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Senior UK politicians talk at Confederation of British Industry conference

Monday, November 21, 2016

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn both spoke at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference today, talking about Britain after its planned ‘Brexit’ from the European Union, and future plans for business.

May formally announced plans to cut corporation tax from 20%, without giving details, in order to discourage businesses from leaving the UK post-Brexit. Corbyn said in his speech he believes investment by the government on things such as infrastructure improvements is shared ground between Labour and businesses but “businesses will need to contribute” meaning “some increase in corporation tax” under his administration.

Theresa May also toned down plans to put ordinary workers on corporate boards, a campaign promise from running to become leader of the ruling Conservative Party. She said she is working to create a “model that works for everyone” after consulting firms and the general public, with possible plans including panels or advisory committees. The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress responded by saying “Theresa May made a clear promise to have workers represented on company boards […] This is not the way to show that you want to govern for ordinary working people.” Jeremy Corbyn also criticised this announcement saying “we need to see genuine employee representation at board level, which the prime minister promised, but I see is already backing away from.”

Theresa May also announced she wishes to spend £2Bn annually in research and development, as well as plans to start a small business research initiative to look into helping innovators get ahead. Jeremy Corbyn however said he plans to spend 3% of the UK’s GDP on R&D, significantly more than specified by May.

Jeremy Corbyn’s plans for the UK’s economy focussed on investment. Speaking at the conference he said “First and foremost, a Labour government will prioritise investing in our economy.” As well as the investment in research, Corbyn also promised funds for areas including house building and infrastructure. This would be controlled by the proposed “National Investment Bank”. Corbyn said “Our National Investment Bank will deliver long term strategic investment in our under-powered infrastructure and provide the patient finance that our businesses need across the country.”

May told the conference she would not give “a running commentary on every twist and turn” of the Brexit negotiations. This comes after allegation in the press that she she has no plan to keep under wraps, a claim that has been backed up by an alleged leaked internal government memo that talks about a “lack of overall negotiation strategy” within government.

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Australian PM announces $1.8 billion mental health plan

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced a five year plan costing AU$1.8 billion to address issues with the country’s mental health system. The plan follows a commitment made at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in February.

The federal government will improve access to clinical and health services, increase the number of mental health professionals in Australia, create mental health work teams consisting of GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses, provide respite services for people suffering mental illness and their carers, and introduce new programs for community awareness.

Mr Howard said the plan addresses issues which fall into its area of responsibility. He hopes that the states and territories will complement the federal government’s package by investing in supported accommodation, hospital and emergency services, crisis care services and the provision of mental health care in gaols.

Under the federal government’s plan, psychologists will play a greater role in the mental health system. From November, Patients will be able to claim a rebate from Medicare (Australia’s universal healthcare scheme) for the services of psychologists if they have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist. At present patients pay around $100 for a standard 30 minute consultation.

Mr Howard claims that there is an issue for mental health professionals in treating patients with a substance abuse problem and mental illness. To address this the government will provide extra funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

The government will increase the mental health workforce by funding an additional 400 mental health nursing and 200 clinical psychology places. 900 personal helpers and mentors will also be employed.

The government has promised increase funding for telephone counselling and suicide prevention services, living skills programs and additional support for those with a mental illness who are having difficulty finding or keeping work.

The government will also provide 900 personal helpers and mentors, increase funding for living skills programs and provide additional employment assistance to those who have difficulty finding or retaining employment due to their illness.


There are times when your car may develop engine problems that force you to have the entire engine replaced. This happens often when you drive a car without engine oil and the engine ceases to run. Under such situations, it is impossible to change parts and restore the engine to its normal working condition.

Assuming that you have no option but to replace the entire engine, you must weigh your options between buying a new engine and going for a Used Engine St. Paul MN. There are pros and cons of using either of the engines. If you decide to buy a new engine, you will have to part with more money because they are mostly expensive. On the other hand, you may opt for a Used Engine St. Paul MN which is relatively cheaper but with other probable problems.

Before you decide to choose either of the above options, you need to look at many things. They include your budget for the project as well as the value of the car in question among many other things. Buying used engines is a complex affair that needs the help of a professional mechanic to screen the engine for any problems.

Among the things to look at when buying a used engine include the mileage and the overall mechanical condition of the engine. The seller always decides on the price of an engine by looking at its capacity and mileage. An engine that has done several miles will cost less than one that is yet to cover any distance. The mileage is a reason that determines even the price of a used car.

In some cases, it is advisable to have the Used Engine St. Paul MN fitted into your car so that you can drive off knowing everything is well. A good reputation is very important when dealing with used items and it is not any different when dealing with engines.

It is always advisable to buy from dealers who have many engines in their inventory to choose from. That way, you do not have to worry if one does not work because they can easily replace it. Other factors that you need to consider when buying Used Transmission is the cost. You should start by finding out the cost of a new one so that you can bargain for a better deal.

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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

Monday, November 28, 2011

The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.

Bush has a rehearsed tele-conference with US troops in Iraq

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Bush has a rehearsed tele-conference with US troops in Iraq

21 Feb

Friday, October 14, 2005

The live presidential video teleconference held Thursday by George Bush with U.S. troops stationed in Iraq drew fire from critics and even some Pentagon military leaders. Pentagon officials defended the teleconference, saying that the soldiers stated their own opinions.

An on-camera shot before the teleconference went live showed Allison Barber, the deputy assistant defense secretary, coaching 10 soldiers on broad topics to which the president would want questions directed; then rehearsed their actions on camera and reminded them of what questions were assigned to each soldier.

“OK, so let’s just walk through this,” Barber said. “Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?”

“Captain Smith,” Kennedy said.

“Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?” she asked.

“Captain Kennedy,” the soldier replied.

Later on in the discussion:

“If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?” Barber asked.

“That’s going to go to Captain Pratt,” one of the soldiers said.

During the live conference, when asked about Iraq’s preparations for their constitutional referendum, 1st Lt. Gregg Murphy of Tennessee said: “Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. … Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We’re really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they’re doing everything.”

When asked about Iraq’s training of security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., a Public Relations officer at the 42nd Infantry Division HQ, said to Bush: “I can tell you over the past 10 months, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. … Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations.”

The event was coordinated with the Department of Defense, according to White House press secretary Scott McClellan. “I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect,” he said. He also said that the troops were expressing their own thoughts. With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said.

Later, Pentagon officials denied that the conference was staged. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said “On behalf of these fine young men and women, we certainly regret any perception that they were told what to say. It is not the case,” adding that “The soldiers were advised as to the issues they should expect to discuss, and decided among themselves who would speak to each issue as it may arise.”

The director of Operation Truth, a New York-based advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, described the event as a “carefully scripted publicity stunt”.

“If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can’t do it in a nationally televised teleconference,” Paul Rieckhoff said. “He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that’s not a bunch of captains.”

Sgt Ron Long, one of the troops interviewed, denied that it was scripted on his blog, writing “First of all, we were told that we would be speaking with the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush, so I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us NOT to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President.

“We were given an idea as to what topics he may discuss with us, but it’s the President of the United States; He will choose which way his conversation with us may go.

“We practiced passing the microphone around to one another, so we wouldn’t choke someone on live TV. We had an idea as to who we thought should answer what types of questions, unless President Bush called on one of us specifically.”

3 Ways An Attorney Can Help You Win A Worker’s Comp Claim In Minneapolis

byAlma Abell

When you are injured on the job, it can be a long road to recovery, and an even longer one if you do not seek the right kind of help you require to win any workers comp cases. Be sure to hire an attorney that is knowledgeable in the area of workers comp, so you can get you the best outcome possible. There are many ways in which an attorney can help you; you just have to know them in order to get the most out of your money and out of your efforts.

Gather All Medical Records

Medical records are incredibly important to winning any Worker’s Comp case in Minneapolis. When you are injured, go immediately to the doctor to be assessed. That way, you attorney can gather these documents as well as previous medical records to show your health condition both before and after the accident occurred. By securing your medical history, your attorney has a great deal of evidence to help you in your case.

They Have Experience

Lawyers go through years of hard work and classes to become certified to be your attorney. Not only that, but most likely they will specialize in one particular area that they enjoy defending. If you select a workers comp attorney, then they will have an increased knowledge and skill set of debating your particular case in court. When it comes to Worker’s Comp in Minneapolis, don’t sell yourself short on an experienced attorney.

Know the Law

Your attorney already knows every detail of the law, but you need to brush up on your education of the law as well. You don’t have to know every aspect like your lawyer does. Still, you should know the basics of what exactly your state’ laws say. That way, you and your attorney can converse on a more personal level in order to get the results that you want.

An attorney has the great ability to help you concerning your work injuries. Be sure to invest in one, so that they can help you fight for justice. There are so many ways that they can assist you, so do not miss the opportunity for hiring an attorney.

Maid’s escape from high-rise leads to crackdown on agencies in Malaysia

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Maid’s escape from high-rise leads to crackdown on agencies in Malaysia

19 Feb

Friday, June 22, 2007

Following the dramatic escape of an Indonesian housemaid from a 15th-floor apartment in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian government has suspended the licences of 19 housemaid agencies, following complaints of abuse and unpaid wages.

The move by the Home Ministry yesterday comes after an Indonesian woman named Ceriyati Dapin climbed from a 15th-floor Sentul apartment on a makeshift cloth rope to escape an employer she said was abusive. In the incident last Saturday, the 33-year-old woman made it to the parapet of the 12th floor when she became fearful and froze. She was eventually rescued by the fire brigade. She said she had been repeatedly beaten and starved by her employer.

The maid agency that sent Ceriyati to her employer was a company called Kemas Cerah, and it is among the agencies suspended. The employer was arrested on Monday and remains in custody while police investigate Ceriyati’s claims, a police spokesman told the Associated Press.

“The maid was supposed to be sent to an employer in Terengganu but was indiscriminately sent to another employer,” Home Minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

In Indonesia, where newspapers have been carrying the story on their front pages, the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta assured the Indonesian government it was doing all it could to investigate the case.

In addition to suspending the agencies, 85 agency owners and managers have been blacklisted, and will be prevented from opening new operations under different names, the ministry said.

“They have until the end of this month to appeal the suspension and if they fail to do so, their permits will be immediately terminated,” Radzi was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

This was the first time the ministry has taken such an action on maid abuse, Radzi added.

An industry group, the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies, or Persatuan Agensi Pekerja Asing (PAPA), said it was shocked by the government’s move, and that it could inconvenience maids.

“We panicked when news of this came out. No show-cause letters were given, nor were we informed by the ministry beforehand on the decision,” the group’s president, Raja Zulkepley Dahalan, was quoted as saying by The Star. “In addition to this, 12 of those agencies are registered under Papa, and have a good track record,” Raja Zulkepley said.

The suspensions will leave maids in a lurch, Raja Zulkepley said.

“Almost every day, about 200 maids from various countries, especially from Indonesia, make their way into the country,” he told The Star. “With these 19 agencies under suspension, these maids are all now stuck in immigration and others in hostels, unable to move anywhere. We dare not even think about the other maids who are coming tomorrow, or the day after.”

Malaysia relies heavily on migrant labour, mainly Indonesians, for such jobs as domestic servants, construction and plantation work.

Around 1,200 Indonesian housemaids run away from their employers every month, according to the Associated Press, often because of abuse, unpaid salaries or harsh working conditions.

The government has established a 24-hour hotline for reports on maid abuse. The hotline numbers are 03-8880 1455 and 03-8880 1399.

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

19 Feb

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

Efficient Los Angeles Airport Transportation Alternative

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Los Angeles International Airport is one of the most high traffic, active airports in the world. Hundreds of flights are arriving and departing every day. One can only image the amount of people coming in and out of the airport.

Arriving at Los Angeles airport is one thing, but finding transportation is a whole different story. Los Angeles Airport Transportation is frequently a hassle for travels who are not very familiar with the airport and terminals. Most people find themselves already defeated when it comes to thinking about traveling to the airport to catch their flights. The hassle of finding a friend or family member to drive you to the airport will surely drive you insane before you even board you flight. Choosing a Yellow Cab as an alternative choice of Los Angeles Airport Transportation will help lift some of the stress of traveling off your shoulders.

Leave it to the cab drivers to get you to the airport, the only thing you have to worry about is checking in and boarding your flight. Having one less thing to worry about will assist in make sure your time traveling runs as smoothly as possible.

Using Los Angeles Airport Transportation services such as Yellow Cabs offers travelers a reliable source of transportation to ensure they are on time for their flight. Drivers are reliable and know the area well so you do not have to worry about getting lost or being dropped off at the wrong terminal for a departing flight. You can expect the same type of service if you are arriving and need to be transported to where you will be staying in the city. Reliable, fast and convenient service is important and that is what you can count on when choosing to use any of the Los Angeles Airport Transportation services offered. This is a great alternative to burdening one of your relatives to come and pick you up or drop you off to the airport.

Using a yellow cab will benefit you as a traveler because they are trustworthy and run on your schedule. Reliable service is always the drivers priority and you can trust you will be on time for your flight.

Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

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Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

19 Feb

Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to halt all new Arctic exploratory oil drilling applications until 2011. The response is believed to be caused in part by the two current oil spill disasters (that of the Deepwater Horizon Incident and more recently the Alaska oil pipeline malfunction). However, Begich is not happy about the actions taken by the White House.

“I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Begich claims.

Last September, the state of Alaska made a public notice about Shell’s desire to drill off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, placing experimental drilling rigs at two drill site location: “Torpedo” and “Sivulliq”.

“Shell is committed to undertaking a safe and environmentally responsible exploration program in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in 2010,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin E. Odum to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS).

Odum follows with, “I am confident that we are ready to conduct the 2010 Arctic exploratory program safely and, I want to be clear, the accountability for this program rests with Shell.”

Chuck Clausen, director of the Alaska project at the Natural Resources Defense Council is not so optimistic: “Hazards present in the Arctic can include frigid temperatures, presence of sea ice, gale-force winds, intense storms and heavy fog … The potential for loss in the Arctic is great.”

Odum believes that the climate in the arctic will make any spill easier to clean up because, “Arctic conditions create differences in responding to oil in cold and ice conditions. Differences in evaporation rates, viscosity and weathering provide greater opportunities to recover oil. In Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response by slowing oil weathering, dampening waves, preventing oil from spreading over large distances, and allowing more time to respond.”

However, Clausen believes that there are no current systems to remove oil from icy ocean waters.

This is not the first time that President Obama’s administration has taken the environmentally cautious path in Alaska. The President put Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas exploration until 2017. Bristol Bay currently is one of the top salmon fishing grounds in the state.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to give a speech at Thursday’s White House address, regarding the suspension of Arctic oil drilling projects.