Monthly Archives:December 2016

UK mobile users face bill for roaming after Brexit as EU scrap member nation charges

30 Dec 16
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  • The cost of listening to a song on Spotify could be as high as €50 post Brexit, according to the Financial Times
  • New EU plans to scrap roaming charges come into effect from mid-June 2017
  • UK telecoms providers fear continental peers might increase prices as result

Britons who use data roaming on their mobile phones while travelling in the EU could face a hefty bill once the UK leaves the EU.

That’s unless Government can strike a comprehensive free-trade deal after Brexit. In October 2015, European MPs formally approved plans to scrap roaming charges starting from mid-June next year.

That will mean all mobile phone users throughout the EU will be able to make calls, send text messages and go online without facing extra charges from 15 June 2017 without the prospect of facing ‘shock’ bills when they get home. 

Footing the bill: Mobile phone bills are set to rise with users being hit by new roaming charges

But Britain will not be covered by these rules once it leaves the EU.

That will allow continental mobile networks to charge British consumers what they like, with bills potentially as high as €50 (£43) for listening to a song on Spotify, for example, according to the Financial Times.

That’s in line with what U.S. visitors who don’t have a special data package currently have to pay.

To make matters worse, the European Commission has ruled out a quick bilateral deal between the UK and the EU to cover roaming charges.

Gunther Oettinger, the German commissioner said in a response to the European Parliament last year that under WTO rules any bilateral agreement outside of a comprehensive free-trade deal would have to be extended to all other members.

One telecoms executive told the FT’s Duncan Robinson and Nic Fildes that it is preparing for a ‘worst case scenario’ in which higher wholesale prices for calls and data would spill over into higher line rental or other fees across the whole network.

Better deal: Companies with networks in the UK like Vodafone would be able to exchange access to their own infrastructure with their continental peers unlike their smaller rivals

‘We could be exposed to the likes of France and Spain raising prices,’ he said.

Post Brexit, British mobile phone operators will have to agree their own bilateral deals with other phone companies across the EU.

During these talks, companies with networks in the UK, such as Vodafone and Three, would be able to exchange access to their own infrastructure with their continental peers.

However, smaller operators who do not own infrastructure and use larger rivals’ networks would be unlikely to get such generous terms, one official told the FT.

From April this year, thanks to new EU regulations charges for mobile phone users travelling in another European Economic Area country (the 28 EU countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) were capped at €0.05 (4p) per minute for all calls, €0.02 (2p) for text messages and each MB of data used must not incur a fee of more than €0.05 (4p) – excluding VAT.

The new rules were introduced after many travellers incurred ‘shock’ bills of thousands of pounds for using their mobile phones abroad, after the smartphone market exploded and mobile data consumption soared.

Data from comparison uSwitch published at the end of last year showed that one in six mobile phone users had to pay more than £100 on top of their normal bill, while the average was an extra £61, rising to £72 for 18-34 year olds.

Some mobile phone operators have already cut roaming charges.

Three already offers a ‘Feel at Home’ perk which won’t charge extra to call or text the UK or for data use in 18 countries.

Vodafone customers paying monthly on Red and Red Value bundles pay no roaming fees in 40 European countries.

While Tesco Mobile scrapped extra roaming charges for its customers travelling to any of 31 European countries during last summer.

Countries outside the EU are not covered by the new rules and roaming charges can be vastly more expensive. 


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Liberals avoid Kerry’s Israel responses, summarize help for just two-state option

29 Dec 16
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The Generous government is repeating its help to get a two-state remedy at the Center East but didn’t go-to the exact same level as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in clearly denouncing Israeli negotiation-building carrying out a painful rebuke from your UN.

The government’s assessed tone will be severely criticized from the Conservatives, who charged the Liberals of pandering to get a UN Security Council couch and indicated dissatisfaction inside the measures of the supervision of confident U.S. President Obama.

Per day after Mr. Kerry took to the Israeli government for arrangement-building, a speaker for Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion mentioned Canada remains to guide a two-state option for Israel plus a Palestinian state.

“As a peace-creator, Canada facilitates attempts to maintain the 2-state remedy, also to construct the circumstances for your celebrations to go back to immediate talks to discover a complete, merely and enduring peace,” speaker Chantal Gagnon mentioned in a e mail.

In a goodbye presentation on Friday, Mr. Kerry lashed out in the Israeli government and arrested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of hauling his region far from democracy. “If the decision is one-state, Israel could both be Jewish or democratic – it can not be equally – plus it won’t actually actually beat peace,” Mr. Kerry said. But he refused the idea the Usa has deserted Israel with all the UN election.

In a travel from prior coverage, the USA thought we would avoid – as opposed to to veto – a UN Security Council decision the other day that hopeless Israeli agreements inside the West Bank and east Jerusalem being a “flagrant violation” of international law. The decision passed 14-0.

Mr. Netanyahu, subsequently, charged the national government of the partial quote the culprit Israel for inability to attain a peace package – and explained he looks forward to working together with presidentelect Donald Trump, that has sided certainly with Israel.

“We can’t continue to permit Israel be addressed with such overall contempt and disrespect,” Mr. Trump tweeted this week. “Stay solid Israel, January 20th is fast-approaching!”

Conservative MP Peter Kent, the party’s foreign-matters critic, granted a long record blaming the Generous government of developing its foreign-coverage alternatives to restore a UN Security Council.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has mentioned Europe wish to gain a low-lasting couch, that your Conservatives dropped this season, to get a two-year period that starts in 2021.

“Standing up for Canada’s national passions, as well as the interests of our companions, has come second-to the Liberal Party aim of appeasing the UN,” Mr. Kent said. “The stop from your Generous government with this anti-Israeli decision is embarrassing, nonetheless it isn’t surprising.”

He also indicated dissatisfaction in Mr. Obama’s supervision for enabling the decision to go.

“We clearly deny the text with this Us decision which generally seems to declare that the Western Wall and East Jerusalem must become element of a Palestinian state.

“We may also be unhappy inside the measures of the confident national government, which abandoned traditional Unitedstates precedent by declining to veto this 1-sided and prejudiced decision,” he explained.

Neither Mr. Dion, or Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, were designed for interviews on Friday.

Paul Heinbecker, Canada’s former agent for the UN plus a former foreign policy advisor to Brian Mulroney, explained Mr. Kerry’s presentation resembled the USA pentup frustrations toward Israel.

“It was a genuine, clearly worded, clearly sensed appearance of exasperation the Israelis haven’t cooperated in seeking a two-state remedy, and also have accomplished, some may claim, up to they are able to to stop it from occurring,” Mr. Heinbecker said.

He explained Canada’s assertion attacks the proper equilibrium: While unremarkable, isn’t objectionable, sometimes.

“I don’t feel they should do greater than that. Truly they need to not disappear from what Kerry said. And truly they need to not make an effort to do you know what Trump will probably do,” he explained.

NDP MP Hélène Laverdière and Green Party Head Elizabeth May equally mentioned they arranged with Mr. Kerry’s responses.

“The [Israeli] agreements possess a bad influence on the prospects for peace. And what we wish in your community is serenity for all of US,” mentioned Ms. Laverdière, the NDP foreign affairs critic.

“I’d want to view Europe have a strong location likewise. As John Kerry mentioned, pals is there and also to inform you when anything isn’t proper or acceptable.”

Ms. May claimed she desired the USA hadn’t waited so-long to avoid being truly a veto on UN resolutions.

“Netanyahu’s procedures are a danger to peace. Folks must be ready to state that out-loud with no a huge amount of stones come-down to them,” she said.

“A two-state remedy is disappearing.”

Using a record from Associated Press

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John Kerry makes extraordinary request for just two-state remedy (Reuters)

Canadians concerned with antimalarial medicine mefloquine’s outcomes on armedforces: ballot

28 Dec 16
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More and more Canadians are thus concerned with the consequences of mefloquine with this country’s military which they desire the federal government to make contact with those that could have been hurt also to buy investigation to the longterm emotional dilemmas the antimalarial medicine might cause.

These will be the conclusions of the fresh study executed late last month by Nanos Investigation For Your World and Email at any given time when masters, specifically those that were around the struggling Somalia quest of early 1990s, were returning forward to state they feel the treatment quit them with permanent brain injury.

Over fifty percent of the ballot participants – 53% – mentioned they feel the federal government, and mefloquine’s maker, Roche, must buy investigation to the probable longterm sideeffects of the medicine, that is still being wanted to Canadian troopers who go-to places where the danger of contracting malaria is substantial. Another 7% mentioned the federal government must be only in charge of that investigation, and 38% mentioned the obligation could be the manufacturer’s alone.

Only 1% of the surveyed claimed nobody must be needed to buy more reports of mefloquine.

When questioned when the government must contact all troops and masters who’ve consumed the medicine to ascertain if it’d hurt them, 45% of participants mentioned “yes,” and explained they’d be ready to view tax dollars used compared to that conclusion. The same amount mentioned it must be up-to the masters to make contact with the federal government should they feel they’ve experienced sustained injury.

“I feel it’s honest to state the 45% who desire the federal government to pay money to make contact with masters who’ve been offered the medicine to ascertain whenever they have sustained injury is an excellent sign that they’re involved enough in regards to the concern for your government to pay income,” mentioned Richard Jenkins, Nanos’s vicepresident. “And almost everyone feels somebody must be out-there performing research.”

The questionnaire of just one,000 Canadians randomly hired by phone is anticipated to reveal the opinions of the united states in particular within 3.1 percent factors, 19 times from 20.

The Generous government has sofar rebuffed demands from masters and weight MPs to look at the probable longterm aftereffects of mefloquine in increased detail.

Health Canada updated the caution labels for mefloquine in September to highlight that one sideeffects could remain for weeks or decades following the medicine is ceased and might be lasting in a few people. Indicators noted include panic, fear, despair, hallucinations, psychotic behavior and, in exceptional circumstances, feelings of destruction.

Philippines recently banned the utilization of mefloquine within its causes. Different places, like the Usa, have reported it the medicine of last resource for military workers seeking protection from malaria.

Canada’s Key of Defence Team has purchased elderly health representatives to examine the clinical literature around the medicine. But senior military workers remain suspicious of promises that mefloquine causes longterm injury, except inside the rarest of circumstances. As well as the military’s Surgeon General has mentioned there’s inadequate data the medicine is really a difficulty to warrant purchasing investigation.

Lots of the troops have been offered mefloquine in Somalia within a medical test that has been improperly implemented and perhaps illegitimate noted the forms of indicators stated inside the Health Canada notice. Some blame the medicine for your abuse that erupted over a evening that observed Canadian troopers conquer A16-yearold Somali to death.

Along-working question into what’s called the Somalia Matter was cut small in 1997, inside the week ahead of the study was to investigate the influence of mefloquine.

“I am planning to press especially, again, for reopening the Somalia question around the schedule of what’s currently identified,” mentioned Cathay Wagantall, a Conventional MP plus a person in the Commons Experts affairs board, which includes seen testimony from masters who declare mefloquine has damaged their lives.

The survey’s conclusions are increasingly being introduced because the parents of the knight who needed his or her own lifestyle in 1994 are requiring that national cabinet ministers apologize for your loss in their child, who was simply approved mefloquine in Somalia and again in Rwanda, where he died.

Val Reyes-Santiesteban and John Smith, the parents of Corporal Scott Smith, questioned the other day for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Health Minister Jane Philpott to apologize for their sections, which a 1998 Auditor-General’s record mentioned executed the clinical test without getting the essential agreement of the troops or tracking for negative effects.

Ms. Reyes-Santiesteban can be contacting around the government to bar mefloquine for troops or even to announce it the medicine of last resource. The federal government, she mentioned, should defeat the “unrepentant lifestyle of rejection about the drug’s untouched dangers.”

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Experts say suppliers have been forced to pull their best deals because wholesale prices — what firms pay for power — have jumped by as much as 50 per cent since March.

This month, British Gas joined fellow Big Six supplier SSE in promising not to hike prices over winter. 

But Mark Todd, director of Energy- helpline, says: ‘Frozen standard prices are actually really expensive fixes best avoided.

‘You’re likely to not only overpay, but also be hit by price rises in the first half of the year.’


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Ottawa desires to play on advancement, but can it be willing to spin the cube?

27 Dec 16
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After having a year of bandying regarding the buzzword “innovation” because the key to its economic growth coverage, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are receiving willing to rollout the procedures that suit the statement in 2017.

It’ll focus on some sort of bidding method directed at producing technology groupings. Next month or two, in accordance with Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Invention, Research and Economic Growth, the federal government can inspire the design of consortiums of organizations, instructional organizations as well as other agencies to place forward recommendations for groupings.

Organizations devoted to artificial intelligence in Montreal, for example, may team-up with McGill as well as the Université de Montréal, for example, and get for your government to invest in investigation, or even a system for revealing innovations – or anything. The aspiration is really a fresh group – probably the most popular illustration is Silicon Valley – that spawns fast progress and excellent careers.

“What we observed from many people are, we must consider some threat, we must display authority in this region and market alone can’t do-it; government has to are likely involved,” Mr. Bains mentioned in a appointment.

It’s an alternative idea from your last government’s. Although Stephen Harper’s Conservatives never quit putting out professional subsidies, they often times asserted government’s finest function was to have out from the approach, by reducing fees or slicing legislation, and so they had a philosophical aversion to choosing winners and losers.

But a huge obstacle for Mr. Bains’s group program likely moves around perhaps the government has it in its genetics to also make an effort to select winners. Is government actually ready to play $800 million on creating three to four computer groupings, should they may crash?

The advancement plan is the main more interventionist monetary plan that Mr. Trudeau campaigned on. The highprofile offer was infrastructure spending. But several feel monetary government won’t considerably modify the lower-progress tabs on the economy. The theory is that, advancement and engineering could encourage faster progress.

The issue is you can’t legislate advancement. Prior government attempts, including tax breaks for investigation and advancement, haven’t been notably productive. It’s Mr. Bains’s career to use new points in 2017.

Small-business and startups are not any longer the concept; it’s more about high-growth and scaling-up to your larger-size. The federal government desires to rejig its venture capital rewards to inspire longer-term capital. It’ll setaside element of its purchase for little- and mediumsized organizations. As well as the 2017 budget is anticipated to describe some capabilities-teaching projects.

Nevertheless the first huge bit is groupings. Within the last few budget, $800 million was setaside, as well as in another month or two Ottawa can require recommendations – market and academia could recommend approaches to create a fresh computer group as well as the government provides a number of the income. The theory is the fact that they’ll generate critical size of enterprise task, tips, and skill, plus a success – a huge, fastgrowing business – may appear.

“We’re excellent at making a village method, but just how do we generate productive Canadian organizations which have an international model, which can be productive internationally?” Mr. Bains said. Huge “anchor” organizations need an “ecosystem” around them, and computer groupings can cause a that can help maintain and attract leading skill, Mr. Bains asserted.

The objective is the fact that the groupings won’t take market groups, including telecom or automobiles. Rather, the target will soon be over a scientific “horizontal program,” including artificial intellect or quantum research, which can be utilized in many areas, Mr. Bains said.

The theory is that, it’s a rewarding possibility. An expenditure of $800 million is comparatively modest income if it certainly displays a way to advancement and faster progress.

But will government actually consider the danger? Authorities frequently make an effort to please different constituencies, instead of gaming over a potentially innovative thought. It’s definately not apparent that authorities have even the sort of those who could choose the tips, or perhaps the threat.

Mr. Bains said he needs an open method that enables government to know what tips market and academia could offer, but in addition that you will have apparent standards to guage them on benefit. All guidelines, in training, they could struggle. The one thing about advancement is the fact that it needs having a chance on an informed guess. Mr. Bains’s first obstacle in 2017 will soon be acquiring government to master how-to accomplish that.

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‘We will continue to monitor this area to ensure prompt payment to consumers is standard practice.’

In most cases, credit owed to customers has been paid out by energy providers within 14 days of a final bill being issued, Ofgem said.


In energy accounts, you can either be in credit (you’ve paid for more energy than you used) or in debt (you’ve used more energy than you’ve paid for).

If you’ve closed an energy account and switched deals, your old energy provider could owe you money as you have ‘credit’ left over in your account.

Quite often, credit builds up in the summer months when people generally use less energy. 

To find out if you are owed money, contact your ex-provider.

They’ll need details of your former account, so dig out an old bill if possible.

If you don’t get anywhere trying to claw back credit from your old provider, contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

For current customers, large suppliers now typically review customers’ accounts on a yearly basis and automatically pay back any outstanding balances. 

But, in some cases, for example if a customer has moved or can’t be traced, it’s harder for energy providers to track them down.

In these circumstances, and after two years of trying, the energy provider has to pay any outstanding credit balances into charitable funds.

‘The first such payments have already been made’, Ofgem said.

On average, current energy customers in the UK are in credit by around £130 each in October, just before winter takes hold.

Commenting on Ofgem’s revelation that three quarters of the money owed to customers has been returned, Claire Osborne, an energy expert at uSwitch, said: ‘This is great news for consumers who are finally getting back the money they are rightfully owed, particularly after switching to a better deal. 

‘However, while it’s encouraging to see the large suppliers return this cash – and in most cases within 14 days – there needs to be the same focus on the smaller energy companies who have been quickly gaining customers.

‘Consumers who feel they may still be due a refund should get in touch with the supplier who they think owes them, even if they were a customer years ago.’ 

While SSE, British Gas and E.ON are freezing standard tariff prices for winter, energy supplier EDF has announced it’s reducing its gas rates by 5.2 per cent, ahead of an 8.4 per cent hike in electricity in March.

Meanwhile, ScottishPower is waiving Christmas Day energy costs after finding December 25 is the most expensive day for household bills.  

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Kevin O’Leary isn’t Donaldtrump – but their routes to politics could possibly be related

24 Dec 16
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Kevin O’Leary isn’t an immigrant-basher and exhibits no-interest in acting to become one.

You can find no obvious indications of him scraping into anti-business populism, and after spending a lot of his moment outside Europe, it’s cloudy he’d realize where you should try to find anything below.

Predicated on his unappetizing claim to create a spatula to Ottawa to “scrape all that junk out,” and his clunker of an endeavor to brand Justin Trudeau a “surfer man,” he’s definitely not also all that good at discovering different political slogans or awful labels for political adversaries.

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Kevin O’Leary evades question on if he is running for Conservative leadership
(The Globe and Mail)

New Brunswick, feds reach separate agreement on health-care funding

22 Dec 16
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New Brunswick has reached its own agreement on health care funding with the federal government.

Premier Brian Gallant says the deal includes $230-million in funding over 10 years for health care and programs for seniors.

New Brunswick is the first province to strike a deal with Ottawa after provinces and territories rejected a federal offer Monday.

That offer have would have poured an additional $25-billion over the next five years into health care, with a chunk of that specifically targeted for mental health and home care.

While that offer is now off the table and the federal government has given up hope of striking a national deal on health funding, federal officials say they are still committed to making big investments in home care and mental health.

It is continuing to negotiate with individual provinces and territories – as many as five or six of which appear to be having second thoughts about walking away Monday from the federal offer.

Also on The Globe and Mail

Quebec Health Minister criticizes Ottawa on health funding
(CP Video)