BRUSSELS: ‘ Scotland Would Have To Reapply to Join EU and NATO Officials Stress ‘

#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – (Opinion) September 15 – If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they’ll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe’s postwar prosperity and security – the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defence alliance.

In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from those Brussels-based organizations have stressed.

#ANS2014

#brussels, #european-union, #great-britain, #nato, #post-war, #scotland, #scottish, #united-kingdom, #us-led-nato-defence-alliance, #western-europes

` Vladimir Putin and David Cameron Agree by Telephone Crisis in Ukraine that Resolution Must be Peaceful ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – April 30 – Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed during a telephone conversation on Wednesday, April 30, that the crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved peacefully by diplomatic methods.

“The main attention during the conversation was paid to the crisis in Ukraine.

The President of Russia noted in particular that it would be important for the Kiev authorities to implement the Geneva Statement of April 17 unconditionally and promptly in order to de-escalate tensions in the country,” the presidential press service said.

“The leaders of Russia and Great Britain agreed that the acute political confrontation can only be resolved by peaceful methods,” it said.

Putin and Cameron agreed to continue their exchange of opinions.

The telephone conversation took place at the British prime minister’s initiative.

Russian News and Media Sources

#ANs2014

#russia, #british-prime-minister-david-cameron, #geneva, #great-britain, #kiev, #moscow, #russian-president-vladimir-putin, #ukraine

` Hemp and Poppy Fields in ` Crimea ' will be Destroyed according to Russia's FSKN after meeting of State Anti-Drug Committee '

#AceWorldNews – SIMFEROPOL – April 02 – Hemp and Poppy fields in Crimea will be destroyed, head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) Viktor Ivanov told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday after a visiting session of the State Anti-drug Committee.

“The meeting focused on issues related to the organisation of the work aimed at the destruction of the resource base of drug production – hemp and poppy grow here. It has been decided to destroy this resource base,” Ivanov said.

The meeting participants also made a decision to create in the Crimea the Anti-drug Commission that will be headed by the Crimean premier, Sergei Aksyonov.

MOSCOW – March 26 – Recently having banned the use of Methadone as it had become a criminal business in Ukraine. This was just another step closer to banning and removing drugs and drug lords from Crimea.
Ivanov had said its efficacy was not clinically proved, but there was hard statistics showing that the number of deaths from its use in the United States and Great Britain had increased considerably as addiction to methadone is much stronger than that to heroin.

Russian News

#ANS2014

#crimea, #great-britain, #hemp, #heroin, #methadone, #moscow, #poppy, #russian-federal-drug-control-service, #sergey-aksyonov, #simferopol, #united-states

` British Foreign Office favours direct negotiations between `Moscow and Kiev ‘ on situation in Ukraine ‘

#AceWorldNews – LONDON – March 26 – The British Foreign Office (BFO) favours direct negotiations between Moscow and Kiev on the situation in Ukraine, a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

The diplomat said the Foreign Office welcomed recent informal consultations of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia and renewed calls for direct talks between the two governments.

The Foreign Office also warned Russia against further destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, saying that otherwise Great Britain and Europe were ready to approve a new package of measures against Moscow.

#ANS2014

#british-foreign-office-bfo, #europe, #great-britain, #london, #moscow, #russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov, #ukrainian-foreign-minister-andrii-deshchytsia

` Donetsk Have Voted in an On-Line Spoof Referendum to Secede from Ukraine and Join the UK '

#AceWorldNews – DONETSK – March 25 – Ukrainians in the eastern city of Donetsk have voted in an on-line spoof referendum to secede from Ukraine and join the UK.

Residents wrote that their home-town was founded by a Briton, so the UK should seize this “decisive moment” and take them in.

“Donetsk is a British city! God Save the Queen,” they wrote on social networks in an appeal to “reunite” their home-town with Britain, local media reported.

The mock appeal follows the March 16 Crimean referendum that resulted in Crimea seceding Ukraine and joining Russia.

The link with Britain comes from the first ironworks in Donetsk, which were founded by a Welshman, John Hughes, at the end in the 19th century. The town was subsequently named Yuzovka, or Hughesovka.

“Glory to John Hughes and his town!”

“We are demanding a referendum on returning Yuzovka to its original bosom — Great Britain!” the appeal said.

It asked “fellow Britons” to seize this “decisive moment” while urging residents to vote on “where your children will live and what language they will speak.”

UK Local and Ukraine Media

#ANS2014

#britain, #british, #briton, #crimea, #crimean, #donetsk, #great-britain, #rt-news, #uk, #ukrainian, #yuzovka

` Russia does not hold on to the Group of Eight (G8) Lavrov said after talks with Kerry in the Hague ‘

#AceWorldNews – THE HAGUE – G7 – March 24 – Russia does to hold on to the G8 (Group of Eight), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in The Hague on Monday, March 24.

“The G8 is an informal club. There are no membership cards there and no one can be expelled from it by definition. It has played it role, as many think, because all economic and financial issues are discussed within the Group of 20.

The Group of Eight continued to exit mainly because it was a forum for discussion between the leading Western countries and Russia,” he said.

He recalled that the G8 had discussed such issues as the Iranian nuclear issue, nuclear security on the Korean Peninsula, Syria, and the Balkans.

“But there are actually other formats for discussing these issues – the U.N. Security Council, there is the Middle East Quartet to discuss the Middle East settlement, and the P1+5 to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue,” Lavrov said.

“If our Western partners think that this format has outlived itself, so be it. We do not hold on to it. We don’t think it will be a tragedy if it’s not convened. We can wait for a year or a year and a half, as an experiment, and see how we live without it,” the minister said.

Replying to questions from journalists on March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was still preparing the G8 summit in Sochi scheduled for June.

“We will be ready to host the summit with our colleagues. If they do not want to come – so be it,” he said.

He stressed that Russia’s actions were based on international law and bilateral obligations, unlike those of the United States which “always clearly formulates their own geopolitical and states interests and follow them with persistence… and draw the whole world in.”

When asked about possible sanctions from the West against Russia, Putin said that “It is primarily those who intend to apply them that need to consider their consequences.”

The president stressed that “any threat against Russia is counter-productive and harmful.”

Russia took over the presidency in the Group of Eight on January 1, 2014. The main event of its presidency – the G8 summit – was scheduled to be held in Sochi on June 4-5.

British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight if it refused to cooperate on de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine. Speaking at a meeting of the EU heads of state or government on March 6, Cameron stressed that “illegal actions committed by Russia cannot pass without a response.”

The EU leaders agreed to suspend negotiations on a more liberal visa regime for Russians, to stop work on a comprehensive new agreement on relations between Russia and the EU, and to pull out of all preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi in June.

“And if Russia does not rapidly engage in direct talks with the Ukrainian government to find a solution to this crisis, we have been clear that we will go further,” Cameron warned, adding that the leaders had tasked the European Commission to start work on additional measures, including travel bans and asset freezes.

He noted that “situation in Ukraine remains highly precarious – the slightest miscalculation could see it spiral out of control” and issued “a very clear warning to President Putin that he must not destabilise the situation further.”

“If Russia does not change course, the statement issued today now makes clear that there will be severe and far reaching consequences in areas such an energy, trade, and financial relations,” he said.

On March 9, Putin had telephone conversations with Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The conversations continued discussion on the highly complex social and political situation unfolding in Ukraine and also issues concerning the organisation of a referendum in Crimea on March 16, 2014.

Although the three leaders did express differences of opinion regarding the events taking place, they declared their common interest in de-escalating tension and returning the situation to normal as soon as possible,” the presidential press service said.

Putin noted, in particular, that the steps Crimea’s legitimate authorities were taking were in line with international law and seek to guarantee the lawful interests of the peninsula’s population.

The president also noted that the current authorities in Kiev had not taken any steps to rein in ultra-nationalist and radical forces in the Ukrainian capital and in many regions.

The three leaders exchanged views on possible international efforts to settle the crisis. They agreed to continue close working contacts, including at the foreign ministers’ level, the press service said.

On March 24, Cameron said the summit would not take place, and Merkel said the G8 format no longer existed.

The Group of Eight (G8) is an unofficial forum of the world’s major economies (Russia, the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, and Italy, with the participation of the EU Leaders) designed to coordinate approaches to the most pressing issues of global affairs.

The G8 does not operate as an international organisation, not being based on an international treaty or having a charter or permanent secretariat.

The decisions taken by the G8 are non-binding political commitments of the member states to follow the agreed logic of action in addressing specific issues.

The host country of the G8 annual summit is presiding over the forum throughout the year, coordinating the G8’s operating activities.

The rotation of the G8 Presidency starts with France (last presidency in 2011), followed by the U.S., the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada.

The EU does not host summits and cannot assume presidency.

Ace Related News
1. March 24 – 17.05 GMT – Extract – #AceWorldNews – THE HAGUE – March 24 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are holding a meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit(NSS) in The Hague. http://wp.me/p165ui-4vU

Russian News and Media Sources

#ANS2014

#canada, #crimea, #david-cameron, #eu, #france, #g7, #g8, #german-chancellor-angela-merkel, #germany, #great-britain, #group-of-eight, #hague, #italy, #itar-tass, #japan, #kiev, #russia-3, #uk, #ukraine, #united-states, #us, #vladimir-putin

` UK to send `Surveillance Drone ‘ of the `Royal Air Force ‘ to ‘ Perform Flights’ air-space of Poland and Romania ‘

#AceWorldNews UK will send a surveillance drone of the Royal Air Force to Ukrainian borders, the Defence Ministry of the UK reported on Tuesday.

The drone would perform flights in the air space of Poland and Romania, the representative of the ministry specified. He added that Great Britain detached its surveillance drone to take part in the NATO mission aimed at raising the patrolling level over the Baltic States.

As reported earlier, the NATO Council took the decision on starting regular flights of AWACS radar surveillance planes to monitor the situation in the Crimea and in Ukraine at large.

The planes will be departing from two air bases: from Waddington, Lincolnshire, and Geilenkirchen in western Germany near the German-Belgian border.

Earlier, Washington announced that in order to raise the defence capacity of Poland and the Baltic States the US would sent to these states up to 18 F-16 fighters and several aerial tankers.

ITAR-TASS

#ANS2014

#awacs, #baltic, #crimea, #gellenkirchen, #germany, #great-britain, #lincolnshire, #nato, #poland, #romanian, #royal-air-force, #uk, #ukraine, #ukrainian, #waddington, #washington

“Fifty Percent of Britain’s Population Obese by 2050 Leading to Massive Health Costs of Fifty Billion”

#AceHealthNews says according to latest health reports , the prognosis that only half the UK population will be obese by 2050 ”underestimate the true scale of the problem,” a new report has warned. The National Obesity Forum says Britain is in for the worst case obesity scenario.

What scientists call "Overweight" ch...

What scientists call “Overweight” changes with our knowledge of human health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is entirely reasonable to conclude that the determinations of the 2007 Foresight Report (i.e. that half the population might be obese by 2050 at an annual cost of nearly 50 billion pounds), while shocking at the time, may now underestimate the scale of the problem,” the report by the National Obesity Forumstated.

“Obesity and weight management are a direct cause of many health problems and are already placing enormous demands on the NHS at a time when health resources are stretched like never before. The current situation is unsustainable,” Professor David Haslam, the forum’s chair said.

Hard-hitting action is needed to tackle the problem, experts say.

Picture of an Obese Teenager (146kg/322lb) wit...

Picture of an Obese Teenager (146kg/322lb) with Central Obesity, side view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the UK Department of Health, most people are overweight or obese in England. This includes 61.9 percent of adults and 28 percent of children aged between 2 and 15.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ 2013 report on obesity stated that the UK had become “the fat man of Europe”.

An abundance of obesity has been linked to three major factors: Fast food, ready meals and lack of exercise. People munch their high-calorie guilty-food pleasures, such as burgers and fries, and drink their beers and milk shakes sitting in front of their TV’s and PCs. A sedentary lifestyle is turning families into couch potatoes, with obesity guaranteed. What’s even worse is that the disease boosts the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis and depression, just to name a few. According to the UK’s Faculty of Public Health, these diseases together cause over 10,000 obesity-related premature deaths annually in Britain.

“Studies and data published since 2007 demonstrate the increased prevalence of obesity, morbid obesity and wider weight management issues. They show how widespread poor nutrition and food choices are among the population, and how little knowledge exists about proper hydration and its importance,”David Haslam noted.

 

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#acehealthcarenews, #acehealthnews, #academy-of-medical-royal-colleges, #britain, #david-haslam, #department-of-health, #faculty-of-public-health, #great-britain, #health, #national-obesity-forum, #obesity, #public-health-england

“Warm Home Discount – Changes To The Scheme”

"Autumn Statement 2013"

“Autumn Statement 2013”

#AceNewsServices says following the recent “Autumn Statement” the UK Government has replied over the latest changes to ” The Warm Home Discount Scheme” set-up in 2011 for our Elderly and Vulnerable adults. Of course as with all changes they start of telling us how much they have spent, what they have done for people and also blowing their own trumpet.

As you read through the changes and click any highlighted links you will notice that at the very end it gives a list of all respondents in Annexe A and they are all energy companies, double glazing companies and businesses. It finally adds ” One private individual”  no name and no pact drill. 

Says it all: This is how it is at present just click link and PRINT

Anyway added a poll to this post with four simple answers 1. Agree 2.Disagree 3.Do Not Understand 4.My View

BACKGROUND: 

"Keep Warm This Winter"

“Keep Warm This Winter”

The Warm Home Discount began in April 2011 and provides assistance annually to around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households in Great Britain. The assistance is currently provided by the seven largest energy suppliers, each of which has over 250,000 domestic customer accounts. The main focus of the scheme is on electricity bill rebates and this winter over 1 million households have already received £135 off their bill.
The scheme has annual spending targets and the spending target for 2013/14 is £300m. If expenditure on the scheme is above or below the annual spending target, the target for the following scheme year is adjusted accordingly.

"Wrap Up Warm This Winter"

“Wrap Up Warm This Winter”

The largest element of the scheme is the Core Group, a subset of people receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. Participating suppliers have to provide specified electricity bill rebates to all their Core Group customers, identified through matching energy supplier data with Government-held data. However, suppliers do not have to pay all customers eligible for other parts of the scheme – known as the non-core spending. On the basis of our estimate of how many people will qualify for the Core Group each year, we estimate how much non-core spending suppliers have to carry out in order to meet the annual spending target. This year we estimated that Core Group spending would be £200m in 2013/14. Given a total spending target of £300 million we therefore notified Ofgem in February that the non-core spending obligation should be £100m. Ofgem then informed suppliers of their individual non-core spending obligations.

Since setting the non-core spending obligation, we have established that the number of people receiving the qualifying benefit for the Core Group is much lower than the original forecast used  to estimate Core Group spending. If we did nothing, then scheme spending would likely be
£266m this year with a consequently higher spending target next scheme year (£344m rather than £310m). This would have a negative impact on fuel poverty this scheme year and  potentially create delivery and compliance problems next year. Therefore, we wanted to enable a solution which would result in higher non-core spending this year than the original obligation we set.

" Get What You Are OWED"

” Get What You Are OWED”

The Warm Home Discount began in April 2011 and provides assistance annually to around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households in Great Britain. The assistance is currently provided by the seven largest energy suppliers, each of which has over 250,000 domestic customer accounts. The main focus of the scheme is on electricity bill rebates and this winter over 1 million households have already received £135 off their bill. The scheme has annual spending targets and the spending target for 2013/14 is £300m. If expenditure on the scheme is above or below the annual spending target, the target for the following scheme year is adjusted accordingly. The largest element of the scheme is the Core Group, a subset of people receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. Participating suppliers have to provide specified electricity bill rebates to all their Core Group customers, identified through matching energy supplier data with Government-held data. However, suppliers do not have to pay all customers eligible for other parts of the scheme – known as the non-core spending. On the basis of our estimate of how many people will qualify for the Core Group each year, we estimate how much non-core spending suppliers have to carry out in order to meet the annual spending target. This year we estimated that Core Group spending would be £200m in 2013/14. Given a total spending target of £300m, we therefore notified Ofgem in February that the non-core spending obligation should be £100m. Ofgem then informed suppliers of their individual non-core spending obligations. Since setting the non-core spending obligation, we have established that the number of people receiving the qualifying benefit for the Core Group is much lower than the original forecast used to estimate Core Group spending. If we did nothing, then scheme spending would likely be £266m this year with a consequently higher spending target next scheme year (£344m rather than £310m). This would have a negative impact on fuel poverty this scheme year and potentially create delivery and compliance problems next year. Therefore, we wanted to enable a solution which would result in higher non-core spending this year than the original obligation possible that they could spend more and subsequently reduce their non-core spending  obligation for 2014/15.

The Consultation:

We received 12 responses to the consultation and the respondents are listed at Annex A. We had discussed the issue and the proposal with participating suppliers and Ofgem prior to publishing the consultation.

What respondents said: 

We asked two questions in the consultation: 

Q1. Do you agree with the proposal to change the Warm Home Discount Regulations to allow suppliers to spend up to 34% more this year on the non-core elements of the scheme, thereby reducing next year’s obligation by a corresponding amount? All 12 respondents supported the proposal to allow suppliers to spend up to 34% more this year on the non-core elements of the scheme thereby reducing their obligation for next scheme year by a corresponding amount. However, several responses to this question went beyond the proposal in the consultation. In particular, the main focus of responses from suppliers was on the potential delivery problems they may face in 2014/15 as a result of a significantly higher Broader Group spending requirement.

Department of Work and Pensions Some suppliers highlighted that increasing the scale of spending on the Broader Group would add considerable cost to their administration and verification processes, and thus impact consumer bills. One supplier was concerned about the impact of delays and on-going changes to Universal Credit on suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group customers. In view of these concerns, several suppliers asked Government to consider further changes to the scheme. There were three changes proposed, each of which would require further amendment to the policy: raising the spending cap on industry initiatives; increasing the value of the rebate and increasing the size of the Core Group.

  1. Raising the spending cap on industry initiatives Several respondents felt that the current spending cap of £30m on industry initiatives should be raised. They argued that industry initiatives provide a scalable approach to addressing the underspend which would be more cost-effective to deliver than identifying additional Broader Group customers. Their view was that this would ensure vulnerable customers will receive financial assistance sooner, rather than later.
  2. Raising the value of the rebate Some respondents felt that raising the value of the rebate offered to Core Group and Broader Group customers should be considered to offset the Core Group underspend and to make delivery easier in 2014/15.
  3. Increasing the size of the Core Group.

A proposal from several respondents was to broaden Core Group eligibility criteria. Again, the key aim would be to increase Core Group spending in year 4 of the scheme and thereby reduce the non-core spending obligation. One respondent asked that Government consider ways of increasing the uptake of Pension Credit, for example funding an awareness campaign. A significant proportion of people believed to be eligible for Pension Credit do not claim it, thereby also missing out on a Core Group rebate. Other issues, less focused on short-term changes to the scheme Regulations, were also raised in responses. A key concern for some suppliers was the impact of finding and verifying more Broader Group customers. One supplier raised a concern on impact of the ongoing changes and delayed introduction of Universal Credit on Suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group eligibility. Some respondents suggested that wider data-sharing powers to identify and verify eligible
Broader Group customers would reduce costs and speed up verification and eligibility processes. One respondent also included a suggestion that Government consider ways to use communications about the scheme to attract more Broader Group customers.

Finally, several energy suppliers requested that Government improved its forecasting of Core Group spending in order that an issue of this magnitude does not arise again.

Q2. If you are a participating energy supplier, please indicate how much extra spending above your current non-core obligation you expect to carry out this scheme year? Please indicate if you would like this information to be confidential. Whilst some suppliers have indicated their intent to extra spending above their current non-core obligation, they were not able to provide a forecast. Two suppliers, British Gas and Eon, have indicated spending above their current non-core obligation. British Gas estimates overspending by 10% while Eon estimates an additional
15,000 Broader Group rebates above their obligation.

A proposal from several respondents was to broaden Core Group eligibility criteria. Again, the key aim would be to increase Core Group spending in year 4 of the scheme and thereby reduce the non-core spending obligation. One respondent asked that Government consider ways of increasing the uptake of Pension Credit, for example funding an awareness campaign. A significant proportion of people believed to be eligible for Pension Credit do not claim it, thereby also missing out on a Core Group rebate. Other issues, less focused on short-term changes to the scheme Regulations, were also raised in responses. A key concern for some suppliers was the impact of finding and verifying more Broader Group customers. One supplier raised a concern on impact of the ongoing changes and delayed introduction of Universal Credit on Suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group eligibility. Some respondents suggested that wider data-sharing powers to identify and verify eligible
Broader Group customers would reduce costs and speed up verification and eligibility processes. One respondent also included a suggestion that Government consider ways to use communications about the scheme to attract more Broader Group customers. Finally, several energy suppliers requested that Government improved its forecasting of Core Group spending in order that an issue of this magnitude does not arise again.

Q2 If you are a participating energy supplier, please indicate how much extra spending above your current non-core obligation you expect to carry out this scheme year? Please indicate if you would like this information to be confidential. Whilst some suppliers have indicated their intent to extra spending above their current non-core obligation, they were not able to provide a forecast.  
Two suppliers, British Gas and Eon, have indicated spending above their current non-core obligation. British Gas estimates overspending by 10% while Eon estimates an additional 15,000 Broader Group rebates above their obligation.

Annex A.  

List of respondents to the consultation

Energy suppliers

British Gas
EDF
EON
RWE Npower
Scottish Power
Scottish and Southern Energy

Other

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)
Energy Action Scotland
Energy UK
Islington Council
Glass and Glazing Federation
One private individual

#acenewsservices, #autumn-statement, #carbon-emission-reduction-target, #core-group, #customer, #fuel-poverty, #great-britain, #office-of-gas-and-electricity-markets, #ofgem, #poverty, #streaming-simd-extensions, #universal-credit, #warm-home-discount