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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 2 May 7:00pm start

Tuesday 6th June: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

Discussing First topical issue (Mark Iddon) and Second topical issue (Simon Belt)

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First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2013

House building in UK

Housing: building plans and headlines

by Joanne Green

 

Housing seems to be constantly in the news headlines at the moment, but what’s reported is often more bleak than positive. Recent housing news has been connected to welfare reform, bedroom tax, house prices, mortgages for rent and ownership. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (2013) statistical release shows increases of lending rose from September 2012 to 2013. The loans went to Microfinance Institutions (up 39%), housing associations (up 79%), mutuals (up 45%) and specialist lenders (up 29%), home loans to individuals (up 2%), and to individuals and housing association (up 30%). This illustrates that current Government Policy is providing the UK with Affordable Housing.

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News Reviews from 2013

High Speed 2

High Speed 2: Politically Driven Infrastructure?

by Sundeep Athwal

 

The proposal to construct a high-speed railway line (HS2), connecting London with the cities of Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester, has certainly gained extensive press coverage since it was first announced in 2010. Much of the coverage has focussed on the debate between the project’s supporters and its detractors; a debate in which the affordability of constructing the new line, and the economic benefits that it is supposed to deliver, are increasingly being called into question.

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News Reviews from 2013

Do we really need protecting from fancy dress?

Protecting us from fancy dress

by Simon Belt

 

The BBC reported:

 

Supermarket chains Tesco and Asda have withdrawn two Halloween outfits after they were criticised for stigmatising people with mental health issues. Asda dropped its "mental patient fancy dress costume", and Tesco later withdrew its "psycho ward" outfit. Both stores apologised for any offence caused and agreed to make donations to the mental health charity, Mind.

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News Reviews from 2013

Are we humanising badgers?

Bodgering the Badgers

by Joanne Green

 

The culling of badgers Meles meles has recommenced after it was suspended pending further investigation into an alternative and viable solution to agricultural cows acquiring tuberculosis. So why are the cows becoming infected if it is not Meles meles transferring it to the cattle? Is it the badger itself or a parasite of the badger?

 

Badgers are known for being wildlife reservoirs of TB (University of Durham) as are other animals such as the White-tailed deer. The white-tailed deer in the UK include non-native species and which too are culled because of the damage they do (BBC Nature, 2013). Will culling one wildlife reservoir prevent the spread of TB?

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News Reviews from 2013

Bombing Syria because of a red line?

Syria: Intervention for the sake of it

by Denis Joe

 

I was sitting in a café in Liverpool market last week and was surprised to hear talk, amongst the customers, about the imminent attack on Syria. Some people voiced the opinion that “They should keep out of it”, “Let them sort it out themselves” and “This will lead to World War 3”. What seemed strange about the way the customers were talking about a potential intervention in Syria was the matter-of-fact way in which it was discussed. There seemed to be a strong sense of detachment, particularly in the use of ‘they’ instead of ‘we’, as if military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have normalised a practice that at one time would have been seen as exceptional. It reminded me of Obama’s first presidential campaign, when he promised to take US troops out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. Very few, if any, anti-war protesters or politicians challenged this stance.

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