‘ British Police Arrest Two Men Over Islamist State Links ‘

#AceBreakingNews – BRITAIN – September 26 – British police arrested on Friday two men as part of an operation into Islamist-related militancy, Reuters said.

The two men were arrested on the M6 motorway in England by counter-terrorism officers, bringing the total number of people detained in the operation to 11 over two days.

Spain’s Interior Ministry said on Friday that Spanish and Moroccan police have arrested nine people suspected of belonging to a militant cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.

In Malaysia, police have detained three Muslim men suspected of wanting to go to Syria to join the IS.

#ANS2014

#britain, #england, #is, #islamic-state-is, #islamist, #m6, #malaysia, #moroccan, #spains, #spanish, #syria

SCOTLAND: ‘ David Cameron Under Fire From Tory Hard-Liners Over Devolving Powers to Scotland ‘

#AceNewsServices – SCOTLAND – September 22 – Prior to the referendum result [ that is presently in dispute] the British PM David Cameron made promises to the Scottish people, with regard to devolving powers to Scotland – should the no vote win.

Today he is under fire from his own party and from the Labour opposition for having promised more powers to Scotland but being vague on similar devolution plans for England.

Cameron on Monday (22 September) was set to meet some 20 Conservative hard-liners who oppose his plans for Scotland and want to scrap a subsidy formula which favours Scots over the English.

In order to swing the Scots’ vote last week away from an ever-more popular independence campaign, Cameron, together with the leaders of Labour and the Liberal-Democrats, pledged to keep the funding scheme and give Scotland further powers as long as it stays within the United Kingdom.

The referendum was won by the unionist camp, but Cameron has since faced an avalanche of criticism. Apart from his own backbenchers who want more powers for English MPs, the prime minister is also under fire from the Labour opposition, which says it has only subscribed to Scottish devolution.

Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday said the three-party deal only concerned Scotland, not England or Wales.

“I’m open to the idea of greater scrutiny of legislation by English MPs. But we can’t do it in a back of the envelope, fag packet way,” Miliband said.

Scottish leader Alex Salmond on Sunday said his people were tricked into voting No, as Cameron’s plans will fail amid inner-party bickering.

Source:

#ANS2014

#david-cameron, #devolution, #ed-miliband, #england, #scotland

SCOTLAND: ‘ Queen of Scotland Joins the Debate Over Saving the Oil, Finance and Pensions for England ‘

#AceWorldNews – SCOTLAND – September 15 – The Queen finally broke her silence on the issue of Scottish independence yesterday, telling a member of the public that she hoped “people will think very carefully about the future” when they headed to the polls later this week.

' Queen of Scotland Supports England '

‘ Queen of Scotland Supports England ‘

The monarch’s words – which were interpreted by some as offering encouragement to Unionists without leaving her open to accusations of political meddling – came as the long campaign entered its final week, with tensions high and tempers increasingly frayed.

Her interjection into the debate came as the debate over the economic case for independence continues to rage.

A report published on Monday by a leading think-tank suggests that the Yes campaign has underestimated the financial risks of separation, which it said lay in oil, finance and pensions.

The Centre for Policy Studies predicted that a mixture of falling North Sea oil revenues, the departure of a large proportion of the financial services sector and the rising cost of public sector pensions would leave Scotland with £13.8 billion less in 2015/16 than official estimates suggest.

But a spokesman for Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said the report was “stuffed full of basic factual errors” and pointed out that the think-tank had been co-founded by Margaret Thatcher.

“The only part of this report that is accurate is the importance of Scotland’s oil to the strength of the pound – which is exactly why the UK Government will agree to a currency union with Scotland,” he added. “This simply underlines Scotland’s economic strength.”

In Glasgow, thousands of angry Yes supporters waving saltires mounted a protest outside the BBC’s Scottish headquarters, accusing it of being biased in favour of retaining the Union.

Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, said he had been shocked by the aggressive behaviour of some nationalists, which he claimed had been “orchestrated” and “centrally controlled”.

David Cameron will be hoping to avoid a hostile reception when he returns to Scotland today in a last gasp-attempt to persuade Scots to preserve the Union.

#ANS2014

#acenewsservices, #england, #her-majesty, #north-sea-oil, #polls, #queen, #scotland, #yes

BRITAIN: ‘ UK Government Ramp-Up Pressure on the Independence Issue This Time Targeting Defence of the Realm ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN (London) – August 21 – The UK Armed Forces have a proud and distinguished history, here are 8 benefits to Scotland so say’s the British Government today and here is their 8 offers to say NO to Independence the number 8 is the best, given situation in others countries.


UK Defence Benefits for Scotland x 3 - Screenshot from 2014-08-21 19:01:24

International Security Through Peackeeping - Screenshot from 2014-08-21 19:02:29

UK Government News Story

#ANS2014

#alex-salmond, #commonwealth-games, #england, #london, #scotland, #scottish-government, #scottish-independence, #united-kingdom

Radical Islam ‘Trojan Horse plot’ threatens the UK and the West


I don’t think Islam is capable of this due it’s radical nature

Islam as a religion is a good religion, I have Muslim friends, life friends through work (In my 20’s) and football. They are friends for life, and they are Muslim. I have Catholic, Protestants, Hinduism and friends from many religions, having never left the Island I live on, the UK, up here in Scotland, the World is a huge place and I love knowing people with different customs and ways

Learning to respect each other is essential. It was in the media this morning that since the 1990’s RADICAL ISLAM has been infiltrating schools. Below is the story and the letters to go with it. This is just breaking today and will turn into a REAL story soon. I think this with the UKIP surge in the UK has made many people turn away from the two party we have had since WWII and I do believe this, UKIP and the Radical Islam threat will make sure on September 18th Scotland (Where I am) will vote to leave the Union. All the people in Scotland get to vote a simple Yes or No. With this and UPIK many in the last week have turned from no voters to yes voters. Nobody is Scotland want’s one more Torie Government (Thatcherism) We want a Government we vote for and to be a free nation and a rich nation. The thought of UKIP and the Radical Islam issue scares me for my kids future, and I know many are now saying the same. UKIP want all foreign nationals out of the UK, Radicals for sure but not Radicals also. They are not far away from the principles of the British National Party who are hates my the vast majority for being racists. This is a story the people of the USA can share as it is well known Obama has surrounded himself with known Muslim Brotherhood Members http://shaunynews.com/2014/05/08/obama-and-the-muslim-connection-disturbing-photo-of-obama-depicted-as-a-king/ So here we are with the USA and UK being infiltrated by Radical Islam, or am I reading the story wrong? This is all over our Media today http://news.sky.com/story/1274139/muslim-school-plot-fears-were-raised-in-1994


Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood Friends. Go research, you will see rather quickly

Fears that hardline Muslim governors have been infiltrating Birmingham schools go back at least two decades, and were raised with the government in 1994. Sky News has learned that senior leaders at three schools in Birmingham were so concerned about the influence of Muslim extremists in the 1990s they took their fears to the top. In a letter to education ministers, copied to then Prime Minister John Major, the heads said extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir was gaining an alarming influence over schools in the city. Former chair of governors at Golden Hillock School, John Ray, met with then education minister Emily Blatch in Westminster. He says that had the government acted then, the current trend – in which conservative Muslims have been able to dominate school leadership – could have been averted. “(The Trojan Horse plot) reveals something, something that is true,” said Mr Ray. “It reveals a mess that the city council has not been able to check – the development of this whole infiltration of this ceding in of governors of one particular ideology. They are not people who have the welfare of these children at heart.”


A letter sent to government ministers in 1994


An official house of Commons return letter (I am told)


The story broke this morning, but we all seen it coming or knew it was an issue, now our Media is reporting it

This for me is a very real and active threat to the Western World, Radical Islam has forced it’s way into power in the USA and is slowly creeping into English politics and life style’s. Many parts of England have areas where it is like “Little Pakistan” where the majority are Muslim. This poster appeared last week, I never blogged about it at the time, but I kept it knowing this was on the cards, here it is


This is what is happening in England

This has caused English people, off their own backs to create the “English Defence League” E.D.L and counter any demonstrations done by Muslims. When I see Muslims with banners saying “Behead anyone against Islam” It does make me PRAY for a free Scotland. We don’t have Radical Islam issues up here in Scotland, many think the UK is one country, it is not it is a Union and a Union we in Scotland want to leave for many reasons.

When I seen the UKIP surge here where I blogged ithttps://acenewsservices.com/2014/05/27/dangerous-uk-ukip-surge-might-make-an-independent-scotland-a-reality/ this was my views at the time. France did similar they voted in far right politicians in the European Elections. I think the people of England mainly spoke loud and clear about the Islamic Muslim threat with the voting, had this been a general election UKIP would be running the UK and they would dissolve the Scottish and Welsh parliaments

For me personally I can’t risk this for my Country, Scotland is a peaceful place and we are a welcoming people. English people are the same, they are not the issue, Westminster is. And the news today this Islamic threat has been ongoing in Schools in England since the 1990’s is proof if anyone needs it that the future of not just the UK but Europe as a whole could be seen to be unstable. We get real elections here where the people most hate can get into power, many countries like the USA have known rigged elections, George Bush got 2 terms, and we all know he cheated to beat Al Gore and Florida was the decider, and in charge that day in Florida was none other than Jeb Bush and the votes counted by people who were part of Bush’s campaign. Of course we all know this as fact now

So the danger is real, it is a Western problem and we need to meet it head on. I am not Racist, I aim to offend nobody in any article I do, be it here, Ace News or Browaha or any other place I may blog/write in the future. I just tell the story the way I see it. I am the type of person who will question life and look for the lies we are told by Government. Why this has went on so long is a mystery to me. Radical Islam is real problem for the West and I will leave some newspaper headlines from the UK today below as well as other Radical Muslim pictures from England


Protest: Parents at Birmingham’s Al-Hijrah School after its entire governing body was sacked


More action Mr Cameron?


The English defence league have made their feelings known


Without being racist, we MUST stop this!


This is allowed on English Streets……


…But English people are being arrested for not agreeing. Is this right?


Allowed on UK Streets


Allowed on UK Streets


The English Defence league are doing the same, but are being arrested. I do not agree with this. Muslims can’t be allowed to hide behind foreign laws!

#trojan-horse-plot, #england, #english-defence-league, #english-schools-and-islam, #islamic-schools-plot-uk, #muslim-brotherhood, #radical-islam, #scotland, #sharia-law, #uk, #uk-and-west-threatened-by-radical-islam, #ukip, #united-kingdom

US to Spend $300 Million On Huge Spy Hub In Britain


Royal Air Force Croughton, a US Air Force base near Milton Keynes, England

The United States is planning to spend over $300 million to turn one of its military bases in Britain into a spying hub.

Royal Air Force Croughton, a US Air Force base near Milton Keynes, England, currently serves as a relay station for CIA agent communications and is planned to be turned into one of Washington’s largest spying hubs outside the US mainland, theIndependent reported on Sunday.

Once the $317 million project is complete in 2017, the site will become an ultra-secure spying center with more than 1,000 personnel stationed at the facility to cover operations in Africa. The center is likely to be co-staffed with representatives of British intelligence.

The base is already believed to be used as a support site for US drone strikes in Yemen. Reports revealed last year that RAF Croughton was used to gather data from a global network of spy bases inside US embassies and send them back to Washington.

The United States is planning to spend over $300 million to turn one of its military bases in Britain into a spying hub.

Royal Air Force Croughton, a US Air Force base near Milton Keynes, England, currently serves as a relay station for CIA agent communications and is planned to be turned into one of Washington’s largest spying hubs outside the US mainland, the Independent reported on Sunday.

Once the $317 million project is complete in 2017, the site will become an ultra-secure spying center with more than 1,000 personnel stationed at the facility to cover operations in Africa. The center is likely to be co-staffed with representatives of British intelligence.

The base is already believed to be used as a support site for US drone strikes in Yemen. Reports revealed last year that RAF Croughton was used to gather data from a global network of spy bases inside US embassies and send them back to Washington

Documents revealed by American whistleblower Edward Snowden have shown that the United States and Britain, which are key members of the English-speaking intelligence sharing alliance known as ‘Five Eyes’ club, have been cooperating to spy on other countries’ officials and leaders.

One such document revealed last year that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) helped the US National Security Agency monitor phone calls and email communications of foreign leaders and diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London.

NSA documents obtained by Snowden showed other members of the ‘Five Eyes’ club – Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – also helped the US to spy on people and officials in other countries.

Leaked documents in November showed that the NSA spied on the G8 and G20 summits held in the Canadian city of Toronto in 2010, with the help of the host country’s government.

It was also made public in October that Washington has been secretly using Australian embassies throughout Asia to intercept phone calls and collect data across the continent.

Via Daboo7

#britain, #england, #huge-spy-hub-in-britain, #milton-keynes, #raf-croughton, #royal-air-force-croughton, #us-air-force, #us-to-spend-300-million, #washington

World Health Organization’s Ranking of the World’s Health Systems

Some people fancy all health care debates to be a case of Canadian Health Care vs. American. Not so. According to the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems, neither Canada nor the USA ranks in the top 25.

Improving the Canadian Healthcare System does not mean we must emulate the American system, but it may mean that perhaps we can learn from countries that rank better than both Canada and the USA at keeping their citizens healthy.

Note: My Country, Scotland ALWAYS gets thrown in with the British average. Scottish NHS (National Health Service) is a lot better than England’s

Big ambitions: Scotland’s health service is aiming high while staying true to its foundations
http://www.holyrood.com/2012/03/big-ambitions-scotlands-health-service-is-aiming-high-while-staying-true-to-its-foundations/

World Health Organization Ranking; The World’s Health Systems

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom – (England)
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 USA
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar
45 Kuwait
46 Barbados
47 Thailand
48 Czech Republic
49 Malaysia
50 Poland
51 Dominican Republic
52 Tunisia
53 Jamaica
54 Venezuela
55 Albania
56 Seychelles
57 Paraguay
58 South Korea
59 Senegal
60 Philippines
61 Mexico
62 Slovakia
63 Egypt
64 Kazakhstan 65 Uruguay
66 Hungary
67 Trinidad and Tobago
68 Saint Lucia
69 Belize
70 Turkey
71 Nicaragua
72 Belarus
73 Lithuania
74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
75 Argentina
76 Sri Lanka
77 Estonia
78 Guatemala
79 Ukraine
80 Solomon Islands
81 Algeria
82 Palau
83 Jordan
84 Mauritius
85 Grenada
86 Antigua and Barbuda
87 Libya
88 Bangladesh
89 Macedonia
90 Bosnia-Herzegovina
91 Lebanon
92 Indonesia
93 Iran
94 Bahamas
95 Panama
96 Fiji
97 Benin
98 Nauru
99 Romania
100 Saint Kitts and Nevis
101 Moldova
102 Bulgaria
103 Iraq
104 Armenia
105 Latvia
106 Yugoslavia
107 Cook Islands
108 Syria
109 Azerbaijan
110 Suriname
111 Ecuador
112 India
113 Cape Verde
114 Georgia
115 El Salvador
116 Tonga
117 Uzbekistan
118 Comoros
119 Samoa
120 Yemen
121 Niue
122 Pakistan
123 Micronesia
124 Bhutan
125 Brazil
126 Bolivia
127 Vanuatu 128 Guyana
129 Peru
130 Russia
131 Honduras
132 Burkina Faso
133 Sao Tome and Principe
134 Sudan
135 Ghana
136 Tuvalu
137 Ivory Coast
138 Haiti
139 Gabon
140 Kenya
141 Marshall Islands
142 Kiribati
143 Burundi
144 China
145 Mongolia
146 Gambia
147 Maldives
148 Papua New Guinea
149 Uganda
150 Nepal
151 Kyrgystan
152 Togo
153 Turkmenistan
154 Tajikistan
155 Zimbabwe
156 Tanzania
157 Djibouti
158 Eritrea
159 Madagascar
160 Vietnam
161 Guinea
162 Mauritania
163 Mali
164 Cameroon
165 Laos
166 Congo
167 North Korea
168 Namibia
169 Botswana
170 Niger
171 Equatorial Guinea
172 Rwanda
173 Afghanistan
174 Cambodia
175 South Africa
176 Guinea-Bissau
177 Swaziland
178 Chad
179 Somalia
180 Ethiopia
181 Angola
182 Zambia
183 Lesotho
184 Mozambique
185 Malawi
186 Liberia
187 Nigeria
188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
189 Central African Republic
190 Myanmar

#america-37th-worst-medical-care, #australia, #britain, #canada, #canadian-health-care, #canadian-healthcare-system, #england, #europe-has-best-health-care, #frane-best-health-care-on-earth, #national-health-service, #northern-ireland, #scotland, #south-africa, #south-america, #uk, #w-h-o, #wales, #world-health-organization, #world-health-organization-ranking, #world-health-rankings

` Scotland’s Independence Gathering Pace with Gains YES Votes Up to 37 percent and NO Votes Down to 47 percent ‘

#AceNewsServices – SCOTLAND – April 10 – Scotland’s ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) has their spring conference this weekend amid a surge in support for breaking the 307-year-old union with England.

Despite a number of warnings from the ‘No’ campaign in Westminster as well as businessmen and financiers that an Independent Scotland would be worse off, polls show support for their cause is gathering pace.

Last year, support for independence was at a stagnant 30 percent. It now stands at around 37 percent, with those who plan to vote ‘No’ down to 47 percent.

#ANS2014

#england, #scotland, #scottish-national-party-snp

` Same Sex Marriages in ` Britain ‘ becomes Legal at Midnight with many Couples Hoping to say their Vows at 12.01 GMT.

#AceUKNews – BRITAIN – March 29 – The first same-sex marriages in the UK will take place at the stroke of midnight tonight, after years of tireless campaigning by gay couples fighting to have their unions recognised by law.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in July last year, but it was not until 13 March that couples were able to register their intention to marry under the Act for the first time.

Campaigners who spent years battling for the legalisation of gay marriage will see the historic law enacted at midnight, despite objections from the Church of England and some members of the Conservative party.

Civil partnerships were introduced in England and Wales in 2005 to provide gay couples with the same legal rights as heterosexual partners, but campaigners continued fighting to have their marriages recognised by law.

A number of couples are hoping to claim the title of being the first ever to be married in Britain by trying to time it perfectly so their vows are said at 12.01am.

Read More: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/first-gay-marriages-in-the-uk-will-take-place-tonight-9220985.html

#ANS2014

#church-of-england, #england, #england-and-wales, #gay, #heterosexual, #wales

` National Teacher’s Strike takes place across ` England and Wales ‘ over Pay and Conditions ‘

#AceUKNews – BRITAIN – March 26 – A national teachers’ strike taking place across England and Wales on Wednesday is affecting 10,000 schools, including in London, Oxford city and Yorkshire, which have all been closed to their students.

The National Union of Teachers is protesting working conditions, the potential introduction of performance-related pay and pensions, with NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney labelling the industrial action a ‘last resort’, criticizing Education Secretary Michael Gove’s policies for ‘exhausting and demoralizing’ teaching staff.

Guardian – Daily Mail – Independent

#ANS2014

#britain, #england, #london, #michael-gove, #national-union-of-teachersnut, #oxford, #wales, #yorkshire

` Anti-Fracking Rallies take place across `UK ' across with largest in Manchester '

#AceUKNews says hundreds of protesters marched through Manchester, England on Sunday in what is believed to be one of the largest anti-fracking rallies to take place in the UK.

A recent survey carried out by the Manchester Evening News found that 73 percent of Greater Manchester residents are opposed to the controversial gas extraction technique – so on Sunday at noon, up to 1,000 demonstrators gathered in down-town to march from Piccadilly Gardens to Cathedral Gardens.

Many of the speakers and demonstrators included members of the long-standing Barton Moss protest camp in neighbouring Irlam, just south of Manchester.

There, energy firm IGas is carrying out test drilling to explore potential shale gas reserves beneath the green belt site at Barton Moss.

Football related placard at the anti-fracking rally in Piccadilly #mufc#mcfcpic.twitter.com/umnvikNMT9
— Chris Slater (@chrisslaterMEN) March 9, 2014

The purpose of the march in Manchester was to send a clear message to the government and energy companies that the vast majority of Britons oppose fracking,

Martin Porter, a spokesman for the Barton Moss camp and a member of Frack Free Greater Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News.
“The purpose of the day is to send a message out that we don’t want fracking in Manchester or anywhere else. At the moment, Barton Moss is at the centre of attention across the country but before long two thirds of people in England and Wales might find a #Fracking rig on their doorstep,” Porter said.

#SayNo2Fracking

#ANS2014

#barton-moss, #england, #greater-manchester, #igas-energy, #irlam, #manchester, #manchester-evening-news, #twitter

“Guantanamo `Moazzam Begg arrested in the `UK’ along with two men and a woman, suspicion of `Syria-Related-Terrorist’ Charge’s”

#AceUKNews says a former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has been arrested in the UK along with two other men and a woman.

The four are being held on suspicion of Syria-related terrorist charges in central England, according to police.

Begg was detained on suspicion of “attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas,” according to West Midlands police.

The police said the arrests were connected. “They were pre-planned and intelligence led.

There was no immediate risk to public safety,” said Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, head of investigations for the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit, according to a statement released Tuesday.

A police spokesperson told The Guardian that Begg’s name was confirmed “as a result of the anticipated high public interest” from the media.

#ANS2014

#england, #guantanomo-bay, #guardian, #moazzam-begg, #uk

`Jeremy Hunt trying sneak through a law to allow closure of any hospital within 40 days’

#AceBreakingNews says according to the latest reports and 38 degrees `Jeremy Hunt‘ is trying to sneak through a law which will give him the power to quickly close any local hospital without listening to local people.

No hospital is safe.

38degreesHe’s changing the rules after losing twice in court trying to close Lewisham Hospital against the wishes of local people, doctors and nurses.

The sweeping new law – the ‘hospital closure clause’ of the Care Bill – will give the government the power to shut down any hospital, in as little as 40 days, regardless of how well the hospital is performing. [1]

Jeremy Hunt is hell-bent on pushing this through.

And time’s not on our side. It could be as little as one week before MPs vote this sinister threat into a reality.

If we’re going to have a chance of stopping Jeremy Hunt we need to throw the kitchen sink at this. And we need to move fast. Vote now to decide whether or not we should launch a big campaign. Yes or No?

YES – WE SHOULD NO – WE SHOULDN’T

Our NHS is precious. And it’s important that we know hospitals, accident and emergency and maternity services are there for us in moments of crisis and joy. It’s terrifying to imagine the government having the power to close any hospital without hearing the wishes of the local community.

It’s going to be tough to stop Jeremy Hunt. But we’ve done it before – twice in Lewisham alone. And if enough of us are keen, there are exciting possibilities for next steps. And new tactics we could try which would take even Jeremy Hunt by surprise!

The 38 Degrees staff team sit down on Monday morning to plan out the week ahead and decide on how we split up staff resources.

The most important factor when making those decisions is what 38 Degrees members think.

Should trying to stop the hospital closure clause be 38 Degrees’ top priority over the next few weeks? Please vote now to help decide whether to launch a big campaign by clicking on the buttons below.

YES – WE SHOULD NO – WE SHOULDN’T

Thanks for being involved,

Becky, Ian, Rebecca, David and the rest of the 38 Degrees team

PS: A study of NHS foundation trusts in England has found the number of those in financial trouble has nearly doubled in a year from 21 to 39. Jeremy Hunt has shown before he’s willing to close good hospitals to bail out ones which are struggling – this law would allow him to do this, even if local patients and doctors were strongly against it. [3]

NOTES
[1] What is the Hospital Closure Clause. Read more on our blog here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/02/20/nhs-what-is-the-hospital-closure-clause/
[2] BBC News: Rise in NHS Foundation Trusts with deficit, says Monitor hospitals http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26299423

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#acenewsdesk, #aceuknews, #bbc-news, #england, #hospital, #jeremy-hunt, #nhs, #nhs-foundation-trust

#UK : ” Storms have been `Lashing our Coastline for Days’ Now `Sink Hole’s’ Open Up”

#AceNewsServices says that “A `Thirty Five Foot Sink-Hole’ has opened up in flooded UK‘ as storms lash coastline”

Published time: February 15, 2014 16:09
 
Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex, southern England February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Toby Melville)Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex, southern England February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Toby Melville)
A 35-foot-wide sinkhole has opened up in the storm-battered UK as two people have died in a wave of floods spreading havoc across the southern England. A total of 17 flood warnings, denoting a “danger to life,” are in place.

One woman died after part of a building crushed a car driving past Holborn tube station in central London. The concrete front of the structure collapsed onto her car late Friday night. A further two people in their mid-20s – who were also in the car – were injured and hospitalized as a result of the incident, which is being investigated by police.

“Sadly, despite extensive efforts to resuscitate her, a woman was pronounced dead at the scene,” a London Ambulance Service spokesperson said Saturday.

Ten more people were evacuated from buildings in the area as a precautionary measure.

A passenger on a cruise ship in the English Channel also died after a massive wave struck the British vessel Marco Polo as it headed toward Tilbury in Essex late Friday, smashing through a window, and injuring several passengers. The 85-year-old man was airlifted to hospital, but didn’t survive.

“My thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the people killed in the storms last night,” Labour Party chief Ed Miliband, the opposition leader, tweeted.

Strong waves posed a danger to the public in a seaside restaurant in Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire. Thirty-two people were evacuated when a tidal surge flooded the ground floor and windows were smashed by airborne shingle.

Members of the Army move a tree which was blown down in a flooded street in Egham, southern England, February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett) Members of the Army move a tree which was blown down in a flooded street in Egham, southern England, February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)

Over 140,000 homes nationwide are without power and severe weather warnings remain in place across the country, which has seen its wettest January in two and a half centuries. Gales of around 80 miles (129 km) per hour have swept through the country, according to the country’s Met Office.

Seventeen families were forced to evacuate their homes after a sinkhole measuring some 35 feet wide appeared in Hertfordshire on Saturday – the largest of three such sinkholes in the space of a week.

“Police are currently in attendance in Oatridge Gardens, Hemel Hempstead after receiving a report of a sink-hole appearing in the road at 7:30am,”Hertfordshire police said in a statement. They confirmed that the depth of the hole had reached 20 feet.

“The road, and surrounding roads, have been closed for the safety of residents,” police said.

The M2 – a motorway in the south-eastern county of Kent – also developed a sink-hole 15 feet deep earlier in the week, while a garden, also in Kent, saw another crater – 10 feet deep – opening up.

Low-lying areas in the south-west – specifically Somerset – have been submerged in flood water since December. Train lines have been subject to delays and cancellations – some because of landslides – while a sea wall in the southwest collapsed as storms battered the coast last week, forcing the closure of the specific part of track that lay behind it.

Police officers walk down a street in Egham after the River Thames burst its banks in southeast England February 14, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)Police officers walk down a street in Egham after the River Thames burst its banks in southeast England February 14, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)

The UK has not yet applied for financial help from the EU to cope with the crisis. Prime Minister David Cameron declared Tuesday that money would not be an issue when it came to dealing with the floods. He has denied that there is a political motivation – in an increasingly anti-EU atmosphere in right-wing UK politics – behind the absence of a call for aid, despite the country having had its 10 weeks from the “first damage caused” by a natural disaster.

“We are ready to consider the possibility of providing the UK with help – both in their struggle against the elements, and to contribute to the elimination of its effects – but for this we need to receive an official request from the British government, which we do not have,” the news service of the European Commission stated on Saturday, according to Itar-Tass.

“As Labour and the Lib Dem’s have killed the Wharton Bill, the one way to guarantee a referendum is to vote Conservative at the Gen Election.”

MEPs addressed a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Patterson, on January 8, reminding him that: “The fund has been given a budget of 414 million pounds in 2014 ($693 million), but your department must apply within 10 weeks of the date on which the natural disaster struck in order to be eligible. Several weeks have already gone by…We also urge you to ensure that the full grant is used for repairing the damage from the floods in accordance with EU rules and does not get diverted or returned by HM Treasury, as was allegedly the case with 79 million pounds ($132 million) of the 110 million pounds ($184 million) granted to the UK by the fund in 2007.”

On Friday, Welsh Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans reiterated her call to the UK government to apply to the EU Solidarity Fund which was set up with the intention of providing aid in such times of crisis, despite the deadline having technically passed.

“The EU Solidarity Fund was set up as an emergency fund to be used by countries hit by natural disasters to help them recover. Welsh citizens, like all EU citizens, pay into the Solidarity Fund…the UK government should have applied immediately,” Evans wrote in a statement.

RT

 

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#UK : “Storms Claim Lives as Ferocious Weather Continues Unabated”

#AceUKNews says latest night claimed the lives of an 85-year-old man and 49-year-old woman who were according to the BBC killed in separate incidents as southern England is lashed by heavy rain and winds up to 80mph.

Live Updates at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26205251

#bbc, #england, #killed, #lives, #winds

#UK : ” Suspicious Packages have been found at British Army Offices”

 

Slough

Slough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

#AceUKNews says `Suspicious Packages Found at British Army Offices’

 

 

 

Suspicious packages were found at three army recruitment centres across southern England on Thursday, counter-terrorism police said.

 

 

 

Bomb disposal units were sent to Brighton, Oxford and Slough to assess the packages and roads near to the offices were sealed off,

 

 

 

Reuters reported, citing a South East Counter Terrorism Unit statement.

 

 

 

Similar packages were earlier found this week at Army Careers offices in Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.

 

 

 

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#UK : ” Worst `Floods in Twenty Years’ leave `Thousands without Power’ across South West”

#AceWeatherNews `UK Storm’s Worst Flood’s in 20 Year’s Leave Thousands without Power’

Weather Alerts in South EastHeavy rain and winds have battered Britain, leaving thousands of homes without power in Wales and the south-west of England.

Electricity companies said Wednesday some 44,000 homes were experiencing intermittent power with another 5,000 homes being cut off from main power.

Britain’s Environment Agency has so far issued six severe flood warnings along the south coast in Cornwall and Dorset, meaning conditions represented a danger to life.

On the Isles of Scilly, there were reports of winds as strong as 146 kilometres per hour (91 miles per hour).

In the south-western county Devon, a section of the sea wall in the town Dawlish collapsed and left the main railway line suspended in mid-air.

The bad weather also caused disruptions to rail and air travel, with cancellations across much of the south.

This was the latest of the bad weather that has battered Britain since last December.

One of the worst affected areas is Somerset Levels in south-west England where thousands of hectares (acres) have been under water for more than a month.

Several villages in the Somerset Levels have been cut off and are only accessible by boat, as the area is experiencing the worst floods in 20 years.

Experts say the main reason for the wet weather is a predominance of west and south-west winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic.

CAH/AB/SL

 

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#AceUKNews `Dunlop Tyre Production’ Could be Moved to Europe’ from `Birmingham’ putting `Jobs’ at Risk”

#AceNewsServices says `Dunlop Tyre Making Could Leave Birmingham’

BBC News reported today that a manufacturer of `Dunlop Tyre Production’ could be moved away from Birmingham, putting more than 240 jobs at risk.

dunlop_tyre_factoryThe 125-year-old manufacturer said its lease on the Erdington factory would expire on 1 September and no other appropriate site was available locally.

Dunlop Motorsport Europe said it was looking instead at moving production from the site to other plants in its European Manufacturing Network.

The company said it understood it was a “difficult time” for employees.

Dunlop Brand Europe managing director Sanjay Khanna said its “strong preference” was to remain on its existing site but this “has not proved possible”.

He said: “For several months, we have also worked closely with local agencies and authorities to identify local Birmingham site alternatives.

“Unfortunately no other appropriate site was available locally which would have provided continuity of supply to our key customers.”

‘No loyalty’

The company said it had started informing affected employees at the Erdington site.

“It is important our attention is now focused on supporting the employees who will be affected,” the managing director added.

“We will work with our unions and employees throughout the consultation process to provide support.”

The firm said the proposal still remained subject to a consultation with union representatives.

However, Andy Taylor from the Unite union said he believed a decision over the plant had already been made and the union had not been properly consulted beforehand.

He added: “They’ve done it after the decision appears to be made and we’ll obviously be seeking legal advice on that.”

Dominic Hinks, from the GMB union, said he felt “really let down” by the news and that the company had been “disingenuous about how seriously it has considered the option of relocating in Birmingham”.

In September the Birmingham Post reported Dunlop Aircraft Tyres was given a £1.5m government grant to develop tougher and lighter aircraft tyres.

 

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#UKGovNews ” Universal Credit the Pro’s and Con’s of `Employer’ and `Employees’Rights”

#AcePressRelease Lord Freud `Discusses how Universal Credit' will help Employee's  work more hours and calls on Employers' to champion the new benefit' 

It’s a pleasure to be here today to tell you about Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is rolling out across the country now and building momentum as the number of claimants rises.

It’s a fundamental overhaul of our benefits system that puts work at its very centre. It aims to make work pay and most crucially – create a system that is flexible and responsive to the modern labour market.

This flexibility could be really important in increasing your productivity. It will give you the opportunity to meet business peaks and troughs using your existing staff and you should find more people willing to take on irregular work.

It is part of the government’s long-term economic plan to help more people into work and we’re incredibly pleased with last week’s figures showing a large drop in unemployment. But there’s much more to do. And Universal Credit is a big part of that.

Learning lessons – what claimants are saying

We’re learning lessons as we extend the new system and this is feeding into our plans for when larger numbers of people start to make claims.

Early indications tell us people are positive about Universal Credit. 65% of those who previously claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance think that Universal Credit is a better financial incentive to work and they spend twice as many hours per week looking for work compared to those on JSA. That’s real progress.

Roll-out schedule

Employers I’ve spoken to are welcoming the benefits Universal Credit will bring to their businesses. They say it will be easier to recruit and develop staff as their employees will be better prepared for work and be more flexible with their hours.

I’d like to tell you more about our long-term plans for Universal Credit: Over the next 2 years Universal Credit will expand in scope and scale. Current plans are that during 2016 all new benefit claims will be for Universal Credit instead of legacy benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit. The vast majority of remaining claimants will then move onto Universal Credit during 2016 and 2017.

For those of you with branches or bases in the north-west of England, you will be particularly interested to know that Universal Credit will start to expand to cover more of the north-west by the end of this year. Employers such as Blue Arrow and Premier Inn are already working with Job centre Plus to prepare for this.

Universal Credit is totally different to the current benefits and tax credits system. It supports claimants seamlessly, both in and out of work. The smooth taper means their Universal Credit payment decreases gradually as their earnings rise – so their overall income goes up as they work more. What this means is your employees will be able to agree to more work without worrying about what it means for their benefits – because under Universal Credit they will be better off working more.

Impact on employers

So let’s move onto the key benefits of Universal Credit for employers.

Firstly, we’ve abolished the 16 hour rule. This artificial tipping point where you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance and work up to a maximum of 16 hours prevents many people increasing their hours. They fear losing their safety net, their benefits – and if their hours change – being short of money whilst reclaiming benefit. Many of you have employees who are restricted in this way. Universal Credit has no such limits.

Secondly, the new PAYE in real time system has been designed to support Universal Credit payments. 99% of employers are now reporting their PAYE in real time every month. Not only does it prevent fraud, it ensures that every person who is in work on Universal Credit has their award automatically adjusted every month, based on these returns. So it’s absolutely crucial that you as employers report this accurately, as this will affect the payments of claimants.

Thirdly, Universal Credit claimants keep more money in their pocket for every pound they earn. That’s at least 35 pence in every pound compared to JSA claimants who cannot earn more than £5 a week before having it deducted against their benefits.

Blue Arrow told us they’ve had numerous candidates turn down offers of work as they would lose benefits, or were unwilling to sign off and sign back on again. They say Universal Credit will make it easier to recruit – particularly when it comes to part-time positions or for temporary work.

Finally, claimants apply for Universal Credit online and are paid monthly. This will include money for housing costs, childcare costs, and additional costs such as caring. So they’ll develop the budgeting skills and IT skills employers look for in their staff – and it will help them to adjust to monthly payments, the way most employers pay their staff.

What all of this means for employers is that you’ll have a more flexible workforce both in your existing employees and in potential recruits. I’m going to be upfront with you – it is certainly possible that those of you in certain sectors have built up HR structures around the 16 hour rule – such as care, retail or hospitality – and you will need to change them as this rule disappears and your employees can be much more flexible.

Specific groups in more detail

In fact, Universal Credit is already having a big impact on the kind of people you all employ – people with caring responsibilities, young people – and those for whom work has not just been worthwhile.

People for whom work is not attractive

It will help these people who have not found work – or working more – to be very attractive in the past. The current system can trap people on benefits – just the sheer complexity of moving off one benefit and onto another when going into work is a real barrier for some people. This complex system just does not reflect the modern workforce where hours can change from week to week.

Under Universal Credit, the benefit payment adjusts depending on earnings month-to-month. It also lets people take up short-time work without closing down their claim. This means they can accept a job for one month and know they won’t have to reclaim when that job ends.

Our Universal Credit claimants are already seeing the positives of this approach: Craig, a job seeker in Rugby said:

Universal Credit is much easier to use than Jobseeker’s as you don’t have the hassle of starting a rapid reclaim. Since starting my claim I have had part-time work and in the past you stress over the reclaim.

Another claimant Greg, who took up short-term work at Christmas, said:

It was good to know that my Universal Credit claim wouldn’t be closed. Anything that comes along – just give it a try!

Under Jobseeker’s Allowance, it would have been a difficult decision to take up these jobs. Now they have something else to put on their CV as they continue to look for full-time work.

Young people

Universal Credit will particularly help young people under 25. Nearly 7 out of 10 claimants receiving the new benefit are aged between 16 and 24. We’ve committed to increasing youth employment and Universal Credit is a key platform of this policy, alongside Youth Contract and apprenticeships, which the Minister for Employment spoke about earlier.

Under 25’s, who are currently excluded from Tax Credits, will receive this in-work support under Universal Credit. Getting a short-term job or a work experience placement is now so much easier as they’ll continue to claim Universal Credit – the payment will be adjusted automatically depending on how much they are earning.

Take Ben, one of our first Universal Credit claimants, aged 19 – after intensive preparation with his work coach, he started work experience for a fortnight and was taken on this month as an apprentice by Delta Laminates, a manufacturer in Wigan. He is one of the first Universal Credit claimants to qualify for a wage incentive.

Lone parents

Lone parents will benefit greatly in Universal Credit. There’s a whole range of benefits and add-ons designed for lone parents, but it is a complex system which hasn’t been working well enough to help them manage the transition into work.

Universal Credit will give them much greater financial incentives to move into work, and instead of claiming Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credits, they will receive one Universal Credit payment.

We have announced an additional £200 million in childcare payments for those needing it and we’re determined to find the best solutions for parents with childcare issues to help them once they are in work.

People with caring responsibilities

Employers are recognising that for those who have other commitments, Universal Credit will bring much-needed flexibility. B&Q are supportive of the changes it will bring for their staff, in particular those who have caring responsibilities. Carers will be able to flex their hours up and down around their commitments and earn more, rather than be restricted to a certain amount of hours.

Progression theory – in-work conditionality

We’re improving the way we set conditionality for job seekers. The new Claimant Commitment mirrors an employment contract, setting out clearly what a job seeker needs to do and the consequences of failing to meet their side of the deal. All Universal Credit claims include it and by spring it will cover all new Jobseeker’s Allowance claims.

Under Universal Credit, because there are no limits to the number of hours a person can work, we also need to include some in-work conditionality, so that unlike the current Tax Credit system, people are encouraged to progress and, with time, move off benefits. The in-work progression pilots are looking at the best ways of achieving this.

11 Job-centre Plus led pilots are running across England, Scotland and Wales. We are encouraging people to consider work beyond their first part-time job – to think about the skills they will need in the longer term.

You are a key component in this. We’ve ramped up apprenticeships and work incentives to help you train recruits in the skills that you need in your industries. As the economy grows, as labour market conditions improve and with your ongoing engagement we can ensure that once in work people can develop their skills and gradually become financially independent.

Engaging with employers, zero hours

I’m really pleased we’re engaging with you in the delivery of Universal Credit: I’m meeting with local employers in roll out areas; we’re working with you on in work conditionality and we’re consulting with trade bodies and employer organisations on how best to communicate Universal Credit to employers.

In the north-west we’re working with some large employers such as Premier Inn to specifically recruit Universal Credit claimants.

Some of you have asked about zero hours – these contracts support business flexibility, they provide entry to work for young people and give people the flexibility to combine work with other commitments, but they need to be fair. Universal Credit is not prescriptive about the hours people work, provided they are able to earn enough to support themselves and their families without undue reliance on state benefits, and a zero-hours contract may well be consistent with that, particularly where people have work flexibly for a number of employers.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has an ongoing zero hours employment contracts consultation which closes in March, so do take part and give your views on how zero hours can be sensibly regulated.

Conclusion

So we’re introducing Universal Credit gradually, learning lessons as we go along, freeing up the labour market and making sure work pays for every person, and we’re working with you to help people become financially independent.

Universal Credit is a fundamental reform – we hope you will champion it – to make the most of the benefits it offers – flexible, supported labour. We need to get more people into work. And Universal Credit will help people into work, stay in work and progress in work.

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#Fracking : Cameron Ignores Plea’s from “People About Environment and Health” and Bribe’s Council’s”

#AceNewsServices says according to the latest UK #Fracking news from the BBC also with Video

Councils that back #fracking will get to keep more money in tax revenue, David Cameron has said as he urged opponents to “get on board”.

The prime minister said English local authorities would receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes – rather than the usual 50%.

In a visit to a Lincolnshire fracking site, he predicted the process could support 74,000 jobs and reduce bills.

Against fracking 01

Against fracking 01 (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

But Greenpeace accused ministers of trying to “bribe councils”.

Mr Cameron’s announcement on business rates came as French company Total confirmed plans to invest about £30m to help drill two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire. It is the first major energy firm to invest in fracking in the UK.

The British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England.

But the process to extract it – called fracking, which is short for “hydraulic fracturing” – has led to protests, with environmentalists fearing the technique could cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage.

On Monday protesters at the Barton Moss fracking facility in Greater Manchester climbed on to lorries entering the site.

But Mr Cameron argued that the UK had the “strongest environmental controls” and pledged: “Nothing would go ahead if there were environmental dangers.

“Shale is important for our country,” he continued. “It could bring 74,000 jobs, over £3 billion of investment, give us cheaper energy for the future, and increase our energy security.

“I want us to get on board this change that is doing so much good and bringing so much benefit to North America. I want us to benefit from it here as well.”

Infographic showing shale gas extraction

Fracking involve’s drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

Whitehall officials said the business rates commitment would mean councils keeping up to £1.7m extra a year from each fracking site.

Separately, the mining industry has pledged to give communities £100,000 for test drilling and a further 1% of the revenues if shale is discovered, they added.

Energy minister Michael Fallon said councils could benefit by up to “£10 million per well-head” if shale gas was successfully extracted in their communities, through the 1% levy on revenues.

“How fracking recovers natural gas from shale”

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, said the announcement was a “step in the right direction” but any packages had to “fairly remunerate” those affected.

“Start Quote

This is a naked attempt by the government to bribe hard-pressed councils into accepting fracking in their area.”

According to Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace

“One percent of gross revenues distributed locally is not good enough; returns should be more in line with payments across the rest of the world and be set at 10%,” a spokesman said. “The community benefits of fracking should be enshrined in law, so companies cannot withdraw them to the detriment of local people.”

Responding to the LGA’s call for 10% of revenues, Mr Fallon said: “This is something obviously the industry will keep under review.”

For Labour, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said it was right for communities to share in the potential rewards from shale gas, but he called on the government to “get its priorities right”.

“Only by fully addressing legitimate environmental and safety concerns about fracking with robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring will people have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is a safe and reliable source that can contribute to the UK’s energy mix,” he said.

Friends of the Earth’s Jane Thomas argued that the new policy “highlights the depth of local opposition to fracking and the desperate lengths ministers are prepared to go to try to overcome it”.

‘New North Sea’

Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace added: “Having had their claims that fracking will bring down energy bills and create jobs thoroughly discredited, the government is now resorting to straight up bribery to sell their deeply unpopular fracking policy.”

St Anna's Road siteThe “fracking” technique to extract shale gas has proved controversial

The Institute of Directors welcomed the move on business rates, with chief economist James Sproule arguing: “Investment from Total is a vote of long-term confidence in the UK shale industry, and is a welcome sign that the government is creating the conditions necessary to maximise the potential benefits of a new domestic energy source.

UKIP energy spokesman Roger Helmer warned  that “all the financial benefits [of fracking] could be swallowed up by bureaucracy” and urged the government to create a sovereign wealth fund so that  fracking  profits “would ensure financial security for future generations”.

Map showing areas of the UK licensed for oil and gas exploration and areas under consideration for licensing

 

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