Tag: action

UK travel industry calls for urgent government action

Planes on the apron at London City Airport which has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb.
Planes at London City Airport. Photo: PA

UK travel group ABTA said the government is not doing enough to support the sector, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It criticised the government for “ever-changing quarantine rules and a dwindling number of destinations for holidaymakers to visit,” and demanded tailored support, including further grants.

ABTA said it is “vital that the Global Travel Taskforce launched this month to consider a testing regime, and other measures to support recovery of the travel industry, acts decisively and urgently to help increase consumer confidence and get the industry moving again.”

The taskforce was set up by the government and is meant to report to prime minister Boris Johnson no later than early November, setting out recommendations for how the UK can support the recovery of international travel.

According to new figures released by ABTA, only 15% of people took a foreign holiday between February and July 2020 compared to 51% over the 12-month period, and 64% the previous year.

READ MORE: EU gets approval to slap $4bn worth of tariffs on US imports in Boeing dispute

More than half (53%) of the people surveyed said they took fewer overseas holidays this past year compared to the previous year, with 87% of those saying they took fewer holidays because of coronavirus. 

Government restrictions were a contributing factor to a hesitation to travel, with 93% of people concerned about potential last-minute changes to foreign office travel advice and four in five people (80%) concerned about having to quarantine when they return to the UK.

The findings are from research based on a sample of 2,000 consumers and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2020.

Meanwhile, figures also revealed that more than half of people (52%) believe that the travel industry should reopen in a greener way. 

A new report by ABTA identified the sustainability challenges faced by the industry, including the need to accelerate decarbonisation and to ensure that tourism generates greater benefits for destinations and local communities.

READ MORE: Turbulent times ahead for airlines as UK travel quarantine measures kick in

Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s CEO said: “There is no doubt that people’s confidence and trust in the industry has taken a huge hit — and we must work hard to earn that trust back. Not only is that by being creative and flexible in terms of the holiday and customer experience we offer, but also by making sustainability a fundamental principle of travel.”

Earlier this week a survey was reported to show that nearly two-thirds (64%) of business leaders see domestic and international travel as “key to their future prospects.”

The research, commissioned by London City Airport, also indicated that 48% believe the government’s quarantine restrictions are the biggest barrier to business air travel.

In other news showing the toll the pandemic has taken on the travel industry, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz has quit the top job with immediate effect, to be replaced by

Continue reading

Communities can force government action to stop out-of-control wildfires

Every year, more of America’s forests burn. For months now, Americans throughout entire time zones have been inundated with ash and smoke from our woodlands, neighbors’ homes and ecosystems that will take years to recover.

Yet despite this predictable yearly carnage, the solutions our government can and should immediately take are lost among generalizations and talking points. Public officials on both sides of the aisle have lobbed excuses at each other over the “true” cause of these wildfires: “It’s bad forest management!” “No, it’s climate change!”

They are both right and they are both wrong.

Starting in the early 1900s, decades of flawed forest management led to the dangerous over-accumulation of forest fuel (dense forest brush and small trees). Then, in the past few decades, longer and more severe droughts made dangerously fire-prone forests literal tinder boxes where fires burned hotter, moved faster, grew bigger and posed ever-greater risks to forests, homes and lives. Our forests are burning uncontrollably today because of decades of questionable management and changing environmental conditions.

But it doesn’t matter whether it is 30 percent of one cause and 70 percent of the other, or a 50/50 mix of both. Because whatever has led to these conditions, our federal officials are 100 percent responsible for taking every reasonable step available to dramatically reduce fuel loads in our forests and making the land safe for residents, homeowners and wildlife.

This is because federally owned forests dominate our fire-prone landscapes, and Congress bears the largest share of the responsibility to make them safer. But federal legislators have handcuffed forest management staff with red tape and competing (often conflicting) priorities, all the while failing to fund the top priority, which should always be community safety. This has to stop, and Congress has the responsibility to make it so by reforming federal forest management policies to prioritize fuel reduction and make forests healthier.

Prioritizing fuel reduction means exempting fuel removal from the thicket of bureaucracy that impedes it. Things such as lengthy environmental reviews, multiple layers of planning documents, vetoes on fuel reduction by other agencies, ever-looming citizen lawsuits, and inadequate funding for proper forest management all have made the forests more dangerous and less healthy. Cutting and reforming these debilitating policies, and even removing forest fuel reduction from Endangered Species Act regulation (there are few greater risks to endangered wildlife than catastrophic fires), can have real, immediate impact on forest fire danger. 

Unfortunately, these obvious measures depend on Congress taking its responsibilities seriously and accomplishing rapid, bipartisan action. But communities at greatest risk of fire can’t wait while Congress dithers, so they should take matters into their own hands in the federal courts.

Local governments have the power to sue the federal government under public nuisance laws to force the feds to properly maintain overgrown forests threatening cities and towns. Just as a city can take action against delinquent property owners over a rundown property that poses a fire risk to a neighborhood, cities can take action against the

Continue reading

UK retail body steps up calls for government action on illegal pay

The UK’s largest retail trade body has stepped up its demands for urgent government action to end illegally low wages among garment workers in the UK, arguing that more than 10,000 people have been denied £27m in pay since July.

The British Retail Consortium and MP Lisa Cameron, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on textiles and fashion, have written to Priti Patel, home secretary, to repeat demands for the speedy introduction of a licensing scheme for UK-based textile manufacturers to safeguard factory workers’ pay.

It follows resurfaced reports of many garment workers being paid as little as £3.50 an hour, well below the national minimum wage of £8.72. The scandal has shaken fast-fashion retailer Boohoo, the largest buyer from Britain’s garment hub in Leicester, which is now scrambling to convince stakeholders it can clean up its supply chain after evidence of illegal work practices.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said the trade body had made similar calls in July backed by 50 cross-party MPs and peers as well as 40 retailers, which had not led to “any significant action from government to bring this injustice to an end — all the while garment workers are robbed of tens of millions of pounds in wages”.

The government on Sunday said it would respond to the BRC’s letter, sent on Friday, adding that it expected businesses to do “all they can to tackle labour abuse and exploitation in their supply chains”.

It said that it was “deeply concerned” by the reports of “illegal and unsafe working conditions for garment workers in Leicester”, and that perpetrators would face consequences “if evidence comes to light through the work of our new specialist task force, led by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority”.

Boohoo is not part of the BRC but has previously also urged the government to license factories that supply them and ensure they meet “their legal obligations to their employees”.

The BRC has proposed a “fit to trade” licensing scheme to protect workers from “forced labour, debt bondage [and ensure] payment of national minimum wage, VAT, PAYE, national insurance, holiday pay and health and safety”.

A licence to operate for clothing factories would encourage retailers to once again source from the UK, the organisation argued, after notoriously bad labour standards in manufacturing hubs such as Leicester have contributed to many companies shifting production abroad.

Last year, the HMRC investigated 3,400 businesses for underpayment of workers and identified more than £21m in wage arrears — less than the sum workers in Leicester have lost out on in the past three months, according to the BRC.

“Right now, we have an opportunity to create a more ethical and sustainable fashion manufacturing industry in the UK, providing better jobs and boosting the economy at a time when it is needed most,” said Ms Cameron.

“Without urgent action thousands more people face exploitation,” she added.

Source Article

Continue reading

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Reminds Investors of Looming Deadline in the Class Action Lawsuit Against Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG)

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz reminds investors of the upcoming October 13, 2020 deadline to file a lead plaintiff motion in the class action filed on behalf of investors who acquired Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (“Cabot Oil” or “the Company”) (NYSE: COG) securities between October 23, 2015 and June 12, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, click here to participate.

On July 26, 2019, the Company disclosed that it had received two proposed Consent Order and Agreements related to two Notices of Violation it had received from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in 2017 for failure to prevent the migration of gas into fresh groundwater sources in the area surrounding Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

On this news, the Company’s share price fell $2.63, or over 12%, to close at $19.16 per share on July 26, 2019.

On June 15, 2020, following a grand jury investigation, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office charged Cabot Oil with 15 criminal counts due to its failure to fix faulty gas wells, which polluted Pennsylvania’s water supplies through stray gas migration.

On this news, Cabot Oil’s stock price fell $0.67 per share, or 3.34%, to close at $19.40 per share on June 15, 2020.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that Cabot had inadequate environmental controls and procedures and/or failed to properly mitigate known issues related to those controls and procedures; (2) as a result, Cabot, among other issues, failed to fix faulty gas wells, thereby polluting Pennsylvania’s water supplies through stray gas migration; (3) that the foregoing was foreseeably likely to subject Cabot to increased governmental scrutiny and enforcement, as well as increased reputational and financial harm; (4) that Cabot continually downplayed its potential civil and/or criminal liabilities with respect to such environmental matters; and (5) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Cabot Oil securities during the Class Period, you may move the Court no later than October 13, 2020 to request appointment as lead plaintiff in this putative class action lawsuit. To be a member of the class action you need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the class action. If you wish to learn more about this class action, or if you have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to the pending class action lawsuit, please contact Frank R. Cruz, of The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, California 90067 at 310-914-5007, by email to

Continue reading

Rough sleepers in UK will die without government action, doctors warn

Rough sleepers will die this winter without urgent government action as coronavirus and cold weather create a terrifying double threat, doctors and campaigners have warned.



a group of people sitting at a dock: Photograph: Simon Dack/Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Simon Dack/Alamy

Homeless people face a dilemma between staying outside or squeezing into crowded shelters where Covid hygiene will be limited, the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners have told ministers.

Alongside charities including Crisis, Shelter and St Mungo’s they want a repeat of the “everyone in” policy adopted in March and April, when 15,000 homeless people were given emergency accommodation, including in hotels, saving an estimated 266 people from death, according to one study.

Related: ‘It’s like giving people a treat, then taking it away’ – the battle to stop another rise in rough sleeping

Prof Andrew Hayward, a member of the government’s Sage advisory group and director of UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, is among the signatories of a letter that says self-contained accommodation must be a priority. It cited a study from New York showing the risk of dying from Covid-19 for people staying in communal shelters was 61% higher than for the general population.



The alternative to the streets this winter may be crowded shelters where Covid hygiene is limited, doctors have warned ministers.


© Photograph: Simon Dack/Alamy
The alternative to the streets this winter may be crowded shelters where Covid hygiene is limited, doctors have warned ministers.

Prof Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “Without urgent action from the government to keep homeless people off the streets this winter, lives will most certainly be lost.”

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, said: “Predictions of deaths among people who have nowhere else to go, other than our streets, or sleeping in communal night shelters that are not Covid-secure, must act as a wake-up call to the government. We cannot have hundreds or even thousands of people forced to live in crowded places, where proper social distancing is impossible and the risk of coronavirus transmission is incredibly high.”

Related: UK distancing measures could leave homeless people out in cold, experts warn

The letter warns that funding packages for local councils to get people into safe accommodation are drying up. One study of people facing homelessness in London showed that levels of frailty were comparable to 89-year-olds in the general population, it said.

It follows a similar call by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who this week told the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, that the government was displaying “complacency and inaction”.

“With only weeks to go before shelters would normally begin to open, and with one having opened already in London, the government has neither published any guidance to the sector on communal sleeping nor made provision to fund Covid-safe alternatives,” Khan said in a letter.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it is working on operating principles so night shelters, which are currently closed, can be reopened as safely as possible when self-contained accommodation can’t be made available.

The spokesperson said: “Working with councils, charities and other partners we

Continue reading

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Reminds Investors of Looming Deadline in the Class Action Lawsuit Against Airbus SE (EADSY, EADSF)

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz reminds investors of the upcoming upcoming October 5, 2020 deadline to file a lead plaintiff motion in the class action filed on behalf of investors who purchased Airbus SE (“Airbus” or the “Company”) (OTC: EADSY, EADSF) securities between February 24, 2016, and July 30, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, click here to participate.

On March 15, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to internal documents related to the Company’s $4 billion bribery settlement, Airbus executives had previously raised red flags about fees paid to a number of middlemen working with its helicopter division, which was led at the time by the now-Chief Executive Officer, that may have violated global bribery and corruption rules.

On this news, Airbus ADRs fell $3.44 per share, or nearly 16%, to close at $18.46 per share on March 16, 2020, and Airbus foreign ordinaries fell $7.97 per share, or about 9%, to close at $77.75 per share on March 16, 2020.

Then, on July 30, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office had charged an Airbus subsidiary and three individuals with corruption in connection with a defense contract the U.K. had arranged with Saudi Arabia.

On this news, Airbus ADRs fell $0.67 per share, or about 3%, to close at $18.13 per share on July 31, 2020, and Airbus foreign ordinaries fell $2.85 per share, or about 4%, to close at $72.10 per share on July 31, 2020.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that Airbus’s policies and protocols were insufficient to ensure the Company’s compliance with relevant anti-corruption laws and regulations; (2) that, consequently, Airbus engaged in bribery, corruption, and fraud in order to enhance its business with respect to its commercial aircraft, helicopter, and defense deals; (3) that, as a result, Airbus’s earnings were derived in part from unlawful conduct and therefore unsustainable; (4) the full scope and severity of Airbus’s misconduct; (5) that resolution of government investigations of Airbus would foreseeably cost Airbus billions of dollars in settlements and legal fees and subject the Company to significant continuing government investigation and oversight; and (6) that, as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Airbus securities during the Class Period, you may move the Court no later than October 5, 2020 to request appointment as lead plaintiff in this putative class action lawsuit. To be a member of the class action you need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the

Continue reading

EU launches legal action against UK for breaching Brexit deal and international law | World

Since the UK government has not pulled this legislation, the Commission has written a letter of formal notice to the UK government, the first step in an infringement procedure — something the EU commonly uses when parties breach agreements with the union.

“The letter invites the UK government to send its observations within a month and besides this the Commission will continue to work hard towards full and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. We stand by our commitments,” von der Leyen concluded.

The move, though dramatic, was expected in London. The government had previously admitted that its Internal Market Bill would breach the treaty and break international law in a “very specific and limited way.” The government claims that the bill is a safety net to ensure seamless trade between the four nations of the United Kingdom in the event of a no deal Brexit at the end of this year and hopes it won’t have to use the legislation.

The backdrop to all of this is that trade talks between London and Brussels are entering their final phase. The last formal round of talks are talking place right now and an EU summit will take place on October 15, where negotiators hope a deal will be on the table for EU leaders to approve.

Both sides say a deal is in sight, but are struggling to reach an agreement on some key issues, most notably around the UK’s ability to use state aid in order to prop up British businesses. The EU says this could give British companies an unfair advantage over EU companies. There are also disputes over fishing rights and governance.

Source Article

Continue reading