One in two children in care ‘don’t trust the courts’

first_imgHalf of the children in care do not trust the court to make the right decision about their lives, according to a report by Children’s Rights director Roger Morgan, published by Ofsted. Of 58 children interviewed, 50% thought courts never or do not usually make the right decisions for children, compared to 25% who thought the courts usually or always make the right decisions. A further 67 children took part in discussion groups, where the majority felt fewer decisions about children’s lives should be made by the courts. They said the justice system should check on what happ­ened to each child after proceedings have ended, and suggested routine checks every two years to see if a decision is still right for the child.last_img read more

SOL is sailing with seven

first_imgSOL announced said that the cargo volume on the Gothenburg – Zeebrugge route has almost doubled in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. As a result of the increased demand, SOL has increased the frequency to seven sailings per week in each direction. During the peak periods the company has offered two additional sailings per week.”The route between Gothenburg and Zeebrugge has shown a very positive development since the beginning of 2016. With the additional sailings, we can fulfil the growing demand of our customers. It is always our objective to offer clients the best possible service. To further improve the booking process and the usability for our clients we are currently developing our online booking system,”says Ragnar Johansson, managing director, SOL.The connection between Gothenburg and Zeebrugge, which utilises three vessels with a capacity of 2,600 lane metres, was added to SOL Continent Line’s network in November 2014 as the result of a cooperation aggreement with Stora Enso. According to SOL, its continent line offers flexible transportation options for trailers, containers and project cargo, while its TransProCon division specialises in project and contract transportation utilising its wholly owned and commercially controlled ro-ro and lo-lo vessels.www.sollines.selast_img read more

FROM THE MAGAZINE: Arctic shipping awakes

first_imgNavigation through the Arctic via either Russia’s northern seas or the Northwest Passage to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans has been a holy grail for shipowners since the days of sail.But only in the last eight years has climate change, coupled with the opening of the Arctic region to commercial development, made such navigation possible. Even so, climatic, geographic and political challenges remain with Russia’s relations with the West likely to govern the future viability of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to commercial shipping.Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, speaking in his state of the nation address in March 2018, said that Russia wants to increase traffic along the NSR tenfold to 80 million tonnes by 2025.Politicians in Beijing have also been championing the NSR, recently describing it as the ‘Polar Silk Road’.The NSR is officially defined by Russia’s NSR Administration as running around 4,000 km from Cape Zhelaniya in the west through the Kara, Laptev and the East Siberian Sea to Cape Dezhnev in the east. But it is often depicted running further west to include Murmansk and even Kirkenes in northern Norway.Norway’s Centre for High North Logistics (CHNL), set up by Tschudi Shipping Company in colla-boration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shortens the sailing distance from Norway to China by more than 40 percent to 23 from 40 days via the usual route through the Suez Canal.It is this time and fuel saving, together with the commensurate cut in carbon dioxide and other emissions, which makes the route so attractive. Typically fuel savings can amount to around USD200,000-USD250,000, based on current bunker prices, with a 4,000-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions for a one-way transit, according to CHNL figures. In tonnage terms, Bjorn Gunnarsson, managing director of the CHNL, said the cost of icebreaker assistance is roughly equal to the cost of using the Suez Canal.Various heavy lift shipping lines have rapidly gained experience of sailing in the in-hospitable NSR, fuelled by the demands of constructing the USD27 billion Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta, on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula. Marcel Pera, operations project manager at BigLift Shipping, claimed: “In 2015-2016 we were probably the biggest non-Russian user of the NSR. We have completed 32 full transits and at least another 25-30 partial transits – going in from one side to discharge cargo.”Most of this activity was to support construction of the Yamal LNG project, which is currently drawing to a close. “We brought a lot of modules to Yamal – both full modules and knocked down.”Most of the modules originated in China and were transported via the Suez Canal to a staging area at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, before onward shipment. Alternatively, modules were shipped directly to Sabetta via the NSR.BigLift has also made transit voyages, either in ballast or carrying cargoes such as equipment for power stations, Pera added.There are limitations as to when transit along the NSR is viable. Andrey Demyanyuk, Murmansk branch manager of GAC Russia, said non-ice-class vessels can only navigate the route during the summer, usually from July to October or November.”In winter, only ice-class vessels can navigate the NSR and icebreaker assistance is required, which means the route is not financially viable for some owners and operators,” Demyanyuk said. With all of Russia’s nuclear icebreakers operated by Rosatomflot, the average waiting time for icebreaker assistance is three to seven days.Pavel Prikhodko, deputy general director at deugro Russia, said Rosatomflot operates four icebreakers with another kept in reserve. While the NSR is open all-year for ice-class vessels with icebreaker assistance. “In severe ice conditions, Rosatomflot may not take vessels with bulbous bows in a convoy because the bulb makes it difficult to release the vessel from ice”, he said.Cool deliveriesRedBox counts itself among the heavy lift operators that have sailed the NSR during winter. Its 28,500 dwt module   carriers Audax and Pugnax can operate in temperatures down to -50 C, and were used to transport modules weighing up to 10,000 tonnes to the Yamal LNG project, deliveries that started in 2016.”No one has ever delivered modules of this size in the middle of winter from Qingdao to Sabetta via the NSR. It is slow going and the ambient temperature is -25 C,” said Philip Adkins, Red Box ceo.The company had two 50,000 dwt semi-submersibles, Red Zed I and Red Zed II, which were the first vessels to transport prefabricated structures for Yamal LNG in summer 2015.GAC’s Demyanyuk added: “The time and distance-related cost savings offered by the NSR at certain times – whatever the vessel, and possibly more so for heavy lift ships given their size and weight – will diminish the further south the origin and/or destination are. Hong Kong- Rotterdam is reasonable while Hong Kong-Mediterranean probably is not.”Other challenges remain. Insurer Marsh highlighted the risks in its report, ‘Arctic Shipping: Navigating the Risks and Opportunities’ four years ago, which although supportive of the NSR also focused on the ship and crew risks associated with what was a fledgling market.The Polar Code, introduced in January 2017, tackles some of these issues by mandating crew manning and training requirements to ensure crew are adequately experienced and requires vessels to have a Polar Ship Certificate (PSC) before obtaining permission to navigate the NSR. BigLift’s Pera said: “All our captains and chief mates – 300-400 people – have completed an ice navigator course. We are working to get all of our vessels certified under the Polar Code.”Best practiceWhile the outlook for the NSR is potentially huge, given Russia’s vast oil and gas resources in the Arctic, the biggest challenge to the NSR and heavy lift and project cargo shipping could be political.As CHNL’s Gunnarsson said, the development of energy, hydrocarbon and mineral resources will be the main driver for increased Arctic shipping in the coming decades.”A large part of this resource potential is in the Eurasian Arctic at the western gateway of the NSR,” he said in a presentation looking at future Arctic development.But the US Treasury has currently torpedoed the USA’s involvement in energy exploration and production in Russia and elsewhere, having imposed economic sanctions against Russia. As Demyanyuk highlighted: “GAC Russia’s ability to undertake business is subject to prevailing sanctions.”This article is taken from HLPFI’s March/April 2018 edition.last_img read more

Queen’s speech: Review must be backed up with ‘significant cash’ says Society

first_imgPlans to hold a commission into the criminal justice system must not delay long-overdue investment, Law Society president Simon Davis said today. Commenting on the review announced in the Queen’s speech, Davis said: ‘We all want swift, fair and effective justice, but it cannot be delivered on the cheap. A thorough review, although needed, must be backed up with a significant cash injection across the board – to police and prosecutors, but also to the courts and to the defence profession: an endangered species at risk of becoming extinct.’  Davis: Swift, fair and effective justice cannot be delivered on the cheapThe Society noted that, since 2011/2012, the Ministry of Justice has lost a quarter of its budget. Between 2015 and 2019 the number of investigative police officers has decreased by 34%, or almost 10,000 officers. The Crown Prosecution Service has also suffered cuts of around 35%. ‘In the last decade, almost half of civil and criminal courts in England and Wales have closed,’ Davis said.Elsewhere in the legislative programme announced today, the Society welcomed the promise to revive the Divorce and Domestic Abuse Bill. ‘Together the Domestic Abuse Bill and new divorce legislation have the power to change millions of lives across England and Wales,’ Davis said. ‘We welcome the news that these important issues will be addressed in the new parliamentary session and look forward to working with the government on these vital pieces of legislation.’On the government’s plan to end ‘vexatious claims’ against the armed forces, Davis said: ‘Legislation must maintain the Ministry of Defence’s legal and public accountability. We will work with the government to ensure legal claims are conducted appropriately.’last_img read more

Big Four told to separate professional services from audit work

first_imgLegal practices set up by the so-called ‘Big Four’ accountants would be split from the firms’ auditing business along with other professional services under long awaited shake-up proposals published by the competition watchdog today. The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recommendations echo those of a committee of MPs earlier this month.In a market study to address what it calls ‘serious competition problems’ in the UK audit industry, the CMA recommends an ‘operational split’ at the Big Four: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. This would require the firms to hive off their auditing business under a separate management, accounts and remuneration and to end profit-sharing between audit and consultancy.However the report shies away from recommending ‘an immediate global structural split’ between the firms’ audit and other service functions. It states that legislation is needed to address ‘the vulnerability of the industry to the loss of one of the Big Four, and the current inadequate choice and competition’.Each of the Big Four has expanded their legal services clout in recent months. Earlier this year Deloitte announced that it had hired Michael Castle, a former magic circle partner, to head its UK legal arm. In a speech at the end of last year lord chancellor David Gauke said he welcomed the arrival of the Big Four to the legal services market.The CMA’s proposal follows recommendations by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which earlier this month said the CMA should consider separating the two arms.The CMA, which has been in the process of drawing up recommendations since December last year, said the accountancy regulator the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) should also hold audit committees ‘more vigorously to account’ and that the effects of the proposed changes should be reviewed periodically, in the first instance five years from full implementation. Today’s proposals also recommend mandatory ‘joint audit’ to enable firms outside the Big Four to develop the capacity needed to review companies, and the introduction of statutory regulatory powers to increase accountability of companies’ audit committees.A review last year also recommended that the FRC be replaced ‘as soon as possible’ with a new independent regulator called the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority.Andrew Tyrie, CMA chairman, said: ‘People’s livelihoods, savings and pensions all depend on the auditors’ job being done to a high standard. But too many fall short – more than a quarter of big company audits are considered sub-standard by the regulator. This cannot be allowed to continue.’The government has said it will respond to the CMA’s recommendations within 90 days.last_img read more

Subsidiaries progress RZD reforms

first_imgJULY 1 saw the formal start of operations for Russian Railways’ Federal Passenger Board, which has been established as an early priority for the third stage of the RZD reform programme.The reform of RZD’s passenger operations is based on splitting the commercial and social services into separate businesses. According to the head of the FPB, Valeri Shatayev, social and regulated services currently account for 66% of RZD’s passenger-journeys and 45% of the revenue. But despite increased traffic levels in 2005, RZD only covered 73% of its passenger operating costs, recording a loss of 27bn roubles. RZD has already established a number of joint ventures with local authorities to manage commuter services in major cities. FPB has been created to manage long-distance passenger operations throughout the trunk network as a single integrated business unit. In the longer term, the intention is to convert the board into a subsidiary company, paving the way for the subsequent sale of a stake in the business to private investors. On July 13 the RZD Management Board also approved plans to set up a subsidiary freight business which would become operational on January 1 2007. This is intended to guarantee the competitiveness of RZD freight operations and ensure financial transparency, ending cross-subsidies between business units. Initially RZD will own all the shares in the freight company apart from a single preference share to be held by the railway reform body ZhelDorReform. In the future RZD would look to sell a minority stake through an IPO to raise funds for renewal of the rolling stock fleet and infrastructure. With a fleet of 564000 wagons, the freight business is forecast to be handling 1·35 billion tonne-km by 2010, earning 90bn roubles a year and generating profits of around 20% of turnover. nlast_img read more

Vodacom Bulls ring changes to playing squad, staff

first_imgBafana squad named for South American tour Kenya’s electoral commission to make staff changes ahead of new presidential poll Cairo’s Bomb Squad: Concerns Raised Over Professionalism Of The Squadcenter_img BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 04: Montpellier’s head coach Jake White looks on before the French Top 14 union match between Unon Bordeaux Begles and Montpellier at stade Chaban Delmas on September 4, 2016 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images) FILE PHOTO: Vodacom Bulls director of rugby Jake White. (Photo by Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images)South African rugby’s Vodacom Bulls have been busy during the off-season period occasioned by disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic.The club, South Africa’s best performer in the 2019 Super Rugby season, has announced a string of departures and arrivals in the last few weeks as the side looks to strengthen ahead of a potential resumption of the 2020 season.The team will also benefit from the restructuring should the South African Rugby Union’s plans to host a domestic competition as an alternative to Super Rugby, should it be canceled this year, come to fruition.The series of ins and outs began with the appointment of Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White as director of rugby in late March.White said he was eager to restore glory to the Bulls brand which he said had always been a powerhouse in rugby and respected globally.The Bulls are three-time winners of the Super Rugby having claimed the prize in 2007, 2009 and 2010.On April 24, the club announced the imminent departure of CEO Alfons Meyer, who will leave at the end of May. According to local media reports, Meyer, who joined the team in January 2019, left due to personal reasons.Later that month, local media reports suggested that centre Johnny Kotze had left the club due to enforced salary cuts on South African Rugby Union’s players and was headed to further his career in Japan. However, a check on the Bulls’ website shows Kotze still listed as one of the squad’s players.On May 1, the side confirmed that Coach Pote Human had left the club with immediate effect. Human’s contract was due to end in October 2020 but the Bulls confirmed that a mutual agreement had been reached to terminate the deal earlier. White will take over the team’s on-field coaching.A day later, the Bulls announced that Springbok prop Marcel van der Merwe rejoined the Pretoria-based outfit after a four-year spell in the Top 14 with French side Toulon.In his previous stint, van der Merwe made 45 Super Rugby appearances for the Vodacom Bulls scoring six tries and also made one appearance for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup. Van der Merwe is expected to join the side in July.The Vodacom Bulls currently lie in fourth place in Super Rugby’s South Africa Conference and are 11th in the overall standings.Relatedlast_img read more

National Health Insurance Pilot Programme extended

first_imgHealthLifestyleLocalNewsPolitics National Health Insurance Pilot Programme extended by: Dominica Vibes News – July 26, 2018 198 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share The National Health Insurance Programme (NHIP) will be extended to include children up to the age of sixteen. Government provided five million dollars ($5 million) from the proceeds of its Citizenship By Investment Programme (CBIP) to the Dominica Social Security for administration of the pilot programme launched in April 2017.A then three month old girl was the first beneficiary under the programme who was diagnosed with cataract in both eyes. She was able to receive surgery in Barbados in March 2017 to save her sight with help from the pilot national health insurance programme. By the program’s one year anniversary twelve infants, ranging in age from two days to two years and seven months, were assisted in accessing critical medical care overseas, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said while delivering the 2018/2019 National Budget at Parliament on Wednesday 25 July 2018. At that time, the total amount disbursed in respect of such cases was seven hundred and eighty-two thousand, six hundred and seventy-eight dollars and fourteen cents ($782,678.14). When the programme was launched it targeted single mothers resident or living permanently in Dominica, both nationals and non-nationals, under the age of thirty-five who are pregnant or have children three years or younger.The benefits include private sector services not available from or provided by the government, exclusive of those provided at the primary health care level, services not available locally where beneficiaries need to travel and is subject to referral from the relevant specialists within the government system and or approved by the medical services director. Referrals shall be restricted to a local medical consultant or the hospital medical director.Moreover, up to eighty percent (80%) on the invoices and bills shall be paid by the NHIP with the claimant being responsible for the remaining twenty percent (20%). In the event where the claimant does not have immediate access to funds for that twenty percent (20%) the amount will be given as a small loan with an arranged repayment schedule and in extreme cases, a government grant shall be provided based on the recommendation of the DSS.“As at June 25, 2018, the number of cases assisted under the Pilot reached sixteen (16) with a total disbursement of $1.3 million,” Mr. Skerrit said.“Based on the experience of the pilot programme over the last year, we have decided that the age limit for children accessing assistance under the programme be extended to age 16 years,” he added.Families are reminded that if they do possess private insurance that their claims should first be made to the private insurance after which any shortfall would be considered by the NHI Pilot programme. “This pilot is the second step toward the establishment of a comprehensive national health insurance programme for our citizens,” Mr. Skerrit stated.last_img read more

US Military Awards Comtech $2.6 Million Contract for High Power Amplifier Systems

first_imgComtech Telecommunications Corp. has announced that its New York-based subsidiary, Comtech PST Corp., a part of Comtech’s Government Solutions segment will receive a $2.6 million contract award for high power amplifier systems from the U.S. Military during its third quarter of fiscal 2019.These amplifier systems, which include the latest broadband solid-state transistor technology, provide for very broad frequency coverage and will be utilized as part of electronic warfare communication jamming systems.Comtech PST Corp. is a leading independent supplier of broadband, high-power, high performance RF microwave amplifiers and control components for use in a broad spectrum of applications including defense, medical, satellite communications systems and instrumentation.Comtech Telecommunications Corp. designs, develops, produces, and markets innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions. The Company sells products to a diverse customer base in the global commercial and government communications markets.last_img read more