56 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 1 June 2011 | News Seventy Lottery-funded projects from across the UK have been named as semi-finalists in this year’s National Lottery Awards, the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.Each semi-finalist has been shortlisted for the positive difference they have made with their Lottery money. The public is now invited to vote for their favourites until 20 June.There are seven categories in the Awards each reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts; sport; heritage; health; environment, education, charity and voluntary. The winning project in each of the categories will receive national recognition at an event later this year, broadcast on BBC One, as well as a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project.The three projects in each category with the highest number of votes will go through to the final round of public voting later this summer.www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Voting opens in 2011 National Lottery Awards About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Tagged with: Awards Community fundraising
21 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 9 September 2011 | News Tagged with: Awards Funding TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards close this week AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Entries to the 2011 TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards close this week. Run in partnership with Citizens Online, the initiative is an awards and funding scheme which recognises people who harness digital technology to bring about positive social change in their communities.With support from The Mirror and Race Online 2012 it offers people a chance to win funding for a new or existing digital project.Twelve projects from around the country will be awarded a £5,000 grant, with one overall winner getting £10,000. The winners are decided by a public vote, with an awards ceremony at the House of Lords in London.The deadline for entries is midnight on 11 September 2011.www.talktalk.co.uk/digitalheroes/ About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
Tagged with: Greenpeace Individual giving Membership regular giving 78 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 Greenpeace UK creates new regular giving product About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 Howard Lake | 4 September 2012 | News Greenpeace UK has introduced a new regular giving product called LiFE Supporter that encourages supporters to make monthly donations to help protect rainforests, the Arctic region and the World’s oceans.A UK-wide marketing campaign is underway to promote LiFE, using digital and social media, and Greenpeace’s in-house face to face fundraising teams.The new product, including its visual identity, web design and communications programme, have been created by Manchester digital agency Code Computerlove and advertising and direct marketing agency DifferentKettle.LiFE invites supporters to donate at least £6 a month, in return for which they will receive a limited edition print from Greenpeace’s collection of wildlife photography, a welcome pack and ongoing supporter communications, including Connect magazine, blogs and videos.Cathy Anderson from Greenpeace explained why the new product was developed. “We’ve developed LiFE Supporter”, she said, “to give our donors a greater understanding of what their donations will do and how they are protecting our planet and the life it supports. It is focussed around committed giving specifically to drive greater retention ofmonthly donors.”www.greenpeace.org.uk/donate/life
SHARE Previous articleWhat’s Next for Dicamba on the HAT Thursday Morning PodcastNext articleBayer Resolves Roundup, Dicamba Lawsuits USDA Communications Facebook Twitter Home Indiana Agriculture News Trump Administration Invests $86 Million in Rural Broadband Service in Eight States,… Facebook Twitter The Trump Administration today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $86 million in rural broadband service for 17,000 people and businesses in eight states.“Access to high-speed broadband internet, or e-Connectivity, is a cornerstone of prosperity anywhere, but especially in America’s rural communities,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to using all available tools and resources to increase e-Connectivity across rural America because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”USDA is providing loans to six telecommunications providers to build, expand and improve broadband services in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. One example of projects that USDA is funding through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program:The Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Cooperative is receiving a $19 million loan to install 355 miles of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology in the Buffalo and Star City exchanges in Indiana.Since October 2019, USDA has invested $744 million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to 172,000 households, 19,000 rural small businesses and farms, and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities in 34 states.The Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program is one of several USDA rural broadband programs. On April 20, 2020, USDA announced the department has received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in round two of the ReConnect Pilot Program. The second round will enable USDA to implement innovative new solutions to rural connectivity by leveraging financial options with our partners and continuing the success of the first round of funding. The application window for round two closed on April 15.USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. Trump Administration Invests $86 Million in Rural Broadband Service in Eight States, Including Indiana By USDA Communications – Jun 25, 2020 SHARE
ReddIt printThe Near Southside community, a pocket of Fort Worth, is on its way to making an even bigger economic impact in the city.This district has evolved into a vibrant and economically viable area, over the last decade in Fort Worth. The area has seen an increase in restaurants and retail, as well as growth in the city’s medical district.Representatives of Fort Worth South, Inc., a private non-profit development organization, said the community is continuing to grow as it preserves its historical charm.Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, Inc., said he and his staff have many goals to enhance the Near Southside district’s future.He said the growth of Fort Worth’s health care industry is contributing to the city’s – and the community’s – growing economy. The Near Southside is home to two major hospitals and two medical centers in the area.The new medical school partnership between TCU and the University of North Texas Science Center could also benefit the community, Paine said.“Our future, I believe, is tied to the UNT Health Science Center and their collaboration with TCU in offering an MD program,” Paine said.Paine said there is a county bond proposal to develop more than six acres of land John Peter Smith Hospital currently owns. The proposal includes building a 1o-story patient tower, psychiatric hospital and other renovations throughout the facility.“If all of that were to come together, I think that will take the Near Southside to a whole other level,” Paine said.Paine said he also believes the newly funded Hemphill and Lamar street connector will be complete by the end of 2018. This will give the Near Southside better connectivity to Downtown that it currently lacks, he said.Paine said he conducted an “economic impact analysis” of the hospital district in 2013. He said the results indicated the hospital generated $4.2 billion in Fort Worth each year.“If we continue to grow, we have the potential to be the largest economic driver, as a district, in the city of Fort Worth in five to 10 years,” Paine said. Bailey Kirbyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/bailey-kirby/ Friday on the Green provides music and fun for all ages Previous articleSpring football roundup: QB job still a mystery, new talent shinesNext articleTCUnderground promotes community and diversity through artistic expression Bailey Kirby RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Residents of Bluebonnet Place want to solve Bluebonnet Circle traffic issues Abortion access threatened as restrictive bills make their way through Texas Legislature City celebrates the grand opening of Zbonz Dog Park Linkedin Bailey Kirbyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/bailey-kirby/ Bailey Kirby Grains to grocery: One bread maker brings together farmers and artisans at locally-sourced store ReddIt Bailey Kirbyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/bailey-kirby/ + posts Twitter Linkedin Bailey Kirbyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/bailey-kirby/ World Champion runner forced to withdraw from Cowtown’s Ultra Marathon Facebook Twitter Facebook Fort Worth set to elect first new mayor in 10 years Saturday
Home Sales Housing Market Housing Supply RE/MAX 2015-01-21 Tory Barringer December home sales topped the previous month by a double-digit percentage, defying the usual slowdown brought on by seasonal influences, according to a survey of metros nationwide.RE/MAX reported that home sales activity jumped 14.4 percent nationally month-over-month December, a sharp reversal from November’s 22.5 percent drop. Compared to the same month in 2013, December sales were up 3.9 percent, making it one of only a handful of months in 2014 to see transactions improve on a yearly basis.Due on Friday is the National Association of Realtors’ monthly estimate of existing-home sales, which economists expect will show an adjusted annualized transaction rate of 5.05 million, based on a pickup in contract signings in November.”After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see the year end on a positive note. Even though we’re well into the winter months, homebuyers felt confident enough to enter the market in greater numbers than just one month ago,” said Dave Liniger, CEO, chair, and co-founder of RE/MAX.Out of 53 metro markets surveyed by RE/MAX last month, 42 reported higher sales on a year-over-year comparison, with 12 posting double-digit increases, the company said.Continuing the prevailing trend since early 2012, home prices also climbed annually, rising 5.9 percent over December 2013 to a median $196,000. On a year-over-year basis, the national median home price has increased for 35 straight months in RE/MAX’s survey.At the same time, price growth has fallen off by half from 2013 as rising inventory levels and slightly lower demand make for a cooler market.”[W]ith prices rising at a much slower rate than last year, sellers continue to increase their equity, while buyers don’t feel priced out of the market,” Liniger said.Despite the improving trend in inventory, supply remains constrained, falling 10.7 percent in December compared to the year prior and 11.4 percent compared to November. Inventory has increased sequentially in 14 of the last 20 months, with November and December both proving an exception to the pattern, RE/MAX said. Previous: Based on Recent Signs, Economists Say ‘More Robust’ Year for Housing Lies Ahead in 2015 Next: DS News Webcast: Thursday 1/22/2015 Tagged with: Home Sales Housing Market Housing Supply RE/MAX in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Home Sales Reverse November Decline, Jump 14.4 Percent in December Sign up for DS News Daily About Author: Tory Barringer Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington’s student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News’ sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home Sales Reverse November Decline, Jump 14.4 Percent in December The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago January 21, 2015 1,231 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Print This Post Subscribe
Top StoriesBreaking: [Tool Kit Case] Nikita Jacob, Shantanu Muluk, Shubham Kar Chaudhuri Withdraw Plea For Anticipatory Bail As Prosecution Agrees To Give 7 Days Advance Notice In Case Arrest Is Necessary Nupur Thapliyal15 March 2021 5:21 AMShare This – xA Delhi Court on Monday disposed of the anticipatory bail applications filed by Shantanu Muluk, Nikita Jacob and Subham Kar Chaudhuri in relation to the Greta Thunberg Toolkit case. ASJ Dharmender Rana disposed of the applications after the Applicants sought to withdraw the same on a condition that if the investigating agency finds their arrest is imminent and unavoidable, then…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?LoginA Delhi Court on Monday disposed of the anticipatory bail applications filed by Shantanu Muluk, Nikita Jacob and Subham Kar Chaudhuri in relation to the Greta Thunberg Toolkit case. ASJ Dharmender Rana disposed of the applications after the Applicants sought to withdraw the same on a condition that if the investigating agency finds their arrest is imminent and unavoidable, then 7 days advance notice be given; Whereby they can exercise their legal remedies. As the APP conceded to this request, the applications were disposed as withdrawn. During the hearing, the APP had expressed that the case is on an initial stage and there will be a need for custodial interrogation. The Deputy Commissioner of Police also expressed the need for custodial interrogation on the ground that the accused made false statement during investigation and also deleted certain incriminating materials before their phones and other devices were seized. “We are dependant on foreign companies for giving us information. Even though they deny they were not on zoom call, we will have to see. We will not like to have a situation where we are denied custodial interrogation at any stage,” the DCP told the Court. The Judge however insisted that the matter has to be disposed of today. ASJ Rana said, “You have to tell us right now, what are the incriminating material to tell us why the custody is sought. Give them the notice in case arrest becomes imminent, satisfy the court.”On being asked to take the call on the defence counsel’s proposal for withdrawal, the APP said, “if the investigating agency finds arrest of accused is imminent and unavoidable then 7 days advance notice be given.”Courtroom Exchange Arguments on behalf of Shantanu Muluk “Expressing solidarity is not only a right but also a duty for expressing your feelings,” Advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for Shantanu Muluk (a volunteer in the youth environmental collective— Extinction Rebellion organization). She emphasized that the so-called toolkit that is the subject matter of the case was merely a google document, containing information as to what protests are taking place across the country. She insisted that this information is readily available all over the internet and does not make out a case against Muluk. “I collate information available in public domain and made a map. Then I add a link for sample photos and videos of solidarity. I did not create any content,” she argued on behalf of Muluk. She insisted that if someone wishes to write to a Government representative, the alleged toolkit is a sample. “I cannot think of a more democratic form through which a citizen can express its disagreement. Pick up the phone and tell the representative,” she remarked. She pointed out that the impugned Tweets on farmers protest were merely driving attention towards a public issue. In fact, the Twitter handles that were tagged in the said tweets belong to the Prime Minister of India, the UN Human Rights, United Nations, UNCW. “Who am I tagging and what am I saying in these tweets? I am saying that there are internet shutdowns in the country and this might hamper the protection of women. They are saying we should have a speedy and peaceful resolution. Will it not be an appropriate thing to say? Even the CJI said it, newspapers are saying it, government is saying it. Tweeting on a public issue is not wrong. These are the tweets they are saying are incriminating. I am saying, what is objectionable about these!” she vehemently argued. Grover emphasized that in the impugned tweets, there is no question of inciting violence. “I am not even asking anybody to step out in the street, or to cause mobs, or to cause riots. I am only saying add your voice, let’s get this issue resolved. Where is the objectionable comment here!” she said. Grover relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Amish Devgan v. Union of India, to argued that it unequivocally held that making comments or raising slogans is not sedition. She added that Muluk did not have any role in sharing the toolkit. “Sharing the toolkit per se, as held by your lordship, is not an offence. The entire toolkit does not have a call for any violence, whatsoever,” she added. Grover further informed the Bench that Muluk has been cooperating with the investigation agency in every manner and hence, he is not required to be kept in custody. She submitted on behalf of Muluk, “Except for 4 days being Saturday Sundays and a Tuesday, I was summoned every day mostly around 10 30 and 11 and left around midnight. For 18 days I have joined investigation. If there is any material they had to unearth, I am available for interrogation. They have interrogated me rigorously.” She added, “I handed over my iphone with sim card, an iPad and a Dell laptop. During investigation they said they have interest in my mother’s phone. I handed over it to the police for the purpose of investigation. They asked me for passwords of my social media accounts. I gave them on the first date itself without any hesitation. They asked me 115 questions, I gave them comprehensive answers in writing. My bank details were asked including my parents. I have disclosed all of them. My passport and other details are also been given to them.” Grover further informed the bench that Muluk was even confronted with the other co-accused Disha Ravi and Nikita Jacob. However, there is no contradiction that has emerged. As a mark of Muluk’s cooperation with the investigating authorities, she also referred to a case registered against Muluk in 2019 in connection to participation in the Extinction Rebellion. She submitted that Non-bailable warrants were issued against Muluk in that case. However, the Bombay High Court granted him transit anticipatory bail and since then, Muluk continues to join the investigation. With respect to editing of the Toolkit, Grover submitted that Muluk did not touch the toolkit after January 18. She submitted, “It will be misleading and factually incorrect to say that I am the owner (of the toolkit). The access is to others to. They can change without my knowledge. That is the nature of the document It’s a verifiable fact that I have not written, edited or done anything to toolkit since 18th January. This is shown by the IP address. After this date I did not even touch the toolkit.” She added, “I added the texts to the cheat sheet but did not add any links to the document. Where they talk about genocide watch, this link is not added by me. This vague averment made here that the cheatsheet had a link is baseless. As a matter of verifiable fact by electronic evidence, the link was not added by me. In any case, genocide watch is an international organisation. I have not created it. All this has been confirmed in confrontation. My role ends here of the toolkit. I didn’t touch the document after 18th January ever again. I have no connection with PJF. How do we access the role today? I have not added anything about them. My focus was on farmers issue and farmer’s protest. After 18 January, no edits were attributed to the present applicant. This can be seen by the IP address. When edit is taking place, each person is free to edit in Extinction Rebellion.” So far as Muluk’s connection with the organisations like Sikhs For Justice, Poetic Justice Foundation, etc. is concerned, Grover submitted, “What is really my role in this case? There is an organisation called Sikhs For Justice which is a banned organization. I have no knowledge or communication with the said organization. Another organization named by them is Poetic Justice Foundation. It’s not a banned organization. I don’t have any connection with it. The only time I had an interaction with it was over a zoom call. Ask India Why campaign has been initiated by Poetic Justice Foundation, I am not denying it. But till then, nobody heard about the organisation in India. It’s not a banned organization till date. It was mentioned that farmers protest issue will be discussed.” Grover claimed that Muluk, along with a colleague, joined the Zoom call with the PJF on behalf of XR foundation (where Muluk claims to be a volunteer) on receiving a communication through Instagram. She added “I joined the zoom call in which around 70 to 80 people were present. I know nobody except my colleague. I am just a listener in the call. In that call, there are no remarks made about Khalistan or any secessionist. I don’t know who MO Dhaliwal is.” During the hearing, the Bench enquired as to the purpose of the Zoom call. Grover sought time to respond to this. Further, with respect to connections with Climate 2025 organixation, Grover said, “Climate 2025 is a registered private limited company in UK. If anybody does even a cursory Google search, the company has its own website which mentions the directors. This company does a 5-year change making mission. Extinction Rebellion is not an NGO but in order to pass the money, there has to be a proper channel. Extinction Rebellion is one of the clients of Climate 2025. I am a private limited company providing a corporate support to Extinction Rebellion. There is no anti national activity taking place. I am showing this because one of the ways of flagging a red rag in this country is to show some kind of foreign funding. I am a volunteer in the organization. I have repeatedly answered this during interrogation. We talk about role of people’s assemblies and citizens groups on varied issues, farmers issue being one of them.” Arguments on behalf of Nikita Jacob Senior Advocate Rebecca John argued on behalf of Advocate Nikita Jacob, also a co-accused in the matter. She submitted that Extinction Rebellion is a peaceful organization and has a global standing. She then submitted that Jacob participated in the above referred Zoom call with PFJ and also worked on the toolkit. “I am not saying I edited one or two lines, but I say I worked on it. My argument is, so what?” John remarked. She asked the Court, “What have I done? If we look at this, my role is I attended a zoom call where I didn’t know who was who. Assuming I did, because as a criminal lawyer, I assume the worst against myself. Your honor may take it that I participated in the preparation of toolkit. Your honor may take it that I edited the toolkit. Other than that, I did not take place in the protest. I do not know the other co accused (Shantanu Muluk). We never had a face to face interaction. We only met at the time of interrogation for the first time.” With respect to reference to Genocide Watch in the toolkit, John argued, “Anybody, our children, my learned friend can see what genocide watch does. It collates information. These kind of critiques about different countries, we don’t have to believe this. It’s an open website which can be accessed by anyone. Putting a hyperlink there, does not make it an issue.” She added that the toolkit cannot be viewed as a tool to incite violence. “What does this twitter template do? Some standard people are retweeting and liking it. Is this going to affect the sole and functioning of the republic of India?” John asked rhetorically. In conclusion, she submitted, “My participation in zoom meeting is not an act of criminal conspiracy. My participation in preparation of toolkit, your honor might go to the extent of saying that even my hyperlinking, is not an act of sedition.”She quoted from the judgment of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, “There are three concepts which are fundamental in understanding the reach of this most basic of human rights. The first is discussion, the second is advocacy, and the third is incitement. Mere discussion or even advocacy of a particular cause howsoever unpopular is at the heart of Article 19(1)(a). It is only when such discussion or advocacy reaches the level of incitement that Article 19(2) kicks in. ” She argued, “There are 2 stages, discussion and advocacy, both of which are not criminalized by the court. It’s only incitement which is criminalized. I am drawing an argument from this which is that we were on the stage of discussion and advocacy. There is not even an iota of evidence to show that there was incitement. The mere causing of annoyance, inconvenience, danger etc., or being grossly offensive or having a menacing character are not offences under the Penal Code at all.”On being enquired about the difference between discussion, advocacy and incitement by the bench, John replied, “Let us take it that these allegations exist. The act of making toolkit, the act of linking international websites, I ask myself, did it incite any violence? Did anyone who was arrested on 26th January say that they got incited by reading the toolkit? I am saying, between the time, anyone of us working on the toolkit, what action of mine caused the violence on 26th? Even post that? There was a sea of women who sat on the farmers protests.” Arguments on behalf of Subham Kar ChaudhuriAdvocate Soutik Banerjee appearing for Subham Kar Chaudhuri argued that the Government’s reply opposing the anticipatory bail plea is a cut paste of the allegations made against the other two accused persons. He submitted, “The State cannot cut paste the allegations. They have callously labelled the same allegations against me. I was not the part of the zoom call. I was not ever in communication with MO Dhaliwal. There is no record of me even passively being part of the group with these people. I am not the the active member of Ex R. I am just the south Asia liason for it. My work is just to coordinate because Ex R has a lot of chapters. I am not even required to be informed as to what one chapter does. That is my role in the entire Ex R network.” Banerjee further contended that Subham Jar did not even open or seen the toolkit. Further, the only role attributable to him of forwarding the link to certain people in Pakistan. However, there is no record of such communication. Defending Subham’s actions, Banerjee submitted, “As a liason person who forwards messages to a lot of people regarding chapters, I have a broadcast list on my Whatsapp. There is also a loudspeaker on the bottom of the message showing that it is a broadcasted message. So I am forwarding this link to every person, not just Pakistan. Merely forwarding a message to a person in Lahore, Pakistan and Islamabad does not make me accused of anything. The people who have received it are young people and women in Pakistan. Mere communication from people of Pakistan is not a crime. Even our PM talks to their PM on his birthday.”Government’s response Opposing the anticipatory bail plea for Shantanu Muluk, APP Irfan Ahmed argued that as per the applicants, they are very noble persons. However, that does not permit them to do illegal things. “It is your case that you went to express solidarity but your hidden agenda is to provoke people against India,” Ahmed remarked. He pressed that that “attempts to bring dissatisfaction towards the government of India” will amount to Sedition under Section 124A of IPC. He submitted, “I have the intention to kill someone, then it also has a lot of stages including preparation. Once I put the finger on trigger for killing a person, even if the person is not hit, then also it’s an attempt. State is a sovereign. You cannot criticise it. Sikhs of Justice is a Sikh dissent organization. You are saying something against the government.” Referring to the hashtags used in the impugned tweets, the APP argued, “This evergreen message is not stopped here. They say even if the laws are repealed, the message should be there. This creates doubts.” Unconvinced, the Court asked, “What if they are moved by Gandhian approach and want to keep the movement alive? What is wrong in it?” At this juncture, APP submitted that the applicants were attracting people by making false claims that the Indian Government is killing and suppressing people. “What is the intention of you to write this? When they have come to know that person’s are not dead, they start making amendments. they have edited. What is the need of correcting? Why you created such thing that people were dead. you wanted to create a facade. we all have seen how tractor was being dragged. You are a person who has done all this. Even if you have corrected, you have created data that 100s were injured. This gives your intention, to give something to the people they may believe. We are giving special emphasis to social media. You should be 100 times careful,” he argued. APP informed the Bench that when Muluk was asked as to whether any monetary support was received by him, he specifically denied saying “no, never”. However, when he was confronted, it was discovered that he received 600 UK pounds. “This money is coming from Jeddah. It is not directly coming from England but the headquarters of foreign exchange is from Jeddah,” the APP said. At this juncture, the Court expressed dissatisfaction at the State counsel’s arguments. It said, “you leave so many gaps for me. You mentioned Jeddah, I was expecting you will be coming on further points. We need to be fair to both sides. Is there anything wrong for adopting same course of action against them also?” ASJ Rana added, “you said the investigation is on a very initial stage. There is a situation that arrest might become imminent. At this stage, there are 2 options available with you. First is that you put sufficient material on record. On that basis either bail will be given or rejected. If it is rejected, then the evidences you are looking for will not come because you say it is very initial stage. So why not you put material on record and show the arrest is imminent.” The APP responded “If a person goes to police station with Anticipatory Bail then the outcome will be different. Court: if you have already taken a court, then the issue is over. Why we want the custody is that he had provided his mobile but he kept deleting his iCloud. He changed it and therefore we could not take the documents.” The Court then said, “So how can you now take them? You will have to satisfy us. You cannot be granted custody to instil fear.”To this, the Deputy Commissioner of Police responded that Muluk has been deleting the data from his devices which one, shows the antecedents and two, is consuming time for the authorities to investigate the matter. He submitted, “This investigation is being done by the Cyber crime unit of Delhi Police. Almost the entire activity of creating the document was done online. We have around 6-7 applications used, including Zoom, Google, Signal, Telegram etc. It is important to highlight that the owner decides who can edit the document. It’s the owner’s responsibility to regulate the conduct of editors. we have already asked twitter about the instances where false contents were posted. We could get a few of them and they are annexed. We also have Instagram and Facebook including mail services. All are based abroad and it takes time to obtain information. In fact, the USP of Telegram etc is very restricted as far as sharing contents is concerned. We rely on the device to get the information. In this case unfortunately the period provided was used by accused persons in deleting data. He has accepted that also. Entire logs from July onwards from his devise were deleted. He deleted specific photos on the day he was in Delhi when violence happened. The location data is also deleted. These were the data present in an encrypted form protected by passwords. We have asked the applications to get us the data but it takes time. This is the antecedent we are talking about. Not only that, he was using apple device. That Ipad he was continuously using was clean without any data. Even the iCloud account was changed. There will be some remnant of data after being delete also. But even that was changed. There is no account in the device. He has deleted data, taken all measures to remove the incriminating details of his conduct during his stay in Delhi.”Edited by Akshita Saxena Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Dec 15, 1:54 pmSocial gatherings, not school, more often linked to cases among kids: CDC report A new CDC report found that children were more likely to get COVID-19 at a social gathering without masks or distancing than at school.The CDC said the study found that children and adolescents with COVID-19 “were more likely than were similarly aged participants who had negative test results to have had reported close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 and less likely to have had reported consistent mask use by students and staff members inside the school facility.”ABC News’ Sony Salzman and Adjoa Smalls-Mantey contributed to this report.Dec 15, 12:35 pmNearly 2.9 million cases in US this month, hospitalizations continue to surgeThe U.S. has recorded nearly 2.9 million cases in the first two weeks of December and is on track to become the worst month on record for COVID-19 cases, according to ABC News’ analysis of data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project.Hospitalizations have surged to unprecedented levels, with over 110,000 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country — a record high for the ninth consecutive day.Nearly 40,000 people are currently hospitalized in the South, which has surpassed the surge from the summer. ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.Dec 15, 12:35 pmFDA authorizes 1st over-the-counter, at-home testThe FDA has authorized the first at-home COVID-19 test that doesn’t require a prescription and provides results within 20 minutes. The Ellume COVID-19 Home Test is an antigen test that detects fragments of proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus on a nasal swab and then reports results to your phone. “Today’s authorization is a major milestone in diagnostic testing for COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement. “By authorizing a test for over-the-counter use, the FDA allows it to be sold in places like drug stores, where a patient can buy it, swab their nose, run the test and find out their results in as little as 20 minutes.”The test “correctly identified 96% of positive samples and 100% of negative samples in individuals with symptoms,” the FDA said. “In people without symptoms, the test correctly identified 91% of positive samples and 96% of negative samples.”The company says it will deliver 20 million at-home tests, which are manufactured in Australia, to the U.S. in the first half of 2021. ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.Dec 15, 11:08 amNurses from 3 California hospitals threaten to strikeNurses in some hard-hit Southern California communities are planning a strike in response to alleged conditions including: “aggressive rationing” of personal protective equipment and dirty PPE, insufficient testing for staff and patients, full shifts without a break, and not enough housekeepers, leading to poor sanitation.The 10-day strike, set to begin Christmas Eve, will take place at Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Riverside Community Hospital and West Hills Hospital & Medical Center.These hospitals are in Riverside, Los Angeles and Ventura counties — all hard-hit by the pandemic.Riverside County’s intensive care unit capacity fell to almost 0% on Monday, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported. Overall, the Southern California region’s ICU capacity stood at 2.7% on Monday.Dec 15, 9:59 amKentucky doctor who was among 1st to be vaccinated warns against ‘false sense of security’A Kentucky doctor who was among the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial this week encouraged others to get immunized as soon as possible but also warned against any “false sense of security.”Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, who primarily works with hospitalized COVID-19 patients at University of Louisville Health in Kentucky’s largest city, said she was elated to find out that she would be one of the first five Americans to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was authorized for emergency use in the United States last week.“I tear up just thinking about it because I finally felt like we had something, that we had one leg up on this nasty virus that doesn’t care, that wants to hurt everybody, hurt my loved ones,” Briones-Pryor told “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.Briones-Pryor said she feels fine and immediately returned to work after receiving the shot on Monday but is continuing to practice public health measures.“Because I know that the rest of the community and my colleagues still haven’t received the vaccine yet, my patients haven’t received the vaccine yet, the more important it is that I stay vigilant about masking, social distancing, washing my hands and not being cavalier with what I do,” she said. “Just because we have the vaccine, we still have to do the right thing.”“You still want to set an example for others, because there’s a false sense of security that I’m vaccinated,” she added. “But I can still carry things around.”Dec 15, 8:55 amNurse and single mom becomes first in New Jersey to get vaccineMaritza Beniquez celebrated her birthday Tuesday by becoming the first person in New Jersey to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.Beniquez, a nurse at University Hospital in Newark who is a single mother and first-generation Puerto Rican, clasped her hands in prayer as she was administered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on live television.“Thank you, God!” she said. “I’m very excited. This moment means everything.”Dec 15, 8:19 amFauci calls vaccine rollout ‘bittersweet,’ saying, ‘we still have a struggle ahead’Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country is “bittersweet” because “we still have a struggle ahead of us.”“We are still in a terrible situation with the numbers … the deaths, the hospitalizations, the number of cases,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Tuesday on Good Morning America.“And yet, we’re really now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is going to ultimately get us through this. We know we’re going to be able to put this behind us,” he added. “But in the meantime, we still have a struggle ahead of us. So we’ve got to get people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as we possibly can.”Fauci said he believes 75% to 80% of the U.S. population will need to be vaccinated in order to achieve a “herd immunity” against the novel coronavirus. Until then, he said, “we have to adhere to the public health measures in order to blunt the acceleration of these terrible numbers that we hear everyday.”Fauci, who is a key member of the current White House coronavirus task force, said the speed with which the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was developed and authorized “was not at all at the sacrifice of safety,” but rather is “the reflection of extraordinary advances in the science of vaccine platform technology.”“People are understandably skeptical about the speed,” he added, “but we have to keep emphasizing, speed means the science was extraordinary that got us here.”Fauci, who will stay on in his role and be a chief medical adviser on the coronavirus pandemic in President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration, said he believes both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should get vaccinated as soon as possible.“For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,” he said. “You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January, so that would be my strong recommendation.”When asked about whether he thinks President Donald Trump should be vaccinated, Fauci said he would recommend that Trump as well as Vice President Mike Pence get the shot.“You still want to protect people who are, you know, very important to our country right now,” he said. “Even though the president himself was infected and he has likely antibodies that likely would be protective, we’re not sure how long that protection lasts. So to be doubly sure, I would recommend that he get vaccinated as well as the Vice President.”Dec 15, 7:39 am‘No side effects for me,’ says nurse who was among first Americans to get vaccineThe New York nurse who was among the first in the nation to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial said she feels “great” so far and has “no side effects.”“I feel great,” Sandra Lindsay told ABC News’ Robin Roberts in an interview Tuesday on Good Morning America.“No pain, no feeling of tiredness, no malaise,” she added. “No muscle aches. No side effects for me.”Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York City, was administered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on live television Monday. She was the first person in the state of New York to get the shot outside of a clinical trial.“I volunteered,” she said. “I am a leader in the organization, and so I think it as incredibly important for me to lead by example like I do everyday.”Lindsay said she wanted “to send a message to people who might be on the fence that they should trust the science.” She said people who were initially hesitant about getting the vaccine, including some coworkers, have since reached out to tell her how much she inspired them.“The vaccine is safe. What is not safe is contracting COVID-19,” she said. “So that was my reason, and I hope that just continues to resonate with people.”Dec 15, 6:45 amSouth Africa tightens restrictions furtherSweeping new restrictions came into force across South Africa on Tuesday morning, as the country looks to curb a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections ahead of the holidays.All post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited nationwide. All other gatherings, including for religious purposes, are limited to a maximum of 100 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue must not exceed 50% capacity.A national curfew has been extended and will now be from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. The curfew will remain in full effect over the holidays. Bars and restaurants across the country must close by 10 p.m. so their employees can return home before curfew.Beaches along the country’s eastern coast and public parks in areas with the highest number of infections have been shuttered. Live music and performances have also been banned. Meanwhile, alcohol sales are now permitted only between Monday and Thursday at retail stores.South Africa, which has so far confirmed more than 866,000 total cases of COVID-19, has seen a spike in infections since the beginning of December. The number of reported cases has been recently hovering around 8,000 per day, up from from around 3,000 per day in November.“Given the rate at which new cases have grown over the last two weeks, there is every possibility that if we do not act urgently … the second wave will be more severe than the first wave,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address Monday, while announcing the new rules.Dec 15, 5:51 amLondon to move to tightest COVID-19 restrictionsLondon and other parts of England will move into the country’s highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions amid rising infections, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced Monday.The British capital, along with most of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire, will be moved from England’s “high alert” Tier 2 to the “very high” Tier 3 on Wednesday morning at 12 a.m.“Over the last three weeks we’ve seen very sharp exponential rises in the virus across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire,” Hancock said while announcing the decision in Parliament.Under the Tier 3 level of local restrictions, all hospitality venues including bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants must close except for takeout and delivery services. Sports fans also can’t attend events in stadiums. Indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, cinemas and theaters, must also remain shut. However, retail shops, gyms and hair salons can stay open.Londoners, who are already unable to mix indoors with people from other households under Tier 2, will now not be able to meet in private gardens or at most outdoor venues except with those within their household or bubble. They may meet up to six people in other outdoor spaces such as beaches, parks, public gardens and sports facilities.Hancock said a new variant of the novel coronavirus has been identified and “may be associated” with the rapid spread in southern England. London’s weekly case rate at 225 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people is currently the highest regional rate in the country.“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant, but no matter its cause, we have to take swift and decisive action, which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccines roll out,” he said.Although London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the decision was “incredibly disappointing for businesses who have suffered so much already,” he also acknowledged that “the virus is accelerating.”“It would be such a tragedy to lose even more people to this disease when the vaccine is now being rolled out across our city,” Khan said in a statement Monday evening. “We know from bitter experience that when cases start to rise quickly, it’s much better to act early, rather than too late. This is how we can avoid even tougher restrictions, for longer, further down the road.”Dec 15, 4:13 amUS reports over 193,000 new casesThere were 193,454 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the 42nd straight day that the U.S. has reported over 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. Monday’s tally is less than the country’s all-time high of 231,775 new cases confirmed on Dec. 11, according to Johns Hopkins data.An additional 1,441 deaths from the disease were also registered nationwide on Monday, bringing the cumulative count past the 300,000 mark. Monday’s death toll is down from a peak of 3,300 fatalities on Dec. 11, according to Johns Hopkins data.A total of 16,519,628 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 300,482 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, IVAN PEREIRA and ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 73 million people and killed over 1.6 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news developed Tuesday. All times Eastern:Dec 15, 8:15 pmMidwest sees drop in daily cases, hospitalizationsWhile the United States continues to see rising numbers of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 or dying from the disease, one part of the country appears to be showing some progress, according to data collected and published by The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the U.S. outbreak.Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high of 112,816 on Tuesday, while 189,783 new cases of COVID-19 and 2,918 deaths from the disease were reported nationwide. The country’s seven-day averages for COVID-19 hospitalizations — 109,031 — and deaths — 2,472 — were also record highs, according to The COVID Tracking Project.However, the data showed progress in the Midwest, with states like Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin seeing a decline in reported cases over the past month, according to The COVID Tracking Project.“In the Midwest, current hospitalizations have continued to fall. As the other regions keep rising, the Northeast or West could soon have the most hospitalizations per capita,” the group wrote on Twitter Tuesday.Dec 15, 8:00 pmUS deaths see 11% increase from last week: HHSThe number of coronavirus-related deaths saw a major increase over the last week, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News.Between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15 there were 17,247 new fatalities reported, which marked an 11.4% increase from the previous week, according to the memo.During that same seven-day period, the country recorded 1,494,763 new cases, which marked an 8.7% jump from the previous week, HHS said.Roughly 23% of all hospital inpatients have COVID-19, the memo said. The all-time peak was 24%, according to HHS.About 30% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled, according to the memo.-ABC News’ Josh MargolinDec 15, 5:24 pmNew Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be without revelersLike the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City Marathon and other iconic events in 2020, New Year’s Eve in Times Square will take place this year without the crowd, the Times Square Alliance announced Tuesday.The program will take place minus the 1 million people that ordinarily cram the Crossroads of the World to watch the ball drop.But the celebration, hosted by actor Jonathan Bennett, will still be held virtually and the ball will still drop at midnight.The featured musical performance, befitting a year like this, will be Gloria Gaynor singing “I Will Survive.”The program will honor health care workers, “representing resounding resolve and a determined spirit, at a time when the world collectively awaits a renewed beginning,” Tim Tompkins, with Times Square Alliance, said in a statement.ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.Dec 15, 2:50 pmCalifornia in ‘most intense surge to date’California is in the middle of its “most intense surge to date,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.The 14-day positivity rate has climbed to 10.7% — the highest since the first few weeks of the pandemic, Newsom said.California reported another 142 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. One month ago, the seven-day average for daily deaths was 41. Now, the seven-day average is 163 lives lost per day, he said.The state’s coroners mutual aid and mass fatality program — a statewide system that aides local coroners and sheriffs during mass fatality events — has been activated, the governor said. He said 5,000 additional body bags have been ordered.Hospitalizations are also on the rise. Newsom said intensive care unit admissions have jumped 54% in the last two weeks.Hospitals in the state’s San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions are especially strained, with ICU availability at 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively.ABC News’ Alex Stone and Cammeron Parrish contributed to this report.
The story of detention within the UK is rife with such inconsistencies. For instance, the Home Office claims to follow what it calls the ‘Hardial Singh’ principles. These principles state that detention can only be used when the Secretary of State “intends to deport the person”. The length of the period of detention must be “reasonable in all the circumstances”, and “if it becomes apparent that the Secretary of State will not be able to effect deportation within a reasonable period, they should not seek to exercise the power of detention.” However, on 30th June 2012, the United Kingdom Border Agency reported at least 174 cases where migrants were kept at immigration removal centres for over a year. There are even reports of detainees being kept for up to six or seven years. Clearly, there is a discrepancy between policy and practice. There are further discrepancies regarding the Home Office’s policy on the detention of vulnerable people. Rule 35 of the ‘Detention Centre Rules 2001’ was designed to prevent torture victims being locked up in all but exceptional circumstances, but the general consensus among campaigners and detainees is that it doesn’t work. An audit of its effectiveness by the Home Office found that only 9 per cent of Rule 35 reports led to release. More damning evidence against the efficacy of Rule 35 is revealed in a report by Medical Justice, who assessed the cases of 50 torture victims (verified as such by independent doctors). Of the 50 victims, only one person was released through the Rule 35 process. Furthermore, six people within the sample were hospitalised from going on hunger strike, and eight attempted suicide; the report concludes, “Whilst Rule 35 is presented as a safeguard, its successful implementation is trumped by wider political and economic goals, thus making it little more than a fig leaf.” We spoke to Ameena, who was detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC for five months. She told us how, on arriving in the UK, she immediately sought asylum in London, and after giving her story to immigration officers, was detained the very same day. “I was without a lawyer or interpreter, and my English at the time was poor,” she explained. “I had to do the whole thing alone. My case involved FGM, which I had to discuss with a man. I had never discussed it with a man before, and for me it was terrifying.” Although the UN recognises FGM as torture (meaning that by the Home Office’s very own guidelines, Ameena should not have been detained), the process went ahead anyway. She told us, “My five months in the detention centre was the worst experience of my life. I was treated like a criminal – even though cutting girls is illegal here, and I was a victim.” Talking about the psychological damage her detention incurred, Ameena explained how “every day I thought about the sick people, the mentally ill, the people who had been there for years, and I thought to myself: is this going to happen to me?”One day, Ameena was told she was allowed to remain in the country. “Since I left I’ve been receiving counselling and taking medication. I think about that place every single day.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%11168%%[/mm-hide-text] Ameena’s case isn’t rare. Research by Women for Refugee Women has investigated the impact detention has on women in particular. Their report found that 85 per cent of detained women they spoke to had previously been raped or tortured.Shockingly, there is evidence that such abuse extends into the detention centres themselves. In 2013, a detainee from Yarl’s Wood called Tanja came forward with claims that she had been sexually abused at the detention centre. In one case, she was made to perform sex acts on guards who were “well aware that I did not want to”.Shortly after these allegations were made, three more women came forward with cases corroborating Tanja’s. Serco, the private-sector company that runs Yarl’s Wood, denies the allegations. However, they did admit to dismissing a male member of staff for “inappropriate behaviour with a resident”, after an incident was captured on CCTV. [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%11162%%[/mm-hide-text] We’ve gathered outside the Cherwell District Council offices in Bodicote, just south of Banbury. Local councillors are about to decide on whether a proposal to more than double the capacity of Campsfield House Immigration Removal centre will go ahead. Although the rain has been coming down all day, and the small parish takes over an hour to reach by bus from Oxford, the turnout is impressive: campaigners from across the country have gathered to express their animosity towards plans to expand a centre frequently accused of human rights violations by organisations such as Amnesty International. Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre, or ‘Campsfield House’, as it is innocuously signposted on the Woodstock Road, has a maximum detention capacity of 216. Converted from a youth detention centre in 1993, the private outsourcing company Mitie won a £27m contract to run the centre through its ‘Care and Custody’ subsidiary in 2011.Since then, the Campsfield centre has incurred a fire, a suicide, and at least three major hunger strikes. A recent Corporate Watch feature reports, “There were no sprinklers installed, despite repeated advice from the fire brigade, and despite the fact that Mitie claims to specialise in fire safety.”Under the current proposal, the centre would have its maximum capacity increased to 560, a plan which has received widespread condemnation from, amongst others, the Deputy Prime Minister.But opposition to the expansion of Campsfield, and detention centres more generally, goes further than merely disdain for the mistreatment of immigrants within them. There is also a problem with numbers. Of those detained in the UK, an increasing proportion are being granted leave to remain here. The exact figure is 45 per cent of those detained in the year 2014, compared to 35 per cent in 2010.This is in spite of a trend of increased hostility towards immigrants by the coalition government within the same period. Given the fact that these centres exist for the express purpose of immigrant removal, this should mean a reduced demand on them – yet, incongrously, they are being expanded.Moreover, this is costing the taxpayer £37,000 per detainee per year.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%11167%%[/mm-hide-text] While the Home Office looks to ignore the pleas of detainees like Usman, members of the Campaign to Close Campsfield have been protesting the centre since before it was built.When we visited two members of the Campaign, Liz Peretz and Bill McKeith, it was clear that we’d come during a particularly busy period. Bill was on the phone to a lawyer in London, penning a letter to Cherwell District Council to attempt to get them to reconsider the proposed expansion of Campsfield.According to Liz, the “official” reason behind the proposal is that the government has recently employed a great deal more immigration officers who will be carrying out increased checks on more families, and need somewhere to warehouse the anticipated influx of people on the way to being deported. “However, we think it is a very muddled picture,” she added. “It’s quite likely to be the private firms, like Mitie, that have encouraged the Home Office to ‘modernize their stock’ of Detention Centres. This bears absolutely no relation to the other set of arguments that are going on in Parliament as we speak, that there should be a time limit on detention. “If you could get a time limit on how long someone could be detained for, you wouldn’t be looking at how you can expand the stock – you’d be looking at contracting it.” Second to Greece, the UK has the largest number of detained people in Europe, and Liz believes that there is a psychological component to the Home Office’s detention policy. However, detention as an act of “muscle-flexing” by the government, she explained, “just doesn’t work. The Home Office’s own statistics show that more people are coming over than ever before: war and conflict and poverty all over the world won’t just disappear!” However, a former detention custody officer at Campsfield firmly believes that the centre’s existence is justified by it being a successful deterrent for prospective immigrants. Asked to elaborate on his former role, he tells us, “I did security: I prevented people getting out, as well as getting in.” Although he considers that he did the most he could to help detainees when he worked there, he believes there is only so much one can do. “If you helped them too much you became targeted,” he explains. “You become known for being sympathetic, and you get more and more people coming to you for help.” His story corroborates an anecdote shared to us by Liz from another detention centre within the UK. The immigration officers who deported the smallest percentage of their cases, she told us, had a white monkey put on their desk. Interested in finding out more about life inside Campsfield, we visited a detainee at the centre to get a first-hand account from this near-mythologised institution. Upon entering, we were thoroughly searched, and after passing through six metre high gates, had our fingerprints and photos taken. Usman, who was nearing the end of his third month at Campsfield, had agreed to talk to us.Describing life inside, he tells us, “I’m lucky in that I’m not sharing a room with anyone. Earlier, I was sharing with several others. A lot of the rooms contain three or four people, all crammed inside a tiny living space. Some rooms squeeze in as many as six people.” Usman earns £1 an hour working in the centre’s shop for visitors, and is allowed to earn a maximum of £21 a week. The money is needed to pay for extra food throughout the day, as the meals provided “are not enough for one person”.Describing a typical day of food, he lists, “bread and milk in the morning, chips or white rice with soup, or a chicken burger for lunch. Dinner is often curry; I’d like some more fruit or vegetables.” Usman is critical of the medical help available to him and his fellow detainees. “The other day I was feeling run down and the only help I got was the nurse telling me to wear a jumper and a hat. There seem to be huge limits to what help they can and can’t give us.” Usman describes the mental state of detainment as “constant torture”. “I feel my mental health deteriorating; I’m already losing my memory. Someone I know who was in here for 16 months now has lasting mental problems from his detainment. Another guy who was only 19 years old finally got out, then passed out at Oxford Station. The idea of freedom made him feel dizzy.” Some detainees are led to self-harm, Usman tells us. “A lot of people put in confinement as a result of ‘bad behaviour’ hit themselves to get out of it. One guy’s in hospital at the moment after swallowing a razor blade.” Usman’s friend explains to us how his nephew was detained several years ago. “Back then, though, there were much better detention conditions, and he wasn’t detained long. There was a gym he could use, the rooms were all singles, he was even allowed to learn IT skills while he was there! I was very shocked when I first came to visit Usman.” “It’s worse than prison here,” Usman interrupts. “At least in there you know how long you have left in your sentence. I’m not a criminal, we are not criminals, and yet we’ve been put through this process where we don’t know whether we’ll be forced to leave tomorrow. “They told me I was being deported three times without it actually happening. The last time, I said goodbye to my friends and family. My wife was crying, I was extremely depressed, and then I get a call saying they’ve messed up the travel documents. I have no idea what’s going on until the last minute.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%11170%%[/mm-hide-text] Usman believes he will finally be deported next week. “I’ll be back to square one, as though the past ten years never happened,” he says. Such attitudes show a callous disregard for the realities which asylum seekers face with deportation, which in many cases entails death. This prospect made a significant im- pression on us when we spoke to a campaigner called Ade, whose boyfriend is seeking asylum within the UK, and has been in detention for 11 months since his appeal. His boyfriend is from Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal, and, in some areas, punishable by death. “If they send him back to Nigeria, they will kill him,” Ade tells us with the sombreness of a person faced with the prospect of losing a loved one. With so much at stake in Ade’s boyfriend’s appeal, the policy of “guilty until proven innocent” – the asylum application process as Liz describes it – is in an even more obvious and urgent need of reform.After 20 minutes outside the Council’s offices, we were told that we could observe the meeting from the public gallery. We filed in, only to leave ten minutes later, the councillors having voted to defer their decision to the next meeting after receiving the letter from Bill. Reaction to the decision was mixed: on the one hand, Campsfield would not be expanded today, but on the other, the campaign would have to maintain its momentum if it hoped for a better outcome next time. While it is heartening to see so many people mobilised, these protests can only hint at the severity of the UK’s detention situation, which is putting thousands of people every year through “the very worst kind of mental torture”. Some of the names in this piece have been changed to preserve anonymity.Information and Links: UK Immigration StatisticsCampaign to Close CampsfieldDetention Action Information on Mitie and Detention Centres in the UK Standoff Films’s 2014 documentary, “Campsfield House: An Immigration Removal Centre”We are grateful to Oxford Migrant Solidarity for putting us in touch with those inside Campsfield, enabling us to visit the centre.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%11169%%[/mm-hide-text]