What is the Pacific Islands Forum? Of all the meetings on the world’s crowded diplomatic calendar, this is the one where the colourful shirts are most appropriate. The Pacific Islands Forum is a regional intergovernmental organisation, and is held every year between the leaders of 18 countries from across the Pacific. The smallest member country is Niue, population 1,600, and the largest is Australia at more than 25 million people. Established in 1971 “to work in support of member governments, to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of the people of the South Pacific”, the PIF also attracts observers, such as the UN and World Bank, and dialogue partners, including China, India, the US and UK. The PIF gives Pacific island countries a united voice on the global stage, and a greater say in advocating for their own futures. The theme for the Nauru meeting is “Building a strong pacific: our people, our islands, our will”. And the Pacific Islands Forum is … [Read more...] about Pacific Islands Forum: what is it and why have some media been banned?
Why is population growth important
It’s odd. The UK government is staggering on from knife-edge vote to knife-edge vote in the House of Commons. Companies are warning of cutting investment in the UK and are starting to plan for a no-deal Brexit. Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin are gleefully welcoming bankers from the City, while sterling is at its lowest against the dollar this year. However, the economy continues to grow. As we learnt this week it has been creating jobs in the past three months at an annual rate of more than half a million a year. Employment as a proportion of the population is the highest since records began and unemployment is at its lowest since May 1975. And all this is two years on from the Brexit vote, taken after the treasury warning that a vote for Leave would, in two years, lead to an increase of between 500,000 and 800,000 being unemployed. That report noted that both the Bank of England and International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the vote might lead to a … [Read more...] about ‘Why is the UK economy doing so well given the current political instability? ‘
It is every parents’ worse nightmare. Each year, sepsis claims tens of thousands of lives, with tiny, defenceless newborns among those most at risk. And cases of the life-threatening condition are rising, with fears that one day the infection may become untreatable. Last week, Coronation Street viewers were brought to tears by scenes which showed the moment seven-year-old Jack Webster learned the devastating news that his foot had been amputated. Surgeons were forced to remove his foot and part of his leg after the school boy contracted sepsis from a tumble while playing football. In recent months, there have been dozens of harrowing and heartbreaking tales in the media of families who have lost loved ones to the condition. But why are cases of sepsis increasing? Dr Ron Daniels BEM is chief executive officer of charity UK Sepsis Trust. He says that there are several factors behind the rise, such as an aging population, advances in treating premature babies, and antibiotic … [Read more...] about Every parents’ nightmare: Why is sepsis on the increase, and what can be done?
Britain’s ability to tackle climate change hangs in the balance. Tonight MPs vote on whether to expand Heathrow Airport, in a moment which will determine the government’s ability to hit climate targets for decades to come. From an environmental campaigner’s point of view, this is potentially one of the most important votes that will go through the House of Commons this year. We know that any airport expansion will put a wrecking ball through the government’s CO2 emissions targets – without this expansion we are already expected to miss the target by at least 25 per cent. It will also drastically increase air pollution in one of the most polluted cities in Europe, threatening the health of the residents of west London. A vote in favour of expansion today will be willingly waving the white flag to catastrophic climate change. Without question, expansion would be an incredible betrayal of future generations. Yet despite the environmental risks of … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight Why is climate change always the last reason to stop the runway at Heathrow?
It is being heralded as the start of a new era, as waste and recycling operations across the district are now being carried out from North Kesteven District Council’s new depot. The authority has invested almost £4m in the new facility to ensure the service can carry on efficiently as more homes are built in the years to come. Each year, the council collects around 3.4 million general waste, recycling and garden waste bins and this is set to increase. The new state-of-the-art depot has a built-in rainwater harvesting system to cut down on water use for cleaning the fleet of vehicles and has a modern, fully kitted servicing bay. Based on Scoley Court, off Moorland Trading Estate in Metheringham, the road has been named in recognition of the family who had lived in the village since before the Second World War and saw their land used as airfields. Zena Scoley was the first ever female chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, honoured with an MBE and made Deputy Lord … [Read more...] about North Kesteven opens new council depot and business units to cope with population growth and create jobs