Day: December 4, 2017

FOREIGN GRENFELL TOWERS FIRE VICTIMS GRANTED EXTENSION FOR IMMIGRATION AMNESTY APPLICATION

Foreign nationals who lived illegally in the ill fated Grenfell Tower have been given more time to apply for the government’s immigration amnesty.

An extra two months has been given for undocumented residents living in the tower to claim protection from deportation , the Home Office announced on Thursday (November 30).

There are still fears some foreign nationals staying in Grenfell have yet to come forward to access help and support because of fear of reprisals .

A policy on leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules for eligible residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk was introduced in July to ensure victims of the tragedy get the access they need to vital services, irrespective of immigration status.

In October, it was announced that those who qualify under this policy and are granted an initial 12 months’ leave outside the rules will be eligible to have their leave extended and qualify for permanent residence after five years’ leave, subject to meeting security, criminality and fraud checks.

The time period for people to come forward had been due to expire on November 30 , but the Home Office confirmed it will be extended until January 31 2018.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The welfare of survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire is a top priority for this government.

“The policy we have introduced will enable those who are eligible to regularise their stay in the UK, ensure there is a firm legal basis for providing support, and enable these victims to assist with the Inquiry in the knowledge that their immigration status is secure.

The remains of Grenfell Tower is being covered by white plastic sheeting (Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

“Pushing back the deadline will give survivors an additional opportunity to come forward if they have not done so already.”

Anyone who has not yet come forward can find out how to do so by calling the Home Office Grenfell Team on 0208 196 4531.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

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ATIKU WAS SUBJECT OF UNITED STATES SENATE PROBE INTO MONEY LAUNDERING AND BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS WHILE STILL VICE PRESIDENT

Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar has for a while thrown out a challenge   Nigerians accusing him of being corrupt to come forward and prove their allegations but so far nobody has come forward.

But a story appearing in PMNEWS has detailed how Atiku was the subject of a serious bribery and money laundering probe ten years ago, by a United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin.

The report detailed how Atiku Abubakar while still the vice president of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008, used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer Douglas.

Jennifer-Jamila-Douglas-Abu
Jennifer Douglas Abbubakar

Specifically, the report said Jennifer Douglas, an American citizen, helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.

In 2004, the then President Bush barred Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States.

The US Senate probe was motivated by US government concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles, and the rule of law.

“It is also blamed for distorting markets, deterring investment, deepening poverty, undermining international aid efforts, and fostering crime. Some have drawn connections between corruption, failed states, and terrorism. Corruption also continues to be a massive problem. The World Bank has estimated that $1 trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year,” the committee noted in its bulky report.

Atiku was not the only foreign Politically Exposed Person(PEP) probed by the committee. He had company in Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, now the 48-year-old son of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the President of Equatorial Guinea (EG), late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo and three Angolan PEP accounts, involving an Angolan arms dealer, an Angolan government official, and a small Angolan private bank.

The committee submitted its report on 4 February 2010, three years after Atiku left office.

The report unveiled violations of US laws by Atiku and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas. It also included revelations about Siemens bribe paid into one of the accounts, and it possibly provided the basis for Atiku being barred from entering the United States, since then.

This Report examines how politically powerful foreign officials, their relatives, and close associates – referred to in international agreements as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – have used the services of U.S. professionals and financial institutions to bring large amounts of suspect funds into the United States to advance their interests. Using four case histories, this Report shows how some PEPs have used U.S. lawyers, real estate and escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers, and even university officials, to circumvent U.S. anti-money laundering and anti- corruption safeguards.

This Report also offers recommendations to stop the abuses.

Read more on this story at PMNewsNigeria

COOP TO SELL FOOD PAST “BEST BEFORE” DATES FOR JUST 10P

The East of England Co-op has become the first major retailer to start selling products beyond their ‘Best Before’ date with the aim of significantly reducing food waste in its stores.

The biggest independent retailer in East Anglia will now sell products over their Best Before date in its 125 food stores for a nominal 10p. The move follows a successful three-month trial in 14 stores and will be launched with new campaign, “The Co-op Guide to Dating”.

According to The Co-op It is estimated that every year between 30 – 50% of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted. East of England hopes the initiative will save at least two metric tonnes from being wasted every year.

Shoppers will be told ‘Don’t be a binner, have it for dinner!’ and ‘It’s not nice to get dumped’ in an effort to encourage participation. 

It is hoped the scheme will save two tonnes of waste each year

 

Joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor, who has spearheaded the initiative, said: “This is one of many initiatives we have instigated to make the East of England Co-op as efficient as possible, reducing our impact on the environment.”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises that products past their Best Before date are safe to consume but may not be at the optimum quality intended by the producer. The heavily reduced products will remain on sale for one month past their Best Before date.

“During our trial we found our 10p items went within hours of being reduced, sometimes quicker,” said Mr Grosvenor. “The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favourite products.

“This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain. By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 plus items every year which would otherwise have gone to waste.”

The majority of products that use Best Before dates will be included, such as tinned goods, packets and dried food. The 10p reduced products will not include ‘Use By’ dated products, which should not be consumed after the Use By date has passed.

Sales data is now more closely reviewed to monitor waste levels in each store, to enable the Co-op to remove or reduce product lines which generate excessive waste.

The East of England Co-op has now also instigated a new Reduced to Clear policy, offering more significant discounts earlier in the day on products nearing their Use By dates to further help reduce waste.

These changes are the latest in a string of environmental initiatives implemented by the East of England Co-op. Customer recycling points and recycling facilities for stores help manage packaging waste, and partnerships between local suppliers in the East of England Co-op’s award-winning Sourced Locally range helps local produce travel even shorter distances, reducing the Co-op’s carbon footprint.

The slogans being used to market the new policy (Photo: Anglia Picture Agency)

The 10p discounted food is not able to be donated to charities such as food banks, as they currently do not accept food after its Best Before date has passed. Instead, the East of England Co-op collects donations of non-perishable food and toiletries within date in all its stores. Thanks to the generosity of Co-op customers, donations for more than 80,000 meals were collected last year and donated to 22 food banks across the East Anglia.