Border Agency still failing on basics, say MPs
The UK Border Agency is still failing in its "basic functions" in spite of efforts to overhaul it, MPs have said.
The home affairs committee said UKBA had provided "inconsistent" information about immigration and asylum cases dating back to 2006 and this backlog would take four more years to clear. Nike shoes wholesale
It also said it was "deeply concerned" about the number of foreign prisoners living in the UK awaiting deportation.
Immigration minister Damian Green said "past mistakes" were being dealt with.
The UK Border Agency - responsible for securing the UK border at air, rail and sea ports and migration controls - was set up in 2008 following the then Labour Home Secretary John Reid's 2006 declaration that the Home Office's immigration directorate was "not fit for purpose".Nike running shoes wholesale
The organisation is now being split into two in the wake of a row last year over revelations that hundreds of thousands of people were let into the country without complete checks. The row led to the resignation of the head of the UK Border Force, Brodie Clark.
The UK Border Force, the section of the agency that manages entry to the UK, is to become a separate law-enforcement body reporting directly to the Home Office while the UKBA will be solely responsible for immigration policy work.
UKBA appears unable to focus on its key task of tracking and removing illegal immigrants, overstayers or bogus students from the country”
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In its latest report on the workings of the UKBA, covering the period between August and November 2011, the cross-party committee suggested the agency was still not getting a grip on the backlog of approximately 450,000 asylum and immigration cases which emerged in 2006.
Last year UKBA officials said a preliminary decision had since been made in all these cases. Of about 365,000 cases where the individuals could be traced, it said 18,000 remained unresolved.
But the committee said new evidence it had seen in recent months suggested the UKBA was dealing with 1,500 more "live cases" than previously indicated and it was unclear where some of these had originated from. It called on the agency to "clean up and clarify" the figures.
"The agency must rid itself of its bunker mentality and focus on ensuring that Parliament and the public understands its work," the MPs said. "Confusion over figures only risks suspicion that the agency is attempting to mislead Parliament and the public over its performance and effectiveness."
There are currently 118,000 cases where individuals cannot be located. MPs said, at the current rate of progress, this would take four years to clear and this was "unacceptable".
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In its last report, in November, the MPs said the cases had effectively been "dumped" in an archive and the agency had given up on them.
Mom's caffeine not linked to infant sleep problems
SUMMARY: A baby's sleep may not suffer just because her mom likes a daily cup of coffee, a new study suggests. The findings, experts say, don't give the OK to heavy caffeine intake during pregnancy or breastfeeding. But they are in line with research suggesting that moderate amounts of caffeine may not pose a danger.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A baby's sleep may not suffer just because her mom likes a daily cup of coffee, a new study suggests. cheap Nike shoes wholesale
The findings, experts say, don't give the OK to heavy caffeine intake during pregnancy or breastfeeding. But they are in line with research suggesting that moderate amounts of caffeine may not pose a danger.
Small studies over the years have come to mixed conclusions on whether caffeine during pregnancy was linked to increased risks of miscarriage or premature birth.
But more recently, larger studies have failed to show any heightened risk. And in 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said that 200 milligrams of caffeine a day -- about the amount in a 12-ounce cup of coffee -- probably did not carry pregnancy risks.
But not much has been known about whether caffeine, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, might disturb new babies' sleep.
For their study, Dr. Ina Santos and her colleagues at Federal University of Pelotas, in Brazil, interviewed 885 new moms. The women answered questions about their caffeine intake and their infants' sleep habits at the age of three months. Nike running shoes wholesale
All but one of the mothers said they drank caffeinated beverages during pregnancy. About 20 percent were considered heavy consumers during pregnancy -- downing at least 300 mg per day. And just over 14 percent reported a heavy caffeine intake three months after giving birth.
Overall, the researchers found no clear link between moms' caffeine intake and their likelihood of reporting infant sleep problems.
Almost 14 percent of mothers said their three-month-old woke up more than three times each night -- which was considered "frequent."
But the odds were not statistically greater for moms who were heavy caffeine consumers, versus lighter consumers, Santos's team reports in the journal Pediatrics.
"I think this report adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy is generally safe," said Dr. William H. Barth Jr., chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Nike sneakers wholesale
Barth, who was not involved in the study, chaired the ACOG committee that wrote the 2010 report.
While heavy caffeine consumers in this study got 300 mg or more per day, "I don't think this report is too different from ACOG's recent committee opinion," Barth told Reuters Health in an email.
He said the bottom line for women is that moderate caffeine intake -- up to a cup or two of coffee per day -- seems safe during pregnancy.
"However," Barth said, "we do not know if there are adverse effects of higher levels of caffeine consumption."
As for breastfeeding, it's generally thought that 300 mg of caffeine or less each day is OK, according to Dr. Lauren Hanley, an obstetrician at Mass General who specializes in breastfeeding issues.
That's the case for healthy, full-term babies at least, Hanley told Reuters Health in an email.
But preterm infants and newborns metabolize caffeine more slowly, and may be more sensitive to the small amount of caffeine that passes into breast milk.
And studies suggest that high amounts of caffeine during breastfeeding -- "much higher" than 300 mg per day, Hanley said -- are related to "jitteriness," fussiness and poor sleep in babies.
Coffee is, of course, not the only source of caffeine. The 200- to 300-mg limit suggested for pregnant or breastfeeding moms would also translate to about four 8-ounce cups of tea or five 12-ounce cans of soda a day. Nike shoes wholesale
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Olympics: London urged to drop Rio as medal sponso
Mining unions on Thursday urged the London 2012 Olympic committee to drop resources giant Rio Tinto as its medals supplier and official sponsor due to an ongoing dispute with workers in Canada. Nike shoes wholesale http://www.wholesaletheworld.com
Led by Canada's United Steelworkers' union, the "Off the Podium" campaign wants to see Rio, chosen to supply the metals for the July Games' medals, ditched after an 800-worker lockout in Alma, Quebec. Nike sneakers wholesale
Campaign convenor Joe Drexler said the dispute was just the latest episode in what he described as an agenda of "deunionisation" by Rio.
"The Olympics are supposed to promote the idea of fair play and the idea of solidarity," Drexler told AFP at a global mining union conference in Sydney where the initiative was launched.
Real Valiquette, spokesman for the 780 workers locked out of Rio Tinto's Quebec aluminium project, said the dispute was about Rio replacing retired staff with half-price contract workers, eroding wages and conditions.
"You cannot be a company that sponsors Olympic medals and do this to people," Valiquette said. cheap Nike shoes wholesale http://www.wholesaletheworld.com
The London Mining Network of activist groups and Australia's mining unions have thrown their support behind the movement.
Miners from the US state of Utah who extract the ore used in the medals also strongly backed the campaign, according to their union spokesman Manny Armenta.
"I think that currently there's other companies that could provide clean gold, clean silver, clean copper," he said.
When contacted about the issue Rio Tinto referred AFP to a lengthy statement issued in response to the medals criticism earlier this week. Nike running shoes wholesale
"We aim to bring long-lasting positive change to the communities where we work, respecting human rights, bringing economic benefits and looking after the environment," Rio chief Tom Albanese said in the statement. http://www.wholesaletheworld.com
Why Syria is Still a War Zone
United Nations envoy Kofi Annan’s ceasefire deadline has come and gone, but the fighting in Syria has only slowed down. Bashar al-Assad’s government resumed its shelling of Homs almost at once and is now allegedly using attack helicopters, as well.
“What cease-fire?” the Wall Street Journal quotes an activist saying. “There's an explosion every five to six minutes.”http://www.wholesaletheworld.com
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Diplomacy won’t end the conflict, but Kofi Annan has no other tools in his box. As the old saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
The regime and the opposition are locked in a death struggle. If Assad loses, he’ll be driven into exile or lynched like Qaddafi. His minority Alawite sect may suffer brutal reprisals for the crimes of his government, not only the current mass murder, but also the decades of totalitarian rule that preceded it. If the opposition loses, its supporters and fighters will be shot, forced into exile, buried in prison, or tortured to death.
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When two people are locked in a death struggle, there are generally only three ways it can end. One can kill the other. A third party can kill one or the other. Or a third party can use physical force to stop both from fighting.
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Long-term ceasefires can work sometimes, however. Israel and Hezbollah agreed to one in 2006 despite the fact that none of the outstanding issues have been resolved. This was only possible, though, because Israel and Hezbollah have their own territories. They can both stay in their corners and sharpen their knives for the next round. Assad and the opposition are fighting for the same ground. The Free Syrian Army has nowhere it can retreat to without being destroyed.
Syrian opposition members have an alternative plan now that the UN’s is failing. And they understand perfectly well what I just said. Nike shoes wholesale
Asian imports to work the land as generation of Au
AUSTRALIA will have to import Asian workers and the agricultural sector will be drained of knowledge as half of the nation's farmers prepare to retire in the next decade, a report has warned.
The KPMG submission to Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, warns that the average age of Australian farmers was 56 in 2011 and many had no succession plan or exit strategy.
The exodus of older farmers is also likely to lead to the listing of farms on the international property market and for sales to corporate investors and mining and resources companies as farmers look to boost retirement funds.
The dire predictions are supported by statistics gathered in 2008 when demand for labour in the agriculture sector was 407,000 workers, already 116,000 above supply.
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The Productivity Commission has conservatively estimated the sector will generate more than 32,000 new jobs annually.
"There is a considerable risk that there will be a lack of experienced farmers to train younger farmers who will be critical to driving productivity improvements and adapting to challenges such as climate change, increased competition and an increase on focus on the environmental impacts of farming,'' the report says.
The report suggests training programs such as the National Workforce Development Fund will only provide a short term solution. It starts on July 1 and will inject $558 million over four years, with a significant portion going to rural Australia.
"In the long term, agricultural skills gaps will inevitably lead to the need to source labour from overseas migration,'' it states.
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"Asia will be an important contributor to bridging the skills gap and Australia will need to develop immigration policies with Asian countries to bridge this shortage.''
The report emphasises a need for the Government to revise its migration policy in collaboration with industry and engagement with Asian investors and for co-operation between the mining industry and agribusiness in sharing and capitalising on the revival of some rural area populations.
The predicted sweeping demographic change threatens Australia's ability to produce food and capitalise on the opportunities with the Asian market, the report warns.
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The Federal Government acknowledged "the challenges presented by an ageing farming workforce'' and was investing money into skills development in areas including agriculture.
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom said the Government was "working very closely with industry, the National Farmers Federation and with education providers''.
"Attracting young people to choose careers in agriculture is a real challenge,'' he said.
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Romney campaign fundraises off Ann Romney stay-at-
That's the message of a Mitt Romney campaign fundraising email issued Thursday afternoon seeking to capitalize on the bipartisan outrage over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney. Nike shoes wholesale
Democrats from the White House on down Thursday strongly opposed Rosen's comments that Mrs. Romney can't represent female voters because she's never "worked a day in her life." But that isn't stopping Romney's team from using Rosen's comment to declare war on the entire Democratic party.
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"If you're a stay-at-home mom, the Democrats have a message for you: you've never worked a day in your life," Romney's senior campaign advisor Beth Myers wrote in a fundraising email titled "War on Moms." cheap Nike shoes wholesale
The Democrats have claimed this spring that the GOP is leading a "War on Women." Well, welcome to the age of rebranding. Nike running shoes wholesale
Dortmund sink Bayern in Bundesliga top of the tabl
(CNN) -- Borussia Dortmund took a giant stride towards defending their Bundesliga title with a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich Wednesday in a top of the table clash.
The priceless victory left Dortmund six points clear of their Bavarian rivals with only four games left of the German league season. Nike shoes wholesale
Polish international striker Robert Lewandowski scored the vital goal, his 20th of a fine season, in the second half. http://www.wholesaletheworld.com
He helped home Kevin Grosskreutz's shot on 77 minutes, but there was still drama to come.
Only four minutes were left when Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller brought down Bayern's winger Arjen Robben in the penalty area.
The Dutch star decided to take the penalty, but saw Borussia captain Weidenfeller save his effort to be mobbed by his teammates.
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Robben then compounded his error by shooting over from a great position and in a frantic finish Lewandowski hit the crossbar at the other end.
"That was thrilling at the end, the last few minutes were unbelievable," Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp told AFP.
His side have gone 24 games without defeat to hold off a resurgent Bayern, who face Real Madrid next Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Bayern and Dortmund will also contest the German Cup final on May 12. cheap Nike shoes wholesale
Meanwhile, third placed Schalke suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at Nuremberg which leaves them six points behind Bayern ahead of their clash with Dortmund at the weekend.
In Serie A, Juventus went back on top as Alessandro Del Piero scored the winner in a 2-1 win over Lazio in Turin.
The victory lifted them one point clear of AC Milan, who had briefly gone top with a 1-0 win at Chievo Tuesday.
Simone Pepe put Juve ahead before Stefano Mauri equalized in a rare Lazio attack.
Juve continued to press but it needed a typical piece of magic from Del Piero to grab the clinching goal from a clever free-kick with eight minutes left.
In other action, Inter Milan maintained new coach Andrea Stramaccioni's unbeaten start with a 2-1 win over Siena with Diego Milito scoring twice.
Inter drew level on points with Napoli, who were beaten 3-1 at home to Atalanta, for the final Europa League spot. Nike running shoes wholesale
The real race is on between Romney and Obama
Editor's note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" (Times Books) and "Governing America" (Princeton University Press). Nike shoes wholesale
(CNN) -- Rick Santorum's announcement that he is suspending his presidential campaign brings the Republican primaries closer to the end. With all the speculation about brokered conventions and last-minute turnarounds, the original predictions appear to be correct. Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the Republican candidate who faces off against President Barack Obama in the fall.
The rebellion against Romney took on many forms since this primary season began. We saw the business conservative (Herman Cain), the ideological and slash-and-burn conservative (Newt Gingrich), the libertarian (Ron Paul), the movement conservatives (Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann) all try to win the hearts and minds of Republican voters by claiming that they were better suited to this role than Romney.
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But in the end Romney wins. We can learn a number of lessons from this outcome. The first is that organization and money do matter. Despite all the interest in surprise victories by his opponents in places like Iowa and South Carolina, the fact that Romney was able to put together such an extensive organizational apparatus early in this campaign, and to raise huge amounts of money to conduct his advertising, made him extraordinarily difficult to beat in several key states. Retail politics could only take his opponents so far.
The second lesson is that Romney is more skilled as a politician than he is often given credit for and his opponents were never as strong as they were made to appear by the media. Romney proved that he had some of the survival skills needed to last through the turbulent ups and downs of the primary process. He was successful in the debates and responded well to the inevitable gaffes and misstatements that were made over these months.
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His insistence on sticking to economic issues, with some diversions to counteract Santorum, reflected an awareness of his own strengths and a resistance to remaking himself in the middle of this contest. He is disciplined on the campaign trail.
Nor were his opponents very strong. Gingrich was a flawed candidate from the start, loaded with baggage from his political career and a well-known tendency to speak what is on his mind regardless of the political costs.
Santorum, too, brought to the campaign his long record in Washington and a weak organizational infrastructure that did not serve him well. Others, like Herman Cain, quickly burned out when under the national spotlight.
Finally, we learned that the anger about President Obama and the frustration over the current course of the economy is greater than any internal debates that exist in the GOP.
While Santorum often did excite many of voters in the primaries and caucuses, he never could close the deal in terms of convincing them that he had a better chance to defeat Obama than did Romney. When faced with a choice between four more years of Obama or a middle-of-the-road Romney, it seems that Republicans prefer Romney.
So now the real race is on. Cheap nike shoes wholesale.