Tuesday, August 16

Day: January 25, 2016

UK rental market: The government must do more to combat rogue landlords
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

UK rental market: The government must do more to combat rogue landlords

    Today Brandon Lewis MP announced £5m in government funding to combat the scourge of rogue landlords. Councils are in desperate need of additional funding to help them fix the problems associated with rogue landlords and there’s no doubt that this public money be put to good use. They will be better able to target notorious ‘beds in sheds’, cramped hellholes rented out for extortionate sums often to the most vulnerable in society.Alongside these extreme examples, the money will also be used to increase property inspections, carry out more raids, initiate more enforcement actions and (hopefully!) bring about more prosecutions. This is all, of course, tremendously positive. However, a back-of-an-envelope calculation on how this works makes this much less of a cause for celebr...
Refugees Tricked Into Cleaning McDonald’s Without Pay
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

Refugees Tricked Into Cleaning McDonald’s Without Pay

    A Swiss cleaning company employed by a McDonald’s franchisee in Geneva was caught recently having allegedly tricked several refugees into working as cleaners without pay for months at a time. According to The Local, several refugee cleaners said the company, which is a subsidiary of the Swiss cleaning firm Top Clean, told them that they could acquire residency permits for their workers in exchange for labour. The workers never got paid, but they thought maybe that was normal, and that they would get paid when they got their visas. They allegedly never got their visas either. “At first I thought it was normal to work for free in Switzerland to get a residency permit. My friends at the refugee home also did it,” said a Sudanese refugee named Yusef, who says he cleaned McDona...
Hero of Egypt’s uprising feels rejected five years on
Arab world, ENGLISH

Hero of Egypt’s uprising feels rejected five years on

    In 2011, activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah helped ignite revolution on the streets of Egypt and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Five years after the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, she is shunned or insulted by Egyptians on those same streets. "They say I am a traitor and foreign agent and that we are the people who destroyed the country. I hear it when I am passing people in the streets," said Abdel-Fattah. "Some people still ask "what was wrong with Mubarak?". Abdel-Fattah and a small circle of fellow activists were once seen by many in Egypt as the best hope for an end to corruption and repression and the dawning of an era of free speech and respect for citizens by the state. Nowadays, she cuts a lonely figure in her small apartment, hoping Egyptians will rise up again...
Tory Ex-Minister Lord Cecil Parkinson Dies
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

Tory Ex-Minister Lord Cecil Parkinson Dies

    Tory peer Cecil Parkinson Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Cecil Parkinson has died after a long battle with cancer, his family have said. The Tory peer, who served in several roles in Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s, was 84. A family spokesman said: "Cecil passed away on January 22 after a long battle with cancer. We shall miss him enormously. As a family, we should like to pay tribute to him as a beloved husband to Ann and brother to Norma, and a supportive and loving father to Mary, Emma and Joanna and grandfather to their children. We also salute his extraordinary commitment to British public life as a member of parliament, cabinet minister and peer - together with a distinguished career in business. The Conservative grandee, whose full title was L...
Strong Earthquake Strikes Mediterranean
ENGLISH, Europe

Strong Earthquake Strikes Mediterranean

    Hundreds of homes have been damaged by the quake A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake has struck the Mediterranean between Morocco and Spain. The 20-mile deep quake hit at 4:22am, 39 miles north of the Moroccan city of Al Hoceima and 102 miles east-southeast of Gibraltar, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by six aftershocks including a 5.3-magnitude tremor. There were no immediate reports of any casualties. Emergency services received 250 calls from alarmed residents in the Andalucia region, in southern Spain. Tremors and aftershocks were felt throughout the area including in the cities of Malaga, Cordoba, Seville and Granada. Up to 200 households in the Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast suffered damage to their properties. Officials said schools would be clo...