Some of the countrys bestknown disabled artists

first_imgSome of the country’s best-known disabled artists have come together in the House of Lords to celebrate a project that will tell the story of the disability arts movement.The reception marked the first year of the three-year, £1 million project that will bring together about 2 500 objects celebrating a history that dates back to the late 1970s, through the national Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA).Much of the project will see the NDACA team travelling around the country to produce digital copies of the most significant work of disabled artists for the archive, which will be made available through an interactive website.NDACA is also building a physical archive of some of the most influential work to come from the disability arts movement, and will produce pop-up exhibitions, a touring documentary, and work with Disability History Month.Among the artists at the event in the House of Lords, which was hosted by NDACA’s patron, the disabled peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell, was Tanya Raabe-Webber.Raabe-Webber, best known for two collections of portraits, one of significant figures in the disability arts movement and another of pioneering disabled activists, said she felt “very proud” to be included in the archive.She told Disability News Service (DNS): “I’m a big believer in saving history. I wanted to create these portraits but I also wanted somewhere for them to belong. I want the world to see them.“I want these portraits to be seen and accessible by the general public for people to remember who these people were and how life has changed.“The disability arts movement… highlights disabled people’s lives. It highlights our culture. That’s not recognised, our culture.”Tony Heaton, chief executive of Shape Arts and founder of NDACA, told guests that the event was “a bit of a dream”, more than 20 years after he and fellow disabled artist Allan Sutherland began discussing the need for an historical collection and archive.He told guests: “We sort of said we need to catch some of this history. If we don’t do it, somebody else will and it will probably be a non-disabled person and they will probably get it wrong.”Heaton said the disability arts movement reflected the “unique creativity of disabled artists”.He said: “It started here in the UK, formed in that red-hot cauldron of political insurgence where we really did take to the streets out here [outside the Houses of Parliament] and fought against the injustice of having no civil rights.“There is still a lot to do but we should be really proud in this country of disability arts and what we have achieved.”Sutherland told DNS that he remembered telling Heaton in the late 1980s: “We can save what is being produced by our movement but if we don’t take action, a lot of the stuff is going to go in the skip.”He said the project was currently concentrating on “creating something that is successful online”, but was also building a collection which “will get used in all sorts of ways”.He said: “There is stuff in the archive that could create exhibitions on every level from the Tate down to your local library.”Asked why the project was important, he said: “It is so that young artists are aware of what happened before, so they know they are not the first people to be treading this way. There is a set of ideas that people can draw upon.“I heard someone from The Women’s Library speaking about 10 years ago and she was saying that they had got loads of Suffragette banners but nothing from Greenham Common.“Really important stuff can be that transient. It is so important to recognise the importance of preserving stuff.”Baroness Campbell told guests that the archive was “a unique expression of disabled people’s liberation journey”.She said: “Our story of escaping from institutions of isolation to demanding our rightful place in society has been an essential part of our liberation and our heritage.“Champion this archive. It reflects the true story of our civil rights movement.”Disabled artist Katherine Araniello welcomed the opportunity the archive would provide to show disabled people’s work, but she said it was important for this work also to become “more integrated fully into the mainstream”.She told DNS: “There are a lot of artists that happen to be disabled and they make really good work, but their work should not be confined under just the umbrella of disability arts.“Disability arts is a good thing as long as it filters into other areas of art. People need to give it value and recognition and see some of the work as being as interesting as any other art.”She said she hoped some of the funding for the project would go to the artists themselves, “so they can continue to make work, because making work costs money”.And she suggested that the event was perhaps “a sign of how disability arts is conforming”.She said: “Disability arts is meant to be avant-garde and I haven’t seen anything tonight that tells me this is an avant-garde experience.“I am not excited. It is just a very comfortable environment and we are all nice to each other and socialising.“It’s good to reflect where we’ve come from but we desperately need to include exciting and edgy art that might not make an audience feel so comfortable.” Singer and activist John Kelly, who performed three disability rights anthems, said afterwards that it was “weird” being a guest inside the House of Lords rather than taking part in direct action protests in and outside parliament.He raised concerns that young disabled artists were not being given the opportunity to develop their talent, for example by mainstream venues and festivals.He said: “Maybe this is a moment to stick a flag in the sand and say we need to give the next generation of young disabled people a platform, to see what they want to say about their experiences.”He added: “You can see why young disabled people are struggling to get there, not because they haven’t got talent, but because they haven’t got support and they are not being given the opportunity.”Journalist and broadcaster Mik Scarlet said he believed the disability arts movement would soon make a major breakthrough.He said: “The disability arts scene is so political and always has been and that is why the art it makes is so amazing.“Art has to come from a real position of struggle. Disability arts is going to be the next big arts scene that produces some work that changes the world.”last_img read more

One of the key figures in the disabled peoples mo

first_imgOne of the key figures in the disabled people’s movement has come out of retirement to deliver a stinging rebuke to “parasitic” disability charities.Professor Mike Oliver (pictured), the disabled academic who first defined the “social model of disability”, was speaking at an event hosted by the University of Kent last night (Wednesday), as part of UK Disability History Month.The annual series of events was launched at a parliamentary event last week, and this year focuses on disability and art.Those speaking at the launch included disabled comedian, activist and trainer Barbara Lisicki, who spoke about – and displayed – some of the tee-shirts designed and worn by members of the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN), and disabled artists Tanya Raabe-Webber and Tony Heaton.Shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke of the importance of challenging stereotypes and how austerity had made it harder for disabled people to “fulfil their artistic ambitions and articulate their views about society” and how they face discrimination.In his speech in Kent yesterday, Oliver warned of the risk that disabled people’s shared history was being “rewritten” by charities and politicians to “suit their own interests and agendas”.He mentioned Scope, and a series of films it produced in 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which failed to point out that, in its earlier incarnation as The Spastics Society, it had been “bitterly opposed to anti-discrimination legislation in the 1980s and only reluctantly came on board when it became obvious that such legislation was inevitable”.He also referred to former Tory leader William Hague, who told the BBC that he regarded the DDA as one of his finest achievements, when in reality he had “turned the legislation into a pale shadow of what it should have been”.Oliver was heavily critical of “the big disability charities”, which he said had “proved predictably useless at defending the living standards and lifestyles of disabled people” from the government’s “vicious attacks, while continuing to do very well for themselves”.He referred to the phrase “parasite people”, once used by the disabled activist Paul Hunt to describe those “who furthered their own careers on the backs of the struggles of disabled people to lead ordinary lives”.Oliver said that these charities need disabled people “to be dependent and tragic, otherwise there is no justification for their existence”.He told Disability News Service (DNS) before delivering the lecture that many of the big charities (although he was not attacking the individuals who work for them) – including Leonard Cheshire Disability, RNIB, Scope and others – were “parasitic on the lives of disabled people, and their attempts to reposition themselves as defenders of disability rights are an attempt to disguise this”.He also included Disability Rights UK (DR UK), despite it being a user-led disabled people’s organisation, and he told DNS that one of its representatives recently spoke publicly “on how important it was to write letters to our MPs and government, as if (Oliver said) that hasn’t been happening for many years without changing much”.He added: “If that’s their idea of political activism then yes, they should be included in my criticism, even if they are user-led.”Philip Connolly, DR UK’s policy and development manager, said it was him who Oliver had heard speak at the UK premiere of the documentary film Defiant Lives.He told DNS yesterday that he had “a long record myself in non-violent direct action so would never suggest that the only legitimate way of obtaining change is letter writing”.He said: “Mike Oliver has never to my knowledge been in touch with me or Disability Rights UK so is not in a good position to pass judgement on us.“He would be welcome to get to know us, and our CEO Kamran Mallick is willing to meet with him.”He added: “I wouldn’t criticise those engaged in non-violent protest or those who write letters either; when we win it’s usually because of both. I did say this at the cinema and no-one took issue with me there.”Oliver also spoke in his speech of how the Paralympics and the Invictus Games, the sports event for disabled veterans created by Prince Harry, are used by the government as political cover.He pointed out that “not all injured ex-service men and women can or want to compete in elite sport and many who don’t live lives of deprivation, poverty and misery”, while the government is able to continue sending young people to “often illegal wars to get blown apart for their country”.He told DNS: “The government among others are using disability sport to deny the reality of many disabled people’s lives and disguising the reality of their failure to provide proper medical and rehabilitation support for many servicemen and women injured in wars that are sometimes illegal.”But he made clear that he was not blaming the organisers of the games, and did not mention Prince Harry by name in the speech, and pointed out that his own rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury more than 50 years ago owed much to disability sport (he won table-tennis gold and bronze medals in the international Stoke Mandeville games that were a forerunner of the Paralympics).Oliver also said in his speech that disabled people needed to be careful of rebranding disabled people’s history as a struggle for rights, when “it has always been much broader than that”.He said: “Rights on their own are easily incorporated into the agendas of governments without requiring them to change very much at all.”He highlighted the UK government’s “post truth” claim that it was a world leader in disability rights, after the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities published a “damning report” in August in which it accused the government of “going backwards” on independent living.And by positioning disabled people as “pathetic victims”, he said, the government had managed to launch “a massive attack on services and benefits for disabled people” while claiming that its “relentless assault on the living standards of disabled people is nothing of the kind but a heartfelt attempt to take public money away from scroungers and fraudsters and give it to the most severely disabled people who really need it”.He concluded that disabled people needed to take responsibility themselves for “attacking the disabling barriers we face”.He said: “What disability history teaches us is that we cannot rely on the bleeding hearts brigade and parasite people to do it for us.“We have to do it for ourselves. We have to insist that our personal troubles are public issues that need to be resolved.”Oliver also spoke about the divide that developed in the 1970s and 1980s between organisations controlled by disabled people – such as the Spinal Injuries Association and the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) – and “those that were about us but definitely not controlled by us”, such as Disability Alliance, which later merged with RADAR and the National Centre for Independent Living into DR UK.He said his life had been changed by a UPIAS booklet, The Fundamental Principles Of Disability, published in 1976, which argued that “the root cause of our problems was the way society was organised and the disabling barriers we faced”.This meant, he said, that he “no longer had to accept full responsibility for my impairment” and “now understood that my personal troubles were also public issues”, an insight that led him to develop the social model of disability.He also spoke last night (Wednesday) about the part played by the University of Kent in developing the disabled people’s movement.Oliver studied sociology and social anthropology at the university in the early 1970s, at a time when it was physically “unwelcoming” to a wheelchair-user, in contrast to the attitude of the staff and fellow students in the “generous times ushered in by the economic and cultural revolutions of the 1960s”.He stayed on after his degree to complete his PhD, and to teach a masters course for professionals working with disabled people, which is believed to be the first postgraduate course in “what later became known as disability studies”.At the time, he said, most writing on disability “was dominated by assumptions that disability was a medical problem and the focus was on illness and impairment”, and any personal focus was on disabled people as “tragic victims”, with the stereotype reinforced in popular culture through the “triumph over tragedy” genre.He had wanted his masters course to challenge the idea that professionals working with disabled clients should focus solely on their “personal troubles and not how and why they were linked to public issues”.Oliver’s first book, Social Work With Disabled People, published in 1983, introduced the social model of disability to a wider audience, and within five years, he said, “had become the mantra for many disabled people’s organisations and was beginning to make its way into official government documents”.last_img read more

Tags Shadow cabinet Weekly Survey Brexit La

first_imgTags:Shadow cabinet /Weekly Survey /Brexit /Labour rebels /Indicative votes / Welcome to our latest LabourList survey.Tell us what you think about this week’s Labour rebels, delaying Brexit, the biggest issues facing the country and your favourite shadow cabinet members.Answer the four questions below or click here to open the survey in a new window.This survey will close at 8pm on Sunday 17th March, and we’ll be releasing the results soon after that.last_img

SF Mission Residents Share Christmas Memories Traditions

first_img 0% As rain streams off the window of her Mission Street apartment, Jana Dlabikova patiently stirs a pot of sauerkraut soup simmering on her stove. “Back home, we always eat this soup on Christmas,” said Dlabikova, who is an immigrant from Slovakia. A pungent aroma fills the kitchen as she recounts her personal Central European Christmas story.December 24, or Christmas Day in Slovakia, is a holiday that comes rooted with traditions that the 31-year-old immigrant brought with her to San Francisco four years ago. It’s a day for the close family to cook and pray together, and to be thankful for the completion of another year, she explained. This year will be the first time that she has invited other Slovakians to her home for a Christmas dinner, which she has made a tradition of opening up to her “orphan” friends.  “My friends are Mexican, American, Moroccan — anybody who doesn’t have a place to go on Christmas can eat with me,” she said. Although the Hispanic population in the Mission District has dropped to 48 percent, foreign born residents still make up a large part of the population and like Dlabikova, who came here to work for a startup, many of them continue the traditions from their native countries. Dlabikova warns her friends to eat lightly or to “not to eat anything all day,” because in Slovakia, the tradition is to fest until dinner. Back home, Christmas dinner is the the same each year, and it’s fairly straightforward. Dlabikova’s family abandons their generally meat-heavy diet for a breaded sweet water fish, like carp, served with a side of traditional Slovakian potato salad and the signature sauerkraut soup appetizer, which is prepared with white beans and dried mushrooms. The sauerkraut ferments in Dlabikova’s kitchen for up to a week. “My American roommates love me for it,” she jokes.A few days ahead of Christmas, the fish is traditionally bought alive at Slovakian supermarkets. She remembers her grandparents putting the carp into their bathtub, where it lived until Christmas.“My parents didn’t want to kill the fish, so they never did that,” remembered Dlabikova. “But my grandparents are more traditional.”At La Palma at 2884 24th St., 13-year-old Brandon Hernandez and his father, Juan, check a bulk of tortillas off of their Christmas dinner shopping list. “The tortillas are for the enchiladas that my parents make,” said Brandon. “But my favorite thing to eat on Christmas are the sweet tamales with raisin and strawberry.” The Hernandez family also makes a special “ponche de frutas,” a fruit punch made with sugar cane, raisins, apples, guava, and chamomile. “That’s 100 percent our recipe,” said Brandon.“This tradition started with me, when I was younger than this guy,” said Juan Hernandez, Brandon’s father. Hernandez fondly remembers growing up in Guerrero, Mexico, where he said Christmas is a month-long celebration. “My mother was always working on Christmas day, so my sisters and I would make the fruit punch while we waited for her to get home,” he said.Comparing Christmas celebrations in Guerrero to the traditions that his children are growing up with in San Francisco, is like “another life,” he said.“We had pinatas and fireworks, the whole town would celebrate,” said Hernandez. “Even if you didn’t have money, there would be food on the table, because you could go to anybody’s house in town and be fed.”Hernandez explained that January 6, or Three Kings Day, is celebrated as the awakening of baby Jesus, on which “rosca de reyes,”  a pastry-like cake with dried fruits and stuffed with baby Jesus figurines, was served. “You cut the cake in pieces depending on how big your family is. If you have four family members, its four slices. For six people, six slices, and so,” he said. Whoever found “baby Jesus” in their slice of cake would be tasked with making tamales for everyone.“It’s very different than Christmas here,” said Hernandez. “My son won’t know what that’s like until he goes to Mexico. Maybe next year.”Along with her mother and daughter, Lena Mouton Lugo also shopped for Christmas ingredients at La Palma. With roots in Mexico and Peru, Mouton Lugo said her family celebrates “more on the Mexican side,” with tamales.Mouton Lugo’s husband is Puerto Rican, so every year, she is sure to serve up Puerto Rican rice with black beans, as well as the fixings of queso and crema. This year, she plans on making pork quesadillas with green chile.In the spirit of Christmas, Mouton Lugo prepares a Puerto Rican alcoholic drink called coquito, made with Bacardi rum, egg yolks, cinnamon and condensed milk, that she compares to horchata.  “We drink and eat tamales on Christmas,” she said. “I have four children, and they go wild.”While his kids enjoy an “American” Christmas with his in-laws, Scott Lai, owner of Basa Seafood Express at 3064 24th St., is usually hard at work.“Christmas is our busiest time, so we work more than we can enjoy,” said Lai, who is from Vietnam, adding the holiday is not his priority. But this year, Lai will close his store on December 25 to partake in a small family gathering.“We are doing an American dish, seafood gumbo,” said Lai. “After all, seafood is our specialty.”When asked what Christmas is like in his household, Awad Faddoul Jr., the owner of Cafe La Boheme at 3318 24th St., suddenly became very serious. “Well, my family is from Bethlehem, and as you know, that’s where Christ was born,” he said. “It’s a very religious and authentic day for me.” Faddoul, who immigrated to the United States 30 years ago, remembers Christmas Day in his hometown as quite a spectacle. Musicians from different cities would fill the streets, welcoming the Cardinal to the city.He explained that a “massive mass” would take place at Manger square, the focal point of the Christmas celebrations, which is located just a few minutes from where he grew up. “We would give food for the elders, and it was a day of love and respect for everyone,” said Faddoul, adding jokingly that it might be different now, with the advent of Facebook. “I try to teach my children these traditions, but they cannot experience what I experienced as a child.” center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Make a bet for a good cause at Casino Night in Brunswick

first_img Brunswick Senior Resources Inc., Brunswick Family Assistance and the Ocean Ridge Charities Association, Inc. are teaming up to present a second annual Casino Night for Charity. The evening event will benefit Brunswick County charities.“This is a very worthwhile event in which people can support local nonprofit community charities while coming out for a night of fun,” said Mike Gildea, president and founder of Ocean Ridge Charities Association, Inc. He added, “Our goal is to exceed the almost $7,500 we raised for Brunswick County charities from the 2016 event.”The games will be at the Supply Senior Center, 101 Stone Chimney Place, in Supply.Related Article: Furloughed worker tries to raise money to buy insulinUnlike Vegas, no real money is won as a result of gaming. With the purchase of each $50 admission ticket, all players will receive $10,000 in “fun money” to use at the gaming tables. Players then exchange their winnings for raffle tickets. At the end of the evening, players distribute their tickets between the grand prizes of their choice.There are also three types of sponsorships for the event: $500, $250 and $100. Sponsorships opportunities are still available, so if you wish to be a part of this fundraiser, please call Debra Marlowe (910) 754-2300.Tickets are available at the Shallotte Senior Center, 3620 Express Drive in Shallotte and the Supply Senior Center, 101 Stone Chimney Road in Supply. You can also purchase tickets online via Paypal or credit card at:, Brunswick County Senior Resources Inc. invites you for a day of learning about the services and resources available to seniors in Brunswick County.This event is Friday, October 13, starting at 8:45 a.m. Meet vendors and enjoy refreshments. Jim Fish, President/CEO, will present an overview of the many great things happening for seniors at BSRI. Lunch will be provided.Call to reserve your seat at (910) 754-2300. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Enthusiasts of horse racing, blackjack, roulette, craps and poker don’t need to travel far next weekend.Make a bet in Brunswick County, and for a good cause, on Saturday, September 30.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wilmington man killed in accident at Columbus Co paper mill

first_img Officials say he clocked out of work just before 6 a.m. and was leaving the paper mill when he hit the back of a logging truck. He then went off the road and crashed into a tree.The Department of Labor says it is investigating, and says no other injuries were reported. COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A worker from International Paper in Riegelwood was killed in a crash Wednesday morning, officials say.The NC Department of Labor say 50-year-old David Stephens of Wilmington died early yesterday morning.- Advertisement – last_img

FEMA assesses community needs starting at the front door

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)- FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance Team Members are walking through Wilmington neighborhoods assessing the damage to determine the needs of the residents. The team members are having one-on-one discussions with each homeowner to find out the particular needs of each family.“They will find out what their current and immediate needs are whether they can stay in their home, whether their home is beginning to fill with mold.” said FEMA Spokesperson Darrel Habisch. “[We] find out what these initial needs are and hopefully get them registered for FEMA for disaster assistance.”- Advertisement – He says the first step in recovery is to consult with your insurance to first determine what coverage is met, then document the damage and list all that was lost due to damage.Habisch says members are always easily identifiable with government badges and identifiable “FEMA” paraphernalia.One Wilmington resident, Julia Kost, is thankful for the relief FEMA is providing and recalls the details of the night she was taken away from her home:Related Article: Walmart deploys mobile pharmacy to Burgaw“To be boated away from your front door in the blackness of the night with it raining, with people that are so kind that you’ve never met before in your life putting their life on the line and just going around the corner on a boat …where I drive everyday and into a giant truck [to take us] away from our home for I didn’t know how long… it felt like a movie,” said Kost.Kost says she was one of the last people to leave her neighborhood which, was a very emotional experience for her family who had just closed on the house on May 1st.She also describes it as a surreal to be seeing neighbors ripping their homes apart but she is thankful to be able to return home and work together to help others.“Whether it were Irena, Irma, Maria and now Florence, the communities are different, the responses are different, but there are lessons learned at every disaster,” said Habisch. “We always learn more but what I do find the similarity is, is that it brings out the best in people.”last_img read more

Bond denied for second suspect in troopers murder

first_img In court today District Attorney Jon David said surveillance video from a convenience store at the South Carolina state line showed Askew get into the drivers seat of a white pick-up truck. That was about 15 minutes before Conner pulled over the truck, which was reported stolen, for speeding just after midnight on Oct. 17. Conner was shot during the stop and died later at the hospital. Investigators have not yet said whether Askew or Davis pulled the trigger or if they’ve found the gun used in the shooting.David also told the court that Conner’s dashcam video shows two people in the truck. David said more video evidence will likely show the same thing.Investigators arrested Askew yesterday in Loris, SC. He waived extradition and was brought back to Columbus County this afternoon ahead of his first appearance. David says Askew’s criminal record includes felony convictions for possession of a stolen firearm in 2017 and breaking and entering in August.Related Article: Teen accused of mailing drugs to Bladen County inmateOfficers arrested Davis hours after the shooting after a chase in Fair Bluff. He is also in jail without bond. Records show Davis was convicted last year of shooting into occupied property.Conner, 38, was laid to rest Sunday. He leaves behind a wife and two children. WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The second suspect charged in the murder of a NC Highway Patrol trooper returned to North Carolina today, where he was denied bond during his first court appearance in Columbus County.Chauncy Askew, 18, is charged with the murder of Tpr. Kevin Conner, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop one week ago in Columbus County. Raheem Davis is also charged with Conner’s murder.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Brexit UK PM says the country needs another extension

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Credit: Sky NewsCredit: Sky News The UK Prime Minister has said that the UK will need to request a further extension to Article 50.In a press conference following a 7 hour long cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister has said that the extension had to be as ‘short as possible’ but enough to ensure that the UK could ‘leave in a timely and orderly way.’Mrs May explains that she recognises the ‘logjam’ which exists in passing the deal cannot go on any longer.I have been very critical of the PM and the Cabinet in an interview with @bbclaurak this afternoon. I stand by my words. But the PM’s statement is very welcome. This is the right approach. Better late than never.— Nick Boles MP (@NickBoles) April 2, 2019‘This debate, this division, cannot drag on much longer. It is putting MPs and everyone else under immense pressure – and it is doing damage to our politics … Despite the best efforts of MPs, the process that the House of Commons has tried to lead has not come up with an answer.’The announcement comes less than 24 hours after MPs were unable to support a second set of indicative votes to help to take the Brexit deal through the Parliament.Update 2: UK MPs reject all options in 2nd round votesBrexit: Snap election, leadership race, soft landings?As part of ending the deadlock, the Prime Minister is extending an invitation to the Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in order ‘to try to agree a plan – that we would both stick to – to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.’She outlines that, ‘Any plan would have to agree the current withdrawal agreement – it has already been negotiated with the 27 other members, and the EU has repeatedly said that it cannot and will not be reopened.’‘What we need to focus on is our future relationship with the EU.’ she adds.On the topic of the future relationship, the Prime Minister explains that she hopes that herself and the Opposition leader can agree on an ‘single unified approach’, that they can take to the House of Commons to approve.Even if, after today, we don’t know what the end result will be, let us be patient. #Brexit— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 2, 2019If this fails, she hopes that they can find a series of options that can be voted on, ‘to determine which course to pursue.’If this succeeds, the Prime Minister says the government will bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement bill to be voted on.This she hopes will be passed before May 22nd, avoiding the European Parliamentary elections.‘This is a difficult time for everyone. Passions are running high on all sides of the argument. But we can and must find the compromises that will deliver what the British people voted for … This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands. And it requires national unity to deliver the national interest.’WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

China says Silk Road not geopolitical tool understands concerns

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: A map illustrating China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called “One Belt, One Road” megaproject, is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: A map illustrating China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called “One Belt, One Road” megaproject, is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo China’s Belt and Road project is not a “geopolitical tool” or a debt crisis for participating nations, but Beijing welcomes constructive suggestions on how to address concerns over the initiative, the government’s top diplomat said on Friday.Beijing will host a Belt and Road summit next week which 37 foreign leaders will attend, including some of China’s closest allies, though the United States which has been critical of the project is only sending low level representatives.The Belt and Road Initiative, as it is formally called, is a key initiative of President Xi Jinping, and envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending.But it has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington, which views it as merely a means to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt through nontransparent projects.The United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan last month, during Xi’s visit to Rome, the first for a G7 nation.Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi, the government’s top diplomat, told reporters that the Belt and Road scheme had brought real benefits to participating countries.“This partnership relationship is not a geopolitical tool, but a platform for cooperation,” he said.“You can’t put hats like ‘debt crises’ onto the head of the Belt and Road, and this is not something any participating country would recognise,” Wang added.“Of course, there is a development process for the Belt and Road. You can’t get there in one step, and it’s unavoidable it will cause some worries during its development. So we welcome all sides to come up with constructive suggestions,” he said.CLOSE ALLIES COMINGThe number of foreign leaders at the April 25-27 summit is up from 29 last time, mainly from China’s closest allies like Pakistan and Russia but also Italy, Switzerland and Austria.The United States will not send high-level officials, a U.S. State Department spokesman said earlier this month, citing concerns about financing practices for the initiative.Wang said there would be Americans at the summit, made up of diplomats, state-level officials, executives and academics, though he did not give details.“We welcome any country that is interested to take part. When the United States participates, or whether it participates, is up to them to decide,” he added.While the United States and China are currently working to end a bitter trade war, they have numerous other areas of disagreement, including human rights and U.S. support for self-ruled Taiwan.China on Monday condemned as “slanderous” criticism U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made of Beijing’s policies in South America last week.“The United States has no plans to send high-level officials from Washington to the Belt and Road Forum,” a U.S. Embassy in Beijing spokesman said.“We call upon all countries to ensure that their economic diplomacy initiatives adhere to internationally-accepted norms and standards, promote sustainable, inclusive development, and advance good governance and strong economic institutions.”At the first Belt and Road summit two years ago, the United States submitted a diplomatic note to China complaining about North Korea’s participation, though since then Washington and Pyongyang have sought to re-set ties, including with two summits between their leaders.Wang said North Korea would also take part in this year’s summit, but gave no further details.“I think this is normal as it’s an economic cooperation initiative. All countries have the freedom to attend, but I think they don’t have the right to prevent any other country from participating. This is an open, inclusive platform.”More than 150 countries are sending delegations, and there will be some 5,000 guests, Wang said.WhatsApplast_img read more