NHS England has defended a rise in A&E waiting times, citing the "perfect storm" of widespread flu and norovirus infections alongside severe weather conditions. Waiting time performance in A&E departments hit a 14 year low last week, with just 85 per cent of patients being admitted, treated or discharged within four hours. The previous worst figure was recorded in December - 85.1 per cent - the same as the previous all time low set in January 2017. A&E waiting times have been recorded since 2004. A spokesman for NHS England said: "Staff have faced a perfect storm of appalling weather, persistently high hospital admissions due to flu, and a spike in norovirus. "Despite these challenging conditions, the NHS treated more A&E patients within four hours this winter than the previous year." But the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is calling on patients to write to their local MP to demand action to address the "serious challenges" … [Read more...] about Beast from the East and flu ‘to blame for A&E waiting time crisis’
Cameroonian authorities on Thursday rejected a report by a human rights group which said at least 100 people were killed by government forces during last weekend's protests. Initial reports stated 17 people had been killed. Didier Badjeck, Cameroon's army spokesman, also disputed figures released by Amnesty International which put the death toll at 17. Badjeck said they recorded 10 deaths. "A lot of countries in Africa have decided to use heavy handedness to squash opposition," Christian Ani, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa, told DW. "This is the challenge of lack of foresight within government." Violent protests broke out in Cameroon's Anglophone regions following a symbolic declaration of independence from the rest of the country. President Paul Biya has completely ruled out independence, he also strongly opposes the return to a federal structure, which existed in Cameroon from the time it gained independence in 1961 until 1984, when Biya abolished the … [Read more...] about AU silent over Cameroon separatist crisis
Abdul Armin has witnessed Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh for over 40 years - but never before has he seen so many flee as in the past month. Armin owns a hardware store in Cox's Bazar, a district in the deep south of Bangladesh close to the Myanmar border with a population of over 2 million people. Since August 25, about 430,000 Rohingya Muslims, most of them women and children, have fled to Bangladesh to escape the brutal violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Almost all of them came to Cox's Bazar. The local Bangladeshis are trying to be hospitable, but the impact of the enormous influx is weighing heavily on daily life. Locals have serious concerns over how all these extra people will impact their future. "It seems like they all came here. I doubt if there's any Rohingya left in Rakhine," Armin told DW. Proud yet overwhelmed Many citizens of Cox's Bazar believe their government made the right decision when it allowed the Rohingya to enter the country. Armin is 48 years … [Read more...] about Rohingya crisis: overpopulated Bangladesh bearing the burden
"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible," British author George Orwell wrote in his now-famous essay, "Politics and the English Language" from 1946. "Thus," he pointedly observed, "political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness." Whether the hard-working people in Wolfsburg have ever read Orwell is anyone's guess. But reading Volkswagen's quarterly earnings report released on Wednesday, it's hard not to picture the, admittedly, notoriously cantankerous man cringing in his grave. Volkswagen's U-turn Just a few weeks ago, the car group's newly appointed CEO Matthias Müller spoke powerfully of an "emissions scandal," of a "crisis," of "problems." It was a welcome break from his predecessor, Martin Winterkorn, who used words like "irregularities" as he refused to admit any shortcomings. But when it came time to share the dour news that the carmaker had incurred its first … [Read more...] about Opinion: Renaming crisis won’t save VW
DW: You visited eastern Aleppo a few times to help the injured. Last time you were there in July together with other physicians, you estimated the number of doctors at no more than 30 for 300,000 residents. How could you work in these conditions? Zaher Sahloul: When I left the condition was terrible [...] that was before the siege. I visited seven hospitals, all of them had been attacked several times before. We worked at an underground hospital for protection because it was bombed many times. We're talking about the part of the city that is bombed on a daily basis with barrel bombs and air strikes. What the Syrian regime is doing is called double tap: they throw the first barrel bomb and when paramedics come to the house or to the rubble to help the victims they throw the second one. People don't have any place to go; they are trapped. And these are the 300,000 people left from 1.5 million living there before the crisis. Of these 300,000 people, 100,000 are children, according to the … [Read more...] about Assad ‘has to get out’ of Syria amid growing humanitarian crisis
The warning sounded by Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas in an exclusive interview with DW comes amid struggling attempts to resume regular migrant deportations to Turkey, regulating an on-again-off-again deal hamstrung by administrative snafus and bureaucratic delays. "It took the EU about a year get to this agreement... so, a Brexit now," warned the chain-smoking minister responsible for coordinating Greece's response to the refugee crisis, "would mark a serious setback that would undermine Europe's collective handling of the crisis while allowing some states to instead act independently, choosing to deal with the migration problem, or not at all." Complicating matters, Europe's funding capabilities would also be seriously challenged by a Brexit, the minister cautioned. He said billions of euros would be divested, potentially dismantling the plan which European leaders stitched together in mid-March after a cascade of border closures that rippled from Austria to Macedonia, … [Read more...] about Brexit ‘a serious setback’ for handling migrant crisis, Greek minister says
The annual list, released on Monday, features 100 women from 29 different countries. Among them are influential females from across the fields of politics, business, technology and philanthropy, including 12 world leaders, 32 CEOs, and 11 billionaires - nine of whom founded their own billion-dollar companies. The list, which was first released in 2004, is compiled by American business magazine Forbes and ranks the women by "money, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact." The youngest woman to feature this year was 41-year-old Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, in fifty-fifth position, while the oldest was British Monarch Queen Elizabeth II who ranked at twenty-ninth. The average age was 57. Topping the list for the sixth consecutive time was Angela Merkel. In total, Forbes has named the German chancellor the most powerful woman 11 times. As support back home in Germany continues to wane, it remains to be seen how many years Merkel will continue to hold the title. According to a … [Read more...] about Merkel tops Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list for eleventh time
Trump said on Thursday that the national emergency would fight the abuse of opioids such as Percocet, OxyContin, heroin and fentanyl. "This epidemic is a national health emergency," Trump said in a speech at the White House. He said the crisis had spared no segment of American society. "As Americans we cannot allow this to continue." The declaration lasts for 90 days and can be renewed repeatedly. Trump said he was directing his acting health and human services secretary to oversee the process. The declaration further allows the Department of Labor to provide grants to opioid addicts to break the "cycle of addiction and unemployment." Increased access to telemedicine treatment for people in rural areas will also be provided. Read more - US opioid crisis leaves heroin users out in the cold Federal funding won't increase The declaration does not allocate any increased federal funding, however. White House officials said they would push Congress at its … [Read more...] about US opioid crisis: Donald Trump outlines plans to tackle health emergency
Despite US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen saying last month that another financial crisis on the scale of the crash that enveloped the world in 2007/8 was unlikely "in our lifetimes," several respected stock market commentators believe a new disaster could happen within months rather than years. Jim Rogers, co-founder of the privately owned Quantum group of hedge funds, told the news website Business Insider in June that a stock market crash would happen "later this year or next." In a separate interview with the business channel CNBC, longtime Swiss investor Marc Faber, who has been nicknamed Dr Doom, predicted some stockholders would "lose 50 percent of their assets" during what he described as an "avalanche" of selling. Trouble delayed Both investors have accused policymakers of kicking the can down the road by not addressing structural weaknesses in the global economy following the last financial crisis. The Great Recession, as it became known, was triggered by … [Read more...] about 10 years on, what might cause the next financial crisis?
DW: You've just written a new book, entitled "Can we avoid another financial crisis?" So, what's the verdict? Can we? Steve Keen: The answer is: Yes and no. It's "yes" for some countries which have recently already had one — the "walking dead of debt," I like to call them. They'll avoid another crisis, at least in the near-term, if they avoid excessively reinflating their debt bubbles, but also avoid deflating their money supply by paying down too much debt too fast. And it's "no" for those countries which managed to avoid a severe downturn after 2008 by continued massive private-sector borrowing, thereby overexpanding their private debt mountains. They're the zombies-to-be. At some point, their net credit creation will see a sudden swing from a large positive to a large negative amount, and they'll have financial crises as a direct result. Fresh credit is an essential part of demand. When a country's net credit creation goes negative, i.e. when its private and … [Read more...] about Can we avoid another financial crisis?