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first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsThe Northwest Territories government is spending more than $300,000 to create a special RCMP unit dedicated to investigating missing people and unsolved murder cases.The news comes almost a month after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held hearings in Yellowknife.Freda Cardinal was among the many families at the hearings who pitched a specialized cold case unit for the Northwest Territories. Cardinal’s sister, Stella Cardinal, has been missing since the 1970s.Hers is one of 71 unsolved historical cases in the region.“I feel good about it in a way but where is it going from here is what I would like to know,” Cardinal said, adding she hopes the families will have a say in the creation of the unit. “Are they going to do some follow up with the recommendations and have something for us, some information? We need to know.”A total of $304,000 is budgeted for the unit which would consist of three members to organize, catalogue and investigate cases of suspicious deaths, unsolved homicides, missing persons and unidentified human remains.Currently the major crimes unit is responsible for these cases.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – American military contractors operating in Iraq are accusing Baghdad of employing strong-arm tactics to make them pay exorbitant income taxes, a practice they’ve warned the Trump administration is hampering the fight against Islamic State extremists.To force payment of the taxes, which the companies say are haphazardly calculated and can total millions of dollars, Iraqi authorities have held up — and even threatened to stop altogether — delivery of essential supplies, including food, fuel and water, bound for U.S. and coalition forces, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.Iraqi government officials also have refused to issue, or have delayed, the delivery of work visas to employees of companies that won’t hand over the money.A senior executive at a U.S. company that supports American troops in Iraq said contractor vehicles are stopped at checkpoints frequently and ordered to produce documents that certify they’ve paid the taxes or prove their company has received an extension from Iraq’s tax commission. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation from the Iraqi government for speaking out publicly.He said the Iraqis typically calculate the tax bills by first determining the total value of the contract and then charging 20 per cent of what they estimate the company’s gross revenue would be. That can lead to eye-popping yet wildly inaccurate totals as high as $20 million. The big number is really aimed at getting the company to agree on a smaller yet still substantial amount, the executive said.Najiha Abbas Habib, director general of Iraq’s tax authority, rejected the allegation U.S. contractors are being gouged. American companies working in Iraq are not exempt from taxation, she said, adding that Iraq’s tax rates are actually lower than other Middle East countries.“Many foreign companies operate in Iraq without paying any taxes at all,” Habib said.Robert Mearkle, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, denied the tax demands have undercut the counterterrorism mission. “Iraqi enforcement of tax laws has not disrupted U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS,” he said in an emailed statement, using an alternative acronym for the militant group that in 2014 burst into western and northern Iraq from Syria.But a trade group representing a number of the contractors told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson several months ago that the tactics present a “direct threat to the U.S. government’s mission in Iraq.” The Professional Services Council also said in the previously undisclosed May 1 letter to Tillerson that the arbitrary way the Iraqis are collecting the taxes heightens the potential for fraud and waste in a country that already ranks as one of the most corrupt in the world.David Berteau, president of the Professional Services Council, estimated in an AP interview that the Pentagon spent about $1 billion in just the last year on contracts with about 20 U.S. companies for support in Iraq. The work ranges from supplying U.S. and coalition bases to construction and weapon system maintenance.Berteau said the companies either seek reimbursement from the U.S. government for the taxes or build the expense into the price they charge on the contract.“Either way, U.S. taxpayers eventually foot the bill,” Berteau said.But the Trump administration hasn’t confronted senior Iraqi officials over the matter. Tillerson, in a brief response he sent the organization in early July, said a diplomatic note between the two countries approved in 2014 during the Obama administration gave U.S. government personnel but not contractors protections from Iraqi law.Tillerson said the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad routinely engages with the Iraqi government “to ensure fair treatment” of the U.S. contractors working there. But he also said it’s “always important that U.S. companies follow local laws,” which include the payment of taxes.And Tillerson gave no indication the Trump administration would pursue what U.S. companies with overseas contracts really want: an agreement with the Iraqi government that gives them exemptions from the taxes and other legal protections to shield them from being prosecuted in Iraqi courts.Iraq’s push for the taxes has coincided with a sustained drop in oil prices. Oil revenue makes up nearly 95 per cent of Iraq’s budget, but the country has been reeling under an economic crisis since 2014, when prices began falling from a high of above $100 a barrel.The seizure of territory across Iraq by the Islamic State group in 2014, including the fall of Mosul, worsened the situation. Badly needed resources have been diverted from productive investment to fight a long and costly insurgency.U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq, referred questions to the State Department. The command declined to provide a list of the U.S. companies in Iraq with Defence Department contracts.Among the companies operating in Iraq are General Dynamics Land Systems and DynCorp International. General Dynamics, which is based in Michigan, received a $65 million contract late last year to support Iraq’s fleet of M1A1 battle tanks. DynCorp, located in McLean, Virginia, won a contract in 2015 with a potential value of $139 million to school Iraqi troops in vehicle maintenance and repair. Neither company responded to requests for comment about whether they’d paid taxes to the Iraqi government.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, has thrown his support to the U.S. companies, telling Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that he’s concerned the income tax demands could lead American contractors to avoid Iraq altogether.Cornyn wrote in early August that Iraq is “the only unstable conflict zone in the world where U.S. contractors and their employees have no legal tax protections.”___Associated Press writers Susannah George and Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad contributed to this report.___Follow Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardnerlast_img read more

first_imgREGINA – The International Carbon Capture and Storage Centre is holding a global symposium in Regina to show off the technology that captures waste carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and buries it underground.It’s a working meeting for about 150 invited delegates from 16 countries.Mike Monea, president and CEO of the knowledge centre, says the aim is to expand the technology around the world.Monea says carbon capture and storage works, and the next step is to find ways to deploy it around the world.He says another goal is to reduce capital and operating costs.The three-day conference, which wraps up Thursday, includes several presentations and a tour of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Estevan.“We have been on a path for the last 30 years developing the regulations, policy, pipelining, capture systems, and we can show people what to do quickly in order to deploy CCS into their own country,” Monea said Tuesday.The carbon capture facility at the Estevan plant went online in the fall of 2014.It was forced down several times in 2015. SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to the Calgary-based oil company.SaskPower’s annual report that year said the power plant faced technical and mechanical issues which “prevented the plant from achieving an acceptable level of reliability and performance.”However, in 2016, SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said the facility was operating well and on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.(CKRM, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

MONTREAL — DavidsTea Inc. saw a drop in sales in its most recent quarter, but announced plans to expand its wholesale business.The Montreal-based retailer says its sales fell 4.1 per cent to $83.1 million in the quarter ending February 2.The retailer saw 20.2 per cent growth or $2.5 million in its whole sale and e-commerce sales.The company says it will expand its current deal with Loblaw Companies Ltd. and will sell its teas at more than 1,500 of the retailer’s locations starting this fall.Its consolidated net loss was $14.4 million or 51 cents per diluted share compared to $16.1 million or 62 cents per share in the same quarter the previous year.Its adjusted net income was $6.4 million or 25 cents per share compared to $9.7 million or 37 cents per share in the previous fourth quarter.The Canadian Press read more

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it has the food supplies ready to be delivered to Haiti’s north and northwest, where stocks are dropping in many cities and towns. But WFP also faces a shortfall of $3.1 million to run its operations this year in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.The main route used by the WFP to deliver food to the north has been blocked since last Thursday, when violent clashes erupted between police and armed groups in the strategic city of Gonaives.The agency was scheduled to transport 1.4 tons of cereals to its warehouses in Cap-Haitien and Bombardopolis, both in the north of the country, to help some 268,000 people, including school children, pregnant and lactating mothers, HIV/AIDS orphans and others affected by drought or floods there.As the agency explores bringing aid to the north by boat, WFP’s Country Director in Haiti, Guy Gauvreau, warned that the consequences of late deliveries could be grave. “More than half the food required this month is ready for transport,” he said. “If we are not able to move it in the coming week, food distributions will be disrupted and malnutrition will rise, especially among vulnerable children.”The warehouses in Cap-Haitien and Bombardopolis currently have some supplies of food, mostly oil and lentils, but more cereals are required to make sure that recipients have a balanced diet.WFP is also concerned about the security of its food convoys. Staff have reported eight separate attacks on agency trucks since the end of November, with 61 tons of aid lost as a result.Meanwhile in New York, a UN spokesman said Secretary-General Kofi Annan is sending an assessment team to Haiti to look at ways to increase the world body’s humanitarian work there.”He also would like to give active support on the political side to the efforts of the OAS [Organization of American States] and CARICOM [Caribbean Community] to try to find a political solution to the current crisis there,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said in response to press questions. read more

Hudson’s Bay Co. sales get bump from currency fluctuation, digital sales TORONTO – Hudson’s Bay Co. has given investors a preliminary look at its financial performance at the end of last year.The Toronto-based company (TSX:HBC) says same-store sales growth was up 11 per cent overall — although that was boosted by a higher U.S. dollar compared with the Canadian currency that HBC uses for financial reporting.On a constant-currency basis, sales at HBC stores that have been open for at least a year were up 1.8 per cent overall.Saks Fifth Avenue lagged the other parts of HBC’s retail group, with same-store sales down 1.0 per cent on a constant-currency basis.HBC’s older banners, including Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, had same-store sales rise 4.7 per cent and its Saks Off 5th banner had a 6.3 per cent increase in same-store sales.Sales through HBC’s online and digital channels were up 22.8 per cent on a constant currency basis in the three months ended Jan. 31, which includes the important holiday shopping season.HBC says it will report the full financial results for the quarter and year ended Jan. 31 on April 5. by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 23, 2016 6:09 am MDT Last Updated Feb 23, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

US consumer confidence slips in April WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers were feeling a little less confident in April, even though the stock market was rebounding from its February lows.The Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped to 94.2 this month after rising to 96.1 in March.The April report showed confidence on a sideways path, with modest progress in one month followed by a slight retreat in the following month.Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in April, which could suggest that the economy is growing at a stable pace. But their expectations for the future fell to a two-year low.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics said that the recent rise in gasoline prices seemed to be offsetting the rebound that has occurred in the stock market.“Consumer confidence has trended lower in recent months, but the fundamentals for consumption remain encouraging,” Ashworth said.He noted that the labour market remains strong, interest rates are low and the price of such key household assets such as homes and stocks were on the rise.Ashworth said the reading for consumer confidence was consistent with consumer spending growing at around a 2 per cent rate, an improvement over the 1.5 per cent spending growth he has forecast for the first quarter.Economists closely watch consumer spending because it accounts for 70 per cent of economic activity.The confidence gauge is based on an index where 100 was the reading in 1985. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Apr 26, 2016 9:08 am MDT Last Updated Apr 26, 2016 at 11:14 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

first_imgNeometals Ltd reports outstanding results of test work on a titanium‐based adsorbent, developed by the company, which has the potential to deliver a more cost effective and environmentally friendly method of extracting lithium and potassium from sodium rich brines as compared to traditional solar evaporation.Test work conducted by a leading independent Australian research facility has confirmed that Neometals’ adsorbent technology is able to successfully recover lithium and potassium from salar brines while rejecting all of the sodium in solution. The continuous cycle testing demonstrates that the technology has the potential to replace the sodium removal by the conventional solar evaporation process stage used in typical brine processing flowsheets, such as those used in the Andes region of South America.The conventional solar evaporation phase requires significant capital expenditure to construct a series of large evaporation ponds, significant maintenance of the operating ponds to harvest and store salt and has an approximate 12 months processing period. Water in the brine that has been extracted from aquifers and salars is lost to the atmosphere through evaporation.In comparison, the Proof of Concept test results indicate that lithium and potassium adsorption, and rejection of sodium, could be conducted using conventional process equipment with residence times of less than 30 minutes. Returning nearly all of the brine volume to the salar allows exploitation of salar aquifers with anticipated minimal impact on the water table.Synthetic and natural brine samples were used in bench scale laboratory testing at a leading independent Australian research facility. Research and development work since 2015 has resulted in:The complete rejection (100%) of sodium in the brine by the adsorbent materialIn the adsorption phase lithium recovery ranging from 53‐79% and potassium recovery from 36‐45%. The balance is returned to the salar for future extractionEquilibrium adsorption (loading) was typically 5‐15 minutes and desorption (stripping) was 5‐10 minutes in the cycle testing phase. Adsorbent readily separated from the aqueous phase using conventional solid/liquid separation methods.Trial adsorbent has been made from commercial reagents and from titanium compounds produced from the company’s Barrambie titanium project test program. Performance of adsorbent material appears to improve with increased grade of raw material and the Barrambie test product appears to deliver superior adsorbent performance.The conceptual plan is to return “stripped” brine to the salar or aquifer and use a large processing volume coupled with short cycle time to extract lithium/potassium on a suitable scale. The company is also evaluating other technologies that can be coupled with the adsorption technology in an integrated flow sheet that completely replaces the salt removal and brine concentration/purification phases used in conventional brine flow sheets. The concept is represented in the following illustration.Neometals Managing Director, Chris Reed, commented: “Proving this scalability of this technology will have significant implications for brine‐based producers and developers, who hold 75% of the world’s lithium resources. Increasing the speed and yield of lithium extraction from brines and reducing operating and capital costs are the keys to unlocking supply needed to meet the lithium demands of the next decade. ”The company has filed a Provisional Patent and PCT Application. Its strategy is to develop related technologies and commercialise the technologies with suitable partners. The commercial strategy is licence the technology for royalties and to retain the right to deploy it as principal.last_img read more

first_imgAN ITALIAN NEWSPAPER has claimed that Pope Benedict’s decision to resign was confirmed by the contents of an internal Vatican report which revealed significant adultery and theft problems within the Vatican.La Repubblica says the Vatican report, chaired by Cardinal Julian Herranz and delivered to the pope in December, is reported to have uncovered details of an ‘underground’ gay network among Vatican and Holy See employees and officials, where members organised events around Rome and inside the Vatican itself.The report, summarised by The Nation, adds that the members were prone to blackmail because of how their sexual orientation is frowned upon by the Church.The authors of La Repubblica’s report said the information was “all about the breach of the sixth and seventh commandments” – referring to God’s commands that followers neither steal or commit adultery.It is speculated that the reference to theft is a reference to the goings-on at the Vatican’s Bank, which was hit with accusations of theft and money-laundering that forced its chairman to quit last year.The Vatican has insisted that the pontiff’s resignation, which takes effect next Thursday evening, was as a result of his increasing physical frailty which has left him needing motorised transport to travel the length of St Peter’s Basilica.It has also been reported that Benedict was hurt in a fall while on a visit to Mexico last year.The 85-year-old had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and not being familiar with the room, stumbled and hit his head against a ceramic basin.The Daily Telegraph cited Italian media as saying the pontiff was significantly shaken by the incident, the gravity of which only became fully known the next morning when he woke up to find his hair and pillow covered in blood.Read: Pope’s brother: Pontiff was ‘considering resignation for months’last_img read more

first_imgAustralian Labor Party Nick Voulanas, ALP for Malvern John Pandazopoulos, ALP for Dandenong Jenny Mikakos, ALP Upper House, Northern Metropolitan Liberal Party Theo Zographos, LIB for Oakleigh Nick Kotsiras, LIB for Bulleen Nick Katos, LIB for South Barwon Greens Meni Christofakis, GREENS for Prahran As the election lead-up continues, stay tuned for more profiles, more news and more candidates.Click the links below to read our profiles with Greek Australian candidates in the lead up to Victoria’s state election. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgiPhone 4 : revue des premiers problèmes rencontrésFrance – L’iPhone 4 vient de sortir et il n’est visiblement pas parfait. Plusieurs utilisateurs se plaignent en effet de problèmes assez graves concernant leur smartphone. Devant le raz-de-marée provoqué par l’arrivée de l’iPhone 4, Apple doit aujourd’hui faire face à plusieurs problèmes, pour la plupart récurrents, concernant le fonctionnement de son nouvel appareil. Le premier hic concerne l’activation de la carte SIM avec Orange. Les serveurs pouvant être saturés, la manipulation peut être particulièrement lente. Elle est également parfois refusée, car l’utilisateur choisit la sauvegarde provenant d’un iPhone précédent et non d’un nouvel iPhone. Deuxième problème, de la colle pour écran aurait mal séché, entraînant l’apparition de taches jaunes. Mais le tout devrait disparaître sous 48 heures. À lire aussiLes applications pour entraîner son cerveau sont-elles vraiment efficaces ?Autre souci : Steve Jobs invite les utilisateurs à ne pas presser la partie inférieure gauche de l’appareil lorsqu’ils téléphonent, le signal pouvant alors perdre en intensité. Enfin, des pixels morts peuvent être observés. Et là, pas de solution…Le 25 juin 2010 à 13:00 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

first_img John Wick: Chapter 2 isn’t even out in theaters yet, but Keanu Reeves might already have to get ready for another spin with the character.Franchise director Chad Stahelski said in an interview that he and his team have already begun planning for the third film and besides the return of Reeves, obviously, they already have some actors in mind, including Ian McShane, who plays Winston in the two films.“Winston’s a big part of the next one, so is Lance Reddick. We’ve got some ideas,” he said.The news follows a panel at New York Comic Con over the weekend that revealed a number of details about Chapter 2, along with the first trailer.McShane and Reddick are seen as people who run the Continental, which is a hotel in the Wickverse. Picking up immediately after the events of the first one, Wick flies to Rome to deal with an international assassins’ guild. According to Stahelski, it actually takes place the following day.“When it came to coming up with a story idea, we had like ten bad ideas, and they we were like, ‘fuck it,’ what would have just happened the next day,” he said. “Once we stopped worrying about ourselves, it was fun.”For the follow-up to a film about an assassin getting revenge after the loss of his dog, this one still looks bonkers, like something straight from an anime rather than real life. Even more important though is the Matrix reunion. Stahelski was a stunt coordinator on the Matrix films and Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne, appears at the end of the trailer.Ruby Rose from Orange is the New Black and Common are also slated to appear.John Wick: Chapter 2 is scheduled for release on Feb. 10, 2017. For more on the New York Comic Con panel, click here. Watch These Movies Before ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’‘Fortnite’s’ John Wick Mode Is The Deadliest Crossover… Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ A sheriff’s horse was punched and four police officers were injured during a drunken brawl that occurred at a California county fair over the weekend.According to officials, the fight erupted around 10 p.m. PDT near a beer booth at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock, California, Fox News reported.A group of men, who appeared to be intoxicated and dressed in gang attire, were told to leave the fair and this started the fight. As the altercation escalated, one of the men was knocked over by a sheriff’s horse, and after he realized that his beer spilled, he punched the horse, which is named Maximus, in the butt and was arrested, according to a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Facebook post. Five people were arrested after the brawl, including the man that punched Maximus, and four deputies had minor injures. Stay on targetcenter_img On Monday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said Maximus is recovering after the fight by eating some alfalfa and running around his pasture. The horse, which was wearing a band-aid and had a teddy bear on his back, was shown relaxing outdoors in a photo.“Maximus is still committed to serving justice and will not be dissuaded in his efforts,” Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook. “The Deputies are doing just fine also.”More on Geek.com:Massive Python Swallows Entire Duck for Meal in AustraliaWatch: Scientists Spot See-Through ‘Piglet Squid’ in Pacific OceanWatch: Dumbo Octopus ‘Photobombs’ ROV Exploring Pacific Ocean Seabedlast_img read more

first_img Load More RelatedPosts MegaSportsWorld becomes first fully accredited Philippines sports betting operator under strict new regulations Macau Legend slips into loss in 1H19 despite rising revenues Casinos can innovate – and win new fans 向下滾動查閱中文版本 | Scroll down for Chinese versionThe Asian Poker Tour (APT) has shelved plans to incorporate a cryptocurrency element into the upcoming APT Macau Championships 2018 due to regulatory concerns. In a statement sent to Inside Asian Gaming, APT CEO Jeff Mann said that the tour had been considering cryptocurrency as a novel marketing tool to expand the reach and appeal of the APT globally and attract more players from Europe, but confirmed there would be no association, involvement from or usage of cryptocurrency at its Macau event.“Clearly, each APT event is different and we are mindful of local operating guidelines,” said Mann. “I can confirm that the APT Macau Championships will not be associated with cryptocurrency in any way and I apologize for any confusion in the market.”The APT had announced over the weekend a new agreement with cryptocurrency-based online poker room CoinPoker that would have allowed players to satellite into its Super High Roller and main events using CHP currency.The APT Macau Championships 2018 will run from 25 April to 6 May at Babylon Casino.「亞洲撲克巡迴賽」放棄其澳門加密貨幣計劃由於監管方面的考慮,亞洲撲克巡迴賽(APT)擱置了其將加密貨幣元素納入即將舉行的2018 APT澳門錦標賽的計劃。在發給《Inside Asian Gaming》(IAG)的聲明中,APT首席執行官Jeff Mann表示,此次巡迴賽將加密貨幣視為一種新型營銷工具,旨在擴大APT在全球範圍內的影響力和吸引力,並吸引更多來自歐洲的玩家,但他確認APT澳門錦標賽不會與加密貨幣有任何關聯。Mann稱:“顯然,每場APT比賽都是不同的,我們尊重當地運營指南。我可以證實APT澳門錦標賽不會以任何方式與加密貨幣有任何關聯,並為市場的混淆而道歉。”APT週末宣布與使用加密貨幣的在線撲克室 “CoinPoker” 達成一項新協議,該協議允許玩家使用CHP貨幣進入其超級豪客賽和主賽。APT澳門錦標賽”將於4月25日至5月6日在「巴比倫娛樂場」舉行。last_img read more

first_imgSome 15% of employer respondents feel that frequent changes to pensions regulation are a burden, according to research by Barnett Waddingham and Standard Life.The Employers’ attitudes to the changing defined contribution (DC) pensions landscape report, which surveyed 76 employers, also found that more than half (52%) of respondents cite regulatory stability as the key factor for DC pensions success.The research also found:Around a quarter (23%) of respondents say that addressing regulations is their short-term pension scheme objective.29% of respondents include keeping up with and implementing these regulatory changes among their long-term objectives.17% of respondents feel that they require more regulatory support for their pension schemes.Paul Leandro, partner, workplace health and wealth at Barnett Waddingham, said: “Employers want to do what’s right by their employees and are yearning for regulatory stability to allow them to do so.“Although our research shows there is still a long way to go to improve confidence that there will be such stability, recent announcements that the government has dropped plans to end or alter tax relief on pensions demonstrates a willingness to address employers’ concerns.”Alan Ritchie (pictured), head of employer and trustee propositions at Standard Life, added: “Keeping up with regulation has continued to be a distraction for employers, which is a natural consequence of so much change in recent times.BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy“If we now have a period of relative calm in regulation then employers will be able to focus on the list of things they really want to do for members to enhance their outcomes.”last_img read more

first_imgIBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Theresa May closed the Conservative conference in Birmingham today (5 October) with a pitch to put the party in the centre ground of British politics.The Tory premier claimed Labour had abandoned the moderate position, while arguing that her government would step up and engineer an economy that works for everybody. Notably, May branded Labour as the nasty party, a slogan once used against the Conservatives.When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions were hanging in the air.Do we have a plan for Brexit? We do.Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through? We are.Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days? Just about.But I know theres another big question people want me to answer.Whats my vision for Britain? My philosophy? My approach?Today I want to answer that question very directly.I want to set out my vision for Britain after Brexit.I want to lay out my approach – the things I believe.I want to explain what a country that works for everyone means.I want to set our party and our country on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics…built on the values of fairness and opportunity…where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person – regardless of their background, or that of their parents – is given the chance to be all they want to be.And as I do so, I want to be clear about something else: that a vision is nothing without the determination to see it through.No vision ever built a business by itself. No vision ever clothed a family or fed a hungry child. No vision ever changed a country on its own.You need to put the hours in and the effort too.But if you do, great things can happen. Great changes can occur.And be in no doubt, thats what Britain needs today.Because in June people voted for change. And a change is going to come.BRITAINS QUIET REVOLUTIONChange has got to come because as we leave the European Union and take control of our own destiny, the task of tackling some of Britains long-standing challenges – like how to train enough people to do the jobs of the future – becomes ever more urgent.But change has got to come too because of the quiet revolution that took place in our country just three months ago – a revolution in which millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said they were not prepared to be ignored anymore.Because this is a turning point for our country.A once-in-a-generation chance to change the direction of our nation for good.To step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.Lets be clear: we have come a long way over the past six years.Weve brought the deficit down.Got more people into work than ever before.Taken the lowest paid out of income tax.Established a new National Living Wage.Helped nearly a million new business to set up and grow.Got almost one and a half million more children into good or outstanding schools.Put record investment into the NHS.Created nearly 3 million new apprenticeships.And brought crime down by more than a quarter to its lowest ever level.Thats a record of which we should all be proud.And this morning its right that we pause to say thank you to the man who made that possible. A man who challenged us to change and told us that if we did then we would win again.And he was right. We did change. We did win. The first majority Conservative Government in almost 25 years.A great leader of our party – a great servant to our country.David Cameron, thank you.But now we need to change again. For the referendum was not just a vote to withdraw from the EU. It was about something broader – something that the European Union had come to represent.It was about a sense – deep, profound and lets face it often justified – that many people have today that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.It was a vote not just to change Britains relationship with the European Union, but to call for a change in the way our country works – and the people for whom it works – forever.Knock on almost any door in almost any part of the country, and you will find the roots of the revolution laid bare.Our society should work for everyone, but if you cant afford to get onto the property ladder, or your child is stuck in a bad school, it doesnt feel like its working for you.Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesnt feel like its working for you.Our democracy should work for everyone, but if youve been trying to say things need to change for years and your complaints fall on deaf ears, it doesnt feel like its working for you.And the roots of the revolution run deep. Because it wasnt the wealthy who made the biggest sacrifices after the financial crash, but ordinary, working class families.And if youre one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or – and I know a lot of people dont like to admit this – someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesnt seem fair.It feels like your dreams have been sacrificed in the service of others.So change has got to come.Because if we dont respond – if we dont take this opportunity to deliver the change people want – resentments will grow. Divisions will become entrenched.And that would be a disaster for Britain.Because the lesson of Britain is that we are a country built on the bonds of family, community, citizenship.Of strong institutions and a strong society.The country of my parents who instilled in me a sense of public service and of public servants everywhere who want to give something back.The parent who works hard all week but takes time out to coach the kids football team at the weekend.The local family business in my constituency thats been serving the community for more than 50 years.The servicemen and women I met last week who wear their uniform proudly at home and serve our nation with honour abroad.A country of decency, fairness and quiet resolve.And a successful country – small in size but large in stature – that with less than 1% of the worlds population boasts more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States… with three more added again just yesterday – two of whom worked here in this great city.A country that boasts three of the top ten universities in the world. The worlds leading financial capital. And institutions like the NHS and BBC whose reputations echo in some of the farthest corners of the globe.All possible because we are one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and I will always fight to preserve our proud, historic Union and will never let divisive nationalists drive us apart.Yet within our society today, we see division and unfairness all around. Between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation. Between the wealth of London and the rest of the country.But perhaps most of all, between the rich, the successful and the powerful – and their fellow citizens.Now dont get me wrong. We applaud success. We want people to get on.But we also value something else: the spirit of citizenship.That spirit that means you respect the bonds and obligations that make our society work. That means a commitment to the men and women who live around you, who work for you, who buy the goods and services you sell.That spirit that means recognising the social contract that says you train up local young people before you take on cheap labour from overseas.That spirit that means you do as others do, and pay your fair share of tax.But today, too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street.But if you believe youre a citizen of the world, youre a citizen of nowhere. You dont understand what the very word citizenship means.So if youre a boss who earns a fortune but doesnt look after your staff…An international company that treats tax laws as an optional extra…A household name that refuses to work with the authorities even to fight terrorism…A director who takes out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust…Im putting you on warning. This cant go on anymore.A change has got to come. And this party – the Conservative Party – is going to make that change.BELIEVING IN THE GOOD THAT GOVERNMENT CAN DOSo today, I want to set out my plan for a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules and every person has the opportunity to be all they want to be.Its a plan to tackle the unfairness and injustice that divides us, so that we may build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.A plan that will mean government stepping up. Righting wrongs. Challenging vested interests. Taking big decisions. Doing what we believe to be right. Getting the job done.Because thats the good that government can do. And its what Im in this for. To stand up for the weak and stand up to the strong.And to put the power of government squarely at the service of ordinary working-class people.Because too often that isnt how it works today.Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to your job security inconvenient.They find the fact that more than seventeen million voters decided to leave the European Union simply bewildering.Because if youre well off and comfortable, Britain is a different country and these concerns are not your concerns. Its easy to dismiss them – easy to say that all you want from government is for it to get out of the way.But a change has got to come. Its time to remember the good that government can do.Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good;that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot;and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people.Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and to embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of us all.Providing security from crime, but from ill health and unemployment too.Supporting free markets, but stepping in to repair them when they arent working as they should.Encouraging business and supporting free trade, but not accepting one set of rules for some and another for everyone else.And if we do – if we act to correct unfairness and injustice and put government at the service of ordinary working people – we can build that new united Britain in which everyone plays by the same rules, and in which the powerful and the privileged no longer ignore the interests of the people.Only we can do it. Because the main lesson I take from their conference last week is that the Labour Party is not just divided, but divisive.Determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that simply pulls people further apart.Thats what Labour stands for today. Fighting among themselves. Abusing their own MPs. Threatening to end their careers. Tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate.You know what some people call them?The nasty party.And with Labour divided, divisive and out-of-touch, we have a responsibility to step up, represent and govern for the whole nation.So where Labour build barriers, we will build bridges.That means tackling unfairness and injustice, and shifting the balance of Britain decisively in favour of ordinary working class people.Giving them access to the opportunities that are too often the preserve of the privileged few.Putting fairness at the heart of our agenda and creating a country in which hard work is rewarded and talent is welcome.A nation where contribution matters more than entitlement. Merit matters more than wealth.A confident global Britain that doesnt turn its back on globalisation but ensures the benefits are shared by all.A country that is prosperous and secure, so every person may share in the wealth of the nation and live their life free from fear.Thats what I mean by a country that works for everyone.A GLOBAL BRITAINAnd if we believe in the good that government can do, its important for people to trust us to deliver the change they need.We can start – as I said on Sunday – by doing something obvious. And that is to stop quibbling, respect what the people told us on the 23rd of June – and take Britain out of the European Union.Because it took that typically British quiet resolve for people to go out and vote as they did: to defy the establishment, to ignore the threats, to make their voice heard.So let us have that same resolve now.And lets be clear about what is going to happen.Article Fifty – triggered no later than the end of March.A Great Repeal Bill to get rid of the European Communities Act – introduced in the next Parliamentary session.Our laws made not in Brussels but in Westminster.Our judges sitting not in Luxembourg but in courts across the land.The authority of EU law in this country ended forever.The people told us they wanted these things – and this Conservative Government is going to deliver them.It is, of course, too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU. Its going to be a tough negotiation, it will require some give and take. And while there will always be pressure to give a running commentary, it will not be in our national interest to do so.But let me be clear about the agreement we seek.I want it to reflect the strong and mature relationships we enjoy with our European friends.I want it to include cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism work.I want it to involve free trade, in goods and services.I want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within the Single Market – and let European businesses do the same here.But lets state one thing loud and clear: we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration all over again. And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Thats not going to happen.We are leaving to become, once more, a fully sovereign and independent country – and the deal is going to have to work for Britain.And that Britain – the Britain we build after Brexit – is going to be a Global Britain.Because while we are leaving the European Union, we will not leave the continent of Europe. We will not abandon our friends and allies abroad. And we will not retreat from the world.In fact, now is the time to forge a bold, new, confident role for ourselves on the world stage.Keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world.Providing humanitarian support for refugees in need.Taking the lead on cracking down on modern slavery wherever it is found.Ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.Always acting as the strongest and most passionate advocate for free trade right across the globe.And always committed to a strong national defence and supporting the finest Armed Forces known to man.And this week, our excellent Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, proved not only that we will support them with our hearts and souls. Not only will we remain committed to spending two per cent of our national income on defence.But we will never again – in any future conflict – let those activist, left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave – the men and women of Britains Armed Forces.AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEIts about restoring fairness – something that must be at the heart of everything we do. Supporting those who do the right thing, who make a contribution.Helping those who give something back.And thats at the heart of my plan for our economy too.An economy thats fair and where everyone plays by the same rules.That means acting to tackle some of the economys structural problems that hold people back.Things like the shortage of affordable homes. The need to make big decisions on – and invest in – our infrastructure. The need to rebalance the economy across sectors and areas in order to spread wealth and prosperity around the country.Politicians have talked about this for years. But the trouble is that this kind of change will never just happen by itself. If thats what we want, we need the vision and determination to see it through.Thats why Philip Hammond and Greg Clark are working on a new industrial strategy to address those long-term structural challenges and get Britain firing on all cylinders again.Its not about picking winners, propping up failing industries, or bringing old companies back from the dead.Its about identifying the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and supporting and promoting them through policies on trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development.Its about doing what every other major and growing economy in the world does.Not just sitting back and seeing what happens – but putting in place a plan and getting on with the job.So we will identify the sectors of the economy – financial services, yes, but life sciences, tech, aerospace, car manufacturing, the creative industries and many others – that are of strategic importance to our economy, and do everything we can to encourage, develop and support them.And we will identify the places that have the potential to contribute to economic growth and become the homes to millions of new jobs.That means inspiring an economic and cultural revival of all of our great regional cities.We have made a start.Thanks to George Osbornes Northern Powerhouse, over the past year, foreign direct investment in the North has increased at double the rate of the rest of the country.Here in Birmingham, thanks to the incredible Jaguar Land Rover, the West Midlands is the only part of the country to run a trade surplus with China.And across the region, the Midlands Engine is on track to deliver 300,000 more jobs by 2020.Now its time to build on that success – in Birmingham and Manchester and in other cities across the country.And as we are here in Birmingham this week, let us show our support for the Conservative Partys candidate for next years mayoral election.A success in business running John Lewis. An action man in Birmingham, playing his part in transforming this city. A man to get things done, the future Mayor of the West Midlands – Andy Street.MAKING MARKETS WORK FOR WORKING PEOPLEAn economy that works for everyone is an economy where everyone plays by the same rules.I understand the frustration people feel when they see the rich and the powerful getting away with things that they themselves wouldnt dream of doing. And they wouldnt get away with if they tried.I understand that because I feel it too.Theres always an excuse – a reason why something cant be done – but when that is used as a basis for inaction, faith in capitalism and free markets falls.The Conservative Party will always believe in free markets. And thats precisely why its this party that should act to defend them.From Edmund Burke onwards, Conservatives have always understood that if you want to preserve something important, you need to be prepared to reform it. We must apply that same approach today.Thats why where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene.Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right.Its just not right, for example, that half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses, cant get a decent broadband connection.Its just not right that two thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs.And its just not right that the housing market continues to fail working people either.Ask almost any question about social fairness or problems with our economy, and the answer so often comes back to housing.High housing costs – and the growing gap between those on the property ladder and those who are not – lie at the heart of falling social mobility, falling savings and low productivity.We will do everything we can to help people financially so they can buy their own home. Thats why Help to Buy and Right to Buy are the right things to do.But as Sajid said in his bold speech on Monday, there is an honest truth we need to address. We simply need to build more homes.This means using the power of government to step in and repair the dysfunctional housing market.It means using public sector land for more and faster house building.It means encouraging new technologies that will help us to get more houses built faster. And putting in more government investment too.It means stepping up and doing whats right for Britain.Making the market work for working people.Because thats what government can do.And something else we need to do: take big, sometimes even controversial, decisions about our countrys infrastructure.Because we need to get Britain firing in all areas again.It is why we will press ahead with plans for High Speed 2, linking London and Birmingham and, eventually, towns and cities in the North.Why we will shortly announce a decision on expanding Britains airport capacity.And why – having reviewed the evidence and added important new national security safeguards – we signed up to Hinkley Point.We will take the big decisions when theyre the right decisions for Britain.Because thats what government can do.And we can make these big decisions because our economy is strong and because of the fiscal discipline we have shown over the last six years.And we must continue to aim for a balanced budget.But to build an economy that works for everyone, we must also invest in the things that matter, the things with a long-term return.That is how we will address the weaknesses in our economy, improve our productivity, increase economic growth and ensure everyone gets a fair share.And thats not the only reason.Because while monetary policy – with super-low interest rates and quantitative easing – provided the necessary emergency medicine after the financial crash, we have to acknowledge there have been some bad side effects.People with assets have got richer. People without them have suffered. People with mortgages have found their debts cheaper. People with savings have found themselves poorer.A change has got to come. And we are going to deliver it.Because thats what a Conservative Government can do.A FAIRER ECONOMYThis party will always be the party of businesses large and small.But we must acknowledge that the way a small number of businesses behave fuels the frustration people feel.Its not the norm. I know that most businesses and the people who run them are hardworking, entrepreneurial and public spirited at heart.But the actions of a few tar the reputations of the many.So the party that believes in business is going to change things to help support it.Too often the people who are supposed to hold big business accountable are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team.And too often the scrutiny they provide is not good enough.A change has got to come.So later this year we will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.Because we are the party of workers. Of those who put in the effort. Those who contribute and give of their best.Thats why we announced on Saturday that were going to review our laws to make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.Thats right.Workers rights – not under threat from a Conservative government.Workers rights – protected and enhanced by a Conservative government.And let me say something about tax.Were all Conservatives here. We all believe in a low-tax economy. But we also know that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society.Nobody, no individual tycoon and no single business, however rich, has succeeded on their own.Their goods are transported by road, their workers are educated in schools, their customers are part of sophisticated networks taking in the private sector, the public sector and charities.Weve all played a part in that success.So it doesnt matter to me who you are.If youre a tax-dodger, were coming after you.If youre an accountant, a financial adviser or a middleman who helps people to avoid what they owe to society, were coming after you too.An economy that works for everyone is one where everyone plays by the same rules.So whoever you are you – however rich or powerful – you have a duty to pay your tax.And were going to make sure you do.A SOCIETY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEThis is a big agenda for change. But it is necessary and essential.It is a programme for government to act to create an economy that works for everyone – an economy thats on the side of ordinary working class people.And an economy that can support the vital public services and institutions upon which we all rely – to invest in the things we hold dear.Like the NHS – one of the finest health care systems anywhere in the world, and a vital national institution.An institution that reflects our values, our belief in fairness, and in which we all take enormous pride.And I mean all.Because there is complete cross-party support for the NHS.For its status as a provider of free-at-the-point-of-use health care. For the thousands of doctors and nurses that work around the clock to care for their patients.We all have a story about the nurse who cared for a loved one, or a surgeon who saved the life of a friend.So let us take this opportunity to say to those doctors and nurses – thank you.The NHS should unite us. But year after year, election after election, Labour try to use it to divide us.At every election since it was established, Labour have said the Tories would cut the NHS – and every time we have spent more on it.Every election, they say we want to privatise the NHS – and every time we have protected it.In fact, the party that expanded the use of the private sector in the NHS the fastest was not this party, but the Labour Party.The only party to ever cut spending on the NHS is not this party, but the Labour Party – thats what they did in Wales.And at the last election, it wasnt the Labour Party that pledged to give the NHS the money it asked for to meet its five-year plan – it was this party, the Conservative Party…investing an extra £10 billion in the NHS – more than its leaders asked for…and this year more patients are being treated, and more operations are being carried out, by more doctors and more nurses than ever before.Thats a tribute to everyone who works in the NHS.But also to one man – Jeremy Hunt – who is one of the most passionate advocates for patients and for the doctors, nurses and others who work in our health service that I have ever known.So lets have no more of Labours absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion.Lets put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority.Lets make clear that they have given up the right to call themselves the party of the NHS, the party of the workers, the party of public servants.They gave up that right when they adopted the politics of division. When their extreme ideological fixations led them to simply stop listening to the country.When they abandoned the centre ground.And let us take this opportunity to show that we, the Conservative Party, truly are the party of the workers…the party of public servants…the party of the NHS.Because we believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.We believe in the good that government can do.Government cannot stand aside when it sees social injustice and unfairness. If we want to make sure Britain is a country that works for everyone, government has to act to make sure opportunity is fairly shared.And I want us to be a country where it doesnt matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what god you worship, whether youre a man or a woman, gay or straight, or black or white.All that should matter is the talent you have and how hard youre prepared to work.But if were honest well admit thats simply not the case for everyone today.Advancement in todays Britain is still too often determined by wealth or circumstance.By an accident of birth rather than talent.By privilege not merit.Rebalancing our economy is a start, but if were serious about overturning some of the longstanding injustices and barriers that stop working people from getting on, we need that economic reform to be allied with genuine and deep social reform too.Because a society that works for everyone is a society based on fairness. And only genuine social reform can deliver it.Genuine social reform means helping more people onto the housing ladder. It means making sure every child has access to a good school place.It means never writing off people who can work and consigning them to a life on benefits, but giving them the chance to go out and earn a living and to enjoy the dignity that comes with a job well done.But for those who cant work, we must offer our full support – which is why it was so important that Damian Green announced on Saturday that we will end the mandatory retesting of those with chronic health conditions that only induces stress but does nothing at all to help.And genuine social reform means addressing historic injustices that hold too many people back.Some of my proudest moments as Home Secretary came when we began to tackle deep-seated and long-standing problems that few had dared to tackle before.I introduced the first ever Modern Slavery Act, bringing in tough new penalties to put slave masters behind bars, with life sentences for the worst offenders.I cut the polices use of stop and search by almost two thirds and reduced the disproportionate targeting of young, black men.And I know our impressive new Home Secretary Amber Rudd is committed to carrying on that work.But injustices remain.If you are from a black Caribbean background, you are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than other children.If you are a black woman, you are seven times more likely to be detained under mental health legislation than a white woman.People in ethnic minority households are almost twice as likely to live in relative poverty as white people.But it is not just those from minority backgrounds who are affected.White working class boys are less likely to go to university than any other group in society.We cannot let this stand – not if a country that works for everyone is the principle that binds us all together.Thats why I have launched an unprecedented audit of public services to shine a light on these racial disparities and let us do something about them.Because they are all burning injustices, and I want this government – this Conservative Government – to fight every single one of them.A society that works for everyone is one of fairness and opportunity. A society in which everyone has the chance to go as far as their talents will take them.Thats why in one of the first speeches I gave as Prime Minister I set out my plans to transform Britain into a Great Meritocracy.And that starts in our schools.I want Britain to be a country in which every child has access to a good school place thats right for that individual child.Because Britain after Brexit will need to make use of all of the talent we have in this country.We have come a long way.Thanks to the free schools and academies programme and the efforts of teachers, heads and governors, there are now 1.4 million more children in good and outstanding schools compared with 2010.But we need to go further. Because there are still one and a quarter million children in schools that are just not good enough.And if you live in the Midlands or the North, you have less chance of attending a good school than children in the South.This simply cannot go on.Thats why Justine Greening and I have set out a new package of reforms, building on Michael Goves success, to increase the number of good school places across the country…so theres not just a school place for every child, but a good school place for every child. A school place that suits the skills, interests and abilities of every single pupil.That is why we want more of our great universities to set up or sponsor schools in the state sector – just as the University of Birmingham has done, a few miles from here.Its why we are saying to the great private schools that – in return for their charitable tax status – we want them to do more to take on children without the means to pay, or set up and sponsor good state schools.It is why we want more good faith schools for parents and pupils who want them.And it is why we have said – where there is demand from parents, where they will definitely take pupils from all backgrounds, where they will play a part in improving the quality of all schools in their area – we will lift the ban on establishing new grammar schools too.And here we see the challenge.Because for too long politicians have said to people and communities who are crying out for change that they cant have what they want.Theyve said we dont think you should have it, even though we might enjoy those very same things for ourselves.And you end up in the absurd situation where you stop these good, popular, life-changing schools from opening – by law.Imagine. Think of what that says.If youre rich or well off, you can have a selective education for your child. You can send them to a selective private school. You can move to a better catchment area or afford to send them long distances to get the education you want.But if youre not, you cant.I can think of no better illustration of the problem – why ordinary working class people think its one rule for them, and another for everyone else.Because the message we are sending them is this: we will not allow their children to have the same opportunities that wealthier children enjoy.That is a scandal and we – the Conservative Party – must bring it to an end.A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONESo my vision is for Britain to be a Great Meritocracy.Thats what Ive always believed in. The cause that everything I have ever done in politics has been designed to serve.Because a country based on merit not privilege, is a country thats fair. And when we overcome unfairness and injustice, we can build that new united Britain that we need.And united, we can do great things.We saw that in the summer in Rio. We saw how individual success was powered by collective effort. How the dedication and talent of one was supported by a united team.And how a governments determination – John Majors Conservative Governments determination – to step up and back Britains sporting success contributed to such a remarkable result.We were honoured to welcome four members of the team – Helen Richardson-Walsh, Dame Sarah Storey, Vicky Thornley and Andrew Triggs-Hodge – to our conference on Monday.And to them – and to every athlete and every member of Team and Paralympics GB – we say, thank you. You did your country proud.It was a memorable summer for British sport, but one moment stood out for me above all other.It was not from Rio. It happened later. Just a couple of weeks ago on the sun-drenched streets of Cozumel in Mexico.There, our celebrated triathlon champion Jonny Brownlee was heading for glory, the finishing line in sight, when he faltered. Stopped. And was falling exhausted to the ground.And just behind him, his brother Alistair – a tough competitor who typically yields to no one – had the chance to run on and steal the prize.But seeing his brothers struggle, he didnt pass on by. As other competitors ran past, he stopped. Reached out his hand. And gently carried him home.And there in that moment, we saw revealed an essential truth. That we succeed or fail together. We achieve together or fall short together.And when one among us falters, our most basic human instinct is to put our own self-interest aside, to reach out our hand and help them over the line.Thats why the central tenet of my belief is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.We form families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations. We have a responsibility to one another.And I firmly believe that government has a responsibility too.It is to act to encourage and nurture those relationships, networks and institutions – and to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness where it can – because these are the things that can drive us apart.Thats why I say today – as I have always said – that my mission – and the mission of this party – is to build a country that truly works for everyone, not just the privileged few.Its why when I stood on the steps of Number 10 for the first time as Prime Minister 84 days ago, I said that the Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the rich and powerful, but by the interests of ordinary, working class people.And this week, we have shown the country that we mean business.Not just protecting, but enhancing workers rights.Building an economy thats fair, where everyone plays by the same rules.Getting more houses built. More doctors in the NHS.Investing in things that will make our economy grow.Hundreds of great new schools. Universities and fee-paying schools helping state schools to improve.And yes, where parents want them and where theyll improve standards for children of whatever background – the first new grammar schools to open in England for fifty years.A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEThis is a bold plan to bring Britain together. To build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.An agenda for a new modern Conservatism. That understands the good government can do. That will never hesitate to face down the powerful when they abuse their positions of privilege.That will always act in the interests of ordinary, working class people.Thats what governments about: action. Its about doing something, not being someone.About identifying injustices, finding solutions, driving change. Taking, not shirking, the big decisions. Having the courage to see things through.Its not always glamorous or exciting, but at its best its a noble calling.And where many just see government as the problem, I want to show it can be part of the solution too.And I know this to be true.For as I leave the door of my office at Number 10, I pass that famous staircase – the portraits of prime ministers past lined up along the wall.Men – and of course one woman – of consequence, who have steered this country through difficult times – and changed it for the better too.Theres Disraeli, who saw division and worked to heal it. Churchill, who confronted evil and had the strength to overcome. Attlee, with the vision to build a great national institution. And Lady Thatcher who taught us we could dream great dreams again.Those portraits remind me of the good that government can do.That nothing good comes easy.But with courage and vision and determination you can always see things through.And as I pass them every day, I remember that our nation has been shaped by those who stepped up to be counted when the big moments came.Such opportunities are rare, but we face such a moment today.A moment that calls us to respond and to reshape our nation once again.Not every generation is given this opportunity.Not every generation called to step up in such a way.But this is our generations moment.To write a new future upon the page.To bring power home and make decisions… here in Britain.To take back control and shape our future… here in Britain.To build an outward looking, confident, trading nation… here in Britain.To build a stronger, fairer, brighter future… here in Britain.That is the opportunity we have been given.And the responsibility to grasp it falls upon us all.So to everyone here this morning – and the millions beyond whether leavers or remain – I say:Come with me and well write that brighter future.Come with me and well make that change.Come with me as we rise to meet this moment.Come with me and together lets seize the day.center_img Theresa May tells Conservatives its time to embrace a new centre groundlast_img read more

first_imgIndian man Jagan Mohan Reddy holds a smartphone with an image of his son Alok Madasani at his residence in Hyderabad on 24 February, 2017, after Alok was injured in a shooting in the US state of Kansas. Photo: AFPThe Indian community in the United States reached out over the weekend in solidarity with the victims of an apparent hate crime in which an Indian engineer was shot dead in a Kansas bar.Many community members remain in shock over the late Wednesday shooting in Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, when a drunk white man allegedly opened fire on two young Indian engineers, screaming racial slurs and telling them “Get out of my country.”“There’s no place for senseless violence & bigotry in our society,” tweeted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, one of the most prominent Americans of Indian descent.“My heart is with the victims & families of the horrific shooting in Kansas,” he wrote on Saturday.One of the engineers – Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 – was shot dead at the bar. His friend, 32-year-old Alok Madasani, was wounded in the shooting. He has since been released from the hospital.A white bar patron who tried to help and is being hailed as a hero, identified as Ian Grillot, was wounded and remains hospitalized.Local police said the suspect, Adam Purinton, 51, is under arrest and faces an initial court hearing on Monday.Purinton was arrested after police got a tip from a bartender in a nearby town that the suspect boasted of having killed two Middle Eastern men, the Kansas City Star reported.A GoFundMe online fundraiser page was quickly set up after the shooting, and as of Sunday had collected more than $600,000, much of it in small contributions of $5 and $10.The money is to help with the funeral expenses “and other ongoing grief / recovery support costs” for Kuchibhotla’s widow Sunayana Dumala.“This includes the very expensive process of carrying his mortal remains back to India, so his parents can say goodbye one last time to their beloved son,” the page says.Dumala told a press conference Friday at Garmin, where her late husband worked as an aviation systems engineer, that she was initially concerned about racism in the United States.“We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening,” she said, according to the Star. “And we always wondered, how safe?”Dumala said it was due to her husband’s optimism that they emigrated and that she eventually found a job.After the funeral in India Dumala said she wants to resume her US life and honor her husband’s memory by being “successful in any field I choose,” the newspaper said.There are believed to be some 300,000 residents of Indian descent living in the United States.last_img read more

first_imgThe love and respect Washingtonians continue to have for legendary Go-Go artist and founder Chuck Brown shows most in the indelible footprint of his music and mentorship on both the music industry and the city.  In celebration of the 3rd Annual Chuck Brown Day, which is scheduled for Aug. 19, the D.C. Public Library hosted a series of workshops and screenings, including the panel discussion, “Go-Go, As D.C. History,” where lovers of his sound gathered to remember his artistry.Legendary Go-Go artist and founder Chuck Brown. (Courtesy Photo)Held Aug. 15 at the Woodridge Neighborhood Library in Northeast D.C., music journalist Marcus Dowling moderated the panel that explored five iconic Go-Go songs and the role Chuck Brown played in expanding the genre, connecting communities and inspiring new Go-Go artists.In support of the D.C. Public Library’s mission to collect, preserve and provide access to materials that document the history and culture of the district, the Chuck Brown/Go-Go music archive was established in 2012. This archive aims to tell Brown’s story, the story of Go-Go and the impact both had on American music.Panelists, (left to right) Jamal Gray, curator of Uptown Art House, Briana Younger, journalist and Geronimo Collins, host of “All the Fly Kids Podcast,” analyzed the works of Go-Go legend Chuck Brown during a panel called “Go-Go As D.C. History.” (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)“We have to keep ‘true’ D.C. history — which is the people, the music, the stuff that is disappearing out of each neighborhood – alive.  And for many Black people, Chuck Brown was the ambassador of a good time,” Abraham Sully, one of the audience members told the AFRO.  “We were fighting for the respect of decent jobs, housing, voting rights, and schools, so when we laid claim to people, like Chuck Brown, we held on for dear life.”Dowling said that by discussing Chuck Brown’s songs with those most influenced by them, it offered a larger examination of the city’s political, racial and cultural history.  With Brown sampling songs like Louis Jordan’s classic 1948 jazz / calypso song “Run Joe” to create his own Go-Go version in 1986, also introduced other genres into youth culture.“Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers in the 1960s were really making a name for themselves, but when playing live music, musicians didn’t have a lot of breaks, so the music was non-stop and Brown learned to infuse music from other genres to extend the music as long as possible,” Dowling said.  “He could take various genres of music and blend them into a whole new sound.  That was his gift.”Panelists, Geronimo Collins, host of “All the Fly Kids Podcast,” Briana Younger, a journalist and contributor to NPR, Jamal Gray curator of Uptown Art House, and performing artist Dior Ashley, each found Brown’s music to be the backdrop to the “wonder years” of young people growing up during the rise of Marion Barry, fights for home rule, and the war on drugs.“Anyone who is able to create a genre is incredibly imp to music – to see it created in real time, but if you can imagine what people felt after hearing it for the first time,” Younger told a capacity crowd at the facility.  “Unfortunately, I don’t believe Chuck got his due for his accomplishments, especially when you consider that Go-Go really hasn’t become national.”For additional information on the Chuck Brown Archives, visit dclibrary.org/chuckbrown.last_img read more

first_imgGOG.com isn’t new to the idea of offering gamers free titles every so often. The last time was back in October when The Witcher was offered for free with any game purchase. But this week the digital distribution service has gone one better and is offering everyone 3 games for free with no strings attached.If you head on over to GOG.com between now and Saturday (48 hours), you can grab a copy of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics for free. They typically cost up to $9.99 each, and GOG is letting you gift copies to your friends for free, too.The reason for the offer is to help promote GOG’s Winter Sale, which kicked off today and runs for 2 weeks. There will be daily updates to the offers, with over 600 games receiving discounts of at least 50 percent. If you’re new to GOG, then there’s also 12 free games added to your account automatically upon registration.As well as general game discounts, each day there will be Recommended Deals (today’s are Ultima Underworld 1+2 and Legend of Grimrock) and Community Deals. For the Community Deals you can vote on what deal should appear the following day. So tomorrow’s choice is between the Collected Bullfrog Classics ($14.90 instead of $59.90) or the Mighty Heroes Magic Pack ($17.44 instead of $69.94).Another nice extra offer is the “Our Gift To You” section. You can pick either Timeless Classics, Brave New Worlds, or Random Magic to unlock another offer. You won’t know what it is each day until you click to pick one.last_img read more

first_imgThere are a number of things you probably take into account when deciding to pop a pill. How effective is it going to be? Are there side effects? How many can I fit in a balloon? Can I operate heavy machinery after taking it? Not usually high on the list is, “how will it look dissolving in my stomach?” The answer to that one, if you care, appears to be universally “weird.” The Macro Room YouTube account has an assortment of pill dissolving on video, and it’s surprisingly wild, yet strangely poetic.The first pills are thought to date to around 1,500 BCE and were referenced on Egyptian papyruses. These were just bread dough filled with medicinal ingredients — much less advanced than what we have today. Now, pills are precisely formulated with large doses of medication and small enough to be easily swallowed, whether you’re at a doctor’s office, a rave, or hanging out with Louis in Left 4 Dead.The video includes both capsules and tablets dissolving. Capsules, of course, have a shell typically made of gelatin that contains the medicine in gel or liquid form. That’s the first one you see dissolved in the video. Then, it’s on to caplets. These solid mixtures of medicine and binders look less slimy coming apart, but no less interesting. The end of the video includes a mixture of pills all dissolving at once — it’s strangely satisfying to watch. Just think of all the wonderful sights happening inside our own bodies we’ll never get to witness.last_img read more