AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn Joan McAlpine MSP has hit out at the UK government after a Tory Baroness appeared to write off Eastriggs Post Office before the consultation on its future is complete.Ms McAlpine, the local SNP member of the Scottish Parliament, received a reply from Baroness Neville-Rolfe after she informed the UK government of her concerns about the downgrading of Eastriggs Post Office.In a written reply to the MSP, the Baroness, the responsible minister for post, said she supported the Network Transformation process behind Eastriggs.The Baroness, a former supermarket executive, wrote:“There will be some cases, after having gone through this process, where the Post Office does not consider the current service to be sustainable in the longer term, as is the case with Eastriggs” [our emphasis]Ms McAlpine said she was shocked at the response, which contradicted a letter she received from the Post Office management on the same day, claiming they were carefully considering the community consultation.The MSP said:“The Baroness has let the cat out of the bag regarding Eastriggs. While the Post Office claim they are willing to listen to local people, Baronesss Neville-Rolfe says the service they love and on which they depend is not considered sustainable.”The Westminster government are the sole owners of Post Office Limited and are driving the current rationalisation programme. In her letter to Joan McAlpine MSP the Baroness said:“The government supports this [network transformation] because it is critically important that the Post Office has a sustainable future. One of the key rationales for the programme is that where the Post Office Services can be supplied on a commercially viable basis they should be. This has significantly reduced the reliance of the network on public subsidy and will continue to do so. ”But Ms McAlpine was unimpressed. She commented:“The Baroness fails to understand the concept of public service. The Post Office is not “subsidised” as she suggests. It is owned by all of us. It is not merely about the bottom line. It’s about the beating heart if a community.”
* 00.01 hours Saturday 16th July 2016 to 23.59 hours Sunday 17th July 2016. The new phase of action follows a series of rock-solid strikes across Scotland which have not produced any movement on the core issues at the heart of the dispute. RMT has pressed hard for serious talks through ACAS but progress has been blocked at every turn by the company. As a result, there is no option but to move forward with a new programme of industrial action.Despite a barrage of misinformation from Abellio/Scotrail the issue at the core of the dispute is safety and the safety-critical role of the guard.RMT’s policy is for no extension of DOO on any route or service and for the guard to be in full operational control of the power operated doors. Furthermore, RMT has made it clear that the union is totally opposed to any proposals for extending DOO, reducing or abolishing the safety role of the Conductor and reducing or abolishing the role of the Conductor in operation of the doors. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInRAIL UNION RMT today confirmed a fresh campaign of industrial action over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation on Scotrail.The revised programme of strike action is now as follows; * 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours Sunday 3rd July 2016 (as previously notified). * 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours Thursday 14th July 2016. * 00.01 hours Sunday 10th July 2016 and 23.59 hours Monday 11th July 2016. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;“Despite a series of rock-solid strikes it is extraordinary that Abellio/Scotrail continue to ignore the strength of feeling amongst their staff over the extension of DOO. That disgraceful and cavalier approach to jobs and safety on Scotland’s railways now leaves us with no choice but to move to a new phase of industrial action.“Our members on Scotrail stand determined and united in this fight for jobs and safety on Scotland’s rail services.”The workforce know that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions. RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined.“The workforce also know only too well that there is a very real threat to passengers of watering down and wiping out the safety critical role of the guard on these Scotrail services. That is a lethal gamble with basic rail safety.“The union remains available for serious and meaningful talks. ”
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice Scotland have launched an appeal for witnesses after a Royal mail employee was threatened by a man in Annan at bout 10.30am on Saturday 17/09/2016The police statement said “A Royal Mail employee was threatened by a male whilst delivering mail within the Newington Road area in Annan. The suspect is described as white, between five foot six and five foot eight tall, stocky build, early forties, with light brown short hair, wearing a navy blue coloured hooded top with neon green edge around the hood, knee length beige shorts with a chequered pattern around the waist band and spoke with a foreign accent. The male was possibly under the influence of alcohol and/or other substance(s). ”If anyone has any information with regards to the identity of this male or were in the area of Newington Road when this incident occurred, please could you contact Police on 101 or attend at your local Police Station.
Dr David Boxer The Government of Jamaica has paid tribute to former curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Dr David Boxer, who died on May 28, describing him as “an authority on Jamaican art”.“Under David Boxer’ s visionary leadership, the National Gallery of Jamaica became a world-class art museum and a model that has been emulated in the Caribbean,” Culture Minister, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, said in a release.Boxer died following a long illness. Grange said he would be remembered as a “pioneering scholar and curator of Jamaican art… [a] passionate collector whose contributions to visual art in Jamaica are immeasurable. If ever one person was an authority on Jamaican art, it was David Boxer. Jamaican art was his life,” she said.Boxer joined the National Gallery as director/curator on December 2, 1975. Among his major achievements was the development of its collection, which started with 250 paintings and sculptures that were inherited from the Institute of Jamaica in 1974.Boxer was also a lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Caribbean-American and other home and business owners across Florida who were impacted by Hurricane Irma could soon benefit from government aid. Caribbean-American and other home and business owners across Florida who were impacted by Hurricane Irma could soon benefit from government aid.The federal government on Tuesday awarded $615.9 million in aid to areas of Florida hard hit by Hurricane Irma.Details of how homeowners might get help with new roofs, other damagers to their property, or impacted businesses might get aid remain to be seen. However, the state says it is working with an array of government officials at all levels to establish a relevant spending plan for the money.The money is aimed at expenses that may have slipped through the cracks of private insurance and federal grants and can go toward constructing new housing and helping restore businesses.
The authorities are also reporting the destruction of the footbridge on the Haitian-Dominican border at Anse-à-Pitres and that the road linking the commune of La Victoire to Pignon is impassable. The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) in Haiti says the number of people killed as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Laura last weekend, is now 20 with at least five others reported missing. According to the report, 11 men and eight women in addition to the 10-month old son of the paediatrician Jessica Janniton, were all killed when the storm hit the country last Friday. It then made its way towards the United States where it is now moving across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (MPH) and expected to strengthen into a major hurricane by Wednesday. “The Artibonite river is in flood, rapid assessments will continue and reconnaissance flights in helicopters are planned,” said the DPC,, adding that four bridges were damaged making the southern coastal area inaccessible : The DPC in a partial report said that the deaths occurred in the south-east, west and south departments. Photo via AP The report also stated that 15 houses have been destroyed, 135 damaged and 447 flooded. The DPC also reported that five people including two children are still missing and feared dead. The report notes that four people were injured in the west and south departments and that 198 families are affected in the department of Nippes. “I share the sorrow of the families whose loved ones were killed on August 23 during the passage through the country of tropical storm Laura. I urge the population to respect the instructions of the authorities,” President Jovenel Moise said over the last weekend. CMC
Have this for her,, CHEAPEST flowers in town #ValentinesDaySurvivalTips pic.twitter.com/CdO95iDqtR— Atanas (@atanasi_) February 12, 2016 February 14 is hours away and most people, well, most lovers, can’t wait for the day to come.Valentine’s Day, although not an official holiday, is observed in most countries. It’s the day when lovers express their affection towards their partners, and shower them with various gifts to boost their romantic relationships.Kenyans have not been left behind. Most of them are eagerly awaiting the day so that they can show their love to their better halves.Other though, those on social media to be precise, don’t understand the anxiety. #KOT (meaning Kenyans On Twitter) as they are known, have taken to twitter to brush the day aside, even going ahead to give tips on how one can avoid the expenses that come with the celebrations.Most of them do not see any logic in spending lots of money in showing one’s love to their partner.As always, under the hashtag #ValentinesDaySurvivalTips, the #KOT have come up with hilarious memes and posts dismissing the day, saying what they’d rather do when it comes.Here is a collection of some of those funny posts;#ValentinesDaySurvivalTips pretend to be sick!! She will ignore all valentine plans pic.twitter.com/B36CXZ12KD— Machuka Wyclife (@Machukah) February 12, 2016https://twitter.com/FestusKangogo/status/698025192128315394
Italian coastguards and navy over the weekend rescued more than 3,300 migrants in 26 separate operations in the Mediterranean, Reuters reports an Italian navy spokesperson to say.The migrants were travelling in 25 dinghies and one boat, all north of the Libyan coast.One adult was found dead while another four that were injured were transported to hospital on the island of Lampedusa via a helicopter.About 60,000 boat migrants have been brought to Italy so far this year, according to the Interior Ministry.Improved weather conditions in the Mediterranean encourage more migrants and their human smugglers to attempt the crossing despite the dangers involved. More than 3,700 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
Prosecutors in Egypt have detained a female singer for four days for “incitement to debauchery” after an online video clip sparked controversy, a judicial source said on Tuesday.Leila Amer appeared at the end of December in a music video called “Boss Oumek” (“Look at your mother”) which includes sensual oriental dance and suggestive gestures.Musicians’ union president Hany Shaker, a male singer known for his conservative stance, last week announced on the private channel Dream TV that Amer had been expelled from the union.Her case comes less than a month after another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison for “inciting debauchery” over a racy video.Shyma appeared in a mock classroom licking an apple and appearing to mimic fellatio on a banana in front of a chalkboard scrawled with “Class #69”.On Monday her sentence was reduced on appeal to a year in jail.
Tougher law drives away Zimbabwe’s street dealers of foreign currency Zimbabwe’s unlicensed foreign currency traders face 10-year jail Zimbabwe unions tell employers to start paying in foreign currency The Zimbabwe government has banned the use of foreign currency as legal tender alongside the local RTGS dollar, in an apparent bid to arrest galloping increases of prices of basic commodities and other goods and services.However, payment for international airline services in foreign currency will still be allowed.Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube announced the ban on Monday.“With effect from the 24th of June, 2019, the use of the British pound, United States dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula and any other foreign currency whatsoever shall no longer be legal tender alongside the Zimbabwe dollar in any transactions in Zimbabwe,” the minister said in a Statutory Instrument (SI).Ncube said this means that the Zimbabwe dollar, which is at par with the RTGS dollar and the bond notes and coins, would be the sole legal tender with immediate effect.Zimbabwe, which abandoned its local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, in 2009 following years of hyperinflation, has been using a basket of nine multi-currencies dominated by the U.S. dollar.The others are the British pound, the euro, the Chinese yuan, the Australian dollar, the Indian rupee, the South African rand, the Botswana pula and the Japanese yen.The SI said the new regulations do not affect the opening or operation of foreign currency-designated accounts, which shall continue to be designated in the foreign currencies with which they are opened and in which they are operated, or the making of foreign payments from such accounts.Also not affected is the requirement to pay customs duties and value-added tax in any of the foreign currencies for goods specified under the law to be luxury goods.A serious shortage of foreign currency has spurred a black market where the U.S. dollar was on Monday trading at 1:11 RTGS dollars at the minimum, while the official interbank rate was at around 1:6.President Emmerson Mnangagwa said last week that Zimbabweans should expect to start using a new local currency by the end of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020, as the government has made strides putting in place macroeconomic fundamentals needed before its re-introduction.He said the current scenario where Zimbabwe has no control over the supply and availability of the currencies in use is unacceptable.Related