace industry and the crucial transportation industry (railroads, shipping and airlines). Much to the delight of the culturally minded First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Goldberg settled a strike against the New York Metropolitan Opera in time to prevent a cancellation of the 1961-1962 season.

    As the first Jewish Secretary of Labor, Goldberg was strongly conscious of the rights of minorities. He committed the Department to actively protecting the rights of blacks and others. He actively implemented Executive Order 10925 requiring the executive branch of the government to encourage equal employment opportunity for all. Within the Department, he took steps to abolish the segregation of facilities for black employees that until then was widespread in Washington’s government offices. He instituted programs to promote better career opportunities for minority employees of the Department which his successors built upon. These programs became models for the rest of the government and for the private sector.

    Another major area of concern and activity was employment and training. There was a widespread fear beginning in the 1950s that automation and other factors would rapidly eliminate low-skill jobs and create massive and permanent unemployment if nothing were done. Two new pieces of legislation gave the Department a special role in dealing with this problem: the Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 (ARA) and the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (MDTA). Under the ARA the Department provided retraining and allowances for unemployed workers in areas of serious unemployment, principally the Appalachian region. MDTA was a much broader law that gave the Department major responsibilities for identifying labor shortages, training the unemployed and the underemployed, and sponsoring a comprehensive program of research. It planted the seed of what grew into a large and complex employment and training program. Secretary Goldberg established in the Department an Office of Manpower, Automation, and Training (OMAT) to carry out responsibilities under both laws.

    Amendments to the FLSA in 1961 raised the minimum wage by stages to $1.25 an hour. They also significantly broadened the scope of the law, adding 3.6 million additional workers, most of them in retail or service trades. This was the first major expansion of scope in the history of the FLSA.

    Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson Deutsc...

    Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson Deutsch: Lyndon B. Johnson (* 1908) Italiano: Lyndon B. Johnson nel 1969 Nederlands: Lyndon B. Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded the slain President Kennedy in November 1963. Johnson, a former Senate majority leader, immediately set about to enact the balance of Kennedy’s New Frontier. He also added a few new measures and redesignated the whole package as the “Great Society.” Legislatively, Johnson was quite successful.

     Domestic success was marred, however, by civil disorders in the inner cities and a disastrous war in Vietnam. Johnson was reelected in 1964 but because of opposition to his war policies he did not seek reelection in 1968.

    Serving as Secretary of Labor through Johnson’s whole term and the last part of Kennedy’s was W. Willard Wirtz, initially appointed as Arthur Goldberg’s Under Secretary. Wirtz became Secretary in September 1962. Before 1961 he had a distinguished career in the teaching and practice of law, particularly labor law, and in public service. He worked with and wrote speeches for Illinois governor and Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson. Unlike Goldberg, Wirtz did not play an active role in mediating labor disputes. Except in national emergencies, he left dispute settlement to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and other agencies. Wirtz focused on the need to assure full employment and equal opportunity to all workers. Using words that could be applied to his predecessors and successors, he described his term as Secretary in this way: “if there was a central unifying and dignifying theme … it was in the insistence that wage earners — and those seeking that status — are people …. Human beings for whom ‘work,’ but not just ‘labor’… constitutes one of the potential ultimate satisfactions.”

    During Secretary Wirtz’s tenure an almost bewildering variety of programs took shape at the Department, both to further its historic mission of enhancing workers’ “opportunities for profitable employment” and to help realize the social and economic goals of the Johnson Administration. These programs evolved from MDTA and ARA and their amendments and a number of other laws and programs. When Congress enacted President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” it created a new agency that administered a number of anti-poverty programs, but some of these programs wound up in the Department. There were DOL education and training programs dealing with such groups as unemployed youths, high school drop-outs, older people and the hard-core unemployed. These programs included on-the-job training (OJT), institutional or class-room job-training programs, remedial education, special job-finding assistance, and counseling on personal problems and job-seeking.

    To coordinate the Department’s burgeoning training and education programs, in February 1963 Secretary Wirtz established the Manpower Administration (MA), headed initially by the Under Secretary. The MA included not only the Bureau of Employment Security and the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training but also the recently established OMAT. The MA also absorbed the most important of the job-related anti-poverty programs — the Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC).

    English: President Kennedy signing the 1961 Am...

    English: President Kennedy signing the 1961 Amendments into law, June 30, 1961. Shown with the President are (left to right) Rep. Carl Albert (D-OK); Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-AR); Sen. John J. Williams (R-DE); Rep. Thomas J. O’Brien (D-IL); Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson; Sen. Robert S. Kerr (D-OK); Rep. John W. Byrnes (R-WS); Abraham Ribicoff, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; and Wilbur J. Cohen, Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. SSA History Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The NYC was set up under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to help unemployed 14- to 21-year-old youths from poor families to gain work experience and earn income while completing high school. By the end of 1968 the program had helped over 1.5 million young people. The program had three main components: one for in-school youth; one for out-of-school, unemployed youth; and a summer component for both groups. The program was federally funded but it was administered by local non-profit sponsors such as public schools, hospitals and libraries. The enrollees largely performed public service jobs, working as aides in libraries, schools, museums and so on.

    The NYC was redesignated the Bureau of Work Training Programs when a number of new programs were added. A Special Impact program created training and employment opportunities for people in very poor neighborhoods. New Careers trained poor persons of all ages at a pre-professional level in public service fields in which there was a shortage of qualified persons, such as in health, education and public safety. Operation Mainstream helped older people and workers with outdated skills by providing work experience on community projects that would improve the local environment. These projects were in areas with high unemployment or little industry. OJT under the MDTA sought to help the underprivileged by providing training in the workplace. It also offered basic education and assistance for those not prepared to benefit from OJT. A Concentrated Employment Program sought to make all the employment and training services in a given area available to those most in need. The Work Incentive Program (WIN), established in 1967, helped get able-bodied persons receiving assistance under Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) off welfare rolls and onto payrolls by providing training and work experience and by helping them find permanent jobs.

    There were other employment assistance programs outside of the Bureau of Work Training Programs. The Employment Service administered the institutional training program, supplementing it with remedial training and income allowances. In addition, the Service expanded its operations to help the underprivileged and shifted its focus from the needs of the employer to the needs of the job-seeker. The Department made special efforts to meet the employment and training needs of women, veterans and farm workers.

    An Office of Manpower Policy, Evaluation, and Research supplanted OMAT in 1966. Its mission was to provide basic information for policy-makers. The Office developed plans for the Department’s employment and training programs and assisted other government agencies and outside groups concerned with similar problems. It conducted research and developed demonstration projects for urban ghetto dwellers and other special groups. For example, it conducted a mobility demonstration project to study ways of helping unemployed workers move to areas where the job market was better. It constantly provided feedback to the whole employment and training program on how well or poorly goals were being met. It also assisted foreign countries in planning to deal with their employment and training problems.

    Bill Signing- Manpower Development and Trainin...

    Bill Signing- Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962. President Kennedy, Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg… – NARA – 194205 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Employment and training dominated during Secretary Wirtz’s tenure, but there were other important activities. Equal opportunity was a major goal of the Department. Following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 an Office of Federal Contract Compliance was established to see that contractors were not discriminating against their employees. The Women’s Bureau had worked hard to secure passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which sought to assure that women workers would receive equal pay for the same work. In 1964 the Bracero program ended, thereby opening thousands of agricultural jobs for American workers, if they wanted them. Efforts by the Department to secure passage of a job safety and health law were unsuccessful but they laid the foundations for future legislative action.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:28 on November 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Assassination of John F. Kennedy, , Desmond Tutu, Henry G. Brinton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, , , ,   

    Christ, the Cross and John F. Kennedy 


    Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine ...

    Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceNewsServices says this was a post l found on the web that was really different to the normal, as it cross referenced “Christ the Cross and JFK” and the fact that fifty years have passed since President John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. He travelled to Dallas to heal a split in the Democratic party and lost his life when he was shot in an open-air limousine. A well-intentioned mission ended in death, and the world changed forever.
    Former United States President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy sit in a car in front of Blair House during the arrival ceremonies for Habib Bourguiba, president of Tunisia, in Washington, in this handout image taken on May 3, 1961. REUTERS/Abbie Rowe/The White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

    The assassination was a hinge in history, on par with Pearl Harbour and 9-11. It pivoted America from the calm of the 1950′s to the upheaval of the 1960′s.

    But terribly shocking tragedies can have unexpectedly good results. Christians understand this, which is why we put crosses in our churches and around our necks. The cross of Jesus Christ is a reminder of a horrible death that had beneficial results.

    Now JFK was no Christ-figure — far from it. Christians believe that Jesus was sinless, while JFK had deep personal flaws that undermined his reputation. But his death, like the death of Jesus, changed history for the better.

    Initially, reaction to Kennedy’s assassination was nationwide shock and sorrow. Then the American people rallied around his vision of putting a man on the moon by supporting the Apollo program. JFK’s call for civil rights was amplified by his successor Lyndon Johnson, who invoked Kennedy’s memory as he advocated for the Civil Rights Act.
    In the end, the death of JFK was not only a tragedy but a catalyst. I believe that it led to advances that might have become bogged down, or not occurred at all, if Kennedy had served two full terms during the chaos and conflict of the 1960s.
    Not everyone will agree that good came out of JFK’s assassination, just as there is no unanimity about the value of Christ’s death. To find a benefit in tragedy seems counterintuitive, perhaps even scandalous.
    But the followers of Jesus Christ now make up the world’s largest religious group, with more than 2 billion adherents. They accept the tragic death of Jesus as part of their religious history, and understand — in many ways — that the evil that was done to him eventually resulted in great good.
    On a practical level, Christians are motivated to fight injustice because it was a completely innocent Jesus who was nailed to a cross with criminals on either side of him. Across the country, for example, people are now working with the Innocence Project to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals.
    John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Nov....

    John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Religiously motivated movements can have national implications — as significant as the Civil Rights Act and moon landing that followed Kennedy’s death. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa, which allowed victims and perpetrators to speak in public hearings and move toward reconciliation. Such a Christian focus on forgiveness comes from what Jesus said about his killers from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

    Could such good have been done without a violent death? Perhaps. But the assassination of JFK, like the crucifixion of Jesus, is both a shock and a stimulus. One death motivated the American people to work for progress, while the other continues to inspire Christians to fight injustice and do the hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation.
    The anniversary of JFK’s death is a sign, like a cross in a church. It points us toward the possibility that death is not the end, and that good can come out of evil.
    Henry G. Brinton is pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Virginia and author of “The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality.”
     
    SOURCE: The Washington Post: On Faith
    November 22, 2013 7:00 AM

     

     
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