Saturday, April 13

Day: February 27, 2018

Queen’s attempt to make Balmoral go green is blocked because of red squirrels
Featured, United Kingdom

Queen’s attempt to make Balmoral go green is blocked because of red squirrels

    The Queen’s attempt to improve the green credentials of Balmoral, her Scottish estate, has been stopped over concerns the plans are too noisy for red squirrels. The Cairngorms National Park Authority, which is responsible for planning in the area, has called in a plan by the estate to create a new hydroelectric scheme. It wants to build a turbine to generate power worth up to £650,000 a year from the River Muick, which runs through the property . But objectors claim the project would be too noisy for wildlife in the area, including badgers, red squirrels and otters. The decision is a setback for the estate, where the Queen spends her summer holidays . Construction work would last two years and involve the installation of a 30ft salmon ladder to enable the fish to...
Melania Trump Parts Ways With Adviser Amid Backlash Over Inaugural Contract
America, Featured

Melania Trump Parts Ways With Adviser Amid Backlash Over Inaugural Contract

    The first lady, Melania Trump, has parted ways with an adviser after news about the adviser’s firm reaping $26 million in payments to help plan President Trump’s inauguration. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who has been friends with Mrs. Trump for years, had been working on a contract basis as an unpaid senior adviser to the office of the first lady. Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, said the office had severed the gratuitous services contract with Ms. Wolkoff, who Ms. Grisham said had been employed as a special government employee” to work on specific projects. “We thank her for her hard work and wish her all the best. The contract was terminated last week, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. They said the move was prompted by d...
Labour calls for tourist tax to be introduced
Featured, United Kingdom

Labour calls for tourist tax to be introduced

    Labour has urged the Scottish Government to bring forward plans for a tourist tax in Scotland after councils backed the move. The party said the levy on hotel stays would enable local authorities to raise tens of millions of pounds in extra revenue. Council leaders unanimously agreed last week that local government umbrella body Cosla should start lobbying ministers for the introduction of a transient visitor tax. Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has written to Communities Secretary Angela Constance on the issue. Cuts to local authorities in this year’s budget mean extremely difficult choices ahead. Those hit hardest by cuts are the poorest groups who are more reliant on a range of public services. We urgently need to look at new ways for local authorities to ra...
EU rejects May’s red line on judges
Europe, Featured

EU rejects May’s red line on judges

    Theresa May was pitched into a new clash with Brussels today about handing European judges a permanent say over UK laws after Brexit. A draft withdrawal agreement due from the 27 other EU states tomorrow will name the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as the ultimate arbiter of treaty disputes after Britain leaves the bloc, according to reports from Brussels. Boris Johnson, however, said it would be incompatible with the result of the 2016 referendum for the court to have any long-term sway over domestic affairs. The reported legal text would make European judges, who sit in Luxembourg and are appointed by EU states, the referees whenever Britain or the EU is accused of breaking a treaty commitment. According to the Financial Times, the text will say the UK should b...
Kensington borough set to increase council tax
Featured, United Kingdom

Kensington borough set to increase council tax

    Council tax is likely to increase by the maximum amount in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) as it continues to face significant financial pressures in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Proposals to increase it by the maximum amount of 2.99 per cent for the majority of residents from April due to rising costs and inflation, will be voted on. There are also plans to top up charges with money ring-fenced for social care by the maximum three per cent, in order to meet significant additional expenditure for Grenfell related adult social care. The proposals, set out in a financial report, have already been approved by the leadership team and will go before the full council for a vote on 7 March. If accepted, it will be the second increase in co...