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UK Back In Top 10 Countries Seen As Least Corrupt The UK has returned to the top 10 of an annual index of countries perceived as the least corrupt. An expert review for Transparency International found David Cameron's focus on the issue including hosting a summit in London later this year - had helped propel the country up three places to equal 10th. But it said the Prime Minister was still to translate expectation into results and criticised the Government for "cosying up unconditionally" to states such as Saudi Arabia and China and an "extraordinarily inept" review of freedom of information laws. It is the first time the UK - now level with Germany and Luxembourg on 81 points - has been in
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the top 10 since 2002. Denmark remains top with a score of 91 and Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore and Canada are all seen as less corrupt than the UK. North Korea and Somalia are joint bottom on eight points and t he global average was 43, but Transparency International welcomed a general improvement, with 64 countries scoring higher this year and 53 lower.
Zika Virus Could Become ‘Explosive Pandemic’ Scientists have urged the World Health Organisation to take urgent action over the Zika virus, which they say has "explosive pandemic potential". Writing in a US medical journal, they called on the WHO to heed lessons from the Ebola outbreak and convene an emergency committee of disease experts. They said a vaccine might be ready for testing in two years but it could be a decade before it is publicly available. Zika, linked to shrunken brains in children, has caused panic in Brazil. Thousands of people have been infected there and it has spread to some 20 countries. The Brazilian President, Dilma Roussef, has urged Latin America to unite in combating the virus. She told a summit in Ecuador that sharing knowledge about the disease was the only way that it would be beaten. Scientists say the WHO's failure to act early in the recent Ebola crisis probably cost thousands of lives. They warn that a similar catastrophe could unfold if swift action is not taken over the Zika virus. There is no cure for the virus and the hunt is on for a vaccine. The Zika virus was discovered in monkeys in 1947 in Uganda's Zika Forest, with the first human case registered in Nigeria in 1954 but for decades it did not appear to pose much of a threat to people and was largely ignored by the scientific community.
It was only with an outbreak on the Micronesian island of Yap in 2007 that some researchers began to take an interest. In the past year the virus "exploded", sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America "infecting probably a couple of million people". The symptoms in adults and children are similar to those for dengue fever but generally milder, including flu-like aches, inflammation of the eyes, joint pain and rashes although some people have no symptoms at all. In rare cases the disease may also lead to complications including GuillainBarre syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system which can cause paralysis. What is the Zika virus: Spread by the Aedes aegyptimosquito, which also carries dengue fever and yellow fever First discovered in Africa in the 1940s but is now spreading in Latin America Scientists say there is growing evidence of a link to microcephaly, that leads to babies being born with small heads Can lead to fever and a rash but most people show no symptoms, and there is no known cure Only way to fight Zika is to clear stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, and protect against mosquito bites
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Work Begins On Sheffield’s £65m New Era Construction is now under way on New Era Square, a 20-storey scheme featuring shops, food and drink outlets, student flats and office space. The 86,100 sq ft mixed-use development will sit between St Mary’s Gate, Bramall Lane and Sheldon Street. The project is backed entirely by funding from China. When the scheme was originally announced in 2014, investors said they had checked London, Birmingham and Manchester before opting for Sheffield. The ground floor, featuring retail units, will lead out to an openair square for events, while the existing KH oriental supermarket established 40 years ago will move to new premises. Offices, an exhibition hall and a ‘business incubator’ to enhance trade links between China and the UK are earmarked for the first floor, while on the third floor there will be 700 student flats, capitalising on the growing number of international students coming to Sheffield. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created once construction is completed.
Osborne Blamed As Car Insurance Climbs By £100 The typical cost of car insurance cover has risen by more than £100 in a year, according to new figures from the AA. They showed that an average annual policy from someone who shops around would cost £625.70 in the final quarter of 2015, up by £105.64 compared with the same period in 2014. It was also up £59, or 10%, on the third quarter - the biggest quarterly jump since 2010 - according to the AA's British Insurance Premium Index. The AA said it was the result of the increase in the rate of insurance premium tax from 6% to 9.5%. The change, which took effect in April, had been announced in the sum-
mer Budget, and affected 7.3 million policies. Personal injury claims such as those for whiplash were also continuing to haunt the industry, with false and exaggerated claims estimated to add £50 to every policy. The Government is planning reforms to reduce such claims and insurers have pledged to pass on the savings to customers. Research by AA Insurance last year suggested that 11% of drivers thought it was acceptable to make an insurance claim for an injury following a collision, even if no injury was suffered. There are about 37million motorists in
Britain, one vehicle for every man, woman and child in the country.
Demise Of The Council House Local Government Association research estimates that 88,000 homes will be lost to the social housing sector by the end of the decade. The falling number of council homes, which had already dropped from 5m in 1981 to 1.7m in 2014, will see more and more people driven into the private rental centre, leading to a £210m increase in the housing benefit bill. Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey said the Government’s Housing Bill was, “bad news for young people and families on ordinary incomes who need a decent home.” “It’s bad news for taxpayers too because it means more people renting privately and housing benefit rising to cover the cost.”
Sheffield Council Warns Over Job Losses And Possible Council Tax Rise
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Sheffield City Council has announced more details of potential job losses within the authority. The council says it's saved £300m over the last five years, but another £50m still needs to be saved meaning up to 400 council jobs could be lost. Council tax could also increase by nearly 4%, the authority warns. Other proposals include: Changes to how the council funds and supports areas like businesses, sports facilities and museums Continuing to reduce staffing and operating costs Continuing to reduce costs by rationalising council office accommodation Moving more work online where possible
Bus Lane Fines Net Council Almost £1 Million Motorists in Sheffield have netted the city council almost £1 million in fines in less than a year for driving in bus lanes and through bus gates. More than 40,000 fines were handed out between January and November 2015 to drivers caught on cctv across in 16 locations across the city including the Wicker, Glossop Road and Middlewood Road. The Hillsborough Place bus lane on Middlewood Road in Hillsborough brought in the most money in fines last year netting £140,125 from motorists. The section of the road cannot be used by cars from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 7am and 11am and 3pm and 7pm. But the bus lane and tram gates on the Wicker are the place where the highest number fines were issued - with more than 6,000 handed out over the 11 month period.
Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine Public Meeting to be held at Sharrow Community Forum (Old Junior School, South View Road) Tuesday 16th February at 7.30 p.m. Speakers: Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley Chris Peace, Labour Councillor for Gleadless Valley Steve French, Surat Alam Louise Haigh is Vice Chair of the national Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East. She recently contributed to the Westminster Hall debate on Child Prisoners in Occupied Palestine Chris Peace, Steve French and Surat Alam took part in a Labour delegation to the West Bank last year. They will each speak about their distinct experiences with slides and film. Speakers will address escalating tension and violence in the region in the context of more than 50 years of illegal occupation by Israel and alert us to current Government attempts to limit the Council's efforts to act ethically in its financial dealings. The meeting will also debate actions which members and friends of the Labour Party can take to promote the cause of justice for Palestine at both local and national level.
NHS Launches Funded Hand Transplants Program England's National Health Service (NHS) will now fund hand transplants in the United Kingdom for the first time. The decision comes after three years of studying the procedure. One specialist centre located in Leeds had already been given the green light to assess patients that can potentially be the recipients of a new hand starting in April. The study for the hand transplant procedures were also funded by the NHS. Patients who lost their hands via injuries or infections could receive a new hand if they pass the requirements by the NHS, who will fund the transplant. However, not everyone who lost their hands will be able to avail of a new one. The NHS is only expected to fund up to four approved cases in a year. About £50,000 is expected to
be spent on each operation. Besides one-hand transplants, the NHS is also planning to perform a double transplant, which would be another first in the UK. Even the NHS's decision to fund the procedures is already a first of its kind. Four hand transplant patients are already waiting in line for their new hand. The centre, NHS and the patients are waiting for the new hand donors. "There have been lots of hand transplants around the world but this is the first time a national funding organisation has closely examined the issue, come up with the conclusion that it's worth pursuing and is now going to fund it nationally in one centre," said plastic surgeon Professor Simon Kay.
NHS Sugar Tax To Help Tackle Obesity Crisis The NHS is to impose its own sugar tax in hospitals to help tackle the growing problem of obesity, the head of the service has said. Hospitals would start charging more for high-sugar drinks and snacks in cafes, shops and vending machines to deter patients, visitors and staff from buying them, said the chief executive of NHS England. The levy - which will be rolled out across the service over the next five years - is expected to raise £20 to £40 million a year, which would be used to improve the health of NHS staff. The move comes after David Cameron signalled that he was prepared to drop his previous opposition to a general sugar tax as fears over rising obesity mount. The move would be brought in on a rolling basis over the next few years as contracts for cafes and shops in hospital foyers came up for renewal. NHS England said “Because of the role that the NHS occupies in national life, all of us working in the NHS have a responsibility not just to support those who look after patients but also to draw attention to and make the case for some of the wider changes that will actually improve the health of this country.”
UK Employment Rate Hits A Record High The UK has its highest ever employment rate of 74% with a record 31.4 million people in work. Official figures show that over the last year more than half-a-million more people are now in work, bringing employment to a new record high of 31.4 million. This growth has been driven by a rise in full-time jobs. “This is a record-breaking set of figures – and has got 2016 off to a fantastic start,” said Priti Patel, Employment Minister and the Prime Minister’s Indian Diaspora Champion. “There are now more people in work than ever before and wages are growing – a credit to hardworking Brits and businesses alike. And in a further demonstration of the strength of the UK labour market, today’s figures show there are a record three quarters of a million vacancies. Wages have continued to grow strongly, 2% over the last year, and the number of vacancies has reached more than 750,000, showing the wealth of opportunities that are being created in the economy. Unemployment now stands at 5.1% – the lowest
since early 2006 – and long-term unemployment has fallen by 25% over the year to 488,000, the lowest in 6 years. “As a One Nation Government we will build on this throughout the coming year – doubling childcare for working parents and introducing the new National Living Wage – ensuring that everyone has increased financial security and the opportunity to get on and succeed in life,” added Priti. HIGHLIGHTS: The number of women in work is up over a million since 2010 to new record high of 14.66 million. The proportion of young people who have left full-time education and are out of work has fallen to a record low of 14.1%. The employment rate for young people who have left full-time education continues to rise – up to 74.6%, which remains the highest in over a decade. A separate set of figures show over 300,000 people have now made a claim to Universal Credit – with almost 7,000 new claims being made to the revolutionary new benefit every week.
Young People In England Have ‘Lowest Literacy Levels’ In Developed World Young people in England are the most illiterate in the developed world with many students graduating with only a basic grasp of English and maths, an in-depth analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has found. The OECD report rated English teenagers aged 16 to 19 the worst of 23 developed nations in literacy and 22nd of 23 in numeracy. In contrast, pensioners or those close to retirement were among the highest-ranked of their age group. England had nine million people of working age with low literacy or numeracy skills, it said. The number of low-skilled people aged 16 to 19 was three times higher than in topperforming countries such as Finland, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. South Korea came top of the list for literacy — assessed by the ability to read and answer questions on a text — and numeracy. The report, based on 2012 data, said although half a million students had started degrees last autumn, money would be better spent cutting the number of undergraduates and investing in basic education. About one in five young university graduates
could manage basic tasks, but struggled with more complex problems. The report concluded: "University teaching gives limited attention to low levels of literacy and numeracy. Graduates with low basic skills gain modest returns from their qualifications and will often not be able to repay their student debts. England has a large university system relative to a poorly skilled pool of potential entrants." The study concluded that 7% of 20 to 34-yearold graduates in England have numeracy skills below level two, while 3.4% have literacy skills below this level. This means that they struggle to estimate how much petrol is left in a tank from looking at the gauge, or have difficulty understanding instructions on an aspirin bottle. A Government spokeswoman said: "Good English and maths skills are essential to success in later life, and thanks to our reforms thousands more students are leaving education with these vital skills. "While we are pleased the OECD recognises the progress we have made, we are not complacent, and will maintain our relentless focus on literacy and numeracy so all young people have the chance to succeed."
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Schools Which Allow Face Veils ‘Could Be Ruled Inadequate’ Schools that allow pupils and staff to wear face veils could be ruled “inadequate” if the veils hinder learning, the head of Ofsted has said. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools in England, has given his “full support” to schools and colleges which “decide to take a stand against the inappropriate wearing of the veil”. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has previously backed schools that want to ban Muslim girls from wearing face veils and suggested teachers should also be barred from wearing the garments. “I have also made clear to my inspectors that where leaders are condoning the wearing of the face veil by staff members or by pupils when this is clearly hindering communication and effective teaching, they should give consideration to
judging the school as inadequate,” Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools in England. Sir Michael said Ms Morgan was right to support schools and other institutions which “insist on removing face coverings when it makes sense to do so”. He said: “I am concerned that some heads and principals who are trying to restrict the wearing of the full veil in certain circumstances are coming under pressure from others to relax their policy. I want to assure these leaders that they can rely on my full backing for the stance they are taking." The Muslim Council of Britain says Ofsted did not need to resort to the "megaphone of the media to show that it is flexing its muscles”.
Bradford In The Top Ten For Blue Badge Misuse Prosecutions Bradford is in the top ten in a national league table for the number of prosecutions for Blue Badge misuse and abuse. In 2014/15 Bradford Council prosecuted in 26 cases and additionally administered 42 Formal Cautions and issued 149 Warning Letters for the misuse and abuse of Blue Badges in the district, resulting in it being placed ninth in the country. The most common type of misuse/abuse is by a family member using it for their own purposes when the badge holder is for example in school, at home or in hospital. Additionally the Council encounters badges of deceased people being used.
whom half are still there. But on top of that 800, we have stopped another 600” Defence secretary Philip Hammond. Mr Hammond praised the support Britain had received from Turkey in stopping the flow of foreign fighters reaching the IS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria. He said its growing success was adding to the pressure the group was facing from western air strikes. “There is evidence (IS) is finding it difficult to recruit to the brigades in Raqqa because of the high attrition rate of foreign fighters,” he said. “Not just those targeted in UK drone strikes, but US strikes against prominent targets including foreign fighters.”
Milad Un Nabi I was delighted that the South Yorkshire Council of Mosques held their annual Milad Un Nabi celebration at the Medina Masjid on Wolseley Road, where I joined the Lord Lieutenant (the Queen’s representative in South Yorkshire) in addressing the hundreds of people celebrating this important day in the Islamic calendar – and pleased that we were invited to share the day with representatives of all faiths in the region. Paul blomfield MP Sheffield Central
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600 Britons Caught Trying To Join Fighters In Syria In The Past Four Years Six hundred Britons have been caught trying to enter Syria to join Islamic State and other jihadist groups since 2012, foreign secretary Philip Hammond has said. They were on top of the estimated 800 British citizens who had gone to Syria in the past four years, he added. Half of those were thought to still be in the country, Mr Hammond added during a visit to southern Turkey. But he said the British and Turkish intelligence services had managed to stop hundreds more joining them, stopping some leaving Britain and others as they arrived in Istanbul, a key staging point on the route to Syria. “Approximately 800 Brits have been to Syria, of
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Teachers ‘Facing Violence And Abuse In The Classroom’ Teachers are facing physical violence in the classroom, with pupils kicking, punching, spitting and even using weapons in school, according to a survey. It suggests that more than two-fifths (42.8%) of education workers have had to deal with violent pupils in the last year - while others have faced insults, threats, bullying and harassment. Many school staff blame a lack of boundaries at home for poor conduct in lessons, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) poll found, while others suggested that a growing lack of respect in society for people in professional jobs was partly responsible. The survey, which questioned 1,250 education staff at UK state schools last autumn, found that nearly half (45.5%) think that pupils' behaviour has worsened in the past two years. Of those who said they had faced physical violence, more than three-quarters (76.5%) said they had experienced pushing and shoving, 37.4% had dealt with punching, 52.4% had faced kicking, 24.1% had dealt with spitting and 2.2% said that pupils had used a weapon, such as a knife. Around 89.1% of teachers and 90.1% of support workers said they had had to deal with challenging or disruptive behaviour from pupils in the last year. The most common type was verbal abuse - such as insults, threats, swearing, shouting, making accusations and being rude. Just over half (52.3%) said they had dealt with bullying - such as pupils isolating a classmate from a friendship group or spreading rumours, while a further 24.2% reported dealing with cyber-bullying and 15.1% had seen homophobic or
transphobic bullying. Nearly one in four (24.3%) had seen sexual or racial harassment by pupils. Given a list of reasons for bad behaviour, 84.5% of those polled agreed that lack of boundaries at home were to blame. Many suggested that emotional or behavioural problems were responsible, while school staff also thought that relationship breakdown within a family and a lack of positive role models at home were key reasons for poor conduct. In addition, nearly two-thirds (64.4%) thought that society becoming less respectful to people on front-line jobs was a reason for negative behaviour. A Department for Education spokesman said: "Teachers and school staff have a right to feel safe while doing their jobs and violence towards them is completely unacceptable. "We have taken decisive action to put teachers back in charge of the classroom by giving them the powers they need to tackle poor behaviour and discipline. "We have scrapped 'no touch' rules that stopped teachers removing disruptive pupils from classrooms, and ensured schools' decisions on exclusions can no longer be overruled."
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STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS & PROPERTY Mohammed Mahroof BSc (Hons) MRICS Consultant Mark Jenkinson & Son Over the last few weeks I have noticed the demand for commercial property to rent. In particular, retail property has seen a rise in enquiries. Therefore, some good news for a change in the property market. On one property I have had over twenty enquiries, from a range of people either wanting to set up a new business, expand their existing business, or relocate. This is not an isolated case. Other cases have similarly seen a rise in enquiries. Could this be down to the long holiday period over Christmas, where people have had time to think about the future with one thought being to start your own business. Or is this a clear sign that people are taking things into their own hands and becoming responsible for their own futures. Whatever the circumstances, one issue is for certain – that you will need a property to operate from. There are certain principles you need to consider in picking the right property. I will try to highlight some. Location It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make – picking the right location could make or break your business decision. You will need to consider if the property you are considering is suitable for the proposed business. Consider the make up of the area, what other businesses are operating there, are they multinationals or independent traders? Multinationals do attract people to a shopping centre and have a positive knock-on effect on surrounding businesses. It is always advisable to visit the area at different times of the day to gauge footfall. It will give you a good feel as to whether or not it is the right location for you. Also talk to other people already trading in the area.
It is the old adage of LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCA- rent. TION which still holds true. The landlord should be aware Planning of the rateable value of the property. If they are not It is important to find our early if the use you then you can contact are considering is acceptable in planning terms. your local authority Therefore, a quick call to the Planning Depart- and ascertain the ment of your local authority is an absolute must. value. If you do need planning permission, then discuss this with your potential landlord as it could take Dilapidations up to three months to gain planning permission. It is therefore important to make your offer sub- Always keep a ject to planning. record of the condition of the property At this stage it is advisable that you take good on signing the lease. professional advice from your chartered surveyor The record should be and lawyer. agreed between the landlord and the tenant. Your chartered surveyor should be Leases able to advise on this both at the beginLease terms you may be offered can range from 3 ning of the lease and at the end. Dilapidations is years to 25 years, with regular rent reviews. Once a specialised area, therefore you would be well you get to this stage it is important to consult advised to leave this to your professional adviyour solicitor as the lease will need to be drawn sors. It is quite common at the end of the term up between yourself and the landlord. that issues can arise which you need to leave to your advisors. Another issue to consider is on what basis you are taking the lease – whether it is on FRI terms or IR Market Conditions terms. FRI terms means the tenant is responsible for the full repair and insurance of the property. It is not very often in the last few years that you IR terms mean that the tenant is responsible could say that the market is showing signs of imfor all internal repairs. Don't worry about these provement, but if the last few months are a sign terms as your professional advisers will help you of the future it is clear demand for retail shop through these. units is beginning to improve.
The right property in the right location will find tenants; therefore investors need to bear this in mind when buying retail property for investment. In conclusion this article is for discussion, it is important that if you embark on leasing a property that you take the advice of a lawyer and chartered surveyor, equally landlords should do the same.
If you want to contact me I am a consultant at Mark Jenkinson and Son, telephone 0114 276 Business Rates The key ingredient in this market is that landlords 0151 or mobile: 07879 015095 and I will be deneed to be realistic in the rent they ask and ten- lighted to advise on any property issues you may Most leases do not include business rates. There- ants need to be aware of the commitment they wish to discuss. fore, do bear this in mind in your budgeting proc- are entering into. Flexibility is a key component ess as this will be another cost in addition to your of ensuring this market continues to improve.
Concern Over Loneliness More than a million elderly people are blighted by loneliness And it's a major public health concern Britain was recently named the loneliness capital of Europe, with us Brits less likely to know our neighbours or have strong friendships compared to anyone else in the EU. And 48% percent of us reckon the problem is getting progressively worse. Not only is it emotionally hard, this loneliness epidemic is slowly killing us. It's thought that being lonely is more harmful to our bodies than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is also believed to increase risk of clinical dementia by 68%, while the chances of premature death are raised by 30% for those who are lonely. UK councils are now warning that loneliness needs to be recognised as major public health concern. The Local Government Association believes more than one million people aged over 65 are lonely. That's around 10-13% of older people who feel trapped in their own home because they feel they have nowhere to go. And in addition to personal suffering, loneliness is often the tipping point for referrals to adult social care and the
The recovering is very fragile nevertheless it is moving in the right direction.
cause for doctor visits. A new report aimed at helping local councils combat loneliness has been prepared. We take a look at some of the schemes that could help tackle the problem: Why we all need to help look after the elderly in winter Get better at spotting loneliness Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group runs a 'Social Prescribing' scheme with GPs to identify those at risk of loneliness. Home visits are then carried out to link people with community groups. Bond over shared interests
Clubs where lonely people can meet others who share their interests are another great way of making people feel more connected to their local community. Exeter Age UK has a Men in Sheds scheme to bring men together to chat over tools and gardening. Regular attendees act as 'buddies' for older men who wouldn't otherwise be able to take part. Start a coffee club Knowing there's a regular meet up to look forward to where you'll be socialising with people in a similar situation can make the world of difference. Brighton & Hove Carers Centre Males Carers Support Group has an established monthly coffee morning as well as a monthly social activity to get lonely carers out and about. Become a befriending champion Derbyshire Country Council want people who will act as the 'eyes and ears' of their local community and look out for people at risk of becoming lonely and encourage them to join in groups and activities. If you're someone who enjoys talking and listening to people from all walks of life, contact your local council to ask about similar schemes. Age UK also runs a befriending service which is a vital lifeline to many older people, who would otherwise feel totally isolated. Ring Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 to find out more.
Cameron Rejects Calls To Take 3,000 Migrant Children Who Have Fled To Europe David Cameron has rejected calls to take in 3,000 refugee children who have become separated from their parents and travelled to Europe. A Downing Street adviser said they did not want to create “a magnet” to attract more migrants to cross the Mediterranean. However, Britain has offered to resettle more vulnerable children from refugee camps near Syria and offer some assistance to migrant children in Europe. In a somewhat confusing announcement, the Government said a new initiative was being launched to help unaccompanied children in countries surrounding Syria who would be better off in the UK because their “needs cannot be met in the region”. The Immigration Minister said the UK would work with the United Nations refugee agency - the UNHCR - to identify “exceptional cases”. At the same time, the Department for International Development (DFID) is to establish a new fund of up to £10m to support vulnerable migrant children in Europe and this could include resettling some from counties such as Greece and Italy in to the UK, if they have family here. Save the Children for Britain wants the UK to admit at least 3,000 young people who have reached Europe from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. But the Government has not put a figure on how many children it expects to accept under the scheme.
Govt Announcement Fails Spelling Test
Officials have spelled the word 'language' wrong in a press release informing the public about a new government policy on English language tests. The press release's headline "New A2 English requirement in the family route" is followed by a second line that reads: "New English langauge test for family route migrants". It was issued to provide details about plans to make people arriving on a family visa sit a speaking and listening test if they want to stay in the UK. Any parent or partner who has come to the UK via the "family route" will now be forced to sit the A2 English exam after two and a half years if they want to apply to remain in the country and become a British citizen. But the Home Office's inability to spell correctly caused much amusement among the Twitter community. The Home Office said in its release: "The new A2
requirement delivers the government's manifesto commitment to ensure that those coming to the UK on a family visa with only basic English will become more fluent over time. "It will mean that the person can better engage in everyday conversation and thereby better participate and integrate in everyday life in the community." The release follows David Cameron's announcement that Muslim women who fail to improve their English face being refused permission to stay in the UK. A Home Office spokesperson said: "This was a regrettable typographical error that has now been corrected." Asked whether the Prime Minister was disappointed by the error, David Cameron's official spokeswoman said: "All of us are open to mistakes at times. The Prime Minister is pretty confident that his team speak English competently."
Criminal Records Checks ‘Unlawful’ Disclosing minor silliness no longer required, say judges Mandatory pre-employment criminal record checks have been ruled unlawful in the UK, following a ruling in the High Court. Judges declared the government's disclosure scheme is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The High Court heard the complaints of two people who had suffered professional setbacks after being forced to disclose minor criminal convictions to potential employers. The challenge related only to minor offences, and no challenge was made to the rules requiring disclosure for those who have been convicted of violent or sexual crimes. The Home Office has declared that it will con-
sider whether to appeal the decision. Lord Justice McCombe ruled that "it was not justifiable or necessary for any individual to have minor offences disclosed indefinitely, from many years ago merely because there is more than one minor offence", as reported the BBC. He added: A spokesperson for the Home Office stated: "We are disappointed by the decision of the court. We will now carefully consider the content of the court's judgment and whether there are grounds for seeking leave to appeal. "This government remains committed to protecting children and other vulnerable people by providing employers with proportionate access to criminal record information in order to support safer recruitment decisions."
Top 500 Influential Britons List Revealed
A list of the 500 most influential and inspiring people in Britain has been revealed. Debrett’s has announced its 2016 list, covering 23 sectors including politics, business, media and sport. Included among the names are London Mayor contender Zac Goldsmith, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Star Wars sensation John Boyega. Boxing champion Anthony Joshua and Leicester City football player Jamie Vardy are among the most influential in the sports category. They are joined by regular stalwarts including artist Dav-
id Hockney and businessman Sir Philip Green, as well as Sir David Attenborough. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon makes an appearance, as does Pakistani activist for female education, Malala Yousafzai. The Debrett’s 500 focuses on individuals who demonstrate outstanding qualities of influence, achievement and inspiration. "It’s a fascinating and eclectic showcase of talent celebrating the best of British throughout a number of areas, from film to fashion, and from politics to sport."
Zika And The Rio Olympics The Brazilian authorities have announced plans to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games later this year. An outbreak of the mosquitoborne disease - which is being linked to severe birth defects - has caused growing concern in Brazil and abroad. Inspections of Olympic facilities will begin four months before the Games to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds. Daily sweeps will also take place during the Games. But fumigation would only be an While Zika virus can lead to fever and a rash, option on a case-by-case basis because of con- • most people show no symptoms, and there cerns for the health of the athletes and visitors. is no known cure The Brazilian health ministry says it is also bank• The only way to fight Zika is to clear stagnant ing on the fact that the Games are taking place in water where mosquitoes breed, and to prothe cooler, drier month of August when mosquitect against mosquito bites toes are far less evident and there are considerThe announcement by the Rio authorities comes ably fewer cases of mosquito-borne viruses. amidst growing attention around the world over the large number of cases of Zika in the Americas. What is Zika virus? • It is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Brazil has the largest-known outbreak of the virus which also carries dengue fever and yellow which has been linked to a spike in birth defects in new-born babies whose mothers were bitten fever • It was first discovered in Africa in the 1940s by the mosquito during pregnancy. The US, Canada and EU health agencies have isbut is now spreading in Latin America • Scientists say there is growing evidence of a sued warnings saying pregnant women should link to microcephaly, that leads to babies be- avoid travelling to Brazil and other countries in the Americas which have registered cases of Zika. ing born with small heads
Head of Community Safety Trevor Bernard said: “You’re four times more likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of the people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly. “I’d encourage people in South Yorkshire to make sure you test your smoke alarms this month and get into the habit of testing them each month as they can save you and your family’s life.”
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue urges residents in South Yorkshire to “test your smoke alarm” – South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have recorded 10 Government launches new Fire Kills advertising fatal deaths from accidental and household fires over the last 12 months. campaign South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is urging residents to regularly test their smoke alarms and those of people they care for to prevent fire deaths, as a new look Fire Kills advertising campaign is being launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The Government Fire Kills advertising campaign will run for one month from January across radio, print, digital, outdoor and social media as there is an increase in fire-related emergencies and deaths over the winter months, compared to the rest of the year. There were more than 160 deaths from accidental fires in the home last year. By simply testing smoke alarms, many more lives could be saved. Ads will feature friendly smoke alarms, which will tell the public to make time for their home’s ‘unsung heroes’ by testing their alarms once a month.
● Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly. ● Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine in 3 easy steps: 1. Test it by pressing the button once a month 2. Change the batteries once a year if your alarm has removable batteries 3. Clean the alarms casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor ● Whatever happens, never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing it. ● Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows your escape route. ● For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at facebook. com/firekills
Call For Dirty Restaurants To Display Hygiene Ratings
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is expecting flood damage from storms Desmond, Eva and Frank to result in £1.3bn payout. Statistics collected by the ABI show more than 3,000 families are now in alternative accommodation while repairs are made to their homes. The average expected pay out for each domestic flood claim is £50,000 – compared with an average from the 2013/14 winter storms of £31,000. Emergency payments totaling £24m have already been made to both families and businesses to cover essential needs such as food and clothing.
The impact of flooding will be felt for many months to come in affected areas. Cleaning, drying out and repairing flood damaged properties is a major undertaking. Insurers and their expert teams will be there for the long haul to help communities rebuild and repair. As a result of this winter’s storms, customers have made nearly 15,000 claims for property damaged by the flooding and more than 5,000 of these claims have come from business customers. There are thousands of smaller claims being dealt with for storm damage, the ABI said.
Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire by following these simple steps:
A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just time should the worst happen to get out, stay half of all householders who own a smoke alarm out and call 999. say that they test it’s working on a regular basis.
England's filthiest restaurants should be forced by law to display hygiene ratings, inspectors say. Outlets in Wales have had to display food hygiene ratings since 2013, but no such law exists in England. Inspectors say this results in premises that score lower than three out of five - meaning they must improve hygiene standards - failing to display ratings. The British Hospitality Association (BHA) said it believed the display of hygiene notices should be voluntary. Members of the public are not always able to check the ratings online so in a way they are going into these places blind. This can be frustrating for businesses that have achieved good ratings. Some people feel it would be better if it were compulsory for the rating to be displayed on the
Final Bill For Flooding Damage Set To Reach £1.3Bn
Winter Deaths Soar In England & Wales Shocking figures released by the Office of National Statistics predict that the number of people dying prematurely in winter 2014-15 are two and half times higher than in the previous winter. The total for England and Wales has leapt from 17,460 to 43,900. The number of excess winter deaths (EWD) are defined as the difference between the number of deaths which occurred in the winter months of December to March and the average number of deaths which occurred in the rest of the year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that between 30 and 50% of EWDs are caused by poorly insulated cold homes. The ONS figures show that fatalities in women
have more than doubled with people aged over 75 worst affected. Clive Lewis, Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister, said: “The latest figures show the highest number of EWDs since the winter of 1999, with many of these being older people, often living in homes with poor insulation. Yet the government is cutting back on life-saving energy efficiency measures by up to 65%. Labour believes that everybody has a right to access the basic level of energy they need to keep their home warm enough to live in. With 2.35 million households now living in fuel poverty, this government clearly doesn’t share our vision.”
Families Using Elderly Relatives’ Contactless Cards
window quite clearly and inside the restaurant. That way, customers can make a choice and the people that run the businesses have a motivation to improve where hygiene standards are not high enough. The BHA said it believed display of the ratings would soon become mandatory in England. However, it criticised the ratings for a lack of consistency and said it would only support their mandatory display "if an effective and independent appeals process is put into place". The Food Standards Agency said it had started to build the case for the mandatory display of ratings in England. It said it hoped to present its work to the government over the next few months. The Department for Health said it would look at the evidence and would make a decision "in due course".
A boom in the use of contactless cards is making elderly cardholders the victims of fraud as family and friends prey on their lack of digital knowhow, a charity has warned. As tap-and-go cards have grown in popularity Action for Elderly Abuse, a helpline for older crime and abuse victims, has experienced a spike in calls about small, regular amounts of money being stolen by friends or family who can easily access the cards. It said such incidents accounted for more than half of the 7,700 financial abuse cases reported last year, with £19m having been stolen, defrauded or coerced from victims. Most are women over the age of 80, and the majority of perpetrators are family members. New cards are making petty theft easier as thieves no longer require PINs to access funds, and receipts are not itemised for contactless payments, making fraud more difficult to prove. The elderly community in general has a very low awareness of tap-and-go technology, which makes them more vulnerable to fraud. The total value of contactless payments tripled over the past nine months with £1 billion spent last November, compared to £287 million spent during January, according to the UK Cards Association. The boom is in part the result of the tap-and-go card payment limit increasing from £20 to £30 in September.
It is also boosted by banks handing customers contactless cards by default if their old card expires or is lost or stolen. HSBC confirmed that over 50% of its banking customers now have contactless cards, while Nationwide says a third of its customers now have one. The building society expects this figure to reach 100% by 2018. Customers with most financial institutions are able to request not to have tap-and-go technology built into their cards, with the exception of Barclaycard holders, who are being forced to go contactless. UK Cards Association, said: “A family member stealing from another is a deplorable crime. Fraud on contactless cards is very low and cardholders are protected against any losses. As with all card transactions, contactless payments are itemised on the cardholder’s statement, and so can provide a strong basis for any police investigation, unlike if cash is stolen. “Every contactless card has an in-built security check which requires the PIN to be entered after a number of consecutive contactless payments to verify that it is the genuine cardholder.” A spokesman for Financial Fraud Action UK said: “Cardholders are protected against fraud losses and should always check their statements regularly and contact their bank if they spot any usual payments. Anyone who is the victim of such a crime should report it to the police.”
Children Are Online More Than Watching TV A latest report from Childwise has found that young people aged five to 15 are spending three hours a day online, compared with 2.1 hours watching TV. Young people are spending more time online than in front of the television, according to children’s research agency, Childwise. They claim that five to 15-year-olds spend three hours a day online on average, compared to 2.1 hours watching TV. Only half an hour is spent on ‘reading books for pleasure’. Childwise are calling it a ‘landmark change’, as it is the first time online time has overtaken TV time among the under-16s. The online survey samples more than 2,000 children in this age group, and highlights how various forms of media are overlapping. While they may be spending less time watching TV, children are still consuming TV programmes. But their preference for using online services instead is becoming more obvious. YouTube and Netflix emerge as the most popular medium, with over half of the respondents use them to watch various types of videos online. They also admit to visiting YouTube everyday, mostly viewing music, ‘funny’ or ‘how-to’ videos, echoing the report’s statement that YouTube has taken ‘centre stage in children’s lives’. Older teenagers (15 to 16-year-olds) show a change in habit in online viewing also, with less than 25 per cent watching TV shows as they are broadcast.
A dramatic rise in the ownership of digital and web-connected devices by children in this age group contribute to this incredible change. More than two-thirds of the survey’s respondents say they have their own tablets (with iPad as the most common). This marks a 50 per cent increase in ownership compared with 2015. 60 per cent of these children now access TV shows via their tablets, mobile phones or laptops. They also use their devices to go on social media or popular websites, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Minecraft and Facebook. Age and gender also take presidency in this study. Older children go online more for social networking purposes, particularly girls. Boys have a preference for sport titles including Match of the Day, whereas girls are found to prefer reality shows like Made in Chelsea. In addition, the study highlights how some technologies are being pushed out by the huge surge in access to mobile internet devices. More and more young people are listening to music with their phones, instead of CD players. Printed magazines have also taken a hit, showing a decrease in regular readers. Childwise’s study concludes how much young people’s lives nowadays are immersed in online activity, with tablets ownership taking over that of laptops and desktops for the first time. Accessing the Internet via mobile phones is also described as ‘near universal’ amongst this generation.
Call For Action As Hundreds Of Babies Stillborn Every Year In Britain A mother whose unborn baby died is calling for more research into stillbirths - as it was revealed Britain is lagging behind in improving survival rates. In the last 15 years, Britain has recorded a stillbirth rate of 2.9 per 1,000 births – which leaves the country 21st out of 186 nations. It means some 700 infant deaths occur each year that could and should be preventable. But it is the annual rate of reduction at just 1.4%, which puts the UK in the bottom third of the table in 114th place for progress on stillbirths. By com-
parison, Britain’s near neighbours The Netherlands have improved their figures by 6.8%. And Emma Kedge, who lost her son Oscar 38 weeks into her pregnancy in 2013, wants more to be done to find what causes the deaths. "I get very angry that it’s just acceptable for healthy babies to die for no reason,“ she said. About 7,200 babies are stillborn every day worldwide – some 2.6 million per year – and half of these deaths occur during delivery. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest stillbirth rates.
Earth Enters ‘Age Of Plastic Era’ The Earth’s surface is being noticeably altered by the production of long-lasting man-made materials, resulting in an ‘age of plastic,’ warns a new study. The research suggests that plastics have such a long-lasting impact on the planet’s geology because they are inert and hard to degrade. Plastics are pretty well everywhere on Earth, from mountain tops to the deep ocean floor — and can be fossilised into the far future. We now make almost a billion tonnes of the stuff every
three years. If all the plastic made in the last few decades was clingfilm, there would be enough to put a layer around the whole Earth. With current trends of production, there will be the equivalent of several more such layers by mid-century. Plastics can travel thousands of miles, caught up in the ‘great oceanic garbage patches’, or eventually being washed up on distant beaches. Plastics can eventually sink to the sea floor, to become a part of the strata of the future.
Road Safety Tips In Bradford Children who attend out of school faith organisations are to be given high visibility vests and road safety advice. Several thousand children attend out of school sessions with faith organisations between 4pm and 8pm, when at this time of year it is dark. Bradford Safeguarding Children Board has teamed up with Bradford Council's Road Safety Team to purchase high visibility vests for children aged five to 11. They are also going to deliver road safety advice sessions to these groups, including parents. The funding for the initiative has come from Bradford Council's Early Years and NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
MY HOT CHOCOLATE WORLD Poet: Shaheryar A. Chishty
Open Letter Urges PM To Take ‘Bold Action’ As Population Ages
My hot chocolate has a world of its own Let’s see what happens and discover the unknown A white polar bear crouches on top of my cup It sits with her baby as it curls up A rollercoaster of caramel spreads across the snow As you drink it, it over flows My hot chocolate is always trying to escape It trickles down the side as soon as I touch my cake A Jacuzzi of cream melts in my cup You cans see chocolate bubbles, its warming up It slides down my oesophagus as I begin to swallow, The slide looks so fun my cake wants to follow!
Super-Wealthy As Rich As Half Of The World’s Population Just 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population put together, according to a report by Oxfam. The figure is down from 388 in 2010 and 80 last year. And the wealth of the richest 1% - about 73 million out of the world’s 7.3 billion people - was now as much as everyone else on the planet combined, the charity said. The finding has sparked calls for urgent action, including a clampdown on tax dodging, to tackle the mounting “inequality crisis”. Oxfam’s report was published published ahead of the World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. It said that since 2010, the total wealth of the poorest half of the world had fallen by nearly £700bn even though the number
of people in this group had risen by 400 million. At the same time, the wealth of the 62 super-rich rose by more than £350bn dollars over the same period to £1.22trn. However, the wealthy are estimated to have a total of £5.3trn in offshore accounts, which means governments globally are missing out on tax revenues of £132bn each year. For developing countries, tax dodging by multinational corporations cost them at least £69bn a year, said Oxfam. “In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake,” Oxfam.
David Cameron has been urged to take “bold” action to tackle the growing pressures on health and social care, as official figures suggest nearly a quarter of the population will be over the age of 65 in just over 20 years’ time. An open letter backed by 40 charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie, calls on the Prime Minister to set up an independent commission to review the system. It states: “We need to ensure we have an NHS and social care system that is fit for purpose otherwise it is the
elderly, disabled people and their carers who will bear the brunt of inaction.” “Bold long-term thinking is required about the size, shape and scope of services we want the NHS and social care to provide - and an honest debate about how much as a society we are prepared to pay for them” Open letter backed by 40 charities. The letter adds: "It is vital that you meet the challenge posed by an ageing society, and an underfunded care system, head on and establish a cross-party commission to review the future of health and social care in England.“ It comes after former health minister Norman Lamb warned some experts believe there will be a £30bn "gap” in NHS funding by 2020. “We know the NHS is facing challenges as our population ages, but we are absolutely committed to its future and are investing £10bn more to fund the service’s vision for the next five years” Responding to the letter, a Department of Health spokesman.
Shortage Brings Halt To Meningitis B Jabs A world shortage of a meningitis B jab has meant parents wanting to have their children vaccinated privately have been told that will not be possible for the time being. An NHS vaccine programme for babies is not affected by the global shortage of Bexsero and a child who has already had one dose should be able to get follow up doses to finish the course and allow the vaccine to work. But private clinics in the UK have told parents they cannot start any new courses of the vaccine against the deadly bug. Public Health England said: "We are aware that
GSK has supply constraints on the Bexsero vaccine for the private market. "However, this does not impact the NHS programme and the meningitis B vaccination programme will continue to be delivered to eligible infants as part of the NHS childhood immunisation schedule. "If we become aware of issues affecting the supply for the NHS immunisation programme, we will inform healthcare professionals and parents." Meningitis B became part of the NHS childhood immunisation programme last September.
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Sheffield Artist Shortlisted at Prestigious British Muslim Awards Internationally renowned Nasheed singer/songwriter Ahmad Hussain was shortlisted as a finalist at this years prestigious British Muslim Awards which took place in Birmingham on Thursday the 28th of January and was hosted by Al Rayan Bank. Ahmad has been recognised for his achievements to date and was honoured to be shortlisted with some of the most talented and hardworking British born Muslims. Ahmad was the only nominee from South Yorkshire. Ahmad said "A great honour to have been selected as a finalist and to have been shortlisted along with some of the most hardworking and talented British born Muslims. Congratulations to all the winners, I am truly humbled to have been part of such an inspirational evening. Some of the previous winners include Boxer Amir Khan, Olympian Mo Farrah and entrepreneur James Caan. Ahmad has in a short space of time performed all around the world and has amassed millions of views on you tube through his beautiful voice. Ahmad has just released his own version of Dr Muhammad Allama Iqbals beautifully written prayer, "lab pe aati hai Dua" which is being used to support the Edhi for Nobel peace prize campaign.
Zlakha Ahmed Apna Haq Founder Awarded MBE Zlakha Ahmed, 51, set up Apna Haq, a Black and ethnic minority women’s domestic violence support organization, 21 years ago is to be made an MBE. Over the years Ahmed’s work has helped numerous women and their children leave abusive family environments, gain their Islamic and civil divorces and lead violence free lives. Ahmed delivers training which has a focus of anti violence against victim and anti racism on violence against women issues such as forced marriage, “honour” based violence and sexual violence. She is involved in local, national and international efforts to eradicate violence against women. Ahmed has influenced the National Children’s Commission on both their child gangs and grooming and child sexual abuse enquiries. Ahmed is a member of the national working group that developed the national domestic violence standards for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, a member of the Shurah Council of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) a global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement led by Muslim women. Ahmed told the press she is “overwhelmed” by the congratulatory messages, adding the gong “strengthens my resolve to continue the work that I do which is to support victims of violence and abuse. And challenge both internally within our communities and also externally the lack of understanding and support available from generic agencies as well as the challenging the racism present within these agencies and communities.”
GCSE And A-Levels Exams Will Not Be Fitted Around Ramadan The body representing the seven largest exam boards in the UK, has robustly denied media reports that this summer’s GCSE and A-Levels exams will be moved to accommodate Muslim students fasting during Ramadan. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) said contrary to reports from some media outlets, including the Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Telegraph, the GCSE and A-Levels timetables will not be changed to assist fasting Muslim pupils. The JCQ said there had been a “clear misunderstanding in some parts of the media” over the exam schedule after it announced that the timetable had taken Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, into account. And the timing of Ramadan had been considered in the same way as other events – such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012 – and that the timetable was not open to change. On January 6, some media outlets suggested the timetable was still in flux as a result of the discussions held between the exam boards, the exam regulator Ofqual and Muslim leaders, which appears to have raised concerns that crucial exam dates could change. The beginning of Ramadan falls on June 7, in the latter part of the summer exam season. After discussions, the exam boards decided to make minor adjustments to the timetable, which included moving some popular exams to before the start of Ramadan and holding others in the mornings, to avoid penalising pupils who were fasting during daylight hours. Popular exams in UK are to be rescheduled to
avoid Ramadan Comparisons of the 2015 and 2016 timetables show the changes have been minor, and in some cases the advent of Ramadan had no obvious effect on timings. In 2016 Ramadan is scheduled to run from June 7 to July 5, overlapping with the summer exam season in May and June. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has accused some newspapers of running misleading and “hysteric headlines” to tarnish Muslim communities on an issue affecting a pluralist society. A spokesman for MCB told The Muslim News, “Some newspapers have once again led with front pages with hysteric headlines on Muslims, this time with the charge that all ‘Pupils face exam shake-up to accommodate fasting Muslims’. ” “In fact, there is no ‘shake-up’ or talk of radically changing exam timetable to fit the lives of fasting pupils. It is reasonable that the JCQ reviews the timetable to ensure it meets the needs of all children, including Muslims. It is appropriate that small changes that can easily accommodate the requirements of any group should be considered, especially where that does not impact negatively on most students. ” “We live in a pluralist society where reasonable accommodations are always made all the time. This is no different. It is disturbing that some media outlets have chosen to use this reasonable accommodation as another means of tarring Muslim communities.”
The winners of the 2015 season Allama Iqbal Sunday Cricket League Cup is Earl Marshal CC. Abbeydale CC were close behind as Runner-up in the League.
Why Green Chillies are Really Good for You
No Desi diet is complete without the addition of spicy green chillies that pack a fiery punch. Used to add flavour, heat and garnish to the average curry dish, chillies are the de facto ingredient for any kind of Asian cuisine. But did you know that the green chillies lovingly added to your daily Desi dish are actually good for your health? Green chillies also differ in colour from red chillies because of when they are harvested. They are picked before they ripen and turn red. They often have a sharper or hotter taste to your red chilli which can be slightly tamer. Studies have shown that there are many health benefits to having these green chillies in your diet.
7 reasons why green chillies are great for your However, the good thing about green chillies is that they have zero calories! well-being. This is great for when you are dieting and want to add taste to some bland, diet foods. 1. Improves your Immunity Green chillies provide sources of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C helps strengthens your natural immune 5. Helps reduce Blood Sugar Levels Diabetes is a common health issue that is promisystem. They do wonders to the nasal passage when you nent within the South Asian community. Chillies can balance blood sugar levels in your have a blocked nose due to the common cold. body. When your blood sugar levels are balanced, you won’t feel the need to splurge out on sweets. 2. Could prevent Cancer developing Green chillies contain the compound capsaicin 6. Can help Digest Food Faster that is responsible for the spice. The more capsaicin a chilli has, the spicier it is. Green chillies contain natural fibres. These fibres Research reports that eating chillies that are rich play a vital part in the digestion of food. in capsaicin could restrain the growth of cancer There are elements of antioxidants in chilies which again, helps quickens the process of digescells. tion. 3. Great for your Skin Vitamin E is present within green chillies. This vi- 7. Improves your Mood tamin is vital for producing particular natural skin We can’t forget mental well-being when talking about health. oils. Consuming them can help contribute you to hav- Green chillies are the underdog of the food world. Even though they are part of the staple diet for ing good, healthy skin. the majority of the Desi community, many ignore the fact that they can do wonders for your health. 4. It has Zero Calories Most great Desi foods have high calorie levels. Not only can they benefit the skin externally, but
Menopause And Migraine Migraine headaches heat up as women approach menopause, a new study reveals. Migraine headaches heat up as women approach menopause, a new study reveals. The risk of headache was most apparent during the later stage of the perimenopause, which is a time during which women first begin skipping menstrual periods and experience low levels of estrogen, the study revealed. “The risk for high frequency headache, or more than 10 days with headache per month, in-
creased by 60 percent in middle-aged women with migraine during the perimenopause – the transitional period into menopause marked by irregular menstrual cycles – as compared to normally cycling women,” said a lead professor at University Of Cincinnati in Ohio, US. The menopausal years include both the perimenopause and menopause. Menopause begins when women have not had a menstrual period for one year. Symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, depression and insomnia are common during both. Changes in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that occur during the perimenopause might trigger increased headaches during this time. Women who participated in the study also reported that high frequency headache increased by 76 percent during menopause, the findings showed. Researchers identified the group of 3,664 women aged 35 to 65 who experienced migraine before and during their menopausal years.
Obsese? Cut Down Sitting Time Reduce siting time to stem obesity and curb heart disease risk. If you are suffering from obesity, reducing the time spent on watching televion or playing computer games may be as important as doing exercise to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, suggests new research. Sedentary behaviour is associated with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes in adults with severe obesity, independent of how much exercise they perform, the study said. According to the researchers, the findings could be used to design and test programmes for adults with severe obesity that emphasise reducing time spent sitting, rather than immediately working toward increased moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity or exercise, such as brisk walking. Adults with severe obesity often
have difficultly following national guidelines to participate in at least 30 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for health benefits. Findings suggest that replacing sedentary behaviour, like watching television or sitting at the computer, with low-intensity physical activities, such as light housework or going for a casual stroll, may improve cardiometabolic health in this population.
they also help maintain the body with various combinations of vitamins and antioxidants, often releasing feel good endorphins. As with any food, an excess of green chillies can be harmful, resulting in stomach ache, so do use in moderation. But aside from that, don’t hesitate from adding a hotter element to your meals. Your body will thank you for spicing up your life!
Diabetes Reaches Crisis Levels In UK
Diabetes now affects 4 million people in the UK we look at myths associated with type 2 and why south Asian people are prone to it. There are now 4 million people with diabetes in the UK. And people of South Asian origin are six times more prone to developing it, than their white British counterparts. There is an extra high risk factor for people who are south Asian: The risk can be as much as six times higher than a white British person, and can be linked to their genetics, culture, traditions and lifestyle, which covers diet, exercise and habits. Work is going on to help educate people. Having diabetes is not something to be ashamed of, as it can often be in Asian communities. The right management and care means that people can live a relatively normal life. Factors associated with people of South Asian origin such as their diet, lifestyle, and things like sweet treats, like cakes and Indian sweets for young children, or for example four sugars in a cup of sweet tea, plus the use of ghee in cooking, added to genes, and not enough exercise, do not mix well, and add up to create a significant risk factor.
Based on 2014-15 GP patient data Diabetes UK says there are 4.05 million people with the condition, including 3.5 million adults who have been diagnosed, an increase of 65% over the past decade and around 120,000 more than the previous year. There are thought to be 549,000 with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Many of them are of south Asian origin. Numbers with the condition were growing across the world, often outstripping estimates. As such, the 4 million figure is ‘not surprising but quite alarming’. There are also lots of people at very high risk of developing diabetes over the next five to 10 years. The large driver is the increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes, associated with obesity in the population. A lot of tasty Asian food, including curries, breads and rice, are full of carbohydrates, which can cause weight increase if not eaten in moderation. And Indian sweets and desserts are mostly full of sugar. A south Asian person is three to six times more likely to develop diabetes and shockingly, the younger generation are at higher risk due to the lifestyle of today’s society. Small things add up such as playing computer games, taking less exercise, eating a few more sweets, smoking, apathy, and a diet which is high in fat. These are all modifiable risk factors. Children should not be rewarded regularly with sweets for doing well or given fizzy pop full of sugar as a habit. It is better to start healthy habits as young as possible.
Five Planets In Rare Alignment During Morning Nautical Twilight Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are in a rare planetary alignment during morning nautical twilight For the last two weeks of January and the first half of February, five planets will be visible together in the sky at the same time during morning nautical twilight. They are the naked-eye planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The last time this happened was in late December 2004 and early January 2005. Assuming the skies are clear, at around 7:00am, Mercury may be visible very low in the south-eastern sky; it is only a couple of degrees above the horizon so this will be a challenging observation to make. Slightly higher up at an altitude of around 5 degrees and
a little further round to the south, Venus is unmistakeably bright. Mars is due south around 22 degrees above the horizon. Jupiter is prominent in the west south-westerly sky at a similar altitude to Mars. Finally, Saturn is visible in the south south-eastern sky around 13 degrees above the horizon, not far from the bright red star Antares. The optimum time to look gets about a minute or so earlier each day for the next week or so. The Moon joins this collection of planets during the last week in January and the first week in February as it progresses towards new moon on 8 February. The optimum date to observe this gathering of objects is 5 February at 6:55am.
50,000 Students Caught Cheating In Three Years Nearly 50,000 university students have been caught cheating in the last three years, according to new figures. Students from outside the EU were four times more likely to cheat in exams and coursework essays, freedom of information data found. The figures, from 129 UK universities, revealed 362 students were dismissed because of cheating - making up 1% of those found guilty of misconduct. Plagiarism, copying and pasting, is on the wane because it’s so easy to detect, but type-2 cheating, using a bespoke essay-writing service, is increasing. Eleven institutions each caught 1,000 or more students cheating over the three-year period, with Kent University finding the most guilty at 1,947. Five students were even caught arranging for someone else to sit their exams. Foreign non-EU students made up 35% of all cases but accounted for just
12% of the student population, requests from 70 universities showed. At Queen Mary University of London, some 75% of postgraduates found plagiarising were from abroad, including a third from China. One university professor said he believed the use of professional essay writers, widely available on the internet, was on the rise.
95% Of Diesel Cars Breach Emissions Levels, Says Watchdog
Fines For Dropping Litter Could Rise To £150 Fines for dropping rubbish could rise to £150 under Government plans, in a bid to hit litter louts “in the pocket”. Ministers are hoping to “create a lasting cluster-free legacy for England” - and believe current penalties set by councils, which fluctuate between £50 and £80, are not enough of a deterrent. As part of proposals by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the minimum fine for littering will be doubled from £50 to £100. Littering is thoughtless, selfish and ruins shared
spaces for everyone. Not only that, litter clearance and disposal costs hundreds of millions of pounds for councils every year - money that could be going on vital services. Usually, councils offer those caught dropping cigarette butts, wrappers and gum a discount for early payment - but offenders who settle the bill late could pay a fixed penalty of £150. The potential law change comes as campaigners urge Britons to challenge litterbugs who think it is their “human right” to dispose of rubbish in the street.
A study launched in reaction to the VW emissions scandal has found that large numbers of diesel cars are breaking official limits despite complying with testing regimes. Which? said it tracked the “worst emissions offenders” it had tested under its own regime going back to 2012 and concluded that 95% of the diesel models emitted more nitrogen oxide than official limits
allow. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was the worst performer, the consumer group said, with up to 15 times the permitted level. It added that 10% of the petrol vehicles it tested also fell foul of the nitrogen oxide limits when tested under its road conditions rather than in a workshop environment. The VW scandal highlighted loopholes in EU regulations that allow manufacturers to get around official emissions limits. While no other company has been found to have deliberately cheated, tougher tests are due to be introduced from September 2017. Which? said: "Car emissions and fuel claims are important factors when buying a new car, so drivers will be shocked by the results of our testing.“ VW’s problems have placed greater scrutiny on the industry - with Renault the latest manufacturer to face questions on its exhaust emissions following raids by authorities in France.
Inactivity In Children
iPad generation means nine in 10 nursery age children are couch potatoes More than 90% of children under five are not active enough, health experts have warned. Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show just 9% of two to four-year-olds meet the current guidelines of three hours of physical activity per day. The British Heart Foundation National Centre (BHFNC), is now calling for national policy to include exercise for toddlers. The centre wants to see health professionals track the physical activity levels of children during their early years. Experts say being active is proven to support brain development, improve bone health and muscular development as well as helping develop social and cognitive skills. Figures show one in five children aged 10 are obese.
3D Printing Can Improve Face Transplants Mr Shumile J. Chishty
3D printing can improve face transplants Many surgeons are using new 3D printers to direct face transplant operations, making the outcomes of the operation more accurate and faster, according to a new report. The face replicas made on these 3D printers take into account bone grafts, metal plates and the underlying bone structure of the skull. They improve surgical planning, which ultimately makes the surgery much shorter, the report authors said. This new technique has already been used in several patients, including two high-profile face transplant patients-carmen Tarleton, who received a face transplant in 2013, and Dallas Wiens, who was the first person in the U.S. to receive a full transplant, during the year 2011.
, screws, bone grafts and a lots of other minor modifications in their faces, and the faces has to fit perfectly around these. 3D printing allows the team to see exactly where these elements are, making the surgery- which can take up to 1 daygo more quickly and smoothly, Rybicki said. Having a better understanding of the facial anatomy can also improve outcomes in less dramatic types of facial reconstruction, said Dr. Edward ca-
The surgeries have dramatically improved the lives of the patients, the researchers said ‘‘they went from having no face and no features at all, to being able to talk and eat and breathe properly,’’ Stated Dr. frank Rybicki, a radiologist and the director of the applied imaging science laboratory at Brigham and women’s hospital in Boston, who presented the findings on December 1st at the meeting of radiological society of North America. That means that patients may have metal plates
Five Things You May Not Know About Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has been crowned the world's best footballer for the fifth time in seven years at FIFA's Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Zurich. Here Press Association Sport lists five things you may not have known about the record-breaking Barcelona and Argentina playmaker. 1. Nickname Messi's nickname is 'La Pulga' or 'La Pulga Atomica', which translates as The Flea/ Atomic Flea, a fitting moniker for a player who measures just 5ft 7in in height and who has proved an almost constant pest to every opposing defence he has come up against. 2. Growing up Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) when he was 11 and underwent an expensive three-year long daily treatment of injections to help him grow. 3. Newell's Old Boys Rosario-born Messi started
out with his home-town club Newell's before moving to Barcelona at the age of 13. Messi has said in the past that he would like to return to Newell's before the end of his career. 4. Argentina debut Messi was sent off barely a minute into his senior Argentina debut after appearing as a second-half substitute against Hungary in 2005. An 18-year-old Messi was shown a straight red for appearing to catch an opponent in the face with a flailing arm after having his shirt pulled back during his side's 2-1 win. 5. Tattoos Messi has numerous tattoos, including a rose window inspired by Barcelona's famous Sagrada Familia church on his right arm, as well as his mother's face on his shoulder blade and the hand prints of his first child Thiago on his calf among others.
Hum TV To Launch New Channel In UK By March Hum TV Network is planning to launch a new channel in the UK by March. The new channel will be a hybrid service consisting of shows from its Hum Masala and Hum Sitaray channels in Pakistan. It is likely the new channel will have a completely different identity to that of Hum Masala and Hum Sitaray. It will bring cookery and lifestyle shows from Hum Masala and entertainment such as fic-
terson, a plastic surgeon at Brigham and women’s hospital who is part of the same face transplant team. For example, when someone’s jaw is destroyed, doctors typically harvest a piece of rib or leg bone to replace the missing jaw. Because the tibia (leg bone), is quite straight, it’s tricky to cut it for a perfect fit. 3D printing allows that cut to be done more precisely, Dr. Caterson said.
tions from Hum Sitaray. Furthermore, the new channel will be split in dayparts to match viewers’ habit and lifestyle in the UK. Hum TV’s foray in the UK/Europe market has been a huge success with its flagship entertainment channel on top of Pakistan entertainment channel ratings. The channel regularly attracts over 500,000 viewers each week.
Bollywood Movie Depicts Escape From Saddam The release of the film 'Airlift' days before India celebrates its 67th Republic day is sure to do good business as patriotic fervour grips the country. Airlift is a story of one of the largest air evacuations of people in the world. It happened when Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. At the time, more than 170,000 Indians were there. With the country in turmoil and its future unknown, this large diaspora was desperate to leave. The government of India was caught unawares and overwhelmed by the numbers. The Indian mission in Kuwait was shifted to Basra in Iraq due to security reasons, leaving thousands of Indians stranded. Top Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar plays the role of Ranjit Katiyal, a wealthy businessman with good connections in Kuwait. Finding himself homeless and lacking support, he sets out to organise and facilitate the evacuation. A total of 488 Air India flights and a few military aircrafts evacuated all Indians in 59 days. To put it in perspective, the "Berlin Airlift", at the end of the Second World War, evacuated 48,000 people in two years. Airlift is a bold attempt to go beyond Indian shores. While Bollywood is one of the world's largest film producers, it is no match for Hollywood. Kumar said: "Because of obvious reason - money
- their budgets are very different from ours, plus their release worldwide in theatres is maybe 50 times more. "Plus they get a lot of support from the government - we are still striving to get this support."
Crackdown On Roadworks Misery Roadworks on major routes could be carried out seven days a week with town halls fined £5,000 a day for unmanned weekend projects, under proposals being considered by the Government to crack down on traffic disruption. In a move that might bring joy to frustrated motorists, roadworks would have to be carried out over weekends as well as on weekdays so projects are finished sooner, or be lifted until they resume. The proposals are designed to reduce congestion on A-roads, which are managed by local authorities, and help reduce the millions of hours drivers lose every year stuck in traffic instead of at work or enjoying their leisure time. Daily fines of £5,000 currently exist for roadworks that overrun, but penalties could also be
handed out to those who leave temporary traffic lights in place after work has been finished, the Department for Transport said. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want to deliver better journeys for drivers. Roadworks can be essential but that doesn’t mean they should be in place any longer than is absolutely necessary." Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Ministers can’t stop utility companies digging up the roads but they can make firms pay the price if the work is not done swiftly and they do not tidy up after themselves. Road users see red when they come across sets of temporary traffic lights that are stopping traffic but there are no workmen in sight or the work has actually finished.”
Priyanka Peaks At People’s Choice Priyanka Choprah made history at the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles when she became the first ever South Asian star to bag a big prize. The Bollywood bombshell took home the ‘Favourite Actress in a New TV Series’ award for her acclaimed role in American TV thriller series ‘Quantico,’ beating off popular Hollywood competition. Looking radiant as always, the former Miss World stunned in a glittering gold and silver dress designed by prominent fashion designer Vera Wang ‘Quantico’ sees Priyanka’s first venture into Hollywood and the star is obviously turning heads with her portrayal of FBI agent, Alex Parrish. As well as receiving an award, Priyanka also presented the award for ‘Favourite Movie’ to muchloved action-hero Vin Diesel for ‘Furious 7.’ The Hollywood hunk, who accepted two awards for the film, took the opportunity to pay tribute to late friend and co-star Paul Walker. After receiving the award, an emotional Vin Diesel broke into song with a heart-felt rendition of ‘See You Again’ that had us reaching for the Kleenex!
Real Madrid Tops Soccer’s Rich-List More than half of the top 30 highest-earning football clubs in the world play in the Premier League - but Spanish sides Real Madrid and Barcelona lead the way. Real Madrid retained their place at the summit of the Deloitte Football Money League for the 11th year in a row, having generated £439million. It comes despite a £4.3 million fall in broadcast revenue although significant gains in commercial revenue and matchday income made up for it. Its Spanish rival Barcelona was just behind on £427 million revenue. However, there were nine premier league clubs in the top 20 and another eight among the next ten teams just outside the top 20. The 2016 Deloitte Football Money League - detailing the 2014/15 season - ranks clubs based on their earnings from matchday revenue, broadcast rights and commercial sources. Manchester United remain the top-earning Premier League
club, bringing in £395.2 million. However, that total is £38 million down on their 2013/14 figure and the Old Trafford outfit have slipped one place in the overall ranking to third. United’s absence from the 2014/15 Champions League contributed to them being overtaken by winners Barcelona, whose revenue was up by £21.2 million. United, however, are being tipped to top the league next year after their return to the competition.
The Legacy Of Colonialism A new YouGov poll has found the British public are generally proud of the British Empire and its colonial past. YouGov found 44 per cent were proud of Britain's history of colonialism, with 21 per cent regretting it happened and 23 per cent holding neither view. The same poll also found 43 per cent believed the British Empire was a good thing, 19 per cent said it was bad and 25 per cent said it was "neither". At its height in 1922, the British empire governed a fifth of the world's population and a quarter of the world's total land area. Although the proponents of Empire say it brought various economic developments to parts of the world it controlled, critics point to massacres, famines and the use of concentration camps by the British Empire.
1. Boer concentration camps During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population - mainly women and children - and detained them in camps, which were overcrowded and prone to outbreaks of disease, with scant food rations. Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans. 2. Amritsar massacre When peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by Gurkha soldiers. The soldiers, under the orders of Brigadier Reginald Dyer, kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing between 379 and 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes. Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000 for him as a thank you.
3. Partitioning of India In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over the course of a single lunch. After Cyril Radcliffe split the subcontinent along religious lines, uprooting over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to escape their homes as the situation quickly descended into violence. Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings. 4. Mau Mau Uprising Thousands of elderly Kenyans, who claim British colonial forces mistreated, raped and tortured them during the Mau Mau Uprising (1951-1960), have launched a £200m damages claim against the UK Government.
Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as "Britain's gulags" or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault. Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died.
BBC1 has commissioned Series 5 of Citizen Khan Self-appointed Birmingham community leader Mr Khan will back on telly as BBC One commissioned series 5 of the hit sit-com. Adil Ray plays the lead role as Mr Khan. Series 4, which was broadcast from October to December last year, attracted audiences of between 2 and 3 million an episode. “The new series will see creator Adil Ray return to the title role alongside Shobu Kapoor, who plays Mrs Khan; Krupa Pattani and Bhavna Limbachia, who play daughters Shazia and Alia; and Abdullah Afzal, who plays Shazia’s husband, Amjad,” BBC told British Comedy Guide. The new series, which will be filmed in Birmingham and Salford later this year, will see the Khan
family in a state of flux. Amjad is finally a proper policeman as he and Shazia are about to become parents for the second time. Meanwhile Alia is thinking of leaving home, either by going to college or finally achieving her dream of Instagram superstardom. Also Mrs Khan is facing up to the prospect of an empty nest and wondering if she and her husband will have anything in common anymore. Meanwhile, Mr Khan himself is blissfully unaware of any clouds on the horizon as he is far too busy being an “entrepreneur, community leader and surely soon the next president of the Sparkhill Pakistani Business Association”.
5. Famines in India Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India. In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal. Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”
Pregnant Women Can Safely Eat Runny Eggs Your Burngreave Ward Councillors
Cllr Jackie Drayton 0114 2435388
Cllr Ibrar Hussain 0786 657 1750
Lord Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Talib Hussain 0114 2735588
Pregnant women should be told they can safely enjoy runny eggs, almost 30 years after the salmonella crisis, according to a new report. British eggs with the red "lion" brand carry such a low risk that vulnerable groups like expectant mothers and the elderly can eat them lightly cooked or raw in things like mayonnaise, the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) said. The report by its egg working group, the first since 2001, said lion-branded eggs should be categorised "very low" risk because of "a major reduction in the microbiological risk from salmonella" in British hen eggs in the last 15 years thanks to improved hygiene and storage. It advised the Food Standards Agency to change its official advice on these eggs but recommends the warning remains in place for imported eggs, UK eggs without the lion and those from birds other than hens. Fears over salmonella peaked in the late 1980s
when two million chickens were slaughtered and pregnant women were told to avoid undercooked eggs. The ACMSF report said: "The 'very low' risk level means that eggs produced under the Lion code, or produced under demonstrably equivalent comprehensive schemes, can be served raw or lightly cooked to all groups in society, including those that are more vulnerable to infection, in both domestic and commercial settings, including care homes and hospitals. "The group recommends that the Food Standards Agency considers amending its advice on eggs in the light of the above. " In 1988 Edwina Currie, then a junior health minister, said most egg production in Britain was infected with salmonella. Her comments sparked a public outcry and two weeks later she was forced to resign. By early 1989 the link between eggs and salmonella poisoning was proved beyond doubt.
Burngreave surgeries are shared between Councillors Jackie Drayton, Ibrar Hussain and Talib Hussain and are held at:• Burngreave Library, Spital Hill 2nd Saturday of the month from 11.00 a.m. -12.00 noon • Pakistan Advice Centre, 127 Page Hall Road 3rd Thursday of the month 2.00-3.00 p.m. There are no surgeries during August. A surgery is also held on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month (except August) from 10.00 to 11.00 a.m. at Firth Park Advice Centre, 9 Stubbin Lane. (These surgeries are shared on a rota basis with Cllrs, Peter Price, Peter Rippon, Sioned-Mair Richards and Jackie Drayton. Councillors Alan Law and Chris Weldon also share the surgery on the 1st Thursday).
UK Is ‘Vulnerable’ To Next Ebola Outbreak The UK is vulnerable to epidemics such as Ebola because of a gaping hole in the country's ability to manufacture vaccines, a group of MPs has warned. The Science and Technology Committee said the UK "lacks the capacity" to produce enough to protect people. And they said the government's response to the Ebola outbreak was "undermined by systematic delay". The government said its "swift" action had saved lives and steps had been taken for an effective future response. More than 11,000 people died in West Africa in the largest-ever outbreak of Ebola.
MPs praised the "heroic" efforts of the volunteers who often put their own lives on the line to tackle the epidemic. But their report warned: "We are also concerned that, in the unlikely but possible event of a domestic outbreak, the UK lacks the capability to go further and manufacture enough vaccines to vaccinate UK citizens in an emergency. "Existing facilities are degraded and new plants will take years to build, leaving the UK in a vulnerable position." The concern is that should a disease such as Ebola spread around the world then countries would look after their own interests first, making it hard for the UK to get hold of vaccines. A Department of Health spokesman said: "We have already taken steps to ensure an even more effective response in future. "This includes the £1bn Ross Fund for infectious disease research, the UK Vaccine Network to target the most threatening diseases, and a rapid response team of public health professionals who can be deployed within 48 hours to investigate a disease outbreak in a developing country."
Shoppers Steal £26.7m Worth Of Plastic Bags Nearly £27m worth of plastic bags are believed to have been stolen in England since the 5p government charge was introduced last year. That represents a whopping 534 million carrier bags. A new survey by discount website Vouchercodespro.co.uk has revealed that more than half of shoppers (51%) admitted to taking a plastic bag when they should have paid for it. The poll – which surveyed 2,784 people – also found that 22% claimed they took the bags because no one noticed, whilst 37% said they took the bags because paying meant “companies making more money,” according to the Telegraph. This means that the effect isn’t as desired, and carrier bags will still be prominent in the English shop. Since the introduction of the carrier bag charge, all large retailers – with 250 or more employees – have had to charge 5p for each single-use car-
rier bag a shopper uses. According to the Government, “the scheme aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic carrier bags, and the litter associated with them, by encouraging people to re-use bags.” Self-checkouts, where the shopper has to enter the number of bags used, make it easier to take bags without paying for them. The 5p charge for carrier bags is not a tax and proceeds do not go to the Government. “We expect retailers to donate the proceeds of the scheme to good causes, but it is for them to choose what to do, and which causes to support,” notes the Defra website. Since the introduction of the carrier bag charge, shoppers have found ingenious ways to avoid paying, such as stealing trolleys and baskets instead. Nonetheless reports suggest that carrier bag use has dropped by 80% since the charge was introduced.
Contactless Card Payments Top £1bn In A Month A record £1bn was spent using “tap and go” contactless cards in November, figures show. It marks the first time contactless spending across Britain has passed the milestone in a single month. In total, 121 million contactless purchases were made during November, industry body the UK Cards Association said. The rise is being put down to the limit for a single payment being increased by £10 to £30 in September. Whether it’s buying lunch or paying for travel, there is a real appetite for contactless payments and this is only going to grow and grow. The total value of contactless payments made over the month was £1.02 billion, the UK Cards Association said. The average transaction value of a contactless payment increased to £8.03 in November, up from £7.72 in October, an indicator of the effect of the new £30 payment limit. Separate figure from Barclaycard also showed
its customers now make more contactless transactions in a single calendar month than were made during the whole of 2013. The technology enables customers to pay for goods with a single tap of their card on a reader, without the need to provide a signature or enter their Pin.
LIB DEMS CALL FOR REMAINS OF TINSLEY PARK TO BE PROTECTED As building has begun of the new Tinsley School on Tinsley Recreational Ground, Lib Dem Councillors are calling on the Labour administration to give the remainder of Tinsley Green protected status so it cannot be developed further. Tinsley Recreational Ground was the only publicly accessible green space in the Tinsley area and was a part of our cities heritage as the park that Gordon Banks, England 1966 world cup winning team goal keeper played on as a child. In her motion to full council, Cllr. Penny Baker, calls on the on the council to award the remain-
der of Tinsley Recreational Ground ‘Fields in Trust’ status to protect the only remaining public green space in the area. Cllr Penny Baker, Shadow Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods said “Our cities green reputation and treasured open spaces are not safe in the hands of Labour when they are building schools on recreation grounds and selling off corners of our parks. We want their reassurance that not one blade of grass of designated public open space or park land in Sheffield will be sold off or developed further.”
Cllr. Penny Baker and Cllr. Shaffaq Mohammed at Tinsley Recreation Ground
Almost Half Of UK Food ‘Sourced From Abroad’ Almost half of the UK's food and feed now comes from overseas, which is burdening poorer countries with the related environmental impact, a new study says. Over two-thirds of the land needed to produce the UK's food and feed is based abroad, researchers said, meaning 64% of the related greenhouse gases are emitted on foreign soil. Since 1986, the size of this land has grown by 23% to match increasing demand, with associated CO2 emissions rising by 15%, the research published in the Royal Society journal states. South America, the EU and South East Asia are among the places from which the UK sources its food. It is claimed the damage done by the country's agricultural requirements is being "outsourced" to these areas. Producing sufficient, healthy food for a growing world population amid a changing climate is a
major challenge for the 21st century. However, agricultural trade has implications for national food security and could displace environmental impacts from developed to developing countries. The UK is currently importing about 50% of its food and feed, whereas 70% and 64% of the associated cropland and greenhouse gas impacts, respectively, are located abroad. But the report adds that, although this import trend saddles developing countries with environmental damage, it facilitates economic development through international trade. Scientists believe the increasing reliance on foreign food could also make it more difficult for the UK to become self-sufficient. It comes after figures from the National Farmers' Union released last year suggested that, by the mid-2040s, the country will only be able to produce enough food to feed 53% of its population.
‘Traditionally Submissive’ Muslim Women Rebut PM’s Comments British Muslim women have taken to Twitter to highlight their personal achievements after Prime Minister David Cameron is said to have privately suggested that the 'traditional submissiveness of Muslim women' could be one of the reasons young men are becoming radicalised. The social media site saw the hashtag #traditionallysubmissive trend after the women began posting images of themselves holding up sheets of white paper with their successes written on
them, and the hashtag. Those behind the bullet-pointed notes said they had been 'hurt' by the Prime Minister's comments. The Prime Minister is said to have privately argued that one of the main reasons why young Muslim males fall under the spell of fanatics is because their mothers have too much of a subordinate role within their communities to argue against the influence of the extremists, according to Mail Online report. Last month, he pledged £20million on English lessons for Muslim women living in the UK. However, if Mr Cameron hoped the pledge would be a step towards a more cohesive society, it seems the women he's targeting merely
felt outraged by the suggestion that all Muslim women are 'traditionally submissive.' Dr Sukaina Hirji, a GP and political activist, said the PM's comments had caused many British Muslim women to be 'extremely hurt' and had worked hard to try and get the hashtag trending by re-posting the achievements of others. She told Femail: 'I wanted the Prime Minister to take notice that we, Muslim women, are diverse in our backgrounds, talents and roles, and are absolutely NOT traditionally submissive. She explains: 'We take our inspiration "traditionally" from Khadija; employer, businesswoman and wife of the Prophet Muhammad and the contemporary Tawakkol Karman, a Muslim woman who has won the Nobel Peace Prize.'
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Some important events have taken place over the past few days on which I would like to comment. Some of these have direct relevance to our lives and some are just to please those concerned. We all read in the papers that North Korea detonated a hydrogen (thermo-nuclear) bomb. Just in order to please our ‘masters’, we also recorded our protest and concern, totally ignoring the fact that, for almost 50 years, they have been our reliable friend and have always stood by us during difficult times. They supplied us conventional weapons of very good quality and they were extremely helpful to us in the development of our missile programme. Most of their scientist and engineers have received their higher education in Russia and are very intelligent and competent. Unfortunately, financial constraints (lack of usable land and unjust sanctions by the West) have hurt her economy. An approach based on the Chinese model (a more liberal policy) would have been, and would still be, beneficial to them. I found the comments made by our government on this test uncalled for and unjustified. Their nuclear tests in no way affect us and nobody would dare play games with them – not now and not in the future. Contrast that to the treat-
ment we have seen meted out to Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Iran (but they now buckled down). All non-nuclear countries are being denied progress and development in the civilian use of nuclear technologies while the rich West reaps the benefits. The Western countries (and India) had the same in mind for Pakistan, but thanks to Bhutto’s vision and our hard work and achievements, we can breathe easy. The North Koreans had exploded a plutonium bomb about 25 years ago and it was not difficult for them to make an H-bomb. Their engineers and scientists are very competent. Had our leaders so desired, we could have easily done the same. I had requested Musharraf for $50 million to put a satellite into space, which could have been used for intercontinental ballistic missiles, but my request was refused. This latest test by the North Koreans is a slap in the face of all those who were accusing us of helping them. It is very unfortunate that the two Koreas have been artificially divided. A united Korea (the North with defence capabilities and the South with industrial capabilities) could be a world power to be reckoned with. Considering everything, I feel it was in bad taste, and not our business, to pass negative comments on their great achievement. The second event is the sad tension between our friends, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The West has already managed to turn Iran into a toothless and clawless tiger. Before that they had succeeded in creating war between Iraq and Iran, resulting in terrible devastation to both countries, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the destruction of their economies. Still not satisfied, Bush, Blair and Co fabricated false, unfounded reasons for destroying Iraq
even further and killing hundreds of thousands more people. Afterwards they blamed wrong intelligence reports, but no action was taken against those intelligence chiefs who supposedly issued those wrong reports. On the contrary, they were rewarded. The same tragic and bloody story is happening in Afghanistan. The West cultivated and trained the Taliban to fight the Russians and, after achieving this goal, they butchered the Taliban, thus sending parts of the country back into the Stone Age, thanks to local collaborators. Slowly but surely all those Islamic countries which could possibly pose a threat to Israel have been reduced to non-entities. The remaining countries are under the illusion that nothing will happen to them. But Allah’s edicts are never wrong. They may get some respite, but the end result will be no different. When Morsi became president, the West and Israel perceived some danger and he was made an example of things foretold by Sisi, even though Egypt was totally toothless and docile. The attempts to destroy Syria are also part of the same game – remove any inconvenience/threat to Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon receives help from Iran via Syria. The West (and Israel) would like to see Syria reduced to yet another non-entity. Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc were all relatively well-off and peaceful countries. What are they now? Nothing of this sort has happened to any Western country or Israel. The Western countries have actively helped Israel in its illegal activities and occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights. The US, French and British leaders merely hand out a ‘soother’ – they never try to alleviate the miseries of the suppressed Palestinians.
New Figures Show Twice As Many Muslim Soldiers Supported The Allies In WW1
More than twice as many Muslim soldiers supported Allied forces in World War One than was previously thought, according to new research into the Islamic contribution to the conflict. Dr Islam Issa, Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University, found that at least 885,000 Muslims were recruited by the Allies, while creating the first ever exhibition devoted entirely to Muslim involvement in the Great War. It had been thought that around 400,000 Muslims were recruited but after trawling through thousands of personal letters, historic archives, regimental diaries and census reports, research revealed that figure
has more than doubled. Also among the findings was the fact that 1.5 million Indians and 280,000 Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians fought for the Allies during the war, as well as soldiers recruited from other parts of Africa. Nearly 3.7 million tonnes of supplies and more than 170,000 animals were shipped from India to support the war effort. Muslims involved in the war effort came from as far as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and that at least 89,000 Muslims were killed fighting for Allied forces under French or British command. The roles included front-line soldiers, trench builders and those transporting vital goods and materials. At least 20 per cent of all British Empire recruits were followers of Islam and that the financial and material contribution from India alone was £479 million – £20 billion in today’s money. It is estimated that only two per cent of British people are aware of the Muslim contribution to the war effort. The Stories of Sacrifice is a ‘permanent’ exhibition which will be on show for at least a year.
The enemies of the Ummah are hell-bent on creating a rift and war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. There will be no winner in such a war. The Ummah will be the loser and both countries will be set back by decades. While Muslims kill Muslims, they will invoke the wrath of Allah. We have not, even till today, been able to compensate for the losses suffered in the wars of Jamal and Siffin, the internal wars in Spain, Central Asia, the Middle East, etc. And that while, at one time, Muslim armies were knocking at the gates of Tours and had laid siege to Vienna! Had internal differences and infighting not been there, the history of Europe would have been totally different. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been friends in need to us. The Shah of Iran stood by us when we were at war with India and Saudi Arabia helped us generously when the West had imposed sanctions on us due to our nuclear programme. It helped us keep our head above water. Col Gaddafi had also helped Bhutto generously. The Western war is not limited to county or country; they even go after successful Muslim entrepreneurs – the horrible examples of Bhutto and Agha Hassan Abedi should be eye-openers. Syria is no threat to the West, but the Americans, British and French are hell-bent on destroying it. But for the timely Russian intervention, they might have succeeded by now. Despite the boundless favours bestowed on the Ummah by the Almighty, we have been most ungrateful and are fighting and killing each other. We have not learnt from history and the famous axiom: ‘History repeats itself’ is again coming true. Email: email@example.com
Alarm As Family Debt Surges By £4,000 In Six Months Families' debts have jumped by an "alarming" £4,000 on average in the space of six months, a report has found. Typical household debt has surged by 42% since summer 2015 to reach the highest levels seen for two and-a-half years. Excluding mortgage borrowing, average family debt now stands at £13,520 - marking a leap of £4,000 from the average debt of £9,520 in summer 2015. The latest report, covering winter 2015, fuelled concerns that many families' finances are finely balanced and the continued availability of cheap credit is leading to households racking up debts on credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans which could become problematic as and when interest rates start to rise. The latest figure recorded by Aviva is the highest since summer 2013, when the average family owed £16,300. The average amount owed is 24% more than in winter 2011, when Aviva started tracking families' finances and households typically owed £10,870. Couples with two or more children tend to have the biggest debts, owing £18,830 on average, the report found. Recent Bank of England lending figures have prompted concerns from charities about the levels of credit being taken on by consumers. There has also been speculation that interest rates could start increasing this year, pushing up the cost of borrowing. The report also found that the typical family's monthly net income has fallen for the first time since July 2012, now standing at £2,024. This marks a fall of £102 compared with six months earlier. Families are now saving £105 per month on average, which is 50% more than in 2010, but less than six months ago, when the average amount saved per month was £113. The typical family saving pot now has £3,150 sitting in it - which is only enough to keep a household going for around a month and-a-half if there is an emergency.
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Public WiFi not Secure as you think to steal information, The increase of broadband rollAn explosive matchup of identity ouror out and the growth of WiFi in passwords and money from the or insecure public spacesown is providingworld-class society users who use public very fighter, with the huge benefit of access wi-fi connections. Amir Khan is easily. happening in May. The important thing is to distinto the Internet quickly and guish if the public WiFi you are But not all WiFi is as secure as we The British superstar former secure and not public. might think it is. Europol’s Cyber- using isand When you connect to it, if it crime Division warns that attacks Unified Super Lightweight World are rising on public WiFi and are requires a security access password, it means it is secure but if a major security risk. Amir “King” Champion Khan will In the UK, key cities like London, you can just connect to it with no face current WBA International it is insecure. Manchester and Birmingham are password, increasing public WiFi access, Something known as ‘man-inWelterweight Luisto the-middle’ is being applied whilst restaurants, cafes andchampion bars are also keen provide free commit these attacks on public Collazo in the 12 round event. networks. Where, the hackers WiFi to attract customers. passed beFor mostlooking smartphone forward users capture data "I'm to being fighting public WiFi is always seen as a tween a user of the public WiFi the Internet. greatLas way ofVegas saving dataonce usage and in again, andAttacks myof included in their phone tariffs these kind are targeting people intention 3 istheytocommunicate makewitha a but if you are goingon to useMay public when WiFi for personal transactions, bank, do online shopping or log statement thatthisI inbelong to social mediaon sites. this sensitive data and banking, may not be the best method. big stage," said Khan. We are now seeing an increase Therefore, it is important to be vigilant whenoff using in the misuse of wi-fi, inmight order extremely "Luis Collazo be coming of a big win, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this challenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one of the best welterweights in the sport." A British standout who represented his nation in the 2004
AMIR KHAN TO FACE LUIS COLLAZO
Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal, Bolton's Amir "King" Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) went from local hero to international star when he won his first world title at 140 pounds in 2009.After five successful defences that included wins over Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, Khan lost An explosive matchup of our own world-class fighter, his title by way of avery controAmir Khan is happening in May. British superstar and former versial decision to The Lamont Unified Super Lightweight World Amir “King” Khan will Peterson in 2011. Champion Winner face current WBA International Welterweight of two straight over Car- champion Luis Collazo in the 12 round event. "I'm looking los Molina and Julio Diazforward to fighting in Las Vegas once again, and my since, the flashy,intention flamon May 3 is to make a statement that I belong on this boyant 27-year-old boxbig stage," said Khan. "Luis Collazo might be coming off er-puncher is nowof a bigcamwin, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this chalpaigning at welterweight, lenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one where he seeks championof the best welterweights in the sport." ship gold once again. A British standout who repre-
public WiFi and only use it for non-sensitive data activity if you are unsure about it’s security. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe when using public WiFi: Always use reputable internet security software on all your devices including your laptop, PC, MAC, tablets and smartphone. If a WiFi connection does not require a password, it is insecure. So, don’t send any confidential information over this network e.g. username, passwords, private data etc. Look for public places that do offer free WiFi but require a password which you obtain from them. Look out for the https in the web address in your browser and the padlock symbol when using websites for personal transactions. Always check your credit card or debit bills for any odd transactions, especially if you use public WiFi a lot. Always keep your device software up-to-date especially if security updates are available. Security using the Internet has been and always will be an issue as hackers find new ways of executing attacks but as long as you stick to the rules of keeping your confidential data secure, you can lower he chances of experiencing theft of your data.
Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal, Bolton's Amir "King" Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) went from local hero to international star when he won his first world title at 140 pounds in 2009.After five successful defences that included wins over Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, Khan lost his title by way of a controversial decision to Lamont Peterson in 2011. Winner of two straight over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz since, the flashy, flamboyant 27-year-old boxer-puncher is now campaigning at welterweight, where he seeks championsented his nation in the 2004 ship gold once again.
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