Ireland Officially Overturns Abortion Ban

AIWA! NO!//Ireland officially overturned its constitutional amendment banning abortion. But the work isn’t done yet.

Irish President Michael Higgins signed a repeal of the country’s Eighth Amendment Tuesday. It valued the life of the fetus and mother equally, effectively banning abortions.

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Irish President Michael Higgins

In 2013, Ireland loosened the restrictions to allow abortions under certain conditions, such as if a woman’s life is at risk.

The repeal comes after a nationwide referendum in May where the country’s citizens voted overwhelming to do away with the ban.  2018-09-19 (6).png

Now Irish lawmakers need to pass new rules governing abortions.

According to the BBC, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar plans to introduce that legislation in early October, which could make abortion services available next year.

Newly discovered document proves Salisbury Two were definitely on holiday …

Newly discovered document proves Salisbury Two were definitely on holiday [CARTOON]
Anna Shapiro was dining in a Prezzo with her husband when they both fell ill
Anna Shapiro was dining in a Prezzo with her husband when they both fell ill ( Instagram )

The Russian model at the centre of the latest Salisbury poisoning scare has claimed she was the victim of a plot, saying: “Vladimir Putin wants me dead.”

Anna Shapiro, 30, has opened up about the moment she and her husband Alex King, 42, both fell ill while dining out at a Prezzo restaurant in the city.

She said she went to look for her husband in the toilets after he did not return for 15 minutes and found him “foaming at the mouth”.

Ms Shapiro then also fell ill and ran to the toilet to be sick, while others called emergency services. The city centre was placed on lockdown amid heightened tensions following the Novichok attack on the Skripals in March .

BRITISH Pound spikes as inflation hits six-month high of 2.7%

Sterling spikes as inflation hits six-month high of 2.7%

Eight-week high against US dollar

Sterling spikes as inflation beats expectations to hit six-month high of 2.7%
Sterling spikes as inflation beats expectations to hit six-month high of 2.7%

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to its highest level since February, driven by increasing prices for transport services, clothing and recreational and cultural goods.

However, these rises were partially offset by a fall in prices for furniture and household goods and telecommunications.

Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: “Consumers paid more for theatre shows, sea fares and new season autumn clothing last month.

“However, mobile phone charges, and furniture and household goods had a downward effect on inflation.”

On the news, sterling spiked to an eight-week high against the US dollar, up 0.45% to $1.3206, while the pound rose 0.32% against the euro to €1.1275, as pressure could now be placed on the Bank of England to raise interest rates faster than expected.

The BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee unanimously voted to increase rates by 25 basis points to 0.75% in August, in response to inflation remaining above target for the forecast period.

Markets are currently pricing in a 55% chance of a rate hike in May 2019 and just a 33% chance in both February and March.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: “The numbers reinforce expectations that policymakers will gently lift interest rates over the next couple of years.

“The figures will not come as welcome news to the Bank of England though – they will be desperate to leave policy unchanged until we get some clarity over Brexit, and will not want to be forced into a rate rise by accelerating prices.

“A rise to 1% is tentatively priced in for around May next year, though clearly a disorderly Brexit would force a dramatic rethink.”

Dean Turner, economist at UBS Wealth Management, said: “Brexit concerns aside, today’s data will provide further ammunition to the hawks on the MPC.

“This backdrop of a moderately hawkish MPC reinforces our view that any positive news on Brexit is likely to be met with the pound unwinding some of its recent weakness.”

UK Supermarket Giant Tesco launches first store in new discount chain Jack’s in Chatteris

Tesco launches first store in new discount chain Jack’s in Chatteris with a ‘Made in Britain’ pledge.

The official launch of Tesco’s new discount store Jack’s is happening in Chatteris today. The world’s media have gathered at the site where chief executive Dave Lewis will be speaking. Photo: HARRY RUTTER
The official launch of Tesco’s new discount store Jack’s is happening in Chatteris today. The world’s media have gathered at the site where chief executive Dave Lewis will be speaking. Photo: HARRY RUTTER

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//The official launch of Tesco’s new discount store Jack’s is happening in Chatteris today (19 September 2018). Tesco Supermarket’s new discount store Jack’s rivals German budget giants Aldi and Lidl.

Up to 15 stores will open over the next year, with five existing Tesco properties being repurposed and the remainder being new outlets.

Self-service tills at the new Jack’s store (Image: PA)

Most products will be Jack’s own brand and the chain will have 2,600 lines.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: “(Tesco founder) Jack Cohen championed value for customers and changed the face of British shopping.

He’s an inspiration for all of us and that same spirit still drives Tesco now.

“It’s fitting that today, we mark the beginning of Tesco’s celebration of 100 Years of Great Value by launching a new brand, and stores bearing his name: Jack’s.”

Jack Cohen founded a business in 1919 that became Tesco (Image: PA)

It comes after the UK’s so called Big Four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda , Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – have taken a hammering at the hands of Lidl and Aldi.

The German duo have eaten up their market share by offering products at knock down prices.

Tesco is Britain’s grocery market leader with a share of 27.4 per cent, while Aldi and Lidl have increased their combined share to 13.1 per cent, according to the Kantar Worldpanel data.

The stores hope to rival German giants Lidl and Aldi (Image: PA)
Tesco said that eight out of 10 Jack’s food and drink products will be “gr

Tesco said that eight out of 10 Jack’s food and drink products will be “grown, reared or made” in Britain and stores will stock an own brand range, also branded Jack’s.

It will operate a “low-cost business model” designed to keep costs low and prices down.

The launch of Jack’s is part of Tesco’s centenary celebrations which will see the business mark 100 years in 2019. Jack Cohen founded Tesco 99 years ago in 1919.


”Rule out ‘no-deal’ Brexit now”, – The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) urges UK ministers

Rule out ‘no-deal’ Brexit now, negotiators urged, as SMMT warns £5bn tariffs threat just tip of iceberg for auto sector

AIWA! NO!//A ‘no-deal’ Brexit must be ruled out now to avoid damaging one of the EU’s most valuable economic assets, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is warning today. Time is running out, and negotiators on both sides of the Channel must prioritise the agreement of terms for a managed withdrawal and ‘status quo’ transition as soon as possible. ‘No-deal’ would undermine the industry’s ability to operate and cannot be an option.

The UK trade body will today meet with EU representatives in Brussels to highlight the economic importance of the integrated European automotive industry and set out the repercussions for businesses, economies and jobs if a deal cannot be struck. New SMMT analysis suggests that no-deal and the resulting tariffs on light vehicles alone would add £5 billion to the collective EU-UK auto trade bill.brexit poll (1)

If passed directly on to consumers, import tariffs would push up the cost of UK-built cars sold in the EU by an average £2,700, and that of light commercial vehicles by £2,000 – affecting demand, profitability and jobs. Similarly, UK buyers of a car or van from the EU would be faced with £1,500 and £1,700 increases if manufacturers and their dealer networks were unable to absorb these additional costs.

The automotive sector is one of Europe’s most valuable economic assets, employing 13.3 million people and representing 6.8% of EU GDP. The sector invests some £47 billion in innovation each year, making it the EU’s largest R&D investor, and it produces roughly 17 million cars annually – nearly a quarter of global passenger car production.

UK Automotive is a key component of this success. It is the EU’s second largest new car market – worth some £29 billion to EU manufacturers every year – and the fourth largest car manufacturing nation. Alone, it turns over some £82 billion, supports 856,000 jobs (186,000 in manufacturing) and is responsible for 11% of EU auto manufacturing R&D spend. In 2017, British buyers registered some 1.9 million cars and vans from the Continent.

READ RELATED: U.K., EU Said to Drop October Deadline for Brexit Deal

‘Fort Trump’: Trump says US considering opening a military base in Poland

Polish President Andrzej Duda suggests ‘Fort Trump’ as a name for US military base

Donald Trump
Donald Trump ( AP )

Kimberley Richards New York//Donald Trump said the US is considering Poland’s request to have a permanent American military base in the country, which Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested could be named “Fort Trump”.

“I invite you to post more American military troops in Poland,” Mr Duda said during a joint news conference at the White House. He added that such a presence would be a “guarantor of security”.

Poland has repeatedly requested to host a permanent US military base and has offered up to $2bn for it.

The military presence reflects the nation’s desire to build a defence against a perceived threat from Russia.

The US president shared Mr Duda’s concern during the conference and said that Russia has “acted aggressively”.

Poland joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in 1999 despite Russia’s opposition.

“I am with the president,” he said. “I feel that he is right”. Mr Trump also stated that he believes Russians “respect force” and “respect strength.”

“We have the greatest strength in the world, especially now,” he added.


British Government’s ‘fruit picker visa’ is low-hanging fruit in tackling post-Brexit migration challenges

Cities will be hit hardest by shortfalls in EU migration – the Government’s new immigration system needs to reflect this

Gabriele Piazza, Researcher//Last week the Government announced a new temporary visa scheme to help fruit farmers avoid labour shortages, by enabling them to recruit up to 2,500 agricultural workers from outside the EU each year.

Given that the seasonal workforce of British farms is almost entirely made of workers from Eastern Europe, the scheme suggests a recognition by the Government of the need to prepare for the fall in EU migration to the UK as we prepare for Brexit.

However, as the findings of our recent report With or Without EU suggest, this initiative will do very little to address the most pressing post-Brexit labour challenges that places and businesses face as we leave the EU.

In particular, the report highlights three issues which should be key considerations of the Government as it designs it’s post-Brexit immigration system:

1. EU migration to the UK is largely an urban phenomenon

While rural firms such as fruit-farms will be severely affected by a fall in EU migration, in aggregate it is businesses in cities that will face the greatest challenges when it comes to post-Brexit recruitment. As our report showed, more than two thirds of EU migrants are located in cities, with London alone accounting for 37 per cent of all EU migrants in England and Wales.

Migrants tend to come to our cities because of the economic opportunities these places provide. And if the numbers of EU migrants coming to the UK continues to fall, urban employers will face particularly severe labour shortages. For example, in cities, one in every ten workers in the hospitality sector comes from the EU and this is much higher in Cardiff, Cambridge and London.

2. A sectoral approach to migration does not take into consideration the variation across places

While nationally some industries rely on EU workers more than others, a sectorial approach does not take into consideration how the reliance on migrant labour varies across places. For example, in Cardiff, the hospitality sector is the most reliant on the EU workforce, which account for one every three jobs in the sector, while in Northampton it was logistics (one every six).Pickers gather grapes at a vineyard (John Giles/PA)

Urgent action is required to ensure foreign fruit and vegetable pickers can continue to work in the UK post Brexit, ministers have been warned. The farming industry and MPs have called for clarity on the rules that will apply to seasonal migrants after March 2019. An estimated 80,000 seasonal pickers came to work in the UK last year and the industry expects that figure to rise to around 95,000 by 2019.

Tory MP Kirstene Hair, during a Commons debate, called for the introduction of a seasonal visa scheme as a matter of urgency, warning ministers that the industry could spiral into “turmoil”.

In certain places, reliance on EU workers is spread more equally across sectors. In Cambridge, EU migrants account for more than 15 per cent of workers in four sectors: hospitality (22 per cent), finance (19 per cent), admin and support activities (17 per cent) and professional services (16 per cent). Similarly in London, three sectors — hospitality (20 per cent), admin and support activities (16 per cent) and construction (16 per cent) — rely heavily on the EU workforce.  These factors illustrate the inadequacy of a sectoral-focused approach to addressing the EU labour shortages that places could face post-Brexit.

3. EU migrants do not only work in low-skilled industries

It is not just predominantly low-skilled industries like farming that rely on EU workers. In London and Cambridge, one every ten workers in professional services come from the rest of the European Union and these tend to be high-skilled jobs. And this means that the new migration system after Brexit should recognize the economic importance of both high-skilled and low-skilled migrants.

It’s great that the Government has recognised the impact that immigration restrictions will have on fruit picking and has moved to address this. But the much bigger challenge is for businesses in UK cities.

Having acknowledged the role that migrants play, it needs to move to mitigate the impact of restrictions on economies of our cities too. Our report offers ideas on how to do this – from extending Freedom of Movement for the next two years at least, to removing current caps on both high-skilled and low-skilled workers. These factors need to be key considerations for the Government in its upcoming white paper on post-Brexit immigration.



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