Two journalists discharged in return for guilty plea on one count

first_img Sierra LeoneAfrica Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Help by sharing this information Reports Sierra LeoneAfrica Follow the news on Sierra Leone March 12, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists discharged in return for guilty plea on one count to go further News November 27, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News March 29, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders takes note of the Freetown high court’s decision on 10 March to caution and discharge Independent Observer managing editor Jonathan Leigh and editor Bai Bai Sesay after pressuring them into pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defame the president.“Sierra Leone’s justice system took more than ten hearings to drop this case,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The judge’s decision to discharge the journalists ends a six-month-long ordeal but their being forced to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge is no mark of honour for the country’s institutions.“The government’s policy of harassing the media is a threat to fundamental freedoms. The authorities use criminal defamation and sedition charges to intimidate journalists and then allow the proceedings to drag on in order to keep up the pressure.”The proceedings against Leigh and Sesay were finally abandoned on 10 March after more than 10 court appearances since October, in which they faced charges on 26 counts of criminal libel, sedition and conspiracy in connection with an editorial critical of President Ernest Bai Koroma.All but one of the 26 charges, conspiracy to commit libel against President Koroma, were dropped prior to the final hearing. But Leigh and Sesay were pressured into pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge, in return for which the judge did not pass sentence and just issued a caution.According to Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), the judge said in a final warning to journalists, that “truth is not a defence in seditious libel and that they must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the publication in question is in the public interest.” They judge did not say how “public interest” should be defined.Leigh and Sesay were arrested on 18 October, a day after publishing the offending editorial – headlined, “Who is molesting who, the President or the VP?” – and were not released until 4 November after paying bail of 500 million leones (85,000 euros) each.Sierra Leone is ranked 72nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, 10 places lower than in the 2013 index.———————————–24.10.2013 – Editorial criticizing president prompts multiple proceedingsReporters Without Borders is alarmed by the way the authorities seem bent on hounding Jonathan Leigh, the managing editor of the Independent Observer, an opposition daily, and Bai Bai Sesay, its editor, over an editorial critical of President Ernest Bai Koroma.The two journalists have been detained ever since their arrest by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on 18 October, a day after they published the editorial, which was headlined: “Who is molesting who, the President or the VP?”“We call on the courts to free these two journalists immediately and unconditionally, as they have been held arbitrarily for seven days in appalling conditions,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We are also amazed by all the different judicial and administrative proceedings in this case. Why was the CID, a police unit that is supposed to investigative major crimes, the first to intervene? And, as well as the civil suit brought by the ruling party on the president’s behalf, why is the Independent Media Commission also trying to get in on the act?“What is the reason for such determination to persecute two journalists who just did their job by publishing an opinion piece? We call on the government to comply with its international obligations to respect freedom of expression and guarantee press freedom.”The head of the CID initially said Leigh and Sesay were to be prosecuted under section 33 of the 1965 Public Order Act, which concerns libel. It was later reported that they had been charged with “inciting treason” under article 17 (3)(a) of the constitution. The change to a more serious charge is indicative of the level of political influence over the investigation.At the same time, the ruling All People’s Congress has brought a libel suit against Leigh and Sesay on President Koroma’s behalf. Immediately after the article’s publication, the President demanded the publication of a retraction and an “unreserved apology” but they were arrested before they had time to respond.And, finally, the Independent Media Commission (ICM), the government’s media regulatory body, issued a summons to the two journalists on 22 October to appear for questioning.Moses Kargbo, the secretary-general of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) told Reporters Without Borders that a judge refused to release on bail Leigh and Sesay when they appeared in court yesterday afternoon. The journalists were charged with “seditious libel”. The reading of the charges lasted over an hour. Another hearing is scheduled for 29 October. Meanwhile, they are to be held in Freetown’s main prison.Attempts to intimidate the media are continuing. The Independent Observer’s printer as well as journalists with Global Times and Salone Times have been summoned for questioning by the police.Sierra Leone is ranked 61st out of 178 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.Photo : President Koroma Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa RSF_en News April 6, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Limerick firms are getting leaner

first_img Previous articleMinister agrees schedule for replacement of Garda StationNext articleNew Mayor gets planning for Limerick of the future Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie TAGSbusinessLEOLEO LimerickLocal Enterprise Office Exercise With Oxygen Training at Ultimate Health Clinic LEO Limerick is offering one-to-one support for business owners Ann & Steve Talk Stuff | Episode 29 | Levelling Up Winners of 2021 Limerick Businesswoman of the Year Awards Announced WhatsApp Email Print Linkedincenter_img Advertisement NewsBusinessLimerick firms are getting leanerBy Staff Reporter – July 2, 2018 1323 Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEO Limerick announce student finalists for Enterprise Programme National Final Limerick Local Enterprise Office Brexit Supports for your Business meeting in Adare.Photo: Keith WisemanEIGHT Limerick companies have embraced the principles of ‘Lean for Business Growth’ with the help of Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick.The participating businesses developed new procedures and discovered practical ways to improve their business activities and sales with some resulting in new job creation opportunities.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up These small businesses have now taken key steps to adopt new business practices and accelerate the growth of their businesses having completed the programme organised by the LEO Limerick.This is the second programme of this nature run in the last year and the rewards for the participating companies have far exceeded their expectations. Due to the high level of demand, it is intended to run the course again in September.LEO Limerick senior development officer Bernie Moloney said they were delighted to have been able to facilitate the programme to support small businesses who are investing in their future growth and improve their competitive positions.“This is one of the programmes we can provide local companies with, to support them in relation to preparing for Brexit and the impact it may have on their business. Other supports include financial assistance for trading online (with the online trading vouchers) and supports to explore and develop new export market opportunities (micro exporters grant).”A regional event in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Offices in Clare and Tipperary is arranged for later in the year which will be focused on supporting the small business sector to examine the potential for export to other European Markets.LEO Limerick supports the indigenous small business sector employing up to ten employees in Limerick City and County.Combining the resources of the Local Enterprise Office and Limerick City and County Council’s business support unit, LEO Limerick is one of 31 LEOs around Ireland that are tasked with delivering services and support to businesses within a framework set by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and overseen by Enterprise Ireland.Read more business news in the Limerick Post Business section.by Tom [email protected] Facebook National Women’s Enterprise Day show 20,500 female entrepreneurs have taken up supports this yearlast_img read more

New Life Christian students return with positive attitudes

first_img Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Patriot Health ZoneHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential Health32-second Stretch Ends Back Pain & Sciatica (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Blackmon said by being a virtual and a digital school, the New Life Christian students have the opportunity to learn from teachers all over the world and also benefit the one-on-one opportunities in the traditional classroom.”“That combination is extremely beneficial to our students,” she said. For the New Life Christian students, the major adjustment to school attendance during the coronavirus pandemic will be in the area of prevention – wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing. For the teachers and administration, prevention, detection and control of COVID-19 are concerns. Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration You Might Like Print Article The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… “We are all wearing masks and the students are adjusting to that extremely well,” Blackmon said. “Children seemingly adjust to change more easily than adults.“We are maintaining social distance throughout the school. Some of our classes are being conducted both virtually and digitally, allowing more space for social distancing. We are making sure that our students have a safe learning environment.”Blackmon said the teachers and staff are aware that, with COVID-19, comes feelings of anxiety and children are not immune.“Because children and young people are so connected to social media, they are aware of COVID-19 and its effects and that can cause anxiety,” Blackmon said. “That will be something we are looking for as we move forward in the school year. Sponsored Content New Life Christian students return with positive attitudes Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kitscenter_img County, university combine for 19 new cases Pike County added 13 cases of COVID-19 overnight Wednesday. The new cases bring the county’s total to 753 with seven… read more Skip For the 2020-2021 schoolyear, New Life Christian has 80 students ages, kindergarten through 11th grade.“Our older students have the opportunity for dual enrollment at Troy University,” Blackmon said. “We encourage our students to take advantage of every learning opportunity.  Our goal for all our students, is to grow spiritually, culturally, to develop good character and to live lives that glorify God.” Email the author By Jaine Treadwell By The Penny Hoarder New Life Christian opened its doors for the 2020-2021 school year on Thursday, and for the teachers and students it was a rather easy adjustment to the change dictated by COVID-19.Director Annie Blackmon said when the school was closed due to the coronavirus in March, the students didn’t miss a beat.“New Life Christian has been a virtual school since 1981-82, even before Troy University,” Blackmon said. “So, our students went home and continued to do what we were doing here at school.” Published 6:10 pm Thursday, August 20, 2020 Book Nook to reopen Latest Storieslast_img read more

Results from the implementation of the Elastic Viscous Plastic sea ice rheology in HadCM3

first_imgWe present results of an implementation of the Elastic Viscous Plastic (EVP) sea ice dynamics scheme into the Hadley Centre coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model HadCM3. Although the large-scale simulation of sea ice in HadCM3 is quite good with this model, the lack of a full dynamical model leads to errors in the detailed representation of sea ice and limits our confidence in its future predictions. We find that introducing the EVP scheme results in a worse initial simulation of the sea ice. This paper documents various enhancements made to improve the simulation, resulting in a sea ice simulation that is better than the original HadCM3 scheme overall. Importantly, it is more physically based and provides a more solid foundation for future development. We then consider the interannual variability of the sea ice in the new model and demonstrate improvements over the HadCM3 simulation.last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 9/19

first_img Brad James Written by September 19, 2020 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 9/19 Tags: Roundup FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailVolleyballRegion 12MONROE, Utah-Aspen Okerlund had 19 digs and 17 assists as the South Sevier Rams dismantled Grand 3-0 in Region 12 volleyball action Saturday. The Rams prevailed 25-17, 25-14 and 25-18 to down the Red Devils in the straight sets victory.last_img

News story: Opening Statement to CEDAW Committee

first_img The first female Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has been appointed; Figures from 2016 – 17 show that overall, 50% of public board members in Wales are women; and In Scotland, the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 sets a “gender representation objective” for listed public boards that 50% of non-executive members are women. Three of the twelve UK Supreme Court justices are women, including the first female president appointed in 2017; I am delighted that members of civil society could join us today and commend our independent A –status national human rights institutions, who are also here today, for sponsoring so many of them to travel and participate in this important dialogue. Their passion and commitment to this agenda is inspiring.Madam Chair,Before I proceed to share with you our achievements and challenges in implementing CEDAW, I would like to explain the constitutional and political structures in the UK and how they ensure we live up to our obligations under CEDAW.The United Kingdom has a long tradition of protecting human rights and liberties domestically, and of meeting our international human rights obligations in this regard. We have strong human rights protections within a comprehensive and well-established constitutional and legal system. In domestic law, rights are protected through the common law, the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the devolution statutes, as well as other legislation across the UK.The United Kingdom’s devolution settlement means that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland take primary responsibility for observing and implementing the UK’s international obligations in areas of responsibility in areas which have been devolved to them. As such, by convention, the UK Government would not normally invite the UK parliament to legislate on devolved matters without the agreement of the relevant devolved legislature. Devolution has been a positive and empowering process. It has provided more responsive structures for governing regions and countries whose people have much in common, yet who take pride in the diversity emanating from their different histories. Devolution can give rise to diverse outcomes across the UK, but we think that generally, this makes us stronger as a nation because we can learn from each other.There is a common equality legislative framework across England, Scotland and Wales, with only certain areas being devolved, such as the specific duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty. The Public Sector Equality Duty, is the key lever for achieving gender mainstreaming in England, Scotland and Wales, which requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation when conducting their day-to-day work– in shaping policy and delivering services.For Northern Ireland, the Belfast Agreement – itself an international agreement – was reached in 1998 and created devolution settlement in NI. It contains three strands, all of which have underpinned the peace process in NI over the last 20 years. The first of these strands is that there shall be a democratically elected Assembly in Northern Ireland capable of exercising legislative and executive competence over devolved areas of the law. These devolved areas include equalities, health and crime. The Northern Ireland Assembly, established in 1998, has been suspended since January 2017 and the absolute priority of the Government remains the restoration of devolved power sharing government in Northern Ireland. Accordingly, while continuing to deliver vital services in Northern Ireland, the NICS is limited in its ability to make policy decisions until NI Ministers are appointed.The UK Government does not believe that the current situation in Northern Ireland should dislodge the principle that it is for the devolved administrations to ensure human rights compliance in relation to devolved matters. Progress in Northern Ireland on some areas of the Convention will be subject to the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive, and therefore the UK Government view is that Northern Ireland needs its elected representatives back in Government at the earliest opportunity, with Ministers taking important decisions on a range of issues that affect the people of Northern Ireland.Such unique circumstances underline the importance of having effective co-ordination and monitoring mechanisms in relation to CEDAW amongst other international human rights obligations. The Government Equalities Office convenes a Gender Directors’ Network, which brings together those responsible for gender equality from all the nations of the United Kingdom. This forum ensures collaboration and sharing between the administrations.The Overseas Territories are constitutionally not part of the United Kingdom and therefore, the protection and promotion of human rights is primarily the responsibility of the Overseas Territories governments.The United Kingdom is responsible for the defence and international representation of the Crown Dependencies. The Crown Dependencies are not part of the United Kingdom but are self-governing dependencies of the Crown. This means they have their own directly elected legislative assemblies, administrative, fiscal and legal systems and their own courts of law.Madam Chair,In the United Kingdom, we have retained three Ministerial posts to deliver on UK Government’s women and equalities agenda across Great Britain, including one at Cabinet-level – Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women. And Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister for Equalities.The Ministers for women and equalities are held to account on progress by the UK parliament.In addition, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee was established on 3 June 2015, to monitor the performance of the Government Equalities Office, as well other equalities issues.Since our last examination in 2013, the women and equalities brief, has been transferred to a number of different Government Departments. To provide stability moving forward, the Government Equalities Office will become part of the Cabinet Office on 1 April, sitting at the heart of government. A move that will provide continuity, help to accelerate action across government and co-ordinate a national mission, working with business, civil society, citizens and local government, to tackle inequality.Madam Chair,I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the areas where we believe significant strides have been taken to improve women’s lives within the United Kingdom and its jurisdictions in line with CEDAW.The UK Government, working in partnership with Territory Governments, has increased the territorial application of the Convention from three to seven Overseas Territories. This marks an important step towards the UK’s fulfilment of the CEDAW Committee’s 2013 recommendations. This provides over 70,000 women and girls in Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the territorial grouping of St Helena, with increased protection from discrimination and violence.Legislative changes in the Overseas Territories for example, Bermuda’s Defence Amendment Act (2018) – which ends male conscription in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, signals a strong and active commitment to advancing women’s rights and promoting gender equality. We are pleased to announce, that in view of the introduction of legislation ending male conscription, and following a formal request by the Bermudian Government, the UK will be considering removing the relevant reservation relating to Bermuda that was lodged at the time of extension of CEDAW.This UK Government has a strong track record in promoting women’s economic empowerment and as a result: In our efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls in the UK we have: These outcomes were achieved through a combination of innovative reforms and ground- breaking measures which will transform women’s lives and provide more help for families.In 2017, we introduced regulations requiring large employers to make public their gender pay gaps. We are proud that in the first year of reporting, over 10,000 employers reported their data. This has been the catalyst for a national conversation.In Northern Ireland, the Employment Act requires that regulations be made and that a strategy and action plan is published on eliminating differences in pay of male and female employees.In the 2017 Spring Budget, the government committed £5 million to support people who have taken time out of employment for caring responsibilities and want to return to paid work.In November 2018, we announced a further £500,000 of funding to support those with additional barriers to participating in the labour market. This may include people with complex needs or multiple barriers such as substance abuse or homelessness.In 2017, in England, we doubled the childcare entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, from 15 to 30 hours a week. The most disadvantaged 2 year olds are able to access 15 hours a week of free early education. Similar provision has been put in place in Wales and Scotland.From August 2017, every newborn baby in Scotland receives a baby box of essential items, including clothes from newborn up to 6 months.We want to increase women’s representation in all aspects of life: Madam Chair, members of the Committee.Thank you.As head of delegation for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I am delighted to be in Geneva for this important dialogue with the Committee, and I would like to thank the CEDAW Committee for facilitating the UK Government’s participation.I would like to re-affirm from the outset, the UK’s commitment to advancing gender equality, and the important role the CEDAW Convention and your Committee play in helping us to drive forward this very important agenda. The UK Government takes its obligations under CEDAW very seriously and we come here today to actively engage in a meaningful exchange, and to benefit and learn from your collective expertise.Madam Chair,We all agree that the power of #MeToo – and many other emerging campaigns – that advocate for the protection of hard-won rights on gender equality, has generated a global debate.And it remains the UK Government’s ambition to use this pivotal moment to strengthen its compliance with the Convention. I therefore want to assure the Committee, that the UK Government continues to strive to meet the obligations set out in the Convention.Madam Chair,I would like to introduce the members of my delegation. The UK Government is responsible for equality legislation, and is accountable to CEDAW for equality across the UK. However, there are some powers that have been devolved by the UK Government to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including several that relate to equality. I am delighted therefore to share this platform today with my colleagues from the devolved administrations.From the Scottish Government, we have Lisa Bird, Deputy Director for Equality, Human Rights and Third Sector Division, and Lesley Cunningham, Gender Equality Lead.From the Welsh Government, we have Alyson Francis, Deputy Director of Communities, and Rhian Thompson, Equalities Legislation Manager.And from the Northern Ireland Department for Communities, we have Carol McCabe, Head of Gender and Sexual Orientation Policy and Noel Griffin, Gender Policy Lead.The UK Government has adopted a gender mainstreaming approach to its implementation of CEDAW. Therefore, I am also joined by colleagues from a number of central government departments here in Geneva who will address the implementation of CEDAW across all areas of government. These are: strengthened the law on violence against women; Since 2010, we have seen a 20% increase in domestic abuse prosecutions and a 28% increase in domestic abuse convictions; In Wales, we commenced the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015, which included the appointment of a National Advisor for Violence Against Women to advise and assist Welsh Ministers; introduced new offences of domestic abuse, and one for failing to protect a girl from Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage ; introduced lifelong anonymity for victims of forced marriage and FGM; created two new stalking offences; Introduced a new mandatory reporting duty on FGM- this has recently led to the first ever prosecution on FGM in England; and The Scottish Government has amended the limitation period in Scots Law to remove the ‘time-bar’ which prevented survivors of childhood abuse from raising civil proceedings where abuse took place more than 3 years prior. There are close to a record number of women in work, with 71 % of women aged between 16 to 64 in employment; We now have the lowest ever national gender pay gap of 17.9%; There are also around 1.2 million women-led businesses – the highest since records began; We have extended the right to request flexible working to all employees; We have introduced shared parental leave; and We have improved the childcare offer. My policy colleagues, Charles Ramsden, Shelly Dowrich and Nengi Ayika, and legal advisors Anna Burne and Irène Solomon, from the Government Equalities Office. Fiona Rutherford, Deputy Director of Legal Aid Policy at the Ministry of Justice; Beatrice Fannon, Head of Universal Credit Managed Migration and Natural Migration Policy, and Caroline Pearce, State Pension and Fuller Working Lives Team Leader at the Department for Work and Pensions; and Chris Lomax, Teresa Levigne and Verity Robson from the UK Mission in Geneva.The delegation present here today will also be able to address issues with respect to the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. We have the highest ever number of women represented on the boards of FTSE companies; We have our second female Prime Minister and the most diverse Parliament in its history with the highest number of women MPs ever; 8 of the 14 Welsh Government Cabinet Members and Ministers are women; Women also lead some of the United Kingdom’s key political parties including the Conservative Party, Scottish National Party (SNP), and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP); Women now hold more senior positions than before in the Senior Civil Service; In Northern Ireland, three of the nine departments now have female Permanent Secretaries; Madam Chair,Whilst we believe we have a good story to tell regarding our obligations under CEDAW and are very proud of our efforts to promote and protect women’s rights, we are very much alive to the concerns and recommendations of this Committee and from our active civil society. We know that the UK’s impending departure from the EU has raised concerns in relation to the impact of this decision on women.The Government has made clear that the UK is preparing to leave the EU in the best possible way for the UK’s national interest and is committed to ensuring the United Kingdom emerges from this period of change stronger, fairer, and more united than ever before.The decision to leave the European Union does not change our strong commitment to recognising and respecting human rights. From the date that we leave the European Union the UK will be free to set its own priorities, including on gender equality and women’s rights. We do not need to be part of the EU to have strong protections against discrimination or high standards in the workplace. The UK has often been in the vanguard of developing new legislation and policies that support women in the workplace, tackle violence against women and girls and ensure that women are represented in political and public life.The UK already goes beyond EU minimum standards in a number of areas, such as entitlement to annual leave, paid maternity leave and parental leave. Historically, equal pay rights for women and a ban on sex discrimination were introduced in the UK, before any EU requirements were set down. More recently regulations requiring employers to publish their gender pay gap go further than anything required by the EU or existing in any other member state.I would like to reassure the Committee and those present here today, that the UK Government has strong safeguards in place to protect the rights of all individuals, and that will not change after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.Madam Chair,Recently the Minister for Women and Equalities announced her ambition to ensure that every woman has as much freedom, choice, capacity, resilience, support and protection to do whatever she wants to do. This ambition will underpin the Government Equalities Office refreshed mission on gender, and its strategy on Gender Equality and Economic Empowerment that will be published in Spring.The strategy will set out government plans to address the persistent gendered economic barriers women – and men – are facing across Britain, at every stage of their lives. In particular, it will seek to do more for low paid and financially fragile women, and women facing multiple barriers or with complex needs.Alongside the strategy, we are creating an engagement programme, and will provide a platform for grassroots organisations and women, particularly marginalised women, to talk about what’s important to them, and to discuss solutions and issues.In Scotland, a £750,000 Workplace Equality Funding is helping to address long standing barriers faced by women, older workers, ethnic minority and disabled people, while investment of £5 million over the next 3 years will support around 2,000 women to return to work.The underrepresentation of women in all walks of public and political life is a key priority for the UK Government. That is why in 2018, we marked the suffrage centenary with a national programme of awareness raising and celebration, and encouraging more women to participate in democracy.Madam Chair,A strong economy is central to tackling injustice in any society.In the 2018 Autumn Budget, the UK Government announced that we are increasing the National Living Wage to £8.21 per hour in April 2019. Over 60% of those benefiting from the introduction of the National Living Wage are women.In November 2017, we published the Industrial Strategy, which provides the opportunity to increase ambition around women’s participation in the labour market, and will help the UK address the productivity gap.Madam Chair,We are alive to the ongoing concerns this Committee and civil society has expressed regarding abortion in Northern Ireland. In particular, we acknowledge the findings and recommendations made by the Committee in its inquiry under the Optional Protocol into this issue.The Government recognises that abortion is an extremely sensitive issue and that there are strongly held views on all sides.The constitutional framework in Northern Ireland gives the Northern Ireland Assembly legislative competence in relation certain devolved matters, including health and social services, equal opportunities and justice and policing. By convention, the UK Parliament would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters, except with consent from the devolved legislature or in cases of genuine urgency.The Government’s absolute priority remains the restoration of a devolved government, so that the people of Northern Ireland, and locally elected representatives, can decide what is right for Northern Ireland on sensitive devolved issues, including on abortion.Ministers have been clear that it is not for Westminster to step in while this process is ongoing, but this position is being kept under review. The UK Government has already committed to providing a substantive response to the findings and recommendations contained in the Committee’s report once political structures are in place to authorise and approve the response.The Committee is reminded that in 2017 the Government put in place arrangements to support women normally resident in Northern Ireland to have access to safe abortion services in England. Separate arrangements are in place in Scotland and Wales.Madam Chair,We are unified in our belief that gender based violence remains a pervasive and dangerous feature of our societies, and any efforts to accelerate its elimination are welcomed.In the United Kingdom, we have undertaken a great deal of work to tackle violence against women and girls, in all its forms including harassment and unwelcome advances that intimidate, degrade or humiliate. We have made protecting women and girls from all forms of violence, and supporting victims and survivors, a key priority.We are committed to ensuring that victims are supported, perpetrators are brought to justice, and that we do all we can to prevent these crimes happening in the first place.We have pledged increased funding of £100 million through to 2020 to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls, including protecting funding to Rape Support Centres, two two-year funds for refuges and a new £17 million Service Transformation Fund, to promote early intervention and prevention.In 2016, we published the most recent cross-government Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which sets out our vision for bringing these crimes out of the shadows, supporting victims, and bringing perpetrators to justice. This strategy encompasses work from across the UK Government, as well as making reference to the work that the Welsh Government is doing with devolved bodies to support this agenda.In Scotland, Equally Safe: Scotland’s national strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls was published in 2014 and refreshed in 2016. The strategy explicitly recognises violence against women and girls as a cause and consequence of gender inequality.Domestic abuse affects almost 2 million victims every year, and the devastating consequences that it has on victims is such that it necessitates a comprehensive programme of cross-Government activity. That is why on 21 January, we published our draft Domestic Abuse Bill, a landmark piece of legislation aimed at supporting victims and their families, and pursuing offenders. This is complementary to the actions being taken in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.We believe that having a specific programme of work focussed solely on domestic abuse gives us the best chance of achieving our aims of raising awareness, and preventing abuse.Madam Chair,Noting your recommendations, we have reviewed our approach to women in the criminal justice system. In June 2018, we published our strategy for female offenders, which builds on the principles set out in Baroness Corston’s report, and sets out our vision and plan to improve outcomes for women in the community and custody.In Scotland, plans for the future female custodial estate include a smaller national prison for women with the most complex needs. In addition, up to five new community based custodial units are planned. These custodial based units will allow women to be located as close to their communities as possible.Madam Chair,In these opening remarks, I hope to have given you a précis of the UK Government’s commitment, and that of the devolved administrations, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, to ending all forms of discrimination against women, and assured you of our commitment under CEDAW.Once again, we are delighted to be here with you today and welcome the opportunity to learn from you and discuss further with you, our progress to eliminate discrimination against women. We hold the CEDAW Committee in the highest esteem and recognise your collective world-leading authority on advancing gender equality as we commence today’s proceedings.Published 26 February 2019last_img read more

News story: More service stations to become fully accessible as government fund opens

first_imgThe Inclusive Transport Strategy set out key commitments to improve disabled people’s access across all modes of transport by 2030, which included: Switchboard 0300 330 3000 £300 million to make railway stations more accessible through the Access for All scheme £2 million for audio and visual equipment on buses, so that passengers know where and when to alight a £2 million passenger awareness campaign to increase disability awareness and reduce hate crime on our network an accreditation scheme for transport operators to receive formal recognition for positive work to improve disabled passengers’ experiences, such as training frontline staff and senior management on disability awareness measures to ensure future technology is designed inclusively from the outset, with opportunities sought to harness innovation Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Visit the Changing Places funding application form for more information. Roads media enquiries Today marks the next step towards our ambition of delivering a fully inclusive transport network. It is unacceptable that, despite welcome investment in some areas, our roadside services are not more accessible for over a quarter of a million people, and I am determined to do more. Our partnership with MDUK will help ensure that everyone, disabled or not, can use our roads and I encourage as many operators as possible to apply for funding. motorway service stations invited to apply for a share of £2 million in funding for fully accessible toilets Department for Transport partnering with Muscular Dystrophy UK to fund new facilities, making travel easier on the roads for disabled people investment is a key commitment in the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy The Changing Places application portal will be open for 3 months with successful applicants announced in September. More service stations in England are to become fully accessible for disabled passengers with the launch of a £2 million government fund.The Department for Transport is partnering with Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) to award the money for Changing Places toilets, which are expected to be ready by the early 2020s.More than a quarter of a million people across the UK cannot use standard accessible toilets, meaning that they are forced to go for long journeys without a bathroom break, be changed by their carers on toilet floors, or have to stay at home.By providing more space and specialised equipment, including adult-sized changing benches and hoists, Changing Places facilities allow people with conditions like muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy to use the bathroom safely and comfortably, removing some of the difficulties faced by disabled people travelling on the roads.Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said: MDUK will work with DfT to allocate funding based on detailed proposals by the operators of motorway services areas which will set out how they propose to fulfil the eligibility criteria. This includes the equipment provided within the Changing Places toilet, the total budget, and the individual operator’s broader accessibility measures, such as disabled parking spaces and other accessible facilities within the service station.The department’s partnership with MDUK was announced last November to bring Changing Places toilets to the majority of motorway service areas, as part of the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy which aims to provide equal access to the transport network by 2030.Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Individuals and families living with a disability often tell us that travelling by car is the easiest way for them to get from A to B. Building Changing Places toilets at motorway service stations will make it easier for more than a quarter of a million people and their families to visit friends, go on holiday, or simply enjoy a day out somewhere – activities the rest of us take for granted. We’re delighted the Department for Transport has recognised this need, and look forward to working together on delivering this transformational project.last_img read more

Expo Expansion to Bring Bigger Events to Essex Jct.

first_imgCVE, Nordic Spirit Soccer Club Partner Again to Expand Indoor Facilities ESSEX JUNCTION A new 45,000 square-foot facility for special events, trade shows, conventions and indoor soccer should be completed in January 2005 at the Champlain Valley Exposition (CVE).The $2.5 million building will be similar and adjacent to the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre built in 1999. As was the case in six years ago, a long-term lease commitment by the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club is the impetus for this expansion, explained David Grimm, CVEs general manager. The new construction, which began in mid-September, includes a 26,000-square foot, clear-span building for special events and soccer. A 14,000-square foot connector to the Miller Expo Centre will include 12,000 square feet for offices, conference space, concessions, a prep kitchen and additional dressing and rest rooms. Another 7,000 square feet will be used for storage. The project is being built by REM Development Company, Williston, Robert E. Miller, president. Both the Exposition and the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations. Exposition officials have indicated they are looking for a sponsor to dedicate the new building to help underwrite some of the expenses. A commitment by the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club in 1999 was the springboard that allowed us to expand our facilities and capabilities, and strengthen our economic base for the long-term viability of the Exposition, said Jane Clifford, president of the Expositions Board of Directors.For the Exposition, the new facilities will create new opportunities to attract bigger events and conventions and provide additional show space to the Champlain Valley Fair.The 130-acre Exposition provides facilities that are unique to Vermont and the Northeast region, bringing such one-of-a-kind events as the Vermont Balloon and Music Festival, Four-Wheel Drive Jamboree, Everything Equine and Horse 2005, Sportsman Show, Arts and Crafts shows, Recreational Vehicle Jamborees, The Champlain Valley Antiques Festival and home and dog shows to name a few.Additional regional economic impact is derived from national shows that come to Vermont for two reasons the attractions of Vermont and the CVE facilities able to accommodate their memberships needs. The economic impact is widely felt by restaurants, retail shops, gas stations, hotels and tourist attractions when a major national convention comes to Essex Junction and Chittenden County, Grimm said.The National Street Rod Associations annual fall rally which marked its 11th year at CVE in 2004 along with recreational vehicle rallies like the Family Motor Coach Association and other events bring significant tourism and tax dollars to the Vermont economy on a regular, annual basis.As an example, the 2003 Wally Byam Caravan Club Airstream convention, the largest ever for Vermont, would not have happened without the availability of the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre, said Tom Oddy, CVEs director of special events. Equally important is that current user groups such as the Yankee Sportsmens Classic, Vermont Craft Workers and the Boat and RV shows have all expressed a desire to grow their events and are committed to using the new exhibit space, Oddy added.The Expos Champlain Valley Fair remains the largest single annual event in Vermont, drawing 299,168 people during the 10-day event. Add in an additional 100-plus events held at the Expo (trade shows, conferences, music festivals and other specialty events) and the regional economic activity that CVE encourages is substantial approximately $75 million per year!Roger Prescott, president of the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club, said marketplace demands provided the momentum to go to the next level. There exists a great need to have more opportunities for training, practice and greater flexibility in scheduling. This project will double existing capacity in addition to creating winter training opportunities for outdoor spring sports such as lacrosse, rugby and field hockey.The Nordic Spirit Soccer Club currently serves 2,000-3,000 people per week during its winter season. The growth each organization has shared is something of which we can all be proud, Prescott added. Like sports, teamwork can make good things happen.For information about leasing any of the Expositions facilities, contact Tom Oddy, director of special events, at (802) 878-5545 or [email protected](link sends e-mail). A calendar of events at the Exposition is available at www.cvfair.com(link is external).last_img read more

Panama and Colombia Suspend Negotiations on FTA without Setting New Date

first_imgBy Dialogo October 29, 2010 Panama and Colombia suspended negotiations on 27 October on a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA), due to the fact that “complex” issues remain unresolved, officials from both countries said without announcing a date for the resumption of talks. “We’ve concluded that the most prudent thing to do at the moment is to suspend the process of negotiations between Panama and Colombia,” said the Panamanian deputy trade minister and chief negotiator, Francisco Álvarez de Soto. The fifth round of negotiations began on 25 October in the Panamanian capital and had been expected to conclude on 29 October. “We’ve reached a moment of the suspension of negotiations, something that frankly represents a challenge for the future,” declared the chief Colombian negotiator, Santiago Pardo. Prior to the present, 21 of the 25 issues under negotiation have been closed, but major stumbling-blocks remain, such as access to markets for agricultural and industrial products. Panamanian organizations of beef, pork, milk, corn, and textile producers fear an invasion of Colombian products, while Colombian business believes that part of the smuggling that disadvantages its producers comes from the foreign-trade zone of the Panamanian city of Colón. “We have to be very sure that everyone is adequately taken care of in the final balance and conclusion of a treaty,” Álvarez de Soto told Panamanian state television channel SerTV. “There are issues remaining that are complex, and logically, decisions, evaluations, and reflection are needed on both sides,” Pardo said. Colombia and Panama began to negotiate the treaty at the beginning of 2010, expecting to finish in a maximum of four rounds. In 2009, Colombia exported 258.3 million dollars in goods to Panama, while imports from that country came to 15.7 million dollars.last_img read more

Elvis On Long Island: The King and L.I.

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The lights dimmed and suddenly the packed Nassau Coliseum resounded with the opening chords of the 2001: Space Odyssey theme. Elvis Presley was in the house.The fans roared as the King of Rock and Roll took center stage. Their camera bulbs sparkled like diamonds in the arena darkness and radiated off Elvis’ rhinestone jumpsuit.“I remember all the lights flashing as he was coming out,” says Ellen Granelli, who was one of the lucky ones. “He had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire time.”Granelli, who works at the Northport library, saw Elvis at Madison Square Garden in June 1972—the only time he ever played in Manhattan besides the Ed Sullivan Theater—and both times he came to Uniondale in June 1973 and July 1975. The three shows basically followed the same set list, but she didn’t mind “because it was Elvis! You wanted to be there!”Making a fashion statement all his own, Elvis Presley basks in the adoration of his fans at his Nassau Coliseum concert on July 19, 1975. his next show there was set for 1977 (see unused ticket at right).(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)Granelli was in her 20s then—today her three kids are in their 30s. She had tickets to see Elvis in August 1977 with her new husband as well as her girlfriend Mary Jo, who’d been her companion at the previous concerts. They never got the chance. She and her husband were driving through the mountains of Maine on vacation when Elvis was all they heard on their car radio. Strange, they thought, since he hadn’t had a top 10 hit in quite a while.“This isn’t good!” Granelli remembers thinking. Sadly, she was right.“I was talking to my children the other night…and I said I saw the older Elvis, and then I stopped myself!” she says. “Older Elvis! He died at 42—that’s not old!”On Aug. 16, 1977, less than a week before Elvis was to appear at the Coliseum—his first venue on the next leg of his tour that year—his girlfriend at the time, Ginger Alden, found him lying face-down on the shag carpet of his bathroom at Graceland, his famous mansion on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis.Somewhere in Granelli’s Northport home are her unused tickets. Her kids tell her they’ve seen them there and she’s sure she hasn’t thrown them away. Her Elvis collection, which includes “every album” (some 33 recordings by her reckoning), is up in the attic, but she doesn’t play his songs much these days, in part because they’re on vinyl. Unlike a later TV generation who endured Elvis’ egregious movies broadcast in the Sixties, Granelli got her first look at “Elvis the Pelvis” (as the puritanical press pilloried him at the time) when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.“I was a little girl—I was only nine,” she says with a laugh. “That’s where it all started. From the earlier years I thought he was just magnificent, charismatic and very talented.” But she had to wait to see Elvis perform live, and she grabbed every chance she could get, even though it was obvious that the Elvis of the Seventies wasn’t the same performer who’d set the rock and roll world ablaze in the 1950s.“He had a magnificent presence, even at that stage, that just kind of drew you in and took you to another place,” she says. “It was still Elvis, and it was still his voice.”She and her girlfriend never made it to the front of the stage where Elvis would ceremonially shed scarf after scarf to the adoring female fans reaching out to him, but it didn’t matter to Granelli. “If you’re a true fan, you understand that you can be in the zone in the last seat in the last row,” she says.On that fateful August morning in 1977 Steve Prisco—today Sam Ash Music’s marketing director—was driving to a ticket-scalper on Long Island to get front-row seats for the Nassau Coliseum show when he heard the news: The King was dead.A young guitarist growing up in Huntington Station, Prisco had acquired a taste for rockabilly music after looking through his older brothers’ record collections and getting turned on to the tracks Elvis had recorded at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis.“The power of that music really grabbed me,” he says. “Up to that point, Elvis was just the guy in those afternoon movies.”Prisco’s first guitar teacher was from Tennessee and had moved in right across the street. “He was a real good ole boy,” Prisco recalls. The teacher asked him who his favorite guitarist was. Prisco had read that the Young Rascals’ guitarist Gene Cornish had revered Scotty Moore, so Prisco repeated the name. “He looks at me, like, ‘Really?!’” Prisco recalls. “I had no idea who Scotty Moore was.” A few years later, he learned that Moore was the great sideman in Elvis’ Sun sessions, and so those seminal riffs he’d been learning in Huntington ran very deep indeed.ALL SHOOK UP: Steve Prisco (top) strikes a chord at the recent Elvis Show in Bay Shore while Chris James, in shades, hits the high note, Jenna Silverman croons with that special feeling, and Paul Schmitz (bottom) does it in style. (Photos by Ken Farrell)These days, through the New York Roots Music Association—NYRMA for short—Prisco has been the front man for “The Elvis Show,” Long Island’s longest-running Elvis tribute and charity event, which has raised more than $50,000 for food pantries over two decades. For the last three years in a row, they’ve sold out the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts in Bay Shore.Prisco got the idea for the first show when he realized that his rockabilly trio was going to be playing on Elvis’ Jan. 8th birthday.“We had a lot of friends who’d come down to see us—friends from other bands—and I always enjoyed having people come up on stage,” he says. “So that night I spread the word around that ‘Hey, we’re going to do a bunch of Elvis stuff, so come on down and come up and sing a song.’”It clicked, and the next year he decided to ask people to bring canned food to donate to local pantries for the hungry and homeless. And so the event grew from a little bar in Huntington to where it is today—with a hiatus in the ’90s—and it’s been going strong eight years in a row with dozens of performers. But it was always about Elvis and his songs. The cardinal rule, Prisco said, was: “No Elvis impersonators!” He understands that some fans fixate on the “whole mythology and campiness and that whole insane side” of the Elvis image, and that “the impersonators play into that,” but, for Prisco and his peers, it’s about being “true to the vibe.”No matter how his career was going on stage, Elvis always had his standards, according to his wife, Priscilla Presley, who divorced him in October 1973. As she wrote in her memoir, he “couldn’t abide singers who were, in his words, ‘all technique and no emotional feeling,’ and in this category he firmly placed Mel Torme and Robert Goulet. They were both responsible for two television sets being blown away with a .357 Magnum.”The recent NYRMA event in January delved into Elvis’ “deep catalogue and some odd-ball stuff,” Prisco says, but the music could stand on its own. “I think if you didn’t know it was an Elvis show, you would still have enjoyed it because of the level of the performances and the musicianship.”They did the King proud—and, in that spirit, it’s worth recalling how much the New York Times’ then-top music critic, John Rockwell, appreciated seeing and hearing Elvis himself when he last performed on Long Island almost 40 years ago.“Mr. Presley can still rock, and he felt like rocking a refreshing lot of the time Saturday at the Nassau Coliseum,” the critic wrote on July 21, 1975. “When this observer last saw Mr. Presley, it was also the Nassau Coliseum, two summers ago. Then he was fat, lazy and ineffectual. On Saturday he was still fat—fatter than ever, a blown-up cartoon of his spare 1950s toughness. But he wasn’t lazy, and he most certainly wasn’t ineffectual.”Granelli, who was also there that day, would no doubt agree with Rockwell’s assessment.“It appeared to me he had the same charisma that he had in the ‘50s and the early ‘60s but he was almost a caricature of himself in the performance,” she says. She blamed his management, Colonel Tom Parker in particular. “I don’t think [Elvis] was any longer true to who he really was,” she says. “He was what they were telling him he had to be.”Like many an Elvis afficionado, she believes he had tremendous talent but no coping skills to fend off the freeloaders.“He was the son of a sharecropper,” she says. “Where would he have learned any business acumen? So once Colonel Parker got into the picture, I think that started out to be a good thing but ultimately destroyed him.”Prisco says that though Parker took 50 percent of Elvis’ share, the performer never lacked anything he wanted—and he shouldn’t be held blameless for decisions that in retrospect limited his career, let alone his life. As for what Elvis achieved, Prisco believes that rock and roll really began when Elvis recorded “Mystery Train” in 1955.“That was it,” Prisco says. “Nothing had sounded truly like that before.”As Elvis profoundly changed American music, so too has the industry changed irrevocably—and Prisco believes there’s no going back to the days of “those big bangs—Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles and, some people will say, Michael Jackson—that’s not going to happen anymore the way everything’s so fragmented now and so immediate. He’ll always have that.”Elvis has left the building, never to return, but his music is still rocking the halls.last_img read more