CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE SCANDAL
“Survivor faces abuse to reclaim his life.” By Kevin Cullen. Boston Globe. January 17, 2012. It’s been 10 years since the story of the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests exploded in Boston. For most, it’s just that: a story. But for Joe Crowley, a survivor, it’s his story.
“Talks over clerical abuse break down; Bishop Crispian Hollis has publicly criticised the High Court ruling.” By Sean O’Neill. Times of London. January 21 2012. Talks between the Catholic Church and groups representing victims of clerical abuse have collapsed after a bishop appealed against a High Court ruling that he was liable for the actions of an alleged paedophile priest. Charities that had been in discussion with church officials for two years about improving understanding of victims’ suffering said that they could no longer see the point in continuing the dialogue. The discussions foundered after the Diocese of Portsmouth said it would appeal against a ruling that it could be held liable for the actions of Fr Wilfred Baldwin who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a child at a children’s home in the 1970s. Fr Baldwin died in 2006 while police were investigating the allegations against him but his alleged victim, now aged in her 40s, is suing the Bishop of Portsmouth for damages. Bishop Crispian Hollis has publicly criticised the High Court ruling and questioned why the abuse victim was entitled to anonymity while the priest had been named. The bishop said: “The claimant has the benefit of a court order whereby she cannot be identified; unfortunately, the same consideration has not been extended to Fr Baldwin, who was a priest of unblemished character until these allegations were made shortly before his death and who had no opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him.” His statement angered representatives of victims, but it was the bishop’s decision to go to the Appeal Court that forced the end of the talks. The National Association for People Abused in Childhood and the Survivors’ Trust said they would also be ending training programmes for church safeguarding staff.
“China’s Rich Consider Leaving Growing Nation.” By Frank Langfitt. Morning Edition/National Public Radio. January 17, 2012. Last fall, wealthy Chinese gathered at a Beijing hotel to hear a pitch by Patrick Quinn, the governor of Illinois. He wanted them to invest in a convention center project at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. You can’t have capitalism without capital,” Quinn said to the group of potential investors. “So we really are interested in encouraging people from everywhere, particularly here in China … to consider the state of Illinois as a place to make investments.” In exchange, Chinese investors could get a green card or permanent U.S. residency in less than three years. The program, run by the U.S. government, is called “investor immigration.” Oliver Hua, who does market research for Western companies in China, attended an O’Hare investor event this month in Shanghai. Hua said rich Chinese want green cards so they can protect their wealth as China’s economy inevitably slows. Many wealthy Chinese are anxious because, despite China’s tremendous progress, the country still faces a lot of challenges. Income inequality is staggering, corruption systemic and public protests a daily occurrence. Last fiscal year, nearly 3,000 well-to-do Chinese applied for investor green cards in the U.S. That’s up from just 270 four years ago.
“The Challenge Of Measuring Relief Aid To Haiti.” By Marisa Peñaloza and Carrie Kahn. Morning Edition/National Public Radio. January 17, 2012. Last year, the Annex de Martissant area of Port-au-Prince was a camp for displaced people. The area was filled with tents. Today, locals are building sturdier shelters with funding from the American Red Cross. After Haiti’s devastating earthquake two years ago, Americans donated large sums of money. This helped charities and aid groups save live immediately after the disaster. But it’s been much harder for them to help Haitians rebuild their devastated country. In the second of two stories, NPR’s Carrie Kahn and Marisa Penaloza report that its difficult to get detailed information about how organizations spend their money. NPR surveyed 12 of the largest and best known U.S. charities about their work in Haiti. The groups say they raised nearly $1.8 billion and have spent more than two-thirds of that. But how is the money being spent and what kind of impact is it having?
“The Decline of Consumer Cooperatives.” By Nasseem Ackbarally. Interpress Service (ipsnews.net). January 21, 2012. Amateurism, high prices, mismanagement, and a limited product range have discouraged Inderjeet Rajcoomarsingh, the former chairman of the Mauritius Agricultural Cooperative Federation, from shopping at cooperative stores. Instead you can find Rajcoomarsingh, who was a cooperative member for 34 years, pushing a trolley full of goods at The Bagatelle, a new shopping mall that is presently the craze in Mauritius. Many Mauritians, mostly the youth here, say they have never heard of cooperative stores or the principles of consumer cooperatives. In theory consumers’ cooperative are meant to provide quality goods and services at the lowest price. But in practice, their goods and services are priced at market rates or higher. “Today, a cooperative is just a name. There is no value and no principle. I don’t see that people’s lifestyles have improved so much in Mauritius by shopping at cooperative stores,” Rajcoomarsingh told IPS. Cooperative stores did well here until the 1990s when the robust economic development of the island paved the way for supermarkets and, later, hypermarkets. Now, shopping malls have sprung up all over the island like mushrooms after the rains.
“Filtering Out Internet Freedom.” By Jacques N. Couvas. Interpress Service (ipsnews.net). January 19, 2012. Fifteen respected academics from different Turkish universities signed a declaration in Ankara last week protesting recent state regulations restricting access to a variety of websites on ‘moral’ and ‘national integrity’ grounds. Simultaneously, thousands of angry netizens held street demonstrations in several major cities, brandishing banners proclaiming, “Hands off my Internet”. The regulation, introduced last spring by the Information and Communications Technology Authority (BTK), was due to be implemented in August 2011 but its enactment was postponed until the end of last November following public opposition and pressure by local and international NGOs. According to the directive, Internet service providers (ISPs) are compelled to offer users two options for filtering their web searches – “children” and “family” – in order to protect them from “objectionable content”. Such content seems to include “separatist propaganda”, such as communications that appear friendly or sympathetic to the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and other rebel movements. At present, 138 search terms are deemed harmful to users. These include English words like “sex”, “animal”, “mature”, or “gay”, the German word “verbot”, which means ban, and the Turkish words for “hot”, “mother-in-law”, “sister-in-law”, and “incest”. Even the Arabic-origin first name Haydar (lion), which means penis in Turkish slang, is banned. Access to sites about Darwin and evolution of the species has also been curbed. The objectivity of BTK has been heavily criticised by human rights activists because it is comprised of representatives of the family and information ministries, which initiated the filtering project, and includes no independent specialists.
“Party leaders back charity legacies; Cameron, Clegg and Miliband back Legacy10 campaign to encourage people to leave tenth of their estates to charity.” By Sam Jones. Guardian. January 15, 2012. The leaders of the three main political parties have given their backing to a campaign that aims to encourage people to leave at least 10% of their estate to charity when they die. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have joined Sir Richard Branson, Lord Jacob Rothschild and Baron Davies of Abersoch in signing up to the Legacy10 effort and agreeing to ensure some of the money they leave behind goes to charitable or cultural causes. Legacy10, founded last year by Roland Rudd, the chairman of the PR firm RLM Finsbury, asks individuals across the UK to pledge 10% of their estate to charity. From April, those who do so will benefit from a change in inheritance tax law, which means that any estate that leaves at least 10% to a charity will be entitled to an inheritance tax cut from 40% to 36%. Other supporters include from the world of business , Barbara Thomas Judge, Sir Victor Blank, Sir John Ritblat and Lord Sharman, while signatories from the arts and charities include Charles Saumarez Smith, Alan Davey, Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Dr Michael Dixon and Peter Stewart. Rudd thanked party leaders for embracing the campaign. “We are asking people to make a contribution to their favourite cultural or charitable cause in their will. The benefit to that cause will be four times bigger than the small loss to the donor,” he said.
“Duke of Cambridge joins prisoners’ charity.” By Valentine Low. Times of London. January 18, 2012. The Duke of Cambridge has become the patron of a charity that helps former offenders. The Duke will be the figurehead for the St Giles Trust this year during its 50th anniversary. The Duke’s new patronage comes a few weeks after the Duchess announced that she had become patron of four organisations and a volunteer with the Scout Association. Prince William is patron or president of more than 20 charities and bodies, including Centrepoint and SkillForce. The Queen Mother opened the original St Giles Trust day centre in 1963 and the Prince of Wales opened the charity’s premises in Camberwell in 1995. The trust began in 1962 as the Camberwell Samaritans under the auspices of Father John Nicholls, who had become appalled by the number of attempted suicide patients being admitted to the now closed St Giles Hospital, Camberwell, where he was chaplain. By the next year, money had been raised to fund a full-time psychiatric social worker and to train 16 part-time volunteers and over the coming decades the trust tackled the issues surrounding homelessness. Soon after 2000 it shifted its efforts to focus on helping offenders to resettle and change their lives, and now works in prisons across London and southern England.
“Barking’s Broadway theatre left reeling as council withdraws £331,000 subsidy; Negative reviews for decision by London borough of Barking and Dagenham to stop funding well-regarded arts venue.” By Mark Brown. Guardian. January 18, 2012. It is the quietest week of the year at the Broadway theatre in Barking, Essex. The Christmas tree has being taken down and the auditorium is being cleared up after the organised mayhem of the panto. It had been a good year: about 250 professional shows, audiences up by a quarter from the year before and even a financial surplus. A few weeks ago the venue was preparing to enter the new year with vigour, buoyed by a declaration of faith from Arts Council England, which awarded it a 53% funding increase last March. Now something like despair is in the air. Before Christmas, the cash-strapped Labour Barking and Dagenham council dropped a bombshell – it plans to end the theatre’s £331,000 subsidy from April. “It was a complete shock, we were not expecting it all,” said Karena Johnson, Broadway’s chief executive and artistic director. “It is an incredibly shortsighted decision and in the long term will cost the council more.” The news has caused considerable consternation locally and in the arts community. The theatre is the only professional arts venue in a deprived London borough which has more than its fair share of problems,
“Can refugee charities ride out the cuts storm? Organisations supporting people fleeing conflict or persecution have been hit hard as government and grant funding dries up.” By Liza Ramrayka. Guardian. January 17, 2012. Ayan Hassan can’t stop smiling. The Somali-born mother of three is talking about appearing in a short film to promote the London catering co-operative she helped to set up a year ago. Hassan, 30, is proud of her achievements since arriving alone in the UK as a refugee 11 years ago. Having left her mother and siblings in Kenya after the family fled civil war in Somalia, she is now an active member of her north-west London community. The catering project – Spice Caravan – has grown from a group of six refugee mums cooking at school events, to a business with a £30,000 annual turnover, supplying festivals, private parties and the local farmers’ market. None of this would have been possible, says Hassan, without the support of Salusbury World, a small charity based at her children’s school, Salusbury primary, in Brent. The country’s only refugee centre within a school, the charity helps children and families adjust to school and community life in the UK. As well as providing start-up funding of £500 and kitchen space, Salusbury World helped Spice Caravan to access external training in skills such as business planning, finance and food hygiene. Salusbury World was set up in 1999 in response to the high numbers of newly-arrived families from Kosovo and Albania who were being housed and schooled in Brent. Funded by a lottery grant, the aim was to provide vital extra support for these families, many of whom had experienced trauma, long journeys to the UK, and were living in temporary accommodation. Today, most of Salusbury World’s clients come from Afghanistan and Somalia and are much less itinerant. The charity supports more than 100 children from 70 families – some 15% of the total school roll. A part-time project worker provides similar support to secondary school age pupils at the nearby Capital City academy. Activities for pupils include after-school homework clubs and subsidised summer holiday activities. English classes, benefits and careers advice, and cycle training are among the support on offer for parents. But, despite recognition from the Refugee Council and Save the Children, financial woes could now force Salusbury World to axe services, starting with employment advice and advocacy for parents.
“University doors may open wider for ABB students; The cap on students could be eased to let more attend their first-choice university.” By Greg Hurst. Times of London. January 19, 2012. Limits on the number of students that universities can recruit are to be lifted again next year. Ministers are proposing to let universities offer places to as many students as they choose in the autumn of 2013 provided that they achieve A-level grades of ABB or above. About 85,000 candidates with such grades apply for places each year. The new rules are intended to allow more high-achieving candidates to gain a place at their first-choice university. But the decision risks making it even harder for less prestigious universities to recruit students, coming only a year after the introduction of higher tuition fees. Ministers had wanted to confirm the move today but delayed it after asking for more research into its impact by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). A government source said: “Our view is that we would like to move to ABB.” Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ group, has lobbied hard for no change in student number controls next year, arguing that it should await firm evidence on the effect of higher fees. However, smaller research universities have urged ministers to let them recruit more bright students. This year the Government will use its grant letter to HEFCE to confirm the allocation for 2012-13 of much smaller teaching grants, which have been cut after tuition fees were allowed to treble to a maximum of £9,000 a year. Some institutions will also be fined for exceeding student number caps. One university leader said: “There is so much change and uncertainty already facing the system that we want stability next year. The fear is that the Government wants to get the changes introduced now in order to achieve stability in 2014-15, the year of the general election.”
“Trade unions and charities could be forced to sign lobbyist register; Government proposals criticised for not forcing ministers to declare meetings with friends who happen to be lobbyists.” By Rajeev Syal and James Ball. Guardian. January 20, 2012. Trade unions, charities and thinktanks could be forced to sign up to a new statutory register of parliamentary lobbyists aimed at cleaning up politics, the government has announced. Those who deliberately fail to comply with any subsequent anti-sleaze rules may face up to two years in prison under the proposals published by the Cabinet Office on Friday. The plans, published in a consultation document, follow a series of scandals relating to outside influence on government. They do not make a case for a statutory code of conduct, as previously called for by Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, and ministers may not be forced to declare meetings with friends who happen to be lobbyists. The proposals do, however, allow discussion over the definition of a lobbyist. Unions, charities, pressure groups and thinktanks could be compelled to declare sources of funding. Lobbying organisations could be asked to declare their clients. Critics immediately criticised the plans as weak and ineffectual. Tamasin Cave, a spokesperson for the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, said: “These proposals have lobbyists’ fingerprints all over them. They only cover a tiny fraction of the influence industry and would reveal very little about their activities.
“Oxfam bucks the trend with increased Christmas sales; Charity’s high street chain benefits from national belt-tightening with reports of an increase of 11% in like-for-like sales.” By Richard Wachman. Guardian. January 18, 2012. In this new era of austerity, Britons are finding new ways to save money, with growing numbers buying goods and clothes at charity shops where there are bargains galore. The new vogue in retailing helped Oxfam’s high street chain to report one of their best-ever financial results for the Christmas period. While the likes of Argos, Halfords and Mothercare felt the chill winds of the consumer slowdown during the holidays, the tills were ringing merrily at Oxfam shops from Cornwall to Edinburgh. Second-hand kitchenware, bedroom furniture, clothes and household goods of every description, attracted consumers in their droves, according to Oxfam’s trading director, Andrew Horton. Christmas sales of donated books, music and homewares such as lamps or curtains had their strongest week for the last five years in the seven days before Christmas. Oxfam, the international charity that last year was closely involved with relief efforts following drought in the Horn of Africa and the tsunami in Japan, (Thurs) announced bumper figures on Thursday. Oxfam’s increased sales came as the stores made more of an effort to get into the festive spirit, with chocolate coins for the Christmas tree and used decorations on sale next to their the usual second-hand fare. Busy trading in the five weeks up to New Year’s Eve pushed like-for-like sales up by 11%, the charity, which did not declare revenue figures, said
“MBA graduates in demand from charities and NGOs; Graduates are highly sought-after as marketers, economists and planners in one, says Stephen Hoare.” By Stephen Hoare. Guardian. January 20, 2012. Last September the charity Touraid brought 20 disadvantaged pupils from Filadelfia New Life School in Kenya to the UK for a nine-day rugby tour hosted by the Beacon School in Chesham. The trip, sponsored by PwC, included a visit to the musical The Lion King in London, where pupils were invited backstage to meet the cast. The idea of former PE teacher Andy Berry, Touraid was conceived and launched after he completed a Surrey Business School MBA five years ago. “This is about people pooling their resources and bringing children together under one banner. Pupils from the UK and developing countries meet to learn about each others’ culture and celebrate their skills,” Berry says. Each year Touraid raises the money to run nine or 10 sports tours with airline tickets, passports and visas gifted by corporate sponsors including Allianz, Schoders, Clifford Chance and Currencies Direct. Berry, 43, who initially used his contacts in the City to raise sponsorship, says: “The MBA has helped in so many ways, from corporate finance and governance issues to research methods, marketing and strategy.” He runs his charity on a shoestring and employs three full-time staff but many more volunteers. Senior executives working for charities can earn upwards of £70,000 a year. While not comparable to salaries paid by business, this is sufficient to compensate people who want to make a difference. Recent MBA career changers include Jan Tomlinson, who joined the south London ex-offender enterprise charity Tomorrow’s People as enterprise director in 2005 straight from Cass Business School, City University, London. “With charities paid by results, a successful social enterprise needs to be professionally run,” he says.