Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish | Business | The Guardian

Stephen Smith worked at an AT&T call center in Meriden, Connecticut, for over 20 years before the giant telecoms company announced it was closing the city’s three call centers in February 2019.

“At 46 years old, I’m looking for a new job,” Smith said. “They basically told us we either need to move south or lose our job. It was out of the blue. We had no idea.”

Smith and about 90 of his colleagues were offered severance packages or the option to relocate to Georgia or Tennessee. But for most workers who have spouses with their own careers, elderly parents nearby in need of care, or children still in school, relocating on a whim isn’t an option.

These sudden mass layoffs have become increasingly common for workers at AT&T and many other big firms. But it was not meant to be that way.


Source: Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish | Business | The Guardian


Single mum denied DWP disability benefits despite having cancer

A stock Statement from a DWP spokesman “We’re committed to ensuring that disabled people get the support they’re entitled to, and PIP is available for those who need help with the costs of additional support for their daily living and mobility needs.

“Universal Credit is available for those who need help with day-to-day living costs, and Ms Lyth is receiving her full entitlement.
“PIP decisions are made following careful consideration of the evidence provided by the individual as well as their GP or medical specialist, and anyone who is unhappy with their decision can appeal.”

However, what does it really mean, not much in effect. It is something to say, but is it meant?
More thought and effort should be given to all applications and ‘lessons learnt’ from the many mistakes that are made. Another stock saying and again is it meant, for the lessons never seem to be learnt.

For it is not appeals that should be pushed, but correct Assessments and decisions made, with appeals being there as a backstock.

Where is the caring, common sense and many other aspects in the process.

For myself it appears that the assessors first action is to refuse a benefit claim and in many instances not correctly doing assessments, for in some there are blantant lies emanating from Assessors for which there are being paid to do.

If an assessment is proved to be wrong is the assessor penalised, I doubt it, but the claimant was.

Govt Newspeak

Single mum-of-two denied DWP disability benefits despite having cervical cancer
Laura Lyth, 30, from Stoke on Trent, was told she does not qualify for a benefit only a month after she completed chemotherapy treatment.

A mum-of-two was turned down for long-term illness benefits – despite having treatment for cervical cancer. Laura Lyth, 30, was assessed for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) less than a month after her final chemotherapy treatment.

But the single mum has received a letter to say she does not qualify for the benefit, reports Stoke on Trent Live . Laura had been forced to leave her teacher training course following the diagnosis and can no longer afford to pay for her son to attend full-time nursery on Universal Credit .

Laura, from Basford, Staffordshire, said: “I applied for support in January after someone from the Douglas Macmillan Hospice advised me to apply because I was struggling to even…

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Civil servants fail to answer key DWP deaths questions

The meeting was a start, but the answers need to be coming, with a significance change of practice to eliminate mistakes, now that would be something.

Govt Newspeak

Civil servants fail to answer key DWP deaths questions after meeting grieving parentsJoy Dove head and shouldersSenior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants have failed to answer key questions about links between the government’s policies and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants, during a face-to-face meeting with grieving parents.

Emma Haddad, DWP’s director general for service excellence, and Colin Stewart, its work and health director for the north of England, spent more than an hour in Monday’s meeting with Joy Dove and Eric Whiting, the parents of Jodey Whiting.

The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case of the mother-of-nine, who had her out-of-work disability benefits stopped for missing a work capability assessment (WCA), and took her own life just 15 days later.

During the meeting, Dove asked 13 key questions that had been drafted for her…

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Canada hails landmark victory as Canada bans whale, dolphin and porpoise captivity – Humane Society International

OTTAWA – Canada has passed legislation that bans keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity for entertainment, as well as the trade, possession, capture and breeding of cetaceans. Today, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act.

Bill S-203 was introduced by Senator Wilfred Moore in 2015, and then sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair. Upon passage through the Senate, it was championed by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in the House of Commons.

Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director of HSI/Canada stated: “The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians. Whales and dolphins don’t belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated. We congratulate the sponsors of this bill and the Canadian government for showing strong leadership in responding to public will and sound science on this critical issue.”

Green Party Leader and Saanich – Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May stated, “Canadians have been clear, they want the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity to end. With the passage of Bill S-203, we have ensured that this will happen.”

Bill sponsor Senator Wilfred Moore said, “We have a moral obligation to phase out the capture and retention of animals for profit and entertainment. Canadians are calling upon us to do better – and we have listened.”


Source: Canada hails landmark victory as Canada bans whale, dolphin and porpoise captivity – Humane Society International

Brexit news: Philip Hammond threatens to withhold money unless no deal taken off table | UK | News |

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Hammond said he could not serve in a no-deal  cabinet. Ahead of a speech on Thursday, where he will warn Tory leadership hopefuls against “reckless” solutions offered by “populists,” Mr Hammond also did not rule out voting against a Conservative government in an attempt to block no deal. He said: “Leaving with no deal will be a very bad outcome for the economy. I’m not sure that people necessarily have understood what a risk we would be taking – not only with our economy but also with the future of our precious United Kingdom – if we left with no deal.”


Source: Brexit news: Philip Hammond threatens to withhold money unless no deal taken off table | UK | News |

Dad with 6 months to live ‘devastated’ after DWP ask him to reapply for benefits

When will the DWP or more especially the Government realise the suffering they are causing by the stringent rules they have created within the benefit system.

To do nothing of note, which they are effectively doing is not caring, but uncaring.

Uncaring is the impression they are giving and the longer they stay in thier current mode the more uncaring they appear to be, which may be the reality.

Govt Newspeak

Ron Stevenson [below], 69, who is almost completely paralysed, was warned his benefit payments could stop on July 29 if he did not reply to a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions.

A terminally ill man with just six months to live was ‘devastated’ to be told he’d need to reapply for his benefits. Ron Stevenson, 69, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease 10 years ago and relies on moderate weekly care payments to supplement his care.

But last month, Ron received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) calling for him to reapply for his benefits because he is up for reassessment. He says the letter told him if he did not reply his payments would stop on July 29.

Read More

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Anger as DWP scraps automatic Universal Credit claim backdating system – Chronicle Live

A new change to the Universal Credit system has caused outrage.

Ministers are demanding an urgent review after automatic start-date protections have been scrapped by the DWP.

Thousands of vulnerable people are said to be suffering financially because the system no longer automatically backdates claims from when someone started their application, BirminghamLive reports.

Under previous rules, benefits would be calculated from the date an application began but with UC the start date is apparently only protected if a claimant turns up in person to a jobcentre when they apply.

Bob Doris, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, has now written to Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd about “the retrograde step for claimants” and demanded an urgent review of the change, which is believed to affect claimants across the UK.


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What’s wrong with those anti-vaxxers? They’re just like the rest of us : The Conversation

Whenever I talk about my research on how parents come to decide to reject vaccines for their children, my explanations are met with a range of reactions, but I almost always hear the same questions.

What is wrong with those parents? Are they anti-science? Are they anti-expert? Are they simply ignorant or selfish? Are they crazy?

The year is not half over, and the number of measles cases has now exceeded highs not seen since the U.S. was declared measles-free in 2000. Given the indisputably large role unvaccinated individuals are playing in it, parents who reject vaccines are increasingly vilified. Some people call to have these parents arrested or punished. Many are asking states to tighten laws that make exemptions to school enrollment without vaccines too easy.

Others dismiss these “Whole Foods moms” as harming others and call for them to be socially ostracized.

As a sociologist, I have spent most of a decade talking to parents, pediatricians, policymakers, lawyers and scientists to understand competing views of vaccines. In my research, I find that parents who reject vaccines – by which I mean mostly mothers – work hard to make what they see as an informed decision to do what they think is best for their children. They also want to make a decision that best aligns with their belief system.

Experts, at least of their own kids

Many “anti-vax” parents see themselves as experts on their own children, as best able to decide what their children need and whether their child needs a particular vaccine, and better qualified than health experts or public health agencies to decide what is best for their family.


Source: What’s wrong with those anti-vaxxers? They’re just like the rest of us : The Conversation

NHS workforce planners cannot succeed without understanding the value of different nursing roles | Opinion | Nursing Times

At the RCN Congress in Liverpool this week, some of the most pressing issues facing the nursing profession were on the agenda. In particular, two stories covered by Nursing Times highlighted the need for greater awareness of the value of some nursing roles.

A joint report by the Queen’s Nursing Institute and the RCN, Outstanding Models of District Nursing, raised concerns that the “positive outcomes” achieved by district nurses often go unnoticed and that there is a lack of understanding about the care they provide. It called for a strategy to improve understanding of the role among providers, commissioners and the public.

As the report notes, there has been a 46% drop in the number of district nurses in England since 2010. This means there is a district nursing workforce of 4,000 for a population of 55.8 million – or one nurse for every 14,000 people.


Source: NHS workforce planners cannot succeed without understanding the value of different nursing roles | Opinion | Nursing Times

Did Leonardo da Vinci have ADHD? — ScienceDaily

Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world’s most iconic art, but historical accounts show that he struggled to complete his works. New research now suggests the best explanation for Leonardo’s inability to finish projects is that the great artist may have had attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Source: Did Leonardo da Vinci have ADHD? — ScienceDaily