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Monday, 30 January 2017

Economic Cold War Risk? EU/UK



EU and UK risk economic warfare, Italy says - EU Observer

Greece: Third Summer University; 3Ο ΘΕΡΙΝΟ ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ «ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ, ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΜΕ»



I participated in the first Summer University, which was outsttnding - highly recommended!

3Ο ΘΕΡΙΝΟ ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ
«ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ, ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΜΕ»

Το Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων σε συνεργασία και με την υποστήριξη διακεκριμένων ελληνικών και διεθνών ακαδημαϊκών και δημοσιογραφικών φορέων οργανώνει το 2017 το «3ο ΘΕΡΙΝΟ ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ: ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ, ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΣ  ΚΑΙ ΜΕΣΑ ΜΑΖΙΚΗΣ ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑΣ - Από την Αρχαιοελληνική Γραμματεία έως Σήμερα».

Ειδικότερα, το πρόγραμμα οργανώνεται από το Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων και το Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Νηπιαγωγών της Σχολής Επιστημών Αγωγής και τελεί υπό την αιγίδα του Υπουργείου Παιδείας, Έρευνας και Θρησκευμάτων. Φέτος για  δεύτερη χρονιά υποστηρίζεται από το Κέντρο Ελληνικών Σπουδών του Πανεπιστημίου Harvard (Ελλάδος). Το 3ο Θερινό Πανεπιστήμιο θα πραγματοποιηθεί στο Γαύριο της Άνδρου από 9-16 Ιουλίου και τιτλοφορείται:
Η λογοκρισία απέναντι στον λόγο και την κρίση.
Τα όρια του επιτρεπτού λόγου.
Θα καλύψει τις θεματικές:
-Η λογοκρισία στον δημόσιο λόγο. Ιστορική αναδρομή και επίκαιρες προσεγγίσεις.
-Λογοκρισία και δημοσιογραφικός λόγος. Πολιτική λογοκρισία και επικοινωνία.
-Εξουσία και μηχανισμοί λογοκρισίας και επιβολής.
-Γλωσσική λογοκρισία και γλωσσικός σχεδιασμός.
-Η λογοκρισία στη μουσική, στο θέατρο, στη γελοιογραφία, στην ερωτική λογοτεχνία.
-Κριτικός γραμματισμός και Κριτική Ανάλυση Λόγου. Η καλλιέργεια της κριτικής σκέψης από την παιδική ηλικία.

Το πρόγραμμα προσφέρεται σε προπτυχιακούς και μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές, απόφοιτους, υποψήφιους διδάκτορες, ερευνητές, εκπαιδευτικούς και δημοσιογράφους. Οι συμμετέχοντες θα επιλεγούν κατόπιν αξιολόγησης. Το 3ο Θερινό Πανεπιστήμιο περιλαμβάνει καθημερινές τετράωρες διαλέξεις, εργαστήρια, συναντήσεις ανταλλαγής ιδεών στο τέλος κάθε εργαστηρίου/διάλεξης, καθώς και πολιτιστικές δραστηριότητες και εκπαιδευτικές εκδρομές. Στο πρόγραμμα θα διδάξουν κορυφαίοι ακαδημαϊκοί Καθηγητές από ελληνικά και ξένα Πανεπιστήμια. Επικεφαλής της Επιστημονικής Επιτροπής του προγράμματος είναι ο Πρύτανης του Πανεπιστημίου Ιωαννίνων, Καθηγητής κ. Γεώργιος Καψάλης. Επιστημονικώς Υπεύθυνη του έργου είναι η Επίκ. Καθηγήτρια Γλωσσολογίας κ. Νικολέττα Τσιτσανούδη – Μαλλίδη.

Πρόκειται για το τρίτο κατά σειρά πρόγραμμα το οποίο έχουν παρακολουθήσει συνολικά 130 σπουδαστές τα τελευταία δύο χρόνια, φοιτητές και διδάκτορες από Πανεπιστήμια της Ελλάδας καθώς και ερευνητές, σύμβουλοι εκπαίδευσης και δημοσιογράφοι από την Κύπρο και τη Μ. Βρετανία.

Προσφέρεται εκπαιδευτικό υλικό και Πιστοποιητικό Παρακολούθησης στους συμμετέχοντες. Οι εισηγήσεις του 1ου και του 2ου Θερινού Πανεπιστημίου δημοσιεύονται στον τόμο Ελληνική Γλώσσα, Πολιτισμός και ΜΜΕ. Από την Αρχαιοελληνική Γραμματεία έως σήμερα που κυκλοφορεί από τις εκδόσεις Gutenberg. Οι ενδιαφερόμενοι μπορούν να παρακολουθήσουν ένα σύντομο τηλεοπτικό αφιέρωμα στη δράση  στη διεύθυνση https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCT_JM3Lx3Y

Την εικόνα της αφίσας φιλοτέχνησε ο εικαστικός Βασίλης Πράπας, ενώ όλο το έντυπο υλικό του Θερινού Πανεπιστημίου επιμελήθηκε ο Γιάννης Μαμάης, ο οποίος έχει αναλάβει τη διεύθυνση του πολιτιστικού και εκπαιδευτικού προγράμματος στο νησί.


Υπεύθυνος Διαχείρισης Έργου: Επιτροπή Ερευνών Πανεπιστημίου Ιωαννίνων
Πληροφορίες: κ. Νικολέττα Τσιτσανούδη – Μαλλίδη, Ακαδημαϊκή Διευθύντρια Προγράμματος, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια Γλωσσολογίας και Ελληνικής Γλώσσας Π.Τ.Ν. Πανεπιστημίου Ιωαννίνων, Fellow of Comparative Cultural Studies (2014-15) CHSGR, Harvard University, nitsi@cc.uoi.gr και στην ιστοσελίδα summerschool.ac.uoi.gr


Anne Brontë's Bibliotherapy


“When we are harassed by sorrows or anxieties, or long oppressed by any powerful feelings which we must keep to ourselves, for which we can obtain and seek no sympathy from any living creature, and which yet we cannot, or will not wholly crush, we often naturally seek relief in poetry— and often find it, too— whether in the effusions of others, which seem to harmonize with our existing case, or in our own attempts to give utterance to those thoughts and feelings in strains less musical, perchance, but more appropriate, and therefore more penetrating and sympathetic, and, for the time, more soothing, or more powerful to rouse and to unburden the oppressed and swollen heart. Before this time, at Wellwood House and here, when suffering from home-sick melancholy, I had sought relief twice or thrice at this secret source of consolation....”


Greece: The Great 1917 Fire That Changed Thessaloniki; Η φωτιά που άλλαξε τη Θεσσαλονίκη



Η φωτιά που άλλαξε τη Θεσσαλονίκη, Kathimerini

Balm for All Blues: Soave sia il vento - Cosi fan Tutte; Mozart



When you're feeling down with all the problems of the world:

Soave sia il vento, Mozart terzetto/trio  - YouTube

The recording, Renee Fleming sings Soave sia il vento




Trump-Merkel Phone Call



Official Statement - 28 January

Gemeinsame Presseerklärung von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und dem Präsidenten der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, Donald Trump


Der Sprecher der Bundesregierung, Steffen Seibert, teilt mit:

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und Präsident Donald Trump haben am Samstagnachmittag ein ausführliches Telefongespräch geführt. Dabei wurde eine breite Spanne von Themen angesprochen, darunter die NATO, die Lage im Nahen und Mittleren Osten sowie in Nordafrika, die Beziehungen zu Russland und der Konflikt in der Ostukraine.

Beide bekräftigten, wie wichtig eine enge deutsch-amerikanische Zusammenarbeit für Sicherheit und Wohlstand ihrer Länder sei. Sie drückten beide die Absicht aus, die ohnehin schon ausgezeichneten bilateralen Beziehungen in den nächsten Jahren noch zu vertiefen.

Die Bundeskanzlerin und der Präsident sind sich auch über die fundamentale Bedeutung einig, die das NATO-Bündnis für die transatlantischen Beziehungen hat und über die wichtige Rolle, die es bei der Bewahrung von Frieden und Stabilität spielt. Beide sind überzeugt, dass die NATO sich den Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts stellen muss und dass eine gemeinsame Verteidigung angemessene Investitionen in die militärischen Fähigkeiten und einen fairen Beitrag aller Verbündeten zur kollektiven Sicherheit erfordert.

Sie verständigten sich auch darauf, ihre Zusammenarbeit im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus und den gewalttätigen Extremismus sowie bei der Stabilisierung des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens und Nordafrikas zu intensivieren.

Präsident Trump hat die Einladung der Bundeskanzlerin zum G20-Gipfel in Hamburg im Juli angenommen und seine Freude ausgedrückt, sie bald in Washington zu begrüßen.

Greece: Three weeks to deal with 'potentially disastrous' debt, says IMF (Helena Smith reports)


Helena Smith, The Guardian: Failure of Greece and the EU to reach compromise by 20 February ‘would bring back Grexit with a vengeance’.

These stories never seem to stop...

Eurozone bailout fund says Greek public debt is ‘manageable’, eKathimerini

IMF Press Briefing, January 26 - not very helpful

Financial Times - Greece faces ‘explosive’ surge in public debt, IMF warns - Athens will owe three times national GDP unless given debt relief, says leaked report

"Greece faces what is likely to be an “explosive” surge in its public debt levels that within decades will mean it will owe almost three times the country’s annual economic output unless given significant debt relief, the International Monetary Fund has warned in a confidential report.
The new report was prepared by IMF staff ahead of a February 6 board meeting to discuss the fund’s participation in an EU-led €86bn bailout of Greece and signals the continuing hard line the IMF is taking on debt relief for Athens. It offers a bleaker view of Greece’s economic dilemmas than an analysis prepared last year, warning that the debt load is “highly unsustainable” and would not improve even if it implemented further reforms recommended by the fund. That assessment would, under the fund’s own rules, prohibit the IMF from taking part financially in the current bailout, something countries such as Germany have made a condition of their own support. “Even with these ambitious polices in place, Greece cannot grow out of its debt problem,” IMF staff warned in the report, seen by the Financial Times and drafted as part of the fund’s annual review of member economies. “Greece requires substantial debt relief from its European partners to restore debt sustainability.”The IMF declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on leaked material. The fund calculated that Greece’s debt load would reach 170 per cent of gross domestic product by 2020 and 164 per cent by 2022, “but become explosive thereafter” and grow to 275 per cent of GDP by 2060."

IMF disputes EU's bailout for Greece, EU Observer - The EU's bailout programme for Greece will push its government debt to 275 percent of GDP by 2060, an International Monetary Fund draft report says.

France warns ‘window is closing’ for Greek bailout deal, FT/Greek Crisis


A referendum under discussion? (Thanks to KTG for link) - Βουλευτής ΣΥΡΙΖΑ: Συζητάμε να κάνουμε δημοψήφισμα

Greece at an Impasse Over Creditors’ Demands, Greek Reporter

Taxpayers’ Arrears to the State up 1.278 Bln Euros in Dec, Greek Reporter


Greek Markets Tumble as EU Holds Up Payment Amid IMF Doubts, Bloomberg - "Almost two-thirds of the actions creditors have demanded for the disbursement of the next tranche of emergency loans have yet to be completed, the government conceded in a memo discussed between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and bailout auditors last week in Brussels, a person familiar with the matter said".

EU tells Greece, ‘No IMF, no money’, eKathimerini

Grexit? Greece again on the brink as debt crisis threatens break with EU, The Guardian

Greece is in a mess but not at the brink, Reuters

IMF Report on Greece Shows Contingency Fiscal Measures are Unavoidable

‘Grexit’ on the cards? A perfect storm is brewing in Greece, Helena Smith, The Irish Times

















Realism in Greek Cinema: From the Post-War Period to the Present, Vrasidas Karalis



Realism in Greek Cinema: From the Post-War Period to the Present

Vrasidas Karalis (Professor in Modern Greek, The University of Sydney)
From the publisher:

"The history of Greek cinema post-1945 is best understood through the stories of its most internationally celebrated and influential directors. Focusing on the works of six major filmmakers active from just after WWII to the present day, with added consideration of many others, this book examines the development of cinema as an art form in the social and political contexts of Greece. Insights on gender in film, minority cinemas, stylistic richness and the representation of historical trauma are afforded by close readings of the work and life of such luminaries as Michael Cacoyannis, Nikos Koundouros, Yannis Dalianidis, Theo Angelopoulos, Antouanetta Angelidi, Yorgos Lanthimos, Athena-Rachel Tsangari and Costas Zapas. Throughout, the book examines how directors visually transmute reality to represent unstable societies, disrupted collective memories and national identity".

An earlier book by the same author:



"This book is a detailed historical survey of Greek cinema from its very beginning (1905) until today (2010).

The history of Greek cinema is a rather obscure and unexamined affair.

Greek cinema started slowly and then collapsed; for several years it struggled to reinvent itself, produced its first mature works, then collapsed completely and almost vanished. Because of such a complex historical trajectory no comprehensive survey of the development of Greek cinema has been written in English.

This book is the first to explore its development and the contexts that defined it by focusing on its main films, personalities and theoretical discussions. "A History of Greek Cinema" focuses on the early decades and the attempts to establish a "national" cinema useful to social cohesion and national identity.

It also analyses the problems and the dilemmas that many Greek directors faced in order to establish a distinct Greek cinema language and presents the various stages of development throughout the background of the turbulent political history of the country. The book combines historical analysis and discussions about cinematic form in to construct a narrative history about Greek cinematic successes and failures".

My own interview with Cacoyannis:

Cacoyannis in Conversation




Sunday, 29 January 2017

Dorset: Clinical Services Review, Claims and Counter-Claims about Travel Times from West Dorset to Bournemouth and Poole


Public concern prompts production of guide to Clinical Services Review, ViewNews

Claudia Sorin from Dorchester Labour: “The assessment of travel times is not based on real life examples", ViewFrom, January 19th, 2017

Response Article, ViewFrom, 25th January: "The CCG also pick up on claims about inadequate details over travel times from West Dorset to access services in Bournemouth or Poole, should the proposals to move some services to one of other hospitals in the East of the country be agreed. The statement said 'There are plenty of details about how we worked out our travel times in the supporting documents on our consultation website https://www.csr.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk/'"



I searched the website and assume that this is the type of analysis they meanTravel Time Analysis (pdf) - Appendix 4. I did not find the website user-friendly in terms of  navigation or searches for the analysis-methodology of travel times from West Dorset locations to access services in Bournemouth (eg AandE) and Poole.

The short travel times cited in the consultation document do not ring true to many people (including my own GP). Could someone refer me the precise page link to the 'correct' (if disputed) travel time analysis data and the explanation as to how the times were worked out?

Thank you.


Dorset County Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital: Clinical Services Review, CCG


Finally the full plans and details about "preferred solutions" are leaking out, even if not spelt out in the main body of consultation document on which we are all invited to comment. A fait accompli?
These proposals should have been spelt out, upfront, in the consultation document, not piecemeal (whatever the pros and cons of all the different options).

Dorset County Hospital backs link with Yeovil, ViewNews

"In a statement the trust says: “Our preferred solution for providing a sustainable and safe service for women and children is to work with Yeovil District Hospital…A collaboration between DCH and YDH has long been viewed as a desirable outcome by clinicians at DCH. Our consultant paediatricians and obstetricians will continue to work with their colleagues in Yeovil on the best possible solution for the local population.”

The trust says that ‘no change’ is not an option with increased workloads. “The NHS is facing rising and unsustainable costs to meet increasing demand, while trying to improve the quality and consistency of care and health outcomes. The Clinical Services Review offers an opportunity to ensure the people of Dorset continue to receive safe and high quality health services. We support this approach to change which has been driven by evidence, clinical leadership and practicality.”

In the statement trustees say they welcome the proposed designation for Dorset County Hospital as the “planned care and emergency hospital with 24/7 A&E”, believing this is best for local people.

“However, this proposed designation would not mean ‘no change’ at DCH. Our own strategy is clear that rising demand on our services coupled with stretched resources mean we cannot carry on doing things the way we have always done…

“Following the outcome of the consultation we look forward to working with the Clinical Commissioning Group (which is promoting the review) to ensure any future service changes proposed are both safe and sustainable and that the focus of CCG investment in the east and in community services does not adversely impact services provided to patients in the west of the county".


See also

Coins discovery 'will re-write' Anglo-Saxon history; Alfred the Great and Ceolwulf II of Mercia.



From MSN/Sky News

Britain and Turkey: defense cooperation to develop Turkish fighter jet; Τερέσα Μέι και Ταγίπ Ερντογάν



From Reuters - "Britain, Turkey sign defense deal to develop Turkish fighter jet"

'BAE Systems chief executive, Ian King, said the deal was the next step in deepening defense cooperation. "It will also pave the way for a deeper defense partnership and could effectively make the UK Turkey's partner of choice, positioning it as a key aerospace technology exporter to Turkey," he said in a statement'.

Theresa May signs £100m fighter jet deal with Turkey's Erdoğan, The Guardian

A new Russia-US partnership?


Various reports on the telephone conversation:

Telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, Kremlin
Putin and Trump signal new Russia-US partnership, RT

Trump and Putin discuss stabilizing ties, Kremlin says, CNN

Trump and Putin discuss 'partnership' on issues including Ukraine, Kremlin says, The Observer

Putin and Trump agree to try to rebuild U.S.-Russia ties, cooperate in Syria, Reuters

Sino-US relations are becoming more tense under America's new administration, The Independent

China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’, South China Morning Post








Saturday, 28 January 2017

U.S.- British Relations in the Trump Administration, Nina-Maria Potts on C-SPAN, USA





U.S.- British Relations in the Trump Administration  (watch C-SPAN Washington Journal)

"Nina Maria Potts talked about U.S.-British relations and President Trump’s meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Video clips were shown of the joint news conference with President Trump and Prime Minister May the previous day".


Director of News Coverage, Feature Story News




Friday, 27 January 2017

President Trump, Prime Minister May: Press Conference



Press Conference in full


Laura Kuenssberg's stern questioning of Donald Trump angers president's supporters, The Telegraph



Related:

From Lexington, The Economist, The rise of the Herbal Tea Party, Scolding Trump voters will not carry the Democrats back to power

IKEA flat-pack refugee shelter wins Design of the Year 2016; UNHCR



From dezeen - "KEA's temporary shelter designed for refugees has been named the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year...IKEA Foundation's Better Shelter was announced as the winner at an awards ceremony that took place at the Design Museum's new home in west London this evening".

"Designed to last three years, the prototype shelter from IKEA is a shed-like structure made of lightweight polymer panels, laminated with thermal insulation, which clip onto a steel frame".









More innovative architectural design, from Antiparos, Greece - The Worlds' Most Extraordinary Homes, BBC iPlayer


UK: Migration Advisory Committee; Assessing Labour Market Shortages; Professions Exempt from Immigration Laws; National Shortages



Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report: assessing labour market shortages, Gov.UK


Methodology Update Report (pdf)

inews - Schools told ‘there is no teacher shortage’

"The Migration Advisory Committee, which advises the Home Office what professions should be exempt from immigration laws, has found that there is no evidence of a teacher recruitment crisis. The body said it would recommend that maths and physics teachers be kept on the shortage occupation list, while computer science, Mandarin and general science teachers should be added to it. But added there was no wider recruitment problem facing schools".

The Times (27 January) reports "Schools will be able to hire Mandarin, science and computer science teachers from outside the European Economic Area, after they were added to a national shortage occupation list...The professions join teachers of maths and physics on the list".


Ten New UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Philippi Archaeological Site, Northern Greece



From National Geographic

Philippi Archaeological Site, Northern Greece

"Once considered a miniature version of Rome, Philippi—founded in the fourth century B.C.—hosted a theatre, temple, and forum at the foot of an acropolis in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The walled city, located on an ancient route connecting Europe and Asia, later became a centre for Christianity, and remains of its basilicas still stand today".

UNESCO description

"The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. The vibrant Hellenistic city of Philip II, of which the walls and their gates, the theatre and the funerary heroon (temple) are to be seen, was supplemented with Roman public buildings such as the Forum and a monumental terrace with temples to its north. Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity".


Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare (film)


There is a tide in the affairs of men

As a schoolboy I had to study Shakespeare,
Julius Caesar, the set book for exams.
I remember seeing Brando in the film,
The way he drawled out 'Fie-li-pie'
And shattered sense of accent and of place.

Philippi, Filippi or Fie-li-pie.

I stand here on the battleground itself...
- As Brutus to the ghost of Caesar,
So I to the ghost of Brutus say:
"Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then".
("Aye, at Philippi").

****

Excerpts from Julius Caesar:

SCENE I. The plains of Philippi.


Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army

OCTAVIUS
Now, Antony, our hopes are answered:
You said the enemy would not come down,
But keep the hills and upper regions;
It proves not so: their battles are at hand;
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.

****


BRUTUS

No more, I pray you.
Messala, I have here received letters,
That young Octavius and Mark Antony
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expedition toward Philippi.


MESSALA
Myself have letters of the selfsame tenor....

****

BRUTUS
Well, to our work alive. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi presently?


CASSIUS
I do not think it good.


BRUTUS
Your reason?


CASSIUS
This it is:
'Tis better that the enemy seek us:
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
Doing himself offence; whilst we, lying still,
Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.


BRUTUS
Good reasons must, of force, give place to better.
The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground
Do stand but in a forced affection;
For they have grudged us contribution:
The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encouraged;
From which advantage shall we cut him off,
If at Philippi we do face him there,
These people at our back.


CASSIUS
Hear me, good brother.


BRUTUS
Under your pardon. You must note beside,
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.


CASSIUS
Then, with your will, go on;
We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.


BRUTUS
The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
And nature must obey necessity;
Which we will niggard with a little rest.
There is no more to say?


CASSIUS
No more. Good night:
Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence...

****


BRUTUS
Why comest thou?


GHOST
To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.


BRUTUS
Well; then I shall see thee again?


GHOST
Ay, at Philippi.


BRUTUS
Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.


Exit Ghost

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Brief Article 50 Brexit Bill



European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

                                               A

                                          BILL  

                                              TO

Confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.


BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1   Power to notify withdrawal from the EU 

(1) The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

(2) This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.

2   Short title

This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017




BILL 

To confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU. 

Presented by Secretary David Davis
supported by
the Prime Minister, 
Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Secretary Boris Johnson, 
Secretary David Mundell,
Secretary Alun Cairns,
Secretary James Brokenshire, 
Ben Gummer and the Attorney General.


 Ordered, by The House of Commons, 

to be Printed, 26 January 2017.

  



EU and UNICEF- Help and Protection for Refugee Children in Greece




From Greek Reporter - EU and UNICEF Join Forces to Help and Protect Refugee Children in Greece

"The action will be financed with 8.5 million euros from the European Union’s emergency support instrument, which enables the European Commission to fund emergency operations within the EU".


Update, Thessaloniki, February 2017- Tension Peaks at Oraiokastro as Far-Right Group Protests Refugee Children at School, Greek Reporter





Guy Verhofstadt "Theresa May's Trump card"



An opinion(ated) piece from Euronews   ("The views expressed in opinion articles published on euronews do not represent our editorial position").


INDEX DUBS USA A 'FLAWED DEMOCRACY'


From Euronews

Declining trust in government is denting democracy -The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index167 countries scored on a scale of 0 to 10 based on 60 indicators

From The Economist: "AMERICA, which has long defined itself as a standard-bearer of democracy for the world, has become a “flawed democracy” according to the taxonomy used in the annual Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company. Although its score did not fall by much—from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016—it was enough for it to slip just below the 8.00 threshold for a “full democracy”. It joins France, Greece and Japan in the second-highest tier of the index. The downgrade was not a consequence of Donald Trump, states the report. Rather, it was caused by the same factors that led Mr Trump to the White House: a continued erosion of trust in government and elected officials, which the index measures using data from global surveys. In total, it incorporates 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties".

NHS Dorset, Clinical Commissioning Group Consultation Document- and the Implications of BREXIT in relation to Recruitment and the National Health Service




"We have difficulties staffing some services because there are national and local shortages of some medical staff with key specialist skills and it is difficult to recruit to some posts. This includes GPs, mental health nurses, consultants working in accident and emergency and paramedics. We also face the prospect that quite a lot of our staff are coming up to retirement age in the next few years. We are now trying to recruit staff from other countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Philippines". NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group Consultation Document, page 8.

No mention of the implications of Brexit for the NHS and the free movement of labour.

Plight of EU nationals seeking UK residency to be investigated, The Guardian

"May’s government has yet to provide EU nationals with any assurance that they will be allowed to stay in the UK after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The prime minister has said it will be an issue to be negotiated after article 50 is triggered. In recent months the Guardian has learned that employers have been seeking guarantees of right to remain from EU nationals. Other EU nationals, such as Hawkins, have sought permanent residency because of fears for their future status".

What is the percentage of foreign nationals working throughout the NHS?

"While the longer term consequences of UK withdrawal from the European Union cannot yet be foreseen, all EU trained nurses and midwives on our register can be reassured that there is no immediate impact and that the vital role they play in providing high quality care to patients in the UK is highly valued, Nursing and Midwifery Council Annual Report (pdf)

Staff crisis grows as foreign nurses abandon the NHS, The Times, 27. 1.2017 - "European nurses are giving up on the NHS, with the number arriving to work in Britain down more than 90 per cent since the Brexit vote. A total of 101 EU nurses registered last month, down from 1,304 in July, according to figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). More European nurses are also leaving, prompting fears that Britain may be seeing the start of an exodus of the staff who have kept hospitals running in recent years. Hospitals are already struggling to find enough qualified nurses, with tens of thousands of vacancies and many wards dangerously understaffed. Hospitals turned to the EU after a damning report into the Mid Staffordshire scandal four years ago warned against cutting staff to save money. Recruiting missions were dispatched to Spain, Grece and other countries to increase the numbers of their citizens working in the NHS."

Figures show extent of NHS reliance on foreign nationals - Thinktank warns stricter immigration rules could hit service after stats show 11% of all staff and 26% of doctors are non-British


NHS intensive care 'at its limits' because of staff shortages, The Guardian, Units are so overwhelmed that life-saving operations are having to be delayed, warn senior doctors


EU immigration and NHS staff

The full-time equivalent GP workforce dropped by almost 100 doctors over the past year, official data show, in a blow to government plans to recruit and retain an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020 - GP Online - "GP leaders said the figures showed that the crisis in general practice was 'getting worse, not better'. The GPC warned that government 'scapegoating' of GPs over the wider NHS crisis would undermine efforts to attract more doctors into the profession, and warned that pledges to increase GP funding must be implemented faster.T here were 34,495 full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs in September 2016, down 96 from 34,592 a year earlier - a drop of 0.3%".

Thousands of doctors trained in Europe 'may quit UK after Brexit', The Guardian -BMA warns of impending ‘disaster’ as its research shows 40% of doctors who qualified in EEA may leave because they feel less welcome


Dorset Healthcare Recruitment Campaign

Dorset Healthcare has launched £90,000 London advertising campaign to attract staff- after spending £12million on agencies, Bridport News

Nurses star in London advertising campaign for Dorset HealthCare, ViewNews

Fears for Bridport Community Hospital's future as beds closed due to staff shortage, June 2016, Bridport News

Six Monthly Review of Inpatient Nurse Staffing Establishment:Ensuring Safe StaffingPart 1 Board Meeting 28 September 2016, DorsetHealthCare, NHS, pdf  - Excerpts follow:

3.1.7 The Trust is engaged with Dorset CCG as they develop other models of service delivery through their Clinical Services Review. This will lead to increased flexible working and changes in acuity and dependency of patients....

3.3 Recruitment and Retention

3.3.1 The Trust recognises the existing recruitment challenges: • National shortages of newly registered health professionals • The large number of small sites from which the Trust provide services, across a wide geographical area (much of it rural) • Attracting staff to work with the over 65 age group in both physical and mental health services is difficult, but particularly so in mental health services

3.3.2 Similar to other Trusts, DHC continues to be impacted upon by the national lack of available mental health and general nurses particularly at band 5. Proactive workforce analysis, rigorous recruitment and maximising opportunities for commitment to and use of new roles is in progress to continually support the Trust to meet ongoing clinical demands and staffing requirements.

3.3.3 In order to attract sufficient numbers of staff to meet service needs, more innovative and unique approaches to recruitment are already being considered by the Trust. Work has progressed and a Recruitment and Retention Project Group Is considering the collective approach required. A variety of recruitment strategies have been undertaken including, local open days, stands at national and regional recruitment events, targeted advertising and developing, delivering and evaluating a generic recruitment marketing campaign to raise the profile of the Trust as an employer and to highlight the range of opportunities available. Recent events have led to approximately 200 interested job seekers which we are making contact with and sending regular updates to.

Additionally: • A process has been commenced to look at international recruitment for nursing and medical staff. A number of agencies have been invited to provide information on how they could support a recruitment campaign overseas in European as well as further afield countries. This is only in the very initial stages, more updates will be provided in due course. •

3.3.6 Most of the Community Hospitals have Registered General Nurse vacancies with Swanage, Bridport and Wareham Hospitals reporting the highest vacancy factor at 33.03%, 32.5% and 28.05% respectively

3.3.7 The wards are constantly monitored for staffing fill rates and in the event that staffing falls below an acceptable, safe level and sufficient bank /agency nurses cannot be found decisions are taken to mitigate patient harm. This includes taking decision to reduce bed numbers or close the ward to further admissions. This has occurred within the past six months in Bridport Hospital and Swanage Hospitals with bed numbers being temporarily reduced to ensure patient receive the right care. As mentioned earlier where the staffing resources are not available a ward will be closed with beds relocated to other areas – this has occurred at Weymouth Hospital - Chalbury ward with the relocation of the beds to St Brelades and Herm Wards at Alderney Hospital.

GP crisis, Dr Michael Mosley, BBC Radio 4 (iPlayer) - "Doctors in Northern Ireland say the service is at breaking point and are threatening to end their contracts with the NHS. They're blaming it on a shortage of GPs, particularly in rural areas, and claim the Government has failed to train and recruit new staff quickly enough".

Ambulance service struggling to handle demand, Sky News

Large number of hospitals cancelling cancer ops - Royal College of Surgeons, Sky News


Sky TV News reported today (26 January) that Bridport Hospital is desperate for nursing staff. BBC News on 27 January  featured GP surgery closures and doctor shortages..

Brexit and Health (pdf) Letter from Commons Select Committee, Health Committee, to Secretary of State -"Leaving the European Union will have major consequences for a wide range of health and social care issues, from our future licensing and access to medicines to the health and social care workforce...

On the basis of the evidence and advice that we have received so far, there are six areas in particular which the Committee feels will be vital for health and social care: 1. The UK’s health and social care workforce – both those that are here now, and those that we will need in the future; 2. Reciprocal health care coverage and cross-border healthcare; 3. Medicines, medical devices, clinical trials and wider health research; 4. Public health, including environmental protections and communicable diseases; 5. Resources, including EU agencies, funding programmes, networks and health in overseas aid; and, 6. Market functioning and trade agreements".

Inventory of areas for consideration by the Department of Health in Brexit negotiations

Key considerations

Further detail 1. The UK’s health and social care workforce

Staff from European Economic Area (EEA) in NHS and adult social care (right to remain for existing staff, future flows of staff into UK, rights of workers and their families as EU citizens while working/living in UK)

Current entitlements, which extend to both health and social care staff and their families (if EU citizens) include non-discrimination on nationality for entry, residence, access to employment, housing, accumulation and transfer of pensions, social security, right to health care coverage in REU on retirement, right to access to health care when visiting in home country (e.g. childbirth), welfare; recognition of qualifications (subject to linguistic competencies); access of children to education; access of spouses and dependents to residence, employment and housing;

Professional competencies currently recognised through mutual recognition of qualifications and exchange of information through cross-border alert mechanisms

Employment rights affecting health and social care staff (the whole of the EU acquis on employment law)

Current entitlements are EU equality law (sex, race, disability, other grounds); EU health and safety at work law (including maternity leave rights); EU employment law on restructuring e.g. transfer of undertakings

Brexit and Health: Jeremy Hunt replies to Chair of Health Committee - see page 8 for Jeremy Hunt's reply of 13 January 2017 to Dr Sarah Wollaston MP Member of Parliament for Totnes, Houses of Commons, Westminster London, SW1A 0AA

"Thank you for your letter of 14 December 2016. As you would expect, we are doing the comprehensive preparatory work necessary ahead of triggering Article 50 and the impending negotiations. We will play our part in securing the best possible outcome from exiting the EU, dealing positively with its consequences, while continuing to focus attention on improving the health and care system and the challenges it faces. In terms of how our work is organised, at official level our work is coordinated by a small team within the Global and Public Health Directorate. A number of relevant policy teams in other directorates then lead on considering the implications and opportunities of exiting the EU for their respective areas (for example the workforce policy team lead on the health and social care workforce elements you raised). It is not possible to establish a full-time equivalent figure because many of these staff are undertaking the work as part of their wider responsibilities. A wide network of our stakeholders are also involved in the work by various means, including regular meetings with Ministers, officials and special advisers. The most focused preparations are naturally in those areas where leaving the EU will have the greatest effect, including those identified in your letter and those included in the Department’s written evidence to this inquiry. As you rightly point out in your letter, many of the issues your committee has identified are not bound by departmental responsibilities.  We are working closely with the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and other departments to coordinate the multiple complex strands of work involved in preparing to leave the EU. We will also be closely involved as the negotiations progress. I hope this goes some way to answering your questions and I look forward to a fuller discussion with you and your Committee in person later this month".   JEREMY HUNT


Submission from Stephen Rogers (BRE0001)

"My wishes for the NHS after Brexit are (1) that all current employees of the NHS should have continuing residency in the UK assured and (2) everything contained in the NHS Reinstatement Bill".

September 2016


From a study of the above correspondence and exchanges it would seem that, for practical purposes, any comments or evidence on these matters might usefully be addressed to Dr Sarah Wollaston MP Member of Parliament for Totnes, Houses of Commons, Westminster London, SW1A 0AA

Examples of written evidence to date: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/brexit-and-health-and-social-care-16-17/publications/


Written evidence from Healthcare Distribution Associations' Council (HDA UK) (BRE0092)

"In line with many other business sectors, we are concerned about the impact of Brexit on the ability of employers to source appropriately qualified staff. The healthcare sector, from research scientists in pharmaceutical companies, to pharmacists in hospitals and the community, benefit from skilled workers from the EU.

We would not like to see Brexit negotiations ending the advantages of the appropriate freedom of workers to come to the UK. It is also highly important that the UK maintains the parity of qualifications for healthcare professionals that ensures that British regulated healthcare standards are sufficiently aligned with the EU’s equivalents, enabling European health professionals to practise in UK pharmacies, hospitals and GP surgeries, with whom our businesses have long-standing business partnerships and relationships".


*****

See also - Simon Stevens (Wikipedia)

Reform Strategies For The English NHS, Health Affairs, May 2004

Costing the NHS, BBC

£146 per patient is not enough: it’s time for GPs to charge fees, Prit Buttar, The Telegraph



























Corfu, Greece: The State of the Foinikas (Phoenix) Open-Air Summer Cinema; το θερινό σινεμά Φοίνικας


A tragic state of affairs! Corfu Town's open-air cinema used to offer people some of the greatest pleasures and entertainment to be found on a hot summer's evening. When will the Phoenix come back to life?






Source, Πηγή: www.corfuland.gr

More images here (corfupost.gr)



The Corfu blues won't go away....



Australia Day, 26 January: Some Contrasting Images


I wish I could be there!






Cedric Talbot at Government House, NSW (above)

A Painting by Harry Wedge (below)





The Human Zoo: Documentary sheds light on stolen Aboriginal people 'treated as animals', ABC News

Haunting photos show the Aboriginal people who were kept in 'The Human Zoo' that toured the world, MailOnline


Rottnest Island: Black prison to white playground, ABC News

'An act of betrayal against Australia': Fremantle divided over cancellation of Australia Day festivities, ABC News


Let's talk about Australia day...Sydney Morning Herald

A great shame that the powerful BBC 2 TV drama Series, Banished, was cancelled. It can still be seen on Netflix.

About Banished (Wikipedia)

Related: BBC apologises for misleading documentary on 'drunken' Aboriginal community, The Guardian









Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Transparency International: CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2016



Perceptions Index table, 2016

Castle Cary, Somerset: Developers' go-ahead for 200 new homes for Castle Cary and Ansford; Objections.


From Blackmore Vale Magazine

"By allowing both appeals the planning inspector Mr M. Middleton has added 200 future homes to the consents already granted for 165, 45 and 75 homes on sites in Castle Cary and Ansford...
The appeal decision has dismayed objectors who raised issues including excess traffic through commuting, lack of employment in the community and insufficient infrastructure as well as loss of views affecting the grade II listed Ansford church tower".

I don't live in Castle Cary any longer, so this does not concern me directly. I recognise that more houses are urgently needed in the West Country, but Castle Cary town centre is already incredibly congested in terms of traffic and parking.

As my brother says, up to 2000 more inhabitants? How many more cars?

A recipe for chaos.

In terms of infrastructure, the town will certainly need a bigger cemetery.


A poem on The Round House (The Round House, Douglas Macmillan, 1922)


In less-congested times:











What does it mean to be human? Smithsonian East African Research Projects; Evolution; Professor Steve Jones


Following an excellent and entertaining lecture by Professor Steve Jones, FRS, geneticist and science communicator on biology and evolution ("Is Man just another animal? Evolution and us"), I have started exploring further. Some topics which look interesting:


"Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Evolution is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to Charles Darwin's pioneering and revolutionary theory of how all life changes through natural selection. Written by broadcaster, prize-winning author and geneticist Professor Steve Jones, it explores the extraordinary diversity of life on our planet through the complex interactions of one very simple theory. You'll discover the common origins of dogs and Brussels sprouts, how it is we're all mutants, where wings, ears and tails came from, why sex is good for you, how some dinosaurs evolved and survived, and why human evolution may finally have stopped".







National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition Finalists



I was especially impressed by the shot by Sajith Buddikha, of a garden lizard and a common bronzeback snake in the road. "When the snake struck, the lizard performed amazing acrobatics to avoid it. The snake didn’t enjoy the extra attention from the crowd of jeeps. The distraction gave the lizard the chance to live another day".


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Emma Tennant



Author Emma Tennant dies, The Bookseller

The Times Obituary (a lengthy obituary, sign in or subscribe to read)

A House in Corfu - "A House in Corfu is the story of one of the most beautiful places on earth, still astonishingly unspoilt, on the west coast of Corfu. In the early 1960s, Emma Tennant's parents, on a cruise, spotted a magical bay and decided to build a house there. This book is the story of that house, Rovinia, set in 42 hectares of land above the bay where legend has it Ulysses was shipwrecked and found by Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous".

Corfu Banquet - "In an extract from her new memoir, Corfu Banquet, the novelist Emma Tennant describes the excitement of returning to her family's Greek hideaway after a long winter away" (The Observer, 2003).




1957: The Happiest Year in British History, at least since the Victorian Era?


Understanding Happiness: from The Social Market Foundation: "New research released today by the Social Market Foundation and the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) shows that levels of happiness appear to have been highest during the Victorian era, and during the 20th Century peaked during 1957, a level to which they have never returned."

"Although in 1957 life expectancies were lower, GDP was lower, more hours were worked in a typical week and very few households had central heating and less than half owned a television, levels of public happiness were at a height never reached again in the British post-War period".

From The Times - "Few men lived beyond the age of 70, central heating was unaffordable and many homes still had an outside privy, but 1957 was the happiest year in recent British history, according to a study of the past 230 years. Appropriately, it was the year when Harold Macmillan, the prime minister, declared: “Our people have never had it so good.” The University of Warwick made the conclusion after analysing billions of words in books and articles written since 1776".


Bill Haley and Comets, first UK tour, February-March 1957

Newsreel

Long Tall Sally, Little Richard

Rock Music Timeline, 1957

Billboard Top Rock'n'Roll Hits: 1957



 "Rip It Up" - 1957




Brexit: Government loses Brexit vote appeal; Supreme Court Judgement



Supreme Court Judgement (pdf)

BBC News  - 8 to 3 majority


Summary:

-Supreme Court rules 8 to 3 against government
-Parliament must vote before Article 50 triggered
-Ministers had argued referendum gave go-ahead
-Devolved administrations do not have to be consulted

"Relations with the EU are a matter for the UK government."


Why Brexit ruling is a relief for the government, BBC

A court ruling on Article 50 hints at Britain’s coming constitutional storm, The Economist (Bagehot's Notebook)

Rebel Tories demand more say on Brexit as May loses supreme court fight, The Guardian
UK court ruling does little to help Brexit opponents, EU Observer


UK Supreme Court decides that Parliament must enact legislation before the UK can serve Article 50 notice to leave the EU, Bermuda Legal - "It is a shame that there appears to have been no consideration given, whatsoever, to the rights and interests of the British Overseas Territories and their respective local Parliaments, although it is legally assumed that their rights and interests will be taken into account when the UK Parliament enacts legislation".