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Hello and welcome to Number Ten.Firstly, I’d like to apologise that I’m not the Prime Minister…But it’s an honour to address so many people who do so much, working tirelessly every day, to make life better for the citizens of this country.For this I would like to thank you and this is a view that is shared by the Prime Minister and the whole Government.All of you in this room have made a valuable contribution to society, and have helped improve life in your communities through your charitable work.I applaud all our charities – not only those in the room here today.Every parliamentarian is aware of the amazing work you do. Just last Friday I was at a Cancer Research UK store in Newmarket in my constituency, where I heard about the fundraising and the research that they do.After the visit, one of my colleagues who was on the visit came up to me and said that without cancer research funding she wouldn’t be here today.You do a huge amount to help people in their communities, and respond to those in need wherever they find them.We all share a mission.Whether it’s in Government, the public sector or the charitable sector, we are all in our jobs to serve the public and to improve people’s lives. That is what gets us out of bed in the morning.We all want the same results, and we will achieve them so much more effectively, if we work together. There is so much we can do.I believe the future lies in greater collaboration, not only between charities and Government, but with business too.You have all played your part, whether it’s through fundraising, donating, volunteering or making a corporate contribution.My brilliant colleague Tracey Crouch announced in November that she intends to develop a Civil Society Strategy. I really hope that you will work with her to make this happen.And just like you found the door today open, my door is always open to you.Thank you so much again for all your work – this reception is the very least that we can do for you all. Have a wonderful afternoon.
IntroductionThank you very much and good afternoon everyone.Can I just start by thanking the Chartered Institute and your team for hosting us,And to all of you for the energy, enthusiasm and expertise you have brought to this conference.I have to say that I took on the housing brief, in January, with real excitement,But also a measure of trepidation.Because we seem to get through ministers almost as quickly as England get through football managers … although the current one is not doing too badly.But what I found very quickly, amidst the fine detail of the National Planning Policy Framework, The myriad of housing schemes, And the varied views amongst all of you, Not to mention my even less bashful colleagues in the House of Commons …… that this really is a ‘heart and soul’ job.It touches on everyone’s most basic aspirations,And what it takes for us to feel secure in our daily lives:A roof over our head,A place to call home,And within the walls of an Englishman’s castle,The crucible for our hopes and dreams,Not to mention the everyday happiness that defines our quality of life, indeed our way of life.And, of course, these are not ordinary times.That precious sense of homespun security was shattered in the most tragic way, just over 1 year ago,With the appalling fire at Grenfell that cruelly saw 72 lives lost and we recently commemorated that tragedy, and my heart goes out to those who perished,Those who survived,And the community as a whole as they strive heroically to put their lives back on track.I have seen some of that pain and suffering up close through my work with individual families, as well as local groups including Grenfell United. I have to say I am deeply impressed by their determination to find answers and see justice done.I am struck by their resolve to make this a moment for social change … for individual tenants but also for whole communities like Grenfell who have long felt neglected or disdained.Against that most poignant of backdrops, there is a wider national issue facing this country as a whole: our broken housing market.To fix it, our strategy draws together three essential strands: safety, aspiration and innovation.SafetyAfter Grenfell, it must begin with safety.People must feel safe in their homes, people must be safe in their homes.Grenfell was a wake-up call. The public inquiry must get to the bottom of the facts. And there must be accountability and justice for that precious community.And there is already action underway to overhaul the regulatory framework and restore public confidence in it.Last month, the Prime Minister undertook to fully fund the removal and replacement of all potentially dangerous ACM cladding on buildings over 18 metres owned by social landlords.We’re pressing building owners in the private sector to step up to the plate too,Because leaseholders should not pay those costs,And the private sector should not be let off the hook. I have to say that I hugely welcome the lead taken by Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Legal & General in shouldering the costs of remediation.They are doing the right thing. I urge others to follow their lead.And the government has made clear that if nothing happens we rule nothing out.Next, we’ve launched a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.We are also revising the building regulations, so there’s no doubt about which materials you can and can’t use.And of course Dame Judith Hackitt’s report was a watershed moment for our overarching regulatory framework,It is an opportunity to make a paradigm shift,From the comfort-zone of the box-tick approach to building safety,Towards a far more consistent and rigorous focus on compliance and identifying who takes responsibility … from the original design right the way through to later and subsequent refurbishment.This is the model that is used in sectors with the best practice and the best safety records, like for example the civil aviation sector.AspirationBut our homes need to be more than just castles, places where we must feel safe, as essential as that is.They are also the place we rest our heads, the places we dream our dreams that inspire our lives.For too many, today, the dream of buying your own home feels all to faint.Across the country, the average house price is now 8 times the average income. Here in Manchester, prices are rising by double the national average.That’s why we’ve set a target of delivering 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s …It is not because it’s a nice round number dreamt up by Civil Servants in Whitehall around a water cooler,It is because we need to be delivering at that rate,To start making the cost of buying a home more affordable,For the nurse or teacher who can’t afford to live in the community they serve,For the couple working extra shifts trying to save for a deposit,And for the next generation who look at what it takes to rent or buy in the private sector,And find it just far too far beyond their reach, however hard they work.I understand that frustration, We share their aspiration,And the government is determined to make it a reality.Building more homes, stronger communitiesOf course, people care about the community they are moving into, not just the individual home. That’s why we have strengthened the sections of the National Planning Policy Framework, so councils insist on high quality design.That’s why my department hosted the first ever Housing Design Quality Conference this year, to bring together experts in the field,And to recognise that driving up quality of new homes it will be instrumental to getting more of them built … persuading communities to welcome rather than oppose new residential development.Now where councils share our ambition as many do to get those homes built, we need to give them support.I know what it’s like, as a constituency MP in Esher and Walton. Residents say: we understand the need for extra homes …But, where are the roads, the schools, the clinics to accommodate the extra families?It’s a fair question.That’s why we have doubled the Housing Infrastructure Fund to £5 billion … to build the bypass, the new primary school, the local clinic to go with the new development … so that as we build more homes, we build up stronger local communities too.I recently visited Heyford Park in Oxfordshire.And at the heart of what is a truly vibrant and aspirational community there is Heyford Park Free School, there is a care village, there is a sports park. In fact, the school was up and running before many of the homes were built.That’s forward thinking.That’s how we broaden people’s perspective about the opportunities for the sustainable communities that can come with building new homes.Generation rentAnd for those who aspire to rent rather than own their own home, we want a better deal for you too.The Tenant Fees Bill, currently going through parliament, bans unfair fees charged to tenants.From now on, when you’re renting a house or an apartment, what you see is what you pay.We’re championing the Build to Rent sector, which delivers long-term tenancies on a serious scale.Before 2012, the sector hardly existed at all. With our backing we now have over 20,000 Build to Rent homes and 100,000 more coming through in the pipeline.Build to Rent properties are springing up in over 40 sites here in Manchester alone.And, yes, we’re cracking down on rogue landlords with banning orders and increased civil penalties, First of all to protect tenants, But also to preserve the reputation of the vast majority of decent landlords in the sector.Social housingThe tragedy at Grenfell also shined a spotlight on some of the deeper failings in social housing.Residents not heard.Credible concerns all too lightly dismissed.Grenfell survivors told have me about gaps left between windows,And attempts to install boilers on top of electrical fuse boxes in people’s hallways.When one group of residents asked a senior manager: “How would you feel if this was in your flat?’ He said: “Well if I was getting it for nothing I wouldn’t mind”.That’s not right. That’s wrong and we must change such contemptuous attitudes.Now while most social housing landlords treat their people, their residents, with dignity and respect, too many still have not.So inspired by the crie de coeur from the Grenfell community,Our social housing green paper, which we intend to publish next month, will set out our plans to ensure everyone in social housing gets fair and decent treatment.We will look to strengthen the role of the regulator, to give it more teeth. But ultimately, what we really want to empower residents as consumers,With clearer expectations of the treatment and service they are entitled to, And with the voice and ability to meaningfully hold landlords to account.Let’s remember … nearly 60% of all adult social tenants are in work. The overwhelming majority are good neighbours.They take pride in their communities,They share the same aspirations we all do … to live in a safe, comfortable and happy home.Many just happen to live in areas with extremely high housing costs.As we conducted our social housing workshops up and down the country, as part of the consultation that was leading and informing the green paper, I met first-hand entrepreneurs, NHS staff, professionals.They were held in high esteem in their places of work only to find they felt scorned when they went home.So, let’s tackle some of the lingering prejudices that paint all social tenants as relying on welfare,Let’s show them the respect they deserve,And let’s also open the door to them sharing in the same aspirations we all hold.Social housing should be a spring board for social mobility, not a glass ceiling.After all, many social tenants aspire to own their own home. [Political content removed]And I look forward to announcing our first pilot of Voluntary Right to Buy in the West Midlands later this year,As a first step to extending the dream of home ownership to Housing Association tenants across the country.InnovationAs well as safety and aspiration, finally, I want to say something about innovation,Because the housing sector is home to some of the most exciting technological changes around.And frankly, government needs to keep up.Modern design and methods of construction offer a chance to build at pace with a leaner and high-skilled workforce.That’s one reason we altered and revised the density provisions in the NPPF, to make sure the regulatory framework doesn’t hold back this innovative means of building homes quicker, at lower cost, whilst maintaining high quality design.In April, I joined the Design Quality Conference where I toured modular homes built by Ilke Homes and CHIC – you can see examples of these on the forecourt just outside this conference centre.We are supporting builders that embrace this kind of innovation through the £3 billion Home Building Fund.At the Autumn budget, we added another £1.5 billion to this fund to encourage custom builders and new entrants to the market place.We’re now seeing a real change in market activity. Modern Methods of Construction are entering the mainstream, with Britain emerging as a world-leader.Beyond MMC, next month I am going to convene a seminar of experts on how digitisation of land holdings and planning decisions could help stimulate SME developers, To ease the vice like grip that the big developers hold over the market,And to promote more competition that ultimately will offer more choice and better deals for everyone as consumers of housing.ConclusionWith your help, we can deliver in each one of these three vital areas, to:Restore public trust in building safety,Make the dream of home ownership a reality for the next generation,And drive the innovation and reform … so, from the private to the social sectors … the housing market delivers a better deal for the consumers it is there to serve.Thank you.
Fresh off a recently-completed fall tour, funk artists Lettuce have returned with a fresh batch of tour dates in 2017. The band just released a new EP, Mt. Crushmore, filled with funky classics unused from their 2015 Crush album. Make no mistake, these new songs rage as hard as any fresh Lettuce cuts, and were in full force during the two-night EP release party in New York.While Lettuce still has a few shows left to play in 2016, including Dominican Holidaze and a two-night New Year’s run with TAUK, the band has set their sights on 2017 with an extensive tour announcement. They’ll kick off the 2017 dates with two nights at the Brooklyn Bowl on January 3rd and 4th, before heading all through the country. The first leg of the tour ends with Jam Cruise, and the second leg runs from February 22nd through March 19th.Check out the full tour schedule below!LETTUCE TOUR DATES:November 26 San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic AuditoriumDecember 1 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic @ Dominican HolidazeDecember 30 Portland, ME @ State Theatre – w/ TAUKDecember 31 Boston, MA @ House of Blues – w/ TAUKJanuary 3 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn BowlJanuary 4 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn BowlJanuary 5 Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living ArtsJanuary 6 Washington, DC @ 9:30 ClubJanuary 7 Washington, DC @ 9:30 ClubJanuary 8 Richmond, VA @ National TheaterJanuary 10 Wilmington, NC @ Throne TheaterJanuary 11 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln TheaterJanuary 12 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music WorksJanuary 13 Athens, GA @ Georgia TheaterJanuary 15 Charleston, SC @ Music FarmJanuary 17 New Orleans, LA @ The RepublicJanuary 18 Mobile, AL @ Soul KitchenJanuary 19 St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus LandingJanuary 20 Miami, FL @ Jam Cruise 15February 22 Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue TheatreFebruary 23 Grand Rapids, MI @ The IntersectionFebruary 24 Chicago, IL @ Vic TheatreFebruary 25 Minneapolis, MN @ First AvenueFebruary 26 Omaha, NE @ SlowdownMarch 1 Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie TheaterMarch 2 Aspen, CO @ Belly UpMarch 3 Aspen, CO @ Belly UpMarch 4 Park City, UT @ Park City LiveMarch 7 Missoula, MT @ Wilma TheatreMarch 9 Seattle, WA @ The ShowboxMarch 10 Portland, OR @ Roseland TheaterMarch 11 Portland, OR @ Roseland TheaterMarch 15 Tahoe, NV @ Crystal Bay CasinoMarch 16 Tahoe, NV @ Crystal Bay CasinoMarch 18 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram BallroomMarch 19 San Diego, CA @ Music Box
Dell Equips Father-Daughter Duo for Humanitarian Efforts in NepalThe following is a guest post by Mike Libecki, National Geographic Explorer, and brand ambassador for Dell Latitude Rugged. He is an adventurer, humanitarian and father. ************My daughter Lilliana recently turned 13 years old. Suddenly, she is ready to change the world. At only 13 years old, she has already been to all seven continents on the globe and 21 countries. One of the best lessons for her is to see the world and be inspired to make it a better place, ultimately creating and sharing joy in any way possible.Lilliana has grown up with a dad who lives the life of climbing and expeditions as a National Geographic Explorer; a life of traveling to exotic countries and remote desolate lands, all the while pushing the boundaries of climbing first ascents and grand adventures. If you step into our house, you might feel you are in some kind of museum with carvings, bones, paintings and rugs from around the world.Through growing and living in this environment, it’s only natural she wants to live a similar lifestyle. By the time she was 11, she had traveled with me to 15 countries and six continents, and became the youngest girl to do a ski expedition to Antarctica. But to Lilliana, her ultimate goal involves more than conquering new landscapes and surmounting great mountains, as she wants to combine the adventure with helping those in need.At just 11, she decided she wanted to try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s notorious “Seven Summits.” She had learned through her research that there were many orphanages in need in the area. Through a friend at The Human Outreach Project, we found an orphanage in Tanzania near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro called the Kilimanjaro Kids Community that was in desperate need of power, electricity and technology for education.Our plan was to first climb Kilimanjaro, then go to the orphanage and install new solar energy and computers. Through coordinated efforts with Dell and solar energy company, Goal Zero, we were able to deliver all the necessary solar panels, solar generators and Latitude laptops to bring sustainable energy to the orphanage and community. The experience at the African orphanage changed Lilliana’s life. When we returned from Africa, she immediately started researching others ways we could help the planet and people. It was her calling. You can enjoy a video of our experience here.In 2015 when earthquakes hit Nepal, it devastated the region, and Lillianna wanted to help. In response to the catastrophe, we began figuring out what the problems were in Nepal and what resources they needed most.We reached out again to our friends at the Human Outreach Project, Goal Zero, and Dell, and started planning our expedition to deliver supplies and aid to the lower Solukhumbu Valley and Sagarmatha National Parks in Nepal. While Goal Zero provided support and products for the solar energy needs, Dell, as part of its continued commitment to provide underserved youth with better access to technology, donated additional funding and Latitude laptops to help these communities rebuild. We shipped most of the equipment, but also checked in over 30 bags of additional product for the local people, including thousands of socks, fleece hats, sleeping pads, eating utensils, tools – the list goes on.Our total journey involved trekking more than 80 miles, enduring altitude, rain, and humidity. We witnessed people still rebuilding stone buildings and walls from the earthquake last year, but it did not affect their warm treatment toward us with many greeting us with “Namaste” along the way. We installed more than 5,000 pounds of solar panels and generators, along with internet modems and 20 Dell Latitude laptops at the schools, hospitals, dental clinics and community centers. Some of the most remote and in-need in the world.My daughter, Lilliana Libecki, said, “We were there to give the gift of joy and help better the quality of lives of the Nepalese people in general and that suffered from the Earthquake last year. What I did not realize, is that it was me (us) that received the gift of joy by being able to help them. They were so grateful, kind and humble. This experience changed my life forever. I am so inspired that I now just started my own nonprofit organization “The Joyineering Fund” to continue the humanitarian work. My daughter once again planted the seed for a huge humanitarian project that would enhance the quality of thousands of people’s lives.“In a world where we can be and do anything, be kind and do good.” – Lilliana Libecki, 13 years old, founder of the Joyineering Fund, a nonprofit humanitarian organization. </p><p>************National Geographic Explorer and Dell Rugged brand ambassador Mike Libecki has explored the most exotic and untouched places on planet seeking the most difficult climbs and first ascents that exist. Mike relies on Dell Rugged technology to perform in the harshest environments on the planet. He also does humanitarian expeditions that include bringing technology to remote cultures and people, including schools, orphanages and hospitals from Africa to Nepal. He is addicted to exploring the most mysterious and untouched areas on the planet. Mike has multiple first ascents and solo ascents on big rock walls and towers from Afghanistan to Antarctica on 70 expeditions and nearly 100 countries including notoriously risky and intensified environments. Mike is on track to achieve a life goal of 100 expeditions by the time he is 100 years old!
Natalie Weber | The Observer Sr. Mary Prudence Allen delivers the sixth Annual Human Dignity Lecture on Tuesday. Allen traced the philosophy of gender throughout the ages.She said Plato was the first philosopher to acknowledge all four of these elements in discussing gender relations. He first initiated a philosophical understanding of gender with his “unisex theory,” which proposed that men and women have no significant differences and are therefore equal in dignity. Aristotle, contrasting Plato, believed males to be naturally superior to females across all four of the gender concept categories — opposites, generation, wisdom and virtue — Allen said.“Aristotle’s ‘sex polarity theory’ drastically opposed Plato’s foundations of thought,” she said.Allen argued that while Aristotle was an empiricist, he did not possess a scientific understanding of the male and female bodies. “Aristotle didn’t understand female ovulation, and therefore speculated that males provided the seeds of life, while women merely represented the material for life to grow,” she said. In this way, Aristotle believed women to be defective forms of men, whose irrational powers could not be governed by the rational, Allen said. She said Aristotle asserted that women should remain silent in public and under men’s control. “While Aristotle was consistent in his beliefs, he was consistently wrong,” Allen said. While many of his beliefs relied on faulty biological assertions, Aristotle did assert that each human being consisted of both a physical body and a soul, Allen said.“His metaphysics of hylomorphism discussed that the human consists of matter and form, that each human being possesses a composite identity consisting of soul and body,” Allen said. The development of this idea influenced the studies of gender during the medieval period, she said. Medieval philosophers identified men and women as complementary — rather than opposed — beings, she said. “Philosophy during this time relied on the Bible, and specifically the book of Genesis, to strengthen ideas of gender,” Allen said. Allen said philosophers related passages from Genesis to demonstrate that although men and women have significantly differing bodies, they are equal in dignity and possess a synergetic relationship. “In addition, the two genders function together in order to establish intergenerational fruition,” she said. She said medieval notions of gender claimed the incarnation of Jesus Christ, his passion, death, resurrection, ascension and invitation to eternal life have the ability to be shared by all human beings, despite gender differences. “St. Thomas Aquinas strengthened this view by developing a hylomorphism with the soul consisting of both form and spirit,” Allen said. In the Renaissance and early humanist philosophic understanding of gender, Allen explained, an inevitable conflict arose in which the complementarity of gender was either threatened or defended. “During this time, four areas of discourse were traced, including academic, satirical, religious and humanist views of gender,” she said. While some traditional polarity satires devalued women, complementarity was defended by others. “This complementary view of gender slid into a reverse polarity of gender, which actually devalued men as inferior to women,” Allen said. These conflicting ideas of gender pushed into modern philosophical developments of gender, she argued. “Cartesian unisex dualism was introduced during this time, which shattered the unity of the human being, but strengthened the equality of man and woman,” she said. Gender in the 20th and 21st centuries has transitioned to an understanding of complementarity in men and women, Allen said, expressing concern that this view has been stretched to distortion within recent years. “There have now been perversions, corruptions and decays in the idea of the human person as a result of changing views in its relation to sex and gender ideologies, secular feminism and philosophers turned atheists,” she said. Allen said with new concepts of gender, feminism and atheistic philosophy arising, notions of gender have altered drastically. “Gender reality includes the whole person, while gender ideology has focused on metaphysical identity and invented self-concepts of one’s gender,” she said. “Each person is created with dignity and should be seen as their whole person.” Tags: 6th Annual Human Dignity Lecture, gender, philosophy of gender Sr. Mary Prudence Allen discussed the dignity of human gender at the sixth annual Human Dignity Lecture on Tuesday night. In the talk, she mapped out the history of gender constructions throughout time, beginning with ancient Greek philosophy and developing to notions of gender in the 20th and 21st centuries.She first identified the four elements in the concept of women, which was introduced in 384 B.C. as a part of Plato and Aristotle’s studies. “The four elements across which gender theories center include opposites, generation, wisdom and virtue,” Allen said.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Hey, Burnt Hills, Ballston Lake, regarding your sewer vote. Have you seen enough signs, read enough letters to the editor or seen enough road-side signs admonishing you to “do this or don’t do that?”How about this? Get the facts and do your own thinking.Make up your own mind. How about that?David W. ChristensenBallston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Guilderland girls’ soccer team hands BH-BL first league lossEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
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They expected a further 38 rich countries to join in coming days and said discussions continued with China. The United States has not signed up, having secured future supplies through bilateral deals.GAVI CEO Seth Berkley said on Thursday that the Cayman Islands, Chile, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates had signed up.Taiwan, which is not a member of WHO, said on Friday it had formally joined COVAX on Sept. 18. China views Taiwan as its own with no right to attend international bodies as a sovereign state. There was no immediate reply from the WHO for comment on Taiwan joining COVAX. Brazil and Argentina requested more time to commit to COVAX, which is led by the World Health Organization, after the deadline to join passed last Friday, saying they intended to join as soon as possible.Brazil has the world’s third-worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States and India, with more than 4.6 million cases. The death toll in Latin America’s largest country is 139,808, the second highest after the United States.Bolsonaro has been criticized by health experts for minimizing the severity of the coronavirus and opposing lockdowns in order to keep the economy going.A total of 156 countries had joined the COVAX facility, which aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, the WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance said on Monday . Brazil, which has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll, has decided to join the global COVID-19 vaccine partnership known as COVAX and will earmark 2.5 billion reais ($454 million) for securing vaccines through it, President Jair Bolsonaro’s office said.Brazil plans to use the COVAX facility, which gives access to several vaccine candidates in development globally, to buy enough supplies to immunize 10% of its population by the end of 2021, the office said in a statement on Thursday. That should cover Brazil’s “priority populations,” it said.Bolsonaro will issue decrees laying the legal groundwork to join COVAX in the official gazette, it said. Topics :
Image courtesy of Angola LNGChevron-led Angola LNG has signed its third LNG sales agreement during the month of September, tying up with Glencore. Under the multi-year agreement, Angola LNG will deliver LNG cargoes to Glencore Energy UK at destinations around the world.In its statement on Wednesday, Angola LNG noted that following on from the other the contract with Glencore adds to building a sales portfolio in the global LNG market.The $10 billion Angola LNG project includes a liquefaction plant located in Soyo that is able to produce 5.2 million tons per year of the chilled fuel.Angola LNG is a joint venture between Sonangol (22.8%), Chevron (36.4%), BP (13.6%), Eni (13.6%), and Total (13.6%).