The number of people heading to Britain, less the number leaving, dropped significantly by 84,000 to 163,000 in the year to June, fuelled by a 17% drop in the number of foreign students arriving. Immigration to the UK fell from 589,000 to 515,000, its lowest since 2003, official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed. Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May have pledged to reduce net migration to below 100,000 before the next election in 2015 and have brought in a number of measures to crack down on bogus students.
Comments: Meanwhile, in the United States the government is releasing thousands of illegal alien criminals who will then arrange for their families to sneak into the country.
Now that the U.S. government is back in business, it means the feast is over for White House squirrels who have overrun the first lady´s garden. When the government shutdown more than two weeks ago, most White House gardeners were furloughed and those that were allowed to stay on were only allowed to water the plants. Triming, fetrilizing, transplanting, mowing and harvesting were all off limits. Without any human intervention, the White House squirrels went to town on the Obama´s prized organic garden, muching on tomatoes and the rest of the produce just coming into harvest. ´The bushy-tailed residents are feasting on
So what does the balance sheet look like now that the US Congress has reached its 11th hour, 59th minute agreement to end the debt ceiling crisis? President Obama won this stand-off. The main achievement of the Republican Party was to shoot itself in feet and brain. [Snip] This ensured two things: that it would get the blame for the government shut-down; and that knowing this, Obama didn’t blink, thus forcing the Republicans into a humiliating surrender. Brilliant. Even now, many Republicans don’t know what hit them. One of them, however, shows he at least has got it:
One of the few remaining British survivors of a German prisoner of war camp immortalised in The Great Escape film has died aged 91. Royal Air Force gunner Frank Stone, of Hathersage, Derbyshire, was taken to Stalag Luft III in Zagan as a teenager during the Second World War after his bomber crashed in Mannheim in 1940. He was in hut 104, home to 76 airmen who tried to escape via a 348ft tunnel in 1944. But the alarm was raised before Mr Stone, who had helped dispose of soil from the tunnel, could join them. Of the 76 men
Russian scientists believe they have identified a new and more virulent strain of HIV. The subtype, known as 02_AG/A, is spreading rapidly and is now thought to account for more than 50 percent of new HIV infections in Siberia. The virus was first seen in the city of Novosibirsk in 2006 and is thought to be the most virulent subtype of the virus in Russia. [Snip] The number of HIV positive people in Novosibirsk has jumped from 2,000 in 2007 to 15,000 in 2012, according to Russia’s Federal AIDS Centre and 50 percent of the new cases have been caused
Local councils across the country have been told they will have to follow EU rules from 2015 which mean paper, metal, glass and plastic will have to be collected separately. Some authorities had previously allowed homeowners to mix their recycling waste but under the new plans all recyclables will have to be split alongside garden, general waste and food compostables--leading to many households having up to seven different boxes, bins and bags. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) minister, Lord de Mauley has told local authorities in an open letter that homeowners will have to separate their recycling
President Barack Obama told reporters on Wednesday night that the United States must ´get out of the habit of governing by crisis´, after the Senate passed a debt-limit bailout bill following a crushing defeat for Republicans. An hour after the Senate move, the House followed suit with its own vote that beat a midnight debt-ceiling deadline. Obama spoke just before 8:30 p.m., moments after the Democrat-led bill passed in the Senate by an 81-18 vote. By 10:20 p.m. the House had heard and approved the measure 285-144. In each tally, Republicans were the only dissenters.
Republicans´ new worst fear isn´t defaulting on America´s debts. If an immigration policy favored by the White House and Senate Democrats should become law, 17.3 million newly legalized immigrant voters would emerge by 2036, eager to reward the party that gave them a path to citizenship. The White House has shifted gears and put its policy team in immigration overdrive, zooming past the debt crisis that threatened to sink the republic and on to the task of normalizing the estimated 11 million U.S. residents who have no legal basis for being there. The Democrat-dominated U.S. Senate passed a bill in June
Last month, I had the chance to walk along the beautiful National Mall in Washington, DC. The serene stretch of parkland from the Lincoln Memorial to the National World War II Memorial is my favourite part, and the weather´s autumnal perfection was enough to make me forget politics, despite my location. The week after I returned to New York, the Washington I had just left descended into a rank citadel of "shutdown" politics, with monuments closed off from public viewing and partisan posturing bringing all constructive debate to a halt. Since that so-called shutdown began, the mood in the United States has
Lowcountry residents shopping for a new health insurance plan with coverage starting Jan. 1 may be forced to choose between their preferred insurance company and their preferred doctor or hospital. That’s because individual plans purchased through the new federal health insurance marketplace, and even some plans bought outside the marketplace, will have fewer in-network providers than many patients are accustomed to. [Snip] Here’s an example--neither Medical University Hospital nor Roper St. Francis Healthcare are included in the provider networks for new individual policies offered by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the largest private insurer in the state.
What´s wrong with Brum? EVERYTHING, according to a damning new report by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw who has described it as a "national disgrace" which compares unfavourably with Cuba and parts of Eastern Europe. I don´t dispute his analysis for one moment. But I certainly don´t share the Schadenfreude many will be experiencing on having their worst suspicions confirmed about arguably Britain´s most despised city, home--so opinion surveys keep telling us--of Britain´s least favourite accent. As someone who used to speak with that accent myself--Alvechurch C of E Primary--and whose grandfather and great-grandfather made their fortunes there, I see
The London think tank Chatham House has just recognised Hillary Clinton with its annual “Chatham House Prize,” in part for her “significant and impressive contribution to international diplomacy”. It’s just the latest in a series of accolades the former Secretary of State has received in the past nine months since she left office, according to The Washington Post. As The Post notes, the wave of awards has a great deal to do with her gilded status as the front runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination for 2016: “The awards circuit has effectively become Clinton’s pre-campaign campaign, allowing her to
What the Hell was that all about? After days and days of shutdown, after banging on the debt ceiling, after 800,000 people were sent home without pay, after war memorials were barred and parks closed--what have the Republicans achieved? Some negligible tweaks to Obamacare. Oh, and now only about four people are prepared to admit to pollsters that they are Republican. The Grand Ole Party leveraged its reputation when it tried to use the shutdown to injure Obamacare.[Snip] Actually, using the shutdown this way wasn´t necessarily a bad idea. Obamacare is unpopular and likely to be a jobs-killing measure.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday admitted defeat in the fiscal debate that resulted in the government shutdown and pushed the nation toward a default, saying it was a "good fight." (Snip) But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," he added. "In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts."
In a bookend of sorts to his 21-hour “filibuster” against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for just under 10 minutes Wednesday evening in opposition to an imminent Senate vote that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. Cruz denounced the Senate deal as “terrible,” saying it will do nothing to help the “millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Speaking for the “American people,” Cruz said the Senate deal “embodies everything that frustrates” them about the “Washington establishment.” The majority of the speech centered around Cruz’s opposition to the health
On CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday, Robert Redford said congressional criticism of President Barack Obama is racially motivated. “Don’t get me started on that,” the left-leaning actor said when asked about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. “What I wanted to see [in Obama´s second term] is turning out to be a bit of a dream that never came true. I don’t envy [Obama´s] position. I think he is a good man. I think he is an intelligent man, a compassionate man who can’t function in that environment. That environment — it is so decrepit. It is so paralyzed. And the worst
Rep. Peter King thinks Republicans in the House could have bargained for much more than they´re getting in a pending Senate deal, if only the House had kept the government open in September and focused on negotiations over the federal debt limit. "Instead we look like the crazies," King, a Republican from Long Island, told me this afternoon from Washington. "Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd. Except that it´s serious."
The US was scrambling to avert a potentially disastrous breach of its debt ceiling on Wednesday morning, after Republican attempts to table a deal collapsed in disarray overnight, leaving the prospects for a last-minute deal on a knife-edge. America´s divided political system now has just 24 hours to find a compromise to the budget stand-off between the White House and hardline Republicans, with the deadline to extend America´s borrowing limit falling due on Thursday. In a sign of plunging confidence in Washington on Wall Street, Fitch, a leading credit ratings agency announced that the US was now on a "negative watch"
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says he hopes the House “will get some adult supervision from the Senate” to achieve a debt ceiling deal. (Snip)King said he would vote for that deal, and blames Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for this fiscal mess. “Ted Cruz has been a total fraud from the start,” King said. “It never could have succeeded. I can’t imagine going into battle knowing you can’t win and continue telling your people you are winning. It’s Never Never Land, parallel universes, whatever you want to call it.” Congress, King added, will be back in the same boat in three to four
The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act´s October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable. This isn´t some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department´s usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling. *** The health industry and low-level Administration
It was bad enough when those teabagging Republican terrorists killed the First Lady’s Twitter account. Now they’ve taken her lovely garden hostage! Reuters: In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food. It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love… “Due to the shutdown, garden maintenance has been reduced considerably and only being watered as needed,” a White House official confirmed, speaking
The deal reached by Congress on Wednesday to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling averts a financial catastrophe but leaves the weakened U.S. economy facing new threats. The agreement will send about 450,000 federal employees back to work and restart paychecks for the 1.3 million employees who stayed on the job during the shutdown. Getting those salaries back in circulation will help economic growth, particularly in the Washington area. More important, the threat of a default on the national debt has been avoided, along with the recession and financial crisis that may have accompanied a failure to
Grover Norquist isn’t happy with the Defunders. The Americans for Tax Reform president told reporters today that they have a lot of apologies to make and bridges to re-build. “It’d be a good idea if they stopped referring to other Republicans as Hitler appeasers because they opposed the strategy they put forward which failed,” Norquist says. “I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology — and your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.” Norquist refrained from naming the
Psst. Anic-Pay! Bloomberg‘s Megan McArdle (who has been on an incredible roll lately**) takes issue with the idea that the Obama administration needn’t panic about Obamacare, as long as it can get its glitch-plagued health care exchanges up and running by the end of the year. Wrong, she suggests. It’s time to panic. Now. Why? Because the exchanges are the way to sign up young, healthy people and prevent the fabled “death spiral,” in which only older, sicker people sign up for insurance, causing rates to rise and healthier people to drop out, causing rates to rise even more, etc.
The bipartisan deal to reopen the government and temporarily lift the debt ceiling includes one small Obamacare element -- a provision that says people´s incomes must be verified before they can get Obamacare subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums. But this was not a concession to Republicans, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN´s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. "It´s, you know, it is, frankly, a bit of a fig leaf, which we were happy to give, but that was not a negotiation. That was not what Ted Cruz and the others started to demand that we give them." [Video] Schumer noted