Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdal...

According to new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, her college life was not easy. Born to a working-class family, she could not compete with priva...

Carmichael Coalmine Overturned By F...

Due to disregard for conservation advice for two endangered species, a case is brought against environment minister Greg Hunt for approving the Carmic...

Weight Management Service Rationing...

NHS mental and physical health service restrictions and exercise programs rationing could hamper health initiatives. According to the Royal Society fo...

Greece Rejects Bailout Offer From E...

With a 61.9% majority against a 39.1% to the “Yes” vote, Greece had outright refused the European bailout infused with numerous additional austeri...

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale Promises To Fight Educational Injustices

According to new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, her college life was not easy. Born to a working-class family, she could not compete with privately-educated students during her time in Aberdeen University. She believed that social disadvantage “follows young people throughout their education”.

Pledging to “change the system” in her speech at Edinburgh College, she said:

“I first felt the unfairness of inequality when I moved from primary school in leafy Elgin to secondary school in urban Dundee.

“Expansive sports fields replaced by playground concrete. An average pupil in prosperous Elgin, I was suddenly near top of the class in my new secondary in Dundee.

“When I went to study law at Aberdeen University, I found the wheel had turned again and I was surrounded by privately-educated pupils whose backgrounds I couldn’t relate to and whose achievements I couldn’t compete with.

“They would spend holidays at their parents’ law firms, I would work preparing food containers for oil rigs.

“My family wasn’t rich but we weren’t in poverty either, and it just seemed wrong that advantage and disadvantage followed young people throughout their education.

“After university I worked as a welfare-rights adviser, helping disadvantaged students to get the support they need.

“The frustrating struggle to help my clients to work the system made me realise that what I really needed to do was to change the system.”

“Government, when it responds to what people need, working with them not just for them, can transform lives beyond recognition, and when government fails it can have a devastating impact on vulnerable lives.

“Above all it has reinforced my belief that the fortunate have a responsibility to use our power to help those who don’t have the same opportunities.

“And as a parliamentarian, the campaigns I have led with extraordinary men and women, like Debtbusters, made me angry at the injustices working-class people face but also inspired me as people came together to challenge power.”

Carmichael Coalmine Overturned By Federal Court

Due to disregard for conservation advice for two endangered species, a case is brought against environment minister Greg Hunt for approving the Carmichael Coalmine.

The court has ruled that the environment minister, Greg Hunt, had ignored his own department’s advice about the coal mine’s impact on the Yakka Skink and the Ornamental Snake, two of the most vulnerable snake species in Australia.

Adani, who intends to set up the Carmichael Coalmine, is yet to have enough financial backing for the new coalmine. The company recently reduced its workforce on the project because it lacked the legal authority to start building.

Principal Solicitor at the Environmental Defenders Office Sue Higginson said:

“This kind of error in the decision-making process is legally fatal to the minister’s decision.

“The conservation advices were approved by the minister in April last year, and describe the threats to the survival of these threatened species, which are found only in Queensland,” she said.

“The law requires that the minister consider these conservation advices so that he understands the impacts of the decision that he is making on matters of national environmental significance, in this case the threatened species.”

“We now call on minister Hunt to see sense, honour his obligations, and take the opportunity he has been handed by the federal court to reject this disastrous project once and for all.”

Weight Management Service Rationing Can Undermine Obesity and Health Efforts

NHS mental and physical health service restrictions and exercise programs rationing could hamper health initiatives. According to the Royal Society for Public Health people who are dangerously overweight could pay the price for the money-saving efforts of the UK government.

In the RSPH survey of 100 public health officials in the NHS and local councils, about 49 per cent said the weight management programmes have been rationed in the area in the last year. Part of the rationed services include quit-smoking programmes and obesity workouts for overweight Britons.

According to the National Obesity Forum Spokesman Tam Fry:

“To ration nationally agreed weight management programmes is both short-sighted and quite stupid. It could well be unethical if patients’ hope of returning to good health is prejudiced.”

UKactive, a group that promotes physical activity said that rationing exercise referral programmes will make it difficult to follow through for most obese patients. Excutive Director Steven Ward said:

“Being physically active can treat, prevent or manage 20 lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. This is a time for an industrial-scale rollout of services, not for reducing already established services.”

RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer said:

“Our research suggests that funding cuts are beginning to bite and are having a direct impact on frontline services.

“Obesity, which NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has called ‘the new smoking’, is arguably the number one threat to both the public’s health and our NHS. But people on the frontline are reporting that some of our most effective weapons aimed at tackling this threat, such as exercise referral and weight management services, are being restricted.”

 

Greece Rejects Bailout Offer From EU

With a 61.9% majority against a 39.1% to the “Yes” vote, Greece had outright refused the European bailout infused with numerous additional austerities. According to the Syriza-led Greek government, the European austerity bailout terms were “humiliating.” Analysts have warned that this development could lead Greece out of the Eurozone.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said:

“As of tomorrow, Greece will go back to the negotiating table and our primary priority is to reinstate the financial stability of the country,” he said in a televised address.
“This time, the debt will be on the negotiating table,” he added, saying that an International Monetary Fund assessment published this week “confirms Greek views that restructuring the debt is necessary”.
Dutch Finance Minister and head of Eurozone’s Finance Ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the result of the referndum was “very regrettable” for the future of Greece.

German Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that “renewed negotiations with Greece are difficult to imagine. Mr. Tsipras and his government are taking down the country with bitter abandonment and hopelessness.”

However, Greek government officials saw public rejection of the offer can help strengthen their hand in negotiations with the EU. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said a “No”vote would mean banks reopening on Tuesday.

Islamic State Bombs Houthis’ Stronghold

Islamic State is reported to have used car bombs to injure at least 50 people, with some killed, near the mosques and the headquarters of Yemen’s Houthi Group in Sanaa on Wednesday.

Four blasts were heard in the capital. Saudi forces conducted air strikes against the Houthi military bases in Yemen.

According to peace talk delegates in Switzerland, there was no progress on the second day of a UN-sponsored push to create a truce.

Witnesses said that the explosions sounded like air strikes. Some found cars and people screaming after the explosions.

The Islamic State used its social media accounts to state that they were responsible for the attacks. It was one of the most serious Yemen has faced throughout the years.

Suicide bombers from the IS had also killed at least 137 worshippers and wounded during Friday prayers on March 20 this year.

The IS had increased its Yemen presence as the al-Qaeda and other militant groups were overshadowed by it.

AQAP, a Sunni militant group, faces dissolution as a US strike drone had killed their leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi.

Meanwhile, Houthi fighters have destroyed the home of a Senior Politician Abdel-Aziz Jubai as he attended the Geneva talks as part of the exiled Yemen government.

Deal Is In Sight For Greece According To Prime Minister

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the talks in Brussels on Greece’s debt crisis have been “constructive”. He had held a straight four-hour talk with EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker to finally make a plan as Greece’s bailout is set to expire in less than a month.

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Tsipras confirmed that Greece has rejected some proposals put forward by their creditors.

Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that between Tsipras and Juncker, the talks have resulted to positive progress. They are set to meet again after a few days.

Greece has a £216 million IMF repayment due on Friday. Greece and its creditors are now close to an agreement regarding “primary surpluses” that would help Greece move forward “without the tough austerity measures of the past.”

Primary Budget Surpluses  is the amount when tax revenues exceed public spending. It is now one of the main sticking points in talks. Greece had been keen to agree for a lower figure.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier suggested that Greece and the EU were close to finally creating a deal. However, an EC Spokeswoman said to the press that there would be no “final outcome” from Wednesday’s talks.

Greece would be asked to post a budget surplus of 1% of GDP and 2% in the following year.

North Korean Missile Launch Photos Modified By Government According to US Official

The North Korean Submarine missile launch Photograph was modified according to US Admiral James Winnefeld of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.\

North Korea said that on May 9, it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile. However, due to the fact the photograph was manipulated, Admiral Winnefeld said that they have not gotten as far as their video editors would have the US believe.

Along with Winnefeld, German Aerospace Engineers Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker of Schmucker Technologie supported the manipulation angle.

According to the two, the photos of the launch were heavily modified which included the reflections of the missile exhaust flame that did not line up with the missile itself.

However, South Korea continues to believe the photos are authentic and that the missile had been launched from the submarine itself.

South Korea has a record of providing fraudulent evidence for advancements in military technologies.

France Passes New Surveillance Law Post-Charlie Hebdo Attacks

A sweeping vote for fresh French Surveillance Powers in the wake of Charlie Hebdo Terrorist attacks in Paris in January had hit the French Parliament. The new bill allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails without having to get permission from a judge.

The new bill was not met with resistance from human rights groups. They said it would legalise intrusive and illicit surveillance methods that may or may not be used in a lawful manner.

Civil liberties groups continue their campaign using George Orwell’s 1984 as their reference. Under the banner “24 hours before 1984”, it gives reference to the all-knowing dystopian dictatorship.

Amnesty International had warned of “extremely large and intrusive powers” without judicial controls.

According to green and hard-left MPs, the Socialist and rightwing parties said the new law was essential to stopping the possibility of another terrorist attack in French soil.

The legal powers included in the new bill allows the spying on digital and mobile phone communications of anyone linked to a “terrorist” inquiry. Intelligence services can install cameras, recording devices and keylogging devices that record every key stroke on targeted computers in real time.

Authorities could keep information for five years.

Do ‘Garden Cities’ Actually Contribute To The Health?

Gardens are truthfully stunning and relaxing upon first sight. For the next few minutes, natural distractions help you focus on relaxation. However, is there evidence that ‘Garden Cities’ actually contribute to a person’s well-being?

The UK plans to reinvent Ebbsfleet, where there are new buildings and has become an ‘industrial paradise’, whichever connotation anybody wants to read it.

Environmentalists are praising the effort as it replaces everything with energy-efficient structures, green spaces and car-free zones, all the modern troubles of urban life blown away in one second.

Urban planners Arup had researched green cities to contribute to the well-being of its citizens and help the city become more prosperous and safer. They predict that two out of three cities in the world will live in such cities.

According to Arup Director of Landscape and Urbanism Tom Armour, humans are ‘hard-wired to enjoy nature’.

Exeter University’s 17-year study had found that UK residents who reside in greener urban environments have lower anxiety levels and had higher states of well-being.

A classic study, used as a related literature of the current study, showed that patients who are recovering from surgery recovered faster with a view of trees from their bed.

However, there are still more troubles ahead.

The greening of poor environments could possibly drive up property prices and force low income residents out. Marginalisation may widen as a result.

Kenyan Attacker Was Official’s Son

According to Kenya’s Interior Ministry, one of the four gunmen who had murdered 148 people in a college in Kenya the last week was the son of a Kenyan government official.

The officials said on Sunday that the gunman was killed by Kenyan security forces during the attack at the university campus as Abdirahim Abdullahi. His father was an official in Kenya’s Mandera district.

The Official reported his son had been missing last year, only to resurface as an attacker in the incident.

He was reported to have studied law at Kenya’s Nairobi University. He was a top student according to the Interior Ministry Spokesperson Mwenda Njoka. The man then disappeared without a trace from his friends and family.

“The family told us that he became withdrawn and very critical of everything and everyone,” Mr. Njoka said. “The family is Muslim, but Abdirahim criticized them about how they behaved and worshipped. At first, the parents thought he was just being a typical teenager, until he disappeared.”

Kenyan Islamic Radicalism is on the rise and were drawn into training camps in Somalia. They are given promises of a meaningful life in Kenya’s notorious Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab, which had previously pledged to al-Qaeda its loyalty.

Kenyan authorities supect that militants from Somalia who infiltrated the Somali communities were largely responsible for the massacre.