Journalist escapes a murder attempt

first_img Organisation Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Natalia Vlassova, journalist with Kanal 34 television, was brutally beaten on 4 October in Dnipropetrovsk in the east of the country. Already suffering from concussion, she then received further death threats. “It is appalling that a journalist can end up in a hospital bed just because she was doing her job and carried out an investigation into dubious practices on the part of a political party”, said Reporters Without Borders. March 26, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Ukraine RSF_en UkraineEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders called on Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko to do everything possible to punish the perpetrators after journalist Natalia Vlassova, of Kanal 34 television, was brutally beaten on 4 October 2005, in Dnipropetrovsk in the east of the country.“It is appalling that a journalist should end up in a hospital bed just because she was doing her job and carried out an investigation into the dubious practices on the part of a political party. This assault was intended to shut her up for good and death threats against her continue,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.The journalist was approached on 4 October by a person she did not know who called her by name. When she confirmed her identity, he began to viciously beat her. Vlassova was investigating cases of corruption within the regional branch of the Batkivschina Party, headed by Gennadi Gliadchichin. Some local officials in the party had accused the leaders of the regional branch of giving out key posts in regional and municipal councils in exchange for sums of money ranging from 50 – 200,000 dollars.Vlassova was taken to the city’s Number 16 hospital and will have to spend one month under observation. She is suffering from concussion and has numerous contusions to the head, face and upper body.A few days before the attack, the journalist received telephone threats from someone she did not know, who told her “to stop meddling in the affairs of the Batkivschina party” – of former prime minister, Yulia Timochenko. Vlassova continues to receive death threats on her hospital bed. “On 9 October, someone phoned me to say, ‘I swear I will bury you’. I decided to go on with my investigation and I’m looking for a Ukrainian or foreign media that is prepared to take the risk of publishing my reports. Because I have discovered that the same practices that I exposed in the Dnipropetrovsk region are going on in other regions of Ukraine”, she told Reporters Without Borders.Police have opened a criminal investigation and Vlassova has been assigned bodyguards to protect her. News October 12, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist escapes a murder attempt Help by sharing this information Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV News News to go further Receive email alerts February 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia News September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

World honour Donegal swimmer

first_img By News Highland – January 4, 2011 Newsx Adverts Google+ Pinterest Previous articleIDA releases end of year reportNext articleSuspected pipe bomb components found in Derry News Highland Facebook Twitter Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry A woman from Donegal has beaten off competition from Olympic athletes around the world to win the title of World Open Water Swimmer of the Year.Anne Marie Ward from Portnablagh took more than 47% of the vote in the global online poll.She defeated bad weather, cramp and shoals of jellyfish to successfully swim the North Channel on her fourth attempt.Anne Marie told today’s Shaun Doherty’s Show, her attempts to make the crossing from Northern Ireland to Scotland became a personal challenge for her entire team Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Pinterest Facebookcenter_img 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic WhatsApp Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire World honour Donegal swimmer WhatsApp Twitter 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North last_img read more

Classification Of Patients As Residents And Non-Residents For Treatment Was Held Unconstitutional By Delhi HC In 2018

first_imgTop StoriesClassification Of Patients As Residents And Non-Residents For Treatment Was Held Unconstitutional By Delhi HC In 2018 Akshita Saxena8 Jun 2020 5:04 AMShare This – xIn October 2018, the Delhi High Court had held that classification of individuals as residents and non-residents for the purpose of providing medical facilities is unreasonable and violative of the fundamental right to health enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. The observation was made while setting aside an order issued by the Medical Director, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital,…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn October 2018, the Delhi High Court had held that classification of individuals as residents and non-residents for the purpose of providing medical facilities is unreasonable and violative of the fundamental right to health enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. The observation was made while setting aside an order issued by the Medical Director, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, GNCT of Delhi, whereby patients who did not hold a valid Voter ID Card of Delhi were categorized as non-Delhi patients, and were denied certain facilities for treatment. “We have no hesitation in holding that the impugned circular suffers from various vices which are not permissible under the Constitution, the circular classifies identically situated persons differently for the purpose of granting them medical facility without any rational basis and therefore we cannot uphold such a classification,” the High Court had held in the case Social Jurist, a Civil Rights Group vs  Government of NCT of Delhi. The ruling assumes relevance in the present context as the Health Department of the Delhi Government vide order dated June 7, 2020 has restricted medical treatment in State Government run hospitals as well as in private hospitals and nursing homes to bonafide residents of Delhi only. As the order has been challenged before the Delhi High Court by two Delhi University students who are the residents of UP and Bihar, the 2018 judgment is becoming more relevant now. Then Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao had held that the State cannot avoid or shirk away from its “constitutional obligation” to provide medical treatment to its citizens, on account of financial constraint or non-availability of facilities, etc. “If we analyse the justification given by the State Government in the present case, it would be seen that the State is shirking away from discharging its constitutional obligation and liability by contending lack of facilities like infrastructure, manpower and law and order situation created by outburst of population, the number of patients coming to the hospital for treatment. In our considered view, this is not permissible. A State is obliged and mandated to provide all such facilities as are to be provided to a citizen, particularly, the requirement envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution and the reasons given before us cannot be substantial or reasonable reasons for shirking away from discharging this constitutional liability,” the bench had held. The present order of the Delhi High Court has also been issued due to lack of requisite infrastructure and in order to decongest hospitals, amid the pandemic. However, such an approach the High Court had held, is against the duties of a “welfare State.” “A complete reading of the Preamble and various provisions of the Constitution indicates that if a provision or a statute is read in the backdrop of the requirement of Article 14 of the Constitution, anything done which fails to achieve the socialistic goal to its fullest extent or which adopts a classification which is not in tune with the establishment of a welfare society is unsustainable and unconstitutional,” the bench had remarked. Reliance was placed on Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity & Ors. v. State of West Bengal & Ors., (1996) 4 SCC 37, whereby the Supreme Court had held that providing adequate medical facility to the people is not only an essential part but is also an obligation undertaken by the Government in a welfare State and for discharging this obligation running of hospitals and health centres and providing medical care to the people seeking the same is a requirement of Article 21 of the Constitution. The bench was of the view that such a classification, into residents and non-residents, does not pass the two-fold test of reasonable classification enunciated by the Supreme Court in State of West Bengal v. Anwar Ali Sarkar, AIR 1952 SC 75. In this case, the Top Court had held that even though Article 14 of the Constitution does not forbids class legislation however, such classification has to reasonable and has to be decided on two well settled principles i.e. the classification should be based on “intelligible differentia” which distinguishes persons or things, grouped together from others who are left out of the group and; the second, that the differentia in question should be reasonable and must have some “rationale nexus” for the purpose to be achieved. In context to classification of patients as residents and non-residents however, the Delhi High Court had held, “The classification is based on no reasonable justification except on the basis of the residence of a person or the availability of a particular identification card and the nexus to be achieved is decongestion of the hospital. In our considered view, both these justifications given do not meet the twin tests for upholding a classification.” It was observed that the state was practically differentiating “similarly situated citizens”. In fact, the bench went on to observe, even the Supreme Court had in the case of Kailash Chand Sharma v. State of Rajasthan & Ors., (2002) 6 SCC 562, held that “residence by itself be it be within a State, region, district or lesser area within a district cannot be a ground to accord preferential treatment or reservation, save as provided in Article 16(3).” The High Court was also of the view that discriminating between resident and non-resident patients is violative of the mandate of Article 15 that no citizen shall be discriminated against on the basis of place of birth. “Article 15(2) prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, sex or place of birth and it is a well settled principle of law that right to health and medical aid so also medical care is a fundamental right envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution read with Articles 39(e) and 41 of the Constitution,” the Division bench had emphasized. Is worthy to note that in Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board, (2018) SCC Online SC 1241, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had observed, “The capital city is not just a part of India. It is miniaturised India, a fact often forgotten by the administration in the field of culture and education, especially vis-a-vis regional, minorities. It is megapolitan (sic) and people from all parts flock to this outsized city…Anyone who lives inside India can never be considered an ‘outsider’ in Delhi…” The bench went on to remark, “The Administration has a constitutional responsibility not to be a mere thermometer where mercury rises with populist pressure but to be a thermostat that transforms the mores of groups to stay in the conscience of the nation viz. the Constitution.” This observation is indicative of the fact that state actors are responsible to cater to its local population, whether resident or otherwise, and ensure that their Constitutional rights are preserved. However, the approach adopted by the Delhi Government during this critical time of a pandemic, where inter-state movement is restricted and people from across the country are stuck in Delhi, throws up serious questions with regard to protection of the fundamental right to life and right to health of such citizens. Click Here To Download Order Read Order Next Storylast_img read more

[Cancellation Of Written Instruments] Action Instituted U/s 31 Specific Relief Act Is Arbitrable As It Is Not An Action In Rem: SC [Read Judgment]

first_imgTop Stories[Cancellation Of Written Instruments] Action Instituted U/s 31 Specific Relief Act Is Arbitrable As It Is Not An Action In Rem: SC [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK20 Aug 2020 11:25 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has held that an action instituted under section 31 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 is not an action in rem, but an action in personam, and therefore arbitrable. In this case, a suit was filed by Deccan Paper Mills Co. Ltd. against Regency Mahavir Property and others, One of the prayers was to set aside some agreements as well. The Court had allowed the application filed…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has held that an action instituted under section 31 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 is not an action in rem, but an action in personam, and therefore arbitrable. In this case, a suit was filed by Deccan Paper Mills Co. Ltd. against Regency Mahavir Property and others, One of the prayers was to set aside some agreements as well. The Court had allowed the application filed by Regency to refer the matter to Arbitration. The High Court also dismissed the writ petition filed by Deccan in this regard. Thus, before the Apex Court in appeal,  Deccan contended that since the prayer in the suit is for cancellation of three “written instruments”, the proceeding under section being a proceeding in rem, would fall within one of the exceptions made out in Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc. v. SBI Home Finance Ltd., (2011) 5 SCC 532. The contention was made referring to section 31 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 and a Division Bench judgment of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in Aliens Developers Pvt. Ltd. v. M. Janardhan Reddy, (2016) 1 ALT 194 (DB) in which it was held that the action under Section 31 is an action in rem and therefore non-arbitrable. Referring to Muppudathi Pillai v. Krishnaswami Pillai, AIR 1960 Mad 1, the Apex Court bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, Indira Banerjee and Navin Sinha observed that the expression “any person” in Section 31 does not include a third party, but is restricted to a party to the written instrument or any person who can bind such party. It said: “The principle behind the section is to protect a party or a person having a derivative title to property from such party from a prospective misuse of an instrument against him. A reading of section 31(1) then shows that when a written instrument is adjudged void or voidable, the Court may then order it to be delivered up to the plaintiff and cancelled – in exactly the same way as a suit for rescission of a contract under section 29. Thus far, it is clear that the action under section 31(1) is strictly an action inter parties or by persons who obtained derivative title from the parties, and is thus in personam. ” Disagreeing with the interpretation made by the Division Bench in Aliens Developers, the court observed that the factum of registration of what is otherwise a private document inter parties does not clothe the document with any higher legal status by virtue of its registration. An action that is started under section 31(1) cannot be said to be in personam when an unregistered instrument is cancelled and in rem when a registered instrument is cancelled. The suit that is filed for cancellation cannot be in personam only for unregistered instruments by virtue of the fact that the decree for cancellation does not involve its being sent to the registration office – a ministerial action which is subsequent to the decree being passed. Overruling Alien Developers, the bench dismissed the appeals and  further observed: “The proceeding under section 31 is with reference to specific persons and not with reference to all who may be concerned with the property underlying the instrument, or “all the world”. Clearly, the cancellation of the instrument under section 31 is as between the parties to the action and their privies and not against all persons generally, as the instrument that is cancelled is to be delivered to the plaintiff in the cancellation suit. A judgment delivered under section 31 does not bind all persons claiming an interest in the property inconsistent with the judgment, even though pronounced in their absence” “..The reasoning in the aforesaid judgment would again expose the incongruous result of section 31 of the Specific Relief Act being held to be an in rem provision. When it comes to cancellation of a deed by an executant to the document, such person can approach the Court under section 31, but when it comes to cancellation of a deed by a non-executant, the non-executant must approach the Court under section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. Cancellation of the very same deed, therefore, by a non-executant would be an action in personam since a suit has to be filed under section 34. However, cancellation of the same deed by an executant of the deed, being under section 31, would somehow convert the suit into a suit being in rem. All these anomalies only highlight the impossibility of holding that an action instituted under section 31 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 is an action in rem.”  Case details Case no.: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5147 OF 2016 Case name: DECCAN PAPER MILLS CO. LTD. vs. REGENCY MAHAVIR PROPERTIES & ORS. Coram: Justices RF Nariman, Indira Banerjee and Navin Sinha Counsel: Adv Meena Doshi and Sr. Adv Vinay NavreClick here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Exceedances in pesticides on the increase across Donegal

first_img Google+ DL Debate – 24/05/21 By News Highland – April 5, 2019 Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Exceedances in pesticides on the increase across Donegal Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Harps come back to win in Waterford center_img News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Pinterest Twitter Previous articleTwo Donegal schools land All-Ireland Sportshall Athletics titlesNext articleArdara woman who stole from charity gets suspended sentence News Highland Irish Water says exceedances in pesticides are on the increase across Donegal.Two exceedances were detected last year in the River Eske Public Water Supply.Irish Water say while there is no threat to public health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.The utility, working in partnership with the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group is appealing to farmers and other users of pesticides to ensure that best practice measures to protect drinking water quality are always followed.The latest exceedances in Donegal follows on from previous exceedances noted in 2017 in the River Eske Public Water Supply and also the Killybegs Public Water Supply as well as low level detections in many other supplies.Eight different supplies in Co Donegal (Bundoran, Fanad East, Fanad West, Frosses /Inver, Letterkenny, Milford, Fullerton Dam and Rosses) have seen low levels of the herbicide MCPA and other pesticides over the past two years.last_img read more

Death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria officially raised to 2,975 from 64

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Using a study from a team of independent researchers, officials in Puerto Rico said they’re raising the official death toll from Hurricane Maria to 2,975 from 64.Researchers have determined that an estimated 2,975 people died from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. The independent study, from George Washington University’s (GWU) Milken School of Public Health, was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government.At a press conference Tuesday in San Juan, Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced he would be raising the island’s official estimate to match that of the study.Rossello called the announcement “painful” and said it’s a time for Puerto Ricans to mourn and reflect.The GWU report also showed that the risk of dying in the aftermath of Maria was 60 percent higher for those in the poorest communities and 35 percent higher for those aged 65 or older.“There are huge inequalities in Puerto Rico that were brought up by the hurricane,” said Carlos Santos-Burgoa, one of the principal investigators of the study.The estimate of 2,975 was determined using a mathematical model based on historical patterns, with adjustments made for age and sex, researchers said. That sum is more than 4,500 percent higher than the original estimate of 64.President Donald Trump, who visited Puerto Rico in the days following the storm, initially told a crowd of Puerto Ricans to be “very proud of all of your people” because the death toll was so low.“If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died … 16 people versus in the thousands,” he said. Hurricane Katrina claimed more than 1,800 lives, according to the National Hurricane Center.On Wednesday, a day after the announcement that thousands of lives were lost to Hurricane Maria, the president remained steadfast that his administration did a “fantastic job.” The storm was a “tough one,” Trump said, but he blamed the level of destruction on the island’s geography and faulty electrical system.“Puerto Rico was actually more difficult because of the fact it’s an island,” Trump said. “With Texas, you’re land-based, with Florida it was land-based … I only hope they don’t get hit again.”In a statement to ABC News, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz strongly disagreed with the president’s characterization.“President Trump continues to demonstrate his inability to understand what his job in this crisis was all about: This was never about him, this was never about politics, this was about saving lives,” Cruz wrote. “His lack of sensibility is beyond offensive — 2,975 people died because of his inability to get the job done. We will never forget!”Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken School of Public Health, told ABC News the death rates have still not returned to the baseline, and that the deaths for the poor and elderly did not stop after the study concluded in February.“We thought we would capture all the deaths if we looked at the period between September 2017 and February 2018, but in reality, even in February, there was still some excess deaths among the poor and the elderly,” Goldman said. “It might make sense to follow through for the next six months to see when the death rates actually return to baseline.”Hurricane Maria “caused problems for people for months — loss of electricity, issues with getting food and water, healthcare and other things people needed,” Goldman added.The GWU report also offered a blistering criticism of Rossello and his government, saying there was “inadequate preparedness and personnel training for crisis and emergency risk communication.”These factors “decreased the perceived transparency and credibility of the Government of Puerto Rico,” the report said.Rossello said he takes responsibility for what happened as a result of the passing of the storm.“Yes, I made mistakes,” he said. “We could have done things differently.”The governor announced the creation of a commission that will start by working off the GWU recommendations to improve public health and safety as well as the creation of a registry of people considered vulnerable to future disasters. Rossello also said the commission would update Puerto Rico’s preparedness plans to endure stronger hurricanes.A memorial at the University of Puerto Rico to commemorate the lives lost because of Maria also is planned, the governor said.On Wednesday, Trump offered praise for the governor.“We’re still helping Puerto Rico, the governor is an excellent guy,” he said. “And he is very happy with the job we’ve done.”Goldman said assistance provided to Puerto Rico needed to include assistance to the island’s understaffed Department of Health.The GWU team plans to conduct a second phase of the study to better understand everything that contributed to the death toll. They’re looking for funding for additional phase.The study’s findings come after nearly a year of questions, uncertainty and political sparring over the human toll of the storm.Cruz tweeted following the release of the study: “The # of deaths 2,975 reinforces the pain inflicted on the people of PR and the violation of our human rights. THEY WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.”She added in the subsequent tweet: “I am sure the small minded will now compare studies and concentrate on the difference in #s. Remember, no matter the # thousands died.”“We need to come to terms with the fact,” Goldman told ABC News, “that these storms are getting bigger and there are more of them and we all need to be prepared for them.”On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the federal government will continue to support Rossello’s efforts “to ensure a full accountability and transparency of fatalities resulting from last year’s hurricanes — the American people, including those grieving the loss of a loved one, deserve no less.”“We are focused on Puerto Rico’s recovery and preparedness for the current Hurricane season,” Sanders said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

U.S. Marine Lieutenant from Camp Pendleton is missing after a 10-day ski trip

first_img1st Marine Division/Facebook(INDEPENDENCE, Calif.) —  A search-and-rescue team found the car belonging to a Marine, who did not come back from a scheduled back country ski trip in the central California mountains, according to the Inyo County Sheriff.First Lieutenant Matthew Kraft had a planned itinerary to take the Kearsarge Pass trail on Feb. 24 and was scheduled to end his trip on Mar. 4 or Mar. 5 near Bridgeport, California, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.Kraft’s father didn’t hear from his son, who is based in Camp Pendleton, on March 4 and contacted the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.“One of our Marines, 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, has been reported missing to local law enforcement after missing his return date from a recreational skiing and hiking trip on the Sierra High Route.” the division wrote on its Facebook page.After days of searching the trails, Kraft’s vehicle was located by Inyo Search and Rescue on Friday night near Lower Grays Meadows, that’s located near Independence, California, according to a press release issued on Saturday by the county’s sheriff.The rescue team deployed a snowcat “to rope-tow search and rescue team members on skis up to the Onion Valley parking area” ahead of another winter storm this this weekend, according to the press release.The search expanded with the Inyo County and Fresno County Sheriff’s Offices. A multitude of assisting agencies includes the California Highway Patrol, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, the Marines Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Fresno County Sheriff which providing aerial support, and the Air National Guard.Authorities are also looking for help from the public, asking anyone with information regarding Kraft’s case to call Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383, option 4; Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549, option 7; or Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-8400.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

News story: Civil Procedure Rule Committee: Open meeting 11 May 2018

first_imgDX 152380 Westminster 8Email: [email protected] to attend close on 27 April 2018Format of the meetingThe nature of the Committee’s work means that we cannot exactly say what topics will be under discussion. A full agenda, accompanying papers and further details will be sent prior to the meeting. Jane WrightPost Point 3.42Ministry of Justice102 Petty FranceLondon SW1H 9AJ The open meeting will take place on the above date at the Ministry of Justice, Petty France from 10am – 1.30pm. Guests will be observers only and not be able to participate in the Committee’s business or contribute to items in the agenda. However, there will be an opportunity at the end of the meeting for guests to ask pre-submitted questions to the Committee.AttendanceAccommodation is limited, so we are asking potential guests to complete a short application form (MS Word Document, 39KB) and return it to:last_img read more

Severe winter weather hits Greggs’ sales

first_imgWeak footfall caused by severe winter weather contributed to a like-for-like fall in Greggs’ sales during the first 18 weeks of the year.In its latest trading update the FTSE 250 bakery chain reported that like-for-like sales in company-managed shops were up 1.3%, but down from the 3.2% experienced during the first eight weeks of the year.Poor weather conditions in early spring, which had caused the temporary closure of some shops, was one of the reasons behind the weaker customer footfall that hit food-to-go trade in retail locations, the business claimed.Greggs said that average transaction values continued to grow, but it had seen a “reduction in like-for-like transaction numbers”.Overall, total sales for the 18 weeks to 5 May rose 4.7% – customers continued to recognise the quality and value of the company’s £2 breakfast offer, while hot food offer was another area of growing customer demand as it provided food-on-the-go options throughout the day, the business said.It added that sales of healthier options had continued to rise as it extended its menu choice – Greggs recently launched two new salads for the summer, Feta and Beetroot Dip with Grains & Lemon and Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Grains as well as a range of new snack pots and its first Balanced Choice sweet option, a Belgian Chocolate Pot.Altogether 36 shop refurbishments were carried out in the first 18 weeks of the year. There were also 41 new shops openings, including 14 franchised units in transport locations, with a focus on increasing the brand’s reach into new food-on-the-go locations as well as the relocation of existing shops.Westminster Tube station, Birmingham New Street station, Glasgow Buchanan bus terminal and East Midlands airport were among the most recent openings.Greggs closed 12 shops, giving a total of 1,883 shops trading at 5 May, comprising 1,669 company-managed shops and 212 franchised units. The business said it was making ‘good progress’ with the investments in its supply sites that would consolidate manufacturing operations and extend its distribution capacity to support further growth in shop numbers. Work was under way at sites in Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester and planning was well advanced for work that will commence in the second half of 2018 at other sites. “Sales in May have started more strongly than we experienced throughout March and April. However, given the uncertainties over market footfall we are cautious in respect of the outlook for sales in the balance of the year,” the trading update stated.“We are well positioned to compete for sales in the months ahead with the launch of our new summer menu featuring new sandwiches and salads and we will be extending our offer of value meal deals. Costs are being controlled tightly with food input cost inflation easing in line with our expectations, and we expect this trend to continue.“Taking into account trading conditions in the year to date, and our more cautious outlook, we currently believe that underlying profits for the year are likely to be at a similar level to last year.”last_img read more

Religion as social unifier

first_imgAs gods grew more powerful, Henrich said, they gradually were represented as being more interested in the day-to-day affairs of mankind and more willing to punish those who did not conform to social norms.And as the gods changed, so too did the rituals that played a key part of binding people to their faiths.Where small hunter-gatherer societies often used dance and moving in synch to help bind groups together, the shared belief in omniscient, powerful gods and rituals like Sunday services and prayer help unite larger communities of faith, Henrich said.‘We have evolved some basic cognitive abilities that allow us to represent and understand these supernatural beings.’ — Joseph HenrichSuch tight-knit societies eventually either were able to outcompete their neighbors — by sharing resources, growing faster, or fielding ever-larger armies — or they served as an example of their gods’ powers, and in attracting converts.“The key element is that there is an in-group pro-sociality,” Henrich said. “You are willing to support other members of your group … but that circle expands over time.”To understand whether and how belief in God might influence people’s behavior, Henrich and colleagues conducted experiments that took them to more than half a dozen locations around the world.“We went to eight societies and tested Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and others,” Henrich said. “What we did was give people a chance to essentially cheat at a game or to be biased toward themselves and their local communities over strangers from the same religious group.”At the beginning of the experiment, participants were given a number of coins, along with two cups, one for a distant person of the same religion, and the other for either themselves or a member of their community. Participants then selected one of the cups in their minds, and rolled a black and white die. If the die came up black, they placed a coin in the cup they’d mentally selected. If it was white, a coin went in the other cup.Importantly, Henrich said, the experiment is designed in a way that only the participants know whether or not they followed the rules. Using statistics, however, researchers were able to calculate how likely any outcome might be, and to understand how biased participants were toward themselves, a close member of their group, or a distant member of the same religion.“Based on interviews done later, what we found was how omniscient and punishing people believe their god to be — predicted how much they would cheat, essentially,” Henrich said. “Those who believed in more-punishing and more-knowing deities cheated less in favor of themselves and their local groups over distance co-religionists, although everyone cheated in favor of themselves or in favor of their local group a little bit. What this means is they were allocating more coins to a distant co-religionist, and expanding the social sphere.”While religion — and the cooperation it engendered — was likely a key factor in helping society reach the heights of modernity, its role is now gradually being supplanted by secular institutions.The job of enforcing ethical behavior, once the purview of a punishing god, now falls to the justice system, where crimes are punished not with damnation, but with prison sentences, Henrich said. There are plenty of things that make it possible for humans to live in large groups and pack into cities. New building techniques and materials, for instance, allow construction of high-rise buildings; plumbing delivers clean, fresh water and sewage systems that help to prevent diseases.One factor, however, is rarely included on the list: having one or more gods.In two studies published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology Joseph Henrich examined the notion that, by helping enforce ethical and cultural norms, belief in a powerful, omniscient God helped human societies quickly grow. Complementing that premise in a second study published in Nature, Henrich showed that people who believe in God are more likely to treat others fairly.“What we want to understand is how humans were able to scale up from being relatively small societies to larger groups very quickly,” Henrich said. “One answer is that religion can act as a kind of social technology that helped humans scale up and build large, complex societies.“If you look at the religion of very small-scale societies, like hunter-gatherers, there’s no intertwining between religion and ethics or morality,” he said. “There are supernatural agents, but they tend to be weak, they can be tricked, and they don’t have any power over the afterlife. It’s only over time that gods become increasingly concerned with human affairs. Gods that have control over the afterlife don’t appear until relatively late in human history.”Where did the concepts of those more powerful gods come from?“We have evolved some basic cognitive abilities that allow us to represent and understand these supernatural beings,” Henrich said. “Cultural evolution can then shape the details of what those gods care about and how powerful they are.” Related Study finds that the slower ‘eusocial’ system in nature offers high risks, high rewards Reproductive strategieslast_img read more