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After two weeks on the road, Ulster return to Ravenhill to face interprovincial rivals Connacht in the Magners League. Every point counts for both sides as the season draws to a close.

Ulster claimed a 30 13 victory at the Sportsground in November when the two sides last met and try scorers Roger Wilson, Carlo Del Fava and Kieron Dawson will hope to be included on Friday to make their mark again against the men from the west.

Tickets for Friday’s match are still available for the Promenade and the Terrace and can be purchased online, from the Ravenhill ticket office, the ticket line 0044 (0)28 9049 3222 (select option 2) or from all usual outlets around Ulster (listed below).

In Sport Newtownards; SS Moore’s Belfast; Athletic Stores Belfast; Eden Park Belfast; Euro Sport Lisburn; Shoe Fair Sports Banbridge; Style N Sport Ballymena; Vi Sport Belfast; David Gotto All Sports Belfast; Overplay Sports Carrickfergus; Douglas Menswear Belfast.

SS Moore’s Belfast will be open from the earlier time of 8.30am for the rest of the week to sell match tickets before office hours.

ULSTER Squad (v Connacht): Backs (11) Paul Marshall, Isaac Boss, Paddy Wallace, Niall O’Connor, Mark McCrea,
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Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe, Bryn Cunningham, Rob Dewey, Paul Steinmetz, Mark Bartholomeusz.

Forwards (14) Justin Fitzpatrick, Rory Best, Tom Court, Justin Harrison, Kieron Dawson, Stephen Ferris, Ryan Caldwell, Carlo Del Fava, Matt McCullough, Nigel Brady, Bryan Young, Neil Best, Roger Wilson, Grant Webb.
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An economist by profession with a history in banking, Mr. Rybachuk has an excellent grasp of statistics. He speaks in a “rapid fire” manner and is fluent in what he jokingly calls his “native” English, perfected while studying at Georgetown University in 1977. Mr. Rybachuk is quick to criticize the current regime in Ukraine and its policies, and takes pride in his non communist background. He is an ardent supporter of Victor Yushchenko, the opposition frontrunner said to be the candidate most likely to win the October election.

Although the start of the campaign has not been officially declared, Yushchenko and his coalition of parties called “Nasha Ukrayina” (Our Ukraine) have already begun working to broaden the candidate’s popularity. Special attention is being given to regions in eastern Ukraine where the coalition has lower popularity ratings. Mr. Rybachuk is convinced that Yushchenko’s success is inevitable.

With much of local television and major print media beyond reach (recent crackdowns on independent media have limited the opposition’s options), “Nasha Ukrayina” depends largely on cable television, FM radio, and small local newspapers to deliver its message. The Internet plays a small part in the process (only about 3 4% of the population has Internet access), but web content is often used in print publications. Campaigners have also been traveling as much as possible to meet one on one with the people in order to gain their votes. Mr. Rybachuk accused the pro Kuchma factions of not engaging in televised western style debates, which he says “Nasha Ukrayina” would win hands down. platform or vision for Ukraine, Mr. Rybachuk first pointed to the pension debate, a popular issue for a large segment of the population. He maintains that pension levels are at about 1/5th the minimum standard of living, and have been kept artificially low in the face of a rise in Gross Domestic Product. Among other things, Mr. Rybachuk criticized the high level of corruption in Ukraine’s government (suggesting that this is one of the best measures of the Kuchma presidency), and the lack of debate over the annual budget, which was simply voted in by the majority in the Verkhovna Rada. In addition, he expressed his disapproval of the state of the national banking system in Ukraine, the excessive national debt, and major corruption on border crossings (illicit gains from contraband trade bypass the tax system and allegedly become undeclared profit in the hands of dishonest government officials).

Presumably a Yushchenko government would correct such inequities and illegal activities, but it was difficult to find a forward looking message or a well defined set of platform points in Mr. Rybachuk’s replies. On the positive side, he did say was that the “Nasha Ukrayina” block is firmly committed to bringing Ukraine into the European Union within a 2 term presidency for Victor Yushchenko. This message is not lost upon those who are familiar with the Kuchma administration’s seeming ambivalence about Ukraine’s stated “European choice”. Mr. Rybachuk also contrasted the “strong ideological values” held by those who support “Nasha Ukrayina” and Victor Yushchenko with the absence of similar conviction on the part of their political foes.

Mr. Rybachuk distributed a variety of Yushchenko campaign paraphernalia including pens, stickers, buttons, calendars, notepads, and more. The campaign called “Tak! Yushchenko” (Yes! Yushchenko) sports an illustration of a horseshoe, a symbol of luck in Ukraine. In Ukraine, the shoe is placed in the opposite direction to show that horse runs forward, in this case, perhaps a hint about the frontrunner in the race towards the presidency. Pictured on the wallet calendar above is presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko with his daughter.

Mr. Rybachuk’s humorous (often stinging) quips in response to questions or comments roll off his tongue often too quickly to grasp what he said, even catching himself off guard at times. When asked for his opinion about the recent increase in metro fares in Kyiv, he responded somewhat carelessly that “the very mayor who was honored in this establishment as ‘Man of the Year’ raised them. ” (The Ukrainian Institute of America, which hosted the Rybachuk meeting, named the Mayor of Kyiv, Oleksandr Omelchenko, ‘Man of theYear 2002’.)

In his closing remarks, Mr. Rybachuk called on the Ukrainian American community to support the Yushchenko candidacy and to participate actively as observers in the election process. government join the Council of Europe in its unambiguous criticism of the recent constitutional amendments, which are seen as efforts by the current administration to retain power in light of the predicted loss to the opposition in the October presidential elections.

Oleh Rybachuk was Chief of Staff for former Prime Minister Victor Yushchenko. He is a member of parliament in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (2002 2006), and Viktor Yushchenko’s “Nasha Ukrayina” Bloc, the largest caucus in parliament. He is also a member of the “Razom” parliamentary group.
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Progress is in the eye of the beholder. It can be positive or negative, backward or forward, small or large, linear or digital, visible or invisible, real or imagined. Progress is as infinitely conceived as are women themselves.

The United Nations Special Session, Women 2000: Gender, Equality, Development and Progress for the 21st Century in New York, June, 2000, is an opportunity for government delegates and non governmental organizations alike to assess progress in concrete terms, and to look for ways to come up with precise measurements to asses achievements of women around the world during this decade.

This exhibition of women’s art, Progress of the World’s Women is meant to complement our real world challenges and at the same time propel us beyond them. We can enter realms of the senses, myth and imagination, feelings, dream; and desires. We can celebrate our human creativity. If “progress” suggests a journey upward and onward, these artistic statements also offer us symbolic truths about where women really are, what matters to them, and what kind of futures they envision.

The art exhibition, June 5 through July 7, is sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Museum of Women (IMOW), and represents a collection of works of art across many cultures, mediums and materials. Several of the artists have achieved international prominence, others are well known inside their own countries, and still others have not yet garnered recognition and need to be known. A few, even in this age, are still “anonymous”.

Some of these works are defined as traditional, craft, avant garde, abstract, conceptual and constructions using paint, photography, cloth, metal, straw and print mechanisms.

All of these works of art are meant to expand our understanding of our world. These works, created for the most part by women in the last five years, allow us to interpret what we see as a collective statement in bold artistic terms about the power of women at the beginning of the 21st century. The exhibition also honors the traditional powers of women from the earliest times to this century just past. There is evidence here of a new conception of leadership designed by women around the planet in which power is shared, violence is abhorred, and friends, children, elders and our earth are nurtured.

This exhibition provokes our sensibilities, touches our emotions, and inspires us to envision a world where the promises of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, have been fulfilled.

The women’s movement, through a series of UN conferences in the nineties, embraced the challenge of engendering development policies and practices to transform the quality of women’s lives and ultimately human life. In June 2000, women and men leaders, advocates for gender equality and policy makers gathered for a UN General Assembly Special Session to share insights and experiences gained through efforts to bring about gender equality, development and peace, the themes of the four world conferences on women. At this significant time when challenges are being confronted and new futures envisioned, the United Nations Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM), in partnership with the International Museum of Women, proudly presents an international art exhibition, Progress of the World’s Women, in conjunction with the release of the UNIFEM’s report of the same title. The exhibition is a bold statement by 70 women artists from over 50 countries.

The artistic process is itself empowering and transformational. The creative process, whether in art or in reshaping development, requires one to step out of a self that is constructed by others, while revealing other aspects of the self that are submerged by the dominant social discourse. It allows women to assert their own understanding of themselves and the societies in which they live.

No longer the objects of the artist’s gaze, women have become the visionaries, the creators, and the agents of the kind of change they want to see in the world. Their art affirms a sense of shared identity and defies the stereotype of the artist as an individual removed from society. The artists in this exhibition demonstrate how, even when placed in circumstances not of their own making, women use their agency and creativity to change their lives, individually and collectively, thereby creating their own progress. Art becomes the space of a new shared subjectivity, the site of emergence for a new sense of solidarity and empowerment, which is a precondition for collective action and social change.

Women’s art is not only about women defining their own realities it is about women redefining art itself. Women challenge conventional notions of art, and artist, conscious that art, like gender, is a socially constructed category that can be reshaped. This exhibition provides a space for women’s art, in a variety of mediums and in all its diversity, to be seen, experienced and reflected upon.

Progress of the World’s Women, through images, ideas or practice, shows how women themselves relate to the world, not just as solitary selves, but in connection with others. Women come to understand societies and their structures because of the lives that women lead, and not in spite of them. Like women’s shaping of development, women’s art reflects the realities of women’s lives from within the processes of living. It requires enormous amounts of courage, not only to express oneself and to make a statement about one’s view of the world, but also to live in deep connection with one’s creative powers and to harness those powers to recast reality and reshape our lives. This is beauty; this is progress.

PROGRESS OF THE WORLD’S WOMEN Oxana Narozniak, from Brazil (left) shows her bronze sculpture “AGIA TALASSINI” to Nane Annan, wife of the UN Secretary General at the opening night reception of the international art exhibition: Progress of the World’s Women, which opened to the public in the United Nations’ lobby, Monday June 5, 2000. The exhibit was organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Museum of Women (IMOW) and sponsored by Volvo Cars of North America. Nane Annan, is patron of the exhibition and was host of the opening night reception. The exhibit can be viewed until July 7. For more information: Micol Zarb (212) 906 5463; Shana Penn (415) 775 1366. from Wayne University, Detroit MI (1972); studied at the University of Hawaii and at the Art Students’ League of NY.

Her ten solo exhibits include: Museu H. She also participated in many group shows.

Abraham Ilein, reviewing an exhibition in the Icaro Room of Varig Airlines, New York (ARTSPEAK, New York, March 1993), writes: “She (Oxana) seeks out geometric relationships, and, therefore, employs slender figures with strong lines, angles, that highlight contours.” Further, he notes: “These figures are idealized, and the viewer can interpret their meaning according to his own sensibility.”

MYRNA BALK, One is Too Many, 8 color etchings, 2000, USA.

TUYA NATSAGDORJ, Guests, oil painting, Mongolia.

The artist graduated from the College of Fine Arts in 1990 and attended the University of Culture and Arts in Ukraine. She has participated in exhibitions in Mongolia.
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NEW YORK Prior to Ukraine’s independence, efforts to research one’s past were severely restricted and to a great extent impossible due to the lack of publicly accessible information in the Soviet Union. One aspect of Ukraine’s emergence as an independent nation is that access to archival information has greatly improved. Those whose roots bind them to this country can now learn about their heritage and trace their ancestral histories much more easily. Her extensive research resulted in the just published book titled Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova, a publication which falls into several categories “reference book, travel guide, Holocaust history and genealogical handbook.”

Ms. Weiner’s book has been officially endorsed by Dr. Ruslan Pyrih, Director of the State Archives of Ukraine. Ms. Weiner spent 7 years working together with Dr. Pyrih and the previous director, Borys Ivanenko, and also with more than one hundred archivists throughout Ukraine to compile and decipher records that were heretofore not only classified, but poorly organized. According to Dr. Pyrih, Miriam Weiner was a tough taskmaster with high expectations that fostered an equally high level of professionalism in the archivists with whom she worked. He credits her efforts as an important contribution toward improving the accessibility of the archives in Ukraine to all of us today.

Her recent whirlwind book launching tour in the New York area included a presentation by Dr. Pyrih at the Family History (Genealogy) Center of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a celebration and awards ceremony at the Republic National Bank, and a special reception in her honor at the Consulate of Ukraine in New York. At the Family History Center, Dr. Pyrih addressed a primarily Jewish audience about the current status of the archives throughout Ukraine. He explained that the vast majority of existing records have been transferred to regional archival centers (previously concentrated in the capital, Kyiv), except in the case of documents having national significance. That is to say, birth, marriage, death certificates and the like, are now found in the regional offices, typically the Oblast capital or possibly in the “raion” offices from which they originated. Also, Dr. Pyrih explained that records that had been salvaged (transported to Eastern Ukraine) from Western Ukraine during the Nazi occupation have been returned to the areas of origin, although sadly, many of those archives were lost during the conflict.

Dr. The Archives Director assured everyone that there is, in fact, no ban at all against anyone or any group in particular accessing and utilizing the archives in Ukraine they were and remain completely accessible even to the Mormon archivers. However, a controversy did develop with respect to acquisition of records by the Mormons due to objections of a religious nature raised by certain groups in Ukraine. The Mormon belief system permits the “baptism” of dead ancestors as a means for those souls to attain entry into heaven. Reluctance over having one’s ancestor’s religious affiliations compromised in any way have opened a polemic about the issue, and is a concern for any religious group. According to our sources, microfilming by the Mormons has continued unimpeded although the controversy remains unresolved.

If you happen to find yourself in Ukraine and wish to look up your family history on your own, Dr. Pyrih advises that you begin your search in the Oblast Archival Center that governs the area or town where you believe your family’s roots to be. Researching is a painstaking and slow process even today because of the lack of technical aids. Unfortunately, the records are still kept in their original form in ordinary file folders, making research a labor intensive procedure. Even something as basic as a birth certificate could take up to a week or two to locate. The staff at the Archival Centers take each request submitted, and literally do a manual search through the thousands of folders to find the desired item. Computers are desperately needed to speed up the process of finding the multitude of records that may be associated with a single family tree. Costs for record retrieval depend on the type of records requested, length of time spent on searching and on the success of the search. The rates have been standardized, according to Dr. Pyrih, and are publicly available at the individual Oblast archive offices. He highly recommends Miriam Weiner’s book Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova as a guide for anyone searching for their family history.

But, you needn’t necessarily travel to Ukraine to conduct your research, according to Consul Bohdan Yaremenko in New York. For a small fee, any Ukrainian consulate (go to the Consulate website for contact information, or the Government of Ukraine page for locations in your area) can help you with your application for information. You may need assistance, for example, with the names of towns which have often changed over time, transliterations and translations, and other information which they will send to the appropriate location in Ukraine for processing. If you are an individual searching for particular records such as a birth or marriage certificate, and you don’t speak Ukrainian (or Russian), this may be the most practical and efficient option. The Consulate does not, however, offer general genealogical research.

Various dignitaries and members of the Ukrainian Diasporan community attended the ceremony held at the Republic National Bank on September 23rd, 1999. The evening of speeches, awards, cocktail reception and musical program was sponsored by the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg and Republic National Bank as a celebration of Miriam Weiner’s book, Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova. Ambassador Ion Botnaru, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the UN, the Hon. Yuriy Bohaievsky, Consul General of Ukraine in New York, and Dr. Ruslan Pyrih. Special honors were given to Dr. Pyrih for his invaluable contribution towards the completion of the book, and to Ms. Weiner’s indispensable and tireless friend and partner, Vitaly Chumak. Mr. Chumak, a Moldovan, has an uncanny ability to speak a multitude of languages with near perfect fluency. He currently conducts heritage tours with Ms. Weiner throughout Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.

At an invitation only reception at the Consulate of Ukraine in New York, Miriam Weiner was honored by Consul General Bohaievsky for her undaunted zeal in pursuing her goals despite the obstacles. In gratitude for the tremendous support and assistance given by Ukraine and Moldova towards the effort of compiling data for her book, Ms. Weiner presented copies of the new publication to Borys Tarasyuk, Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine, and to UN Ambassador Botnaru of Moldova. Among those present at the reception were Rabbi David Lincoln, a long time friend of the Ukrainian American community, Evhen Stakhiv and Stefa Charczenko of the Society of Ukrainian Jewish Relations (SUJR), Andrij Lastoweckyj of the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council and SUJR, Mykola Haliv of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York, and Oleksandr Burakovsky of SUJR.
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For the Ukrainian people Christmas is the most important family holiday of the whole year. It is celebrated solemnly, as well as merrily, according to ancient customs that have come down through the ages and are still observed today.

Ukrainian Christmas customs are based not only on Christian traditions, but to a great degree on those of the pre Christian, pagan culture and religion. The Ukrainian society was basically agrarian at that time and had developed an appropriate pagan culture, elements of which have survived to this day. The flourishing pagan religion and traditions associated with it were too deeply rooted in the people to allow the Church to eradicate them completely. Therefore, the Church adopted a policy of tolerance toward most of the ancient customs and accepted many as part of the Christian holidays. In this way, the ancient pagan Feasts of Winter Solstice, Feasts of Fertility became part of Christian Christmas customs. This is perhaps why Ukrainian Christmas customs are quite unique and deeply symbolic.

Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve ([G]Dec.24; [J]Jan.6.) and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many customs and traditions, which reach back to antiquity. The rituals of the Christmas Eve are dedicated to God, to the welfare of the family, and to the remembrance of the ancestors.

With the appearance of the first star which is believed to be the Star of Bethlehem, the family gathers to begin supper.

The table is covered with two tablecloths, one for the ancestors of the family, the second for the living members. In pagan times ancestors were considered to be benevolent spirits, who, when properly respected, brought good fortune to the living family members. Under the table, as well as under the tablecloths some hay is spread to remember that Christ was born in a manger. The table always has one extra place setting for the deceased family members, whose souls, according to belief, come on Christmas Eve and partake of the food.

A kolach (Christmas bread) is placed in the center of the table. This bread is braided into a ring, and three such rings are placed one on top of the other, with a candle in the center of the top one. The three rings symbolize the Trinity and the circular form represents Eternity.

A didukh (meaning grandfather) is a sheaf of wheat stalks or made of mixed grain stalks. It is placed under the icons in the house. In Ukraine, this is a very important Christmas tradition, because the stalks of grain symbolize all the ancestors of the family, and it is believed that their spirits reside in it during the holidays.

After the didukh is positioned in the place of honor, the father or head of the household places a bowl of kutia (boiled wheat mixed with poppy seeds and honey) next to it. Kutia is the most important food of the entire Christmas Eve Supper, and is also called God’s Food. A jug of uzvar (stewed fruits, which should contain twelve different fruits) and is called God’s Drink, is also served.

After all the preparations have been completed, the father offers each member of the family a piece of bread dipped in honey, which had been previously blessed in church. He then leads the family in prayer. After the prayer the father extends his best wishes to everyone with the greeting Khrystos Razhdaietsia (Christ is born), and the family sits down to a twelve course meatless Christmas Eve Supper.

There are twelve courses in the Supper, because according to the Christian tradition each course is dedicated to one of Christ’s Apostles. According to the ancient pagan belief, each course stood was for every full moon during the course of the year. The courses are meatless because there is a period of fasting required by the Church until Christmas Day. However, for the pagans the meatless dishes were a form of bloodless sacrifice to the gods.

The first course is always kutia. It is the main dish of the whole supper. Then comes borshch (beet soup) with vushka (boiled dumplings filled with chopped mushrooms and onions). This is followed by a variety of fish baked, broiled, fried,
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cold in aspic, fish balls, marinated herring and so on. Then come varenyky (boiled dumplings filled with cabbage, potatoes, buckwheat grains, or prunes. There are also holubtsi (stuffed cabbage), and the supper ends with uzvar.

While many of the Ukrainian Christmas Eve customs are of a solemn nature, the custom of caroling is joyful and merry. Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. There are two main groups of Christmas songs in Ukraine: the koliadky, whose name is probably derived from the Latin “calendae” meaning the first day of the month and which are sung on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; the second group of Christmas songs is called shchedrivky, which is a derivation from the word meaning generous. The latter are sung during the Feast of the Epiphany.

Both koliadky and shchedrivky have pagan elements in them, but many have been Christianized. For example, one pagan carol tells of a landowner who is awakened by a swallow and told to make preparations, because three guests are coming to his house: the sun, the moon and the rain. In the Christianized version the three guests become Jesus Christ, St. Nicholas and St. George. The very popular Ukrainian carol in the United states, “Carol of the Bells”, in its originality is a shchedrivka and tells of a swallow (herald of Spring) that has come to a landowner’s house and asks him to come out and see how rich he is, how many calves he has, and so on.

The themes of Ukrainian Christmas songs vary. Many, of course, deal with the birth of Christ and that occasion’s joyful celebrations, and many of them have apocryphal elements. Another group of carols contain purely pagan mythological elements. Still another group deals with Ukrainian history of the 9 12 centuries, mostly with the heroic episodes in the lives of some of the princes that were favorite among the people. One of the largest groups of carols are glorification songs glorifying the landowner, the farmer, his wife, his sons, his daughters, every member of the family. These songs glorify their work as well as their personal traits.

Caroling required extensive preparation. Each group had a leader. One member dressed as a goat. Another as a bag carrier, the collector of all the gifts people would give them. Yet another carried a six pointed star attached to a long stick with a light in its center, which symbolized the Star of Bethlehem. In some places the people even had musical instruments, such as the violin, tsymbaly (dulcimer), or the trembita (a wooden pipe about 8 10 feet long, used in the Carpathian mountains by the Hutsuls).

Caroling was not a simple singing of Christmas songs; it was more of a folk opera. The carolers first had to ask for permission to sing. If the answer was yes, they entered the house and sang carols for each member of the family, even for the smallest child. Sometimes they even performed slow ritualistic dances. They also had to present a short humorous skit involving the goat. The custom of the goat accompanying the carolers has its origin in the pagan times when the goat represented the god of fertility. The skit showed the goat dying and then being brought back to life. This also symbolized the death of Winter and the birth of Spring. The caroling always ended with short well wishing poems, appropriately selected for each home.

Koliadky and shchedrivky are the oldest groups of Ukrainian folk songs. They are sung by Ukrainians at Christmas time throughout the world.
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The smoking of e cigarettes, or vaping, is currently banned in Preston and Chorley hospitals and James Barker has called on the chief executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a letter.

The letter read, “Many or most users of e cigarettes are being treated unfairly and unwisely. This bullying of citizens, by banning them from car parks and pathways as well as hospital buildings, has to stop. If the NHS carries on like this they will force people, many desperate to stop smoking, back onto cigarettes.”

Stuart Heys, chairman of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust responded, “Our current policy states that we do not recommend the use of electronic cigarettes. As health professionals we can only recommend the use of evidenced based strategies to support people to be smoke free. Currently the e cigarette is not regulated as a tobacco product or as a medicine in the UK.”
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During his visit to Chesil Beach, which connects Portland with the Dorset mainland, PM David Cameron was shown how the 39 Engineer Regiment from Kinloss in Scotland was working with EA staff to build up the sea defences.

Up to a third of the shingle which makes up the sea wall at Chesil Beach has been washed away in recent heavy storms. Eleven diggers were piling shingle from the water’s edge up on to the top of the 30ft high flood defence.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said it’s “a disgrace” that Government ministers are “pointing the finger at each other when they should be rolling their sleeves up and helping those who are affected”.

He went on: “The Government needs to explain why their response to the flooding has been so slow to help the victims and why their planning has been so inadequate. The Department of the Environment actually downgraded flooding as a key objective when the Conservatives came to power.

“But really what the public wants is a Prime Minister and a government focused on them, getting on with the job, not pointing fingers at each other or other people and trying to shut off blame.”

by Helen Smyth, Press Association via The Press Association 2/10/2014 2:20:58 PM

In flood hit Surrey, horse enthusiast Jenny Andersson has had to put down her animals after successive floods left her with spiralling costs and nowhere to keep them sheltered.

Ms Andersson, 53, made the “hard decision” to have the four horses put down last week after floods swept through the stables she leased, yet again.

The stables in Esher, which she had used for the past 13 years, had flooded several times most recently in mid January.

by Helen Smyth, Press Association via The Press Association 2/10/2014 2:37:09 PM

She said: “There wasn’t any ideal solution. It was a very, very hard decision to make. My lease was due for renewal at the end of February, and it wasn’t safe for the horses.

“The stables were under water. There was nowhere safe on the farm for them to go. I could have put them in livery but that would have been very very expensive and a compromise.”

She praised the efforts of the Environment Agency who she said had been “brilliant” in turning out over Christmas to help with the floods.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said: “We are continuing to work with local communities and partner agencies to minimise the impact of flooding and protect as many homes and buildings as we can.

“The flooding in the whole of Thames Valley has been declared a major incident, which is declared when an incident requires a significant multi agency response.

“We are once again appealing for motorists and residents to take a common sense approach and not to ignore road closures already in place. The water is often deeper than it looks and can be fast moving, so please do not take these unnecessary risks.

“I want to thank all the people continuing to work hard in these challenging conditions and assure communities we will continue to work around the clock to help protect homes and businesses.”

by Helen Smyth, Press Association via The Press Association 2/10/2014 3:19:55 PM

We saw the PM in Weymouth earlier, after leaving there he went to Plymouth to visit First Great Western’s Laira rail depot, which is used to service the operator’s high speed trains.

Mr Cameron was also taken on a tour of the maintenance depot where he met engineers and saw a high speed engine being winched on to a low loader lorry.

by Helen Smyth, Press Association 2/10/2014 3:30:03 PM

Maria Eagle is on her feet again. she says it’s “a relief” for people in Somerset that the Army is now helping but wants to know if Mr Pickles understands why people are angry that level of response took “so long” to arrive. She also wants to know how the Government will help people in the Thames Valley.

She’s also raised his negative comments on the Environment Agency and asked if he agrees with what the PM has said about this not being the time to change personel. She wants to know if there’s a row between Mr Pickles and the Environment Secretary over it.
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This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses,” May said.

“The threat of terrorism that we face is severe but together, by working together, we will defeat them.”

The Prime Minister said that people should carry on with their daily lives, but be vigilant.

Members of the emergency services work near Parsons Green underground tube station.

No arrests have been made. Hundreds of detectives are working on the inquiry with the support of Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5.

Mark Rowley,
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assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said that investigators were making “excellent progress” in identifying, locating and arresting those responsible.

Mayor Sadiq Khan echoed May and Rowley, telling Londoners they should “rest assured the full resources of our police and security services are being deployed to track down those responsible. They will be caught and brought to justice.”

ISIS claimed involvement with the explosion saying, via its Amaq news agency that a “detachment” from the group had carried out the attack. When asked about possible ISIS involvement, Rowley told reporters that it is “routine” for the Islamic State to take responsibility for attacks in “these sorts of circumstances,
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” regardless of the group’s actual involvement.

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fashion magazine Vogue, her office said.

May posed for American photographer Annie Leibovitz at the prime minister’s official country residence Chequers earlier this month and gave an interview to go alongside the pictures, British media reported.

The British leader, known for her love of eye catching shoes,
ugg outlet uk store UK PM May to appear in April edition of U
has long been a fan of the magazine.

When asked by BBC Radio during an interview in 2014 what she would chose as her luxury item were she a castaway on a desert island, she opted for a lifetime subscription to Vogue.

Last year May came under fire from a former government minister for her expensive taste in fashion after being photographed for a newspaper interview wearing leather trousers that British media said had cost 995 pounds ($1,199). (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)
ugg outlet uk store UK PM May to appear in April edition of U

ugg mens UK lawmakers to companies

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A person poses for a picture walking past high heels on display in the Pretty Small Shoes store in Bloomsbury, London, Monday, March 6, 2017. Members of Parliament on Monday will debate banning mandatory workplace high heels, in response to a petition by a receptionist who was sent home for wearing flat shoes. The petition, which calls formal workplace dress codes “outdated and sexist,” gathered more than 150,000 signatures, making it eligible for a non binding debate in Parliament. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

LONDON In a debate that has gone from office corridors to Britain’s Parliament, lawmakers put their foot down Monday and told employers to stop making women wear high heels as part of corporate dress codes.

Members of Parliament debated a ban on mandatory workplace high heels, in response to a petition started by a receptionist who was sent home without pay for wearing flat shoes. The debate was non binding, but the government promised to act against heel height rules, makeup guidelines and other corporate codes that apply to women but not to men.
ugg mens UK lawmakers to companies