New draconian legislation against backdrop of Ukrainian conflict

first_img to go further Help by sharing this information More threats to Internet freedom and broadcast media pluralism News Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Receive email alerts Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Related documents Новая волна репрессивных законовPDF – 153.84 KB RussiaEurope – Central Asia News Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing July 21, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New draconian legislation against backdrop of Ukrainian conflictcenter_img News Читать по-русски в PDF и ниже / Read in RussianRussia continues to adopt draconian legislation at a breakneck pace. A series of laws signed by President Putin on the night of 8 July after being rushed through the Duma have further eroded freedom of information by reinforcing government control of the Internet and directly threatening pay TV.“By approving these latest repressive laws without any real debate and without respecting its own procedures, the Duma has again displayed a complete contempt for the Russian people and the role a parliament is supposed to play,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“Continuing the trend of the past two years and coming at a time when control of information is at the heart of the conflict in Ukraine, these laws constitute a grave attack on media pluralism, Internet freedom and the constitutional right to freedom of expression.”Pay TV channels in dangerAdvertising will be banned on pay TV channels and other channels whose signal must be decoded. According to TV industry sources, this ban will jeopardize the survival of about half of the approximately 300 channels concerned. The official grounds for the ban – to create a level playing field between pay TV and free channels – makes no sense. The leading free TV channels have no income from subscribers but they are heavily subsidized by the state and already have 97 per cent of the advertising market.The law banning advertising on pay TV was passed in record time. Submitted on 24 June, it was passed on first reading on 1 July, passed on second and third readings on 4 July and was promulgated 5 days later. Pay TV companies were given no chance to voice their objections and the haste is reflected in the law’s wording, which is vague and ambiguous.Even more troubling is the fact that on 3 July the parliamentary committee in charge of the bill postponed the second and third readings until after the summer break, but changed its mind a few hours later. When the committee met a second time to put the bill back on the agenda, it did not have a quorum because only four legislators were present. The bill was nonetheless approved in plenary session the next day, with only members of the ruling United Russia party voting in favour and without the Duma having received all the required opinions.Some share parliamentarian Ilya Ponomarev’s view that “the way this law was voted suggests that it came from the president’s office.” Others point to broadcasting giants such as Gazprom-Media, which supports the government. It is one of the main beneficiaries of the law, which also abolishes the limit of 35 per cent of the advertising market for any one company. This amendment will reinforce the hold of Gazprom-Media and another giant, Vi, over the advertising market and increase their ability to pressure TV channels.As the leading free TV channels such as Rossiya, Pervy Kanal and NTV are largely under Kremlin control, the expected demise of many pay TV channels is likely to have a major effect on what is left of Russian TV pluralism. The advertising ban is an additional threat to Dozhd TV, the independent station that has already been throttled by its exclusion from most cable and satellite TV offerings. It has just relinquished its Moscow studios to the pro-government TV channel LifeNews.This law is an unexpected gift for the leading free TV channels at a time when they are swamping the Russian public with propaganda about the Ukrainian conflict. Competition from pay TV channels, whose content is often more targeted or thematic, had contributed to a fall in the audience share of Rossiya, Pervy Kanal and NTV from 58 to 40 per cent in the past 11 years.Internet under closer controlCriticizing Crimea’s annexation could now be very costly. “Public appeals for actions violating the Russian Federation’s territorial integrity” had already been a crime since December 2013. An amendment approved on 4 July has increased the maximum sentence to four years in prison, or five if the media or Internet is used to make the appeal.President Putin also promulgated amendments on 30 June under which the penalties for “appeals for extremism” are extended to the Internet. The legislation on extremism was already applied to online comments in practice, so the new amendments just make this explicit and, by making Internet use an aggravating circumstance, increase the maximum sentence from four years to five.The amendments are mainly designed to send an additional intimidatory signal to Internet users. “There is nothing new here,” the well-known blogger Anton Nosik said. “The whole idea is to create fear and the desire to go and hide somewhere or go to bed without drawing attention to oneself.” Lawyer Galina Arapova added: “They are making it clear to us what dissidents risk. They want all debate confined to the kitchen.” A new device for identifying “extremist” web pages is another sources of concern. The media regulatory authority Roskomnadzor recently acquired a system that automatically uses keywords to detect potentially problematic content. Russia’s broadly and loosely worded legislation on extremism has long been a source of concern because it lends itself to political use to silence critics and encourage self-censorship.Under another hastily adopted and disturbing law, all companies gathering, processing or storing the personal data of Russian citizens will be required to do so on servers located in Russia from September 2016 onwards. The extent of this law’s feasibility is questionable, inasmuch as many daily activities – using an operating system such as Windows, buying something online or using GPS – involve personal data stored abroad.It will nonetheless allow the authorities to consolidate their control over the Internet. The generalized surveillance system SORM already gives them the means to access any content on Russian servers or any communications passing through them, but the Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google escaped their control.The Kremlin will now be able to negotiate with them from a position of strength. Online services that do not comply with the law could be placed on a special register so that Roskomnadzor blocks access to them. As Internet entrepreneur Andrei Mima said: “It has nothing to do with protecting data and everything to do with extending the blacklist to any site storing data outside Russia.”Despite the potential threats to the Russian economy, this law was also adopted in record time. It was submitted to the Duma on 24 June and was voted on 4 July. The Russian digital industry’s leading representatives, who have voiced their concern, were given no time to submit proposals or recommendations.The laws approved on 4 July were still awaiting endorsement by the Federation Council (the upper house) when Putin promulgated on the night of 8 July. RWB’s previous releases on Russia’s draconian legislation: – Will the Russian Internet soon be under complete control? (18.04.2014)- More draconian legislation – how far will the Duma go? (20.12.2013)- Setback for freedom of information as Duma passes restrictive new laws (14.06.2013)- Internet access barred as wave of new legislation threatens freedom of information (01.11.2012)- Major threat to news coverage from law “protecting minors” online (01.09.2012)- Freedom of information threatened by website blacklisting and recriminalization of defamation (13.07.2012)(Photo: Wikipedia)——————–Новая волна репрессивных законов на фоне украинского конфликтаПереход российской законодательной базы на ограничивающие свободу слова рельсы продолжается с безудержной скоростью. Президент Владимир Путин подписал в ночь с 8 на 9 июля 2014 года пакет посягающих на принцип свободы информации законов, скоропостижно принятых Государственной думой. В результате был усилен контроль властей над интернетом, а работе платных телеканалов грозит срыв.« Принимая этот очередной пакет ограничивающих свободу слова законов без проведения настоящих слушаний и нарушая собственные нормы, Государственная дума в очередной раз выражает полное презрение к российским гражданам и, собственно, к функции, которую она призвана выполнять », – заявил руководитель отдела Восточной Европы и Центральной Азии « Репортеров без границ » Йоханн Бир. « В продолжение принятых за последние два года реформ и в то время, когда информация находится в центре внимания на фоне украинского конфликта, эти законы наносят сильный удар по плюрализму средств массовой информации, а также по свободе пользования интернетом и конституциональному праву на свободу слова ». Платные каналы под угрозой закрытия С первого января 2015 года на платных или кодированных телеканалах реклама будет запрещена. Крупные представители данного сектора взволнованы тем, что эта мера ставит под удар деятельность более 150 каналов, что представляет половину из них. Официальный мотив этого закона, « поставить в равные условия » бесплатные и платные телеканалы, не имеет никаких оснований: основные бесплатные телеканалы не имеют, быть может, доходов от подписки, однако они получают крупные государственные субсидии. Более того, их доля на рынке рекламы продолжает составлять свыше 97%. Закон о запрете рекламы на платных телеканалах был принят в рекордные сроки: после подачи на рассмотрение 24 июня законопроект был принят в первом чтении первого июля, затем во втором и третьем чтении 4 июля, после чего был подписан пять дней спустя. К представителям данного сектора СМИ не прислушивались, а спешка отразилась и на самой редакциии закона, размытой и двусмысленной. Еще больше вызывает настороженность то, что 3 июля парламентская комиссия, занимающаяся этим досье, сначала отложила рассмотрение законопроета на начало осенней парламентской сессии, но затем пошла на попятную уже несколько часов спустя. Когда же комиссия вновь собралась для того, чтобы поставить проект закона на повестку дня, не был достигнут кворум: на заседании присутствовало только четыре депутата. И тем не менее, законопроект был принят на пленарном заседании на следующий день благодаря только одним голосам партии у власти Единая Россия и до того, как в Госдуму поступили все необходимые заключения.Некоторые, как депутат Илья Пономарев, отмечают, что « то, как проходит этот закон, говорит, что он исходит от администрации президента. » Другие считают, что за этим стоят телевизионные гиганты, такие как, например, Газпром-Медия. Этот близкий к власти холдинг является одним из основных заинтересованных в законе, который также отменяет ограничение в 35% доли рынка рекламы для одной и той же компании. Эта поправка должна укрепить позиции Газпром-Медия и другого гиганта Vi на рекламном рынке и наделить их возможностью оказывать еще большее давление на телеканалы.Крупные бесплатные каналы, такие как « Россия », « Первый канал » или « НТВ » и так находятся под контролем Кремля, поэтому «чистка», которая ожидает платные телеканалы, может привести к тяжелым последствиям для того, что осталось от плюрализма на российском экране. Запрет рекламы представляет собой дополнительную угрозу независимому каналу « Дождь », который уже задушен тем, что был исключен из большинства кабельных и спутниковых пакетов. Кстати, недавно телеканал передал свое московское помещение проправительственному каналу « LifeNews ». В то время, когда с экранов крупных бесплатных телеканалов идет неиссякаемый поток пропаганды на российского зрителя в рамках украинского конфликта, крупные бесплатные каналы, благодаря этой реформе, получают неожиданную поддержку. В условиях конкуренции с платными каналами, зачастую более адресными или тематическими, « Россия », « Первый канал » и « НТВ » структурно теряли аудиторию: за одиннадцать лет их аудитория сократилась с 58% до 40% населения. Интернет под все более жестким контролем Критика присоединения Крыма стоит отныне еще дороже. «Публичные призывы к осуществлению действий, направленных на нарушение территориальной целостности Российской Федерации» считаются правонарушением с декабря 2013 года. Принятая 4 июля поправка повышает теперь максимальный срок тюремного заключения до четырех лет, а то и до пяти, если же правонарушение совершено с использованием СМИ или интернета. Владимир Путин также подписал 30 июня поправки, которые официально распространяют на интернет контент санкции, предусмотренные для «публичных призывов к осуществлению экстремистской деятельности». Хотя на практике законодательство по борьбе с экстремизмом уже применялось к информации, выложенной в интернете, новые поправки же ясно формулируют это и придают этому характер усугубляющего обстоятельства, подлежащего пятилетнему сроку заключения вместо четырех лет. Эта реформа рассчитана в основном на то, чтобы направить очередное предупреждение пользователям интернета. «Tут ничего нового нет. (…) В этом, собственно, и состоит идея: вызвать страх, желание спрятаться куда-то, лечь и не отсвечивать», считает известный блогер Антон Носик. «Нам показывают, что нам грозит за инакомыслие, и все дискуссии отодвигают на кухню», уточняет правовед Галина Арапова. Другая причина для беспокойства — это механизм идентификации веб страниц с «экстремистским контентом» на интернете. Роскомнадзор недавно закупил автоматизированную систему, работающую с помощью заданных ключевых слов для выявления потенциально проблемного контента. Расплывчатая и общая редакция российского законодательства по борьбе с экстремизмом уже давно вызывает беспокойство: оно способствует политически мотивированному применению с целью заглушить критику и понуждает к самоцензуре. Еще один тревожный закон, принятый наспех, заставит, начиная с сентября 2016 года, все институты, которые собирают, обрабатывают или хранят личные данные российских граждан, делать это на серверах, находящихся в России. Реализуемость этого закона кажется проблематичной, поскольку многочисленные ежедневные операции по обработке личных данных проводятся за границей: такие как использование системы Windows, осуществление покупки онлайн или пользование навигационной системой GPS… Этот закон позволяет властям усилить контроль над интернетом. Система общего наблюдения СОРМ уже обеспечивала непосредственный доступ к любому контенту или корреспонденции, находящихся на российских серверах, однако данные таких иностранных гигантов как Facebook, Twitter или Google уходили из-под контроля. Теперь же Кремль может разговаривать с ними с позиций силы. Службы, не соблюдающие закон, будут занесены в специальный реестр, а их сайты будет блокировать Роскомнадзор. Как пишет интернет предпринимать Андрей Мима, этот закон — «это не защита данных, а расширение «чёрного списка» на любые сайты, которые хранят их не в России».Несмотря на все потенциальные последствия для российской экономики, этот закон был также принят в рекордно краткий срок. После представления в Госдуме 24 июня законопроект был принят 4 июля. Основные представители российской цифровой индустриии, которые заявили о своей озабоченности, даже не успели передать в парламент свои предложения и рекомендации. Все принятые 4 июля законы были подписаны Владимиром Путиным в ночь с 8 на 9 июля. Даже до их утверждения Советом Федерации. (Фото: Википедия) News RussiaEurope – Central Asia Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more May 21, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Russia RSF_en May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Pearse Doherty TD says Spain got a better bailout deal than Ireland

first_img LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Facebook Pinterest Pearse Doherty TD says Spain got a better bailout deal than Ireland Google+ Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Facebook Google+ Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes says Europe could be getting to the end of the financial crisis.It follows yesterday’s 100 billion euro Spanish bailout making it the fourth EU country to seek financial aid.There’s now growing calls for Ireland to renegotiate it’s deal with the Troika.But Minister Hayes says the Government want an EU wide solution that applies to every country.Meanwhile Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the loans were to be provided “at a lower cost, with no additional austerity or loss of sovereignty”.The Donegal deputy challenged the government to explain “why it was not able to secure these kinds of terms when the Spanish government could”. Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly center_img Previous articleinvestigation launched into Dungloe apartment block fireNext articleDeutsche Bank figures show the high level of vacant property in Donegal News Highland Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Newsx Adverts Twitter WhatsApp By News Highland – June 10, 2012 Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson WhatsApp Pinterest Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this weeklast_img read more

Burst water mains causing disruptions in Fahan and Ramelton areas

first_img Twitter Homepage BannerNews WhatsApp Burst water mains causing disruptions in Fahan and Ramelton areas News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Irish Water are currently working to repair burst water mains in Fahan and Ramelton.They have advised that Fahan, Burnfoot, Inch, Ramelton and surrounding areas may experience supply disruptions.Work on the burst water main in Fahan hoped to be completed by 6 o’clock this evening. Pinterest Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows DL Debate – 24/05/21 By News Highland – August 13, 2017 Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty center_img Harps come back to win in Waterford Google+ Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Previous article32 year-old man arrested in connection with paramilitary style shooting in DerryNext articleSoccer Preview: Inishowen and Donegal Leagues underway next week News Highland Facebook Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Twitterlast_img read more

DOJ clarifies federal inmate release guidance after confusion plagues process

first_imgDanHenson1/iStockBy LUKE BARR and ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department issued a clarification on Thursday regarding its policy on releasing certain inmates into home confinement amid the novel coronavirus crisis, after a series of conflicting messages sparked confusion and uncertainty among prisoners, attorneys and federal courts.In a court filing with the Southern District of New York, federal prosecutors provided updated criteria that federal prisons would consider when assessing which inmates would be eligible. “[Bureau of Prisons] is at this time prioritizing for consideration those inmates who either (1) have served 50% or more of their sentences, or (2) have 18 months or less remaining in their sentences and have served 25% or more of their sentences,” the filing said. “As BOP processes the inmates eligible for home confinement under these criteria and learns more about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on BOP facilities, it is assessing whether and how to otherwise priority consideration.”The updated guidance means inmates will likely need to have served a significant portion of their sentence to be eligible for home confinement.The filing was made in the case of former medical technology company owner Lewis Stahl, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison and had appealed for release to home confinement. The criteria states that inmates do not have to apply for release and BOP case managers are reviewing eligible candidates.The latest guidance from the BOP followed conflicting signals coming from the Justice Department, which earlier this week told the BOP that it should not consider releasing inmates to home confinement who had not served at least 50% of their sentence.Prior to that, BOP had evaluated inmates for release based on two separate memorandums issued by Attorney General William Barr on March 26 and April 3, which placed restrictions on violent and sex offenders, but made no explicit mention of the 50% time-served standard.According to BOP, at least 1,440 inmates had been released to home confinement under those standards, as of Wednesday. Among them are several inmates who had served less than 50% of their total sentence, though the exact number is not clear as BOP has not provided detailed information on those who have been approved for home confinement.DOJ’s surprise decision to update its guidance this week, however, left multiple prisoners who believed they were about to be released stuck in limbo.The confusion was reflected in the Wednesday court filing for Stahl, who is currently serving 30 months for tax fraud, but was told he was set for release until the new guidance from DOJ led prosecutors to reverse their decision.“Mr. Stahl was enormously relieved to learn on April 20, 2020 that the U.S. Probation Offices had approved home confinement and that, in light of the Bureau of Prisons approval of home confinement, he would be leaving FCI Miami where he is at serious risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill,” the filing from Stahl’s attorney said. “It was devastating for him to learn, later the same day, that BOP had reversed its approval of his home confinement.”The Justice Department updated its guidance again on Wednesday, making clear it would give the BOP discretion in who it should consider for release and that those who were previously referred to home confinement who had served less than half their sentence will now be “expeditiously” transferred.This affects approximately 200 inmates, according to a DOJ official.It’s not immediately clear whether high-profile inmates like former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be among the 200, however. Manafort, who requested an early release, is currently serving a seven-year sentence for bank and tax fraud stemming from his work related to Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.Manafort has not served 50% of his sentence, which began last year.Sources close to Manafort believed he would have a good chance of being released based on the initial guidance announced by Barr last month. A lawyer for Manafort said he has been self-quarantining in prison for three weeks now, a requirement for any prisoners who are granted release to home confinement.Inmates, lawyers and officers who spoke to ABC News said such conflicting guidance is not only confusing, but in some cases potentially dangerous to certain prisoners’ health.One Bureau of Prisons source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ABC News that riots could happen due to the confusion going on inside the agency.In a memo obtained by ABC News dated April 22, the bureau said that moving forward it would prioritize inmates for home confinement who have served at least 50% of their sentences, but will also use discretion in how it considers individual cases.The memo describes in detail why the bureau will use a case-by-case determination to decide who gets released due to COVID-19.The confusion for lawyers, inmates and other BOP officials comes as judges around the country are exhibiting increasing frustration with how the government has handled COVID-19 outbreaks in certain prisons.In response to a lawsuit filed by inmates at Federal Correctional Institution Elkton in Ohio — a facility that has been ravaged by the diseases — Judge James Gwin said that the lack of tests Elkton has provided inmates is a “debacle.”The union president who represents staff at the facility told ABC News that the prison received roughly 80 tests from the BOP for a facility that houses more than 1,900 inmates according to the BOP. Six inmates have died at FCI Elkton from the virus, according to the bureau.Gwin ruled that hundreds of elderly and vulnerable inmates either be released or transferred as a result of worsening conditions in the prison, the first such order from a federal judge since the start of the crisis.In a statement released by BOP on Thursday, the bureau said it has increased and expanded testing for all facilities.“Next week the BOP will receive ten additional Abbott ID NOW instruments,” according to the statement. “The deployment of these additional resources will be based on facility need to contain widespread transmission and the need for early, aggressive interventions required to slow transmission at facilities with a high number of at-risk inmates such as medical referral centers.”By contrast, regarding a lawsuit brought by inmates in FCI Oakdale in Louisiana, a facility that has been among those hit the hardest by the pandemic, a federal judge said that it is not the courts’ job to rule on who gets released.“Such a designation and/or classification falls squarely within BOP’s authority and outside the purview of this Court,” Judge Terry Doughty wrote. “To rule otherwise would make this Court a de facto ‘super’ warden of Oakdale.”Former Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who was convicted of corruption in 2017, was released from prison on Wednesday and a source with direct knowledge of her case told ABC News she was released due to the pandemic.The Bureau of Prisons has not responded to an ABC News request for comment.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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HR chiefs refute findings that they lack influence

first_img Previous Article Next Article Personnel directors have challenged a survey of their own ranks which found that four in five companies are unhappy with the impact of HR on the business.A consultants’ global survey of HR directors and specialists in 977 organisations across Europe and the Middle East found that only 19 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the influence that HR was having on the development of business strategy.Robert Ingram, HR director of Cap Gemini Ernst and Young, said the findings could be a result of managers’ misconceptions of what HR is trying to do. “When things go well, managers like to grab the glory – but when they go badly they like to blame the HR department,” he said.“Just because we are not the most popular department does not necessarily mean we have the least value.”Paul Pagliari, HR director of Scottish Power, described the results as surprising, and added, “I find it difficult to comprehend why an organisation would be unhappy and not act to remedy the problem. My chief executive would be telling me if he was unhappy and if it was not resolved there inevitably would be a parting of the ways.”The findings are in the HR Benchmarking Report 2000 from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which surveyed 23 UK organisations. The survey urged HR directors to free themselves from the shackles of administration and demonstrate a strategic role in the development of the organisation.General HR administration still took up the largest amount of time in HR departments, with survey results indicating 16.5 per cent of HR time was taken up with paperwork.HR departments spent 10.6 per cent of their time on recruitment and 9.9 per cent of their time on training and education, according to the survey.But the results showed departments spent much less time on issues such as HR planning, HR policy, management development and organisational design.Nearly 40 per cent of companies were found to be dissatisfied with key recruitment and retention policies, stating they were ineffective in the “war for talent” and lacking in strategic direction.www.pricewaterhousecoopers.co.ukBy Richard Staines Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. HR chiefs refute findings that they lack influenceOn 3 Oct 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Government consults on closing Rent-a-Room loophole for Airbnb hosts

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Government consults on closing Rent-a-Room loophole for Airbnb hosts previous nextHousing MarketGovernment consults on closing Rent-a-Room loophole for Airbnb hostsAs the number of Airbnb properties nearly triples, government says tax-free income scheme needs “re-designing”.Nigel Lewis10th March 201701,473 Views All eyes on are on Philip Hammond as he battles to save his National Insurance Contributions tax increases for the self-employed following a back-bench revolt on the measures, which were announced in Wednesdays Spring Budget.But while the political football continues today, a measure designed to stop the rise of Airbnb has been slipped through in the detail of his recent budget statement.The government is to consult on proposals to reformulate the Rent-a-Room relief. It’s a measure introduced in 2014 that enables home owners to earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation within their home. This was increased recently from £4,250.Airbnb hosts have taken advantage of this loophole which now makes using Airbnb doubly attractive, and has persuaded many landlords to rent their homes out via the website, rather than using traditional letting agents.Research for The Negotiator by consultancy Airdna reveals that, in London, the number of properties listed to rent out via Airbnb has risen from 22,945 in January 2015 to over 60,214 today, an increase of 162%.Airdna also says Airbnb properties have an average occupancy rate of 60% and that average revenues for Airbnb hosts in London are all under the Rent-a-Room threshold.For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom flat in London offered via Airbnb has increased over the past two years by 23% from £3,445 to £4,248, way ahead of the traditional longer-term let market.The government says its proposals to redesign the Rent-a-Room tax-free income system will “align the relief more closely with its intended purpose to increase supply of affordable long-term lodgings.”airbnb spring budget 2017 March 10, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Sugar tax not the answer says think tank

first_imgA tax on sugar will not solve the obesity crisis, the chief executive of the independent social enterprise think tank 2020health has warned. Julia Manning told British Baker a more holistic approach was needed to tackle the ‘complex issue’ and called for ‘highest level Cobra style meetings’ to show a cross-departmental, serious commitment to tackling obesity, which is currently heavily focussed on diet.Her comments come on the back of a 2020health report published yesterday which found that obesity rates were linked not only to lower socio-economic groups, but  also men from the middle and upper financial classes.The Fat Chance study, which analysed 16 data-sets to determine who is obese in the UK, also revealed that the prevalence of fast food outlets near places of work had a significant impact on the BMI of men, while the lack of green space in a local environment had an influence on obesity rates in girls in particular.In addition, the report uncovered that half of all people suffering with psychosis are obese, while parental obesity – especially in mothers – is a far more predictive factor than ethnicity.”It should be needless to say, but our obesity problem is so severe it cannot be solved by something as simplistic as a Sugar Tax, and our research shows that there are many complex factors that have a major impact on obesity rates,” Manning told British Baker.Complex“These findings blow apart assumptions on ‘who’ becomes obese, confirming the incredibly complex nature of the challenge that we face to improve the health of the nation. There are numerous structural, social and behavioural factors which appear to be influencing poor dietary and lifestyle choices. Only by understanding these factors will we be able to address the rapidly rising rates of obesity.”The report comes just weeks after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called on the government to implement a tax on sugary foods and drink.Yesterday, a poll of 1704 consumers by market research company Future Thinking revealed that almost half (49%) were against the introduction of a sugar tax, while just over a third (35%) were in favour of one. 16% did not have an opinion.last_img read more

LEAF Festival Announces 2019 Lineup: Shovels & Rope, Trevor Hall, India.Arie, More

first_imgLEAF Festival will return to the picturesque hills of North Carolina this spring when the four-day music event produced LEAF Community Arts takes place at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, NC beginning Thursday, May 9th to Sunday, May 12th. This year’s springtime event will feature headlining performances from India.Arie, Trevor Hall, and Shovels & Rope, in addition to Larkin Poe, Black Violin, The War and Treaty, Molly Tuttle, The East Pointer, and many more.Other artists who are featured on the event’s spring 2019 poster shared on Friday include Dirtwire, Gina Chavez, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Jon Stickley Trio, Sweet Crude, Sean Ardoin, Victory Boyd, Sammy Miller & The Congregation, and Jarlath Henderson, just to name a few.“For the 48th LEAF Festival, we’ve scoured the globe to select artists who are architects of positive change using the strength & resilience of their creative expression to uplift our communities,” LEAF Artistic Director Ehren Cruz mentioned in a statement about their spring lineup. “As LEAF Community Arts approaches a new phase in its legacy with the creation of a year-round Global Arts Center, we welcome one and all to gather at the beautiful Lake Eden to celebrate this new inspiring chapter in our journey together. Bring your hopes, your dreams, your families, and an open heart for a world culture celebration you will never forget.”Related: Billy Strings & Molly Tuttle Added To Newport Folk Fest 2019 LineupFor those who may be unfamiliar, LEAF Community Arts is a non-profit organization which donates all festival proceeds to cultural arts education programs on both local and global levels. Since launching in 2004, “LEAF Schools & Streets” has helped over 55,000 youth beneficiaries with programs in over 20 Western North Carolina locations. The other LEAF Festival scheduled for 2019 will take place in the fall on October 17th-20th.Fans can click here to purchase tickets to the spring 2019 event, which are on sale now. Fans can also check out the event’s spring 2019 poster below for the full lineup of scheduled performers.last_img read more

Casting new light on ancient epics

first_imgIn the earliest days of civilization, walls told stories. Spreading for miles on the distant and now ghostly palaces of Mesopotamia, bas-reliefs narrated epic tales of kings wielding power through war and ritual.At the Harvard Semitic Museum, part of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, the writings on the wall are being read again.“From Stone to Silicone” — the only exhibit of its kind in North America, according to Adam Aja, assistant curator of collections at the museum — was five years in the making. The show features striking silicone replicas of millennia-old reliefs from majestic Assyrian palaces in Nimrud and Nineveh (present-day Iraq).“We have an incredible collection here that really emphasizes the art and empire of ancient Mesopotamia,” Aja said. “It’s a connection to a culture that is tremendously important.”The exhibit expands on the vision of the museum’s first curator, David Gordon Lyon, to thoroughly explore the many cultures of the ancient Near East. The newly renovated atrium gallery on the third floor of the 1903 building was completely redesigned to serve as a permanent setting against which to display the art and culture of Mesopotamia.,“We put so much hard work into the planning of all this, including an entirely new floor, remarkable color scheme, and state-of-the-art lighting,” said Peter Der Manuelian, director of the Harvard Semitic Museum. “With the architectural details, the curved ceiling, and magnificent skylight, it is the grandest gallery — a dynamic, beautiful, and exciting space.”The renovation allows the museum to showcase and preserve the history, religion, culture, art, and language of Assyria in a gallery that blends important artifacts with immersive technology.The project began with the resurrection and re-creation of plaster-cast reliefs that Lyon secured a century ago from three European museums. Displayed for years at the Harvard Semitic Museum and used as teaching tools, they were the virtual reality of their day. “Teaching with 3-D objects … provides students with tangibility that they lack otherwise, especially when dealing with something as abstract as the deep past.” — Gojko Barjamovic “Casts still have stories to tell now, even in our virtual world,” Aja said. “This show focuses on the production of casts, their use, their historical significance, and the lessons they can teach us.”Aja developed an innovative technique using a silicone and resin formula to re-create the reliefs. He also wanted to involve students, offering them an opportunity to “touch” Assyrian culture.To recast the palace reliefs, Aja worked with Gojko Barjamovic, senior lecturer on Assyriology and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and students in “Ancient Near East 103: Ancient Lives” over a period of three years.“Teaching with 3-D objects rather than images gives you a completely different perspective and provides students with tangibility that they lack otherwise, especially when dealing with something as abstract as the deep past,” said Barjamovic, whose students learn how to read the now-extinct Akkadian language of the reliefs, depicted in different dialects spanning more than 1,000 years.Using special characters and pictorial text, the reliefs describe King Ashurnasirpal of Assyria engaging in epic battles, speaking to the people of his empire, hunting lions, and boasting of his accomplishments. There are stories about soldiers and prisoners, as well as narratives of lavish celebrations with music and libation.The reliefs can be less than a foot, or more than 12 feet tall. While some are free-standing, others stretch up to 14 feet long.,“There are so many levels to consider, from creating the molds to working with space, size, temperature control, light control, and even determining the type of paint that will hold on resin casts. I was so excited just to get my hands dirty, work three-dimensionally, and reach a level that goes beyond expectations.” — Sarah Milton The task of painting casts to resemble their ancient counterparts was appealing to Sarah Milton, a former Aja student with experience in art conservation. Milton is now collections and exhibition manager at the Rockport Art Association and Museum, and is familiar with large-scale projects such as mural painting and restoration of hand-painted theater curtains.“I understand materials, and how to make things look and feel real,” she said. “There are so many levels to consider, from creating the molds to working with space, size, temperature control, light control, and even determining the type of paint that will hold on resin casts. I was so excited just to get my hands dirty, work three-dimensionally, and reach a level that goes beyond expectations.”Preserving ancient relics is not a simple task. Antiquities are under threat from the effects of climate, and both natural and man-made disasters, Manuelian noted.“It doesn’t make things easier when you have extremist groups who see these as a threat to their belief system,” he said. “So now on top of all of those other concerns, we have people in some parts of the world actively trying to destroy them, which adds to the sense of urgency of fabricating to help tell the story. These are not just copies, but a contribution to the survival of these ancient cultures.”Barjamovic said when the ancient palaces were excavated, some artifacts were dismantled, some were destroyed, and others were taken to European museums — museums in Berlin, Paris, London, and Baghdad now hold the only original Mesopotamian reliefs — so providing access to these objects in new and different ways is valuable.“We actually have a much better chance of engaging with these objects here than if we went to London to see the originals,” he said. “We can look at these reliefs from different periods and reigns, cities, and palaces, all in one room, which you can’t do anywhere else.”Philip Katz, a Ph.D. student in Classics at New York University, visited “From Stone to Silicone” while in Boston for a conference. He frequently works with casts of ancient sculptures and said the actual process of making the casts is rarely highlighted.“We treat casts as a facsimile, which allows us to access other material,” he said. “These look completely authentic, so it’s interesting to have this entirely different impression, and approach casts as objects, with a history unto themselves.”last_img read more

Border agents detain mother, newborn in Texas for 5 days

first_imgHOUSTON (AP) — U.S. border agents have since Saturday detained a Cuban woman with her newborn son, one day after she gave birth in a Texas hospital, but were expected to release both of them later Wednesday. Advocates say the woman’s detention by U.S. Customs and Border Protection raised concerns that she was being held in a sparse holding cell without beds or the food and care needed by a new mother or a newborn. Under federal rules, CBP is supposed to release most detained immigrants after 72 hours, a deadline that passed Tuesday. CBP said Wednesday it would release the family.last_img