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Homeless people treated like pigeons

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The inch-high studs have been installed in an alcove at the entrance to luxury flats in London

The inch-high studs have been installed in an alcove at the entrance to luxury flats in London

When I watched a video last week of a policeman cautioning a homeless man for ‘illegally’ sitting down, and stating “you can’t sit in the alleys, you can’t sit in the streets, you can’t sit on the sidewalks in Denver”, I shook my head and thought ‘only in America’ would there be a law this stupid.

However, shocking measures to deter the homeless in the UK have recently come to light, with metal studs being installed outside a block of flats in central London, to deter rough sleepers from occupying the doorway.

A woman who lives in the block told the Telegraph: “There was a homeless man asleep there about six weeks ago. Then about two weeks ago all of a sudden studs were put up outside. I presume it is to deter homeless people from sleeping there.” Read the rest of this entry

Cuts to Disabled Students Allowance could have disastrous effects

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Universities minister David Willets has announced proposed government cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), meaning many disabled students could be prevented from going to university.

The DSA is a grant given to disabled students to meet extra costs of studying incurred because of their disability. From September 2015, the government plans to cut this allowance, only giving support to students with ‘complex’ needs.

The DSA will no longer pay for computers for disabled students, or fund non-specialist help such as note-takers and learning mentors. In addition, the costs of specialist accommodation will only be provided in ‘exceptional’ circumstances. Read the rest of this entry

#YesAllWomen – Twitter’s Response to California Shootings

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On Friday night, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 13 more in the college town of Isla Vista in California.

Rodger stabbed three people and shot three others before taking his own life. Over the weekend, videos emerged showing Rodger expressing his hatred of women and resenting the fact that no woman would sleep with him, claiming he would “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut I see”.

Rodger was said to be severely mentally disturbed and some have blamed the mental healthcare system for these killings, however this case has also raised questions about America’s gun culture, and in particular the role of misogyny in Rodger’s motives.

In the videos, Rodger stated:

College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair … I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it. Read the rest of this entry

#WhyImVotingUkip – Hashtag gone horribly wrong!

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When UKIP tweeted the following, I don’t think they fully anticipated the reaction it would get…

“Why are you voting UKIP this year? Tell us, tell Twitter and let’s get it trending! #WhyImVotingUkip”

The tweets began with serious reasons from party supporters, but quickly turned into an all too easy opportunity to make fun of the UKIP and everything they stand for. #WhyImVotingUkip was certainly trending by this morning, but for all the wrong reasons!

Here are a selection of responses:

Shoaib M Khan @UK_HumanRights – #WhyImVotingUkip: because, like the leader @Nigel_Farage, I get a bit racist when I’m tired too. Read the rest of this entry

Stop Taxing Periods. Period.

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Laura Coryton has created a petition on Change.org, to persuade Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to reduce tax on sanitary products to 0%.

Her arguments are outlined below:

The Government taxes the masses of people who have periods, but not for enjoying a lean crocodile steak. Does placing exotic meats above sexual hygiene truly reflect society’s values?

A 5% tax rate has been placed on sanitary products, whilst exotic meats walk tax-free. HM Revenue and Customs justify this rate by labelling these sexual health products as ‘non-essential’ items, costing you an average of £1,500 per person over a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry

Britain’s Richest 1% as Wealthy as Poorest 55% of Population

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According to a new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Britain’s richest 1% have as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together. This analysis includes wealth in terms of property, pensions and financial assets.

Inequality between the north-south divide has also worsened, with household wealth in the south-east rising five times faster than the rest of the country. The average wealth of households in the south-east rose 30% from 2006-8 to the end of 2012, whereas the average rise in England was only 6%.

In addition, the north-east was the only region where average household wealth actually fell.

The report states that the situation is likely to have worsened due to an 18% rise in house prices over the past year in the south-east. In addition, a rush to save among richer households during the recession boosted the nation’s total wealth, with the top 10% owning 44% of the household wealth, and the poorest 50% of the country owning only 9%.

A recent report from Oxfam also showed that five billionaire families own the same wealth as 20% of the population. Read the rest of this entry

Understaffing in Hospitals Pose a Danger to Patients

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recently warned that registered nurses’ workloads should not exceed more than eight patients at any one time, as patient safety will be at risk.

Nice spent several months examining evidence on the impact staff numbers have on the quality and safety of the care which patients receive.

This intervention will put more financial pressure on hospitals, many of which are already struggling. Campaigners believe at least 20,o00 extra nurses are needed across the country, at a cost of £700m.

Until now, government ministers have refused calls for the NHS to introduce minimum staffing levels, due to worries about costs.

In one serious case, a previous official inquiry found that understaffing at Stafford hospital due to cost-cutting by the trust, directly contributed to “appalling care”, including patients dying and suffering serious harm. Read the rest of this entry