Browsing: News & Politics

Photo by 内閣官房内閣広報室 (CC BY 4.0)  On August 28th, Japanese Prime Minister and President of the Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe resigned over health concerns. Abe had been suffering from ulcerative colitis, something that had caused him to resign once before back in 2007. He became famous in both Japan and around the world as the longest-serving Prime Minister in the country’s history. He also gave his name to his government’s financial policy, nicknamed ‘Abenomics’. This was developed to combat a financial crisis, referred to as the ‘Lost Decades’, which began during the early 1990s and was caused by an asset bubble…

Wales re-entered what is known as a ‘firebreak’ lockdown last Friday, shutting down all non-essential businesses. Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, has described the lockdown as a “short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time”. With some non-essential businesses having only been allowed to open as late as August, this 17-day firebreak is sure to be a serious blow. Seren decided to talk to a number of small business owners to find out how they feel about the newest government lockdown. Sparx – Costume Shop – High Street – “It’s…

The Welsh government ordered on Friday that supermarkets can only open the parts of their business selling essential goods, for the duration of the Welsh firebreak lockdown. On Sunday, the incumbent government confirmed that the ban would remain in place. Mark Drakeford has cited the purpose of the new restriction as creating a “level playing field” between supermarkets and non-essential businesses which have been forced to close entirely. “Well what do they define as non-essential? What’s essential to one person might be non-essential to another,” said Eleri ‘Clena’, owner and manager of Café Clena, in Upper Bangor. “You don’t know…

If you are interested in the markets and want to start trading stocks, you will have most likely come across the fetid pool of commission free trading apps. These have sprung up over the last few years and provide a free service with apparently no catch.  Services like trading 212, etoro, Robinhood (US only) and plus500 may ring bells due to their seemingly never-ending slew of recent online ad campaigns. In one etoro advert, big name boss baby Alec Baldwin berates the potential user for missing out on massive tech stock opportunities when they could have simply signed up for…

Faced with a £13m hole in the budget, Bangor University has released several business cases detailing their plans to make savings. This includes their controversial decision to cut 200 jobs, which has attracted concern from the student body about damage to Bangor’s quality of education. This summary covers the proposed changes to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Business, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Environmental Sciences and Electronic Engineering, and is intended to give students a handy guide as to how the cuts will directly affect their school. The plans summarised below will remain in consultation…

The rules that were put in place for the City of Bangor’s localised lockdown have been overridden by the new ‘firebreak’ lockdown rules for Wales. The regulations set by the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, will come into play at 6pm on Friday, October 23rd, and will mean that as soon as the Firebreak Lockdown begins, the local lockdown in Bangor City will end. Find more information about the new rules surrounding the Firebreak lockdown here.

Bangor’s UCU (University & College Union) has partnered with two other trade unions, Unite and Unison, to demand talks with the university under threat of strikes. UCU members have also passed a motion of no confidence in the university’s management. These actions have been taken in response to Bangor University’s plans to cut 200 jobs. The three unions yesterday provided the university with a joint letter, laying out proposals which would satisfy their demands. Most significant among the proposals sent to the university management is the potential of pay cuts across the university to avoid job losses. The Unions have…

Photo by Sparrow (麻雀) (CC BY-SA 4.0) In Belgium on 4th October Petra De Sutter (a Green Member) was sworn in as one of 7 Deputy Prime Ministers in the country’s new coalition led by new prime minister Alexander De Croo. This makes her the highest-ranking transgender politician in Europe. She will also take on the role of Minister of Civil Service (being in charge of public administration and enterprises). The appointment of a new government ends a 16-month period of Belgium being without a fully functioning government. De Stutter tweeted:  “I am proud that in Belgium and in most of the…

Photo by Sophie Chappuy (CC BY-ND 2.0) For anyone not familiar with MIKA (also known as Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.), he is a British-Lebanese singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 2007 when his first album Life in Cartoon Motion sold more than 5.6 million copies and he won the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act with his song ‘Grace Kelly’ which topped the UK Singles Chart in January 2007. He has also gone on to be a judge on the Voice France, and is currently a judge on the Italian X Factor. MIKA announced on August 21st that he…

Earlier this month, Bangor University announced their plan for filling a £13m gap in their budget. Their foremost solution is a single word that has caused a flood of backlash, uncertainty and fear: redundancies.  With 200 of them on the horizon, staff and students can’t help but envision a disaster, despite university promises to protect the student experience. By compiling new interviews with the UCU trade union and the Bangor Students’ Union, in addition to surveys of student opinions and the latest statements from the university management, this report has been created to help answer the question on every student’s…

Photo by Richard Johnson (CC BY-SA 2.0) The Welsh Government have announced today that Wales is set to enter stricter lockdown restrictions from 6pm on Friday, October 23rd. The new rules will continue to be in place for two weeks – until Monday November 9th. The lockdown, noted as a ‘firebreak’ or ‘circuit breaker’, will see a return to restrictions put into action earlier this year. Under the upcoming rules, all pubs, restaurants, and non-essential shops will have to close. What are the new rules coming in on Friday 23rd?       People will have to stay at home…

Image from www.thoughtcatalog.com (CC BY 2.0) A team from Bangor University has been funded by the UK Government to work on a project aimed at giving citizens more control of their personal data. The project is to be carried out in partnership with Anglesey company Cufflink, an Anglesey company developing tools for users to better control their personal information. The Bangor team, consisting of Prof. Vian Bakir and Prof. Andrew McStay, aims to identify the ethical issues around systems that store personal data, as well as how best to place users on a level footing with those systems. “It’s great…

The hashtags #artiswork, #lowskilled, and #savethearts have been circulating around social media recently, along with an outcry at the injustice of jobs within the creative industry being called “low skilled” and “un-viable” by government officials. Despite the arts and culture industry contributing £111.7 billion to the UK economy in 2018 (the equivalent of £306 million per day according to gov.co.uk), members of the government such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak have spoken out calling for artists to “retrain” for more “essential jobs”. This controversial statement was made following struggles in the arts industry as a result of COVID-19. Plaid Cymru warned…

Image of the lockdown area from the Welsh Government (© Crown copyright and database right 2020) The Welsh government has confirmed that Bangor will be placed under local lockdown, with new restrictions coming into effect at 6pm Saturday (10th Oct). The additional restrictions, listed below, include prohibiting gatherings between multiple households as well as a cessation of travel in and out of the city. New restrictions: Indoor gatherings between multiple households are now prohibited. Exceptions are made for households with only one person or single parents, who may form an exclusive ‘bubble’ with one other household inside the lockdown area.…

(CC BY-SA 2.0) The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, has warned that Bangor could be considered for a hyper-local lockdown after a rise in positive coronavirus cases in Gwynedd. As part of his talks about planning for a “difficult winter” for Wales, an Incident Management team has been set up in Bangor.  The team will be providing reports and suggestions to the Welsh government as the pandemic continues. “The situation is still very fluid in Wales as it is across the UK and rest of Europe and the world, in fact, and we can’t rule out further…

At the onset of a tumultuous academic year, Seren spoke to Welsh Minister of Education Kirsty Williams, to find out more about the ramifications of COVID-19 on higher education in Wales. From the budget cuts in Bangor, to the tuition refund petitions across the UK, we discussed the challenges created by the pandemic, and addressed what plans the Welsh government has prepared to mitigate them. Question: There have been several petitions across the UK expressing student dissatisfaction with the quality of their university education due to online teaching. Several of the most prominent, now debated in the UK parliament, go…

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