No holiday respite for Azerbaijani journalists

first_img News Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Council of EuropeCorruptionImprisonedWomenInternetFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment News Receive email alerts to go further Released conditionally in 2016 after 18 months in prison, Ismayilova is still under judicial control and is banned from travelling abroad. She recently said she had been warned that she could be re-arrested. The authorities froze her bank account after transferring into it the sum of money that the European Court of Human Rights had ordered them to pay as compensation for one of the frequent arbitrary arrests to which she had been subjected. Due to be released in March, Huseynov is now facing the possibility of an additional seven-year sentence on a charge of “using violence to resist a person in authority.” The prison authorities claim that he attacked a prison guard in an attempt to avoid a routine check on 26 December. After they ordered him placed in isolation for ten days without letting him see his lawyer, he began a hunger strike in protest against what he says is a trumped-up charge. Azerbaijan is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. The leading critical media outlets have been silenced or forced into exile, the main independent websites are blocked, at least ten journalists are currently in prison, and the activities of NGOs that support the media have been criminalized. Follow the news on Azerbaijan Help by sharing this information The two journalists are being prosecuted for accusing the authorities of “culpable negligence” in connection with an attempt to murder the mayor of the western city of Ganja in July. Both websites were immediately blocked and several of their employees were briefly detained. While the world has been preparing to celebrate the New Year, the Azerbaijani authorities have launched a new offensive against the country’s few remaining critical journalists. Reporters Without Borders calls on the international community to end the impunity enjoyed by President Ilham Aliyev’s regime. Mehman Huseynov / Khadija Ismayilova / Anar Mammadov / Mustafa Hajibeyli In a trial that began today in Baku, Criminalaz.сom editor Anar Mammadov is facing a possible 12-year jail term on charges of “calling for the government’s overthrow,” “abuse of authority” and “spreading false information.” Mustafa Hajibeyli, the editor of the news website, is due to be tried on similar charges shortly. “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says RSF_en center_img December 28, 2018 No holiday respite for Azerbaijani journalists AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Council of EuropeCorruptionImprisonedWomenInternetFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Organisation Repeatedly harassed by the authorities for blogging about corruption, Huseynov was jailed in March 2017 for allegedly “defaming” the policeman he said had tortured him while he was previously detained. He is the brother of Emin Huseynov, the head of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), a media defence NGO, who now lives in exile. News “This new offensive shows yet again that the Aliyev regime will never stop persecuting its media critics as long as it feels free to do so,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and central Asia desk. “When will the international community finally decide to set it some limits? It is time to hold the regime to account for its actions and to consider targeted sanctions if it does not stop.” June 8, 2021 Find out more The claim is patently absurd. Ismayilova was never financially responsible for the RFE/RL bureau, and RFE/RL is a non-profit entity that has never made any taxable profits. But this does not seem to bother the authorities. Their priority is to apply more pressure on Ismayilova, who continues to do her investigative reporting on corruption at the highest level. Did the Azerbaijani authorities think the rest of the world would be too distracted to notice? Just days after ordering the well-known investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova to pay an astronomical sum in bogus overdue taxes, they have brought new charges against the jailed blogger Mehman Huseynov and have put website editor Anar Mammadov on trial. President Aliyev, who is on RSF’s list of “press freedom predators”, no longer hesitates to pursue his media critics even when they are outside the country. This was seen, for example, when the journalist Afgan Mukhtarly was abducted in Georgia and when the regime brought a defamation suit against two French TV journalists in Paris because they had dared to call it a dictatorship. The persecution to which the journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been subjected for years was revived on 21 December, when a Baku court ordered her to pay 45,143 manat (around 23,000 euros) in taxes that the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty bureau in Baku allegedly failed to pay when she was the bureau chief from 2008 to 2010. News June 4, 2021 Find out more April 9, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

“I’m not a racist, but…” – Campaign aims to quash migrant…

first_imgNews“I’m not a racist, but…” – Campaign aims to quash migrant rumoursBy John Keogh – August 28, 2014 1745 Pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick were two families who did not want to be identified. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22 Pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick were two families who did not want to be identified. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22 “I’m not a racist, but..” A LIMERICK migrant rights group is working on a campaign to dispel some of the more common myths surrounding asylum seekers and immigrants. Kathy Masterson speaks to Doras Luimní to find out the truth behind the rumours.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “I’m not a racist, but…” This seemingly innocuous statement is one most Irish people will have heard countless times in the pub, at work or even at home.It tends to be followed up with something like: “I’m fed up with East Europeans coming here taking our jobs/asylum seekers being given free houses/foreigners taking our social welfare”.Casual racism such as this, carried out in general conversation, is the focus of a current campaign run by migrant rights organisation Doras Luimní.The anti-rumours campaign in Limerick, run in conjunction with ten other cities under the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities programme, seeks to identify and dispel some of the more common misconceptions about migrants.“Basically the anti-rumours campaign was born out of the idea that stereotypes and prejudices really affect migrant integration. It’s seen as a preventative measure against racism, with the idea being that these stereotypes and rumours are so deeply rooted in people’s minds that we really need to utilise social networks and viral information campaigns in order to counter those messages,” explained integration intern Aideen Roche.“The things that kept coming up over and over again were migrants and social welfare. So things like ‘migrants are only here to claim social welfare’, welfare tourism, ‘migrants are overly-reliant on social welfare’. Then that fed in to things like ‘migrants are taking our jobs’, ‘migrants are making a negative contribution to the economy’, and over-reliance on healthcare. Mainly what we were finding was that the rumours were really concentrating on the impact on the economy.”The campaign seeks to challenge these rumours by providing evidence-based answers to the most common misconceptions, using social networks and viral information channels to get the message out.“We’re trying to dispel myths by looking at the facts and statistics. So we looked at the number of people in Limerick and in Ireland that are actually claiming social welfare. We know that 15 per cent of the people on the live register in Limerick are of a migrant background. Of course there are a proportion of migrants on social welfare, but it’s proportionate to their population in Limerick,” revealed Ms Roche.“People had this idea that all migrants were claiming social welfare, so first of all we’re trying to explain that migrants are not just all one group; there are asylum seekers, there are economic migrants from the European Union, and from outside the European Union, and they all have different rights and entitlements.”According to Doras Luimní, attitudes towards migrants in Ireland are generally liberal, in comparison to some of our European neighbours, but the economic crisis has led to increasing negativity towards immigration.Ms Roche says that Doras Luimní hopes to use the campaign to generate “a more open discussion on the issues around immigration”.She concluded: “What we’ve found is a lot of Irish people are harbouring a lot of these thoughts and negative prejudices about migrants but they’re not looking into the real issues facing migrants. They don’t get to integrate with migrants to discuss the issues.”Pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick was this five-year-old girl born in Ireland whose mum is Nigerian. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22.Myth 1: Asylum seekers get free housesTHERE are a multitude of widely circulated myths focusing on the supposed entitlements of asylum seekers and the general perception of the numbers seeking asylum here tend to be grossly inflated.The reality is that Ireland receives a much smaller proportion of asylum seekers than most EU countries, and the asylum-seeking population represents just 0.01 per cent of the country’s population.Until the late 1990s, Ireland was a country of emigration rather than immigration. In 1992 for example, Ireland received just 39 asylum applications. A decade later Ireland reached its peak with almost 12,000 applications in 2002, bringing it in line with the application rate in other European countries. Since then, the number of asylum applications received by Ireland has radically decreased and the annual average number is now approximately 1,000.Unfortunately, many asylum seekers who came to Ireland during the peak years for applications are still awaiting a final decision while living in direct provision centres nationwide.Another common misconception about asylum seekers is that they are favourably treated by the State and have a long list of entitlements ranging from free mobile phones to car insurance, and even plasma TVs.Doras Luimní found that there is a perception among some Irish people that asylum seekers are entitled to “everything they could possibly dream of” and that “the State does more for asylum seekers than the native Irish population who are struggling to make ends meet”.Asylum seekers actually receive €19.10 per week and live in residential institutions under the system known as direct provision. The system provides basic accommodation, which may consist of sharing a small room with fellow residents of different cultural backgrounds with very little privacy and personal space. All meals are provided at set times each day and residents are not permitted to cook for themselves.An asylum seeker is a person who is awaiting a decision on an application for refugee status. In order to be recognised as a refugee, it must be proven that the individual has a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of former residence.Asylum seekers are not entitled to social welfare payments and, unlike most EU countries, asylum seekers in Ireland are not permitted to work while their applications for refugee status are being processed.Direct provision was introduced by the State in 2000 to accommodate asylum seekers in residential institutions. It was originally envisaged as a temporary measure for a process that would to take six months.Today, 25 per cent of asylum seekers have been waiting for over six years. Ireland has also been heavily criticised by the United Nations and other international human rights bodies for its treatment of asylum seekers. Email Linkedin Advertisement Free Céilí Afro Dabke workshops and performance Pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick were Vietnamese friends Phung Nguyen and Nghia Thien. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22. Myth 2: Migrants get free buggies/phones/carsOF ALL the misinformation surrounding migrants, the myth that asylum seekers and immigrants get free buggies and other goods on demand is probably the most prevalent, and one that seems to be particular to Ireland.The myth is now so common that it has become something of an urban legend that usually goes something like this: “A migrant woman got out of the taxi with her two children at the bus station. She didn’t bother taking the buggy with her because she knew she could just pick up another one on arrival”.This urban legend sometimes specifies the nationality of the family and it sometimes specifies at what bus stop or train station they were spotted.According to Doras Luimní: “This myth centres on the understanding that certain vulnerable groups are entitled to more than the general population and that they abuse these entitlements. It is born out of suspicion, frustration at the inability to make ends meet and resentment for those who seemingly can.”The social welfare system in Ireland provides emergency and once-off payments for vulnerable low-income families known as Exceptional Needs Payments (ENPs), under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.Asylum seekers and migrants may avail of this payment if they are approved by a Community Welfare Officer.If an individual is deemed to have an exceptional need for a buggy, they may purchase a buggy or pram up to the maximum value of €100, or €150 in the case of twins.In 2012, the total figure of €867,000 spent on prams or buggies nationwide to people of all nationalities represented just 0.0004 per cent of the total social welfare budget.“The total births recorded in 2012 were 72,000, with almost 25 per cent of mothers being of non-Irish nationality. If we take 25 per cent of the total figure spent on prams/buggies in 2012, we could estimate that approximately 2,000 non-Irish nationals benefitted from the ENP scheme, totalling approximately €200,000,” explained Doras Luimní.The organisation also says it is “hugely unlikely” that anyone would be approved for a second pram or buggy within five years of receiving the initial payment. Facebook Twitter Concern over migrant families being accommodated in hotels Jonathan Muhwezi (36) from Uganda at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22. Myth 3: Migrants don’t want to integrate into Irish societyTHE main myths surrounding migrants and integration are that migrants do not want to learn English and that they only want to associate with people from their own communities.While Doras Luimní acknowledges that there are certain barriers that may make it difficult for migrants to integrate, the group also points out Ireland has a relatively short history of immigration, and that integration is a process that takes time.“Language is often a significant obstacle to migrant integration and one that is evident in Limerick and nationwide. However, there is huge demand for English language classes among the migrant community in Limerick.“There are a number of English language providers in Limerick providing language tuition, operating on a voluntary basis and/or funded by the local authority. Despite the abundance of English language providers in the city, the supply simply cannot meet the demand,” research conducted by Doras Luimní revealed.The experience of other countries with longer histories of immigration shows that the pattern of integration in relation to language skills is that first-generation migrants face difficulties with learning the English language; the second generation are mostly bilingual, while the third generation can’t speak to their grandparents.Another possible barrier facing migrants in Limerick is that the non-Irish population here is largely concentrated in the city centre, with approximately 50 per cent of all residents in certain areas being of migrant background.Reasons for this may include relatively cheaper rent and the availability of single or smaller units of accommodation for single persons.In other areas, such as the suburbs located north and south of the city, migrants account for less than five per cent of the population.A Doras Luimní study states: “Though this shows a certain level of segregation between the native and migrant populations, research points to an emerging trend of suburbanisation among some migrant groups in recent years.“For example the Polish, the largest migrant group in Limerick and Ireland, it would seem have recently started moving to the suburbs, the reasons for which may include because they are starting families and settling in Ireland. This shows that integration between migrants and the native population is happening and that migrants in Ireland are becoming more settled here.” Previous articleMan further detained over €450,000 drugs findNext articleWater works to be completed in three months John Keogh Print RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Changes to the Student Support Scheme for people living in Direct Provision Doras concerns about ongoing safety and wellbeing of residents in Direct Provision during Covid-19 Pandemic Child numbers in Direction Provision ‘dangerously high’ TAGSAsylum seekersDirect provisionDoras Luimníimmigrationintegration A six-year-old boy from Ghana pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22. Myth 4: Migrants are a drain on the economySOME of the most prevalent misconceptions around migrants and the economy are that migrants abuse the social welfare system, send all their money home and generally are a drain on the economy.Almost 80 per cent of migrants in Limerick are of working age (15 to 65 years) and have a high level of education – 60 per cent of non-Irish nationals have completed third-level education.Migrant workers are only entitled to claim jobseekers benefit if they have paid sufficient PRSI contributions through employment in Ireland in the preceding years.They are only entitled to claim jobseekers allowance if they can satisfy the habitual residence condition, by proving that they have lived in Ireland for some time and that they intend to stay for the foreseeable future.Asylum seekers do not receive social welfare and they are not permitted to work throughout the duration of their stay in Ireland while their applications for refugee status are being processed.Migrants contribute to the economy and social welfare system in the same way that Irish nationals do: by paying taxes, PRSI, pension contributions and other state-imposed charges.In May 2014 there were close to 17,000 people on the live register in Limerick, 85 per cent were Irish nationals, almost four per cent were from outside the EU and 11 per cent were from within the EU.Nationwide, non-Irish nationals accounting for 14.7 per cent of those in receipt of jobseekers benefit, which is less than the 15.4 per cent of the workforce they represent.With regard to migrants sending money back to their countries of origin, the World Bank estimates that non-Irish nationals sent €1.8 billion in remittances from Ireland in 2011.The same year, Irish nationals sent €540 million to Ireland from overseas, accounting for approximately 0.5 per cent of Ireland’s GNP.“While migrants in Ireland send approximately €1.8 billion in remittances, the money that is spent in Ireland is considerably higher. With approximately 300,000 non-Irish nationals working in Ireland, a substantial amount of income is generated for the State through taxes and PRSI alone,” says Doras Luimní.The immigration system does cost the State a certain amount of money, however migrants are required to pay substantial fees in order to comply with the system’s financial conditions, such as registration fees, visa fees, nationality and citizenship fees, and work permit fees.In 2012, these immigration-related fees amounted to a total of €33 million.In relation to personal consumption – the most significant portion of spending that individuals contribute to the economy – Doras Luimní estimates that approximately €4.5 billion is spent by non-Irish nationals in Ireland annually on costs such as rent, food, travel and utilities.Taking Limerick’s migrant population as a percentage of the national figure, the organisation estimates that the migrant population here contributes approximately €150 million annually in personal expenditure. There’s still a job to be done on the right to worklast_img read more

Tej Bahadur Yadav Neither An Elector Nor A Candidate In Varanasi; No Locus To Challenge PM’s Election: Supreme Court

first_imgTop StoriesTej Bahadur Yadav Neither An Elector Nor A Candidate In Varanasi; No Locus To Challenge PM’s Election: Supreme Court Radhika Roy24 Nov 2020 4:22 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by Ex- BSF Jawan, Tej Bahadur Yadav, challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The judgement was rendered in a Special Leave Petition challenging the Allahabad High Court’s dismissal of Bahadur’s election petition in December 2019 on the ground of lack of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by Ex- BSF Jawan, Tej Bahadur Yadav, challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The judgement was rendered in a Special Leave Petition challenging the Allahabad High Court’s dismissal of Bahadur’s election petition in December 2019 on the ground of lack of locus standi. The SLP contended that the High Court had failed to appreciate the misuse of provisions under Sections 9 and 33(3) of RPA by the District Election Officer. The issue arose with Bahadur seeking for the declaration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election as void on the ground that his own nomination had been improperly rejected and that the PM’s nomination was wrongly accepted for want of disclosure of certain facts. It was further prayed that the election was also vitiated on the account of misuse of official power by the Returning Officer and the Election Observer. “NEITHER AN ELECTOR NOR A CANDIDATE” In the judgement delivered today, referring to the Explanation to Section 81 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which states that an “elector” means a person who is entitled to vote at the election petition relates, the Apex Court noted that an Election Petition could only be preferred by “(a) any elector or (b) any candidate at such election”. “In this case, the election is to the Varanasi Parliamentary seat. Obviously, the appellant is not an elector of Bhiwani, Mahendragarh Parliamentary Constituency, Haryana. His locus thus depends entirely on the question whether he is a candidate or can claim to be a duly nominated candidate”. The Court then referred to Section 79(b) wherein the term candidate has been defined as a “person who has been or claims to have been duly nominated as a candidate at any election”. It was observed that the first part of the definition was intended to cover a person who has been duly nominated as a candidate and the second part covers a person who considers himself entitled to have been duly nominated as a candidate. Assessing whether the Appellant can claim to have been a duly nominated candidate at the said election, the Court answered in negative. “It is a condition for a valid nomination of a person who has been dismissed from service, that the nomination paper must be accompanied by a certificate to the effect that the person seeking nomination has not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the State. Section 33(3) of the Act itself provides the consequence of the absence of such certificate and that is that such a person ‘shall not be deemed to be duly nominated as a candidate'”. Stating that it was imperative as per the language of Section 33(3) for the dismissed officer’s nomination to be accompanied with a certificate in order to be “deemed to be a duly nominated candidate”, the Court held that “it would, therefore, be absurd to construe the legislative scheme as permitting a person who has not filed his nomination in accordance with Section 33(3), as enabling him to claim that he is a duly nominated candidate even though the provision mandates that such a person shall not be deemed to be a duly nominated candidate”. The Court noted that it would be “startling” for any other construction of the law that would enable a person who was neither an elector nor a candidate to question the election of a returned candidate. Holding that Bahadur had no cause of action which would invest in him the right to sue, the Supreme Court reiterated the words of Justice VR Krishna Iyer in T. Arivandandam v. TV Satyapal that “if on a meaningful not formal reading of the plaint it is manifestly vexatious, and meritless, in the sense of not disclosing a clear right to sue, it should be nipped in the bud in the first hearing”. Observing that Section 83 of the RPA bars anyone other than an elector or a candidate to file an Election Petition, the Supreme Court upheld the Allahabad High Court’s decision and stated that the instant Election Petition “has been rightly nipped in the bud. The Civil Appeal is, therefore, dismissed”. Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Latvian property photos firm wins £1m backing to make agency snappers obsolete

first_imgHome » News » Latvian property photos firm wins £1m backing to make agency snappers obsolete previous nextProptechLatvian property photos firm wins £1m backing to make agency snappers obsoleteGiraffe360 already has ‘significant’ number of estate agency customers including Hunters in UK and is moving its HQ to London.Nigel Lewis24th January 201901,929 Views A digital property photos service that is expecting to make traditional estate agency photographers redundant with its ‘one button’ high-resolution cameras has won a further £1 million in funding from investors.Giraffe360, which has been going for two years and already has dozens of estate agency customers in the UK including RE/MAX and Hunters, says its high-resolution subscription service will eventually make existing photography and floor plan creating roles obsolete.Based originally in Latvia, the company is using the new funding to move its HQ to London, tool-up its manufacturing capability and beef up its customers service.The company’s co-founder Mikus Opelts (pictured, above) says relatively simple tasks such as taking high-quality pictures, tours and floor plans are heading towards complete automation, and that his yellow cameras (pictured, above) offer higher resolution photographs and 3D tours than its competitors.Property photosGiraffe360 charges a flat fee of £399 a month to hire and use the system, which employs a ‘one button’ camera with its own 4G connection and SIM card to take pictures and 3D tours. It also emits lasers to automatically measure each room and create a floor plan.“Our 277-megapixel camera takes about two minutes to capture each room and the rest is automated including uploading the photos, tours and floorplans to the cloud, so it’s ready to use when an agent gets back to their office,” he says.Opelts says he has moved his firms’ head office to London because, despite Brexit, the capital remains at the heart of innovation and growth in European proptech. January 24, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Vectren and CenterPoint Energy Merger Nearing Completion

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare TwitterFacebook center_img Vectren and CenterPoint Energy Merger Nearing CompletionOCTOBER 9TH, 2018 MITCH ANGLE EVANSVILLE, INDIANAThe $6,000,000,000 merger between Vectren and CenterPoint Energy is one more step closer to completion.The Federal Energy Regulation Commission approved the deal which is expected to close in the first quarter if 2019.The companies announced plans for the merger in April and shareholders approved the merger in August.Informational meetings with regulators in Indiana and Ohio have also started even though neither state has approval authority over the merger.last_img

Guidance: Surge testing for new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants

first_img London Borough of Barnet (specific areas within N3 postcode) London Borough of Hillingdon (specific areas within UB3 postcode) London Borough of Lambeth (borough wide) London Borough of Southwark (specific area within SE16 postcode) London Borough of Wandsworth (borough wide) What surge testing isSurge testing is increased testing (including door-to-door testing in some areas) and enhanced contact tracing in specific locations in England.It involves testing of people who do not have any symptoms of coronavirus.Surge testing started on Monday 1 February.Genomic sequencing means analysing the virus sample to understand how it compares with other cases.Why the government is using surge testingExtensive surveillance of coronavirus has identified a number of cases of COVID-19 variants and mutations of concern in England.The government is using surge testing and genomic sequencing to: you’ve had a vaccination for coronavirus Read more about surge testing being deployed in England to monitor and suppress the spread of the COVID-19 variant. If you test negative you should continue to follow the national lockdown rules. you’ve tested positive for coronavirus previously (but not within the last 90 days) live in targeted locations within one of the postcode areas listed on this page West Midlands home testing kits Visit your local authority website to find out more.What happens after your testIf you test positive with a PCR test, your test will be sent to a laboratory for genomic sequencing.You must isolate with your household and follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infections. Public Health England will carry out enhanced tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases of the variant.There is currently no evidence that variants cause more severe illness.Positive PCR tests from institutions within these specific locations, such as care homes, will also be sent for genomic sequencing. Birmingham City Council (specific areas in and near to the B31 postcode) Bolton Council (area of Wingates Industrial Estate within BL5 postcode) Bristol City Council (specific areas in the following postcodes: BS1, BS2, BS3, BS4, BS5, BS6, BS8, BS9, BS14 and BS16) Buckinghamshire Council (specific areas in the HP10 postcode) Essex County Council (CM13 postcode area) Hampshire County Council (specific areas in the RG26 postcode) Hertfordshire County Council (EN10) Kent County Council (ME15) Leeds City Council (specific areas within the LS8 and LS9 postcodes) London Borough of Barnet (specific areas within N2, N10 and NW4) London Borough of Brent (specific areas within North Wembley) London Borough of Croydon (specific areas within the CR0 postcode, and specific areas within South Norwood and Thornton Heath) London Borough of Ealing (specific areas in and near to the W7 postcode)* London Borough of Haringey (N17 and specific areas within N10 and N11) London Borough of Harrow, North Harrow, South Harrow and Wealdstone (specific areas within the HA2 and HA3 postcodes) London Borough of Lambeth (specific areas in the SW8, SW9, SE27 and SW16 postcodes) London Borough of Merton (Pollards Hill and Wimbledon Park area) London Borough of Redbridge (Loxford and Clementswood wards) London Borough of Southwark (specific area within the SE5 postcode) London Borough of Wandsworth (specific areas within the SW11 and SW15 postcodes) Manchester City Council (specific areas in the M9, M14, M15, M16 and M40 postcodes) Metropolitan Borough of Sefton (Norwood, Dukes and Cambridge wards) Middlesbrough Council (specific areas in the TS7 and TS8 postcodes) Norfolk County Council (specific areas in IP22) Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (specific areas within the DY4 7, DY4 8 and B69 2 postcodes) Southampton City Council (specific areas in the SO15 postcode) South Gloucestershire Council (within the following postcodes: BS32 0, BS32 8, BS32 9, BS34 5, BS34 6 and specific areas in the following postcodes: BS16 and BS37) Staffordshire County Council (Stafford District) Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (specific areas within TS19) Surrey County Council (GU21, GU22 and TW20) Walsall Council (specific areas in and near to the WS2 postcode and Pleck ward) Worcestershire County Council (specific areas in and near to the WR3 postcode) The list is updated regularly.If your local authority is carrying out surge testing, you can visit your local authority website to find out exactly where testing is being targeted.Locations that have completed surge testingThe following areas have completed initial surge testing operations: monitor and suppress the spread of coronavirus *Additional testing and genomic sequencing was deployed more widely within the London Borough of Ealing, where a small number of additional cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa have been found.Further data on surge testing will be provided in due course.Who should get a testYou should get a test for coronavirus if you: Who should not get a testIf you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you do not need to be tested.How to get a testLocal authorities in the postcode areas on this page are providing PCR testing to people without symptoms through extra: See latest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern and variants under investigation, published by Public Health England. You should get a test even if: Locations using surge testingSurge testing is currently being carried out in specific and targeted locations within the following local authority areas:London Birmingham City Council (Sandwell and Ladywood, Jewellery Quarter and Soho wards) Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (B66 3, B66 4 and B67 6) If you’ve recently spent time within one of the areas targeted for surge testing but do not live there, you should continue to follow the national restrictions and check with your local authority whether you should get a test. better understand new variants you have no symptoms of coronavirus are aged 16 years or over mobile testing sites If you have coronavirus symptomsIf you have coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a test for people with symptoms online, via the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.You must isolate with your household and follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infections until you get your result.Continue to follow national lockdown rulesIf you live within one of the postcode areas on this page, the same national restrictions still apply.You should continue to work from home.You should also practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’.If you live in an area deploying surge testing you should get tested.last_img read more

Bakers to outline anti-VAT argument

first_imgThe baking industry will today outline its opposition to the proposed 20% hike to VAT on hot savouries.A delegation including Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs, Mark Muncey, chairman of the Cornish Pasty Association and representatives of the National Association of Master Bakers are to meet staff from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).Today is the last day of consultation on the matter before a second reading and the tax increase coming into effect later this autumn.Yesterday, it was revealed that the potential pasty tax – which saw demonstrators hand in a petition with half a million names in at No 10 Downing Street – had wiped off £70m from the share value of the publicly listed Greggs.And, the company also warned yesterday that the introduction of the tax would have severe consequences for its sales and profits, as it outlined an alternative tax measure.Greggs  said VAT should be charged on:• All food kept in a heated environment after cooking• All food re-heated to order• All food supplied in heat-retaining packagingThe company, which also reported its like-for-like sales had slipped by 1.8%, claimed: “This will clearly differentiate between fresh bakery food and food that is being sold intentionally hot.”And it added: “In addition, we are looking as a matter of urgency at how best we should respond to a number of possible outcomes on behalf of our shareholders, customers and staff.”Mike Holling, chairman of the NAMB, said: “The tax could cost the industry one in 20 jobs and result in small bakers’ shops disappearing from our high streets. This tax is the tipping point – not just for the survival of the high street, but personally for small community bakers, who are already finding trading difficult at the moment.”At a time when the government is working with Mary Portas to rejuvenate the high street, bakery shop closures would seem to contradict the government’s plans to support local community shopping.”last_img read more

New spaces for old friends

first_imgFor Boston-area art lovers, the completion the new Harvard Art Museums facility at 32 Quincy St. can’t come soon enough. In recent months, the museums have released more details about the opening of the space, slated for fall 2014, and any passerby on Quincy Street can attest to the project’s progress, as the Renzo Piano-designed glass roof takes shape.But what will become of the art itself in its new home? On Wednesday evening, Harvard curators offered a glimpse of how the museums’ beloved collections will be showcased in the new building, with a nod toward the thoughtful, the innovative, and the interactive.Since the building that housed the Fogg Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum closed in 2008, the curatorial staff has been hard at work “visualizing old friends in new surroundings,” Miriam Stewart, curator of the museums’ collection of European and American art, told a crowd of curious patrons at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum (which will close to the public in June as the project enters its final stages).Although the staff has been working with wHY Architecture, a firm that creates computer-animated renderings of the proposed gallery spaces, sometimes there’s no substitute for old-fashioned models. The current small-scale prototype (in which half an inch equals one foot in scale) takes up a room of its own in the museums’ temporary offices in Somerville. Tiny magnet versions were made of each piece in the collections that might hang in one of the new galleries; curators shuffle them on the model’s magnetized walls to try out new configurations.“Although it may seem rudimentary in this technological age, this dollhouse version of the museum has been incredibly useful,” Stewart said.Soldier figurines, representing visitors, are affixed to poker chips — an important consideration given that each gallery should be able to comfortably accommodate 15-student sections from Harvard’s art courses.“The circumference of the chips suggested the preferred amount of each person’s physical space and gave us a sense of how many students would be able to fit into a gallery,” Stewart said.The new galleries are being designed with students in mind — but also, in some cases, with students at the helm. Jennifer Quick, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art and architecture and a research assistant at the museums, told the audience about her work configuring the books of Pop artist Ed Ruscha in their new home. Given that Ruscha is the subject of her dissertation, she said, the experience has been invaluable.“I’ve been able to dive into the collection and really think about how we are going to display these objects in the new building,” Quick said. “And all of my research into those thoughts about display and the contextualization of the objects has been informed by my dissertation.”Take, for example, Ruscha’s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip” (1966), a 27-foot-long accordion book that folds out to reveal its subject (which is exactly what it says it is). Ruscha arranged his black-and-white photos, taken with a motorized Nikon camera mounted on a tripod on the back of his pickup truck, along the length of the book, with the north and south sides of the street facing each other from the top and bottom of the page and a blank white space running down the middle — “as if you’re traveling down the road with Ed Ruscha,” Quick said.Of course, a mass-produced, unwieldy, foldout book can’t be easily displayed in a glass case.“Publications such as Ruscha’s were not meant to be displayed in glass cases,” Quick said. “Indeed, they were meant to circumvent the institutions of the fine art world and be sold cheaply.”Quick and her colleagues are considering a freestanding glass wall that would double as a long, thin case to display the folded-out book, a solution that would open up the 1960s gallery to allow the objects to be in conversation with one another, she said.While much of the curators’ work involves preparing objects for display, there remains a great deal of behind-the-scenes work on hundreds of pieces that might not make it onto the new building’s walls. Lisa Anderson, Frederick Randolph Grace Assistant Curator of Ancient Art, described a project to catalog and digitize the museums’ collection of ancient bronzes, including roughly 1,250 objects that ultimately will not be displayed.“The project is enormous in scope,” Anderson said. “It is unparalleled in its scope for the number of objects that we are trying to publish, covering over 4,000 years and a geographic area ranging from Spain to Russia, from Britain to North Africa, with multiple cultures.”Far from a new undertaking, the project dates back to the 1960s, when famed ancient art curator David Mitten popularized the technical study of bronzes at Harvard. But the resources at curators’ disposal are uniquely 21st-century. Macrophotography can reveal tiny engravings; metallurgical analysis, which has already been performed on 600 pieces in the collection, can determine if different parts of an object were replaced or repaired at a later date.Curators and conservators won’t be the only people to handle these objects, Anderson said. The new facility at 32 Quincy St. will incorporate study centers where objects as diverse as ancient bronzes and Ruscha’s books will be displayed for visitors.“You’ll be able to look at the object in real life, and it will influence your experience looking at a real dynamic object,” Anderson said. “These are objects of daily life and daily use, even if they are prestige items.”last_img read more

Local Grocery Stores Preparing For An Influx Of Shoppers As COVID-19 Cases Rise

first_imgMGN Stock Image.WEST ELLICOTT – As COVID-19 cases rise in Western New York, several local grocery stores are preparing for an influx of shoppers.Last spring people rushed stores to fill up on food and cleaning supplies, creating a supply-and-demand issue nationwide.Both local Wegmans and Tops grocers announced this week new limits on how much of certain items customers can purchase.Now, the two chains say they’ve been busy replenishing their stock and improving the supply chain. “Items that we can’t get from those name brands that you are accustom to seeing on hand, we are able to work with the largest U.S. wholesaler to get some off brand items to put on the shelf to make sure there is something for everyone,” said Tops Friendly Markets spokesperson Kathleen Sautter.Sautter says her company has learned a lot from what happened in the spring to make sure they’re not blindsided this time around. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more