Universal Periodic Review 29: Romania

This UK statement was delivered during the 29th session of the Universal Period Review during the discussion of Romania's Human Rights Record on 16 January 2018

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The UK welcomes Romania’s commitment to the UPR. We welcome efforts to improve prison conditions, by adopting the national strategy on developing the judiciary system and ensuring adequate detention conditions.

We welcome Romania’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and we look forward to full and timely implementation of its provisions.

We encourage more action on the rights of LGBT persons, including state procedures for legal gender recognition for transgender people, and provision of adequate health care for people infected with HIV/AIDS and TB.

We recommend:

  1. Intensifying efforts to combat modern slavery by protecting the rights of victims, including their right to anonymity, and to provide assistance to victims including, where appropriate, shelter, counselling and a 24/7 hotline.
  2. Adopting an open, merit-based process when selecting national candidates for UN Treaty Body elections.
  3. Adopting legislation that reflects the provisions of the CoE Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and adequately protects and assists victims through specialised services.

New Features For The UK House Price Index Search Tool And Reports

From today, you can access more historic house price data and have more ways to compare house price information

UK House Price Index

UK House Price Index

We have added new functionality and data to the UK HPI search tool and monthly reports, to help users identify changing house price trends across the UK more easily. These changes are in response to feedback from customers.

Changes to the search tool

With the new features of the search tool, you can:

  • compare average house prices in up to five separate locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by county, region or local authority
  • type the location name, or click on the area on the map to select your location choice
  • get insight into market trend activity going back to 1968, by accessing historic data about the funding status, buyer status and property status information
  • present your search results as a table or graph
  • retrieve your search criteria at a later date, by bookmarking different stages of your search

When you have completed your search, you can download the data for the specific breakdown or all the data in the search results, in comma-separated (CSV) format. Linked data users can still explore the data further by accessing the SPARQL query behind the search.

Changes to the UK House Price Index reports

We have added links in the published reports, so that users can download the data tables from the report itself in CSV format. This function benefits users who want to use the data without creating bespoke queries or accessing the full background files.

This change is part of the work being undertaken to improve our users’ experience of the UK HPI. Since its launch in June 2016, HM Land Registry and partners have started a programme of enhancements and updates. This has resulted in more available data, improved accuracy and extra commentaries in the reports.

In November 2017, the Office for Statistics Regulation confirmed the UK House Price Index will be awarded National Statistics status when some requirements are met. These enhancements fulfil an element of those requirements.

If you would like to share your feedback on the search tool or the UK HPI, you can register to join our LinkedIn UK HPI group or contact us for more information.

Finding God By Surprise?

From astronomers to archaeologists; from historians to atheists, people sometimes discover God by surprise, but what about calamities?

“Have Astronomers Found God?” is a Reader’s Digest article (July, 1980) found online. Archeologist discoveries support the biblical record of Abraham’s grandfather (Genesis). Historians support the rise and fall of kingdoms foretold by Daniel 2500 years ago. Famed atheist, Antony Flew, confessed faith in God after considering DNA complexity that could not have evolved by chance. Will geologists discover clues for the ”Big One” before it decimates California?

Seismologists estimate the risk of a major LA earthquake as 85-99%, LA Times, 10-22-15. Geologists have said the San Andreas Fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll.” Is it time for a ‘God factor’ to discern more than geologists know? A ‘vision’ from someone claiming God showed him may cause skepticism, even if on TV–but here’s an account from a century ago from someone with a good ‘track record.’

The Judgments of God on our Cities

While visiting the school that she helped found, Ellen White, esteemed a prophetess by Seventh-day Adventists, had a vision at Loma Linda, California on April 16, 1906. She saw “houses shaken like a reed in the wind. Buildings, great and small, were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and the homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out…it seemed that Judgment day had come.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol 9, p 92.

In the same book Ellen White described a visit to New York City and “buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof…But these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction.” The Last Crisis, Vol 9, pg 11-13.

Ellen White asks, “Are we to wait until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the end before we say anything concerning them? Of what value will our words be then? Shall we wait until God’s judgments fall upon the transgressor before we tell him how to avoid them? Where is our faith in the Word of God?” 9Testimonies for the Church, pg 20.

In her earthquake vision, Ellen White cited “evil-doers.” Why would that be? She wanted the school to train thousands with natural remedies and nutrition and she said “no” to requests for teaching pharmacology.

Dr. Richard Ruhling is a retired physician who taught Health Science at Loma Linda. He cites his father who graduated from Loma Linda and said about 65 years ago that 85% of his patients would get well, no matter the treatment, 10% he helped, and 5% would die no matter what he did. If you apply those figures to what Ellen White wanted for her school, 95% would be getting well with no need for MD visits and http://LeadingCauseOfDeathPrescriptionDrugs.com.

The American Medical Association pressed the school leaders to become accredited. They needed to teach pharmacology, but when they asked Ellen White, she said “No” twice. On the third trip to see her, she would not discuss it, and on their return, they decided she didn’t say no. Loma Linda was purchased with her $5000 check mailed from New Jersey that arrived on the deadline, but it was hijacked to become a professional school, now with six hospitals and building more!

Ruhling cites Scripture that “Judgment must begin at the house of God,” saying Adventists will be blamed for the earthquake that will destroy much of southern California when evil in the cities is more to blame, but God holds all to accountablility of His gifts as seen in Christ’s last parable of Matthew 25.

To make merchandise of the body’s healing mechanism when people could be well if they were helped to identify the cause, is not what Christ would do, says Ruhling who adds, “In most cases, what we put in our mouths is what makes us what we are”.

For reasons beyond the scope of this article, Ruhling believes judgment is impending for 2018. He says, “the day of the Lord” will be signaled by nations against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14) with judgment on the US a month later. He offers more information at his website, http://MayJudgmentDay.com
Richard Ruhling, MD, MPH was board-certified in Internal Medicine and had a Cardiology Fellowship before teaching at Loma Linda, He is author of Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Doctor! and he is available for interviews and speaking. He may be contacted at Ruhling7@juno.com His website is http://RichardRuhling.com.

Winning Design For 2015 Sousse And Bardo Memorial Announced

‘Infinite Wave’ selected as the memorial dedicated to 31 British nationals who lost their lives to terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015

‘Infinite Wave’

‘Infinite Wave’

The ‘Infinite Wave’ by London and Gloucester-based George King Architects has been selected as the design for the memorial dedicated to the 31 British nationals who lost their lives, and to all of those affected by the two terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015.

An independent panel shortlisted seven designs from 19 entries, and chose ‘Infinite Wave’ following consultation with family members of those affected by the two attacks.

As announced last year, the sculpture will be located in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, and construction is due to be completed later on this year.

The panel selected ‘Infinite Wave’ due to its beautiful flow and clever use of the natural environment, as well as positive feedback from family members.

Announcing the winning design, FCO Minister for North Africa, Alistair Burt said:

For those who lost loved ones or witnessed the horrendous terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015, resulting in 31 Britons being killed, their lives have never been the same since because of these cowardly acts of terror.

I know several families have tried to ensure something good comes out of these terrible events, such as raising money for charity, or improving awareness of extremism in their community and they should be commended for their positivity.

I hope that ‘Infinite Wave’ with its beautiful surroundings in Cannon Hill Park, will provide a focal point of tranquillity for families to reflect and remember their loved ones.

Chair of the Creative Panel, Mark Castle, CEO, Victim Support, said:

The panel were only too aware of the significant responsibility to find a design that is not only stunning to look at, but also one that families can connect with.

We knew going into this process that we had a difficult task but the on-line design consultation with families revealed that George King’s concept resonated with many people affected by these terrible events.

I think the appeal is not only because of the beautiful flow of the sculpture, and its clever use of the natural environment, but because the single tube of steel in George King’s concept shows how the people affected by these terrible events are intrinsically linked.

Suzy Richards, who lost three members of her family in the attack said;

I chose the infinity design because to me it represents never ending loss and pain of losing three generations of my family. My son Joel was just 19, my brother Adrian at 49, and my dad Pat, 79. It also represents our never ending love and beautiful memories we treasure.

George King, Principal of George King Architects said:

It is wonderful and overwhelming to be chosen to design this memorial. We put the families and their experiences very much at the heart of this concept and didn’t want to gloss over the immense pain they have been and continue to go through.

We came up with ‘Infinite Wave’ to show how time stood still for victims on the day of the attacks and designed the surrounding landscape as a series of ripples.

The ripples represent the impact that the events in Tunisia in 2015 had beyond those that lost their lives. They represent the survivors, the families of the victims, the local communities, the national heartache and the global loss.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Parks at Birmingham City Council, said:

I am pleased that the memory of those involved in these tragic events will be remembered in such a thoughtful way in Cannon Hill Park.

This is an important Memorial and we believe the designers have paid respect to the beautiful park and that the successful design ‘Infinite wave’, will enhance the natural environment.

We hope that, as well as providing a place of reflection for all of those affected by these horrific events, the site will also be appreciated and used by more regular park visitors.

Environment Agency Launches Consultation To Give Communities More Say In How Rivers Are Managed

A consultation which aims to give communities and local organisations more say in the ways in which rivers are managed and maintained, has been launched today (15th January)

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations

The Environment Agency is considering proposals to transfer ‘flood risk management activities’ on a number of stretches of watercourses to internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils. This will only happen where the watercourses have a low level of flood risk, are not associated with major rivers or major city centres and where the local community supports the change.

A transfer would mean that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk, where appropriate – by carrying out activities such as maintenance or giving permission to carry out works.

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations. The watercourses will be re-designated from what is currently known as a ‘main river’ to an ‘ordinary watercourse’ – a change referred to as ‘de-maining’.

Rachael Hill, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

The project aims to bring more choice to communities and local organisations in how watercourses are managed and maintained. We want to strengthen local flood risk management and decision-making by ensuring the right people are managing the right watercourses.

We want to hear from anyone who is affected by, or interested in, the proposals. This consultation explains how the proposed sections of watercourse are currently managed and funded and provides details on future management and funding if de-maining goes ahead.

The project is exploring the potential to re-designate several sections of selected main rivers as ordinary watercourses in: various rivers in Suffolk (East Anglia), South Forty Foot Catchment in Lincolnshire and Stour Marshes in Kent. But if there is support for the approach it could pave the way for further de-maining in England.

For the Environment Agency, the project will also ensure resources are prioritised where the greatest impact on reducing flood risk can be achieved.

Innes Thomson Chief Executive of ADA (Association of Drainage Authorities) added:

Despite their low flood risk to people and homes, the good management of these rivers still plays a major part in peoples’ lives, and the environmental and economic wellbeing of the communities through which they flow.

It is very important for existing and potential new river managers to know what the views of local people are so we can make the right decisions together for the best future of these rivers.

The public will be able to view and give feedback between midday 15 January 2018 and midday 12 February 2018. There will be an option to view information and give feedback on each of the proposals or the de-maining project as a whole by accessing the consultation link.

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