CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Google+ WhatsApp (Saige Driver/95.3 MNC) Lawmakers are growing ever more frustrated with each other as they still cannot come to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package. Republicans continue to blame Democrats for the stalemate over the issue and vice versa.“It’s December and we still don’t have a coronavirus relief package,” said Sen. Todd Young of Indiana. “People are hurting. They’re beyond frustrated with this whole exercise.”Young urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass what they agree upon right now, and then focus on what they don’t agree upon afterward. So far he says both sides seem to agree on quite a lot in the current Senate version of the bill.“Republicans have actually put forth a package that can be signed into law,” he said. “One that provides to schools and students. One that provides assistance to our hard-hit small businesses.”However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calls the bill “partisan” and urged Republicans and Democrats alike that both sides need to be willing to compromise. He said a coronavirus relief bill needs to be a “top priority.”Young believes that Democrats are not making COVID relief a top priority.“It seems the House is focused on other priorities,” said Young. “We just heard that they are focused on something pertaining to marijuana and giving more consideration to marijuana policy. That can be debated, but the far left needs to sort of cool their jets right now.”He again mentioned his RESTART Act, a bipartisan bill he co-authored with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado. He said the bill now has 58 co-sponsors in the Senate and around 180 in the House.Young said both chambers need to at least pass the RESTART Act in order to renew Paycheck Protection Program loans and provide other means of assistance to the country’s small businesses.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday they have an idea of what President Trump would be willing to sign in to law, now it’s a matter of getting more feedback from lawmakers in Congress. Twitter Pinterest Pinterest By Network Indiana – December 2, 2020 1 316 Sen. Young among lawmakers frustrated over lack of a coronavirus relief package Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+ Previous articleSanta Claus is coming to town, but you’ll have to set an appointment.Next articlePublic won’t be allowed at caucus to replace Rep. Christy Stutzman Network Indiana
What we have seen at Birmingham is unacceptable and it has become clear that drastic action is required to bring about the improvements we require. This ‘step in’ means that we can provide additional resources to the prison while insulating the taxpayer from the inevitable cost this entails. We have good, privately-run prisons across the country and while Birmingham faces its own particular set of challenges, I am absolutely clear that it must start to live up to the standards seen elsewhere. “Step-in” process will stabilise prison, inject fresh leadership and bolster existing staff There will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and conditions at the prison are expected to quickly improve Forceful action follows intensive period of Ministry of Justice measures to compel improvements putting in place one of the prison service’s best governors to lead the prison, as well as a strong senior management team allocating experienced HMPPS officers to bolster existing staffing at the prison; an initial 30 extra officers will be deployed reducing the prison’s capacity by 300 places while improvement action is underway Related linkUrgent notification for HMP Birmingham The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has today (20 August) taken over the running of HMP Birmingham for an initial six-month period at no additional cost to the taxpayer.This follows an extended period during which HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has worked with the operator, G4S, in an attempt to drive up standards at the prison amid serious concerns over safety, security and decency.It is clear, however, that without additional support the prison will not be able to make sufficient progress on these pressing issues which have again been highlighted following the recent HMIP inspection. G4S accept that this is the case.From today, the running of the establishment will be taken over by HMPPS in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and as part of the contract with G4S. However, HMPPS will work closely with G4S to ensure minimal disruption and to reassure staff of our mutual commitment to stabilising the prison and putting it on a sustainable footing.The immediate steps that will be taken include: While HMPPS will run Birmingham for an initial six-month period, this may be extended and the prison will not be handed back until ministers are satisfied that sufficient progress has been made.Justice Secretary David Gauke and the Prisons Minister have recently visited the prison and concluded that ‘stepping in’ is the best way to make immediate impact and begin the necessary improvements.Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said:
overhaul of Blue Badge application service removes unnecessary red tape new digital tool will reduce application time to less than half an hour decrease in wait times will get people out and about as quickly as possible Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Blue badges are a lifeline for many disabled people, and it’s important to make the application process as quick and easy as possible. Speeding up the process will allow people to access the tools they need to travel independently, and with confidence. People eligible for Blue Badges can apply in a fraction of the previous time, thanks to a new online service launched by the Department for Transport.The Blue Badge scheme allows disabled people to park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk long distances.The new service will mean applicants can complete the entire process without the time-consuming task of sending their supporting documents in the post, allowing people to upload documents instead, including proof of identity, and photographs.This fully integrated, end-to-end process will allow people with disabilities to access Blue Badges quickly, giving them the freedom and confidence to travel with ease.Promotional video for the Blue Badge online serviceTransport Minister Jesse Norman said: Roads media enquiries In a survey of councils last summer, the department found that on average it takes an applicant 17 days from applying to receiving a brand new Blue Badge – or 28 days if a medical assessment is required.The new online system is expected to reduce the time it takes to apply for a Blue Badge to 13 minutes.Applications for individuals that do not qualify for automatic eligibility – where additional information to support the application is required – are expected to be reduced to 25 – 30 minutes. However, for those that need it, an offline process to apply for a Blue Badge will still be available. Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Switchboard 0300 330 3000
TRUTHS will be proposed as an additional operational mission for Earth Observation during the Space19+ meeting on 27-28 November 2019, when government ministers responsible for space activities in ESA Member States will gather in Seville, Spain, to decide on space programmes and funding for the coming years.ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said: Space offers a unique vantage point from which to observe, measure and monitor the Earth’s climate. At the EU Competitiveness Council and EU-ESA Space Council on 28 May, Science Minister Chris Skidmore highlighted the importance of space as a green technology to tackle climate change and restated the UK’s desire to host the critical COP26 climate conference in 2020.This new mission, conceived by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) – a world leading centre for measurement science – and called TRUTHS, will improve confidence in climate change forecasts.It will do this by creating a ‘climate and calibration laboratory in space’, making benchmark measurements, against which climate change trends can be detected quickly. It also allows other satellites such as those in Copernicus or emerging constellations to be rigorously re-calibrated in space, removing biases and facilitating a global interoperable ‘climate quality’ earth observing system.TRUTHS stands for Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies. The spacecraft will carry a hyperspectral imager, an instrument which can measure incoming radiation from the Sun as well as radiation reflected back from the Earth in fine spectral detail, i.e. individual wavelengths like the colours of a rainbow.NPL has developed a novel on board calibration system which is traceable to the SI (International System of Units) to ensure an unpresented level of accuracy.Science Minister and interim Minister for Climate Change Chris Skidmore said: Space technologies and satellite applications are key green technologies that allow us to observe the Earth and record changes to our climate. This new mission will allow scientists to more accurately calculate the energy absorbed and reflected by the Earth over a much shorter timescale than is currently possible. The UK Government is determined to be a world leader on climate change by supporting cutting-edge research and the space sector through our modern Industrial Strategy. We’ve made clear our desire to host the critical COP26 climate conference in 2020 – and announcements such as these demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change. ESA is happy to include the TRUTHS mission in our package of programme proposals for Space19+. It is a very interesting mission that will bring many benefits to better understand climate change and provide well-calibrated measurements for cross-reference with other missions. It is now up to ESA Member States to take up this offer and participate in this exciting programme. Enabling society to have access to the trustable data and information it needs to make informed decisions on mitigation and adaptation resulting from climate change lies at the heart of NPL’s strategy, along with responsibilities for the nation’s time and other measurements e.g. mass and the Kilogram. TRUTHS will allow us to take ‘NPL into orbit’, mimicking in space what we do in our Teddington laboratories. Delivering a ten-fold improvement in measurement uncertainty not only for TRUTHS’ data but that of the World’s earth observing system as a whole. Earth Observation from space is improving understanding of climate change and becoming an increasingly important tool in achieving sustainable development goals. TRUTHs would contribute to the Global Climate Observing System, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the World Meteorological Organization, the Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Group on Earth Observations, by enabling a critical element of an international space-based climate observing system. This objective was the key outcome put forward in the Strategy Towards an Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space.It would also provide observations that meet requirements for the key radiation balance essential climate variables and underpin many others, particularly those related to the Earth’s carbon cycle.Nigel Fox, Science lead for the Earth observation, Climate and Optical group of NPL and the missions principle investigator said: The UK has led global efforts to tackle climate change decarbonising faster than any other country in the G20, and is looking to drive more ambitious action as it bids for the COP26 climate talks and works towards a net zero economy.
Animal rights charity PETA has opened the voting in its bid to find the best vegan baker in the UK. The organisation has selected 10 finalists as part of The Great Vegan Bake Off. Each finalist is a vegan blogger.Elisa Allen, PETA, said: “We were so inundated with terrific cruelty-free dishes that it was almost impossible to narrow the entries down to just 10 finalists. Everyone who entered this contest is already a winner for showing that vegan baking is a piece of (egg- and dairy-free) cake!”This is the second year the charity has run the baking competition. It comes after research from Mintel revealed that one in five households now choose to buy plant-based milks, such as soya, rice, oat, almond and coconut milk.Voting for the competition will run until 7September, and the winner will be announced on 10 September.
Artisan bakery The Column Bakehouse is to make an £80,000 investment in its infrastructure to increase production by at least 50%.The Plymouth-based bakery wants to use some of the investment fund, and the capital it raises from expansion, to create an artisan bakery school that offers training and vocational opportunities in the bakery.About £30,000 will be spent on equipment for the bakery, and rearranging the layout, so that it includes a viewing area, allowing customers to watch what is being made. The bakery has also been able to partner with a wholesale distributor, Chadd’s Foodsmith, which will allow the company to supply to restaurants and businesses.The Bakehouse, which underwent a £1.75m renovation in 2010, bakes on-site and specialises in sourdough loaves. It currently only sells in-store at the Devonport Guildhall and at local farmers’ markets.Claire Burgess, RIO’s commercial manager for the Devonport Guildhall, said: “I see there is business growth in supporting the development of people’s learning, and vice versa. They will be training in an environment that is real.“There seems to be quite a shortage of training in artisan bread-making at the moment, so there is definitely growth in that market.”Building and purchasing of the new equipment will start in November, and the renovation is set to be completed by December. The bakery hopes the school will be up and running by 2016.
Sainsbury’s suffered a 0.4% drop in like-for-like (LFL) retail sales, excluding fuel, for the 15 weeks to 9 January 2016 – despite trading well over Christmas.However, as revealed in its Q3 trading statement, total retail sales were up by 0.8%, with the company reporting a strong performance online and in its convenience stores.Sainsbury’s opened 16 convenience stores in the quarter and claimed to have enjoyed its biggest day of convenience store sales on 24 December. Meanwhile, online grocery sales were up by nearly 10% and orders by 15%.Mike Coupe, chief executive at Sainsbury’s, said: “We have traded well during the festive period in a highly competitive market. Our stores delivered excellent levels of service and availability and we launched several new seasonal products and range improvements. As a result we have seen our market share grow in the quarter.“Given our good performance in this quarter, we now expect our like-for-like sales in the second half of the year to be better than the first. Food deflation and pressures on pricing will ensure that the market remains challenging for the foreseeable future. We will continue to remain competitive on price and our performance this quarter provides further evidence that our strategy is working.”Sainsbury’s attributed its performance to investment in quality, price and service. It said that its goal to invest in the quality of 3,000 products remained on track and that it had reduced its level of vouchering, multi-buys and other promotional participation on a year-on-year basis in favour of delivering lower regular prices.
Denmark-based firm, Arla Foods Ingredients has launched an exclusive breakfast campaign for its £100m commitment to back healthier eating among its consumers.The Choose Goodness campaign, fronted by TV chef Gizzi Erskine, encourages consumers to upgrade the “most important meal of the day”, through adding more variety into their breakfast range.The commitment, unveiled as part of the dairy cooperative’s new strategy to grow revenue by nearly a third by 2020, will see a series of campaigns and initiatives launched to encourage healthier food choices and highlight the nutritional qualities of dairy products.The campaign follows research by Arla which found that 82% of Brits usually eat the same thing every morning, even though a majority (51%) of those surveyed recognise that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.Tomas Pietrangeli, Arla Foods UK managing director, said: “As part of our ambitious new strategy for growth, we want to educate consumers on the benefits of dairy products wherever possible.“Campaigns such as Choose Goodness are a great example of the ways in which we can support and promote healthier eating habits. The videos have been getting a great response across social media, and we encourage people to have a look for inspiration to choose goodness in their breakfast before reaching for the same thing they always do.”Earlier this month, Arla launched a new range of clean-label lines.
Convenience and discount retailers have been tipped to drive 15% growth in UK food and grocery sales over the next five years.The food and grocery market will grow £28bn between now and 2022, according to grocery research organisation IGD. While £10bn of this growth will come from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, £7bn is expected to be through the convenience channel.“There’s a revolution under way in food and grocery, in terms of what, how and where shoppers do their shopping,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.“On average, shoppers say they use around 12 different stores every month – and in the future, we will have an even greater choice in what, where and how we buy our food. We’ll be more spontaneous, but also better planned.”IGD found that shoppers would like to see larger stores introduce non-food concessions, local independent food stores and an ‘everyday’ aisle near the front of the store to enable speedier shopping.Small stores had “enduring appeal”, said Denney-Finch, adding there are opportunities for c-stores to engage the younger generation“There’s also a huge opportunity for food-to-go, with more than eight in 10 (83%) c-store shoppers saying they could be encouraged to buy more food-to-go at their main convenience store,” she said.Online will be by far the fastest-growing channel in percentage terms, although may be slower than in previous periods as retailers also look to drive growth through their larger store and convenience formats.IGD said use of subscription services for foods would increase, with a quarter of British shoppers stating that, in the next two to three years, they are likely to use an online subscription service to get their staples delivered.“We expect to see the ‘digital native’ – those people who have grown up using technology in many aspects of their lives – help to sustain growth in the future, as they carry on shopping online for groceries and potentially convert others to do the same,” added Denney-Finch.Four in 10 British shoppers said they had bought some of their food and groceries online in the past month, but that figure will rise to 60% in the next two to three years, said IGD.
Industry organisation Scottish Bakers has kicked off its search for the Scottish Baker of the Year 2018.Now in its seventh year, the competition sees consumers vote for their favourite baked goods from across the country, with expert judges shortlisting products to decide the ultimate winner.Voting opens today (21 February) and runs until 9 March, with judging day taking place at Carnegie Conference Centre on 28 March. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner following the Scottish Bakers Annual Conference on 5 May.“With thousands upon thousands of pies, scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits sold in Scotland every day, our bakers work hard to keep us all going,” said Alasdair Smith of Scottish Bakers. “So we are delighted to once again be giving Scottish Bakers the chance to shine and showcase their skills, but we need people at home to vote, so log on now.”For judging, the goods are split into six categories – scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits – which are divided into three regions: Northern, Central and Southern Scotland. Category winners are invited to put forward a case for Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker and Wholesale Baker for a chance to be crowned Scottish Baker of the Year.To mark the start of the competition, students from Pennyland Primary School, Miller Academy, Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso High School and North Highland College will take part in a ‘Generation Game’ style bake-off on 21 February.The competition will be judged by Gary Reid, MD of Scottish Baker of the Year 2017 Reids of Caithness, and Mich Turner, Scottish Bakers’ ambassador.“Everyone loves a tasty treat from their local baker,” said the face of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition Michelle McManus, “so I am calling on all of us bakery buffs up and down the land to vote for our favourite local baker to help them win the Scottish Baker of the Year crown for 2018.”