A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) official has told MPs that a highly-critical UN report on poverty in the UK was “factually correct” and “made a lot of good points”, despite ministers repeatedly attacking its accuracy.Donna Ward, DWP’s policy director for children, families and disadvantage, told the work and pensions select committee yesterday (Wednesday) that the report by Professor Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, made “really good points” on issues such as austerity and cuts to local government spending.Ministers have consistently dismissed Alston’s report, with minister for disabled people Sarah Newton, who has since resigned, claiming last November – following the publication of his preliminary report – that he had made “factual errors”.And in May, after Alston published his final report, DWP described it as “a barely believable documentation of Britain, based on a tiny period of time spent here” that “paints a completely inaccurate picture of our approach to tackling poverty”.Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, reportedly claimed that Alston had not carried out enough research and apparently threatened to lodge a formal complaint with the UN.But Ward (pictured) has now told MPs on the committee – during an evidence session on the impact of universal credit – that DWP has carried out a “fact check” on the report and has concluded that Alston “made a lot of good points” and that his report was “factually correct”.She said: “I think where the secretary of state took issue with it and where I as a civil servant can’t be involved was the political interpretation of a lot of what’s happened.“But in terms of the facts, in terms of austerity, and cuts to local government funding, in terms of the reliance that we have on the labour market and the risk that we have if there was a recession, all of those things were really good points that we have taken on board, we should take on board.”SNP’s Chris Stephens said Ward’s comments were “quite revealing” because the rapporteur’s report was “very often pooh-poohed” by ministers and some Tory backbenchers.Will Quince, the junior minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said he took such reports “incredibly seriously”.He said: “I’m not going to say I don’t regret the quite inflammatory language and in some cases quite overtly political tone of the report but there are areas in there that of course I recognise and I know that we need to do a considerable amount of work on and any report of that nature is always going to highlight areas.”Alston said in his preliminary and final reports that government policies such as cuts to public spending and “highly regressive” changes to taxes and benefits suggested that the UK government had breached the “principle of non-discrimination enshrined in international law”.He also said that figures from the Social Metrics Commission showed that 14 million people, a fifth of the population, were living in poverty and nearly half of them were from families in which someone was disabled.And he said that many disabled people’s families had been “driven to breaking point” by cuts to social care.last_img read more

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SAINTS are calling on all fans to Wear Their Colou

first_imgSAINTS are calling on all fans to Wear Their Colours With Pride as we continue our Wembley march.Royce Simmons’ men take on Wigan Warriors on Saturday August 6 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington (4.30pm) with a place in the final on Saturday August 27 at stake.To celebrate, Saints have reduced the price of replica shirts so we can turn the Halliwell Jones Stadium into sea of Red and White.You can buy two shirts for just £40 or for £24.99 each to show your colours for the Saints and a whole host of training wear has also been reduced too including jackets, tracksuits and fleeces.The shop is also stocking scarves, flags, face paints and everything else you need for that semi-final experience.You can buy at the club store in the Brownlow Arcade in St Helens Town Centre or by logging on to www.saintssuperstore.comAt the store you will also be able to drop off your ‘What If’ form too.Downloadable below, and available from the club shop, it allows Season Ticket Holders to choose your ticket in the event Saints progress to the Carnegie Challenge Cup.On qualification for the final your tickets will be automatically processed and sent to you.All completed applications must be received prior to 12 noon on Friday August 5 2011 and please note we cannot accept fax or email applications.last_img read more

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Update Pakistani forces comb hotel a day after raid kills at least

first_img SharePrint WhatsApp Pakistani security forces searched a luxury hotel in the port city of Gwadar on Sunday a day after separatist insurgents stormed in, killing at least five people, in what the militants said was a strike against Chinese and other foreign investors.Officials said at least four gunmen raided the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, but police on Sunday declined to say if any of the attackers had been captured or killed.Senior police official Rao Munir Ahmed Zia told Reuters three of the hotel’s four floors had been cleared and security forces were searching the top floor some 20 hours after the attack began.Intermittent firing could still be heard from the hotel on Sunday afternoon, Gwadar resident Abdur Rahim Baloch told Reuters.The Balochistan Liberation Army insurgent group, which says it is fighting what it sees as the unfair exploitation of the province’s natural resources, claimed responsibility saying in a statement the attack was aimed at “Chinese and other foreign investors”.The gunmen were dressed in army uniforms, officials said.At least three security guards and two hotel personnel were killed and four wounded as the attackers battled members of the security forces on Saturday evening. Soldiers cornered the attackers in a staircase leading to the top floor, the military said.Balochistan, which borders both Iran and Afghanistan, is Pakistan’s poorest province but has abundant reserves of natural gas and various mineralsSeparatists have for decades been fighting the central government, bombing gas and transport infrastructure and raiding security posts. Islamist militants from various factions also operate in the province.Gwadar is a strategic port on the Arabian Sea that is being developed as part of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.The separatists have denounced the development plans and vowed to block them while Pakistan has promised China it would protect its investments and Chinese workers.The Pearl Continental Hotel, on a hillside near the port, is used by foreign guests, including Chinese project staff, but there were none in the building at the time of the attack, officials said.Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement condemning the attack.“Such attempts, especially in Balochistan are an effort to sabotage our economic projects and prosperity,” he said.Security across most of Pakistan has improved over recent years following a major crackdown after the country’s worst attack, when 148 people, most of them children, were killed in an assault on a school in the western city of Peshawar in 2014.But Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province, remains an exception and there have been several attacks this year, with at least 14 people killed last month in an attack on buses travelling between the southern city of Karachi and Gwadar.center_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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