It was a cold, clear morning in April 2017 when I walked into the yellow Chamber of Commerce building to find the attic access hole in the ceiling open and the fold-down ladder extended. I had recently started subcontracting PR work for Kevin Johnson of Johnson Group RE/MAX Gold which just leased the building. It was an odd setup, with the Chamber of Commerce sharing the building and manning a doublewide cubicle in what was formerly an open lobby while Johnson Group operated in the large area behind the counter, including two separate offices that served as the private offices of Johnson and another RE/MAX agent. Since I had been on the job for barely a month, my first instinct, given the not-so-clear instruction from my busy new boss, was to spend most of the first few days unpacking, cleaning, organizing, and familiarizing myself with both the regular staff and computer system. Anna, Johnson's adorable Transaction Coordinator, was in the office working away on the computer, and the … [Read more...] about Local Scandal Reinforces Need for Intrepid Journalism
Local authority investments
The HCM City People’s Council has urged Tan Binh District authorities to speed up the progress of flood-prevention projects inside Tan Son Nhat international airport to prepare for the coming rainy season. Flooding continues to threaten Tan Son Nhat International Airport Anti-flooding works to be built first in Tan Son Nhat airport expansion Tan Son Nhat international airport in HCM City after a downpour in 2016. VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh Speaking at a meeting with district authorities on Wednesday, Pham Duc Hai, vice chairman of the city’s People’s Council, said the progress of major anti-flooding projects inside the airport had been too slow and urged authorities to work with agencies to map out detailed plans. Hai, leader of an inspection team from the People’s Council, recently inspected canals and sewers at and near the airport. Key drainage systems operated by companies at the airport vary in design and lack connectivity, causing serious flooding in … [Read more...] about Tan Son Nhat Airport at risk of flooding during rainy season
One of the UK’s biggest charity fund managers, CCLA, has teamed up with a UN-backed investor group and the UK’s Investment Association to launch an initiative aimed at stamping out slavery from companies’ supply chains. CCLA argues that virtually every company in the UK has connections to slavery somewhere in its operations, with more than $18bn of goods produced from forced labour imported into Britain every year. Even though the UK’s Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015, few companies have made significant progress on the issue, warns CCLA, which manages £10bn of investments for charities, the Church of England and local authorities. Its three-year initiative, called “Find it, fix it, prevent it”, is backed by Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a UN-supported international network of investors, and Rathbone Investment Management. It will use the clout of investors to encourage UK businesses to find and help victims of slavery … [Read more...] about Charity fund manager launches initiative to tackle modern slavery
Virginia Bottomley, former health minister The Children Act was a culmination of many years’ preparation following dissatisfaction around children’s legislation. It brought together private and public law affecting children, and reinforced the principle that the welfare of the child must be paramount and their interests separately considered: this critical concept that children are not possessions. They actually have rights of their own. At the time, it was described as the “most comprehensive and far-reaching reform of parliament in living memory”, a description I completely agree with. And it had cross-party support. Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister, but I recall even Jeremy Corbyn, at the time, had a word of praise for it. My role was to oversee the implementation of the legislation, including the training of social workers and the development of guidance. In my former life, I was chair of the juvenile court in Lambeth, I worked in a child guidance … [Read more...] about Thirty years on, has the Children Act changed family life for the better?
If you are a government pensioner, November is the month when you will be planning a visit to your bank or post office to submit your life certificate (Jeevan Pramaan Patra). This annual pilgrimage to the disbursing authority for physical submission of the life certificate is an inconvenient and time consuming exercise for senior citizens. For travelling or unwell pensioners particularly, it is a painful ordeal that cannot be avoided as failure to submit by 30 November can put a stop to pension payments. However, pensioners can avoid the whole process now. For the past few years, the government has provided a platform that enables pensioners to submit the certificate online and do away with a physical visit. To obtain the digital certificate, pensioners must generate a unique Pramaan ID. This ID is generated for the individual pensioner using his or her Aadhaar number and biometrics. You can generate the ID for the first time by visiting the local Citizen Service Centre that … [Read more...] about How government pensioners can submit life certificate online