UK fighters confront Russian bombers over international waters

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Last week, RAF Leuchars in Fife scambled two Tornado F3 interceptors, when radar detected two Tupolev Tu-142 Bear Bombers and the alarm was sounded “Bears in the Air”.

The RAF would not disclose the exact time of the incident, which was to the north of the Outer Hebrides. It did say that no contact was made between the aircraft.

The Russian Bear Foxtrot bombers are renowned maritime raiders that regularly probed the United Kingdom’s airspace during the Cold War.

The Russian aircraft were snooping on Neptune Warrior, a Royal Navy exercise taking place near the Outer Hebrides last week. Neptune Warrior was a live-fire naval training exercise involving warships, submarines and aircraft that took place between April 22 and May 3.

The Russians obviously thought it might be worth coming to have a look at what we were up to and probably take some photos. It’s a throwback to the Cold War when they used to fly in regularly to poke and prod at the edges of British airspace and test our reaction times. It’s normal to let such aircraft know we’re there by pulling up alongside them and they left quietly. The whole encounter probably lasted 20 minutes.
 

The Tornado’s watched the Russians for approximately 15 minutes until the bombers returned to their home base in Murmansk.

This aircraft dates back to the 1950s and although the air frame might look dated it is still highly effective in terms of long-range maritime reconnaissance. These used to fly over the North Sea and the Greenland Gap daily during the Cold War and, while rare today, it’s by no means a unique occurrence. It’s nice to know the Russians are out and about again. The exercise was in international waters and the Russians have got just as much right to be there as we have. We do it to them, they do it to us. All the RAF is doing is telling them: We could do this for real if we wanted to, so go and tell your mates back home.’
 

During the Cold War in the 1970s and 1980s, Soviet spies were sometimes spotted watching from the perimeter of RAF stations to time exactly how long it took jets to take off and intercept Bear bombers, probing the United Kingdom’s defences and testing the response. Nato pilots in those days were well accustomed to an almost daily aerial game of cat-and-mouse.

Squadrons of Phantom interceptors were on constant quick-reaction standby through the 1970s and 1980s to deal with the threat of Soviet long-range bombers engaging in a long-range attack on Great Britain. The Bears can carry an arsenal of missiles, some nuclear-tipped, to strike NATO warships blocking the entrance to the vital North Atlantic sealanes between the United States and Europe.

In July, the Tornado will be replaced by the new Eurofighter Typhoon. Currently, RAF personnel on scrambling duty spend most of their time on counter-terrorist missions, checking out commercial airliners approaching Britain in ways that arouse suspicion, either because they have taken the wrong flight path or because the pilot has not contacted ground control.

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15 September

Wedding next year for Sweden’s crown princess

Friday, February 27, 2009

On February 24th the Swedish Royal Court announced that the Crown Princess Victoria is to be married in 2010 to her boyfriend and former fitness trainer Daniel Westling. KP Victoria, 31, and Daniel, 35, have been in a relationship for seven years. As the wedding is to be held in the summer of 2010, it gives the court 18 months to prepare, contemplate the wedding dress of the Crown Princess, and complete the guest-list – which will include prominent guests from Europe and the world.

According to the Swedish constitution, KP Victoria must ask for the King’s approval for the marriage, who then has to call a cabinet council so that the government can give its approval. This was done on Tuesday morning, just before the court announced the engagement.

After the wedding, Daniel will be given the title of Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. Their children will be next in line to the throne after Crown Princess Victoria.

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15 September

Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wikinews on Sunday interviewed Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medalist, who won the silver medal in the Women’s Shot Put F53 event finals, at the 2016 Summer Paralympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Malik lost the gold medal to Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham, who had the best throw 4.76 metres, setting a new regional record in paralympic women’s shot put.

Arriving in Rio, Malik had initial trouble due to the airline losing her luggage; it didn’t all arrive until three days later: clothes, opening ceremony outfit and equipment including competition belts.

In early August there was a possibly that Malik might lose her spot on the Indian team going to Rio, with fellow female para athlete Karam Jyoti challenging Malik’s selection and the Sport’s Authority of Indian’s selection process at the High Court of Delhi. The high court ruled against the plaintiff.

Both of these events occurred against the wider backdrop of the Paralympic Committee of India being suspended by the International Paralympic Committee. The Sports Authority of India took final authority over the Paralympic Committee of India for sending a team to Rio, with agreement from the International Paralympic Committee; this arrangement allowed India to compete under their own flag at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

((Wikinews)) Congratulations on your result.

Deepa Malik: Thank you so much.

((WN)) Even though you are currently waiting in terms of the end result of the protest.

DM: Absolutely, but I’m happy with my performance, I’m happy that I could improve and I could prove myself, there were a lot of questions back home on my selection and on my hard work. My single-minded focus that I had put into this journey of being a Paralympian. Well, I am just so anxious about the results.

((WN)) So how much did the court case and KLM losing your luggage impact on your preparations and your result today?

DM: Yes, but I’m happy that my husband was my coach here, and, so, I had huge moral support in terms of keeping my mind and everything in peace. Most of the equipment was available in the gym, we had to alter the training a bit like the throw days couldn’t happen, so we instead exercised. No, I think that is what sports teaches you, you can’t live on excuses, I never lived on excuses.

((WN)) You work around things.

DM: Yes, that’s what we do, that’s what a sportsman is suppose to do, rise again, and then fall and rise, and run, and I did exactly that.

((WN)) What message should other Indian women take away from your participation and result in Rio?

DM: This is going to be the first female medal that India would have ever won in Paralympics and as it is I’m working aggressively towards transforming this entire concept of empowerment for the women, especially the women in disabilities in my country. So I’m really happy that this medal give my voice more value, more strength, and I’ll be able to impact even more, though on the ninth of September the Prime Minister’s jury has awarded me with the award of Women Transforming India, I’m so happy that within three days of getting that award, I have added another feather to it and proved that yes this journey of ability beyond disability. And not just disability, this is a universal message that if women put their minds to their dreams they can balance it; age, gender, disability, is all a state of mind. If you put your passion and hard work, you can get it, and in the Indian scenario were they say infrastructure is a challenge, women participation that are taboo, religiously and psychologically, disabilities taken as a curse, dependability[?] increases because of lack of infrastructure, well, time to get rid of the excuses. We have to start erasing the excuses and believe your own self and that’s the message I’m carrying with all the activities that I do whether it is car rallying, motorbiking or swimming across a river, every record or every unique activity that I’ve undertaken and just below paralysis has been aimed at changing the stereotypical image of a women and also a women in disability. ?

((WN)) Will you and your daughter both be trying to represent India at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?

DM: I’m very sure about myself, but my daughter, though, she’s a Paralympian, yes, which again was considered a huge taboo in my society that oh my god both the mother and the daughter both have a physical disability, what is going to happen to these two, but we did good and she is working as a youth council representative in the Commonwealth countries, for the Paralympics specially, and her work though her foundation called Wheeling Happiness has earned her the young leader award from the Queen of England, so I guess her focus is now shifting to more on community service and empowering others and not just herself. And she is leaving on first of October to Loughborough to do her PhD doctorate programme in disability sports psychology, I’m very sure Loughborough is going to give her a huge amount of sports [inaudible] but how much time she going to decide to devote to sports and studies is her decision entirely. That’s her dream, her journey. 

((WN)) How helpful was the Sports Authority of India in preparing and supporting your Rio ambitions??

DM: I think 100 per cent, because the biggest challenge we have back home is a customised training, or the infrastructure for that matter, so we were given the ability and the funds to train the way we wanted to train, and the funds were huge which were given to us, out accommodation, food, diet, physical therapist, psychologist, trainer, gym, everything was paid for, and customised, you want it and they give it. So I guess this was easy financially this time, because every expenses was taken care of, my husband could also take a sabbatical from his job and join my journey, and having him twenty-four seven and coaching me because he himself is an athlete, and have the best diet and counselling. I think it’s worked wonders, so I give shout out and a huge applaud.

((WN)) How important was it for you to have a carer in Rio?

DM: Yes, again we really have to appreciate the sports authority of India and also Paralympic Committee of India, which is going to start to function post-Rio in India. They were very very quick, they were very very adamant in giving the wheelchair people escorts. And I need help twenty four seven, I’m just below paralysed so it was really huge, emotionally, mentally, psychically training-wise, every way I think the situation was perfect.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

DM: Thank you.

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15 September

Gulf Breeze And Pensacola’s Best Crossfit Training Center}

Gulf Breeze and Pensacola’s Best Crossfit Training Center

by

jessicagau1696

CrossFit is an extremely and very efficient and effective way to get into great shape rather quickly. The CrossFit training system started at a cool gym in Santa Cruz, California and quickly spread to Olympic and professional athletes, police and military special operations units, champion martial artists, and like most of us here, everyday people looking for a superior way to get in great shape.

CrossFit workouts involve constantly varied (we can go months without repeating workouts), functional exercises (we do Olympic lifts, pushups, pull-ups, running, jumping, kettle bells, burpees, box jumps, etc.), done at high intensity (relative to your physical and psychological limits).

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CrossFit, unlike traditional gym practices, isn’t just about looking good. It’s about actually being good. While it’s billed as a core strength and conditioning program, CrossFit is designed to bolster 10 different domains of fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, flexibility, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

CrossFit does this in a energetic , if immethodical, manner six days a week with a brutal three-on/one-off schedule. The workouts are randomizedI never did the same routine twice in six weeksand can include any and all combinations of plyometrics, sprints, Olympic lifts, gymnastic moves and kettlebell work. On occasion, CrossFitters even find themselves turning back the clock with archaic, brute-strength moves such as the Turkish get-up. The bottom line: With CrossFit, you’re never comfortable. Yet this haphazard style of programming may have more of a payoff than you might think.

CrossFit is tiresome , fun, and delivers insane results. Its also scalable so that everyone from highly trained athlete to hardly-trained couch potato can participate and achieve their fitness goals.

At Gulf Breeze Aerobics and Fitness Center, our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Everyday life, sports, combat, and survival reward this kind of fitness.

We can almost guarantee you that CrossFit is like no other training system you have ever experienced!

Pete

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Gulf Breeze and Pensacola’s Best Crossfit Training Center }

14 September

Choose The Best Soccer Training Provider And Enhance Your Skills}

Choose the best soccer training provider and enhance your skills

by

Ashley William

Are you a big fan of Soccer game? Do you want to develop your soccer skills? If yes, then all you need is the best soccer training from experts. Such training will not only give you a chance to learn about the soccer but even take you the next level. Through right soccer training, you can enhance your skills, learn the fundamentals or can be a successful soccer player. Apart from fundamentals of game, you will be able to increase your confidence in play.

If you are interested to enhance your potential in soccer game and looking for the best soccer facility then SoCal Soccer PDC is the name you can trust. It is providing the best soccer facility in Southern California which is ideal for the success of elite players.

Complete soccer training is really helpful for beginners who are just keen to develop their skills in this world famous game. Now, question is where to go for soccer training which can boost your skills and help you become successful soccer player. If you are looking for the best soccer training provider then SoCal Soccer PDC is the ultimate option. This is the leading center that only focuses on development of soccer players. It is providing all the best facilities and training which are ideal to achieve the desired potential in this game.

Why SoCal Soccer PDC is the best choice for soccer players?

San Fernando Valley Soccer training for elite players

Socal Soccer Player Development Center provides the ultimate soccer training which is ideal for newcomers and experienced soccer players as well. You will be trained by the professional or experienced soccer coach who will start your training by teaching about the fundamentals of game. From basic to advance level, you will learn a lot about the game and will be able to successful soccer player. For San Fernando Valley soccer training, SoCal Soccer PDC is the name you can trust.

Best Southern California based soccer facility

SoCal Soccer Player Development Center is known for its best soccer facility which is completely ideal for enhancement of soccer players. These facilities are exclusively meant for the beginners who are new to this game and for those who have already mastered the basic skills and want to become better players. If you are looking for the best Southern California soccer facility then remember the name of SoCal Soccer PDC.

You will be able to learn from experts and there will be Elite Skills Arena, Precision Wall, and Ultimate Player Testing system. The players will even enter in TOCA STUDIOS where they will have an opportunity to increase their potential, accelerate their growth, enhancing the confidence and much more. So, the parents who are looking for the best soccer facility for enhancement of their children in this world popular game then SoCal Soccer PDC is the name you can trust. It will help you achieve success on the soccer pitch and truly a best place for soccer skills development.

Ashley William is an experienced content writer who has written several articles on San Fernando Valley Soccer Training, Southern California Soccer Facility, Soccer Training.

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eArticlesOnline.com

}

14 September

Syrian citizen journalists risk death, targeted; city of Homs facing starvation

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Syrian forces have been shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria for almost a month. Civilians and journalists are amongst the dead, and Wikinews spoke to a local citizen journalist, attracting attention both from the world’s media and from the Syrian Armed Forces. According to Wikinews’ source, much of Homs is without water, and a city facing starvation.

Syrian forces began a ground assault on Homs February 4, using troops, and bombarding the city with tanks and artillery. To this day, the bombardment continues. Soldiers frequently clash with anti-government protesters, and ‘freedom fighters’ of the Free Syrian Army in violent, often deadly encounters. In the Baba Amr district of the city, “Omar” [for his safety, we only use his first name, Ed.], a citizen journalist with the Homs Media Center, created an account on the Bambuser website where users can stream live footage from PCs or mobile phones. He then pointed a camera out of his home, overlooking the city, and began broadcasting footage live on the Internet.

The violent, often deadly, events following may have, indirectly, resulted from this action. Journalists discussed in this article put their lives in jeopardy to give the world a record of events; in some cases, dying doing so. But, their deaths may not have been accidental; evidence suggests possible intentional targeting by Syrian government forces.

Omar usually began broadcasting just before sunrise. At 5:18 a.m. (EET) in Homs on February 9, Omar started his live broadcast; the sky still dark, with only a few lights flickering around the area. Sporadic gun and rocket fire between Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army audible on the live feed. By sunrise, gun battles had ceased, the city silent except for the occasional rooster welcoming the morning sun. As daylight broke tanks inside the city, and artillery on its outskirts, began shelling buildings and other targets. Throughout the morning, rocket fire and tank shelling could be heard getting closer and closer to Omar’s position.

At approximately 07:40 EET, nearly two-and-a-half hours into the broadcast, the camera’s microphone records the audio of the brief, but distinct, ‘whistle’ of a rocket or shell as it sails through the air. It strikes close to the camera’s position, causing it to wobble an shake, nearly tipping over; smoke obscures the camera’s view, debris falling onto it whilst sounds of parts of nearby buildings collapsing are heard.

The camera continues to film, apparently undamaged. Omar’s house isn’t so lucky, suffering a direct hit from a rocket. Out of the camera’s view, people inside the house begin to scream. Less than two minutes later, a second rocket strikes the house just above and behind the camera’s position; again, causing it to shake. The sun casts the rising smoke’s shadow on the house next door as more debris hits the camera. Further screams are heard as rubble collapses around people inside. Those inside, running and shouting, now make up most of the broadcast audio; some begin to pray, whilst others bring round a car to carry out the injured or dead. Moments later another rocket is fired, residents screaming warnings to each other of another possible incoming strike. An explosion is heard, and smoke can be seen rising, center-right of the camera shot, from the rocket striking nearby.

A few minutes later, two men are seen coming out onto their balcony and looking in the direction of the house that was just hit. They talk, looking and pointing in the direction of Omar’s house, with the sound of gunfire in the area. At 07:50, they go back inside and out of sight.

Three minutes later a rocket is fired, striking that house, exactly where the two men were standing. It is unknown if they were killed or injured in the attack, but according to Omar the attacks around his home left five dead, three women and two men; Omar himself survives unscathed.

Despite the deaths in the February 9 attack, Omar kept his camera rolling whenever awake; but, that was about to change.

February 15 was a relatively quiet morning but, as sunrise gave way to the daylight, rockets began hitting targets in the city for the eleventh consecutive day. Shortly before 08:00 EET, a small plume of black smoke appears, left side of the live broadcast, an oil pipeline having sustained its first direct hit. Moments later, a second strike on the pipeline is in-shot, also to the left of the camera’s view. The acrid smoke from this strike quickly begins to grow.

Shortly after the second hit on the pipeline Omar enters the room, moving the camera to show both strikes. Twin plumes of thick black smoke are now visible rising in the distance. Omar states the oil pipeline sustained damage from an attack by Syrian military aircraft. From a United States Department of State satellite photo taken after the bombing, the pipeline is seen near a densely populated area of the city, with farmland lying to the west. The smoke from the pipeline fire blankets nearly all of the populated area, to the east, in range of the photo.

After repositioning the camera, Omar decided to leave his house to undertake some field work; a fortuitous move as Omar stated on his Twitter stream, “after we left the house” a rocket made a direct hit on it, leaving a hole in one of the sides. There were no injuries in the attack, the building being unoccupied at the time.

With sunset closing in and the pipeline still ablaze, Omar turned off his camera, not just for the night — indefinitely. Omar now believes he is in too much danger to broadcast further, tweeting: “[I] really am confused […] am worried to turn the live camera on. It’s become very dangerous.” Omar has since left his home.

Crucial as some of the live footage may be at getting pictures of bloodshed inside Syria out; for now, much of the output which ended up hosted on Bambuser has dried up. On February 17, the Syrian government blocked access to the website and its mobile phone application. Despite government action, some isolated examples of live footage continue making their way out of Syria, mainly from mobile phones.

Bambuser speculate that Syrian authorities’ move to block access may be a result of Omar’s live footage showing the oil pipeline fire on Feburary 15. That footage was rebroadcast on several major news networks, including CNN, BBC News, Al Jazeera and Sky News.

“We believe this footage was the trigger for the Syrian government to block access to bambuser.com and disable the possibility to broadcast live video with mobile phones on Syrian 3G,” said a Bambuser statement on their website. Bambuser has been blocked previously in other countries. Access to the site was blocked by Egypt in January 2011, during their revolution. Bahrain blocked the site six months ago, and it remains blocked to this day.

Bambuser’s statement continues: “Not only have we helped them get their message out, but they also say it means much in terms of morale for everyone in this situation. They [The Syrian people] know the world is watching, sharing and it gives them hope. No matter where in the world there is unrest, we at Bambuser always do our best to support and help observers”.

Omar is not alone in being at-risk; on February 18 a funeral for three men, shot and killed by Syrian forces during an anti-government protest the prior day, was being held in the central Mezzeh district of Damascus.

Over fifteen thousand people, including women and children, filled the streets paying their respects. After a prayer, during which mourners remained completely silent, the procession turned into a mass-protest. With mourners-turned-protesters marching down the streets, the sky over Damascus darkened and snow began falling. With the change of weather appearing to embolden the protesters, their chants grew louder.

Shortly thereafter, Syrian forces surrounded the front of the march, and opening fire with live rounds and tear gas. Panicked people quickly scattered, turning the once-peaceful march into a stampede. At least one was shot and killed. Dozens of others sustained injuries. This was the first time Syrian forces opened fire on protesters in central Mezzeh. Those people are just a small fraction of those who have been killed or injured since the uprisings began. It is estimated that from five thousand to upwards of seven thousand people have been killed since January of last year. As a result, on February 20, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced it was attempting to negotiate a cease fire by all parties “to facilitate swift Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC access to the people in need.”

The ICRC wants troops to halt their attacks in cities that have seen the most fighting in order to deliver care packages. Bijan Farnoudi, a spokesman for the Red Cross, said discussions include “several possibilities” in which the packages can be delivered. Though the organization has been delivering food and supplies to as many cities and citizens as possible, heavy fighting in areas such as the Baba Amr district of Homs has made it increasingly difficult for aid to be delivered. Even while the Red Cross worked to negotiate a cease fire, reports out of Homs on February 20 said Syrian forces were amassing troops and tanks outside the city in preparation for an all-out ground invasion. According to Omar, the shellings continued, but on February 24, the Red Cross announced it was allowed to begin evacuating injured women and children from the city.

On February 21, a member of the Homs Media Center was killed by a rocket as Syrian forces continued their bombardment of the city for an eighteenth straight day. Rami al-Sayed was reported to have been severely injured by a rocket while attempting to evacuate individuals to a makeshift hospital, during what activists call the worst day of bombardment since Syrian forces began their attack on the city on February 4. According to Bambuser, he and three others were inside a car when it was hit by a mortar, immediately killing the others. Sayed bled to death at the hospital.

Sayed was a videographer “crucial in getting the truth out through his videos posted on the Internet. We will really miss him, especially the medical team who relied on him to document all the civilian injuries and deaths on video,” said Omar in an interview with CNN. Sayed also was one of the men affiliated with the account ‘syriapioneer’ on Bambuser. Like Omar, he would broadcast live footage of the events on the ground in Homs. Bambuser published the last known message sent out to friends and family: “Babaamr is facing a genocide right now. I will never forgive you for your silence. You all have just give us your words but we need actions. However our hearts will always be with those who risk their life for our freedom. … In a few hours there will be NO place called BabaAmr and I expect this will be my last message and no one will forgive you who talked but didn’t act.” Sayed, 26, had a daughter of 18 months. In December, a citizen-journalist cousin of Sayed’s, Basil al-Sayed, was also killed. In a statement to Wikinews Omar described Sayed as “my best friend” and they both have worked as citizen journalists for about “10 months”, around the beginning of the uprisings.

The killings didn’t end there. Another two journalists were killed February 22, whilst at the Homs Media Center. Marie Colvin, a Sunday Times journalist, and award winning French photographer Rémi Ochlik, were killed when rockets hit the center. At least two others were injured in the attack, French journalist Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy.

The Syrian government denies involvement, saying their deaths were “absolutely not” caused “by Syrian armies.” The following day Bouvier made a video plea to Syrian forces that she be allowed to leave Homs to seek medical attention. Conroy stated, despite leg wounds, he was “OK.”

Omar was in a Skype conversation with a friend at the media center when the attack took place. He recorded the call’s audio using a web camera and posted the video on YouTube; sounds of explosions and possible gunfire can be heard throughout. Reports strongly suggest the media center attack was deliberate; radio communications between Syrian government forces indicate orders to attack the building — whilst making it appear individuals died caught in a gun battle with terrorists.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What are your thoughts on the situation in Syria?Is the report from the Arab League credible in light of our video footage?How do you believe the international community should respond?
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It is because of situations such as that on February 16, the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) voted, “[…] overwhelmingly to call on both the government and allied forces and armed groups to stop all violence or reprisals immediately.” The UN GA press release expressed grave concern at the Syria’s deteriorating situation and, “[…] condemned a raft of violations carried out by the authorities, such as the use of force against civilians, the killing and persecution of protesters and journalists, and sexual violence and ill-treatment, including against children.”

Calling on Syria to abide obligations under international law, the UN GA “[…] demanded that the Government, in line with the 2 November 2011 Action Plan of the League of Arab States, and its decisions of 22 January and 12 February 2012, without delay, stop all violence and protect its people, release all those detained during the unrest, withdraw all armed forces from cities and towns, guarantee peaceful demonstrations and allow unhindered access for Arab League monitors and international media.”

137 nations voted for the General Assembly’s resolution, twelve opposed and 17 abstained. As with many UN GA resolutions, the findings and conclusions are non-binding.

Earlier, on February 4, the United Nations Security Council failed to pass resolution S/2012/77, supporting Arab League actions pursuing peace in Syria. This resolution was vetoed by Security Council members China and Russia.

The Arab League’s goal, according to their report on Syria, “is to protect Syrian citizens through the commitment of the Syrian government to stop acts of violence, release detainees and withdraw all military presence from cities like Homs, and an end to violence in Syria.” The League noted Homs, Dera‘a, Idlib, and Hama as the cities primarily affected by such incidents. The report claims all such incidents were caused by “armed groups” or “entities not mentioned in the protocol [report].”

Despite the League’s claim, live footage broadcast more than a month after the report was filed suggests the opposite as tanks continued to bombard cities like Homs. The League, in their report, go on to say Syrians “believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete the reform process and bring about the change they desire.”

Omar disagrees with the League’s conclusion that Syrians do not want international intervention. He believes if “the world” doesn’t act soon, many more will die from starvation. Medical supplies have not been making their way to makeshift hospitals and food is scarce. Much of the city is without water and Syrian forces continue their assault on the city. In a statement to Wikinews on Wednesday, Omar said “if they stay like this [the world] just watching us, people will die not because of the shelling, they will die because of starvation. We are surrounded. There is no food, no water and no medical supplies. If the world doesn’t do anything we will die from starvation. In the coming days I can see a massacre from starving.”

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14 September

England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that, in many cases, England’s home care system breaches the human rights of the elderly it is supposed to serve. The Close to home: older people and human rights in home care report is the result of a twelve-month investigation into care generally provided by local authorities.

Approximately half of those receiving home care, plus friends and family, providing evidence to the inquiry were satisfied with the quality of care provided. However, the report stresses that there are “systemic problems” arising from “a failure to apply a human rights approach to home care provision”. The report asserts that it is generally not the fault of individuals providing care, but serious problems exist as local authorities seem unaware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and fail to commission, procure, and monitor care accordingly.

The report says articles two, three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are frequently being breached. These, respectively, cover an individual’s right to life, protection from inhumane and degrading treatment, and respect for dignity and personal independence. Criticisms include that care is not provided in a common-sense manner, and funding of care for the elderly is at lower levels than for younger people with similar problems and needs.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you have elderly relatives receiving care at home? Is the support provided adequate?
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The EHRC’s investigation highlights a range of recurring complaints and attempts to identify the underlying causes; cost is repeatedly mentioned, with use of the private-sector leading to some local authorities offering a “one size fits all” service leaving many elderly feeling they are “a task to be undertaken” and have “little or no choice” as to help received, or when care workers visit. A failure to invest in care workers is noted, with significant responsibility and the wide range of skills required being rewarded with low pay and status; this, the report states, adversely impacts staff retention and, a high turnover of care workers can put the security of care recipients at-risk.

Within the wider investigation, a commissioned independent social report by The Arndale Centre conducted in-depth interviews with a cross-section of 40 elderly individuals receiving home care. As-stressed in the report, those selected were not on the basis of good, or bad, experiences with their – mainly local authority-provided – care. It highlights a widespread feeling amongst those interviewed that they are treated “like a number”, and that aspects of the care provided lead to, or fail to resolve, feelings of social isolation.

The Manchester-based Arndale Centre report concludes that, “[t]he general picture is of a wider home care system in which older people are not effectively involved: which they do not understand, and which does not often make the extra effort required to involve them in ways tailored to their state of health and other needs”.

nobody to talk [to] face to face. Nobody will knock on that door,[…] a life of isolation.

A recurring theme in the responses of those interviewed is the social isolation that their home care is not adequately addressing. One male interviewee in his seventies who previously used a scooter to get about said in his interview, “I haven’t been out of the house now for about four weeks. I daren’t. The last time I went out on the scooter I hit the kerb and it frightened the living daylights out of me.” Another, an 85-year-old woman who lives alone, expressed sadness at her inability to do normal things, “I would love to go to town to do some shopping. I haven’t been to town for about two years… Wander round the town and have a cup of tea… I’d love that.”

The social isolation many elderly experience was summed up neatly by another woman in her eighties in her interview: “When you go now, I will maybe not talk to anybody till tomorrow; maybe the whole of tomorrow nobody to talk [to]… face to face. Nobody will knock on that door, that is it, a life of isolation.”

The EHRC, having commissioned this report in the face of funding changes and reform of the care system, intends to press for legislative changes to ensure those receiving care at home are given the same protections under the Human Rights Act as those in residential care. In the conclusions of their report they offer to work with, and support, local authorities in understanding and delivering care that respects peoples’ rights and dignity; and, recommend better guidance as to the choices available to the elderly, and their families, be made available.

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14 September

9/11 health care bill passed in US House of Representatives

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday approved US$7.4 billion to pay for the medical bills of workers sickened or injured by the September 11, 2001 attacks (9/11 attacks) on the World Trade Center in New York City, New York. The bill was passed by a vote of 268–160. Thirteen Republicans joined the Democrats in supporting the bill, while three Democrats opposed the measure. Similar legislation is pending in the US Senate.

“Let’s not have any more people die because of the attacks of 9/11,” said Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat from New York.

The bill, which will provide free health care to 9/11 workers, will be paid for by ending tax breaks for foreign corporations, was fiercely debated on the House floor, with Democratic backers of the bill proclaiming that they stood for 9/11 heroes and victims. Republicans against the bill argued that it was an entitlement program for New Yorkers and that it was another example of bloated government. “There is no excuse for this kind of legislation,” argued Texan Republican representative Lamar Smith.

The Republicans offered an alternative that would reduce funding for 9/11 workers and pay for the remainder by cutting parts of a major health care bill passed earlier this year. This measure failed 185–244.

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14 September

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Pg Tips Tea}

Submitted by: Paul Gerst

PG Tips may be the most well-known brand of tea in the world. Following a few simple steps can help you get the most out of your cup of this popular brand.

PG Tips is the best-selling tea in England and is available worldwide. It is steadily increasing in popularity in the United States. PG Tips is full-flavored and has a rich and refreshing taste.

Water quality is crucial in making a good cup. Always make sure to use fresh water each time you boil. For maximum taste, do not re-boil water. To be at its best, tea needs oxygen to bring out taste and flavor. When you boil water twice, you remove all the oxygen in the water. Your tea will taste dull and flat. Black varieties, such as PG Tips, need water to be at a rolling boil.

Put your PG Tips bag or loose in your cup and then pour water over it. This helps it infuse better, producing better taste. Allow it to steep for about 3 minutes. If you like it mild, maybe a little less, for a stronger drink, a little more. When you remove the bag, don’t squeeze it back into your cup.

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For a pot of PG Tips, alter the directions slightly. Start by warming the teapot by pouring in some boiling water. Swirl it around and then pour the water out.

Use 1 bag for every 2 cups. With loose, pour in 1 teaspoon for the teapot and 1 for each cup. Allow the tea to steep for about 3 minutes. Again, less time for milder and more for stronger.

Now, prepare tea the way you prefer. Add milk and/or sugar for the way you enjoy it. Generally, English Teas are best served with sugar and milk.

Before jumping into these steps, make sure you buy the genuine article. Authentic PG Tips is still made in England. The PG Tips tea bags come in the famous pyramid shape. The pyramid shape provides 50% more room for leaves to flow and infuse, thus delivering double the flavor.

PG Tips tea bags and loose come in a variety of sizes with the most common being the 80 bag box or 8.8 ounce box of loose.

Whether you buy PG Tips online or in a local store, make sure to look at the “Best By” date. This is your guide to a fresh cup of tea. Every box of PG Tips has a “Best By” date located on the bottom. Get a box with the date at least a couple months from your purchase date.

Dating back to 1869, PG Tips begins with tea dealer Arthur Brooke in Manchester, England. He formed Brooke Bond & Company, which sold blends of tea to stores. In 1930, the company created a brand called PG Tips, which quickly become one of the United Kingdom’s top brands. The tea was thought to help with digestion if you had a cup before eating.

PG Tips was sold only as loose until 1960, when tea bags were introduced. Then, in 1996, the now famous pyramid-shaped bags were introduced. The company introduced a decaffeinated version in 2004. PG Tips celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005. In Scotland, a blend of PG Tips called Scottish Blend was designed for the soft waters of Scotland.

About the Author: Paul Gerst is the founder of teadog.com. An Internet tea retailer, teadog.com offers the leading brands of tea from around the world as well as a full selection of flavored, green and herbal teas. teadog.com offers genuine

PG Tips Tea Bags

and

PG Tips Loose Tea

in a variety of sizes.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=620494&ca=Food+and+Drinks }

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5 September

Schools benefit from new California budget

Saturday, July 1, 2006

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bipartisan state budget Friday that invests a record $55.1 billion in education – an increase of $3.1 billion this year and $8.3 billion over the last two years – and allocates $4.9 billion to create a budget reserve and to pay down the state’s debt early.

Schwarzenegger credited bipartisan cooperation in coming up with a budget he was willing to sign, and do it on time, a rarity in recent California politics.

“It’s amazing what can be accomplished when Democrats and Republicans work together in Sacramento,” said Schwarzenegger. “I want to thank the legislative leadership – Senators Don Perata and Dick Ackerman, Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia – for all their hard work on the budget. We put politics aside and were driven by the overwhelming desire to do what’s best for the people of California.

“I am especially proud that the budget expands preschool, and returns art, music and physical education classes to our children,” he said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he is pleased by the budget. “The budget passed by the Legislature brings welcome support to education in California, making good on past debts to our schools and investing in sorely needed classroom programs,” he said.

He had his own budget favorites: “I’m particularly pleased that the budget includes increased funding for school counselors, teacher professional development, programs targeted to helping students pass the high school exit exam, and expanded and improved student nutrition programs.

“While there are some priorities over which we may disagree, I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for a budget that makes education a top priority.”

Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member California Teachers Association, also likes the direction of the new budget. “The timely approval of the new state budget is good news for our public schools and students,” she said. “School districts and teachers can now plan ahead. The nearly six percent cost-of-living-adjustment will allow local schools to restore funding to education programs that have been cut over the past few years and provide for salary increases.”

Still, Kerr, said, the budget doesn’t go far enough. “This budget is a down payment on the debt owed to our schools. Teachers will continue to work with the governor and the Legislature to ensure repayment of the $3 billion still owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the lawsuit settlement agreement announced last month. That money will help our schools of greatest need reduce class sizes, improve teacher training and increase parental involvement.”

How the budget affects the New Haven Unified School District and James Logan High School, or the James Logan Courier, specifically is not yet clear.

State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who is running for governor against Schwarzenegger, liked the increased education funding, and praised his fellow Democrats in the legislature for that, but criticized the entire budget for being out of balance.

“On higher education, Democrats in the Legislature did the right thing, when the governor would not, and gained a $6 per unit rollback in community college fees,” he said in a statement. “That is a start. But the governor’s budget will still leave community college fees nearly double what they were just three years ago. And the budget will also leave untouched the fees at CSU and UC, which have increased by $2,000 and $5,000 respectively under Governor Schwarzenegger.”

Missing from the budget, Angelides said, is funding to expand health care for low-income children. Schwarzenegger “failed to get members of his own party to agree to a budget that funds health care for more kids from low-income families on the Healthy Families program regardless of the families’ immigration status. Compassion requires – and intelligent public health practice demands – that all people residing in California have access to adequate health care,” Angelides said.

Schwarzenegger credited a strong economy that increased state revenues for providing the cash to cover the increased expenditures and set aside a $2.1 billion reserve and an additional $2.8 billion for debt prepayment. Included in that is $1.42 billion for repaying borrowed funds earmarked by the voters for transportation projects aimed at reducing traffic throughout the state. The early debt payment and the reserve account for nearly 4.7 percent of the overall budget – the highest in 25 years.

Still, Angelides said, the budget is out of balance and the state is running up more debt. “Despite his repeated pledges to ‘cut up the credit card’ Governor Schwarzenegger has produced a budget that still leaves a $3.3 billion structural budget deficit for 2006-07 and more deficits for years to come,” Angelides said, “It is a budget that will continue to shift the burden of today’s deficits onto the backs of future generations.”

The budget largely mirrors the May Revise, which has since prompted all three Wall Street credit rating agencies to upgrade the state credit rating, reducing the cost of state borrowing. One of the agencies, Fitch, Inc., cited “California’s continuing economic recovery, strong revenue performance and continued progress in reducing fiscal imbalance” when upgrading their rating on the state’s general obligation debt from A to A+ last month. Standard and Poor’s also raised its rating from A to A+ in May. Moody’s Investors Service raised its rating from A2 to A1 the same month.

Despite the improved credit ratings, Angelides said, the three rating agencies still have reservations about the state’s fiscal future. The agencies “have corroborated my warning and that of the Legislative Analyst that while state revenues have improved, California’s fiscal condition will remain insecure until the state produces balanced budgets,” he said.

Highlights of AB 1801, the Budget Act of 2006 by Assembly member John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), include:

Preschool through High School Education – The budget includes $100 million for the Governor’s targeted preschool initiative, which will make preschool available to every four year old living in a low-performing school district. $50 million of this funding will be used to build and improve preschool facilities. The budget also includes $645 million to fund physical education, arts and music programs. Overall, $11,264 will be spent on each student, an increase of $516 from the current year.

Higher Education – The budget allocates $19.1 billion from all sources for higher education and eliminates tuition and fee increases at UC and CSU. California, which already has the lowest community college fees in the nation, will further lower student fees from $26 per unit to $20, effective Spring 2007.

Law Enforcement – The budget includes an additional $196 million to support law enforcement efforts, including money to fund Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement teams, 500 GPS devices to track and monitor the highest-risk parolees and four new Gang Suppression Enforcement Teams. The budget also proposes the addition of 235 California Highway Patrol positions, includes $56.4 million to replace the CHP’s existing radio system and allocates $6.4 million to handle the increasing number of wireless 9-1-1 calls. Additionally, the budget includes a $20 million investment to strengthen efforts to fight methamphetamine trafficking and $6 million to create three new California Methamphetamine Strategy program teams.

Disaster Preparedness – The budget provides $220 million to enhance California’s ability to prepare for, mitigate and respond to emergencies, including money to strengthen public health response during a disaster. This includes preparations to prevent a pandemic influenza outbreak and expanding efforts to help local governments develop disaster preparedness plans.

Public Health – The budget includes $22.6 million for counties to perform outreach and enrollment activities to reach the 428,000 children who are eligible for Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families program but are not enrolled. The budget for the Healthy Families program also covers enrollment growth for 78,200 additional children.

Transportation – In addition, the Budget makes a substantial investment in improving California’s transportation system. It provides $1.4 billion to fully fund Proposition 42 for the second consecutive year, and it provides an additional $1.4 billion for the early repayment of past loans from Proposition 42, for a total of $2.8 billion. Of the $1.4 billion repayment, $440 million is designated for cities and counties for local road and street maintenance that would otherwise not be funded.

The budget is the first on time budget since 2000 and the fourth in the last 20 years. The 2006-07 budget’s general fund is $101.3 billion and total is $131.4 billion. For a more detailed overview of the budget, please visit www.dof.ca.gov.

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5 September