News story: Open Forums for UK Nationals in the Netherlands

first_imgThe Dutch government and municipalities (gemeentes) support these forums, joining the panels and answering questions about the impact of the UK leaving the EU. UK nationals have rights and responsibilities when living in the Netherlands. One consistent piece of advice the Dutch government has given is ensuring you are registered with your gemeente (local municipality), using your current address.The meetings provide an opportunity to update you on the latest developments as the UK prepares to leave the EU.The following meetings have been held, and further events, will be announced here and on our Facebook page. If you want to be updated by email, please subscribe by emailing [email protected] open forums 1 November Groningen 20 November Eindhoven 9 October The Hague 29 November Maastrichtcenter_img 6 November Utrecht 25 October Amsterdam For further information, visit our Living in the Netherlands Guide for practical information, such as how to register as a resident. You can receive email alerts whenever the guide is updated by signing up here.For questions concerning your rights as a UK national in the Netherlands, please contact us here.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.Useful linksUpdate on citizens’ rights in the context of the EU Exit negotiationsMore information on the UK’s departure from the European UnionLiving in the Netherlands GuideImmigration and Naturalisation Service Brexit page (Dutch government)British Embassy in the Netherlandslast_img read more

Jamie Oliver opens new concept

first_imgJamie Oliver has opened a new takeway food unit at the Bicester Village high-end shopping mall.The unit, which had a low-key launch earlier this year, comes as the chef and entrepreneur puts the final touches to his bespoke ‘grab and graze’ Jamie’s Italian Bakery at Gatwick Airport, which opens on Monday 2 July.The Fabulous Feasts pod serves “informal and rustic” takeaway food and Oliver has described the concept as a “miniature restaurant”.He said: “It’s a first of its kind. It’s like a miniature restaurant in a way – doing takeaways but obviously really top-quality stuff. I suppose it’s also different because we’ve done it in a low-key way, which has meant that the public have had to almost stumble across the pod by accident.”Commenting on his imminent arrival at Gatwick, Charlotte Christiansen, business development manager, catering and services at the airport, said: “Our partnership with Jamie Oliver heralds an exciting time for us as we continue to roll out our £1bn investment programme across the airport. With 70% of departing passengers shopping, drinking or dining at Gatwick, we’ve worked closely with Jamie Oliver to create a concept that would appeal to all of our passenger group.”Fabulous Feasts is ordinarily the contract catering arm of Jamie Oliver’s empire, which has the logo ‘We’re here to do things differently’ and has previously run events at the TEDx conference at London’s Science Museum and Hyde Park.It is not known if Oliver intends any further roll-out for Fabulous Feasts.last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits Offer Free Streams For Three Night Denver Run

first_imgThe Disco Biscuits’ Bisco Inferno series starts tonight, as the band spends four nights rocking out in Colorado. For those who can’t make it to the colorful state, fear not, because the Biscuits have you covered.The jamtronica pioneers have announced free live streams from the first three nights of the run, June 1-3, at the Ogden Theatre, as well as a Nugs.TV pay-per-view broadcast from the final night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with Twiddle, on June 4th. The free live streams are running through the band’s YouTube, and can be watched below.We can’t wait to rock out with the Biscuits!last_img read more

How to sidestep sequestration

first_imgThe March 1 deadline is approaching for Congress either to reach a budget agreement or force the government to begin cutting programs, in a process known as sequestration. Analysts increasingly fear that a compromise will not be reached to avoid automatic, across-the-board cuts affecting everything from Defense Department outlays to discretionary domestic spending.Budgeting expert Linda J. Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, spoke with Gazette staff writer Colleen Walsh about the looming sequestration, and offered suggestions on how to fix the nation’s rudderless budget process. Her recent books include “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict” (with Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008) and “The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service” (with W. Scott Gould, Brookings, 2009).GAZETTE: Can you define sequestration?BILMES: Sequestration is a process of making automatic, across-the-board budget cuts. The currently scheduled sequester would cut about $85 billion out of federal discretionary programs, which means all programs, including defense, that receive appropriations on an annual basis. It does not include entitlement programs like Social Security.GAZETTE: How did we get here?BILMES: For some years now, we have been lurching from one budget crisis to the next, and this is simply the latest iteration.  The current sequester came about because after the July 2011 budget fiasco, in which the government almost shut down, Congress decided to set up a “supercommittee” of members who would try to come up with a series of budget and tax reforms that could receive bipartisan support.  The penalty for not coming up with this agreement was that there would be an automatic, across-the-board set of budget reductions known as sequestration. This was supposed to be such an unsatisfactory solution that it would incentivize the supercommittee to reach agreement. But unfortunately, the committee was not able to agree.  So the penalty, which is the sequestration, is back on the table.GAZETTE: Can you explain what happened in January with the first sequester deadline?BILMES: There were two big threats that were potentially going to happen at the beginning of the year, leading to the phrase “fiscal cliff.” One was the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the second was the automatic sequestration. The fear was that if the tax cuts expired at the same time that [the] government cut spending by a large amount, this double whammy could push the country back into recession. Fortunately, the president was able to reach a compromise with Congress around the tax cuts. Taxes have increased for wealthier people, but tax cuts have been extended for middle-class taxpayers, except for the payroll tax, which has gone up for everyone. But the threat of recession is still there if the budget is cut as radically as the sequestration would propose.GAZETTE: What do you foresee happening on March 1?BILMES: I would be very surprised if the sequester went ahead without changes. It’s unlikely that Congress will take any action until the last minute, because it seldom does anything unless it is forced to. But in all likelihood, Congress will not allow such draconian cuts to take place, especially in the Defense Department. What will probably happen is that there will be some kind of compromise on the sequester, and they will kick the can down the road again to the next deadline, which is in May when the debt ceiling issue is coming up again. And then there will be another threatened calamity. But in the unlikely event that this sequester goes ahead, we will be reducing funding for many programs that should not be cut, but doing nothing to get at the waste and duplication and inefficiency and all the other things that give government a bad name.GAZETTE: Do you envision any movement, or any kind of real compromise with such a divisive government?BILMES: The overwhelming majority of Americans of both parties want compromise, according to the Pew and Gallup polls. But many of the congressional districts have been so gerrymandered that the districts are representing either extremely liberal or extremely conservative electorates, and this has made it very difficult to achieve a consensus.  Many of the newly elected members of Congress [whom] we teach here at the Kennedy School are more worried about challenges from within their party in the primaries than they are about facing the opposite party.  This political redistricting has created a pernicious problem. It is becoming more and more difficult to achieve consensus even on subjects like reducing the national debt or raising taxes on the wealthy, where you have a pretty high degree of consensus among the voters.GAZETTE: Why is the budget process so broken?BILMES: The budget process in this country has become completely dysfunctional.  It’s broken down, for several reasons. Partly because of the congressional polarization, partly because budget reform is not glamorous — it’s not a headline-grabber — it requires a lot of time and attention to detail to fix it, and partly because it has been easier to open the federal checkbook than to work out how to get better value for what we already spend.The public is exasperated, not only in the U.S., but around the world, with this crises-driven budget situation. My foreign students are astonished that we put up with it. When you read the budget theory by scholars such as Aaron Wildavsky, budgets are supposed to help with allocation of resources, setting priorities, planning, and management. The current budgeting system at the federal level doesn’t facilitate any of those things.What happens now is that Congress appropriates money through stopgap measures, the so-called continuing resolutions. So thousands of people across the government spend all year preparing very detailed estimates on what it’s going to cost to run their programs, and Congress effectively ignores all of that and just Scotch tapes together something from last year. Congress has enacted more than 75 of these continuing resolutions over the past decade.At the same time, a lot of money is spent through the so-called emergency appropriations, which are supposed to pay for actual unforeseen emergencies like hurricanes. But Congress has appropriated trillions of dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan through this emergency-appropriation mechanism. The problem with this is that the emergency money, which is designed to get out the door very quickly for something like a hurricane, is subject to far less scrutiny than a regular budget bill. And it circumvents all the budget caps.The combination of the lack of budget discipline in Congress, the fact that it has been relying on the continuing resolutions and the emergency appropriations, and the fact that it has been so easy to go to the debt markets and borrow, means that the budget process is no longer functioning as it is supposed to. The sequester is simply the latest manifestation of this problem, which I think can only be solved by a fundamental overhaul of the budget system, which hasn’t been reformed in a major way since 1974.GAZETTE: What can be done to fix it?BILMES: There are a number of reforms that would be helpful, but here are three key areas that we should consider:The quickest and easiest way to improve this is to create an annual budget less often.  One way is to move to biennial budgeting. The annual process wastes a lot of time and effort, and it increases the cost of government services. Federal agencies don’t have the leverage of negotiating long-term deals, and then they rush to spend money in the last weeks of the year, usually on lower-quality items. Most government programs — National Parks or weather forecasting or food inspections or whatever — need continuity to function effectively.The annual budget charade undermines employee morale because so many federal workers spend so much time on a process that doesn’t work. (I write about this in my book “The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service.”) And to make this reform work, we need to restrict the use of continuing resolutions to very unusual circumstances, and the use of emergency money should be limited to actual emergencies.The second area of reform is to upgrade the actual framework for budgeting and accounting, which means our ability to look at where the money is spent. Right now, the federal budget is simply a massive list of salaries and expenses. It’s not the kind of budget where you can see how much money gets spent on different activities.  All of the indirect layers of costs are embedded in the budget, and they are buried in thousands of line items of details. When I was trying to understand the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for my book “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict,” I found that it was extremely difficult to unravel and figure out where money is spent, because it is not set up in a transparent way.The private sector as well as a number of U.S. local governments use what’s called “activity-based” costing.  This is a method that transposes budget expenditures so it becomes possible to see, for example, all the direct and indirect costs associated with promoting small businesses across the entire government. But because we lackthis kind of visibility on the federal budget, or the right tools, we are considering untargeted, across-the-board cuts that don’t distinguish between the fat and the bone. The sequester is the opposite of what we should be doing.  We should be analyzing where the money is spent so that we can prioritize and cut lower-priority overheads and inefficient spending.Third, the congressional budget process needs to be reformed. It’s difficult to get visibility on spending because in the current system the authorizing committees control mandatory spending, such as entitlement programs, by setting the formula for receiving these benefits. The appropriations committees control the so-called discretionary spending. There are dozens of subcommittees and sub-subcommittees fighting over turf and jurisdiction. Congress spends money both through appropriating directly but also by providing tax deductions. There is no coherent system for viewing all these expenditures together as a whole. Instead, the committees fight over what are essentially arbitrary allocations of the total pie, and even then Congress can circumvent these allocations.GAZETTE: Can President Obama do anything to fundamentally change the budgeting process?BILMES: Traditionally, the impetus for budget process reforms has emanated from the Congress or from the Congressional Budget Office, the GAO [Government Accounting Office], and think tanks. I think the president would be supportive of anything that restores budget sanity. But you need to have support from the whole establishment that works in the budget process, that’s frustrated by it, and that really understands it, to get momentum for budget reforms. The best thing the president could do is to set up a bipartisan commission to look at reforming the budget process.GAZETTE: What do you consider the most important first step?BILMES: It’s important that the federal government take a first step that can succeed, and that has bipartisan support. A good one would be to improve how we do capital budgeting, which is long-term budgeting for infrastructure and capital equipment.  This would help the government do a better job of planning for short-term and long-term expenditures.  State and local governments already do this pretty well, with strong systems in place to plan ahead, prioritize, and consider how they are going to finance these projects. That alone means that there is a pool of talented civil servants in the states and municipalities who could help the federal government do a better job with capital budgets. The federal government does very poorly with this.A number of my former students, who are now working in the federal government, are enthusiastic about the prospects for capital budgeting and even activity-based budgeting. I get emails practically every week from former students who are working somewhere in government, saying that they are trying to do these things. A new generation of public servants coming out of the Kennedy School has been trained in some of these techniques and is already making a big difference in state and local government budgets around the country. So the next step is for them to [hold] more senior positions in the federal government so they can begin improving the budget system at the national level.last_img read more

Organic conference

first_imgThe Georgia Organics Conference will be March 11 and 12 in Savannah, Ga., and will include workshops as well as farm and food tours. University of Georgia entomologists, forage experts, horticulturists, small business experts and engineers will conduct in-depth educational sessions on insect control, weed management, distribution logistics, crop rotation, livestock nutrition, soil fertility, equipment, licensing, taxes and more. The trade show will have 70 exhibitors.All meals are included with conference registration. For more information, visit read more

High Five: December Outdoor News of the Weird

first_img1. Cycling Showdown – Elizabethton, Tenn.Biking, parenting, police, public safety. Oh my! A mother in Elizabethton, Tenn., was threatened with arrest for allowing her 10-year-old daughter to ride her bike to school. The officer stated the road from the child’s house to the school was too dangerous to ride on and informed  Teresa Tyron she would be arrested for child neglect if she continued to allow it. Obviously, the case has anyone with an opinion and/or a bike (in other words, everyone) chiming in to criticize our police state, transportation funds, overprotective culture, and childhood obesity. The real question is this: Why are the roads between the girl’s house and the school—less than a mile—unsafe to ride a bike on?2. Life Imitating Art Imitating Life – Concord, N.C.Amos Wayne Richards, 64, was so inspired by the movie 127 Hours that he decided to retrace the fateful steps of Aron Ralston, except it only took 72 hours. Richards was hiking alone in Little Blue Canyon in the Utah desert when he fell and broke his ankle. Fortunately, Richards did not feel the need to cut off said ankle with a Swiss Army knife, as Ralston was forced to do with his hand in 2003. Richards was able to retrace his steps on hands and knees for four days before being rescued by Canyonlands National Park rangers and their helicopter. Richards was treated for his injuries and dehydration in Moab before returning to North Carolina to recover. No word on whether he will attempt to make a movie about his ordeal.3. Too Urban for Gardening – Memphis, Tenn.A Memphis math teacher is in court battling for custody of his…garden. Adam Guerrero was ordered to dismantle his garden under city ordinance and cited for creating a public nuisance for vegetable growing, beehive keeping, worm feeding, biofuel producing, compost making, student educating, and soap manufacturing in his backyard. Following a public outcry fueled by social media (what do you know? It works!), a judge backed off the harsh language and ordered Guerrero to tidy the garden up. The orders mainly consisted of mosquito control. On the plus side, the city is now looking for vacant land where Guerrero can begin a community garden.4. Teach a Man to Fish… – Richland, Pa.Limestone Springs Preserve faced a slippery situation when their inventory went out with the wash, literally. Flooding in eastern Pennsylvania caused the preserve’s quarry to overflow, sending their stock of rainbow trout into nearby rivers. Workers in wetsuits also flooded the rivers attempting to bait the freed fish and scoop them up with nets. Limestone estimates that $400,000 worth of trout (that’s a lotta fish!) made a break for it during the flooding, which also caused millions of dollars in damage around Pa. Unfortunately for the preserve, word of the jailbreak spread quickly. Fishermen from around the region flocked to the area in their own attempt to “rescue” the fish—right into the frying pan.5. Winging It – Fayetteville, W.Va.BASE jumping has come a long way since Pelky and Shubert jumped off El Capitan; with new technology, wingsuits, Ski BASE and the like it seems like the sky is the limit, literally. But one man likes to keep it old school. Floridian Christopher Brewer astonished onlookers by jumping off West Virginia’s New River Gorge Bridge without a functioning parachute. His parachute did not fully open, and Brewer hit the river at an estimated speed of 80 miles per hour. Crisis was averted, however, as this modern day, inverse Icarus suffered only a pelvic fracture and unspecified spinal and lung injuries following his 876-foot belly flop. Authorities say the wingsuit he was wearing may have helped slow his descent, but no word on if a cannonball or jackknife would have limited his injuries.last_img read more

Completing BankSafe training saves consumers, FIs nearly $1M

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr AARP released a study this month on the impact of training financial professionals to prevent financial exploitation. AARP collaborated with CUNA to launch the BankSafe program in May, designed to empower financial institution employees with the ability to identify signs of exploitation of older Americans.Specifically, BankSafe aims to give bank and credit union employees the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to: better understand as well as empathize and interact with older consumers in an exploitation situation; recognize their responsibility to identify signs of financial exploitation; and take the right steps to protect assets.The study was conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology and examined 1,816 individuals who have completed the entire BankSafe training.last_img read more

Glasgow offices big hit with occupiers

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UNICEF lobbies Canadian Parliament to allow euthanasia for children

first_imgLifeSiteNews 24 May 2016Family First Comment:  Shocking! “That would include euthanasia or assisted suicide for mature minors who suffer from a NON-TERMINAL illness or DISABILITY, according to UNICEF Canada’s policy director Marvin Bernstein.”Anything with UN in the title probably should be avoided….UNICEF Canada is pushing for assisted suicide and euthanasia for children — or “mature minors” — arguing that this conforms with the Charter, Canadian legal precedent and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.That would include euthanasia or assisted suicide for mature minors who suffer from a non-terminal illness or disability, according to UNICEF Canada’s policy director Marvin Bernstein.UNICEF, or United Nations Children’s Fund (originally, Emergency Fund) is a UN organization that is, according to its website, “on a mission to reach every child and ensure their well-being, no matter where they are in this world.”“There’s no limit to the lengths UNICEF will go, the risks we’ll take or the depth of our commitment to save children’s lives,” it reads. “We are committed to take action, save, rehabilitate and watch over children, with a special attention to the most vulnerable and excluded groups.”Bernstein reiterated UNICEF Canada’s pro-euthanasia position during the Senate legal committee’s hearings into the Liberal government’s controversial euthanasia law, Bill C-14.The legislation amends the Criminal Code in light of the Supreme Court’s February 2015 Carter ruling, which ruled the current ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia violates the Charter, and comes into effect June 6.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Middle School CC Tri-Meet At Sunman-Dearborn

first_imgThe Jac-Cen-Del Junior High Cross Country Teams ran in a Tri-Meet at Sunman Dearborn on Thursday (8/21) night along with Milan.Girls’ Team Results: 1) Sunman Dearborn 2) JCD 3) Milan.Boys’ Team Results: 1) JCD 2) Sunman Dearborn 3) Milan.Courtesy of Eagles Coach Steve Narwold.last_img