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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers to Be Observed on 29 May


This marks the fifth year in a row the United Nations will honour more than 100 blue helmets who lost their lives the previous year while serving the cause of peace.  This sombre milestone is a stark reminder of the risks incurred by individuals who put their lives on the line when they deploy to United Nations missions around the world. Commemorative activities will be held at Headquarters in New York, as well as at United Nations peacekeeping operations and offices around the world. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was e... Read More »

Does Your Home Size Measure Up?


Did you know that there are more than 76 million owner-occupied homes in the U.S.? Now you do. Did you know that 75% of those are considered to be inside metro areas? Now you do. Did you know that by average cost of square footage, New York City is 20 times more expensive than Detroit? Now you do (and now you know that metro Detroit has some great deals for real estate – trust me on that, my friends). Did you know that in the Northeast, average homes are older and smaller than the rest of the country? Now you do. That’s right. You now know all ... Read More »

Rise in terrorist attacks in Europe in 2012


This and other findings in the report describe a threat from terrorism that remains strong and varied in Europe. It continues to evolve from one posed by structured groups and networks to smaller EU-based groups and solo terrorists, while the Internet remains a key facilitator for terrorism-related activities. The terrorist bomb attack at Burgas airport in Bulgaria, and the shootings by a lone gunman in France, claimed the lives of 14 people in 2012 and illustrate the serious threat that terrorism poses to the European Union and its citizens... Read More »

Charities call for u-turn on “bedroom tax”


From April, under the Welfare Reform Act, fostered children will not be counted when assessing the number of occupants in a social housing property. This means foster carers’ properties will be deemed under-occupied, and they will have their housing benefit reduced. Although foster carers can apply to their local housing service’s Discretionary Housing Fund to make up the difference, this fund is not ring-fenced and it is now clear that this solution is extremely unlikely to work well. In an open letter to the ministers, the charities have h... Read More »

Running the extra miles to support fostered children in Wales


As totally novice runners the two girls took up running as a way to keep fit. After many jokes from friends and colleagues they decided that if they were going to continue running, then they were going to run BIG, and there is no bigger challenge than the 26.2 miles of the Virgin London Marathon. The race takes place on Sunday 21 April 2013. Having worked for TACT for over 11 years Emma was aware that the charity had places in the Marathon and as a team they haven’t looked back. As Emma said, “I love working for TACT and fully support and be... Read More »

Base decisions on need not legal status, the Care Inquiry urges


The Care Inquiry, which has outlined its findings and recommendations in Making Not Breaking – Building Relationships for our Most Vulnerable Children, found that the care system too often breaks not makes relationships for children in care. The Inquiry heard that when children move, which they still do too often, important relationships are needlessly being broken and lost. Moreover, support for children and the adults who look after them is currently based on legal status and not on need. As a result, the Inquiry concluded that a new ap... Read More »

Festival of Europe – European Parliament open day


To mark the Festival of Europe, the European Parliament and other EU institutions will open their doors on Saturday 4 May 2013 in Brussels and Luxembourg. The festival continues on 19 May in Strasbourg. Discover the European quarter, how Members of the European Parliament work, debate and decide together... «Because it’s about Europe, it’s about you!» In fact, 2013 has been officially named the “European Year of Citizens”. Citizens are not always aware that European citizenship gives them rights. These include the right to move and live freel... Read More »

State pensions must guarantee decent living standards for all


Safeguarding public pensions to ensure decent living standards for all in old age must remain a priority, MEPs stress in a resolution adopted on Thursday. They also call for the development of supplementary pension schemes and longer working lives to ensure the sustainability of pensions threatened by demographic ageing and strained public finances. The resolution, drawn up by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL) and passed by 32 votes to 4, with 6 abstentions, is the employment and social affairs committee's response to the Commission white paper on... Read More »

Average costs per capita covered by basic health care insurance 2,100 euro


The average costs per capita covered by the basic health care insurance policy were 2,100 euro in 2010. The average costs were higher for women than for men. More than half concerned costs for hospital care. If differences in the composition of the population are taken into account, the costs prove to be higher for low-income households and persons with a non-western background. The health care costs covered by the basic health insurance policy averaged 1,980 euro for men and 2,220 euro for women. The higher average costs for women are large... Read More »

Distinguished Chinese composer Tan Dun to be named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will designate celebrated Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on Friday, 22 March. The event, at UNESCO Headquarters, will begin with a live performance by the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra of Tan Dun’s Music for Water, conducted by the composer (8 p.m.). The concert, organised in cooperation with Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association, will be followed by the designation ceremony. The Director-General is designating Tan Dun as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador “i... Read More »

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