Month: July 2019

Taking a further step towards a softer Brexit Kei

first_imgTaking a further step towards a softer Brexit, Keir Starmer has indicated his backing for the free movement of workers as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The Shadow Brexit Secretary has also repeated his view that an Irish ‘backstop’ is now “inevitable” in any Brexit deal.In an interview with Newsnight on Monday evening, Starmer said: “We’re going to need a backstop. Do we have concerns about the backstop? Yes. Do we accept the backstop is inevitable? Yes. And actually, the focus is on that political declaration and answering the question, ‘what should the future relationship with the EU actually look like?’.”But Jeremy Corbyn, as he told Sky and the BBC last week, has agreed with the Prime Minister that the inability to unilaterally withdraw from the backstop arrangement is unacceptable. Theresa May is currently trying to amend the provision, which keeps the Irish border open in the event no trade deal is struck during the transition period.Starmer went on to express a softer position on the question of free movement, one of the four freedoms in the European single market, which Labour vowed to end in its 2017 manifesto. Asked whether Labour would back the ‘Norway Plus’ model, which offers free movement to EU workers but not citizens, Starmer replied: “That would have to be explored.”He added: “I think most people would agree that if somebody is coming to do a job, and it needs to be done, and it’s been advertised locally beforehand with nobody able to do it, then most people say ‘I would accept that’. Most people say that if this is about family reunification… ‘that’s something I can accept’.“And most people, I think, would say if somebody wants to come here to study, and it’s genuine, then of course please come and study. In fact, let’s celebrate that. I actually think we get stuck on the freedom of movement discussion too early.”Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer tells Newsnight the UK should “explore” allowing qualified free movement of workers from the EU after Brexit[email protected] | #newsnight | @Keir_Starmer— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) February 4, 2019 Tags:Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Free Movement /Keir Starmer /Brexit /Backstop /last_img read more

Panamas Cortizo wins close presidential race calls for national unity

first_img SharePrint WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img Presidential candidate Laurentino Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) waves a flag as he celebrates after Panama’s electoral tribunal declared him as the winner of Sunday’s election with 95 percent of votes counted, in Panama City, Panama May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos JassoPresidential candidate Laurentino Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) waves a flag as he celebrates after Panama’s electoral tribunal declared him as the winner of Sunday’s election with 95 percent of votes counted, in Panama City, Panama May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso U.S.-educated political veteran Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo won Panama’s presidential election in an unprecedented close race on Sunday, with the electoral tribunal declaring a winner after 95 percent of votes had been counted.In his victory speech, Cortizo called for national unity, after winning just a third of the votes with the country clearly divided about its choice in the one-round election.“Panama won today, and today more than ever, Panama needs to join forces,” the former agriculture minister told cheering supporters in the midnight speech at his campaign hotel.During the campaign he vowed to clean up politics after Panama’s image was tarnished by a corruption scandal involving Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht, and the Panama Papers leak of millions of documents detailing tax evasion by the world’s wealthy in the nation famous for its canal.“Panamanians don’t want, or merit, and won’t put up with more of the same,” Cortizo added. “The chaos is over. Public funds belong to the public, and they are sacred.”He takes office on July 1 and will have to balance relations with Washington and Beijing, after outgoing President Juan Carlos Varela rankled the United States by formally establishing diplomatic ties with China, now the second largest canal client.Second-place candidate Romulo Roux lagged just two points behind and was reluctant to concede, saying he had found some irregularities in ballots in some voting areas.Varela congratulated Cortizo in a call broadcast live in an apparent bid to show stability after the tight result.No election in the Central American nation has produced such a narrow result since the 1989 restoration of democracy that followed the U.S. invasion to topple dictator Manuel Noriega.The atmosphere had been tense at the hotel where Cortizo’s supporters gathered for hours to await their candidate, holding his Democratic Revolution Party’s (PRD) red, white and blue flags.They broke into cheers of “Nito, Nito, Nito!” after the electoral tribunal called with the news.Roux, 54, who previously worked at the authority that governs the canal and was foreign minister under jailed former president Ricardo Martinelli, posted on Twitter shots of ballot tallies he said were miscounted, as evidence of irregularities he said could change the result.He said his party needed to see all the tallies from across the country before accepting a result, but stopped short of saying he had won.Opinion polls ahead of the May 5 election had given Cortizo a much wider lead, failing to measure the support for a young anti-establishment party whose candidate, Ricardo Lombardo, garnered almost a fifth of votes.Both Cortizo and Roux represent long-established parties.“In part, it’s been a surprise, but in the end, the Panamanian people have made the right decision,” said Tomas Vega, a PRD candidate for Congress.Cortizo, whose children have U.S. passports and who still flies to Austin each year to watch college football team the Texas Longhorns, says he wants to improve ties with the United States.last_img read more

They want to give rights to robots instead to an unborn child

first_imgThe Leader of the Nationalist Party Adrian Delia said that it’s not right that the government wants to give rights to robots, but not to an unborn child.He said this during a political activity organized by Team Start, involving Sliema youth. In this activity, young people had the opportunity to ask questions to the PN Leader and PN candidates for the European Parliament elections.“Young people do not seem interested in politics”The topics mentioned were immigration, labour and the opportunities the European Union offers young people. When Delia was asked about his impressions of the election campaign, he said that he does not think that the campaign is doing well with young people because they don’t seem interested in politics.He said he arrived to the political activity angry because he had previously watched the video of Greta Thurnberg, a young Swedish girl who had told EU politicians they were not taking care of the environment and dealing with climate change.Delia explained that his generation was prepared because the generations before them had taken care to recover from the stark times of war. But according to him, today’s generations were finding everything messed up.“Let’s not fight over the storeys, but see who might be living underground”With passion, he urged young people to fight injustice, saying, ‘Let’s not fight over the floors, but see who might be living underground.’In addition to environmental issues and social justice, Delia referred to abortion and said, ‘No to destruction, yes to life.’ In contrast, he said it is ironic that today ‘we give robots rights but we take the rights of the unborn child.’Concluding, he said that youngsters should get angry and push for change.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more

We want to be considered professional equals with Periti – MCAST graduates

first_imgOver 60 MCAST Construction Engineering graduates have called for the role of ‘Site Manager’ to be given professionally equal recognition .The group which states itself to made up of graduated or soon-to-be graduated students of the MCAST course, believes that the public perception of their training and expertise is not as reputed as that of the Perit.Thus their skills and experience still lacks recognition in the construction industry compared to those who pursued a career as a Perit.‘Through the years, graduates and alumni have often experienced or are still experiencing a lack of recognition of skills by the wide spectrum of trades in the construction industry. We often get the feeling that even for the general public, if you are not a Perit, you are an inferior grade role while we all know that for the industry to operate, it needs a spectrum of professional roles in charge of different activities and baring varying responsibilities,’ they state.The writers raised their points in relation to the current discussions over the government’s Legal Notice entitled ‘Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations’.‘A manager needs to be on-site for all key decisions’ – construction consultationThe Legal Notice which outlines draft amendments on construction practices also discusses the role of ‘Site Manager.’ They state although the role does not require a breadth of knowledge in architecture but does requires more of a mix of managerial and technical background.However, they state that the role is ‘merely defined as a second in the industry,’ one that holds liability rather than being considered a professional equal, ‘that works hand in hand with the Perit to deliver the project safely and within a mitigated risk environment.’They add that the role of ‘Site Manager’ should instead be considered as a professionalised role with strong structural awareness and site competence.Read more:Updated (1): ‘Public safety is paramount’ – KTPKA hopes draft regulations aren’t superficial attempt to show public that government is taking actionHasty consultation eliminates need to check foundations of buildings‘We feel that it cannot be treated or associated to a skilled tradesperson but a true professional which is highly skilled in understanding structural designs, structural risks on site, subsoil investigations, site logistics and management, excavation practices, problem solving, concrete and masonry works, third party liabilities and many other activities which are required on a normal site,’ they state.Concluding, the 66 MCAST graduates say that they, ‘demand that our skills are truly recognised through a state warrant which thoroughly requires high qualifications and competence, regulated through a review board to grant the status of a professional in line to fulfil the site manager role.’WhatsApp <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more