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Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:41 pm
by Qwertyuiop
New fund to support the settlement of EU citizens in the United Kingdom.

LONDON, United Kingdom

The Home Office has today (2 June) announced grant funding of up to £9 million to support EU citizens who might need additional help when applying for their immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has been working closely with voluntary and community organisations across the UK representing the needs of potentially vulnerable EU citizens. The grant will help these organisations to both inform vulnerable individuals about the need to apply for settled status and support them to complete their applications to protect their status as the UK exits the EU.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: EU citizens are our neighbours, our friends and our family and we want them to stay. It is essential that those who are more vulnerable and require support are able to access the help that they need. This funding and our work with the voluntary and community sector will help ensure that every EU citizen who is eligible to stay has their status protected.

Jane Ide, Chief Executive at National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NVCA), said: It is encouraging that the government has recognised and actively drawn on the local voluntary sector’s expertise in working with the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our communities in planning for this crucially important programme of work.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Home Office to ensure that the local voluntary sector is given all the tools and resources it needs to effectively enable every EU citizen in this country, no matter how vulnerable, to access the support they need at this time of enormous change.

Organisations working with people who might be affected and require additional support can apply for project funding through the end of November 2019.


Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:45 pm
by Qwertyuiop
Government introduces new European healthcare reciprocity law

LONDON, United Kingdom—

Today, the Government is introducing the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill. This will provide the Government with the powers that are needed to fund and effectively implement arrangements for UK nationals to obtain healthcare abroad after the UK exits the European Union (EU). Current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements enable UK nationals to access healthcare when they live, study, work, or travel abroad and visa-versa for EU citizens when in the UK. They give people more life options, support tourism and businesses, and healthcare cooperation. The UK also has a number of reciprocal healthcare agreements with non-EU and EEA countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.

These arrangements ensure that UK nationals living and working in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can access healthcare in exchange for paying taxes and social security contributions. The UK also funds healthcare abroad for a number of current or former UK residents. This includes healthcare for UK state pensioners who spend their retirement in the EU and needs arising healthcare when UK residents visit the EU for holiday or study through the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) Scheme. The Bill is part of the Government’s preparations for EU Exit and will ensure that whatever the outcome of EU Exit, the Government can take the necessary steps to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements or otherwise support UK residents to obtain healthcare when they move to or visit the EU.
Presently, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has limited domestic powers to fund and arrange healthcare outside of the UK. When the UK leaves the EU the current EU regulations will no longer be part of UK law and new legislation will be needed.

This Bill confers powers on the Secretary of State to make, and arrange for payments to be made, in respect of the cost of healthcare provided outside the UK. This would allow for the funding of reciprocal healthcare arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. The Bill also confers powers on the Secretary of State to make regulations for and in connection with the provision of healthcare abroad and to give effect to healthcare agreements with other countries or territories (both EU and non-EU) or supranational bodies such as the EU.

Finally, the Bill provides for the lawful processing of data where necessary for purposes of implementing, operating or facilitating the operation of reciprocal healthcare arrangements or payments. Current healthcare agreements benefit people in all parts of the UK, assisting people to obtain healthcare when they are abroad. The UK Government is therefore engaging with the devolved administrations to deliver an approach that works for the whole UK in a way that fully respects the devolution settlements. The Bill underscores the Government’s commitment to reaching a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the EU, or where necessary making agreements with Member States, and to exploring potential agreements with third countries in the future.


Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:05 pm
by Qwertyuiop
Sadiq Khan institutes weekend car ban for key London neighborhoods

LONDON, United Kingdom——

Starting this upcoming weekend key neighborhoods of Mayfair, Covent Garden, Kensington, Belgravia, Westminster, Pimilco, Vauxhall and Soho will have a complete ban on automobile usage from Friday Evening through Sunday afternoon in an effort to curb draining usage of police resources in traffic violations and an uptick in vehicular related offenses that are committed during weekend hours. Those close to the Lord Mayor believe the new ban will see an uptick in tourism as major parts of London become open to pedestrian only traffic.

There are opponents however who say that it will exacerbate supply issues to central London during busy weekend hours when businesses sometimes need to resupply but despite criticism from business owners the mayors office has remained firm with staffers even suggesting businesses stock for weekend demand on Friday prior to the closure beginning. Penalties are stiff for those who defy the ban with drivers given £800 fines and court summons for disobeying the closures. However some key areas around major tourist sites will see barricades put in place by police authorities to keep them pedestrian friendly during the weekend. Places like The Mall outside of Buckingham Palace and roads outside of the Tower of London will see total emptiness during the weekend hours of the vehicle ban.

Officials with the Metropolitan Police have applauded the steps as a prudent way to protect the public from the threat of terrorism allows the police to limit vehicular access altogether during busy weekend hours. But there are detractors even within the police service who say it could result in a drain on resources during the weekend hours as police must now make sure barricades are not tampered with and that vehicles do not operate in these neighborhoods during weekend hours. Regardless though the ban will be in effect soon so make sure your vehicle is parked and your able to use public transit to get around during this upcoming weekend.

Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:35 am
by Qwertyuiop
UK To provide expedited entry service for EEA, US, NZ, Australian and Canadian citizens

LONDON, United Kingdom——

Officials with the FCO and Home Office announced today that they would be opening expedited entry service to passport holders of the EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States at all major airports serving as first point of entry into the nation. The change requires that individuals from the mentioned countries be in possession of a valid passport that will not expire for a period of no fewer than eight months time and requires the individual to have register for free online by providing their passport information and contact information no less than two weeks prior to their trip to the United Kingdom.

Individuals using the service would check in at a kiosk upon deplaning and would then proceed to an expedited gate where their passport would be scanned by an automated kiosk and matched against their face using standard facial recognition. From there individuals would be given clearance to enter the country provided their entry matches the record on file from the online registration. Experts say the new process will mean individuals will spend no longer than 10 to 15 minutes clearing immigration which for many is a vast improvement over the long lines typical for entry into the country..

Critics of the new program argue that there are critical vulnerabilities in ensuring that individuals are who they purport to be but the Home Office has indicated that at each entry station there will be uniformed personnel conducting their own assessments during the scanning process to ensure individuals entering do so properly and do not raise flags within the country’s law enforcement databases. Sources close to the government say that the online registration process that includes the entry of passport information means that law enforcement can conduct preliminary review to ensure individuals entering are not fleeing prosecution in their home country and that their entry to the United Kingdom does not pose a risk to the greater public. In all the new orocesss will merely provide valuable time savings to the traveling public and will encourage other governments to provide reciprocal arrangements for British citizens who are frequent travelers.

Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:49 am
by Qwertyuiop
UK Rolling out new digital tax

LONDON—The U.K. said it will move ahead with plans to introduce a first-of-its-kind tax on locally generated revenue by large technology firms—the most concrete attempt yet by an industrialized nation to rewrite the world’s tax code for the digital era.

The new tax comes as dozens of other countries are contemplating similar levies on digital services sold by companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL -4.52% Google and Facebook Inc. FB -2.26% These governments are hoping to capture more revenue from such services as economic activity increasingly shifts online.

At issue is how governments collect taxes from the handful of tech firms, many based in the U.S., that have morphed into global, digital consumer-services giants. As they have grown, governments outside their home jurisdictions have struggled with the digital nature of their wares in coming up with an appropriate level of local tax to levy.

Big American tech firms have been criticized for reporting relatively little of their profit in local jurisdictions, opening them up to scrutiny. An international effort among rich nations to help standardize how and where to tax these digital services has been progressing slowly. The U.K. on Monday said it could no longer wait. As part of its annual budget, it said it was moving ahead with a plan to begin a digital tax for large tech firms by 2020.

The government of Spain proposed a similar digital-services tax this month, but that measure requires parliamentary approval.

The new U.K. tax puts pressure on big countries, including the U.S., to speed up the global effort. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a forum of wealthy countries, has been leading the international digital-tax talks.

Opponents of digital taxes, which include lobbyists for multinationals, say a patchwork of new rules that vary by country will hurt smaller firms. They say the initiatives could lead to double taxation of corporate profit that will stifle international trade and discourage investment.

The tech industry opposes the proposals. On Monday, after the U.K. announced its plan, the Information Technology Industry Council, a Washington, D.C.-based lobby group that represents tech firms including Google and Facebook, said that “imposing a digital tax could create a chilling effect on investment in the U.K. and hinder businesses of all sizes from creating jobs.”

The U.K.’s Treasury chief, Philip Hammond, said on Monday that the tax would only target large, profitable companies, with global revenue of at least £500 million ($641 million). The new levy would constitute 2% of such a company’s revenue in the U.K. Mr. Hammond said it could eventually raise some £400 million annually.

The proposal would affect businesses generating U.K. revenue from services including search engines, social-media platforms and online marketplaces. That makes the ad-selling businesses of Google and Facebook particularly vulnerable. The tax wouldn’t impact sales of digital music or movies.

For giants like Alphabet, Inc. and Facebook, the U.K. tax would amount to a relatively small amount of additional tax. But it represents the first concrete step among several governments globally to increase the tax burden of these and other large, global tech-services companies.

“It’s clearly not sustainable, or fair, that digital-platform businesses generate substantial value in the U.K. without paying tax here,” Mr. Hammond said on Monday. He said that while a global agreement “is the best long-term solution,” progress has been “painfully slow.” The U.K. said its new tax would only be in force until a global solution is found, but Mr. Hammond said “we cannot simply talk forever.”

Big U.S. tech firms have been subject to intense scrutiny here for how much tax they pay. Amazon U.K. Services Ltd., one of online retailer’s major British units, in 2017 reported revenue of £1.98 billion and a profit on ordinary activities before taxation of £72.37 million, but paid only £1.7 million in U.K. taxes, according to Companies House, a register of corporate information.

Facebook’s British subsidiary that year reported revenue of £1.26 billion and a profit of £62.76 million in 2017, paying £17.19 million in taxes. Google UK Ltd. for the year ended June 31, 2017, booked revenue of £1.26 billion and profit on ordinary activities of £200.55 million. It paid £47.36 million in British taxes.

Spokespeople for Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet had no immediate comment on the new tax. Amid criticism of their tax practices, all three companies have said they pay their fair share.

Critics here also said the British government’s move may result in retaliatory taxes in the U.S. They also said tech companies may simply pass the tax onto its customers.

The U.S. Treasury didn’t immediately comment on the new tax.

“This proposal could disproportionately affect American companies and may ultimately wind up interfering with the U.K.’s trade commitments,” said Rufus Yerxa, president of the U.S. National Foreign Trade Council. “If enacted, this measure could also complicate the United Kingdom’s push for deeper U.S.-U.K. trade relations.”

Some smaller British-based tech businesses, however, welcomed the proposal as a way to become more competitive against Silicon Valley giants.

The U.K. first said it had justification for a new tax in November 2017, arguing users of digital services help make the product that tech companies sell to advertisers and other customers. That principle has influenced the rest of the European Union, which is working on its own tax proposal.

Inspired by separate European Union proposals to impose a tax based on the revenue of tech companies rather than their profit, South Korea, India and at least seven other Asian-Pacific countries are exploring new taxes. Mexico, Chile and other Latin American countries too are contemplating new taxes aimed at boosting receipts from foreign tech firms.

The U.K. effort underscores the complexity of such a tax. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the U.K.’s fiscal watchdog, said the Treasury’s estimate of how much tax the new levy will raise is highly uncertain. Among the questions as yet unanswered about the new tax’s structure are whether it will be deductible against corporation tax, for instance. The watchdog also flagged a range of ways the new levy could affect corporate behavior in an effort to minimize any liability, such as reclassifying revenue as income not covered by the tax.

Still, the OBR said it is also possible the digital-services tax could prove a bigger money-generator for the Treasury than its preliminary estimates suggest, given that online activity accounts for a growing share of the overall economy.

((Taken from:

Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:54 am
by Qwertyuiop
BBC News Roundup May & June 2019

Sheffield United takes on Chelsea in thrilling FA Cup Final

It was a story of giants and giant killers that saw Championship League team Sheffield United win in penalty kicks. Throughout the first half the match remained nil nil until striker Eden Hazard scored a goal for Chelsea with only four minutes remaining until the end of the first half. Oliver Norwood for Sheffield attempted an absolute banger of a drive at the last minute mark of the first half only to have the ball glance off the corner of the goal post. Going into the half the mood was a somber experience for Sheffield supporters but it would not last long. At the sixty two minute mark it was Mark Duffy who landed a direct smash into the net for Sheffield bringing the score to 1-1 only to be returned thirty seconds later by Croatian player Mateo Kovacic bringing the score to 2-1 but soon tragedy struck the Chelsea benches as star attacker Eden Hazard was given the dreaded red card for landing a groin kick on Sheffield player Billy Sharp which was ruled as a serious misconduct foul leading to a protest by Chelsea manager Mauricio Sarri. The game continued with new momentum shifting towards Sheffield United and in the seventy fifth minute it was Sheffield striker Billy Sharp who evened out the score to 2-2. The score remained tied until the finish of the game going to penalty kicks. It was during this overtime period that Sheffield sealed the game by holding off Chelsea strikers leading Sheffield to score at the final kick leading to jubilation for the Sheffield United team as they won their first FA Cup Final.

National Crime Agency issues warrant for arrest of Nigel Farage amid major UKIP investigation

The National Crime Agency secures an arrest warrant today for former UKIP leader Nigel Farage on charges of monetary embezzlement. Farage is accused of misappropriating party funds for his own personal use. Because Farage has no prior criminal background he could potentially be convicted under the Fraud Act of 2006 which would judge the crime based upon the severity of the crime and the amount stolen. However Farage has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and instead has placed blame with the government for “seeking a witch-hunt to divert attention from their failing brexit negotiations”. The government declined to comment on this story and instead referred us to the National Crime Agency for comment. The news has shaken things up at UKIP with sources saying it was new leader Mike Hookem who alerted the NCA after seeing major discrepancies in UKIP finances during Farages time in leadership.

SNP Leader Sheppard calls for new elections in Scottish Parliament

Only months into his role as SNP leader Tommy Sheppard has called for elections to be held in Scotland to “replace the stale air and bring in better representation for the people”. Sheppard’s remarks are seen as yet another symptom of the personal feud he has been waging for months now with former SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Yet Sheppard has created a kind of cult of personality around himself drawing significant youth support in Scotland for his plain spoken YouTube rants in which he calls for sweeping changes to take place for the good of Scotland. It is no mistake that Sheppard’s latest call for action was a YouTube video which has garnered over a million views in the twenty four hours since it was posted. Sheppard for his part denied that he was attacking anyone in particular but said that the current leadership in Scotland’s parliament has not gotten anything done to speak of and needed to be replaced with younger more invested blood. There is a risk that the SNP could lose seats to Labour in the Scottish Parliament but insiders view the risk as low given the rising popularity of Sheppard in the SNP.