Category: UK

LONDON BOY GETS 5 TOP US UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS

In a thankful departure from the gruesome and seemingly enfless stories of British teens finding themself imvolved in violent crime as both victims and petpetrators, we are sharing the success story of Tamilore Awolesi, an
academic scholar at Haberdashers Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree.Tamilore will be studying at Stanford University, USA in 2019, following receipt of a set scholarships from the following world-renowned and US Ivy League universities; Stanford University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University.Most notably, he was named a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, a distinction given to only 30 students out of 2,100 students offered places in 2019. His excellent academics, extra curricular activities and impressive essays earned him the offers from these US universities.A saxophonist and vocalist, Tamilore was also offered a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Boston for an undergraduate degree in in Jazz Studies, following a successful audition and interview. He attends the competitive Royal Academy of Music Saturday Jazz Programme in London and is involved in his school’s big band and jazz ensemblesIn a recent interwiew, Tamilore says “I am so excited and really looking forward to starting at a prestigious and renowned university such as Stanford. I am looking forward to joining the Nigerian Students Association, the Black Students Union, being part of the thriving Stanford jazz community, and making the most of the entrepreneurial and academic possibilities available to me at Stanford. I am grateful to God for this opportunity to study in the US, which has been a dream of mine since Year 9. I encourage all young people to dream big; put in the work, and ignore the haters”

Passionate about representation in the Black Community, he is the Founder and Chair of Black Head Students Network which held its inaugural event, hosted by Coutts, titled “A World of Possibilities”, for 60 black students from 30 different schools.He also introduced his school’s very first celebration of #BlackHistoryMonth and founded it’s African Caribbean Society, where he is Chair.We wish this brilliant young man the best and are confident he will continue to achieve great successBlackYouthExcellenceAlso read Barnet youngster with sickle cell raises genetic condition awareness

Peterborough MP Onasanya Becomes First To Be Kicked Out Of Parliament

In what has become the first of it’s kind in the entire history of British politics, Fiona Onasanya was removed from the seat yesterday (Wednesday) after 19,261 of her constituents (27.64 per cent) signed a Recall Petition to get rid of her – nearly three times the 10 per cent threshold needed.

This was the first time in a sitting MP has been removed by their constituents in this way.

The Recall Petition was triggered after the former MP was jailed for three months for perverting the course of justice.

A jury unanimously convicted the MP of lying about who was driving her car when it was caught speeding in Thorney in July 2017.

Ms Onasanya, who only served four weeks in prison, was expelled by Labour the day after her conviction.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) confirmed to the Peterborough Telegraph that Ms Onasanya, who was on a salary of £79,468, is not entitled to loss of office or winding-up payments as she did not lose her seat at a general election.

These payments allow MPs to continue to claim for accommodation rental payments and salary for two months.

There will now be a by-election in Brexit-backing Peterborough, in which Onasanya is permitted to stand as an independent.

Commons Speaker John Bercow told MPs: “I must advise the House that I have received notification from the petition officer for the constituency of Peterborough, in respect of the recall petition for Fiona Onasanya.


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The recall petition process for the constituency of Peterborough, established under the Recall of MPs Act 2015, closed yesterday at 5pm.

“As more than 10 percent of those eligible signed the petition have done so, I advise the House that the petition was successful.

“Fiona Onasanya is no longer the member for Peterborough and the seat is accordingly vacant.

“She can therefore no longer participate in any parliamentary proceedings as a Member of Parliament.”

The petition was launched in March and constituents had six weeks to vote ahead of yesterday’s deadline.

Labour chairman Ian Lavery said: “Labour campaigned hard for a victory in this recall petition.

“The people of Peterborough clearly agree that Fiona Onasanya is not fit to be their MP and we’re delighted they will now have the chance to vote for a Labour MP in our excellent candidate, Lisa Forbes.

Onasanya’s recall has triggered a bye-election in the constituency which has been scheduled to hold on 6 June.

“Labour will move the writ. Labour will vigorously fight the by-election here in Peterborough.” Lavery declared.

Asked whether he wanted residents to sign the Recall Petition, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn replied: “They should sign it.

“I’m very sad with what happened to her, he said, “but we have to move on.”

Adele And Husband To Divorce After 3 Years Of Marriage

Adele and her husband charity boss Simon Konecki have separated and are going for a divorce.

The pop singer’s representatives Benny Tarantini and Carl Fysh confirmed the news on Friday in a statement.

“Adele and her partner have separated,” the emailed statement said. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

Adele gave birth to her son, Angelo, in 2012.

The award-winning British superstar has been private about her relationship, but confirmed she married Konecki when she won album of the year at the 2017 Grammys.

In her acceptance speech, she said: “Grammys, I appreciate it. The Academy, I love you. My manager, my husband and my son you’re the only reason I do it.”

London-born Adele released her debut album, 19, in 2008, which contained the songs Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory and reached No 1 in the UK.

Her follow-up album, “21”, released in 2011 brought even more success thanks to the singles Someone Like You, Rolling In The Deep and Rumour Has It.

The record topped the charts in 30 countries, including the US and UK, and cemented Adele’s status as one of the world’s most successful artists.

She released her most recent album, 25, in 2015, which contained the single Hello. It proved to be another critical and commercial success.

In March, Adele was pictured entering a recording studio in New York City, sparking rumours she was working on new music.

Konecki cofounded Life Water, an eco-friendly brand of bottled water in the UK. Funds from the company assists the charity that Konecki runs, Drop4Drop, which provides clean water to countries in need.

A representative for Konecki could not be reached.


This afternoon, the Grammy winner took to Instagram to post a photo of herself crying next to a different pic of her getting her life during her Carpool Karaoke episode. The caption at the top of the two photos was truly savage and said, “When you catch yourself in your feelings then you remember who you are.”

Watch our for a new set of award winning heartbreak songs


Embattled MP Onasanya To Face Disciplinary Tribunal For Misconduct. Could Be Struck Off As A Solicitor

Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya, 35, faces being struck off as a solicitor for misconduct just months after she was jailed for lying to police

Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya will face the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on three allegations of misconduct, it was confirmed today.

Onasanya, 35, the MP for Peterborough, has been charged with three allegations: ‘failing to uphold proper administration of justice, failing to act with integrity and failing to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her and the provision of legal services’ announced the Solicitors Regulation Authority, today.

The former commercial property lawyer was convicted on a count of perverting the course of public justice in January but served 28 days of a three-month prison sentence while continuing to receive her £77,379 salary.

A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing will be held on an unnamed date, the allegations currently remain unproven.

The hearing could see Ms Onasanya suspended, handed an unlimited fine, or struck off as a solicitor, if the allegations are proven.

Despite the allegations and conviction Onasanya still holds her seat in parliament as the prison sentence she was handed was not long enough to mean she would be automatically removed from the house.

The MP still maintains her innocence against the conviction which saw her serve a month long sentence after lying to avoid a speeding fine.

Onasanya had a solid win, gaining her seat for Labour in Peterborough with a large majority of 607 in the 2017 general election.

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New shocking figures show there have been over 40 stabbings a day in London alone over the past 2 years

The shocking extent of London’s knife crime problem was revealed today as figures showed that 40 knife offences a day were reported to police over a two-year period.

A person was knifed to death on average every four days in London in 2017 and 2018, figures revealed, following a Freedom of Information request by the Standard.

The figures reveal the total number of knife offences including those involving stabbings and deaths caused by a blade for the calendar years of 2017 and 2018. Met Police dealt with 29,232 knife offences in a two years.

On average this is about 40 offences a day in London.

The total number of homicides and stabbings fell across the two-year period however. In 2018, the number of knife attacks fell by over 500. In 2017, there was 4,784 stabbings and in 2018 there was 4,246. The number of homicides also fell by 12.

Police at the scene of a stabbing in London

Official statistics for 2019 have not been made available just yet buy Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the decrease is encouraging.

Although the number is still “too high”, Mr Khan praised London communities and the Met for their work in reducing crime.

A spokesman from the Ben Kinsella Trust, which tackles knife crime through education and campaigning, said the small reduction is not a victory yet.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers are working “day and night” to identify and pursue knife criminals.

The majority of the crimes detailed in the figures were committed in Southwark with 1,594 offences occuring in that London borough

The borough also had the highest number of knife-related homicides with 17 people being stabbed to death in two years.

17 people being stabbed to death in two years in Southwark alone.
Bexley was the only borough of 33 to not have any deaths resulting from a knife in the two years.

Mr Khan said: “Thanks to London’s communities and the hard work of the Met Police, who have been targeting offenders and removing dangerous weapons from our streets, we are seeing some knife crime offences starting to fall, but it still remains too high.

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Meet Efe Obada NFL Star From Nigeria Who Was Abandoned On The Streets Of London At Just 10

Born in Nigeria, Obada moved to the Netherlands to live with his mother when he was eight years old. Two years later, he and his sister were taken to London.

The details of how they came to arrive in England’s capital are still unclear. The word “trafficked” has been used, but Obada has not exactly described it in those terms.

The most open he has been on the subject was in a blog on the Carolina Panthers website in August 2017. Writing there, he said he and his sister were brought over “by a stranger who was supposed to look after us – they did not”.

Revisiting that time now, he is reluctant to share full details of the traumatic experience. But what is certain is that at the age of 10, he was abandoned with his sister on the streets of Hackney, east London.

They spent two nights sleeping rough before a security guard gave them shelter in the tower block he was working in. With his help, the children were eventually looked after temporarily by a friend of their mother. When that arrangement broke down, Obada spent the remainder of his childhood in more than 10 different foster homes.

“It was my life. It was my story,” he says. “It was what I was going through.

“There were some lows but it was so normalised. Then getting into the NFL and looking back and having all these people having an opinion on my life it was like: ‘Oh, actually maybe that’s not normal.’

“But at the time it was normal for me. It was my surroundings. You have just got to survive. Do you know what I mean?”

Obada’s sister was with him throughout their time in foster care and they remain close, but he refuses to share anything more about her. It’s a similar story with his wife – “his rock”. He has said they met in London and that she “saw the broken child and loved it out of me”. But her name? Off limits.

The nature of his relationship with his mother now is another unknown.

Talk of dressing-room bonds being like family often feels like a sporting cliche. But in the context of Obada’s childhood, the words feel more powerful hearing him say them.

“For me, it really is,” Obada says. “I grew up in foster care. To be in a team, it really is like a family. There are a lot of guys that have taken me under their wing. It’s nice to belong somewhere.

“The locker room is like a second home. You have your own space but you are part of something bigger than you.

“It’s nice to be wanted and to feel like you are needed. I feel like I can help this team and they make me feel that way, that I’m important to them.”

Even discounting Obada’s childhood struggles his journey to the NFL has been remarkable.

The established route is through the incredibly competitive US collegiate system in which just 1.6% of the player pool actually make it to the big time.

When his future football peers were graduating from college aged 22, Obada was working in a factory in Welwyn Garden City in England. He had never played competitive sport in his life – let alone the notoriously complex game of American football.

His introduction came after a chance meeting with an old friend. Obada was encouraged to attend a training session with British American football team London Warriors. At 6ft 6in he had the stature to succeed. He also had the attitude to make it – not least because football offered him the opportunity to channel the aggression from his difficult childhood in a positive way.

After just five games with the Warriors, Obada was on his way to the United States. He attended a Dallas Cowboys practice session when they were playing in London in 2014. In April 2015 the Cowboys signed him – but he was released without ever playing a game.

“In the early days there was a lot of noes, but I was used to that,” he says.

“When I was growing up trying to apply for jobs in London and I didn’t have papers, I would go through the interview process but then it came to: ‘Where’s your passport?’ I got my noes from there.

“An opportunity like being in the NFL is something that you are going to have to hold on to as long as you can, because I know that once that opportunity is gone I am back in the warehouse doing 9-5.

“So that was my thing. As long as there is a chance and there are people around me that can help me through the door and give me the chance to progress and to grow, I am going to keep coming back – no matter how many noes I get.”

The NFL’s International Pathway eventually provided a yes. A programme set up in 2017 to give international athletes the chance to make it, Obada was part of the first intake.

Foreign-born NFL players are rare. Less than 3% of players in the 2018 season were born overseas. British players are rarer still. In the 52 editions of the Super Bowl to date there have only been five Britain-born winners – most recently the Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Jay Ajayi in 2018.

The NFL is keen to grow the game internationally, and particularly in the UK.

But for the chance to shine through that international focus, Obada might not have found himself assigned to the Carolina Panthers. He could well have followed a very different path in London.

Obada spends much of his downtime either reading about London’s youth violence problems online from the USA, or trying to do something about it. Three of his friends when he was a teenager were killed in gang violence. It remains an issue close to home.

“I feel like I’m a product of my environment. Put me in an environment like the NFL and I’ll thrive. Put me in an environment like south London with no help, no support, with funding cut left, right and centre, with charities closing down, youth clubs closing down…. All these different outlets for kids to learn vital skills in life are getting shut down because of the way things are set up.”

Obada plans on setting up his own foundation in the future but for now pours his energies into a charity called the Big Kid Foundation. It seeks to “equip young people at risk of social exclusion and youth violence to take control of their lives, find, develop and act on their own potential”. One of its missions is to “see a capital where no young person loses their life to violence”.

“I grew up around that,” he says. “I grew up in south London and I know how easy it is to get pulled into certain things. I just want to help them. I just want to show them that they’re just going through what I went through – running around, trying to find themselves. None of us have got a map, do we?

“I’m just trying to say to these kids, I came from where you are and this is what I have done. My life was like this. My life was negative at one point and look at it now.

“I just want to play it forward, to be around them and say things to them that I wish people said to me at that age.”

Talk of Obada’s role as a mentor inevitably leads on to the men who performed that role for him.


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People like Aden Durde, who spotted Obada’s talents while working as a coach with the London Warriors, and Will Bryce, the head of the NFL’s International Player Pathway programme.

“I am getting emotional just thinking about it, how these really good men invested in me. For someone like me, it’s amazing. I’m blessed. Honestly, I’m very blessed.”

Fast forward to 2019 and everyday life is very different to Obada’s days working in a warehouse.

The year-long contract extension he signed in January is worth £432,000 – reward for a breakthrough season with the Panthers. Obada’s 10 appearances last term included that eye-catching debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, where he ended up with the game ball, a de facto man-of-the-match award from his team-mates.

“When I got into the NFL I had this huge opportunity to 180 my life and set myself up in terms of financial security and looking after my family, my wife and my sister,” he says.

Such fame and fortune would have been unthinkable for the 10-year-old who arrived in London feeling one overriding emotion.

The frightened boy sleeping on the reception room floor of a Hackney high-rise is now sitting in a plush central office meeting room that bears his name.

Culled from bbc.co.uk


Small UK Businesses To Benefit From Cut In Business Rates

Small retailers are set to enjoy a share of tax cuts worth half a billion pounds as business rates bills are slashed across England this month.

While council tax, prescriptions, utility bills and car tax are all set to rise, thousands of high street shops will be set for a reprieve.

In last year’s Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a business rates discount scheme for small-sized high street properties in England which have a rateable value below £51,000.

Under the plan, small firms will receive a one-third discount on their rates bills from April 1 for the next two years.

Hammond said the discount would help “up to 90 per cent of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”.

On the flipside, the standard business rate will rise above 50 per cent for retailers on medium to large-sized premises, the highest rate since the national business rates system was introduced in 1990.

Despite this, according to real estate advisory firm Altus Group, the average small retailer will see savings of £3292 in their business rates bills for the 2019/20 year.

Councils in England are setting aside £502 million this financial year to cover the cost.

However, Altus Group head of business rates Robert Hayton warned small retailers that they needed to check their new tax demands carefully, adding that “some councils are insisting that firms apply for the discount rather than applying it automatically”.

He also said local authorities in England were still expected to rake in £25 billion in business rates overall during the 2019/20 year, an increase of £206 million.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) said the 10 councils set to earn the most from business rates over the next 12 months are: Westminster (£2.2 billion), City of London (£1.2 billion), Camden (£650 million), Tower Hamlets (£461 million), Birmingham (£449 million), Hillingdon (£384 million), Leeds (£378 million), Manchester (£335 million), Kensington and Chelsea (£332 million) and Southwark (£328 million).

The FSB also highlighted that two million small businesses were to be hit with new reporting requirements due to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme.

HMRC is forcing VAT-registered businesses to comply with the initiative, with the software required to meet MTD obligations set to cost small firms £564 each on average.

More than a million small employers are also grappling with a further increase in auto-enrolment pension contributions to three per cent from Saturday.

Culled from www.retailgazette.co.uk