General Government

A Mass Movement from South Sudan

South Sudanese are voting with their feet. “Refugee flows from South Sudan into Uganda have doubled in the past ten days, bringing the total to more than 52,000 who have entered the country since violence escalated three weeks ago. Kenya has reported the arrival of 1,000 refugees in the same period, while 7,000 have fled to Sudan. In total, 60,000 people have fled the country since violence broke out in Juba last month, bringing the overall number of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries since December 2013 to nearly 900,000. The refugees bring disturbing reports that armed groups operating on roads to Uganda are preventing people from fleeing South Sudan. New arrivals from Yei say they received letters warning them to evacuate the town in anticipation of conflict between rebel and government forces.” (UNHCR  http://bit.ly/2b0AjKY)  

A Gas Attack in Syria…”A Syrian rescue service operating in rebel-held territory said on Tuesday a helicopter dropped containers of toxic gas overnight on a town close to where a Russian military helicopter was shot down hours earlier. The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) accused President Bashar al Assad of being behind the attack. Assad has denied previous accusations of using chemical weapons. A spokesman for the Syria Civil Defence said 33 people, mostly women and children, were affected by the gas, which they suspect was chlorine, in Saraqeb, in rebel-held Idlib province.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/2afxo3C)

1 Million People Displaced by India Floods…”The death toll in flooding from heavy monsoon rains in India has climbed past 90, with about a million people taking shelter in government-run relief camps, officials said Tuesday. Incessant downpours have damaged swaths of land, uprooted trees and snapped telephone cables in dozens of districts in the states of Bihar in the east, Assam in the remote northeast and Himachal Pradesh in the north A total of 96 people have been killed in the flooding in the three states over the past week, according to state officials.” (CBC http://bit.ly/2b0B3Q4)

Stat of the day: The foiled coup attempt seeking to unseat the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cost the Turkish economy $100 billion, the trade minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2axQAWC)

Zambian President Edgar Lungu will resort to “draconian measures” if the opposition tries to disrupt the peace before, during or after the country’s elections next week, his spokesman said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2atLixS)

South Africa’s municipal election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists, with more than 12 killed ahead of today’s vote. (AP http://yhoo.it/2atLYTJ)

Ghana’s economy is losing more than two billion dollars a year due to the impact of child malnutrition, which has driven up healthcare costs, strained the education system and hindered the productivity of the workforce, a study said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2asIjSV)

A Kenyan man who chopped off his wife’s hands with a machete because she had not conceived a child must face the full force of the law to deter other perpetrators of widespread domestic violence in Kenya, women’s rights activists said on Tuesday. (TRF http://tmsnrt.rs/2b0B3Qe)

An African Union peacekeeper in Somalia has been sentenced to a year in prison and demoted in rank for selling military supplies and fuel in the black market in Mogadishu. (VOA http://bit.ly/2aszlv7)

Five Islamists were killed as Nigerian troops thwarted a Boko Haram attack near the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the epicentre of the seven-year insurgency, the army said on Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2asATFt)

Hundreds of drivers signed up with ride-hailing service Uber in Kenya went on strike on Tuesday to protest against fare cuts. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2asIbmx)

Somalia’s next government should ensure a law is passed banning all forms of female genital mutilation, a U.N. official said on Tuesday, describing the deeply entrenched practice as a “horrendous rights violation”. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aGD31b)

Iraq’s prime minister issued a travel ban on Tuesday for some sitting lawmakers and politicians amid corruption allegations that surfaced during the questioning in parliament of the country’s defense minister. (AP http://yhoo.it/2atLLjw)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indicated Tuesday that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen won’t be returned to a U.N. blacklist for violating child rights despite his “very strong concerns” about the protection of children in the war-torn country. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aszkax)

The bodies of 120 migrants believed to have been trying to reach Italy by boat from Libya have been found off the Libyan coast over the past 10 days, the International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2axQDl3)

A British-Iranian aid worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained since early April and accused by hardline Revolutionary Guards of trying to overthrow Iran’s government has appeared in court for the first time, her family said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2atLcpV)

A high-profile Hong Kong pro-independence leader said Tuesday he had been barred from standing in upcoming parliamentary elections — the latest candidate backing separation from mainland China to be disqualified. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2asHRUQ)

India: Female workers in western Maharashtra’s sugarcane fields routinely face abuse and rape by landlords and middlemen who enslave them through debt bondage, activists say. (TRF http://yhoo.it/2axP0nL)

Every week, scientists in southern China release three million bacteria-infected mosquitoes on a 2 mile long island in a bid to wipe out diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and Zika. (VOA http://bit.ly/2atLrkB)

Venezuela’s election board said on Monday the opposition successfully collected 1 percent of voter signatures in every state in the first phase of their push for a referendum to recall socialist President Nicolas Maduro. (VOA http://bit.ly/2aGE9tx)

Brazil’s federal police said they had arrested two people and raided properties on Tuesday over alleged corruption at building firm Queiroz Galvao, widening a sweeping investigation focused on state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2asIhdX)

U.S. President Obama and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong restated their commitment to passing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. (VOA http://bit.ly/2atLOfk)

Health officials in northern Mexico have refused to authorize an abortion for a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a family acquaintance after a judge downgraded the crime to a charge of sexual coercion. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2asAhzo)

In a blunt and virtually unprecedented presidential rebuke, Barack Obama on Tuesday described Donald Trump as “unfit” to be president and called on Republicans to disown him. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aGDtV1)

Mexican banks, determined to avoid a return to past woes, are reining in lending to the country’s indebted state governments, some of whose leaders have recently become the focus of corruption allegations. (VOA http://bit.ly/2aGDTLc)

A child has died of anthrax in Siberia in the first fatal outbreak of the bacterial disease reported in Russia in 75 years, the regional governor’s office said on Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2atLUUd)

Britain’s state-funded health service is responsible for paying for an HIV-prevention drug that has been called a “game changer” in the fight against AIDS, a court ruled Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2asIbCO)

Germany’s Federal Office for Statistics says some 42,300 unaccompanied minors entered the country from abroad last year. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aLcRni)

Congress has failed to fund Zika response and now, as predicted, it’s come to the USA. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2b0G4Ii)

Is Peacebuilding Failing in Africa? (Carnegie Corporation http://bit.ly/2aGAA6B)

Experts Call for Greater Private Sector Role in Agriculture (New Times http://bit.ly/2aGA4FF)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump gets much wrong on Ukraine http://yhoo.it/2aL87xS

South Africa: Electoral Tremors Are Shaking Ruling Party. How Will It Respond? (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2aGBnEI)

Can Cash Transfers Reduce HIV Incidence in Young People? (Key Correspondents http://bit.ly/2aswIt8)

Secret aid worker: the UK NGO sector is facing a funding crisis (Guardian http://bit.ly/2asH5ax)

This punk band uses English to get across — to some — their feminist message (PRI’s the World http://bit.ly/2asycDN)

New Alliance to Shore Up Food Security Launched in Africa (IPS http://bit.ly/2asyuuv)

Why Africa Should Be At the Heart of the UK’s Brexit Strategy (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2asyKt8)

If evicting people were an Olympic event, Brazil would win gold (IRIN http://bit.ly/2atL75F)

Discussion

comments…

General Market

What will new Prime Minister do for Hampshire?

THE UK’s second female Prime Minister has taken office after another historic day in Westminster.

Theresa May has been named as the new Prime Minister after three of the most dramatic weeks in recent British history, including the resignation of predecessor David Cameron.

And now figures ranging from council and business chiefs to headteachers and faith leaders have had their say on what they want the new Prime Minister to deliver for Hampshire.

The wishlist from the county includes calls for a commitment to devolving powers to the Solent, assurances on the futures of thousands of Europeans in the area after the EU Referendum and — Mrs May became the country’s second female Prime Minister when she succeeded Mr Cameron yesterday afternoon.

She had emerged as the early frontrunner and within a fortnight of nominations opening her four challengers had all fallen by the wayside, with last rival Andrea Leadsom pulling out earlier this week.

Mr Cameron’s final Prime Minister’s Questions was marked by a round of applause from MPs in the Commons, while his own MPs gave him a standing ovation.

His announcement that he was standing down in the wake of the EU Referendum result on June 23 sparked a fierce but brief tussle to replace him at the head of the party, and the premiership.

Following his farewell PMQs, he gave a brief statement outside 10 Downing Street alongside wife Samantha and children Nancy, Florence and Elwen, before making the short trip to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen.

Minutes later, he was followed by former Home Secretary Mrs May who became the new Prime Minister after accepting the Queen’s invitation to form a new government.

She then proceeded to her new home at 10 Downing Street, addressing the nation with a brief statement, saying: ”from the introduction of same sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a One Nation government and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead”.

Now thoughts have turned to what Mrs May can do for Hampshire as Prime Minister.

The referendum result, where the UK voted to leave the EU, has sparked uncertainty and many are calling on her to provide strong leadership and stability in the wake of the vote.

Daily Echo:

Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, above, has called on Mrs May to carry on the process of devolving powers over transport, skills and housing as well as more than £1bn in funding and business rates to the Solent.

He said: “On one level I want a continuation of a policy that I strongly support, which is devolution to the region and of course I have a personal interest in the deal for the Solent.”

He said he hoped she kept current Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark in her team, describing him as a “breath of fresh air”, and that Mrs May would confirm her support for the Solent deal.

The Labour chief continued: “Secondly, I want Mrs May to appoint a Chancellor who doesn’t think authority is such as a good idea as the last one, so taking his foot off the austerity break and reducing the cuts to local government.

“We are also looking for a commitment for significant infrastructure projects, such as flood defences on the River Itchen and improvements to the dock routes.

“We were pleased to hear that local government will be involved in the Brexit negotiations and we would like to have that confirmed because there is a significant amount of European funding that came into the area.

“And on behalf of the European population I think we would welcome an early statement on their futures, saying what their status will be and how they will be treated in the Brexit negotiations.”

Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry has opposed the Solent devolution proposals, having been a bitter opponent of the Government’s insistence for a directly-elected mayor that led to the collapse of the Hampshire-wide bid.

He said: “I’m particularly looking forward to Theresa May as Prime Minister, I think she will be an excellent choice and an excellent PM.

“I would think she would take a closer look at the devolution issue and drop any requirements for having an elected mayor, and if that happens I think that gives us very real opportunity to get back to the unanimously agreed model for the whole of Hampshire we had last year.

“The other issue that affects Hampshire as an education authority is the Government has indicated forced academisation of schools won’t be included in legislation and I want them to drop any measures forcing schools to become academies.

“I also think there should be recognition of the large financial pressures on local government, particularly those authorities with adult and children’s social care, and we want the Government to face up to the very real pressures councils are facing in this respect.”

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stewart Dunn said the organisation was looking for ‘clarity, certainty and stability’.

“This is the start of that and we are really pleased we will not have to wait until September 9”, he added.

“Clearly we have to start considering our position as we move forward, not only with the EU but with the rest of the world in terms of how we get out there, and the chamber network is going to be seeking to work alongside Government to give it support in how we can actually help with the negotiations on trade.

“We will also be seeking clarity on EU nationals and their status, both for them and their employers.

“And we are looking to see how we can take a positive approach to see what Brexit can offer us to move business forward.”

Norman Armstrong, from financial and business adviser Grant Thornton’s south coast team, also called on Mrs May to give ‘a firm assurance that EU citizens currently legally employed in the UK will have a permanent right to remain’.

He said he wanted a debate on the free movement of people, a ‘reform of skills and education policies to ensure we develop the home grown talent we need in the UK for the jobs of the future’ and the ‘adoption of new forms of government’ including more collaboration between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, more open policy and more devolution.

Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner, below, commented: “The highest priority of Government is the national security and defence of the people, and the complex world in which we live requires an experienced pair of hands at the helm. 

“It is right that someone with a broad view of the people’s needs and aspirations should lead as Prime Minister. She has this from her time at the Home Office and as part of the Cabinet.

“As PCC, my responsibility is to keep all the people of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton safer. Theresa May as Prime Minister will continue to deliver the national element of this same vision.”

Daily Echo:

Rosie Pearce, member of Southampton Young Greens, said: “With Britain now set to leave the EU I would like to see us remain within the framework of the European Court of Human Rights. I think Theresa May should keep us in that framework rather than adopt out own British bill of rights as I fear that it wont give the universal protections that we currently have.

“More widely I would like her to keep her commitment to ensuring that Britain works for all, including the poorest in society. I think it is also important that she does her best to ensure we don’t lose funding from the EU for environmental projects.

“I know projects along the River Itchen attract huge sums of EU funding which monitor the biodiversity and we cant afford to lose that.”

Nuffield Creative and Executive Director Sam Hodges, below, hopes new Prime Minister Theresa May will back the arts as the theatre expands into Southampton’s new arts space Studio 144. 

He said: “The most interesting thing locally to come out of the EU Referendum was that Southampton specifically almost perfectly represented the national picture in terms of the split. It was slightly majority Leave but quite an equal balance between the two. So we’re opening this new place in the middle of a city where half of people think very differently to the other half about how they want the country to be and all the things that represents.

“The biggest thing therefore is about cohesion and tolerance and the importance of different communities being able to talk to each other and have a voice and the arts can definitely provide a platform for that. We have a long way to go, but we can achieve that with Studio 144.

“I would definitely hope the new Prime Minister would promote the role of the arts in helping facilitate understanding, unity and cohesion. 
“The economic case for the arts is very strong – it brings in a lot more than it costs. We don’t really know where Theresa May is going to go financially and I know there’s not going to be more money to play with, but I would make the case to her for funding of the arts to be ring-fenced within the budget. It’s a false economy to make cuts to the arts.

“The other big thing is the greatest tragedy for the arts in this country is that there is no longer an emphasis on the arts in schools. Music or drama or painting are vital to your sense of expression and cultural education must be on the agenda.”

Daily Echo:

Jonty Archibald, headteacher at Regents Park Community College, Southampton, said: “I would like to see the country have an education minister that has a real passion about the comprehensive system and how we can encourage higher achievement throughout education.

“We are due to have a new funding formula introduced and I would want that to reflect an equality of funding across the country and not have a child in London ‘worth’ more than a child here. I don’t think schools should be disadvantaged because of where they are.

“I would also want to see education policies stuck to. Disrupting the direction of education and constant change is not helpful. We need stick with a plan for a substantial amount of time.

“Recruitment is also a concern. Whilst our staffing levels are good, I know there is a significant shortage of teachers in specialist areas, particularly the STEM subjects like maths and science so that would need to be addressed.”

Harry Dymond, chairman of Southampton Healthwatch, said: “We need to see additional resources made available for health and social care which is struggling quite hard with existing budgets. With the ageing population it is going to get worse.

“The lack of social care funding leads to delayed transfers from people in hospital and an affect on A&E waiting times.

“Mental health services are also in need of greater funding and resources and we need increased availability of training for GPs and nurses.

“There also needs to be clarity for nursing and other medical staff who have come in to support the NHS from overseas – both EU and non-EU.

“There needs to be a clear immigration policy. Around 20 per cent of NHS staff are from overseas and they do a great job. But if the government decides that nursing and medical care are required professions and would allow for immigration then it would be more than helpful.”

And Southampton Athletics Club chairman Richie Pearson is hoping that new prime minister Theresa May will help deliver a long overdue revamp to the city’s major sports complex.

Plans to update Southampton Sports Centre have been in place since October last year, but building work is yet to start with the council in no position to fund the multi-million pound project. 

The city’s athletics club, which uses the outdated Sports Centre’s running track, is hoping that Mrs May will help push through redevelopment plans. 

“For the development at Southampton Sports Centre, I hope that she is able to speed up the process as much as possible because it’s going very slowly at the moment,” said Pearson. 

“As we all know the athletics facilities in Southampton are very poor. Although there are plans for improvements, it is a question of where the money is going to come from to ensure that the development draft, which we are happy with, can be put into action and completed.” 

He added: “I hope that she will support all sports to help the problems with obesity and she encourages sport organisations to get children involved and also invest money into sport. “