Introducing the new cast and crew of Downing Street

first_img whatsapp Introducing the new cast and crew of Downing Street The new Prime Minister has, of course, effectively no Commons majority. That places enormous pressure on the chief whip, the rather anonymous Mark Spencer.  Number 10 Chief of Staff Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street in central London on August 2, 2019. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images) Even the Prime Minister’s most vocal advocates would not describe him as a “details man”. He’s a bold chairman with a flamboyant vision, but he needs a carefully crafted team to translate that flair into policy and execution. A solid but unremarkable farmer from the Midlands, Spencer has passed most of his career in the Whips’ Office, and will require every scrap of experience and guile to keep the government’s business afloat. It is hard to say whether he is up to this particular job; he is certainly no Gavin Williamson or Patrick McLoughlin, to judge him against recent predecessors. There are some other key appointments to watch. Lee Cain, director of  communications, brings a solid journalistic grounding to the job, but will need to shape the news instead of simple reporting on it. The wily and well-informed Nikki da Costa, recalled as director of parliamentary affairs, will need to apply her considerable knowledge of how parliament works to keep both Houses on an even keel.  His new team is a mixed bag, but one thing is certain: each of them has the fight of their life on their hands. Then there is the enigmatic Michael Gove, given an obscure job title (chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster), but effectively in charge of the Cabinet Office – Whitehall’s brain – and overseeing preparations for a no-deal Brexit.  The dust is beginning to settle: Boris Johnson is Prime Minister, and the Whitehall machine has been stripped and restaffed. And there is an additional question. Are Gove’s Number 10 ambitions burned out? Is he resigned to being a great consigliere? Only time will tell, but he will be a key player in shoring up the government intellectually and presentationally. City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. Cummings has a nose for appealing to the electoral base and rejects received wisdom wherever he finds it. David Cameron described him as a “career psychopath”. Expect him to provide the government’s cutting-edge and fundamental narrative: hard Brexit, pro-business, sceptical on immigration, and resolutely anti-socialist. If Boris proves to be the sort of man he is widely assumed to be even by friends – lazy and slapdash, inspired but not details-oriented – he will need a strong group of people around him.  Two politicians complement these bureaucratic appointments. Dominic Raab is both foreign secretary and de facto deputy to the PM. Raab is a lawyer by trade and thinks himself bold and swashbuckling. Former colleagues doubt his grip and intellectual calibre, but, like Cummings, he comes with impeccable Brexit credentials.center_img At the top of the official tree are two contrasting figures. The chief of staff, Sir Edward Lister, is a local government veteran who was Boris’ right hand at City Hall, and before that led Wandsworth Council for nearly 20 years. Nicknamed “Steady Eddie”, he is a reassuring, grandfatherly presence, and will serve only long enough to set up a functioning machine. The second key figure is “senior adviser” Dominic Cummings. Formerly director of the Vote Leave campaign, and before that an aide to Michael Gove at the Department for Education, he is abrasive, iconoclastic, and a Brexiteer to his core.  Gove destroyed Boris’ leadership bid in 2016 with a last-minute Judas kiss, but fences have been mended. He is formidably intelligent and articulate, but critics describe him as a recreational controversialist: like many former Oxford Union hacks, he enjoys the cut-and-thrust of argument, but can persuade himself into rather extreme and unworkable positions, almost for fun.  Opinion A new team has been installed to run his Downing Street operation – but who are they, and what does it mean? And there’s Rob Oxley, who as press secretary will be the lobby face of Downing Street, and is another Vote Leave alumnus. Wednesday 7 August 2019 4:10 am Main image credit: Getty Share Eliot WilsonEliot Wilson is co-founder of Pivot Point and a former House of Commons official. whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeUnderstand Solar$0 Down Solar in Scottsdale. How Much Can You Save? Try Our Free Solar Calculator Now.Understand SolarLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver HealthGraber BlindsWindow Treatments So Sophisticated, It’s Hard to Believe They’re so AffordableGraber BlindsBest Selling Grills | Search AdsTraeger Blaze & American Grills On SaleBest Selling Grills | Search AdsWolf & ShepherdNFL Star Rob Gronkowski Loves These ShoesWolf & ShepherdStuff AnsweredBest Mattress Deals for Seniors 2020Stuff AnsweredTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island FarmPost FunRare Photos Show Us Who Meghan Markle Really IsPost Funbonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comlast_img read more

Hedge funds make more than $1bn betting against travel stocks

first_imgHedge funds profit when they borrow a stock from an institutional investor and sell it back when the price falls, pocketing the difference, a practice known as short-selling. The hedge funds declined to comment. Europe’s travel and tourism share index has fallen 30 per cent so far this year, and today the world’s largest tourism firm TUI posted second-quarter losses of €1.1bn (£990m). Airline Deutsche Lufthansa proved one of the most profitable, making short-sellers more than €150.3m in profit over the period, according to the Ortex data. (AFP via Getty Images) Big hedge funds such as Citadel, Sandbar Asset Management and Marshall Wace homed in on the tourism industry to take short positions, filings show. Calculations by data provider Ortex Analytics showed short sellers earned €853.6m in the first seven months of the year, up from €174.1m over the same period in 2019 from shorting tourism related stocks. “This isn’t the end of the story; already in recent days we’ve seen new positions open as investors seek to take advantage of higher share prices.” Share (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Hedge funds make more than $1bn betting against travel stocks Show Comments ▼ They also have $2.98bn in short positions outstanding in the industry, analysis by Reuters of regulatory filings and investment bank stock lending data showed. Thursday 13 August 2020 4:45 pmcenter_img (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Hedge funds make more than $1bn betting against travel stocks whatsapp Other heavily shorted stocks were French hotel company Accor, TUI and cruise line Carnival, based on Ortex data. The stocks have staged a modest rally since early August, but that has largely attracted more short-sellers, Peter Hillerberg, co-founder of Ortex, said. Travel and tourism companies currently have $2.978bn shorts currently outstanding against them, up $200m in the past month, Ortex data shows. whatsapp Hedge funds made profits of more than $1bn (£760m) from betting against travel companies in the year to July. Hedge funds make more than $1bn betting against travel stocks Sandbar, for example, steadily upped its Deutsche Lufthansa short position to 0.7 per cent between April and July, then lowered it to 0.57 per cent on 2 July. It then increased it again from 24 July, filings showed. The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted huge losses and share price falls on airlines, hotels and cruise ship companies as lockdowns, travel bans and quarantines disrupted summer holiday plans for millions across the world. Some hedge funds ramped up short positions during strict lockdowns between March and May, before easing them as Europe seemed to become successful at reducing infections. But fresh localised outbreaks and new lockdowns induced them to renew the shorts. James Booth last_img read more

Former tax division director weighs in on Prudhoe Bay oil tax case

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Economy | Energy & Mining | State GovernmentFormer tax division director weighs in on Prudhoe Bay oil tax caseDecember 23, 2016 by Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau Share:Prudhoe Bay at night on Jan. 28, 2013. (Creative Commons photo by jweston_40)Last week, Alaska’s Supreme Court issued an opinion on a Prudhoe Bay tax law case that has been open for 10 years.Alaska’s Energy Desk reporter Rashah McChesney sat down with the former Department of Revenue tax division head Dan Dickinson.Dickinson’s decision to change the way the oil and gas division interpreted its production tax calculations led to a challenge and ultimately a lawsuit between state and Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Forest Oil.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2016/12/23OILTAX.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Interview transcript:McChesney: We’re here today to talk about an ELF. But not the kind of ELF you typically hear about this time of year. This ELF is an economic limit factor. And it was a key part of the way the state calculated production tax rates in the Prudhoe Bay oil field from the 1970s to the mid-2000s. The Department of Revenue’s interpretation of that ELF led to the Prudhoe Bay producers’ lawsuit that went all the way up to the Supreme Court.Dickinson: So it was, really, it was a procedural question of how we came to that decision, and how we adopted it.McChesney: The foundation of this lawsuit was that the Department of Revenue had two different tax rates in Prudhoe Bay. You had these big fields that were taxed at one rate and then these smaller, satellite fields that were still technically in Prudhoe Bay, but they were taxed at another rate because, in theory, those fields required the same kind of infrastructure to operate but had fewer economies of scale. So the state taxed them at a lower rate to keep them profitable?Dickinson: What the state did is, it created a formula — a very complex formula. And what the effect of that formula was, is it made the taxes on very large fields higher and the taxes on smaller fields, very much lower. Size became very important.McChesney: The state formula ended up kind of incentivizing the development of these smaller, satellite fields that were taxed at a lower rate. Do you remember the difference in tax rate? I’m recalling something like 15% on the larger fields and 0.5% on the smaller fields.Dickinson: That’s on average. But yes, the smaller fields could very easily be driven to zero and some of them were slightly above zero.McChesney: So, producers and field operators started prioritizing oil that came from these satellite fields over oil that came from the big ones. But, it wasn’t just so that they could pay that lower rate. It was also because newer wells tended to produce more oil and less of the gas and water and sand that comes out of older wells.But, no matter which field the oil was coming from — old or new– the producers were the same. Companies were developing new, satellite fields and asking for them to be taxed separately from the old, larger fields. What were the discussions at the Department of Revenue at the time?Dickinson: The focus on the tax has always been…there’s a tension between two aspects of it. One of it is the state obviously wants to get the money from the tax. On the other hand, they clearly recognize that a poor tax regime will inhibit the kind of growth and the investment that it wants.McChesney: At some point, the Department of Revenue decides to change the way it’s interpreting the tax law and informs the companies that it’s going to combine most of those smaller satellite fields into the larger fields for calculating production taxes.Dickinson: The effect of that would have been the tax on Prudhoe Bay, on the main field, would have gone down just a hair. But the tax on all the other remaining fields would have gone up considerably. It would have increased taxes by more than $100 million a year. I know that.McChesney: Okay, so the Department of Revenue issues this decision and it’s estimated to increase taxes by $100 million a year. But then the next year, the legislature decides to toss out the ELF system and put something else in place, and then it decides to do it retroactively. So there’s like a four or five month period there where they were taxed under one system and then it switches to a new system. All told, this new interpretation of the ELF was in place for about a year, year and a half?Dickinson: Yes.McChesney: So the oil companies pay that $100 million dollars in production taxes. Then they sue. It has taken a decade for them to exhaust their legal remedies. Now, the state isn’t on the hook for paying the money back. So, what’s your takeaway from this whole process and the final resolution of the lawsuit?Dickinson: It would be nice if the statutes were nice and clear, the legislature set out exactly what they wanted and said it in such a way that it actually made sense when you actually had to deal with tax. That’s just not what happens in the real world. People sitting in Juneau come up with a very conceptual idea and, you know, applying it to actual returns and companies is a difficult task. I think it generally gives a clearer line as to when the department can act when it can’t.McChesney: The supreme court issued its final ruling on Dec. 16.Share this story:last_img read more

LinkedIn out loud: Watch the terrible things written in people’s profiles read by actors in this cringeworthy video

first_imgWe all know people write some terrible things on their LinkedIn profile. Let’s be honest, you’re probably connected to a few of them.Now, the full horror of all those cringeworthy jargon and BS-filled phrases has been realised. We knew they were bad to read on screen, put a video in which those words are read out loud by actors brings it to life in the most hilarious way possible.”Welcome to a window into the life of me” trumpets one. “What makes Darren Hill so special?” asks another, in all seriousness.They range from the ridiculous:I don’t call meetings ‘meetings’, they’re ‘doings’I run towards firesI’m not a boss. There’s only one boss and that’s Mr customerTo the downright bizarre:I rebuilt the homes of the survivors of an avalancheI’m not racistApparently, I look like Idris ElbaAll have genuinely been written by real-life people in their LinkedIn profiles.There really are just too many gems to choose from – and that’s just from part one. Watch all three videos below.And if you want more, the creators (production company Joseph & Joseph) have put together a collection of the worst ones in all their glory on this Tumblr.”Perhaps that’s why I’m so good at it””I’m probably more of a cat person myself””Just like Jesus Christ was a carpenter… I’m a sales executive” Share Show Comments ▼ by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunInvestment GuruRemember Cote De Pablo? Take A Deep Breath Before You See Her NowInvestment GuruEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island FarmLivestlyThe Best Redhead Actresses, RankedLivestlyTotal PastThis Was Found Hiding In An Oil Painting – Take A Closer LookTotal PastAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic Mirror More From Our Partners Kamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgInstitutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.com Thursday 4 June 2015 5:22 am whatsappcenter_img Tags: LinkedIn LinkedIn out loud: Watch the terrible things written in people’s profiles read by actors in this cringeworthy video Lynsey Barber whatsapplast_img read more

Clough-Ballacolla advance in U-21 and all today’s GAA results

first_img Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Clough-Ballacolla advance in U-21 and all today’s GAA results TAGSGAA results Twitter WhatsApp Community Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Friday night’s Round 1 game between Graiguecullen and Portlaoise was abandoned near the end after a Graiguecullen player sustained a serious injury.Graiguecullen were 11 points up at the time and it remains to be seen whether the game will need to be replayed.While tomorrow’s preliminary round game between Stradbally Parish Gaels and Courtwood-Emo has been postponed following a bereavement in Annanough.Check out all of today’s results below:Today’s Results:Bord an Mona O’Byrne Cup Round 1Laois 0-6 Meath 3-11 – See Report HereDamien Reid U15 Football Tournament FinalLaois 1-6 Dublin 0-14 – See Report HereLaois Shopping Centre U21 Hurling Championship Quarter FinalClough Ballacolla 3-17 Rathdowney Errill 2-14SEE ALSO – Explained: How the new Gaelic football rules will work The defending Laois U-21 hurling champions have been knocked out of the 2018 championship this afternoon.In a repeat of the final from 12 months ago, Clough-Ballacolla avenged their defeat by Rathdowney-Errill on a scoreline of 3-17 to 2-14.They will now advance to play The Harps in the semi final. WhatsApp By Alan Hartnett – 8th December 2018 Twitter Facebook Council RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Community Home Sport GAA Clough-Ballacolla advance in U-21 and all today’s GAA results SportGAA The other semi final will see Camross take on Abbeyleix Gaels – the latter were due to play Na Fianna in the quarter final tomorrow but have received a walkover from them.Meanwhile, it would appear highly unlikely now that the U-21 ‘A’ football championship will be concluded this side of Christmas. New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening Previous articleExperimental Laois well beaten by Meath in O’Byrne Cup openerNext articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, December 9, 2018 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic yearlast_img read more

Crettyard United one step away from history as Leinster Junior Cup final approaches

first_imgHome Sport Soccer Crettyard United one step away from history as Leinster Junior Cup final… SportSoccer Crettyard United one step away from history as Leinster Junior Cup final approaches GAA Previous articleLaois senior hurlers hosting ‘Meet & Greet’ night ahead of Joe McDonagh Cup finalNext articleStradbally duo ‘inking’ up for Kolbe Special School fundraiser Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Pinterest Twitter TAGSCrettyard UnitedLeinster Junior CupSherrif YC Facebook GAA WhatsApp Facebook Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results center_img Twitter Crettyard United will bring their 2018/2019 season to a close on Saturday afternoon when they face Sherrif YC in the Leinster Juinor Cup final.Patrick Brennan’s charges are contesting Leinster’s showpiece Junior cup competition for the first time in their history and standing in their way is one of Ireland’s most successful amateur sides.Sherrif YC, who have recently been crowned AUL champions, will take on Crettyard on Saturday in Ferrycarrig Park in Wexford at 2pm WhatsApp 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Speaking ahead of the game, Patrick Brennan said his side are excited about the game ahead.Crettyard’s Leinster Junior Cup adventure almost ended before it got going as they needed penalties to see off Gorey Rangers in the opening round.Kilmore Celtic, Yellowstone Celtic and Usher fell to Crettyard in the following round before they qualified for the final for the first time ever following a 2-1 win over Crumlin. Patrick Brennan said: “That was a very tough game but although they had plenty of firepower, we knew they would give us chances down the other end.“We can be very compact when we have to be and like the game against Usher, that is exactly how we played it before we opened up and took our goals well.”Manager Brennan is under no illusions about the scale of the task which lies before his side on Saturday.Since 2010, Sherrif YC have dominated the Athletic Union League and have also been regular winners of the two AUL league cups, the Nivea Cup and the Liddy Cup.In national and provincial senior cup competitions, Sheriff have also held their own. They reached the last 16 of the FAI Cup in 2011, the semi final in 2014 and the quarter finals in 2015.Manager Brennan said: “I’m really looking forward to this game and I know all of the lads are too.“This is an absolutely massive game for us and we know they will be coming down as big favourites with huge pedigree. But we will not fear them one bit and we have seen a good bit of them.“We haven’t played for three weeks and they have played four times recently so we have got to have a good look at them.“They are probably the best junior side in the country at the moment so we know exactly what we have to face.”Padraig Murphy and former Kildare County manager Tom Donnelly have had big impacts on Crettyard United’s rise to become the most successful club in the Carlow League over the last decade.While Patrick also mentions his side-kick Billy Nolan and thanks the community for getting behind the team.He said: “There is a great buzz around Crettyard and the surrounding areas at the moment and there is a bus going down to the game.“The whole community is behind us with local businesses and people sponsoring us all season.“I work in Eurospar in Castlecomer and the owner there, Willie Power, has given us anything that we need. So it is great to see support like that coming from all over and hopefully a big crowd will be there on Saturday.”Crettyard United face Sherrif YC in the final on Saturday at 2pm in Ferrycarrig Park.CRETTYARD UNITED: Jeff Moran, James Sherwood, Craig Comerford, Bobby Dowling, Ger Murray, Jason Enright, Niall Purcell, Colin Osborne, Lee Salter, Cristoir Maher, Aaron Morris. Subs: Luke Maher, James Rothwell, Anthony FitzPatrick, Conor Mulhall, Shane Buggy, Evan Phillips, Pierce Nash, John Graham, Seamus Dowling, Padraig LawlorSEE ALSO – Young Laois singer set to make debut music video in her home town this weekend RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory GAA By Alan Hartnett – 14th June 2019 Pinterestlast_img read more

Agriculture Minister wants Law Enforcement to get Tougher on Praedial Larcenists

first_imgAgriculture Minister wants Law Enforcement to get Tougher on Praedial Larcenists AgricultureJuly 8, 2009 RelatedAgriculture Minister wants Law Enforcement to get Tougher on Praedial Larcenists RelatedAgriculture Minister wants Law Enforcement to get Tougher on Praedial Larcenists FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, wants law enforcement authorities to get tougher on praedial larcenists.He told a July 8 Post-Cabinet Press Briefing at Jamaica House that almost $5 billion is lost each year through farm theft and stressed that the issue should be treated as priority.Dr. Tufton informed that he has already met with Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, the Attorney General’s Office, and the police and military high command, to discuss the way forward, and the measures outlined to deal with praedial larceny will be announced shortly.However, he disclosed that a major thrust will be towards setting up an animal identification system and the registration of farmers.Describing praedial larceny as a type of organised crime, Dr. Tufton said: “My encouragement to the enforcement agencies is that it must be treated as you would treat organised crime.”He also indicated the need for more police personnel to be assigned to address the problem, and for routine inspection of trucks carrying produce and livestock, in the same manner that motorists are checked for documents. “Every policeman should be involved, not just a few policemen who are assigned with motorbikes to travel around and to check farms,” he stated.The Agriculture Minister noted further that when offenders are brought before the courts, “and are tried, and are given a fair hearing, and are found to be guilty, they should be treated no differently from someone, who robs a bank, because the grief that is felt by the farmer when he loses his assets, is no different from the grief that is felt by an investor who loses his money when a bank is robbed.”center_img RelatedAgriculture Minister wants Law Enforcement to get Tougher on Praedial Larcenists Advertisementslast_img read more

CFMEU praises Morrison and calls for his help

first_imgCFMEU praises Morrison and calls for his help CFMEUMedia release 28-02-21CFMEU praises Morrison and calls for his helpThe union representing pulp and paper workers, CFMEU Manufacturing, is calling on PM Morrison to direct his Ministers to require their departments to source Australian made paper.The PM’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has one of the strongest track records of all Departments of sourcing Australian made paper and the union is putting it down to the PM.The union is furious that the percentage of Australian made paper purchased by Commonwealth agencies plummeted to 30% during the Covid-19 jobs crisis last year.“We acknowledge that the Prime Minister has already shown leadership by ensuring his Department buys Australian made paper” said Mr. Michael O’Connor, National Secretary CFMEU Manufacturing“We think he can show even more leadership by directing his Ministers to ensure their Departments buy Australian made like his Department does.”“Buying Australian made paper instead of importing it all from Indonesia like many Departments did last year supports jobs and is in line with community expectations.”As part of a new campaign “Back Our Jobs- Buy Our Paper”, union members at Gippsland’s largest private sector employer Opal Australian Paper have been emailing Mr. Morrison.Union members are furious that at a time when they were taking enforced leave due to a drop in domestic sales that big Government Departments were sourcing paper from Indonesia.The most Senior Victorian MP in the Morrison Government Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is also being sent emails.Frydenberg’s Department of Treasury has one of the poorest records of all Government agencies with just 7% of their paper being Australian made in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and them procuring no Australian made this financial year according to available figures.“We know that every ream of Australian made paper purchased supports Australian jobs and every ream imported from Indonesia damages Australian jobs.”“Treasurer Frydenberg’s in charge of the economic recovery so must order his Department to buy Australian made like the PM’s Department does” concluded Mr. O’Connor. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Australian, campaign, commonwealth, community, Government, Indonesia, Josh Frydenberg, leadership, manufacturing, Morrison, Morrison Government, PM, Prime Minister, Secretary, Victorialast_img read more

Making border stronger

first_imgMaking border stronger Hon Chris Hipkins New ‘very high risk’ country designationReturnees to be cohorted into MIQs The Government is taking significant additional steps to make our borders even safer, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.“New Zealand is in a strong position and Kiwis enjoy freedoms most other countries do not have, thanks to the efforts of the team of five million. But as the Government has always said, we will continue to look for ways to improve and refine our approach, based on evidence and risk,” Chris Hipkins said.“In the latest stage of evolution at the border, the Government has created a new ‘very high risk country’ category that will significantly reduce the number of infected people flying to New Zealand.“This is in response to rapidly increasing rates of infection in parts of the globe and based on what is happening in the country, the prevalence of COVID-19 variants of concern, the public health measures the country has in place and the risk to our border. “The new category comes into force from 11.59pm on 28 April. Countries have initially been designated very high risk where there have been more than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 1000 arrivals to New Zealand from those countries in 2021, and where there are more than 15 travellers on average per month.“India, Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan are the countries that currently meet that threshold, and as a result, travellers from those countries will be temporarily restricted to New Zealand citizens, their partners and children, and parents of children who are New Zealand citizens.“From India alone, this is expected to reduce the number of potential positive cases coming to New Zealand by an estimated 75%.“All travellers from very high risk countries will require evidence of a negative PCR test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to travel.“I want to stress this was not an easy decision. It was based entirely on current risk assessment and will be reviewed regularly.“There will be an exceptions process on humanitarian grounds.“All other travellers, including residents, will be required to have been outside of the very high risk country for at least 14 days before flying to New Zealand.”Officials will continue to develop the very high risk country framework, and we will provide an update in May on the process for adding new countries to the list, and for removing countries from it.Cohorting“As previously indicated, the introduction of the Trans-Tasman bubble has provided us the opportunity to rethink our approach to how we manage returnees,” COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.“Even after 500 rooms are held back for contingency, the availability of the remaining 500 to 800 rooms freed up by the bubble has given us options to manage risk in ways that were not previously available.“We said releasing these rooms on a one for one basis for people from higher risk countries was not an option. It would increase risk in the MIQs overall.“Today I can confirm most MIQs are introducing an enhanced cohorting (or group intake) system to further reduce risk of in-facility transmission.“Under the new plan, returnees arriving in New Zealand over a 96-hour window will be delivered to MIQ facilities until they are full or the 96-hour period is over.“The facilities will then ‘lock down’ for a 14-day cycle with no additional returnees allowed until after the last of the cohort have completed their stay and the facilities have been cleaned.“This will ensure returnees will be in the same facility as others who have arrived at about the same time, and importantly, will keep those who have just arrived apart from those who are coming to the end of their stay. The Pullman Hotel will be the first managed isolation facility to receive cohorted arrivals, starting tomorrow. The transition will be complete by Sunday, 16 May. “Day 0/1 testing, staying in their room until a negative result is returned, Days 3 and 12 testing, limited exposure to others when exercising and smoking, and physical distancing will continue to apply across all facilities.” Chris Hipkins said the number of available rooms will be temporarily reduced by bringing forward scheduled hotel maintenance to April-May from July-September. However, thousands of rooms will be freed up to the end of May by MIQ cancelling all remaining vouchers held by travellers from Australia.Note:Special purpose MIQ facilities will not be included in cohorting. This includes the JetPark quarantine facility and other facilities used for special groups such as refugees, unaccompanied minors, air and maritime crew and people with complex medical needs.The emptying process to transition to enhanced cohorting has already started, with five facilities no longer receiving new returnees to prepare them to receive a cohort of arrivals. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Brazil, COVID-19 Response, evolution, Government, Guinea, Humanitarian, India, infection, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, public health, quarantine, risk assessment, Trans-Tasmanlast_img read more

Escalating Attacks on Journalists: Pakistan

first_imgEscalating Attacks on Journalists: Pakistan Human Rights WatchA recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those suspected of criminal responsibility should be promptly and fairly prosecuted.The Pakistan government should conduct prompt, impartial, and effective investigations into the recent number of attacks on journalists. The government should rescind official policies that protect the authorities from criticism and instead promote space for public debate and free expression, in the face of threats from extremist groups and government officials.“The frequency and audacity with which journalists are being attacked in Pakistan is appalling,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Pakistani authorities should bring those responsible for these attacks to justice and ensure that all journalists can do their jobs without fear of intimidation or reprisals.”On May 25, 2021, Asad Ali Toor, a journalist, was assaulted by three unidentified men who forcibly entered his apartment in Islamabad. They bound and gagged Toor and severely beat him. Toor said that they identified themselves as being from a security agency, interrogated him about the “source of his funds,” and took away his cell phone and other electronic devices. The government ordered an investigation into the incident. In September 2020, the authorities charged Toor with sedition for comments made on social media “maligning state institutions.” A court later dismissed the charges.On April 20, an unidentified assailant shot and wounded Absar Alam, a television journalist, outside his house in Islamabad. Alam has been a prominent critic of the government. In September 2020, the authorities charged Alam with sedition and “high treason” for using “derogatory language” about the government on social media.On July 21, 2020, an unidentified assailant abducted another journalist, Matiullah Jan, in Islamabad the day before he was to appear before the Supreme Court for allegedly “using derogatory/contemptuous language and maligning the institution of judiciary.” Jan was released after a few hours. He alleged the abduction was an attempt to intimidate him. A criminal case was registered for Jan’s abduction, but no suspects have been arrested.“It is disturbing to see the space for dissent and providing information of public importance rapidly shrink in Pakistan, with journalists as well as human rights defenders particularly at risk of censorship, physical violence, and arbitrary detention,” said Sam Zarifi, secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists.Pakistani journalists have long faced serious obstacles to their work, including harassment, intimidation, assault, arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction, and death. As these threats have escalated, Pakistani authorities have also increasingly pressured editors and media owners to shut down critical voices. On May 29, the news channel, Geo, “suspended” Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan’s best-known television talk show hosts, after he spoke at a protest in solidarity with Asad Toor.Other media outlets have come under pressure from authorities not to criticize government institutions or the judiciary. In several cases in recent years, government regulatory agencies blocked cable operators and television channels that had aired critical programs. In 2020, Pakistan ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalist’s annual Global Impunity Index, with at least 15 unsolved killings of journalist since 2010.In July 2020, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered 24NewsHD, a television news channel, off the air indefinitely for the alleged “illegal transmission of news and current affairs content.” Journalists and opposition activists alleged that the channel was being punished for airing criticism of the government.In August 2020, a group of leading women journalists issued a statement condemning a “well-defined and coordinated campaign” of social media attacks, including death and rape threats against women journalists and commentators whose reporting has been critical of the government.“If the authorities are committed to uphold their human rights obligations, they must take decisive steps against censorship, harassment, and violence against journalists,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, South Asia deputy regional director at Amnesty International. “For that, continued impunity must be dismantled.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:abduction, Amnesty, Amnesty International, Asia, censorship, Commission, detention, Government, harassment, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, investigation, Islamabad, Pakistan, social media, Supreme Courtlast_img read more