Hero of South Africa Nelson Mandela dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, died Thursday. He was 95. Mandela was battling health issues in the last few months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalisations. Mandela's public appearances had become increasingly rare as he dealt with his declining health.

Nun gangraped by her cousins in India

In a most outrageous incident, a 28-year-old nun from Odisha's Kandhamal district was abducted and repeatedly gangraped for about a week by some persons in Odisha(India), police said on Sunday.

The police have arrested two persons, both cousins of the victim, after she filed a complaint in Brahmanigaon police station of the district, about 250 km south of Bhubaneswar.

180,000 children with a parent working in public sector'in poverty by 2015'

A new TUC analysis shows that an extra 180,000 children with at least one parent working in the public sector will end up in poverty due to government policies by 2015.A new Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis published today (24 June) of the impact of real wage losses and benefit changes on family income shows that an extra 180,000 children with at least one parent working in the public sector will end up in poverty due to government policies by 2015.According to the analysis, families where one parent works in the public sector and another works in the private sector see the biggest losses from government policies. Their average household income will be down around £100 a week in real terms by 2015 after taking account of the current public sector pay freeze and the combined impact of tax, tax credit and benefit changes (including Universal Credit).They are closely followed by families with parents who only work in the public sector who will lose on average £91 a week. Households with only private sector employees will lose out on average by £44 a week, says the TUC.These figures, drawn from a model constructed for the TUC by Howard Reed of Landman Economics, combine the impact of:* government tax and benefit changes compared to the system inherited from the previous government* private sector wage changes (using Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts) combined with the government's public sector pay policy.The research shows that 30 per cent of working families in the UK have at least one family member working in the public sector, with nearly half of all households (over 2.7 million) where someone in the public sector is employed also having a private sector worker.Of the 180,000 children with at least one parent working in the public sector who will be pushed into poverty by 2015, two in five live in two-earner households where one parent works in the private sector.TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:'Ministers like to play divide and rule by trying to pit private sector workers against allegedly well-paid public sector workers.'But these figures tell a very different story - 180,000 children with at least one parent who works in the public sector will fall below the poverty line thanks to government policies."And with almost one in three working families having at least one parent who works in the public sector, you would think that ministers would be more conscious of trying to win their votes, rather than punishing them with years of pay freezes and real terms pay cuts."The truth is that there are low and middle income workers in all parts of the economy and they are all are having a really tough time. But unless ordinary people have money in their pockets and the confidence to spend, the UK will never get the sustainable growth we need. That's why Britain – both public and private sector – needs a pay rise."[Ekk/4]

UN chief hails role of public service and good governance in development

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged countries to focus on the importance of good governance and efficient public administration.Marking United Nations Public Service Day on 23 June, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged countries to focus on the importance of good governance and efficient public administration and to celebrate the contribution of public servants to society's progress.“Addressing today's inter-linked challenges requires sound, forward-looking public policies and transparent, accountable governance structures that embody solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable,” Secretary-General Ban said in his message for the Day.He called on public servants around the world to work towards helping to build “an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future for all.”In 2002, the General Assembly designated 23 June as UN Public Service Day “to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community” and to encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.Member States are encouraged to organise special events to mark the Day that highlight the contribution of public service and public servants to effective, transparent and inclusive public governance.The Organisation is holding its annual UN Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony in Bahrain , to honour “creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions worldwide.” Held in the capital city of Manama 24 to 27 June, this year's events will focus on'Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All.'“The 2013 United Nations Public Service Awards show how public services can be delivered more efficiently, innovatively and equitably,” Mr. Ban said.“The winners demonstrate the basic ingredients for excellence: commitment and accountability, hard work and innovation, talent and technological know-how.”Winners of the Awards are chosen in the following areas: prevention of corruption; improving service delivery; promoting innovative mechanisms for citizen participation in policy-making; advancing knowledge management in government; and promoting gender responsive service delivery.[Ekk/4]

Russian human rights organisation faces eviction from premises

Russian police and agents of a private security firm are currently attempting to evict the prominent Russian civil society group For Human Rights.Russian police and agents of a private security firm are currently attempting to evict the prominent Russian civil society group For Human Rights from their premises in Moscow The activists are refusing to leave the office.For Human Rights has been involved in discussions with Moscow City authorities – its landlord – about the extension of the lease for some months, but maintains that it had not received any notice of the termination of their contract prior to eviction order presented today by the private security firm contracted by the municipal authorities.Amnesty International’s observer, who is currently witnessing the eviction, said: “In Russia, we have witnessed how authorities are using every trick in the box to stop human rights activists criticising their policies. The attempt to evict ‘For Human Rights’ from publicly owned offices seems to be yet another attempt to block their important human rights work.”The new law forces NGOs who receive foreign funding to register as an “organisation performing the functions of a foreign agent”. In recent months, Russian authorities have raided dozens of civil society organisations, imposed hefty fines on several of them and warned over thirty more.The organisation has been repeatedly targeted under Russia’s restrictive new NGO law passed in November 2012.[Ekk/3]

Unlock Democracy welcomes opposition lobbying motion

Following the initiative of the Scottish parliament on regulating lobbying, Unlock Democracy welcomed the opposition day motion at Westminster.Following the initiative of the Scottish parliament on regulating lobbying, Unlock Democracy has supported the opposition day motion at Westminster last week.The political reform group's deputy director Alexandra Runswick commented:"We welcome the lead being taken by Jon Trickett and the Labour Party on lobbying, amid drift and dither by the coalition government."She continued:"It is crucial that any statutory lobbying register covers all forms of lobbying, not just the activities by public affairs agencies. If this is not done then all that will happen is that the same activity will continue unmonitored either by in-house corporate lobbyists or via organisations such as think tanks and law firms."Sadly, the government currently appears determined that its bill will only cover an extremely narrow definition of lobbying and exclude the vast majority of the industry in the process."In association with Spinwatch, Unlock Democracy has now published its own draft of what a lobbying bill should look like. We believe we've been able to demonstrate that a register which is both comprehensive and workable is practical."The focus is now on the government and it's own legislation, which we understand is to be published in July,"concluded Ms Runswick.[Ekk/3]




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