Search

News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty

Category

Uncategorized

People switching from tax credits to Universal Credit could be hit with new debts due to the move, the Department for Work and Pensions has admitted.

Source: Revealed: How Universal Credit could land households with freshly made debt

Where to Invade Next ( 2016 )

Where to Invade Next: To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully “invades” them to see what they have to offer.

I am not a great fan of his documentaries but this one is pretty good,with a sense of humor.

“Bloody crazy”: River near fracking site bursts into flames in Australia (VIDEO)

This is for all the people that think fracking is a good idea.This is a video of a river being set on fire near a fracking site!

A Queensland river near a fracking site exploded into flames after a coal seam gas (CSP) protester sparked a kitchen lighter above the water surface.
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham uploaded dramatic footage of the river ablaze to his website and social media accounts to highlight his party’s concerns about fracking and the extraction of coal seam gas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Tory council that’s started fining people £50 for being poor

Worthing Council has just pushed through controversial new rules that allow it to impose £50 fines on people who sleep rough or beg for money. The move effectively criminalises homelessness in Worthing – and then allows the council to profit from it.

Conservative-led Worthing Council has voted to ban rough sleeping (“overnight camping”) and begging, and to issue people who break the ban with a £50 fixed penalty notice, or a court fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal conviction if they don’t pay.

Worthing is the latest in a series of councils to criminalise homeless people using new ‘Public Space Protection Orders’ (PSPOs), which were introduced by the coalition government in 2014 and allow councils to criminalise otherwise legal activities in specific local areas. VICE describes PSPOs as “ASBOs for your neighbourhood” and documents some of the more outlandish ways councils have been enjoying their new powers:

It is now a criminal offence to shout or swear in an area of Bassetlaw. Congregating in groups of two or more is banned in one estate in Guildford. It is illegal to “cause annoyance” in part of Lancaster. Possession of golf equipment is outlawed in an area of North East Derbyshire. Other activities which have been banned, or will be in the near future, include ball games, busking, feeding birds and playing music loudly.

But it is the increasing use of PSPOs to criminalise homeless people – which at least 36 councils are trying to do – that is the most disturbing.

Worthing Council waved through the new rules in the face of overwhelming local opposition. 14,000 people have signed a petition calling on the council to “say no to PSPO” and protests were held outside its town hall. Dan Thompson, the spokesman for the Worthing People’s Assembly, which has been instrumental in the campaign against the PSPOs, told The Canary:

The impacts will be huge. PSPO 2 mentions begging in terms of having a receptacle for begging, which will victimise homeless people trying to get by day to day… PSPO 3 discusses overnight camping and finding shelter overnight which will affect homeless people trying to find somewhere to stay… PSPO 1 looks at street drinking, but there is no discussion of treating people with addictions. Many people living on the street suffer from addiction as a product of being homeless. As one councillor pointed out, the PSPOs are all about punishment and don’t mention support or help.

The council denies it is targeting any “groups of individuals”:

The council were clear that the PSPOs were proposed as part of a wider programme to tackle anti-social behaviour, which balances prevention and early help with enforcement. Enforcement is only carried out where necessary and is focused on behaviour and not groups of individuals.

But Liberty, which has opposed PSPOs since their introduction, argues that Worthing’s measures will inevitably hit homeless people particularly hard:

As well as banning begging, the council has made it a criminal offence to spend the night in a vehicle or temporary structure intended to provide shelter or accommodation – which will obviously disproportionately impact the homeless.

Conservative government policies – from the failure to provide affordable housing to welfare cuts and sanctions – have seen homeless figures skyrocket by 55% between 2010 and 2014. In the past year alone, the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by nearly a third. Meanwhile, cuts to councils have led them to drastically cut support for homeless people.

Rosie Brighouse, Legal Officer for Liberty, told The Canary:

It’s deeply disappointing that Worthing has used these dangerous powers to criminalise some of its most vulnerable people. Begging and rough sleeping are not antisocial behaviour – they’re the result of poverty.

PSPOs are blunt instruments which don’t help those in need – they simply fast-track them into the criminal justice system. We hope the council will follow the example of other authorities around the country and scrap this misguided and counterproductive Order.

People are being pushed onto the streets – and then being criminalised for it.

As my colleagues Emily Apple and Kerry-anne Mendoza have previously reported, PSPOs are part of a wider trend towards criminalising homelessness under the Conservatives, with devastating impacts for homeless people and those helping them:

  • The introduction of ‘anti-squatting’ laws led to homeless man Daniel Gauntlett freezing to death on the porch of an empty bungalow in Kent in February 2013.
  • A furious judge railed against the increasing number of homeless people being criminalised in Brighton after Ashley Hacket was arrested for begging just 10 pence.
  • Sussex Police have been using plainclothes officers to target people begging and gaol one homeless person every week.
  • In 2014, a disabled man was threatened with arrest for trying to give soup and sandwiches to homeless people in Brighton, and police tried to dismantle a soup kitchen in London.

Criminalising poverty will only entrench it, or move the problem to somebody else’s backyard. Instead of a £1,000 fine and a criminal record, people in extreme poverty need support. As The Worthing People’s Assembly told The Canary:

full article at  The Canary and much more about the country we live in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPERA BROWSER ADDS FREE AND UNLIMITED VPN

If you want privacy but don’t understand how to use VPN or TOR you can now download the new beta version of the Opera browser that allows you to use blocked sites like Pirate Bay or watch TV /Movie sites in your country ,It also encrypts all your online movements, a plus for people who value the right to privacy.For how and where to download plus the whole article on the subject go to TF

April Lyrids meteor shower to reach peak in a matter of hours

© Kenneth Brandon - Dark Sky Chaser

The annual Lyrid meteor shower will reach its peak on Friday – here’s what you need to know.

The shower’s peak is expected to burst into the sky a few hours before dawn on Friday April 22nd. It usually lasts for less than 24 hours.

This year, spectators may struggle to see the shower through the bright glare of the full moon that happens to fall at virtually the same hour on April 2016.

Source and more info plus videos at  RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brits blindly walking into Orwellian surveillance state, survey suggests

A CCTV camera is seen in front of a large poster opposite a London Underground Station in central London © Toby Melville

Britain is sleep-walking into an Orwellian surveillance state, with most of its citizens unaware of or disinterested in the far-reaching implications of the government’s Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill, a new survey suggests.

A poll conducted by broadband comparison site Broadband Genie reveals the widespread confusion many Brits are experiencing with respect to the soon-to-be-implemented legislation.

Known to its opponents as the “snoopers’ charter,” the bill will give UK law enforcement bodies unprecedented access to citizens’ online activities.

It will allow them to force broadband providers such as BT and Virgin to store people’s internet browsing history and hand over this data to the state in the absence of judicial oversight.

© broadbandgenie.co.uk

Intelligence agencies and government bodies such as the National Crime Agency (NCA) will also be allowed to hack citizens’ internet networks, personal computers and other devices.

While the government says the legislation is vital to combating organized crime and terrorism, privacy rights advocates say it goes too far. They argue unlimited access to citizens’ private communications and devices should be a real concern for British people.

© broadbandgenie.co.uk

Of 1,600 respondents surveyed by Broadband Genie, 75 percent said they had not heard of the IP Bill. Asked if they backed the government’s plans to ramp up mass surveillance in Britain, a third said they didn’t care either way.

Fifty percent of those surveyed said law enforcement agencies should not have access to citizens’ encrypted communications and devices.

Privacy International (PI), which specializes in the field of mass surveillance and privacy rights, says the IP Bill will give police deeply intrusive snooping powers, allowing for the installation of malware on citizens’ computers.

Such a move would empower UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies to spy on citizens by activating their microphones and webcams. PI also warns the draft legislation would allow UK authorities to remotely gain access to files on citizens’ computers and erode data security on their personal devices, without them knowing.

It currently remains unclear who will pay for the implementation and maintenance of the infrastructure needed to accompany these legislative changes. Experts suggest the cost could spiral into billions of pounds.

PI also warns UK citizens’ internet browsing history will be obtainable by police in the absence of a warrant, and the cost of turning Britain into an Orwellian surveillance state is currently unknown.

“A recent estimate was £1.2 billion [about US$1.7 billion], or more than seven times the highest Home Office estimate. This cost could be passed to you and would mean higher broadband and mobile phone bills. You will be paying for the police to spy on you,” the group said.

“With this money they could employ 3,000 more full-time police officers for a decade – at a time of spending cuts across police forces. Mass surveillance of the population does not make us safer, but police officers on the streets do.

“Our police already have very powerful investigation and surveillance capabilities. They do not need such intrusive powers that will impact on everyone’s right to privacy.
“We are calling on internet service providers to publicly oppose the bill in its current form.”

SOURCE: RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Scientists May Soon Be Unable To Speak Freely About Their Research

photo credit: As Canada moves forwards, the U.K. takes a step back. lakov Kalinin/Shutterstock

Science is, by its very nature, objective. It uses data, backed up by demonstrable, empirical evidence, to try and explain as much of life, the universe, and everything as possible. The facts are often willfully distorted by politicians, though, particularly when it comes to man-made climate change and, on occasion, vaccines.

Sometimes, however, the facts are completely suppressed by political agencies. This was most recently and publically demonstrated in Canada under the Harper administration, when researchers funded by the state were banned from talking freely to the media. Even when they could speak out, their responses were highly moderated and censored by the government. Now, a similar thing may be about to happen in the U.K.

As reported by the Guardian, many British scientists will soon be legally blocked from speaking out on key issues affecting the nation, from genetic modification and stem cell research to dietary dangers and, yes, climate change. In a depressing state of affairs, the British government is about to adopt the very same Canadian-style gagging system just as the newly-installed Trudeau government there has repealed it.

“This is extremely worrying,” William Sutherland, a professor of zoology at the University of Cambridge, told the Guardian. “If they go ahead with this new anti-lobbying clause, then we will have many more poor decisions being made by government for the simple reason that it will have starved itself of proper scientific advice.”

Fracking researchers, if government-funded, may not be allowed to effectively speak out on any negative effects they may uncover. Calin Tatu/Shutterstock

As of May, researchers that received grants from the government – which covers a broad range of topics, and a vast number of academic institutions – will not be allowed to use the results of their research to lobby politicians for change. The aim of the edict, proposed by the Cabinet Office, is to stop non-governmental organizations trying to affect legislative change. Senior scientists and research groups see this, quite rightly, as a straightforward assault on academic freedom.

The now-scrapped Canadian system was primarily aimed at federally funded scientists working in fossil fuel extraction industries. It’s clear that not only are fossil fuels dooming the planet through dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, but their extraction is contributing tonnes of toxins to worsening air pollution. Fracking, a relatively new form of natural gas extraction, is proving particularly controversial.

Of course, stopping scientists talking about the negative effects of these industries will exacerbate climate change, while improving the short-term economic prospects of those industries. At the time, the Canadian government was keen to ignore the former and focus on the latter. With fracking on the increase in the U.K. thanks to its government support, this new gagging order will no doubt have the same effect.

Although the Cabinet Office said that it might consider waivers for certain researchers, allowing them to speak out on certain issues, nothing has come of it so far. Fiona Fox, head of the Science Media Centre, said that if passed, this clause will “be a victory for ignorance and a blow for the evidence-based policy that our politicians claim to want.”

Science is, at heart, a search for truth – it cannot, by nature, be gagged and still operate properly. If you are worried by this, get in touch with the government or sign this petition.

Source: IFLScience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terminally ill Sidmouth gran’s disability allowance slashed by more than half

10:36 15 April 2016

Susan Whitby has had her benefiits slashed

Susan Whitby has had her benefiits slashed

Lifelong Conservative Susan,64, says she will never vote for Tories again over Government’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP), saying: “Apparently I’ve lived too long for the Department for Work and Pensions.”

Cancer sufferer Susan Whitby’s financial support from the state has plummetted by more than half – from £135 to £55 a week – after she was reassessed for the controversial new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The ‘stressed, upset and extremely bitter’ Woolbrook Close resident, told by doctors she could have months or years left, feels she has ‘lived too long’ for the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mrs Whitby, 64, said she has paid more into her pension than she will ever live to take out and, with the cash instead going ‘overseas or to the wealthy’, she will never vote for the Tories again.

She has sent an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and East Devon MP Hugo Swire speaking out for herself and the thousands of others she says must be affected.

“The money I was on was just about enough,” said Mrs Whitby. “I’m going to be in treatment indefinitely. Apparently I’ve lived too long for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

“I’m sure there are thousands and thousands of others who don’t know what their life expectancy is.

“The Government will benefit from my pension – I won’t be here in my 80s. After all I have paid in, I deserve a little support now.”

Mrs Whitby was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 40 and was successfully treated with radiotherapy. Three years ago she was ‘shattered’ when doctors said the cancer had returned and spread to her lungs and brain, just months before she was due to retire.

“My oncologist said I could live six months or several years,” said the former legal practice manager. “I just don’t know, but it’s a terminal diagnosis.”

Surgery on her brain meant Mrs Whitby’s driving licence was suspended. She was assessed for the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), put on the ‘enhanced’ rate and later allowed to join the Motability scheme to rent a car when her licence was returned. Mrs Whitby, who has been divorced for 25 years, moved to Sidmouth after her treatment in Rugby to be nearer to her two sons and three grandchildren.

She rented a home in Woolbrook Close assuming she would stay on the higher rate allowance – but in February she was reassessed by the DWP for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). She lost her car and saw her benefit slashed by £80 a week to £55.

The rate of PIP depends on how conditions affect individuals, rather than the conditions themselves. It is made up of two components – daily living and mobility – each set at a standard or enhanced rate. It requires a face-to-face interview rather than the self-assessment form for the DLA.

Only those who are not expected to live longer than six months qualify for the higher rate daily living component. It has not been explained to Susan why her allowance was cut.

“I’m loathe to leave this house, but I can’t keep losing the money I have,” said Mrs Whitby. “It would have been better not to be on the higher rate in the first place.

“I’m eating into my savings. They’ll probably last 12 months at the most.

“I can’t treat my grandchildren and I daren’t spend anything. I feel like a second class citizen.

“I rely on lifts because I can’t use public transport. My big outing a couple of times a week is to hospital appointments.”

Mrs Whitby said she got involved with the Conservatives in her 40s, raised thousands of pounds and supported Jeremy Wright’s campaign to become an MP.

“I had always voted Conservative, same as my parents did,” said Mrs Whitby. “I suppose it was the natural thing. I wouldn’t vote for them again unless they can see the big mistake they have made.

“I’m speaking out for everyone suffering the way I am.”

A DWP spokesman said: “Decisions on eligibility for PIP are made after consideration of all the evidence, including evidence from the claimant and their GP.

“If a claimant does not agree with a decision on their benefits, they can ask for us to look at it again.”

Source:Sidmouth Herald

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: