Students For Europe launches in Oxford

first_imgThis week saw the European Union debate shift up a gear in Oxford. On the evening of last Friday, Oxford Students For Europe launched a campaign designed to persuade and mobilise students to vote ‘Yes’ to staying in the EU in the upcoming referendum. The event, held at Christ Church, attracted a turnout of around 100 people and involved speeches from Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds and the Liberal Democrat Lord Jonathan Marks. A set of committee elections was held on Tuesday of this week. Nominations were open for fewer than four days. The news follows speculation that David Cameron might hold the referendum as early as June 2016. Two co-chairs, who will direct the campaign, were elected by Single Transferable Vote on Tuesday night. Eilidh Macfarlane and David Klemperer ran on a joint ticket and were elected with 70 first preference votes to their rivals’ 45. Macfarlane, a student at Trinity College, is the former co-chair of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats and former organiser of a Better Together campaign in the Scottish Highlands. Klemperer, of St. John’s, is a former co-chair of Oxford University Labour Club.Interestingly, the OSFE’s constitution was formulated by a provisional committee which included Macfarlane, Klemperer, and Henry Samuels, the current Oxford University Liberal Democrats Treasurer. Samuels, who acted as Returning Officer, presided over the election which saw his fellow provisional committee members take control.Despite the prominence of Liberal Democrats in the campaign so far, OSFE has emphasised its bipartisan nature. Samuels urged that the Oxford ‘In’ campaign needed to be “both popular and cross-party” to have the best chance of success, explaining this was why it was made “a constitutional requirement that the two co-chairs of the campaign not be from the same political party.”Macfarlane and Klemperer told Cherwell, in their first comments since assuming the leadership, that OSFE “is already a truly cross-party organisation with members of all parties and none competing in our elections. This range is reflected in our newly-elected committee: as well as ourselves as a Labour and Lib Dem co-chair team, Conservative members topped the ballot for committee.” The OSFE co-chairs stressed that their aim is to engage “particularly with people who have not been involved in political campaigns before but believe that the UK is made stronger by its membership of the EU.”Although remaining unaffiliated with the national campaign Students For Europe, OSFE has said it plans to work closely with both the Stronger In campaign and the European Movement “in order to play a part in the national campaign.”The rival campaign, Oxford Students For Britain, also weighed in on the debate this week. Current President, Oliver Shore, appeared to relish the emergence of the OSFE. “We are pleased to see a free and fair debate on Britain’s membership of the EU beginning in Oxford,” he stated. “After nearly 40 years without consultation the British people are finally being allowed a say in whether they want to be governed by Brussels.” Shore went on to invite all students “who have become disillusioned with the prospect of continued membership of the European Union” to join him in the ‘Out’ campaign.Since Friday’s launch of the Oxford Students For Europe, several student political parties have come out in support, affirming Macfarlane and Klemperer’s claims to being a cross-party movement.The Oxford University Labour Club made clear it “warmly welcomes the launch of Oxford Students for Europe. “As an organisation with a pro-EU position, we look forward to a healthy working relationship with them and hope to see them on the campaign trail soon.” Oxford University Liberal Democrats, for their part, praised OSFE as “An excellent student initiative, bringing together people from across the political spectrum” and further that they intend to be “fully engaged both with OSFE and with the wider campaign to keep Britain at the heart of Europe.”“Liberal Democrats have always preferred a less tribal way of doing politics, and we’re looking forward to being able to share a common platform with members of other parties,” their senior co-chair, Gareth Wilkes said.The Oxford University Conservative Association re-emphasised its strict neutrality in its comment, telling Cherwell, “Considering the variety of views which our members have on the question of EU membership, OUCA has decided not to support either the ‘In’ or the ‘Out’ campaigns.“[We pride ourselves] on being a home to all shades of conservative opinion and so [we] feel that this measure will allow us to continue our tradition of  incorporating as many different views as possible.”last_img read more

City of Elkhart, Martinsville Police Facing Lawsuits After Deleting Facebook Posts

first_imgCity of Elkhart, Martinsville Police Facing Lawsuits After Deleting Facebook PostsOlivia Covington for FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare After preventing local residents from commenting on their official Facebook pages, the city of Elkhart and the Martinsville Police Department are being sued for alleged violations of citizens’ First Amendment rights.The ACLU of Indiana filed lawsuits against the two municipal entities Friday on behalf of Richard Wolf, Elkhart, and Carole Bare, formerly of Martinsville, after they were blocked from the Elkhart city and Martinsville police Facebook pages last year.Wolf, who the ACLU described Friday as an advocate for people with disabilities, was blocked from the city of Elkhart’s Facebook page in 2015 after he posted concerns on the page about perceived violations of the American with Disabilities Act at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart. Specifically, Wolf accused the theater of not having enough accessible parking for disabled customers. According to a Friday release from the ACLU, Wolf’s comments were removed and he was blocked from posting on the Facebook page.Similarly, Bare, who now lives in Sullivan, posted criticism of the Martinsville Police Department on the department’s Facebook page last fall and was subsequently blocked from posting additional comments on the page. Her original post was also removed, according to the ACLU.In the suits, which were filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend division against Elkhart and in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis division against the city of Martinsville, Wolf and Bare contend that blocking them from posting on government-run social media is censorship and is in violation of their First Amendment rights to free speech.“When a government entity opens up a space for public comment, it cannot regulate those comments based upon someone’s viewpoint,” Jan Mensz, ACLU of Indiana staff attorney said in a Friday statement. “A citizen’s right to criticize their government is at the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect, and the municipalities, in these cases, violated that right.”The ACLU previously filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of Kymberly Quick and Deborah Mays-Miller, two Beech Grove residents whose Facebook posts that were critical of Beech Grove and its police department were taken down. The city eventually settled that suit, with each of the plaintiffs receiving nearly $7,500 each in costs and attorney fees.Vlado Vranjes, corporation counsel for the city of Elkhart, said Monday that he was aware of the filing, but that the city had not yet been served with the suit. Once Vranjes is able to review the suit, the city will file a response, he said.Martinsville Police Chief Matt Long, who was sworn in as chief in late September, said he was not aware of the suit. Long said he was familiar with Bare, but had not heard anything about the 2015 Facebook incident involving her since he became chief. Martinsville city attorney Dale Coffey also said he had not seen the suit as of noon Monday.The cases are Richard Wolf v. City of Elkhart, Indiana, 3:16-cv-00690, and Carol Bare v. City of Martinsville, Indiana, 1:16-cv-2683.last_img read more

Press release: Environment Agency issues new permits for Bletchingley oilfield

first_imgBefore issuing the permits, the Environment Agency carried out a detailed assessment of the application and considered all legal requirements, along with all comments received through public consultation.The permits bring operations into line with current regulations for conventional oil and gas sites. This is part of the Environment Agency’s review of all oil and gas permits granted prior to October 2013.An Environment Agency spokesperson said: An environmental permit sets out stringent conditions to which a site must adhere. We will not issue or vary an environmental permit for a site if we consider that activities taking place will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health. In determining the applications to re-permit this site, we considered all views and comments received through public consultation before making our final decision. Further information on our decision and the permits can be found on GOV.UKlast_img read more

NBA playoffs 2019: Kevin Durant trying not to get into back and forth with Patrick Beverley

first_img“If I put the basketball on the floor, I can probably make 43 percent of my shots if I’m shooting like that, but that’s not really going to do nothing for us with the outcome of the game because we’ve got a nice flow, everybody touching the rock, everybody shooting and scoring, so I’m not going to get in the way of the game because I want to have a little back and forth with Patrick Beverley, I’m Kevin Durant, you know who I am.”Kevin Durant goes extremely in depth on the Clippers style of defense, the overhelp, why he won’t get caught up in a 1-on-1 battle with Patrick Beverley— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 17, 2019Durant has been caught up somewhat with Beverley as both players were ejected in Game 1 after multiple technical fouls. The Warriors forward then fouled out of Game 2 after he tallied several offensive fouls, including one against the Clippers guard.But Golden State has averaged 126 points over the first two games of the series, and had Durant not fouled out in Game 2, the Clippers may have never come back at all. NBA playoffs 2019: Warriors’ Steve Kerr says Kevin Durant ‘absolutely needs to be more aggressive’ Kevin Durant doesn’t want to get caught up in beating Patrick Beverley.He wants to make sure he helps the Warriors keep their offensive flow despite the constant double-teams and help situations he keeps facing on the offensive end. “They playing a gimmick defense which has been working,” Durant told reporters Wednesday, via The Athletic. “Top blocking everything on the perimeter, so guys aren’t even looking at the 3-point line, they’re just forcing guys inside the 3-point line, so for us, when I get the ball in my spot I got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who was up underneath me.”I could definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it’s a one-on-one situation, but we’ve got a guy who’s dropping and helping and we’ve got another guy that’s just sitting on me waiting for me to dribble the basketball. Related News And going into Game 3, that is more of Durant’s focus than anything: staying on the court as long as he can without racking up offensive fouls because he’s mixing it up with Beverley.”When a guy is that small you’ve got an advantage, but the refs see…you know, we hear David and Goliath growing up, so that story is pretty prominent in people’s minds, so when you put that out there on the court and it’s me then the refs are going to give him a little bit more,” Durant said. “So when he run up on me like a pitbull, grab me, hold me, I don’t mind it, that’s how he make his money, that’s how he feed his family, but if I throw something back then let us play, get what I’m saying? So I got four or five offensive fouls like that, I’m just trying to figure out each possession how I can be more effective without getting offensive fouls.”last_img read more