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Category Archives: Abolition Of Work

Lakhanpur toll abolition set to boost construction work – The Tribune

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 10:23 am

Tribune News Service

Amit Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 14

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is likely to witness a boost in construction activities, as the abolition of toll on goods at Lakhanpur has cut down the prices of cement and steel.

Abolition of toll from Lakhanpur has reduced the prices of all commodities, which were being imported from the other states to Jammu and Kashmir.

But the cement and steel were the main commodities, which would directly affect the pockets of people, especially construction agencies, who were earlier buying it on higher prices.

The price of steel has been slashed by Rs100 per quintal, whereas the price of cement has been slashed by Rs60-65 per bag of 50 kg.

The abolition of toll from Lakhanpur was due since 2017, when GST was implemented in J&K. This has reduced the price of all commodities by minimum Rs1 per kg. But the visible slash is in the prices of steel and cement as the customer always buys it in quintals, said Neeraj Anand, president, Chamber of Traders Federation (CTF).

This abolition of toll has not only slashed the prices of commodities, but it will also boost infrastructural development in the UT and increase the GST revenue of the administration. There was a mafia, which used to evade toll and the entire GST and toll went to the black market. Now, they wont have to evade toll and GST will also add to the revenue of the UT, he said.

Dealers, who used to bring products from outside J&K and sell it here, are also happy, as the abolition of toll not only reduces the prices of commodities, but also saves time as their products get delayed by 2-10 days at Lakhanpur for checking.

It is the biggest sigh of relief for traders of J&K, as it not only saves money, but also saves our time. Sometimes vehicles carrying our products get stuck at Lakhanpur for almost a week, which sometimes damages the products as well, said Ankush Khajuria, a local trader.

The abolition of toll has also reduced the prices of fruits, pulses, rice, spices, cloth, marble and hardware items among others more, which were being imported from other parts of the country.

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has abolished the toll on goods at Lakhnpur from January 1, 2020.

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Are the Tories about to abolish A&E targets? – The Guardian

Posted: at 10:23 am

What is the four-hour target?

In 2004 the Labour government required hospitals in England to treat and then discharge, admit or transfer 98% of all patients within four hours of their arrival at an A&E unit. The coalition government cut that to 95% in 2010.

2004 was the first time the NHS had ever come under such a target. Before that patients could, and in some cases did, spend many hours sometimes days waiting for emergency care.

It forced hospitals to prioritise the care provided at their emergency departments and ensure that as few people as possible waited beyond four hours. Publication of each NHS trusts performance figures every month meant none wanted to be named and shamed for missing the target.

As a result, A&Es have got more staff and more resources, reflecting their central importance in hospitals. The four-hour standard is the best-known of the NHSs batch of waiting-time targets. Others cover planned treatment in hospital, cancer care and some forms of mental health treatment.

A&E doctors were initially sceptical or opposed to the target. Some still complain that its existence gives people an incentive to go to A&E because its the one place in the NHS where the lights are always on instead of waiting days or even weeks to see a GP, and this has contributed to emergency departments becoming increasingly overwhelmed in recent years.

A supposed maximum wait of four hours has encouraged some people to use A&E as an anything and everything service, for often minor ailments, rather than just accidents and emergencies, they say. However, A&E specialists accept that it has improved care by ensuring that as far as possible patients with potentially serious illnesses are seen fairly quickly.

NHS England has been looking into replacing the four-hour wait since 2018. It claims that a more clinically appropriate way of measuring A&E performance may well be needed.

As Matt Hancock said on Wednesday: We will be judged by the right targets. Targets have to be clinically appropriate.

But many doctors and NHS experts believe the target may be scrapped simply because of the bad headlines that the increasing inability to deliver it generates every month when the latest performance figures appear.

Last month, for example, some trusts dealt with less than 50% of patients within four hours. Overall, hospital A&Es managed to deal with just 68.6% against the 95% target, which has been missed every month since July 2015.

Because it has succeeded in its original aim, of ensuring that no one has to wait an unreasonably long time which could damage their health. It has played a crucial part in driving improvements in waiting times for patients, said Prof Donal ODonoghue of the Royal College of Physicians.

Also, the public appear to like the fact that they can access urgent and emergency care quickly. If the target disappears there may be a backlash.

Making less sick patients wait longer than four hours while more serious cases get priority which would happen if NHS England did replace the target wait could involve risk, as some of those may also have a more serious condition, such as a heart problem.

NHS Englands review group under Prof Stephen Powis, which is looking at waiting times, is continuing its work. Its recommendations will be influenced by the evidence from the 14 NHS trusts that are trialling an alternative to the four-hour guarantee.

The strong opposition from senior doctors may makes wholesale abolition of the four-hour target harder to do, given that both NHS leaders and Hancock have said that any alternative has to have the support of clinicians.

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The solution to the royal crisis isn’t reform of the monarchy it’s abolition – The National

Posted: at 10:23 am

THERE is a simple solution to the current controversy regarding the Royal Family, it isn't reform but abolition.This archaic institution shouldhave no place in any modern democratic nation but of course we're talking about the UK, which is anything but modern or democratic.

Fortunatelythe people of Scotland will have a chance to build our own independent nation, one that treats everyone equally and doesn't reserve power and money to an individualfamily.Hopefully the rise of an independent Scotland will coincide with the abolition of the monarchy.

Cllr Kenny MacLarenPaisley

AS I am totally bemused by the medias weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth over Harry and Meghans decision to leave the royal show and allegedly seek work, I checked the front pages of the London press just to get myself au fait with the whole situation.

I was profoundly shocked to see the hapless couple receive a sound spanking, with one editor of a popular tabloid apparently so incensed that the headline lapsed into a form of pidgin English which lost me.

READ MORE:Meghxit has burst the bubble of royal illusion

The Daily Star, which in my opinion is on a par with VIZ only less funny gave us the nuanced, thought-provoking; Naff Orf Harry!

However, I was deeply troubled by one headline which described the Royal Shows matriarch, known as Liz, as furious. Not good in a nonagenarian.

My reading concluded, I was left in no doubt that this whole business, which in my circle is the sole topic of conversation at the moment, is a CRISIS, possibly the biggest since Prince Charles was made to pay tax on the profits from his nice little earner The Duchy of Cornwall.

And so to bed, although I know I wont sleep a wink due to worry and a foreboding that this latest royal soap opera will run for some time.

Malcolm CordellBroughty Ferry, Dundee

ITsurprised me to find out that Megan was the countess of Dumbarton. Last time I was there it seemed there were more off-licences than open shops and now no doubt more food banks.

It was obviously a place that had served its purpose and been dumped and forgotten about, the people given no opportunities, no hope. It was seriously heartbreaking to see the young kids on the street corners with obvious injecting drug issues, like in so many of our communities: our kids, our country's future, wasted by an environment and ideologyof neglect.

You could see the community had no hope, no future and have been forgotten about.Meghan's title may be dropped. It seems it too has served its purpose and so is to be dumped and forgotten about, just like the town itself.

Crsdean Mac FhearghaisDn ideann

READ MORE:What Harry and Meghans news tells us about modern Britain

I WAS amused at the correspondence regarding the correct use of titles egthe Earl and Countess of Dumbarton. It is about time this silly nonsense was abolished. I would suggest that, in this age of unusual first names, parents could give their child names such as Duke, Countess, Marquis etc but also give the second name "of". Once the child reached adulthood, he/she could change their surname by deed poll to a town or village of their choice. If this procedure was widely adopted, eventually all places in Scotland would be covered, eg Duke of Pumpherston.

Perhaps other readers could suggest more exotic examples. The National may even wish to organise an annual competition to find the best suggestion.

N M ShawEdinburgh

THE Windsor crisis has a new weathervane by which one can figure out what is happening or likely to happen, namely, the dogs! It seems the media has sussedout that the dogs belonging to Harry and Meghan remained in Canada after their Christmas break.

This has caused apoplexy among ceryain paparazzi and no doubt the royalist fan club as it is a sign that Harry and Meghan will with all certainty be going to Canada to stay.

Amid the serious issues facing Europe(and the UK remains part of the European continent after Brexit)and beyond, the minor spat in the Windsor household is becoming a sideshow of increasingly comic proportions. The Windsor-watchers will be scanning the horizon to see if the dogs return, and no doubt a special BBC correspondent will now be appointed as the corporations overall royal canine consultant to pinpoint the whereabouts of the royal canines and interpret any changes in location.

READ MORE:The media obsession with Meghan Markle is yet another distraction

Harry and Meghan have blown apart the mystique behind the duty and duties of the royal family, which neither complains nor explains. This self-imposed duty has become the modern, secular equivalent of the mediaeval "royal touch"which was believed to be a cure for ailments and sickness.

As crisis meetings are being held at Sandringham to try to resolve the situation, it is really too late to save the day. The symbolism of the decision of Harry and Meghan to announce they are stepping back from the "show"is overwhelming. The rotational treadmill of duties to perform and managing press releases to keep sections of the populace informed of your "importance"and to maintain the mystiquemust take its toll on ones sanity. The downside is that the press is constantly littered with supposed comments from friends and insiders and courtiers about internal feuds bordering on character mutual assassination, as we can see who is now made out to be the "baddy"in this present spat.

There are major issues affecting the future of the nations of the UK at present. Let us keep the monarchical crisis in perspective.

It does not affect ones daily life and personal wellbeing if there are fewer royals cut ribbons or have their name on brass plates or even have to wonder about the location of the dogs! Who left the dogs behind in Canada and what does it mean?

John EdgarKilmaurs

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Fr. Abolition of the post of Jay Fostner from St. Norbert College, organizational changes cited – Techno EA

Posted: at 10:22 am


DE PERE, Wisconsin (WFRV) Br. Jay Fostners position at St. Norbert College has been cut, according to a letter sent to staff and faculty by President Brian Bruess.

In the letter, Bruess cites an organizational update as the reason for eliminating p. Jays role as vice president for mission and student affairs. He has held this position for the past nine years.

I would like to recognize the father. Jay for his 21 years of college service, said Bruess in the letter. Under his leadership, the College noted many improvements by integrating the mission into our facilities thanks to art, spaces for reflection and expressions of Norbertine heritage; improvements to the Center for Norbertine Studies, the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice and Public Understanding and the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning; re-articulations of our mission statement; integration of mission and heritage into the Colleges hiring practices; the growth of many student affairs departments; and dramatic improvements to our residences.


Bruess explains that an essential part of our planning efforts is the work of aligning our organizational structure with our objectives and strategies, work that has been underway for over a year.

The college will soon begin to look for a vice-president of student affairs / dean of student engagement.

This new position would include monitoring student affairs, student retention, equity and inclusion.


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What to See Right Now in New York Art Galleries – The New York Times

Posted: at 10:22 am

Nicky Nodjoumi

Through Jan. 19. Helena Anrather, 28 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan; 212-587-9674,

In 1974, the Iranian-American artist Nicky Nodjoumi took his City College M.F.A. back to Tehran, where his politically charged painting quickly antagonized first the Shahs secret police and then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeinis Revolutionary Guards. In 1981, he was given a major show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, but it was closed after a single day, and he hurried back to New York, which has been his home ever since.

For a few years in the late 90s, Mr. Nodjoumi made a daily practice of painting or drawing on a shellacked front page of The New York Times. He made portraits of his family; Picasso-like figures with latticework faces; explicit sexual scenes that are both funny and tender; and clearly political but nonspecific images, like a dense black silhouette of a man playing with a bloody-red cats cradle.

One appeal of a serial project like this, over and above the often wonderful drawing, is how it seems to encompass the endless days and scenes of the world at large even as it reduces them to a comprehensible number. I can count 60 spreads in Mr. Nodjoumis current show, New York Times Sketchbooks (1996-1999), at Helena Anrather; note that these include one Metro section cover and one interior spread painted early on, before he committed to front pages, as well as one flower for the day Princess Diana died; and feel as if Ive really gotten to grips with something. Still more appealing, though, is the sense of fleet-footed possibility that the work transmits when hung en masse: If todays nefarious silhouette can turn into tomorrows couple in flagrante or the next days bear on stilts, anything might be around the corner for all of us.


Through Jan. 25. Nahmad Contemporary, 980 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, 646 449 9118,

The last five months have brought two solo shows of early work by the restless German painter Albert Oehlen that were previously unseen in New York. In September, 12 paintings from the artists 1989-90 Fn (Footnote) series went on view at Skarstedt, full of improvisatory abstract brushwork in off-key colors infiltrated by fragments of images from popular culture. These sardonic mash-ups of Pop Art, Surrealism and Neo-Expressionism exemplify the ugly gorgeousness that is something of an Oehlen signature.

Now Nahmad is showing 13 canvases from Mr. Oehlens Spiegelbilder or Mirror Paintings series, which began in 1982, around the time of the artists solo shows, and extended to 1990. They are dark, dour, loosely painted interiors, consistent with his early interest in representation. Some, with titles like Abolition of a Military Dictatorship, Oven I, and Hell, I or featuring depictions of bunkerlike cinder block structures conjure the Nazi period. But all the scenes whether the grand but decrepit spiral stair in Staircase Old, or the untitled image of a slovenly library devoid of furniture suggest messy aftermaths. Of course Mr. Oehlens impatient brushwork contributes to the desultory mood. Countering it are a few random mirrors affixed to the surface of each canvas. These irreverently disrupt the painted images with blank patches or glimpses of reality, depending upon where you stand, at once punching holes in the mediums spatial integrity and also implicating us in historys devastations. Ugliness has the louder voice in these works, flanked by tragedy on one side and on the other by the engaging intentional lightness of Mr. Oehlens pictorial sensibility.


Through Jan. 25. Denny Dimin Gallery, 39 Lispenard Street, Manhattan; 212-226-6537,

Since the late 1990s, Clarity Haynes has been painting portraits of peoples breasts. They arent descended from the sexy and sexist classical nudes of art history, nor do they have the fleshy weight of the paintings of more contemporary artists like Lucian Freud or Jenny Saville. Instead, in The Breast Portrait Project, Ms. Haynes who works from life over a series of sessions with her sitters that can take years depicts the torsos of women, trans, and gender-nonconforming people in remarkable, caring detail. She relishes the tattoos, wrinkles, scars, veins and folds that our dominant society may deem unsightly.

In her current show, Altar-ed Bodies, which was curated by Benjamin Tischer, co-founder of the recently closed Invisible-Exports gallery, several of Ms. Hayness breast portraits share space with new paintings of her own altars, which the news release calls self-portraits of sorts. The altar pieces lack something of the same magnetic force of their counterparts, but the combination of the series is fruitful. In Genesis (2009), the pioneering body artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge wears a necklace whose charms echo the hanging pendants and small totems in Rainbow Altar (Spring into Summer), from 2019, while one of her tattoos mirrors the placement of a dangling pink ribbon. Such parallels charge us to treat bodies as sacred, like altars. Rather than sources of worry or shame, they should be sites of empowerment and worship.


Through Jan. 25 at Tina Kim Gallery, 525 West 21st Street, Manhattan, 212-716-1100,

We are playing historical catch-up at the moment, driven partly by the art markets incessant quest for fresh products, but also by a widespread desire to create a more global narrative of art in the 20th century. A good candidate for this is Kim Tschang-Yeul, a Korean-born artist who, along with Park Seo Bo and Lee Ufan, helped introduce Western modernism to Korea and whose terrific paintings from the 1960s and 70s are currently on view in the exhibition New York to Paris at Tina Kim.

Mr. Kim studied art in South Korea and was part of the Korean Informel, a movement that originated in France and favored vigorous, expressive abstraction. Living in Paris and New York, however, Mr. Kim produced work that evolved into what you see here: a radiant, abstract brand of Pop Art, with concentric forms rendered in an unusual mix of acrylic and cellulose lacquer on burlap or canvas. Some of the paintings, like the Composition series from 1969 and 1970, have centers that look almost photo-realistic. This propensity was pushed even further in canvases from the mid-70s and one here, from 1980, which have naturalistic droplets of water painted against a monochromatic ground that look so real they might seep off the canvas.

My favorites are the Compositions, though, which look like psychedelic vortexes rimmed with neon or spectral rainbows. They feel very contemporary, partly because were in a moment of historical remix and revival that benefits lesser-known strains of art history: Mr. Kims work looks as if it were painted today, rather than 40 years ago.


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Labour shadow minister backs axeing fees and blasts free market – Times Higher Education (THE)

Posted: at 10:22 am

Labour should continue to support abolishing tuition fees in England, while the free market sector approach of the Conservatives has hammered universities that provide places for local disadvantaged students, according to the partys new shadow higher education minister.

Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, spoke to Times Higher Education after replacing Gordon Marsden, who lost his Blackpool South seat at the general election.

The former Hull primary school teacher and graduate of the universities of Liverpool and Leeds said one of her key priorities would be university funding. The Conservative government is yet to make a formal response to the Augar review, which called for the fee cap to be lowered from 9,250 to 7,500, with the Treasury replacing the lost fee income.

If the cap is lowered, my worry is they [ministers] are going to ask universities themselves to find that additional money, said Ms Hardy, a former member of the Commons Education Committee.

The abolition of tuition fees and the reintroduction of maintenance grants was a signature Labour policy under outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Should that still be the policy under a new leader? Iwould argue that it needs to be, said Ms Hardy. The current system in which the poorest students borrow the largest sums was unfair and that system doesnt work, while the decline in part-time and mature student numbers under higher fees was a huge concern, she argued.

Ms Hardy put Labours proposed National Education Service and its policy to abolish fees in the context of the need to face up to the fourth industrial revolution and offer lifelong education.

She added: Ithink we do need to look at investing in what should be our greatest resource, which is the skills and the talents of the people in this countryWere not a great manufacturing country any more. Look at the industries that are creating the wealth, [for example] the creative industries. How can we get people developed in those areas, give them the skills they need?

Ms Hardy also highlighted the effect of the abolition of student number controls in 2015, which opened up unconstrained competition.

Institutions such as the University of Hull that recruit large numbers of local students have been hammered, and the policy has really reduced their funding, added Ms Hardy, the daughter of teachers who was brought up on Humberside. We cant lose universities like Hull because of the service they offer to their local area.

In abolishing number controls, the Conservatives wanted the most prestigious, and most selective, universities to expand. But the government didnt think about the fact that children from more deprived backgrounds are less likely to move away to go to university, said Ms Hardy.

They are more likely to attend university on their doorstep. You hammer universities like Hull, you are hitting that demographic of students.

She added: Putting the free market into education is something Idont really agree with.

The partys previously announced proposal to replace the practice of using predicted grades to place university candidates which works against poorer students with a post-qualification application system would be so much fairer, Ms Hardy also said. As someone from what Iwould call an average background, Iwas underpredicted on my results right across the boardYour place should be based on the results that you get.

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5 reasons to watch Kholop, the highest grossing comedy in Russian movie history – Russia Beyond

Posted: at 10:22 am

Klim Shipenko/Yellow, Black & White, 2019

Klim Shipenkos movie released for the New Year holidays took 2,317 billion rubles ($38 million) at the Russian box office, outstripping the previous recordholder, James Camerons Avatar. We explain why you need to watch this movie right now.

Grisha, the main character, does not work, spends his fathers money in expensive clubs, and has no respect for people at all. He thinks nothing of insulting a woman or maiming a policeman. After yet another all-night party, he gets into an accident and loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he discovers that his suit, money, and smartphone have mysteriously disappeared, and everyone around insists that its 1860 (one year before the abolition of serfdom in Russia), and that far from being the son of a rich father, Grisha is an ordinary stableboy.

Kholop (Serf)might appear on the surface to be a standard time-travel comedy, but things arent that straightforward. Grisha is in fact an unwilling participant in a psychological experiment, in which he is monitored by numerous cameras. His father hires a team of actors and, together with a crackpot psychologist, turns his hotshot son into an ordinary serf to teach him how to treat people properly, value life, and believe in love. Dont worry, thats not a spoiler, rather the official movie tagline. The truly unexpected plot twists are there to see for yourself.

A haystack instead of a bed, rags instead of a fashionable suit, and leaves instead of toilet paper Grisha has to get used to all this and more.Kholoptells about the hardships of the life of a Russian peasant in all its inglorious glory. Any misdemeanor can result in a whipping, while insolence can lead to a public execution on the main square.

Kholopis a direct commentary on the difficult conditions in which actors work. The film openly states that many ordinary actors (not pampered stars) are forced to work with idiotic scripts with no chance to improvise, and are kept on set for days on end just to deliver a couple of lines. An actor can prepare for a role for months, only to be replaced at the last minute by some upstart with no acting training.

What's more, actors have no privacy at all, and having a fling with a colleague on set is a sackable offense.

If you have an influential father, even if you kill someone youll walk away scot-free. If you want fame, you can just go on a Russian talk show and slander a rich person (less rich than your father, at least) the host wont do anything to silence you. And if human rights are violated, the police wont lift a finger until it turns into a public outcry.

The film is not only about turning a rich kid into a human being, but pokes fun at the environment that made him such a spoiled brat in the first place.

The main character adjusts to his new life as a serf surprisingly quickly. Grisha invokes his right to freedom only at the end of the movie, when his sweetheart is in jeopardy. The rest of the time he suffers humiliation and deceit, and does not even attempt to stand up for his rights.

Ultimately, the films message is that everyone has the right to freedom, whether you are the son of an oligarch or an ordinary worker.

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Ambiga: Release one chapter of IRC report and if govt still standing, why not release the rest? – Malay Mail

Posted: at 10:22 am

Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks during a forum in Kuala Lumpur January 18, 2020. Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 Lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the government should do a pilot project by releasing just one recommendation by the Institutional Reform Committee (IRC), of which the report is still not made public until now.

She said that if the government still does not fall after the partial release, and it should have nothing to worry about and therefore can make public the rest of the document that was in storage since July 2018.

I think they can do a pilot [project], release one set of recommendations [by IRC] and see whether the government falls down the next day. If it does, then okay dont release the report, she said, laughing at a forum titled IRC Report. Why the secrecy? organised by the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) today.

In October last year, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the confidential report by the IRC and its seven recommendations that have been passed to the quasi-official Council of Eminent Persons can only be made public once all Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties agree to it.

Dr Mahathir said he alone does not have the authority to do so despite being prime minister, in reply to lawyer and former IRC member Ambiga during the regional LawAsia Constitutional and Rule of Law Conference 2019.

Ambiga said she does not know the real reason why PH did not want it to be released but she would charitably assume that it is because of public and voters perception towards the already much-criticised administration.

Perhaps one, they dont want the public expectations to be raised and then if they don't deliver, it's a reflection on them. That's a possibility.

The other one is they don't want any negativity and cold water being poured on any of the suggestions. Perhaps, now that's a very charitable way of looking at their reasons for not releasing [the IRC report], she said.

As part of the team, Ambiga said by withholding the report, the government has denied the public and their own supporters the opportunity to be involved in making the country a better place, something that was promised by PH when they rolled out their election manifesto before 2018 election.

But you know what, if it is just the chapters that affect them, that's fine too, but I don't even know who has received this report and my concern is, if we don't know then that means there is duplication of work, because there is reform measures taking place.

So for me, why did we go through that exercise, and you know something, if only they had seen how engaged the public was. Then they will understand how much goodwill of the people they had. People just came and did the work with no payment, no nothing, she said.

The IRC finalised their report in June 2018, with seven recommendations for revamping the structure of judiciary appointments; limiting the concentration of executive power on a single individual; abolition of oppressive legislation, namely the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012; reform in enforcement and government agencies; parliamentary reforms; and vetting processes for key public appointments with the aim of achieving a corruption-free society.

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Ambiga: Release one chapter of IRC report and if govt still standing, why not release the rest? - Malay Mail

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Catholic Church puts seal on abolition of Osu caste in Igboland – Vanguard

Posted: at 10:22 am

Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese,Most Rev Jonas-Benso Okoye, with priests, some members of Ora-Eri town union executive and the Royal Ezenri cabinet members after the thanksgiving Mass

THE Catholic Church in Anambra State has put a final seal on the abolition of the Osu Caste system in Igbo land with a thanksgiving service celebrated at the ancient town of Ora-Eri in Aguata local government area of Anambra State.

EKWEREMADU: We cant achieve Biafra attacking Igbo leaders MASSOB

Recall that the traditional ceremony abolishing the over 500 years old obnoxious system was performed by the Okpala Eri XIII, Anthony Okafor, on 14th September last year during which those hitherto referred to as Osu and the freeborn embraced each other and decided to put the past behind.

At that ceremony, the traditional ruler of Ora-Eri, His Royal Highness, Ezenri Emmanuel Nriagu warned that henceforth, anybody who referred to another person as Osu would be seriously dealt with. To drive home the importance of last years ceremony, the Ora-Eri community last week invited the church to make Christian pronouncement banning the system in the entire Igbo land.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Jonas- Benson Okoye was at the head of the celebration, with five other priests in attendance. Bishop Okoye was particularly happy with Ora-Eri community for collaborating with the church in the abolition of Osu system in the town, explaining that the thanksgiving church service was to conclude the exercise that began last year.

Reverend Monsignor Jerome Madueke, who delivered the homily at the church service, traced the origin of Osu in Igbo land, recalling that some people, out of cheer wickedness, were dedicated to idols for no justifiable reason.

He said: These (Osu) people lived upright life. They were respected because of the idols that owned them. Nowadays, people are busy destroying the physical structures (idols) which were symbols of worship of our forefathers, but still retaining them in their minds and spirit, fearing them and attributing all their woes to them.

But since Jesus came that we may have life and have it in full, everybody is equal before God and all gifts come from God and to be used for the good of others, especially the less privileged.

It is regrettable that we worship God and idols together because of our lack of faith. Our ancestors should be pardoned because they worshiped idols out of ignorance. Let us therefore appreciate that Jesus came and abolished distinction between free born and slaves.

Unless we allow God to come into our minds, in behaviours and relationship with others, the issue of Osu may still linger. I want to observe that in addition to the formal abolition of Osu system, there is still great work to do and I pray that by the grace of God, we can achieve much more.

. He thanked Ora -Eri people for living up to Christs injunctions by taking the bold step to abolish Osu in the community.

The traditional ruler of the town, HRH Ezenri Emmanuel Nriagu commended the Bishop for celebrating the church service and the parish priest Rev Fr Nwakelu Andrew for his unalloyed support during the preparation of the abolition ceremony, as well as the indigenous priests and the entire people of the community for their support. He also affirmed that his cabinet was ready to confer any title on any deserving indigene of the town irrespective of his background.

Eze Nriagu warned that henceforth anybody in his domain who discriminated against others on the basis of Osu caste system would face the full weight of traditional hammer, describing the Osu system as retrogressive. According to him, the people of Ora-Eri were happy to put behind the system that reduced fellow human beings to second class citizens for centuries.

With the ceremony we have performed in this community, those formerly described as Osu will start taking traditional titles and intermarry with others.

Those who were hitherto referred to as Osu in this community have been bestowed with all rights and privileges enjoyed by the freeborn. They are good people and many of them are intelligent and beautiful and everybody stands to gain by putting behind this obnoxious system.

The Royal Father thanked the Bishop for celebrating the church service and assured that his people would never go back to the dark era.

Chief Anthony Okafor, who presided over the abolition ceremony at the community square last year said he had been campaigning for the abolition for several years, expressing joy that his effort had finally paid off.

Okafor said: When I took the title of Okpara in 1990, I took it upon myself that Osu Caste system must be abolished. It was not easy at the beginning.

In the past four years, I chose to be sampling peoples opinion on the matter and it was during that period that I found out that many people in our community also wanted the system abolished, but did not know how to go about it.

We later renewed the campaign and happy enough, the leadership of Ora -Eri Development Union and our traditional ruler were in support.

In his speech, the President General of Ora-Eri Development Union, Mr. Okey Atueyi said the community had taken a bold decision and commended everybody in the area for their support in putting the discriminatory system behind. You can see how happy the people are, he said.

Anambra police confirm stealing of 5-year-old boy during church service

The Parish priest of Ora-Eri, Rev Fr Andrew Nwakelu expressed appreciation to the people of Ora-Eri for participating in the historic church celebration and enjoined them to remain with the new spirit.



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Catholic Church puts seal on abolition of Osu caste in Igboland - Vanguard

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A twist in the Tafida story – Catholic Herald Online

Posted: at 10:22 am

The directors of the Gaslini Childrens Hospital in Genoa last week called a press conference about progress in the condition of one of their patients. Tafida Raqeeb, the British child at the centre of a right-to-life struggle which in October her parents sensationally won, had been removed from intensive care just three months after the High Court in London was told that she had no hope of recovery.

The five-year-old had been so gravely harmed from huge bleeding on the brain last February, the argument went, that only death could be in her best interests even if she emerged from a coma.

Permission was sought to allow the Royal London Hospital to keep Tafida in the UK and to withdraw the ventilation and feeding tubes that were keeping her alive, with the sole purpose of ending her life before her organs were removed for transplantation.

But the case made by the National Health Service was rejected by Mr Justice McDonald, who weighed it against Tafidas right to free movement within the European Union, her religious convictions (she and her family are Muslims) and the sanctity of life itself.

Since transferring to Italy, Tafida has undergone surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and a tracheostomy to make it easier to breathe unaided. She is now being weaned, with success, off her ventilator.

Tafida began 2020 with a move to her own room, which is equipped for physiotherapy and located within a unit where she can also undergo hydrotherapy, leading Shelina Begum, her mother, to declare: Her recovery starts today.

If anyone could see Tafida now, they would be shocked, she told the Daily Mail. There are no tubes in her nose any more, and she is always opening her eyes. She has also come off the catheter. She is in control of her urinary function now.

Miss Begum added: It shows that the medical opinion that was placed before the court in the UK is being proved wrong by Tafida herself.

The pace of Tafidas recovery certainly offers hope and if she continues to make progress it will be difficult to dispute the trenchant analysis of Miss Begum, a 39-year-old solicitor from East London.

Her recovery should also invite hard questions about how and why the NHS got it so spectacularly wrong.

Was it because of factors involving hospital personnel? Or was it more deliberately about policy, such as the protection of limited cash and hospital beds, and the ability of the NHS to keep patients where it wants them and treat them how it sees fit?

Either way, it is time for a change. The NHS was founded on the noble principle that health care should be free at the point of delivery. That should not preclude reforms of an institution which the Conservative politician Nigel Lawson once described as the closest thing the English people have to a religion.

The NHS, after all, has a track record of failures that must be considered alongside its life-saving work. Think of the Alder Hey organs and the Bristol hearts scandals, the Shrewsbury and Morecambe Bay maternity scandals, the Gosport War Memorial Trust Hospital and the Stafford Hospital scandals.

If people want to know about the real culture of the NHS, they might have benefited from hearing of the experiences of about 1,000 families who relayed their stories during the Neuberger review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).

The review led in 2014 to the abolition of the end-of-life protocol and its condemnation as a national disgrace by Norman Lamb, then care services minister. But it was deficient in that it lacked the status of a full public inquiry, meaning that the evidence so many families wished to give was not officially documented.

Furthermore, there are reports that doctors still claim a gift for predicting death and still prescribe the sort of palliative care that ensures their prophecies are self-fulfilling, features which made the LCP so fatally flawed.

Yet there is little accountability, with the threshold for criminal convictions of medics so high that police seldom wish to hear complaints of aggrieved relatives.

NHS complaints processes are hardly neutral in the way they are conducted, and complaints to the Ombudsman can often take years to resolve without the final ruling carrying any statutory force.

Together such factors help to create and encourage the throwaway culture so frequently lamented by Pope Francis.

Add to this the financial imperative, and it is easy to see that what is being disposed of most wrongfully in this context are the lives of the sickest, most elderly and most vulnerable of people, viewed as unworthy consumers of finite resources.

If the NHS is imperilling the lives of the people for whom it was founded to serve, then surely it is not the best health service in the world; it is unfit for purpose. It is reasonable therefore to consider if there might be a better way of doing things.

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A twist in the Tafida story - Catholic Herald Online

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