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January 2022

Home rule

How care home rule changes make it easier to visit friends and family from January 31

Restrictions on visitors to nursing homes will be lifted on Monday, which should allow more families and friends to reunite with loved ones.

The return of unlimited visitors for care home residents is part of a series of changes to coronavirus rules in the sector.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we have continued to allow 3 named visitors and one essential carer under Plan B measures.

“Thanks to the progress we’ve made, I’m delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further, allowing residents to see their loved ones more.”

Read more:The 131 Last Names That Could Inherit You A Fortune From Unclaimed Estates

There are also changes to self-isolation periods for care home residents who test positive for coronavirus or who have returned from an emergency hospital visit.

Care Minister Gillian Keegan said: “Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted that we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure that people living in nursing homes care see all their family and friends.

“The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.”

How the rules for care home visitors are changing from January 31

From January 31, there will no longer be a limit on the number of visitors nursing home residents can receive. Plan B restrictions had limited the number of visitors to nursing homes, allowing residents to nominate just three people for regular visits.

Reduced isolation periods will mean friends and family won’t have to wait as long to visit nursing home residents recovering from coronavirus.

The isolation period for nursing home residents infected with the coronavirus also changes on Monday, from 14 days to 10 days, and those who test negative on the five and six days may be discharged earlier. The period of isolation will also be reduced for care home residents returning from hospital after emergency care. Residents of care homes will no longer have to take tests or self-isolate after making outside visits.

If there is an outbreak in a care home, from January 31 they will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days instead of the previous 28.

Detailed guidelines will be issued on Monday, January 31, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Should I wear a mask during a visit to an EHPAD?

Yes, while the legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings like shops has ended in England, masks must still be worn in some healthcare settings, including care homes.

The government says: “Face coverings and face masks will continue to be mandatory in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidelines. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as medical practices. They should also be worn by anyone accessing or visiting nursing homes.”

Care home visitors are advised to take lateral flow tests before arriving.

Go here for the latest coronavirus updates and the latest Covid-19 news

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Home rule

Landmark Court Ruling Supports Miami-Dade County Self-Government Charter

The new year brought encouraging news regarding a major case involving the defense of Miami-Dade County’s Home Rule charter, which is part of the Florida Constitution.

On December 30, 2021, the Honorable William Thomas of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida granted Miami-Dade County’s motion to join the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) as an indispensable party in a lawsuit against the Greater Miami Expressway Agency (GMX) .

To put this in historical perspective, in 2019 the Florida Legislature created the Greater Miami Expressway Authority, effectively usurping MDX’s ownership interests in the five local freeways it purchased from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 1996 for $91 million. These freeways include the 836/Dolphin Expressway, 112/Airport Expressway, 874/Don Shula Expressway, 878/Snapper Creek Expressway, and 924/Gratigny Parkway.

In response, on May 4, 2021, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners under the leadership of President Jose “Pepe” Diaz, exercised its home rule authority and passed a county ordinance striking down certain unconstitutional sections of Florida statutes passed under the 2019 bill. The ordinance included eliminating GMX from county jurisdiction and transferring to MDX of all rights, benefits and revenues under the 1996 transfer agreement.

In his recent decision, Judge Thomas concluded that FDOT is not an indispensable party and has no remaining interest in the rights that have passed to MDX in perpetuity in exchange for payment. In addition, Judge Thomas recognizes Miami-Dade Home Rule powers that prohibit the Florida Legislature from enacting bills that apply only to Miami-Dade County, and that the county may take steps to declare any bill enacted in this manner unconstitutional and invalid.

Judge Thomas’ decision provides clarity and perspective by stating: “The rule of domicile [amendment and charter] transferred the power of the Legislature to pass local bills and special laws applicable only to Miami-Dade County, from the state to the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

Judge Thomas further explained that the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners “…has duly issued an order establishing MDX as the owner and operator of the system with all rights, benefits and revenues thereunder under the transfer agreement and abolishing GMX. This is well within the bounds of local authorities in Miami-Dade County and supports MDX’s high probability of success on the merits in the instant action.

During the 2021 vote on the county ordinance, Commissioner Joe Martinez explained that the intent of the ordinance was not just about MDX, but was to uphold the county’s right to self-government under the Constitution. from Florida. Not only did the order protect the Miami-Dade County Freeway Authority, but also major assets such as the airport and seaport that could become targets of a future takeover attempt by the ‘State.

This is not the first time a legislative attack on Home Rule has occurred. On September 4, 2002, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Miami-Dade County and struck down an unconstitutional state law intended to divert a portion of the health care surtax funds to the indigents of the Public Health Trust and Jackson Memorial Health Systems.

Judge Thomas’ recent ruling ends a three-year legal battle that has hurt the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority by preventing it from refinancing its existing debt during a period of historically low interest rates, representing a loss of approximately $175 million in interest. savings.


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Self government

As initial deadline passes, Colville Lake looks to 2024 for self-government

Colville Lake is now looking to 2024 for self-government after its target deadline from last year was missed.

“Our plan for 2021 was to conclude the first part of our self-government,” said David Codzi, chairman of the Ayoni Keh Land Corporation. “We had to push it back to 2024 now.”

As to why the talks have taken longer than expected, Codzi explained that one of the reasons is that the territorial government has not implemented the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Government of Canada has adopted UNDRIP into federal law in June 2021.

The 19th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories announced early in its term that the implementation of UNDRIP was a priority.

The territorial government must reveal a implementation plan by summer 2022.

Self-government negotiations are being conducted between representatives of Colville Lake, the territorial government and the federal government, which Codzi said have been more accommodating than the territorial government.

“They’re more open to suggestions,” Codzi said of the feds.

David Codzi, chairman of the Ayoni Keh Land Corporation, says Colville Lake will achieve self-government one day, he just hopes it will be sooner rather than later. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

The federal government did not agree to an interview. A spokesperson wrote in an email that the discussions were confidential.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous peoples in their work to rebuild and reconstitute their nations, to advance self-determination and, for First Nations, to facilitate the transition away from Indian Act toward self-government,” wrote Matthew Gutsch, a representative with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

Codzi said he thinks the process would be faster if the territorial government would step aside and allow Colville Lake to negotiate directly with the federal government.

“We’re all on our feet and talking and not going anywhere,” he said.

But the Government of the Northwest Territories is one of the signatories to the land claims agreement.

The Government of the Northwest Territories did not accept an interview with CBC News or respond to email questions by the deadline.

But in an earlier email statement on Jan. 11, Todd Sasaki, spokesman for the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs, said the territorial government was negotiating “to clarify how the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Colville Lake will implement exercise their ancestral right to self-government.”

“Want to move forward”

Joseph Kochon, the community’s chief administrative officer, said the last round of negotiations, which took place in mid-January, went well.

He said the territorial government has a new chief negotiator, who took over a few months ago, but who had previously worked on the negotiations in another capacity.

Colville Lake chief Wilbert Kochon said the relationship with the new negotiator has been positive so far.

“She’s ready to learn and she’s ready to move on,” he said. “The first time we met her was pretty good.”

As for Codzi, he said Colville Lake is more than ready for self-government because the band office already provides most services to the remote community of about 150 people.

Codzi said the community will one day achieve self-government, it’s just a matter of how long it will take.

“The faster we do these things, we’re not spending all the money talking about something that we know we’re going to achieve,” he said.

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Self government

Ulmer: Meetings Offer Lessons in Improving Self-Reliance | Columnists

My father spent 26 years of his career as executive vice president of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. I remember accompanying him to a few annual local co-op meetings where free lunch, door prizes and self-government attracted hundreds of co-op members/owners. Dad and I were walking through the lunch line and he was so distracted by people wanting to chat with him that it didn’t take long for me to realize I was alone. So I’ll just take a full plate and find a seat.

Meetings were usually held in a small municipal gymnasium or community center/church/fallout shelter and were always packed. I was always hungry back then and the rural people were especially good at filling your bag with food. Best of all, their hospitality always made me feel at ease.

The purpose of these annual meetings is to nominate and elect the board of directors of their cooperatives. Very often, the races for jobs were very competitive. Each member, essentially anyone connected to rural electric power, was given one vote and only members present were allowed to vote; proxy votes were not permitted. Many people traveled long distances, so the free lunch became more of a necessity than a luxury.

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Sometimes it took a while to nominate candidates and count votes, gaps were filled with speeches, and door prizes were awarded during downtime. In fact, it was quite an event and Dad was in his element.

It was in the 1960s/70s when rural electric cooperatives created the electrical system we still rely on today. Back then, investing in building power plants and mining coal in North Dakota were just plans that would require billions in investment to complete. So Dad would deliver his statewide and nationwide membership speech in hopes of convincing members to risk the investment. Not all meetings welcomed Dad to the podium. It was not uncommon to hear John Birchers better dead than red heckling with “This government-sponsored co-op thing is socialism and you’re a communist!” It always bothered me because it was the era of McCarthyism; but dad seemed to take it in stride explaining that there were no private investment utilities willing to risk their capital on the basis of one customer every six miles or so so rural electric co-ops had to fill the void.

In the end, member owners voted in favor of low-interest Government Guaranteed Loans (REAs) to electrify rural America. Dad’s job was to convince the state and federal governments to provide the loans the co-ops needed to build the factories, power lines and extract the coal.

Dad didn’t do all of this alone; he knew his people/owner members would support him because they knew he cared about the little guy on the phone. Next, its members owned coal mines, power plants, and power lines that led to their property.

The trips home allowed Dad and I to discuss all sorts of things at length, and I’m pretty sure it was here that my interest in political science eventually led to my majoring in college. My studies involved a massive and deep appreciation of all types of governments and political shenanigans that convinced me that there is no perfect form of government, but the ones that work best understand that the little guy in the end of the line is just as important. like the guy on top of the heap. These meetings have been a great example of how we can govern ourselves better.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public servant, non-profit leader and opinionated citizen who believes we should do what we can to make the world better than we found it.

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Home rule

Commuters return to offices as ‘work from home’ rule ends in England

Workers returned to work on Thursday after England’s work-from-home guidelines were lifted as Plan B measures are phased out.

An increase in road congestion was recorded in Manchester and London and public transport was busier than usual.

Meanwhile, Clive Watson, chief executive of City Pub Group, welcomed the return of workers to towns and cities. The company, which runs around 50 pubs, mostly in London and the south of England, said January had a slow month following Omicron’s caution, but pointed to a “significant increase in trading” over the of the last 10 days.

Mr Watson said: “We obviously haven’t started the year where we would have hoped a month earlier, but we’ve seen some positive signs over the past week or two.

“We are extremely positive about the removal of Plan B restrictions and in particular the change around working from home.

“The return of the office workers will be a much needed boost and gives us a lot of encouragement.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs in the Commons on Wednesday that work-from-home guidelines would be dropped immediately and rules on face coverings in classrooms would also be scrapped in England from Thursday January 20.

Other measures, including the requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in shops, will end next Thursday (January 27).

The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate may also expire when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

Location-based technology company TomTom said levels of road congestion – which represent the proportion of extra time needed for journeys compared to free-flow conditions – were 72% in London and 63% in Manchester at 8 a.m. morning Thursday.

This is up from 66% in London and 56% in Manchester a week earlier.

But some cities have seen a reduction or no significant change in traffic.

They include Birmingham (from 57% last week to 55% Thursday), Brighton (from 60% to 50%), Hull (unchanged at 55%), Leeds (from 48% to 44%), Leicester (from 57% to 58%) and Liverpool (from 52% to 54%).

Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group, the Manchester-based company behind Cuba’s Revolution and Revolucion brands, welcomed the end of Plan B measures and called for more support for the hospitality sector hard hit.

He said: “Yesterday’s news about the removal of work from home and the rollback of all other restrictions is welcome for our business and will go a long way towards restoring consumer confidence.

“It is imperative that in the future there are no more restrictions as we all learn to live alongside Covid-19.

“We continue to urge the government to support the recovery of the hospitality industry by leaving VAT at 12.5% ​​and maintaining the relief of activity rates in line with current support levels.

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Home rule

When does working from home end in the UK?

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  • When does working from home end in the UK? Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined plans to learn to ‘live with Covid’, many are wondering if they will have to return to office soon.

    Before Omicron symptoms emerged as a new variant, many people were slowly returning to work from the office. In a sign of a slow return to some normalcy, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the seven in 10 people returning in November 2021 were relishing the chance to work somewhere different. But with a spike in cases, the government activated plan B and we went back into a kind of lockdown – with restrictions on working outside the home.

    Now lifted as part of Plan A measures, another return to the office looks promising for those looking to resume their new routine. But the rules set by the UK government don’t apply everywhere in the UK when it comes to Covid-19, so that’s what you need to know.

    When does working from home end in England?

    the work from home is now over in England, following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons on 19 January. This means that from January 20, anyone who does not want to work from home does not have to – provided their office is open.

    Mr Johnson said: ‘From now on the government is no longer asking people to work from home and people should now talk to their employers about the arrangements for returning to the office.

    As well as scrapping working from home, the Prime Minister announced that proof of double vaccination was not required to enter places of entertainment. He also confirmed that people could stop wearing face masks in many public places as all Plan B measures, put in place during Omicron’s peak in December, were coming to an end.

    “The latest data from the ONS today clearly shows infection levels are falling in England,” he said. “And while there are places where cases are likely to continue to rise, including in primary schools – our scientists believe it’s likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationwide. “

    When Plan B restrictions were in place, guidelines changed to encourage those who could work from home to do so again. However, many offices remained open during this time, having been closed for the previous three closures.

    When does working from home end in Scotland?

    The work from home rule is should end in early February. It is however still in place at the moment, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Scotland will return to a “more hybrid approach” from the start of next month.

    Credit: Getty

    She said Scotland was “entering a calmer phase of the pandemic again” but there was still “significant pressure” on the health service due to the latest wave of coronavirus.

    Official guidance on the Scottish Government website reads: ‘From 17 December 2021, by law businesses, places of worship and service providers must take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of incidence and spread of the coronavirus. Supporting employees to work from home whenever possible is an important part of this. »

    When does the work from home law end in Wales?

    The work from home requirement in Wales, enacted last year, will end on January 28, 2022. Unlike other countries, Wales has enshrined its work-from-home requirement in law. From this date at the end of January, it will evolve to become an orientation.

    Although the government has stressed that this is in no way an encouragement to return to the office and that staff should not be ‘forced or pressured to return’ after this date unless necessary important business.

    Official guidelines say that from January 28, “working from home remains important but moves from law to guidance”. Also from this date in Wales:

    • Discotheques will be able to reopen
    • Covid passes will not be required for large indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and concert halls
    • There will be no restrictions on dating
    • No table service requirements in hospitality areas, nor the need to keep a physical distance of 2 meters.

    This means that those who wish to work from a desk should be able to do so, subject to approval from their workplace.

    Although there is some skepticism that lateral flow testing could produce a false negative or positive, this is unlikely. The UK’s four nations have urged people to keep testing regularly and take their boosters to keep reducing the spread of the virus.

    When does the rule end in Northern Ireland?

    The advice in Northern Ireland is to work from home if possible.

    In November last year, Health Minister Robin Swann said he believed anyone working from home should do so again. But he acknowledged that not all employers have the means to continue this situation any longer.

    Woman working from home

    People in Northern Ireland should continue to work from home if possible, Credit: Getty

    So, although the work from home guidelines in Northern Ireland have been reiterated by the executive, it is not the law.

    However, companies must comply with a legal obligation to guarantee a social distance of 2 m in the workplace. And where this cannot be achieved, the company should help apply other mitigation measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Can I still work from home if I wish?

    If you want to work from home after the guidelines are lifted, you should talk to your employer.

    The Prime Minister has removed all requirements to work from home. Now employers have the power to dictate whether it is mandatory for staff to be in the office at work or whether they can work from home as they used to.

    But as the government removed restrictions, some employers have been told they need to put measures in place to protect employees. This includes requirements such as good office ventilation.

    Anyone employed for at least 26 weeks by a company also has the right to request flexible working. This may include a request to work from home. Employers are required by law to deal with such claims in a ‘reasonable’ way and if they are found not to have done so, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.

    Such requests can of course be refused by employers, however, if there is a valid reason. For example, if there are any security risks associated with working from home.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist released from prison

    Prominent Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung was released from prison on Wednesday after serving a four-year sentence for taking part in a protest in 2016.

    The 30-year-old activist posted a message on his Facebook page saying he had been released from Shek Pik prison before dawn and was at home with his family.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” he wrote while also thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    Leung first came to prominence in 2016 as a spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, a group that has called for maintaining a separate identity for Hong Kong and a complete break with mainland China. He took part in the so-called Fishball Revolution protest against a police crackdown on unlicensed street food vendors in the Mong Kok district, which turned violent.

    Leung was convicted in 2018 of assaulting a police officer and participating in a riot in connection with the Mong Kok incident and sentenced to six years in prison. According to local media, the sentence was reduced by two years for good behavior.

    He coined the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his campaign for a seat in the city’s legislature in 2016, which was halted when he was disqualified for his pro-independence stance. . The slogan has since been banned under the draconian national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 in response to massive and violent protests the previous year.

    Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been convicted and sentenced to long prison terms under the law, which prohibits succession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion.

    Some information for this report comes from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Leung released from prison after 4 years


    Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time, was released from prison on Wednesday after serving four years behind bars for a 2016 protest.

    Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about localism and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.



    In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution. The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

    Originally sentenced to six years in prison, Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

    Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years. Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

    In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

    As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release, he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits with the media.

    After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    Leung is known for coining the slogan Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time for his election campaign when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

    The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned the slogan, saying it had secessionist overtones that are illegal under the national security law that was put in place. implemented in 2020. The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

    Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

    However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as leaderless protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

    In a post on Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday a day before his release, Leung’s family urged supporters to let Leung reunite with his family and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

    The post also said that, following a legal notice, Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

    (Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung released from prison and ordered to remain silent — Radio Free Asia

    Edward Leung, a prominent Hong Kong politician who advocated ‘separation’ between the former British colony and mainland China, was released after serving a six-year prison sentence for ‘rioting’ during the unrest of 2016 in Mong Kok.

    A former spokesperson for the now disbanded Hong Kong indigenous group, Leung was released from Shek Pik prison on Lantau Island around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    “I was released this morning and returned home safely with my family,” Leung said in a post on his Facebook page.

    “As required by law, I am subject to a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote. “I have to lay low and deactivate my social media accounts.”

    His family later issued a warning to supporters not to try to visit Leung and announced the deletion of Leung’s Facebook account, which was unavailable Wednesday evening local time.

    Leung was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 for “rioting” and “assaulting a police officer” during the 2016 “Fishball Revolution” clashes in Mong Kok.

    Hong Kong lawyer and former lawmaker Siu Tsz-man said supervision orders are sometimes issued to released prisoners involved in violent crimes, including murder and manslaughter, and require the former prisoner to remain in contact with surveillance officers and to stay in a stable residence.

    But Siu said the order to stay out of the spotlight was unprecedented.

    “I’ve never heard of this before,” Siu said. “My staff have never heard of a supervision order under which the person is not allowed to give interviews to the media.”

    Siu declined to say whether the order was appropriate without knowing the details of the case.

    “The purpose of a supervision order is not to confine someone to a certain place and not let them go,” he said.

    Some have drawn parallels between Leung’s release and the continued checks on released political prisoners in mainland China.

    Hong Kong news commentator Johnny Lau said the treatment of prominent Chinese dissidents has varied greatly in the past, depending on the level of political sensitivity of their cases as perceived by the Communist Party of China (CCP). ) in power.

    Maintaining stability

    Mainland human rights lawyer Wang Yu said mainland Chinese authorities often negotiate terms with released dissidents, including telling them to shut up after their release.

    “It can be done through the detention center, the courts, the local police department or the state security police, or even neighborhood committees,” Wang told RFA. “Anyone can be commissioned as a stability keeping officer.”

    “These agreements may or may not involve something in writing.”

    Fellow rights lawyer Bao Longjun said Leung’s experience shows that Hong Kong has gradually moved away from the rule of law.

    “The Hong Kong government’s continued expansion of how it interprets and implements [existing laws] seriously violated the rule of law and the interpretation of freedom of expression as granted by the constitution,” Bao told RFA.

    Video footage of the riots showed a large crowd throwing bricks and other objects at riot police, who responded with pepper spray and batons, injuring an unknown number of people. Others set fire to debris in the street, while business owners reported property damage.

    Judge Anthea Pang said in delivering her sentencing that “political pleas” could never justify violence. Leung, a by-election candidate for the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous at the time, said he went to the scene in an attempt to act as a buffer zone in the clashes, but later admitted to giving in to anger.

    Hong Kong’s former colonial governor, Lord Patten of Barnes, criticized Leung’s sentencing as politically motivated at the time, saying public order legislation was used politically under the CCP regime to mete out extreme punishments. to Democratic politicians and other activists.

    Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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    Home rule

    England’s work-from-home rule scrapped, PM confirms

    Plan B measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 must be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.

    Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that more than 90 per cent of over-60s across the UK have now received booster shots to protect them, and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked .

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    He said the government had taken a “different path” for much of Europe and that “the data shows that, time and time again, this government has made the toughest right decisions”.

    People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week, when the Plan B measures expire, mandatory Covid certification will end, Mr Johnson said.

    The government will also no longer mandate the wearing of face masks from next Thursday and they will be removed from classrooms from this Thursday.

    The news comes as Covid infection levels drop in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.

    The timetable

    Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.

    From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.

    From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.

    Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.

    Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests that masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

    March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung released from prison

    Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time”, was released from prison after spending four years behind bars for a 2016 protest.

    Mr. Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

    In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution.

    Edward Leung coined the now-banned slogan ‘Free Hong Kong, revolution of our time’ (AP)

    The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

    Originally sentenced to six years, Mr Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

    Mr Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years.

    Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

    In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Mr Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

    Edward Leung supporters
    Fans pictured in 2019 hold a banner with a photo of Leung as they shout slogans outside the Hong Kong High Court (AP)

    “As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to reunite with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Mr. Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    He is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

    Shek Pik Prison in Hong Kong
    Shek Pik prison in Hong Kong (AP)

    The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned it, saying it had secessionist overtones that are illegal under the national security law that was implemented in 2020.

    The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

    Mr. Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

    Crowd scenes outside a prison
    Supporters surround a police bus carrying political activist Edward Leung as it leaves the High Court, after Leung was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2019 (AP)

    However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

    In a post on Mr. Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – his family urged supporters to let Mr. Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

    The message also said that, following a legal notice, Mr. Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Leung released from prison

    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time,” was released from prison on Wednesday after serving four years behind bars for a 2016 protest. .

    Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

    In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution. The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

    Originally sentenced to six years in prison, Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

    Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years. Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

    In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

    “As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    Leung is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

    The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned the slogan, saying it had secessionist overtones which are illegal under the National Security Law which was implemented in 2020. The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

    Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

    However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

    In a post on Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – Leung’s family urged supporters to let Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

    The post also said that, following a legal notice, Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

    Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.

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    Self government

    How far can gross irrationality support self-government? Can the wisdom of the community outweigh the howls for the chaos of the mob?

    Image Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

    Trump-proof elections – with dynamic platforms, expanded voting, critical thinking and compassion

    Like delivery companies, food production, and all manner of machinery, democratic autonomy must work to be viable. This means spreading enough wealth, services (especially medical), housing, clothing and education to motivate enough key workers to sustain the intertwined supply chains. Viability therefore depends on reliable correlations with the real world since black swans – storms, fires, drought, food shortages, pandemics, natural disasters and pugnacious neighbors – overwhelm even the most rational human decisions.

    Civilization boils down to applying real-world technology to maximize gains and minimize damage, more or less with shared benefits (clean air and water, emergency services, toll-free highways, and the Internet). Thus, the disruption of the crowd that emphasizes critical thresholds jeopardizes any autonomous democracy. Against single-minded folly, gross stupidity or bellicose denials of what is, the fragile self-government must be nurtured. Entropy in politics accelerates when one party fuels a cacophony of chaos, increasing disruption from climate change and pandemics.

    Reason clinging to reality

    Confirmations of reality reflect ingrained modes (reason, logic) by which independent methodology (science, computation, replication) examines raw data, producing reliable and working representations (descriptions, applications, new theories). This supports high-level consensus knowledge – which in turn fuels political judgments and decisions that honor reason and reality. Anything that breaks confirmation, be it ignorance, partisan fads, religion, or superstition, destroys what exists and how we know it. Thus irrationality threatens democratic states.

    Thanks to the first rogue president who dared an autocratic, election-killing coup, epic questions and schisms are erupting – if tons of irrationality can destroy democracy, endanger majority rule, even incite to violent confrontations to resolve what the Civil War apparently did not do – who and what governs a Federal Union. Although we are not close to civil war, the question of which entity governs what simmers and tests the national balance.

    Can a still tiny and delirious number of spitting militants boast of having the means and the intelligence to attack the world’s great military power? Isn’t pulling off a coup much harder than failing a presidential election, let alone being an incumbent ruining your own re-election chances? Tying insurgency fantasies to an inflated Mar-a-lago float, already leaking at the seams, exposes activists’ double miscalculations. Successful revolutionaries must outmaneuver the formidable ruling powers that are installed, backed by an army, and which require multiple unproven skills.

    That doesn’t make the current battle lines any less troubling. Slightly oversimplified, in this corner, weighing like a light minority, the Party of unreason, autocracy, rigidity, cruelty and lies opposes the more populous Party of reason, science , suffrage, compromise, collectivism and relative truth. In summary: is the MAGA minority, as full of itself as it is devoid of strategic thinking, stealing the majority elections? It’s not as if budding strongmen, already willing to replace peaceful voting with brutal violence, have any calculations or hidden agendas, that MAGA’s ends justify any nefarious and illegal means.

    Reason against unreason

    Although economists once spoke of the rational consumer, few political scientists defend today’s global electorate as particularly rational, knowledgeable, or unbiased. The media, advertising, propaganda and reflexive identification of family/tribe/party incite the aggrieved right to indulge in obsessive hatred of Democrats – and goofy, demonic projections about “the other” . Aren’t true believers defined by low-level critical thinking, especially when they step out on a limb? As with expertise, unreasonable eye-testing and analysis, even the possibility that they are wrong, is sacrilege; this is how faith-only fundamentalists embrace the crook who alone can fix everything. Rationals know best, not only that new evidence demands a change of position, but that the worst human delusion is to believe oneself divine, incapable of error – irrationally trusting your selfish “visceral” instincts when higher intellectual powers say opposite. Try flying too close to the sun with wings held in wax.

    I admit that reality has shaken my views: I once trusted that more MAGA fans, like smarter consumers, would learn from demonstrable failure, full of lies, and eventually dismiss transparent fraud without delivery. Did Trump reverse job offshoring, push infrastructure building, or even attempt better and cheaper health care reform for all, as boringly promised? Improved a chaotic foreign region? Not one, failures make failures worse. Except on racist and anti-immigration divisions, as well as demonizing liberals, Trump has failed to deliver on his promises. Instead, he hypocritically (knowing better from the start) let a pandemic become a deadly death trap for countless innocents and his own sucked-up, vaccine-resistant base. I missed how rage and attitude overwhelm the real world.

    I’ve come to see how much the cult of Trump despises America, not just conservative values, but the Constitution, law, order, or the integrity of the Capitol. Barely alone, I was shocked at the degree of cowardly cynicism behind an insurgency known today for its criminal singularity and monumental folly. Likewise, how long and how much Trump would turn his Stop the Steal empty lie into a crusade. Truly, the absurdity of losers being declared winners if they complain enough. Elections are just trivialized gestures if the losing side turns defeat into a mere campaign season. Finally, I expected the Justice Engines to already indict Trump and the chilling enablers for countless crimes, violations, and contempts. I’d be glad I was wrong here, but time and timing matter: I get six months of investigations, but justice delayed is clearly justice denied. Subject: the GA video tape!

    The reality of the disruption

    We all know now, with horrifying impact, how Trumpism has corrupted the Right, bristling with MAGA irrationalities: 1) what once reigned supreme, a candidate’s character – followed by principles and qualifications – is obsolete, replaced by just the opposite; 2) that incitement to blind rage, not positive reform, defines Trumpism, its persistent diatribe that Democrats only exist to destroy the “real America”; 3) that any Big Trump lie is as good as any demonstrable truth; 4) that extremist and minority mob violence rightly displaces eternities of peaceful, democratic voting and majority rule; and 5) that a losing demagogue can aggressively disregard voters and results, then commit voter fraud, then start an insurrection – and so far escape punishment and remain a national leader.

    Thus, years of confirmed evidence impose new conditions of engagement. For decades we have invoked various functional descriptors – right versus left, rich versus poor, liberal versus conservative, urban versus rural, religious versus secular, or educated versus less educated. Such dichotomies fall by the wayside next to this global enlightenment: the Party of Reason, even consensus truth versus the Party of Unreason and delusions that numb reality. Full screen, for all to see, captures our nightmare: the Party of Reality, trusting in reason, faces off against the Party of Unreality, loyal to fabrication and manipulation.

    After all, what could be more illogical than choosing to be a candidate, knowing that elections strictly define winners from losers, and then throwing tantrums and shouting, “It’s all rigged.” What could be more irrational than complaining that only elections won by Trumpers are legitimate, as if right-wingers never rig anything? Behind this fake scandal lies the most dangerous position of all, that Only My Side Counts, this shrill party (run by a sleazy, convicted real estate scammer) holds all truth and justice. This is how Trumpism, backed by the absolutism of faith alone, corrupt democracy, beaten reason, shit on the Constitution and turns politics into a sectarian theocracy of the fittest.

    The final question, the lack of accountability for gross violations of American values, id what changes the dynamic? If system-breakers and law-breakers aren’t penalized for trying to corrupt everything they touch — and fool enough voters to cede control of Congress this year, the times will be increasingly difficult for what remains of representative autonomy. If Trumpism offers no other positive, it exposes on a platter the alternatives of today. No one can say we weren’t warned. Some routes once taken come without a clear return map, leaving the messy but defensible national balance stranded perhaps at our fingertips. Again, voting also needs fingertips.

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    Home rule

    When will he work from the end of the House Rules in England and answer other key questions

    The work-from-home measures were halted on January 19 after being in place for just over a month (December 13).

    It was part of the broader Plan B measures to stem the transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

    As part of the wider measures, face masks are still compulsory in shops and public transport and vaccination status “passports” are required to enter certain large venues.

    However, testing measures for overseas travelers have been relaxed, with fully vaccinated passengers no longer needing to take a test before departure or self-isolate on return.

    Asymptomatic people who test positive for Covid from a lateral flow no longer need to do a follow-up PCR before starting their isolation period.

    And the isolation period for those who test positive has been reduced to five days from seven.

    When can we return to work?

    The current Plan B measures in England are set to end automatically on January 26.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed to PMQs on Wednesday January 19 that the work from home directive would end.

    Mandatory mask-wearing and vaccination “passports” for major events will also end.

    Here is the schedule:

    Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.

    From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.

    From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.

    Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.

    Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

    March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.

    Is it safe to return to work?

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Tuesday it was likely ‘we have already peaked in hospital case numbers’ as ministers prepared to review Plan B measures.

    He echoed Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, who told BBC Breakfast: “If you look at infection rates, they remain high, hospitalizations are still high, affecting 20,000 people in hospital, but we they seem to be leveling off.

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    “The good news is that the number of people in intensive care has decreased, certainly in London, which was the epicentre, the level of staff absence in education has remained fairly stable, it was 8% before Christmas, it’s about 8.5% at the moment.

    “So I’m confident that when we look at that on January 26, as we’ve said, then we’ll be in a much better position to lift some of those restrictions.

    “But it’s worth remembering that because we stuck to plan B, this economy is the most open economy in Europe.”

    Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for the UK in the fight against Covid-1, but that we must always be “respectful”. ‘ of the virus.

    He said: “Looking at this from a British perspective, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel… I think it’s going to be bumpy before you get to the end.

    “So while it is possible to begin to imagine that the end of the pandemic is not far away, everyone must be prepared for the possibility that there will be more variations and mutations to come, or that ‘there are more challenges, more pushes from the same Omicron to come.

    He said children don’t get very sick from Covid-19, and “we’re going to have children acting as carriers of the virus for some time to come”.

    He said you should always be ‘respectful of this virus’, adding: ‘Do what you can to stop spreading it. Do what you can to prevent others from being affected. It’s not the common cold.

    “I know people wish it were, but it’s a virus that still has some really nasty characteristics. Let’s do our best to protect people from it if we can.”

    READ MORE: Follow our Covid-19 news here

    What are the current rules regarding working from home?

    Government Plan B guidelines state that anyone who cannot work from home should continue to work and should consider taking regular lateral flow tests to manage their own risk and the risk to others.

    Although guidance on working from home has ended, employers still need to consider whether working from home is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health issues, or for those whose home working environment is particularly difficult.

    Employers also have an obligation to keep workers safe by considering social distancing, minimizing visitors, good ventilation, one-way systems and additional cleaning measures.

    There are no legal limits on contact between people from different households, including in the workplace. There is no government requirement or recommendation for employers to limit capacity in the workplace.

    There are specific guidelines for certain industries – including construction, hospitality and manufacturing with more detail for employers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    What else has changed?

    Boris Johnson confirmed to the Commons on Wednesday January 19 that the legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will be allowed to expire when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that from Monday January 17 the time people with Covid-19 in England have to spend in isolation is to be reduced to five full days.

    Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

    This means that from Monday people will be able to take two tests to come out of isolation, “leaving isolation at the start of the sixth day”.

    The move comes as businesses face an economy of consumer cancellations as well as staff shortages as workers self-isolate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said earlier that around 3% of the entire UK workforce was sick or in self-isolation at the end of December due to catching Covid-19.

    The government had been under pressure to bring the situation in England into line with that in the United States, where the isolation period had previously been reduced to five days.

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    Home rule

    Scottish Home Rule or ‘Devo Max’ is as relevant as the Schleswig-Holstein issue in the independence debate – Kenny MacAskill MP

    But while it scorched Twitter and provoked heated demands and equally strenuous denials, it remained an esoteric debate.

    It’s not on the agenda, and with another Indy referendum, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Nor was it discussed or even brought up in Westminster or the main halls of power. It is a debate without substance.

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    Although not “as dead as a dodo”, it has as much relevance as the proverbial Schleswig-Holstein question. The Conservative government is simply not interested.

    They will no more listen to Nicola Sturgeon’s pleas for a “gold-plated” referendum than they are to the cries of lesser mortals to make it a multi-option referendum.

    The coronavirus still dominates and it’s “the economy, stupid” that will dominate now and for some time to come. Talking about a referendum will remain just that, because the focus and the agenda will be on unemployment and the cost of living.

    Requests for a referendum will be rejected and discussions on its formulation will not even be taken into account.

    Because a new expression has entered the political lexicon and has far more resonance in Westminster than Devo Max ever had. His “muscular unionism” which roughly translates to “take what you get Jock”, otherwise “know your place in Scotland”.

    House rule is off the table, says Kenny MacAskill (Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

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    Read more

    SNP figures reject calls for devo-max option on Scottish independence ballot…

    This is reflected in almost every recent action by the Conservative government. There is no discussion or even debate. This applies not only to the rejection of any idea of ​​increased decentralization, but also to the application of the current constitutional regulation. The Home Market Act is imposed, Scotland sidelined and Westminster dominating.

    Welcome to the new era of decentralization. Back to the useless of 2014. That was then, what is now. There was no multiple-option referendum at the time, as Cameron, in his ultimately cost-dear Brexit arrogance, assumed he would comfortably win it and ruled it out.

    There will be no referendum, but even if there was, it would have to be clarified what Devo Max is. Yet since 2014, if not before “the wish”, it remains what an individual thinks.

    To vote for it in the abstract would be absurd and, before or after, there would undoubtedly have to be a commission, taking an eternity to discuss, even less to deliver.

    If there was a will to go in that direction, then it would be obvious now. Devolution would evolve and powers would be granted gradually.

    The arrival of Wales on the constitutional scene, through the enigmatic but very effective Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, surely gave impetus to this. But no relaxation of the muscles of the Union, quite the contrary.

    This is why if Scotland wants to advance the constitutional debate, it will have to do so itself, and not hand over powers and a timetable to Westminster, as is the current position of the Scottish government. It is action that is needed, not esoteric debate.

    Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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    Home rule

    Where Can I Find Fast Financing?

    A number of people have the misconception that fast financing means they have to sacrifice quality for fast cash. In other words, fast loans will require people to pay higher interest rates and fees.

    Fast cash is very good for people with urgent needs. If someone is facing a need for a large amount of money, fast loans can be quite helpful. If you are having trouble getting approved for a regular loan, you might want to consider fast financing.

    Some people believe they need to be a certain age in order to apply for a loan. In reality, anyone who is at least 18 years old can qualify. However, some companies require a certain type of credit rating, which may be lower than your current credit rating. So, if you have bad credit, you may not get approved for fast financing. The best thing to do in this situation is to apply for one or two fast loan options.

    However, some companies offer loans for those who have bad credit. If you have a high level of bad credit, you should definitely head to the bridge payday site and take advantage of their fast financing options.

    Read all the information when looking for a fast loan

    When looking for a fast loan, be sure to read all of the information. Many of these companies are reputable, but they may try to sell you something.

    Before applying for a loan, make sure you understand what the loan is for. The terms of the fast loan are important. It is important to understand exactly how much the money will cost you. You should not sign a contract without understanding it completely.

    With fast approval, you can usually use the money right away. If you are facing an emergency situation, it might be a good idea to borrow a small amount at a time. If you borrow too much at once, you may end up over your budget.

    Fast loans are very popular because they help people in need of money

    Although fast finance is not good for everyone, many people find them useful. They can be helpful when there is an emergency. Even though fast finance can be a little risky, if it is used wisely, it can be very helpful.

    You can go online and compare the different companies. Compare the interest rates, fees, closing costs, and other fees. You can even apply to multiple companies to see if they offer a better deal. There are many different types of fast loans available.

    One of the things you will want to look at is the interest rate. Interest rates can vary widely. Look at the annual percentage rates, which are applied to the total amount you will be borrowing.

    Another thing to look at is the fees that are charged by the different companies. Make sure you know about fees for processing your loan, which include application processing, paperwork, and closing costs.

    The best option is to go with a company that has a reputation for being trustworthy. Make sure you know how long the company has been in business. You also want to look at the reputation of the loan provider with the Better Business Bureau.

    Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into before you apply for fast financing. This type of loan is not for everyone. If you do not have bad credit, you may want to shop around. For example, some companies may offer special financing that will not allow you to apply for a fast loan.

    Make sure you read all the fine print of the loan agreement

    It is a good idea to know your rights, such as the right to repay your loan early. You should also know how much interest you will have to pay, and the type of collateral you can secure.

    Make sure that you get several quotes from different lenders. You can even compare lenders at the same time. Getting several quotes helps you determine which one will be the best option.

    Fast financing can be helpful for some people. Before you commit to anything, however, you should carefully consider all the details of the loan.

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    Sovereignty

    Mobile home community finds stability in self-government

    One sunny, cold January morning, John Egan joined other residents of the mobile home park on a neighbor’s porch. They needed to organize. But how?

    “I had to go to the bathroom, and when I came back from the bathroom, they said, ‘Hi! You are president! ‘ Mr. Egan recalls.

    The half-dozen people had gathered to think about how to buy their Durango, Colorado park from the private owner – a move Mr. Egan and others saw as a blow in the dark. But now they had at least a president for what would become an interim board. With advice from a non-profit housing organization and majority support from the community, residents were able to purchase the approximately 15-acre property in five months. They celebrated with a picnic, as the new Animas View MHP cooperative joined a few thousand other resident-owned communities across the country.

    Their achievement is unusual. The resident-owned market represents only 2.4% of prefabricated housing communities nationwide. According to industry experts, it is important to strengthen the health and longevity of mobile home fleets, as they are a vital source of affordable housing. Recent Colorado legislation provides certain provisions for communities like Animas View who hope to secure their future by governing themselves.

    “Everyone sleeps better at night,” says Steve Boardman, here for 20 years, pulling out his refresher.

    “We are in control. “

    Affordable homes with a view

    River, mountains, blond grass bleached in autumn – Durango mobile homes have a million dollar view. Largely motionless and expensive to move, these prefabricated units have been commonly referred to as “manufactured homes” since 1976. They are estimated to house between 18 and 22 million people in the United States.

    “It’s one of the biggest sources of affordable housing in our country, and it’s very affordable without any federal subsidies.,Explains Associate Professor of Sociology Esther Sullivan at the University of Colorado at Denver.

    The median annual household income of these owners – $ 35,000 – is half that of built-in-place owners, according to Fannie Mae. Manufactured homes occupy 6.3% of the US housing stock, with more than double that share in rural areas.

    Many residents own their homes but not the underlying land, for which they pay “land rent”. This model can stimulate financial insecurity: these homeowners are “more likely to see their homes depreciate and have less protection if they fall behind on payments,” reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Media reports have increasingly highlighted private sector purchases of these parks which often result in rent increases, which housing advocates deem predatory.

    Mobile home park investor Frank Rolfe says: “When we buy these properties, they are often in terrible shape, and [we] bring them back to life. … You can’t bring old properties back to life without increasing rents.

    Mr. Rolfe estimates that he and a partner are the fifth largest owners of mobile home fleets in the United States. “There’s this conception, I think, that park owners are kind of hostile to residents buying their own communities, and that’s completely irrelevant,” says Mr. Rolfe, co-founder of Mobile Home. University, based in Colorado, which trains investors to buy parks. Three parks he co-owned have been sold to residents.

    More owners

    Mr Egan and his wife, Cate Smock, bought their trailer here in 2012 – an affordable move to Durango so their son could attend a better school. But subsequently, they saw the rent for their land, which includes utilities, increase every year, or even twice a year.

    “You’d dread the piece of paper with the black electrical tape on your door,” she said. Residents of Animas View also complained about the previous owner’s lack of attention to their needs and delayed repairs.

    Shortly before Christmas 2020, residents learned that the last owner, Strive Communities, intended to sell. Residents began to organize almost immediately. (The monitor was unable to reach Strive for comment.)

    “We don’t tell people that it’s easy” to become resident owned, says Mike Bullard, communications and marketing manager for ROC USA, a New Hampshire nonprofit that, along with its affiliates, reports. having helped nearly 300 prefabricated housing communities become resident-owned. (ROC stands for Resident Owned Communities.)

    With 430 households, the Halifax Mobile Home Estates Association in rural Massachusetts is the largest in the ROC USA network, owned by residents since 2017. The budget is tight due to the size of the community, the board chair said. administration Deborah Winiewicz, but at least the members have a say. on how these funds are spent by voting at an annual meeting.

    “We have also found that people are more proud of the community because it is theirs,” she adds, noting that their sales office is run by resident volunteers.

    In Colorado, the subsidiary of the Thistle ROC network helped the Durango Co-op raise the funds necessary for their purchase. But to afford the funding, the co-op increased the land rent by $ 80 this fall (the rent ranges between $ 755 and $ 825). While the hike may seem counterintuitive, it’s not uncommon, says Bullard.

    “These groups are not only buying the real estate, but the business as well,” he says, adding that land rents for new resident-owned communities will generally drop at or below market rate within five years.

    The sale, first reported by The Durango Herald, closed in June for a purchase price of around $ 15 million, according to Dan Hunt, a former Animas View board member who sits. now on the operations and finance committees.

    Learning about the local community organization helped convince Kevin Miller to rent land there for his motorhome. Now chairman of the board, Miller, who moved in last year, says he likes the idea of ​​keeping money in a community.

    “I’m proud to tell people where I live now,” he says.

    Progress since failure

    Among legislation to strengthen protections for mobile home dwellers, Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed a bill in 2020 that requires homeowners to provide residents with at least 12 months’ notice of a possible change in land use. It also gives residents 90 days after being notified by the owner of a potential park sale to make an offer to purchase and arrange funding. Homeowners should respect this “opportunity to buy” window before selling to someone else.

    But the model belonging to residents remains the exception and not the rule. Animas View is one of three parks to become owned by Colorado residents in 2021, out of a few dozen that have changed ownership.

    However, the new legislation “gives [residents] the opportunity to be able to compete with an offer they would not have seen before, ”says Andy Kadlec, Program Director at Thistle ROC.

    Advocates say this legislative momentum was born out of activism and the unsuccessful attempt by residents of another Colorado mobile home community, Denver Meadows, to buy their park ahead of its scheduled closure as the owner considered a redevelopment . Despite help from advocacy group 9to5 Colorado and Thistle ROC, the Aurora-based community’s offer to purchase in 2017 was reportedly rejected. Although some landlords received relocation assistance, many ended up paying double the rent elsewhere, says Cesiah Guadarrama Trejo, deputy state manager of 9to5.

    The Denver Meadows saga was featured in the 2021 mobile home documentary “A Decent Home” by filmmaker Sara Terry, a former Monitor reporter. His team hosted an event in Colorado in November that connected manufactured homeowners from across the country with activists, policy experts and former residents of Denver Meadows.

    Reflecting on when she started the film about six years ago, Ms. Terry notes, “I had to talk about the ‘underreported’ affordable housing crisis. … [Now] people pay attention. I think popular activism is flourishing, and that gives me hope. “

    Mr Hunt, one of the few Animas View residents who attended the rally, said he approached a displaced man from Denver Meadows and thanked him.

    No threat of eviction

    Just beyond the boundaries of Durango Park, a train slices through the mountain view with a harmonic blast. Current and former board members are keen to keep this community intact and, so far, residents report that no one has moved since the sale.

    “One of the first things we decided when we got together as a board of directors was that we would not allow anyone to be forced out of the park due to an inability to pay rent,” former board chairman Mr Egan said in his home, where Christmas stockings hang above an electric fireplace.

    To make sure people can afford to stay, the community is developing a rental fund. In addition to seeking outside funding, some residents plan to make cash donations themselves. Lindie Hunt, treasurer to the board of directors and wife of Mr Hunt, recently started the fund with a check for $ 60 – money she received for inspecting a neighbor’s home while she was away.

    “It wasn’t my money in the first place,” she reasoned in her kitchen, getting ready to go to work one morning.

    Beyond the repayment of the initial five loans, the community of 120 lots is faced with infrastructure projects, such as the wholesale replacement of the water and sewer system. To help reduce maintenance costs, many residents volunteer their time and skills. Mr. Boardman sometimes wields a weedkiller.

    Needing to collaborate, residents also began to get to know their neighbors better. Surrounded by sawdust and screws, Kirby MacLaurin and Doug Harris voluntarily demolish a duplex that the co-op hopes to renovate for rent.

    Although they’ve been overlapping at Animas View for a few years now, the men have just met.

    “Since we created the cooperative, we have met for the first time. Isn’t that amazing? Mr. Harris said.

    “That’s right,” said Mr. MacLaurin, hammer in hand. “Best friends… what a find. “

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    Home rule

    Erie residents asked to respond to survey over possible move to home rule – Boulder Daily Camera

    Erie residents will have a unique opportunity to inform the city’s local government’s future plans. The city is conducting a survey to gather feedback from residents on how Erie government will operate in the future.

    Currently, Erie operates under a form of government called statutory rule, which means that government is based on state laws. However, the move to autonomy would mean that the government would operate on the basis of a charter drawn up by the residents. In theory, home rule revolves around the idea that residents of the community are best equipped to solve local problems.

    As of Monday, however, residents were able to complete a survey using several different platforms. Residents can go to www.erieco.us/home-rule-charter and click on the “take survey” button. Other residents may receive text messages or emails from the city with a link to the survey website, and others may receive a phone call regarding the survey during the week of January 17. The survey ends on January 19.

    According to Gabi Rae, director of communications and community engagement for Erie, the city is the most populous municipality in Colorado that has yet to change governance.

    “As municipalities grow, it becomes more feasible to assume more specific governance that matches the community itself rather than using only state statutes to govern,” Rae wrote. in an email. “Generally, when a municipality is self-governing, it is able to align its local government more closely with the needs of residents at that particular time. The charter can be written to be updated/edited regularly to change as the community evolves.

    To educate more Erie residents about the differences in government, the city launched a campaign called “The Roadmap to Self-Reliance,” which outlines a series of steps leading up to Election Day in 2023.

    The issue of the move to local self-government was originally scheduled to appear on the 2021 ballot, however, after receiving public feedback, the board moved the issue to the 2022 ballot to give the public more time to consider Familiarize with Home Rule governance settings.

    The move to autonomy would allow community members to have a more direct say in areas of government, including licenses and permits, taxes and budgets, municipal court proceedings, the management of traffic, police fees and fines, community development, as well as the structure of the Board of Directors.

    The move from statutory rule to home rule will require the measure to be approved in the 2022 ballot. Then residents can vote for other community members to join the Charter Commission, which will then have 180 days to write a municipal charter, which will then be voted on by the community on November 7, 2023.

    To learn more about the House Rule, visit https://www.erieco.gov/faq.aspx?qid=254.

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    Sovereignty

    WATCH: Holness slaps Maroon self-government demands

    In a rather angry and loud tone, Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that there is no other independent state in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government which was duly elected by the people to govern the country.

    Responding to a question from a media representative at a Sunday morning press conference convened by his office to deal primarily with security issues, the Prime Minister practically touched on the issue of possible Maroon autonomy which has crept into the national debate over time. , especially since last year.

    “Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state. There is no sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government. I want it to be absolutely clear! Any ! Holness thundered when asked if there is a conflict in a stated government position not to engage with or fund any initiative of a group that claims self-government status.

    The question also cited that the Accompong Maroon had received permission from at least one Jamaican agency to hold a major event in the community recently, apparently at odds with the government’s position on the matter.

    Holness’ response came after the leader of the maroons of Accompong, Chief Richard Currie, began and continues to peddle the argument that Accompong is sovereign territory and its inhabitants are collectively a sovereign people.

    In addition, Currie argued that the lands of the wider Cockpit Country were also part of their “sovereign territory”.

    But on Sunday, Holness made it clear that none of those talks about another sovereign homeland in Jamaica would be tolerated.

    “…Under my direction, not an inch of Jamaica will be under any other sovereign authority,” he said with an even deeper voice.

    A recent report indicated that Jamaican government ministries, departments and agencies have been urged not to engage with or fund secessionist maroons who claim Jamaican state sovereignty. The report cites a leaked Cabinet Office document.

    “There shall be no endorsement or acquiescence to any language or suggestion regarding Indigenous sovereignty or rights, and no funds shall be made available to any person or entity claiming it,” the document said. , as it was broadcast in the media. report.

    Responding to whether the government would reconsider its position, Holness became even more enraged by the speech, which he described as tantamount to the Jamaican state funding a group of people claiming to be part of another sovereign state in Jamaica.

    “What you’re asking is that the Jamaican government fund (or) take taxpayers’ money and fund another government (inside Jamaica).

    “It’s not another government that says it’s a local government, (formerly) a parish council, that falls under our constitution,” Holness explained.

    ” Are you crazy ? Truly ? Do you know what you are asking? asked an annoyed Holness in reference to the reporter who asked the question.

    In an even more angry tone and language, Holness took what appeared to be a jab at the media house representative over the issue of funding another group of people who claim to be sovereigns.

    “That’s how guerrilla wars happen and states fall apart! Wake up Jamaica! Don’t court madness and trouble! Wake up!

    “People have died because of this, and you expect me to be here as Prime Minister and fund activities that could lead to the collapse of our state? Ever!” Holness said.

    A celebratory event in the town of Accompong, St Elizabeth, organized by the Maroons, on Thursday night resulted in a shootout in which one man died and five other people, including two boys, were injured.

    Reports suggested that police had issued a warning that Maroon celebrations should not take place as they violated the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA).

    However, event organizers went ahead with Currie saying the event was a celebration of spiritual and traditional Maroon rituals.

    Additionally, the media report mentioned above cited that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) authorized the declaration of the event, at the request of the Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange. .

    However, it is understood that ODPEN’s endorsement of the event may not have been communicated to the police.

    Maroons and the government have been at odds of late over the so-called recognition of the former’s alleged sovereignty, particularly over Cockpit Country, where a bauxite company recently won permission to mine a defined section of these lands. .

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    Self government

    “Populist” promises: why cities need more autonomy

    A few days ago, a researcher friend based in Chandigarh asked if there was a provision in the Local Bodies Acts to ensure that election candidates, candidates and parties, make achievable promises. And if they were to promise something beyond the scope and capacity of the municipality, can they be sued. How I wished we could apply such a law to our Prime Minister’s promise of Rs 15 lakh to every Indian’s bank account. Indeed, candidates should only promise what they can deliver.

    The researcher friend echoed a former mayor of Chandigarh, who lost in the municipal elections recently held in the Union Territory. The mayor was likely referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promising to replicate its “Delhi model” in Chandigarh. The AAP became the largest party, overtaking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the polls for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Not only did some of the former BJP mayors lose despite the party’s high decibel campaign, but its defeat was more brutal since the UT is under Center control and its MP is also from the BJP.

    The main promises of the AAP were to provide 20,000 liters of free water to all households every month, to clean the garbage from the Dadumajra landfill, to install CCTV cameras and to make wifi accessible throughout the city. These poll promises necessitate a debate on issues of urban governance.

    The demands and slogans of the Chandigarh municipal elections, such as free water, free electricity and social housing, resonate and reinforce the concept of “democratization of surplus”. BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution, spoke of “one person, one vote”. It should also mean “one man, one economic unit”, but these slogans are becoming more relevant due to widespread and vast inequality.

    Cities have become centers of capital accumulation through expropriation, especially over the past four decades. Twin processes were at work. First, the state, which provided essential services to citizens, passed this agenda on to private capital. Services such as water supply, education, health care and even housing are now areas of expansion for private capital. According to one estimate, real estate is the primary driver of capital accumulation in some cities.

    The other reason people have lost their ability to acquire or hold assets is the nature of capitalist production in cities. According to one estimate, most workers – nearly 94 percent – are engaged in the informal sector. This has drastically reduced the bargaining power of workers in the cities.

    The city itself has become a center of capitalist accumulation. As several urban planners have pointed out, cities are the centers of surplus production and should therefore be seen as factories. The democratization of the surplus in these urban centers and the slogans related to this idea, such as free water and electricity, more health centers, are neither gifts nor populist ideas but linked to the class demand of the workers .

    Even in Chandigarh, the middle class elite still voted for the BJP, while the poorer and marginalized sections voted for the AAP and Congress.

    Such democratization of surplus in cities is taking place in different parts of the world.

    In many cities, remunicipalisation is being implemented in service delivery. For example, in Barcelona, ​​progressive groups raised the slogan “Win ​​Barcelona” and, after winning the elections, worked to democratize the urban commons, especially in the digital realm. Similarly, in Montreal, there has been an attempt to shift the city’s mobility from elevated privately driven vehicles serving the interests of oil and automobile capital to mass transit.

    Next comes the question of the role of local self-government. After more than a quarter century of the 74th amendment to the constitution, functions, officials and finances have not been transferred to local governments across the country except Kerala.

    The universally transferred function is that of a garbage collector. We will even soon have the registration of births and deaths transmitted to the central government. The cities are more like annexes of the State or the Center. The demand for municipal cadres corresponding to the services of state cadres has not been implemented anywhere.

    Cities are to be governed by the principle of democratic decentralization envisioned in the 74th Amendment. Urban planning, apart from other functions, must be conveyed to the city council, preparing plans through meetings of neighborhood committees and community participation. However, the reality is that citizens are removed from the decision-making process.

    Third, the debate over candidate and political party pledges and their feasibility – pledges are made to break the inertia of the existing delivery system and according to the class of people a political party represents.

    Architect Charles Correa, chairman of the first urban commission formed in 1986, felt that urban governance in India was in desperate need of accountability. He said that more and more cities around the world are run by political leaders directly elected by the people of that city. So they defend the interests of citizens, otherwise they will not be re-elected. Unfortunately, in India, we find that cities are run by Chief Ministers of State who are not elected by the citizens of the city and therefore completely unaware of the demands and demands of the city.

    Therefore, accountability in elections should not just be limited to promises made in elections, but should be drawn into a broader canvas of ‘autonomy’ in cities. This should be done by ensuring not only wider participation of people, but by democratizing the whole process.

    (The author is a former Deputy Mayor of Shimla)

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

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