The equality and human rights watchdog has appoint

first_imgThe equality and human rights watchdog has appointed eight disabled people to its disability committee, including leading activists, advisers and academics.The new appointments mean that all 14 members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) disability advisory committee (DAC) will be disabled people.The committee was formed last year to replace the statutory disability committee, which had powers under the Equality Act 2006 to take important disability-related decisions within EHRC, such as allowing it to overrule officers on critical and strategically-important legal cases.The DAC does not have these powers. Instead, its members will inform the commission’s work on protecting and promoting rights and equality for disabled people.The new members are Liz Sayce, Lord [Colin] Low, Professor Nick Watson, Simone Aspis, Miro Griffiths, Fazilet Hadi, Sarah Coleman and Maddy Kirkman.Sayce is the former chief executive of Disability Rights UK (DR UK) and its predecessor organisation RADAR, who retired from that post last year after 10 years.She has a background in mental health and disability policy and is a member of the governing committee of Healthwatch England and the government’s social security advisory committee, and is a non-executive director of the Care Quality Commission.She is also a former director of policy and communications at the Disability Rights Commission.While at DR UK, she spoke out on issues around disability employment, the rights of disabled asylum-seekers, and for reform of the Mental Health Act and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.But she is still best-known among many disabled activists for writing a controversial report for the coalition government on employment support for disabled people.Lord Low (pictured) is a vice-president and former chair of RNIB, and a former law lecturer and researcher.He speaks regularly on human rights issues in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer, and spoke out last summer against the “personal misery” caused by “neoliberal austerity”, which he said was part of a 40-year project to “systematically shrink” public sector spending.He has also spoken out against the harm that Brexit will cause to disabled people.Watson is professor of disability research in the School of Social and Political Sciences, and director at the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research, both at the University of Glasgow.He is probably best-known to many activists as the co-author of a research report which concluded two years ago that the research successive governments had relied on to justify slashing disability benefits – through the biopsychosocial model of disability – was riddled with inconsistencies, misleading statements and “unevidenced” claims.He was also co-author of the Bad News For Disabled People report, which found in 2011 that there had been a “significant increase” in the number of negative stories about disabled people in national newspapers over the previous six years.Aspis has more than 20 years’ experience of campaigning for disabled people’s rights, particularly on inclusive education at The Alliance for Inclusive Education, and currently also acts as an advocate for autistic people and those with learning difficulties who have been sectioned and cannot secure their release from psychiatric hospitals.She has also previously worked with the UK Disabled People’s Council and People First, as well as with the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance on the shadow report it submitted last year to the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.Griffiths, a campaigner, researcher and adviser on disability rights, and a former project officer for the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), is another who has spoken out to warn of the damaging impact of Brexit on disabled people’s rights and social justice.He has also spoken publicly of how governments in the UK – and abroad – have shown “a clear lack of appreciation and respect” for disabled people’s organisations by ignoring their views and advice when developing new policies.He spent six years on Equality 2025, the government’s now-disbanded high-level advice body of disabled people.Hadi is a former solicitor and local authority equality manager who spent two decades at the disability charity RNIB, including as deputy chief executive, and is a former chair of the Law Centres Federation.She has previously told peers that she believed the private sector had done a better job of implementing the Equality Act than central and local government.She spoke out six years ago to warn ministers that it felt as though disabled people were “a group under siege” and that the government had been drawing false distinctions between “disabled people” and “tax-payers” and between “deserving” and “undeserving” benefit claimants.Coleman is a policy officer with Mencap, and is a former youth worker and advocate, and has led community involvement projects and delivered disability equality training, as well as having experience as a family carer.Kirkman is a former national disabled students’ officer at the National Union of Students, and currently works in the third sector in Scotland, conducting research and strategy projects with a small disability charity, and continues to be an active member of the disabled students’ movement.The new members join DAC’s existing members, the acting chair Dr Rachel Perkins, Dr Marc Bush, Helen Chipchase, Professor Anna Lawson, Michelle Scattergood and Colin Young.All 14 members of the committee self-identify as disabled people.The new appointments completed an application process that began last November. The members of the committee are set to nominate their own chair at their next meeting.David Isaac, EHRC’s chair, said: “Improving the lives of disabled people is at the heart of everything we do and creating a strong DAC with such a wealth of expertise and personal experience across such a broad range of fields is essential to our work.“Only by this means will the commission’s work be well-informed, relevant and effective in advancing the rights of all disabled people in this country.”last_img read more

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We complied with SCH regulations over Tal Qares site – AX Group

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Credit: Temple Rescue MaltaCredit: Temple Rescue Malta The construction and development firm AX Group, says that it complied with all regulations to protect the archaeological features on its development site at Tal Qares.Responding to a request for comment in regard to an updated social media post by Temple Rescue Malta, the CEO of AX Group Michael Warrington, said that the company had complied with ‘all the recommendations of the Superintendent of the Cultural Heritage.’Warrington explains that the land the company developed had been owned by the company for the last 25 years and had been brought into the rationalization scheme for development in 2006.This update comes following a Facebook post by the Facebook group Temple Rescue Malta, who state that development was destroying the Tal Qares archaeological site.Tal-Qares Archaeological Site ‘being destroyed’ for new development – Temple Rescue MaltaAccording to AX Group, an extensive study had been carried out by the company with the support of the SuperIntendent for Cultural Heritage.An ancient rubble wall was discovered on the property during their surveys and was deemed to be the only item which would need to be protected during the excavation and development phases.Requests for comment regarding the points raised by Temple Rescue Malta, have been sent to the Superintendent for Cultural Heritage.WhatsApplast_img read more

Tehran fumes as Britain seizes Iranian oil tanker over Syria sanctions

first_imgOil supertanker Grace 1 on suspicion of being carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria is seen near Gibraltar, Spain July 4, 2019. REUTERS/StringerOil supertanker Grace 1 on suspicion of being carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria is seen near Gibraltar, Spain July 4, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.The Grace 1 tanker was impounded in the British territory on the southern tip of Spain after sailing around Africa, the long route from the Middle East to the mouth of the Mediterranean.Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to voice “its very strong objection to the illegal and unacceptable seizure” of its ship. The diplomatic gesture lifted any doubt over Iran’s ownership of the vessel, which flies a Panama flag and is listed as managed by a company in Singapore.Panama’s Maritime Authority said on Thursday that Grace 1 was no longer listed in Panama’s international boat registry as of May 29.U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the British move was “excellent news.”“America our allies will continue to prevent regimes in Tehran Damascus from profiting off this illicit trade,” Bolton said on Twitter.Shipping data reviewed by Reuters suggests the tanker was carrying Iranian oil loaded off the coast of Iran, although its documents say the oil is from neighbouring Iraq.While Europe has banned oil shipments to Syria since 2011, it had never seized a tanker at sea. Unlike the United States, Europe does not have broad sanctions against Iran.“This is the first time that the EU has done something so public and so aggressive. I imagine it was also coordinated in some manner with the U.S. given that NATO member forces have been involved,” said Matthew Oresman, a partner with law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman who advises firms on sanctions.“This is likely to have been meant as a signal to Syria and Iran – as well as the U.S. – that Europe takes sanctions enforcement seriously and that the EU can also respond to Iranian brinkmanship related to ongoing nuclear negotiations,” he said.Authorities in Gibraltar made no reference to the source of the oil or the ownership of the ship when they seized it.But Iran’s acknowledgment that it owned the ship, and the likelihood that its cargo was also Iranian, drew a link between the incident and a new U.S. effort to halt all global sales of Iranian crude. Iran describes that as an illegal “economic war.”European countries have so far tried to appear neutral in the escalating confrontation between Tehran and Washington, which saw the United States call off air strikes against Iran just minutes before impact last month, and Tehran amass stocks of enriched uranium banned under a 2015 nuclear deal.The Gibraltar government said it had reasonable grounds to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying crude oil to the Baniyas refinery in Syria.“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria,” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said. “With my consent, our port and law enforcement agencies sought the assistance of the Royal Marines in carrying out this operation.”A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed Gibraltar’s move.U.S. SANCTIONS TIGHTENEDSpain, which challenges British ownership of Gibraltar, said the action was prompted by a U.S. request to Britain and appeared to have taken place in Spanish waters. Britain’s Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment.Iran has long been supplying its allies in Syria with oil despite sanctions against Syria. What is new are U.S. sanctions on Iran itself, imposed last year when President Donald Trump pulled out of an agreement that had guaranteed Tehran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.Those U.S. sanctions have been tightened sharply since May, effectively forcing Iran from mainstream oil markets and making it desperate for alternative customers. Iran has grown more reliant on its own tanker fleet to transport whatever oil it can sell and to store a growing stockpile of unsold output.The U.S.-Iranian confrontation has escalated in recent weeks, taking on a military dimension after Washington accused Tehran of attacking tankers in the Gulf and Iran shot down a U.S. drone. Trump ordered air strikes but called them off at the last minute, later saying too many people would have died.European countries opposed Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear deal last year, and they have promised to help Iran find alternative ways to export, but with little success so far.Iran has said it wants to keep the nuclear deal alive but must receive promised economic benefits. This week it announced it had accumulated more low-enriched uranium than the deal allows and from July 7 will refine uranium to a greater purity than permitted.By restricting Iran’s ability to move oil, U.S. sanctions have choked off Tehran’s Syrian allies, causing fuel shortages in government-controlled areas. In May, Syria received its first foreign oil for six months with the arrival of two shipments, one from Iran, a source said at the time.Earlier this year, Reuters revealed that the Grace 1 was one of four tankers involved in shipping Iranian fuel oil to Singapore and China, violating U.S. sanctions.The 300,000-tonne tanker is registered as being managed by Singapore-based IShips Management Pte Ltd. Reuters was unable to establish contact with the firm for comment.It was documented as loading fuel oil in the Iraqi port of Basra in December, though Basra did not list it as being in port and its tracking system was switched off. The tanker reappeared on tracking maps near Iran’s port of Bandar Assalyeh, fully loaded.Homayoun Falakshahi, senior analyst at London-based energy data firm Kpler, told Reuters the ship had loaded Iranian crude in mid-April from Iran’s export port of Kharg Island.A maritime intelligence source said the ship may have made the journey around Africa to avoid the Suez Canal, where such a large super-tanker would have had to unload its cargo and refill after passing through, exposing it to potential seizure.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more