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Author: admin, 07.03.2014. Category: The Power Of Thinking

The hosting of an event in Oxford each year was one of the conditions of the incredibly generous legacy gift of around £300,000 left to the WEA by Catherine and Fred Adler. A highly enjoyable part of this year’s event came when creative writing tutor Kate Joyce and two of her students Rita and Owen delivered their original, intertwining story of three individuals on the same day in Oxford City Centre each affected by issues of democracy. Emma Carney briefly touched on last year’s Save Adult Education campaign where 11,000 signatures and 500 letters to MPs resulted in a visit to 10 Downing Street and a positive outcome in the face of government cuts.
With this year’s event providing further testimony to lives changed and opportunities provided, Fred and Catherine would be proud to know that the WEA are working hard to do justice to their wonderful gift.
A local community arts group for adults with learning difficulties has been given the seal of approval from an esteemed panel at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
As part of the celebrations, there will be awards ceremonies taking place later in the year, showcasing achievements of outstanding individuals, tutors, employers and projects in England. The materials consist of Power Point slides with activities, information, handouts and links to resources online. For the first time in more than 50 years, the government has published a white paper on culture. According to the charity’s 2015 impact research, 81 per cent of all students at the WEA are involved in more cultural activities, which include reading, following their participation in a WEA class - regardless of the subject. British politician and academic Lord David Blunkett delivered the keynote speech at the evening reception. Events such as these serve to reiterate the value of adult education – it is something which we must strive to protect given its life-enhancing and life-changing effect. Gender parity is the theme for this year and individuals and groups are being urged to take action in order to accelerate equality for all. As Christine Lagarde, chief executive of the IMF, said in the 2014 Dimbleby Lecture, women “face discrimination at birth, on the school bench, in the boardroom. Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, reminds us that far too few women run FTSE 100 companies and the pipeline of talent gets blocked by men who, more obviously, fit in. A survey carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2013 ranked England and Northern Ireland 14th for adult literacy and 16th for adult numeracy. According to the charity Go ON UK, nearly a quarter of the adult population lack basic digital skills, a phenomenon that affects women more than men, given time taken out because of childbirth. Which is why the WEA helps thousands of working people and those in the poorest communities to return to education, whatever their age or income.
Leading an organisation was something that I thought was beyond my grasp when growing up in a small Welsh mining town in the 1960s. My accent wasn’t right and the first time I was invited out for dinner I turned up at midday.
Working in such a male dominated industry in the 1970s was no picnic and, despite coal being in my blood, career opportunities were non-existent for women. The majority of our students are women and many of them use courses as a means to reskill or retrain. The importance of this was recently confirmed by the Centre for the Modern Family, a think-tank established by Scottish Widows.
Globalisation has the potential to open up opportunities and to encourage wider participation – and global organisations need seriously to address widening and deepening the talent pool if they want to continue to be successful. Governments need to take tough action where human values of respect and dignity are compromised and we need to tackle head-on the biggest temptation of them all: to set our sights too low and quit the field when the battle is not yet won.
Almost one in four UK workers are willing to take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible working hours as pressure builds on employers struggling to live up to employees’ expectations.
Whilst the study of 2,000 adults and 500 businesses found that almost a third (32%) of employees with children felt their employer provided equal support for all, only 20% without children agreed, and a similar proportion (21%) of those without children claimed that parents received better support. The findings showed employers’ responses reflected this perception, with more than half (51%) offering flexibility for mothers with young children. Whilst businesses appear to be taking steps towards meeting the needs of parents in the workplace, varying barriers still exist when it comes to extending those policies to support employees more widely. The study found that medium-sized businesses struggle the most – with almost a quarter (23%) saying they do what is legally required of them in terms of flexibility for families, but not any more than this for other employees. Almost three quarters of medium-sized businesses (72%) would never consider offering full-time working from home, compared to half (51%) of micro and two-fifths (40%) of enterprise businesses. Half of medium businesses also said they would not consider offering part-time working from home, compared with 16% of enterprise and 22% of large businesses for the same reasons.
Almost a fifth of businesses (17%) have called for clearer information around the business benefits of flexible working – rising to a quarter (24%) in large businesses. However, employees feel it is the employer’s responsibility to offer solutions, and many are keen to see changes in the workplace.
Join us for the WEA biennial conference, which will be held on 11th and 12th March 2016 in Sheffield. If your costs are being met by a WEA Region or Association Services, you can register online here. Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the national business association for co-operative and mutual enterprises. Debate the future of Conference and the sutainability of the WEA - the latest agenda is available here.
Current WEA Deputy President, Lynne Smith, is set to become President of the Association following an all member vote. Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive and General Secretary commented: "I am sure that members, staff, volunteers and supporters of the WEA will join with me in congratulating Lynne Smith on her election as President of the WEA. Wessex Archaeology and the Workers’ Educational Association have forged a new partnership to promote and deliver educational outreach with heritage at its heart. Wessex Archaeology Chief Executive Chris Brayne and Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the WEA, will be signing a memorandum of understanding at the Omega Centre in Portsmouth today. Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas is attending to speak about the Mary Rose and WEA students will be there to help show that heritage themes can support the teaching of Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and literacy. Yesterday, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Sharp led a debate in the House of Lords on the role of adult education and lifelong learning in strengthening the UK economy. Speaking at the debate, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, noted the results of the WEA’s latest impact report which assessed the effect of our provision against our four curriculum themes. Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, Lord Hunt of Chesterton, Lord Shipley and Baroness Garden of Frognal all referenced the charity and its role in ensuring that everyone has a chance to return to education.
The WEA is pleased to see this issue raised in parliament, and through the work of the APPG, will continue to champion the importance of lifelong learning to individuals, communities and wider society. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has published its 2015 Employer Skills Survey which reports that, despite a surge in job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by 130% since 2011. In our experience, ESOL students are hardworking and diligent, committed to contributing to their communities and wider society. Election for the post of PresidentSince two nominations have been received for the post of President, a ballot among WEA members will now decide which candidate will be elected to the post. If you were a registered member by 12 September 2015, you will be able to vote in the election.
Elections of WEA Association Officers are supervised by the Standing Orders Committee appointed at the previous Association Conference. In order to be able to vote, members are required to have joined the WEA in England and Scotland on or before 12 September 2015. WEA London Region is looking for experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and creative adult educators for inclusion on our Tutor Panel. You should ideally have experience of working with educationally or socio-economically disadvantaged adults across a range of community settings.
The report demonstrates that adult learning has an enormous impact on individuals and communities.
The Autumn edition of WEA News is now available, including stories on our Save Adult Education campaign, Conference 16, the new All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education and much more. Molly Morgan was a WEA volunteer who was tragically murdered on her way to a WEA course in 2009. As the WEA leads the campaign to save adult education across England, colleagues in WEA Scotland give their support and solidarity, whilst reflecting on some key differences in Scotland. An award winning adult education student and a fashion tutor from Tower Hamlets joined shadow minister and Newcastle MP, Chi Onwurah, to deliver a petition of over 10,000 names to 10 Downing Street as part of a campaign to save adult education. Adult education, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, represents only six per cent of the department’s spending devoted to education and training. With the government expecting that 13.5 million jobs will be created over the next 10 years but only 7 million young people coming into the workforce, there is a concern the loss of adult education services will mean that older workers will not be able to update their skills while employers will face a shortage of workers. On Thursday, 29 October 2015, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published It’s the finance, stupid! This collection of essays explains the catastrophic fall in part-time student numbers, which is harming the economy and limiting people’s ability to transform their lives, and proposes a range of options for tackling the problem.
A study, published in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal, looked at how a series of adult education classes grew closer over seven months. Dr Eiluned Pearce, from Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology led the research. To test the theory, the researchers worked with charity the Workers' Educational Association (WEA), the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.
Those attending the classes were given surveys before and after individual sessions in the first month, just before the break and at the end of the seven month course. We are sad to announce the recent death of Peter Quigley, who played an active role in the WEA for many years. I learned Peter Quigley had passed away on the evening of Tuesday 13th October in hospital following an operation, whilst I was attending a WEA Regional Heads Meeting in London. Peter had also represented WEA Scotland nationally on the WEA Council and more recently on the Standing Orders Committee. On the wider stage of life, Peter was a former English teacher, and Union Representative and this often meant that he was called on to represent members in disciplinary procedures. Knowing of my literary aspirations, Peter had chatted to me a couple of times about writing a book himself, though, ever cautious, he never revealed the plot. A forthright individual, Peter always challenged what he did not agree, but with a good heart and there are few who would not say that he sought to improve the WEA and its place in the world.
WEA Scotland would wish to extend to Peter’s family and friends our sincere condolences.
Please consider for a few moments Peter Quigley’s contribution to our lives and the life and success of the WEA. Labour MP Holly Lynch has voiced support for the WEA's Save Adult Education campaign after meeting with our students and tutors last week.
The Halifax MP, part of the 2015 intake, was invited to a screening of a campaign video produced by learners which captures the many reasons why adult education should be protected and supported. Commenting on the campaign, Holly said: "Adult education is essential in ensuring that people have the skills and the confidence to make the most of the opportunities available to them, either in employment or in life.
New WEA tutor Tracey Kettridge is interviewed in this month’s Prima magazine in a feature on inspirational women.
In September, Tracey fulfilled another of her ambitions – to become a tutor with the WEA.
Organisations from the education, business and employment sectors have joined forces to shine a spotlight on the hundreds of thousands of students studying part-time around the UK. The two largest providers of part-time higher education: The Open University and Birkbeck, University of London. Unionlearn – the learning and skills organisation of the TUC who last year who have helped over 220,000 people access training and development.
Workers' Educational Association (WEA) – the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult education. National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) – the national voice for lifelong learning.
National Union of Students (NUS), which represents the voices on 7 million students including part-time and mature students. CBI, whose 190,000 members employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of the private sector-employed workforce. With more than two million students currently settling into new university courses, a fifth of these will be studying part-time whilst juggling work and family responsibilities. These part-time students are largely 'invisible' – they may not identify themselves as being a student, and are often overlooked in media and government reports in favour of reporting on the participation of younger, full-time students. The Government is currently preparing its Spending Review for the next 5 years and will announce its plans on November 25.
Less than 6 per cent of Government spending on education and training is devoted to adult further education and skills. Putting this in context, over the next 10 years there will be 13.5 million more jobs but only 7 million young people coming into the workforce.
Over the next few weeks we are hoping to reach thousands of students, members and supporters of the WEA as well as a vast range of partners and friends who share our concerns. I am deeply concerned that the cuts suggested for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will have a serious impact on the sustainability of adult education across England.
As a supporter of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), I have experienced the impact adult education can make. Please add in a personal statement of what the WEA means to you whether as a student volunteer or tutor. The group has been formed to raise the profile of adult education, and in particular, the vital role it plays in providing high-quality educational provision to the most disadvantaged members of society. The group will be established as an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) shortly after the launch. The launch event will be at 11am on Friday 18 September at Westgate Community College in Newcastle. Created as part of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, the SDIs offer a vast range of adult education courses for over 130,000 students across Britain each year, providing educational opportunities for every community in the country. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Tencent is in talks with SoftBank Group Corp to buy the Japanese company's majority stake in Supercell and is in discussions with several financial investors, including Hillhouse Capital Group, to join in the purchase as co-investors.
Tony Lam, a partner at mobile game design consultant Adrian Crook & Associates in Vancouver, British Columbia, said a Supercell acquisition by Tencent would place the Chinese firm in the top tier of mobile game providers. Six members of the Finnish games industry founded Helsinki-based Supercell in 2010 and it has launched only four titles - Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Clash Royale - in the US and Europe, according to the Journal.
All the titles were among the top 20 mobile games by revenue on Apple Inc.'s iOS system as of May, according to videogame research firm Newzoo, the newspaper said. Lam doesn't think Tencent would be overpaying for Supercell if the purchase price is around $9 billion. Lam said he doubted that acquiring Supercell would raise concerns by regulatory officials because the global mobile games market is about $37 billion in size and Supercell's revenue is less than 10 percent of that.
The son, Zhou Bin, 44, was sentenced to 18 years for taking bribes and for illegal business operations, the verdict said. He was fined 350.2 million yuan ($53 million) and all of his illegally obtained assets were ordered to be confiscated.
Zhou Bin and Zhou Yongkang sought benefits for others by taking advantage of Zhou Yongkang's posts, and accepted property worth 98 million yuan, said the verdict issued by Yichang Intermediate People's Court. Zhou Bin also used his father's influence to obtain advantages for others through officials,and accepted property worth 124 million yuan. Zhou Yongkang was a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee from 2007 to 2012. Hours before the verdict on Zhou Bin, Jia Xiaoye, 48, Zhou Yongkang's wife and Zhou Bin's stepmother, was imprisoned for nine years for taking bribes, according to a verdict issued by the same court.
Earlier reports said Jia, a former editor at China Central Television, married Zhou Yongkang "around 2001".
In July 2014, the CPC Central Committee announced that it had decided to place Zhou Yongkang under investigation.
On June 11 last year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for accepting bribes, abuse of power and deliberately disclosing State secrets. Wednesday's verdicts came six months after President Xi Jinping reiterated the nation's determination to press ahead with the fight against corruption. Chinese investors continue to show strong interest in the United States with the largest delegation to next week's 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington. The 150-strong group from the Chinese mainland will be led by US Ambassador to China Max Baucus. The annual summit, first launched in 2013, will be held at the Washington Hilton on June 19-21, with nearly 2,400 participants from 70 markets and the US. US President Barack Obama will deliver a keynote speech on Monday, while Secretary of State John Kerry and five other cabinet secretaries will also address the gathering.
Stefan Selig, undersecretary of commerce for international trade, dismissed the notion that a slowing Chinese economy is dampening the enthusiasm of Chinese investors.
He said that Chinese officials voiced concerns over the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) reviews of Chinese FDI at the eighth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing early this month. Selig emphasized that the reviews focus exclusively on national security concerns and not broad economic or policy interests, noting that only a very small percentage of foreign and Chinese investments are reviewed by CFIUS. The son and the wife of former security chief Zhou Yongkang were sentenced to prison terms on Wednesday, according to verdicts issued by a court in Hubei province.
Zhou Bin and Zhou Yongkang sought benefits for others by taking advantage of Zhou Yongkang's posts, and accepted property worth 98 million yuan, the verdict, issued by Yichang Intermediate People's Court, said.
Zhou Bin also used his father's influence to obtain advantages for others through officials, and accepted property worth 124 million yuan. Neither Zhou Bin nor Jia will appeal, according to a statement issued by the court after the trial. Wednesday's verdicts came six months after President Xi Jinping issued a warning of "cabals and cliques" in the Party, and reiterated the nation's determination to press ahead with the fight against corruption. Zhou Yongkang was reported to have formed several networks in the sectors he was in charge of, including law enforcement organs and State-owned enterprises such as China National Petroleum Corp. Chinese stocks rose the most in two weeks on Wednesday as regulators and investors shrugged off a decision by MSCI Inc not to add A-shares to one of its key benchmark indexes. Lu Wenjie, China equity strategist at UBS Securities, said investors will still add to their positions in Chinese equities, and concerns over market transparency should ease gradually along with China's continued liberalization of its capital account.
Guan Qingyou, chief economist at Minsheng Securities in Beijing, said investors should take the MSCI decision in their stride.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs said the commission's statement indicates that the regulator aims to continue further enhancing market accessibility and to align domestic practices with international ones. They also said the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, similar to the existing trading link between Shanghai and Hong Kong, could be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. Remy Briand, MSCI managing director and global head of research, said significant steps have been taken toward the eventual inclusion of China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, as A-shares demonstrate a clear commitment by the Chinese authorities to bring accessibility to the domestic market closer to international standards. Analysts said regulatory hurdles and restrictions remain on overseas investors accessing the Chinese stock market, which could help explain MSCI's decision on the exclusion. The influx will result in annual sales revenue of 40 billion yuan ($6.06 billion), the analysts from Changjiang Securities wrote in a report.
Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said on Wednesday that Disney's first theme park on the Chinese mainland and the sixth worldwide is designed to be "authentically Disney" but also "distinctly Chinese".
Iger said it is important that the Shanghai park offers "authentic Disney" but ensures that this is done in a way that respects the local culture and creates a sense of ownership in terms of language, food and entertainment. He cited the example of Chinese acrobats performing in the Disney musical Tarzan: Call of the Jungle and the first Chinese production of the Broadway musical The Lion King, which premiered at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre at the new park on Tuesday night. Iger said the new park has enormous potential, as it had received more than 600,000 visitors during a month's trial period ahead of Thursday's grand opening. The 7 square kilometers that the resort occupies has allowed it to invest in more attractions, including additional facilities. Teng Bingsheng, associate dean and associate professor of strategic management at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, said Chinese consumers want the best entertainment products, and companies such as Disney have a head start in this regard. Kelly Ryner, president of Thinkwell Asia, a US-based theme park design company, said, "China is a huge part of this modern world, and it makes complete sense to import quality entertainment. Addressing the possibility of long waits for rides at the Shanghai park, she said slow lines during a soft opening are to be expected at any park and during major holiday periods.
The new series, In the Name of the People, is produced by the Supreme People's Procuratorate's Film and Television Center. Fan Ziwen, deputy director of the center, said it is the first domestic production to portray a State-level government official as a villain, making it a topic of heated debate. The series has attracted widespread attention, as the topic of corruption had largely faded from TV screens in China after the media watchdog ordered a reduction in the number of such shows in 2004.
Zhou Meisen, screenwriter for the new series, said such productions have not been screened for a decade amid a nationwide increase in more-commercial shows.
Actors Lu Yi and Zhang Fengyi take the lead roles in the series, which has completed filming and is at the post-production stage. Fan said it is being shown to reflect the central leadership's determination and the measures taken to fight corruption since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012. In the past three years, corruption has led to the downfall of a series of officials at provincial or ministerial level, including Zhou Yongkang, the former security chief, who was sentenced to life in prison in June last year for graft, abuse of power and disclosing State secrets. Besides the "tigers", corruption among officials at lower level, or "flies", will feature in the series. To vividly and accurately reflect judicial bodies' anti-corruption work, Zhou Meisen said he visited prosecuting authorities and prisons to conduct interviews. He applauded the firm steps taken to fight graft, saying this inspired him to join the production team for the series. Xinhua News Agency reported in September that President Xi Jinping mentioned House of Cards during a speech in Seattle, saying that China's fight against corruption is based on both the government and people's desire to fight graft, and is not a struggle for power, as depicted in the US series. Wang Qishan, head of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top disciplinary watchdog, has recommended the US series to disciplinary officers many times, Phoenix Weekly reported in December 2013. Chinese writer Zhang Ping said: "Many TV series are either based on arguments among families, or are science fiction shows. From January 2015 to March this year, applications to produce seven TV series about anti-corruption measures were filed with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Li Jingshen, director of the authority, said it is required to produce at least two films and up to three TV series on the anti-graft fight each year.

It was detected by a team led by NASA and San Diego State University using the planet-hunting Kepler telescope.
Although the planet is in the habitable zone - where water that is crucial to life can be liquid - it is not a good candidate to support life because it is so large, scientists said. Planets that circle two suns are nicknamed Tatooine after the fictional body in the Star Wars films that boasts a double sunset.
In 2011, scientists found the first Tatooine planet - a world about the size of Saturn 200 light-years from Earth. NASA launched Kepler in 2009 to search for planets - mainly Earthlike ones - outside the solar system. One of my friends in the United Arab Emirates, though, was curious about how or even whether Ramadan is observed in China. His call, however, sparked a new interest in me to look into the deep history of Islam in China. It turns out that China was among the first countries where Islam was established after the religion was founded in present-day Saudi Arabia more than 1,400 years ago.
Successive Chinese dynasties have whole-heartedly welcomed Islamic scholars to the country.
China's first mosque, the Huaisheng Mosque in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, was established in AD 627, some 11 years after Islam was introduced to the country. Originally built in AD 996, the mosque is an architectural wonder, combining Chinese and Arab styles. It is so well known in Southeast Asia that there are travel companies offering "Muslim tours" of Beijing with the Niujie Mosque as the central attraction of the trip. As it was the first Friday of Ramadan, the mosque's prayer halls and courtyards were filled with thousands of worshippers - some of them expatriates and visitors, but mostly Beijing residents. After the prayers, many visited the Niujie museum that exhibits numerous Islamic treasures, while others took photos. One exhibit that drew particular visitor interest was a huge copper cauldron, built in 1702.
In olden days, an inscription says, it was used to prepare meat congee on the night of the 27th of Ramadan. Congee is an integral part of the Ramadan diet throughout Asia, and is prepared in a number of ways depending on the country.
Niujie's cauldron is a testimony to how far the authorities went to make it easier for the area's Muslims to fast. President Xi Jinping's visit to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan will lead to more projects involving production capacity cooperation, Foreign Ministry officials said on Wednesday. During the eight-day trip that will begin on Friday, Xi will attend signing ceremonies for cooperation documents in the three countries, all of which are along the route of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, said Liu Haixing and Li Huilai, both assistant foreign ministers. Liu told a news briefing that Xi will visit Serbia's Smederevo steel mill, which was founded in 1913 and acquired in April by Hesteel Group, China's largest iron and steel business group in terms of production capacity. Construction of Serbian power stations and highways in projects involving contracts with Chinese companies is going smoothly, he said. The Chinese government is encouraging domestic companies to invest in Poland's nuclear power industry, Liu said.
Poland has been China's largest trade partner in Central and Eastern Europe for 11 consecutive years.
Liu Zuokui, an expert at the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that promoting bilateral cooperation with Serbia and Poland will play a positive role in propelling China-CEE relations. To show support toward China-Uzbekistan cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi will attend a ceremony for the completion of a tunnel made by China, Li said. While attending the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Xi will discuss with other leaders the applications by India and Pakistan to join the SCO as members, Li said. Chen Yurong, a researcher of European and Asian studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the SCO summit is expected to have a huge, positive influence on the growth of the organization, which marks its 15th anniversary this year. Li Yang, chairman of the National Institution for Finance and Development, said that the central government is well aware of the possible risks of mounting debt - especially in the non-financial corporate sector - and will act to tackle the debt issue in a timely manner. Li echoed the words of David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who warned on Tuesday of the debt problems.
China has relied on debt-fueled stimulus for years, leading to rapid economic growth, and debt problems did not become apparent until economic pressure appeared, Li said.
Although that is a high level of debt, it is not as intimidating as some investors had thought, Li said. In response to concern over the limited effect of debt-for-equity swaps that are supposed to keep bad debt from piling up, Li said this approach needs to be propelled based on market principles and according to law, or disarray will ensue. The planned meeting between US President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama sends the "wrong signal" to Tibetan separatists and will hamper Washington's relations with Beijing, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. China has lodged a diplomatic protest with the United States, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said. Obama and the Dalai Lama were scheduled to meet privately at the White House on Wednesday morning. The Dalai Lama is "not only a religious figure, but a political exile who has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion," Lu told a regular news briefing. Obama had been scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to appear at a campaign event with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee. That created an opening in Obama's schedule that the White House filled with the meeting with the Dalai Lama, AP said.
Obama made a high-profile public appearance with the Dalai Lama last year at a prayer breakfast in Washington, calling him "a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion." Three previous meetings were held privately. The White House barred the media from the meeting and arranged for it to be held in the Map Room instead of the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state, AP said. Niu Jun, a professor of international relations at Peking University, noted that the meeting was arranged on the heels of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which ended last week in Beijing and had positive effects on the two countries' relations.
The State Council has decided to invalidate hundreds of outdated documents to tackle conflicts in regulations and improve administrative efficiency. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting that was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. More than 500 documents that affect the country's sustainable growth, structural reform and people's livelihood were announced to be invalid after Wednesday's meeting. Over the decades, many regulations covering similar areas were issued to better suit the country's evolving situation. Major documents that were invalidated include those that were obviously not adapted to the market economy or were unnecessarily restrictive of enterprises' operations, pricing and fund management. In December, 489 outdated documents were announced as being invalid in the first stage of the effort to overhaul documents.
During the meeting, Li called for all related governments to clean out outdated documents to further streamline administration and to delegate power to lower tiers.
Experts said the move is in line with government efforts to transform government functions.
Wang Manchuan, secretary-general of the China Society of Administrative Reform, said the move to invalidate outdated documents will eliminate conflicting regulations and spur market vitality, motivating more investment domestically. In the past, many regulative documents didn't have an expiration date, often causing conflicts with new regulations announced by the central government, Wang said. The Beijing Municipal Education Commission announced on Tuesday that it will work with organizations to draft and implement tougher standards for the construction and examination of school playgrounds to guarantee environmental safety for students. The call comes after parents claimed their children attending Beijing No 2 Experimental Primary School's Baiyunlu Campus were poisoned by toxic substances emitted by the school's new running track. However, a follow-up air quality test conducted by the China National Environmental Monitoring Center showed school facilities were safe, the district education commission said on Sunday.
Chen Jianding, a professor of materials engineering at East China University of Science and Technology, said the existing national standards, which were approved in 2011, don't set limits for all materials needed to produce and pave such synthetic surfaces.
Luo Zhenyang, a polymer material researcher at Nanjing Forestry University, said what was missed in the 2011 standards potentially opened a loophole for cheap, low-quality surface materials. As a member of the expert panel drafting the 2011 standards, Shi Jianhua, a chemical engineer from the China Environmental Protection Association, suggested that the education authority should impose new standards specifically for school facilities with higher requirements in material safety, construction and supervision.
The Beijing Education Commission has ordered a thorough inspection of all synthetic sports fields on campuses, and has called off all construction of school playgrounds before the new standards are implemented.
Since last summer, there have been a series of similar cases reported by local media, with students suffering from symptoms such as nosebleeds, coughs and rashes allegedly caused by toxic playgrounds in about 15 cities, according to Xinhua News Agency. In Shenzhen, Guangdong province, new standards covering the bidding process, material production, installation and post-construction testing of synthetic sports fields was implemented by the municipal education commission last month, the first time a Chinese city has imposed a tougher regional rule. The new rule was in response to a government investigation that found 11 schools in the city used low-quality facilities containing excessive toxic chemicals. The Shenzhen standards added seven more categories beyond the national counterpart, including quality control of raw materials and project supervision, according to the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, a co-drafter of the standards. The film, a live-action version of the World of Warcraft video games, made more money in its opening weekend than other major Hollywood films out this year made in their entire runs, including the much-hyped Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the third installment of Kung Fu Panda. Warcraft was produced by Legendary Entertainment, which was acquired by Dalian-based Wanda Group earlier this year for $3.5 billion - one of the reasons, some say, Legendary put so much effort into marketing the film. The Warcraft games are already popular in China, but the studio promoted the film heavily, partnering with Tencent and Huayi Brothers Media, creating brand sponsorship deals and merchandising around the movie. It helped that decision-makers at those brands were Warcraft players themselves, Peter Loehr, CEO of Legendary East, the company's China arm, told the Times. Warcraft's success doesn't come as a surprise, given the fandom around the game, said Jonathan Papish, a writer at China Film Insider. On the film's performance in China, film star Jackie Chan said Warcraft's earnings should worry Hollywood executives. A fan livestreams her participation during China's premiere of the film Warcraft at a theatre in Shanghai on June 7.
Top diplomats from China and the 10 ASEAN countries agreed on Tuesday that the South China Sea issue should be handled properly, reaffirming the need to "jointly ensure peace and stability" in the area.
The 11 countries also called for "maritime practical cooperation" and for early completion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. The China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers Meeting in Yuxi, Yunnan province, was the first of its kind in three years. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the region "should not become another place of turbulence" as the world has already witnessed considerable chaos.
On the sidelines of the convention, Wang embarked on a whirlwind series of meetings with his counterparts from ASEAN countries. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told Wang on Monday that his country is ready to tackle maritime differences properly based on the consensus of the party leaders of China and Vietnam. Wang said, "Both sides (China and ASEAN) should tackle differences properly and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the meeting shows that most ASEAN members will not be "hijacked" by the South China Sea issue and related problems. China has played a proactive role in boosting integration and development within the ASEAN Community, and such a role has won support from the ASEAN members, Ruansaid. Wei Ling, a professor of Asian studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said China has provided firm support to ASEAN continuously, with this year marking the 25th anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue.
Zhu Ling, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said 2016 is the Sino-Russian Media Exchange Year, an idea proposed by President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last year. As a China Daily supplement, China Watch has been telling China's story in English, French, German and Spanish, Zhu said at the launch ceremony. Li Hui, China's ambassador to Russia, said, "Congratulations on the publication of the Russian edition of China Watch.
During the launch ceremony, the two newspapers also jointly unveiled a photo album - One Hundred Photographers Focus on China.
Zhu said publication of the Russian edition of China Watch and the new album signifies the friendship and cooperation momentum between the two nations and their peoples, adding that it will help Russian people to understand China better and intensify ties and the partnership between the two countries. Pavel Negoitsa, publisher of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, said the album is the second example of cooperation with Chinese media after the release of the photo album One Hundred Photographers Focus on Russia last year.
Kaminskaya Kseniya, deputy director of the Russian government's News and Information Department, said that when Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had visited China he took photos.
Negoitsa said Sino-Russian friendship has passed through generations and should be passed on to the next generation. China Watch reaches more than 50 million readers in political and business circles with help from the circulation channels of newspapers in various countries. From left: Editor-in-Chief of Rossiyskaya Gazeta Vladislav Fronin, Publisher of Rossiyskaya Gazeta Pavel Negoitsa, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Zhu Ling and China's Ambassador to Russia Li Hui attend the launch ceremony in Moscow of the Russian version of China Watch (top left) and the photo album One Hundred Photographers Focus on China. The bikes, ranging in price from 3,999 to 39,999 yuan ($607 to $6,074), enable riders to track their motion, communicate with others and lock or unlock the cycles via apps. Since August, when the bikes went into production, Flying Pigeon has secured more than 400,000 orders, according to Zhang Jinying, president of the company, which has been trying hard to shake off its traditional image as a manufacturer of low-end bikes.
However, Tianjin's economy still grew by 9.8 percent in 2015, which the municipal government attributes to the rise of small and medium-sized technology firms. The number of "little tech giants" in Tianjin rose to more than 3,400 last year from 726 in 2010, with their share of local industry increasing to 48.4 percent from 16 percent. Most of the emerging companies concentrate on new energy, biopharmaceuticals, electronics and equipment manufacturing, according to Wei Yongjiu, head of the Tianjin Administrative Bureau of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
In the past five years, the government has invested 20 billion yuan, in subsidies, venture capital and startup funds to support technology innovation in these enterprises.
Vic the photographer often moved at his own pace, but I never saw anyone drop a sandwich, grab their photo kit and dash across the newsroom, out the door, into the car park, quicker.
We were escorted into a small room and even before we had done the formalities, Vic was snapping away. Outside the door, waiting journalists were clearly peeved that we had overstayed our allotted time and probably eaten into theirs. Membership by China in the International Organization for Migration will not only bring considerable changes to Beijing's migration management and services, but also will help the country to participate in global governance, experts said.
During the meeting, Wang expressed China's recognition of IOM's role and contributions in managing migration worldwide.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wang submitted China's application for IOM membership, signed by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, to Swing on Monday morning in Beijing. Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization and the only Chinese on the Migration Advisory Board of the IOM, said China has not yet established a complete migration legal system or management process. However, joining the IOM will help its collaboration with other countries when problems occur, he said. Data from the IOM showed that there were 1 million Chinese migrant workers in temporary employment abroad in 2014, with more than 663,000 foreigners holding resident permits valid for more than six months in China. Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics estimated that nearly 269 million migrant workers have moved from rural areas to the growing cities in China.
The IOM, founded in 1951 amid the chaos and displacement of post-World War II Western Europe, now has 162 member states, with nine others holding observer status. Polish news agency, newspaper, radio and TV station representatives made the remarks at the China-Poland Media Dialogue, hosted by China's State Council Information Office in Warsaw, the country's capital.
Xi will make state visits to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan from Friday to June 22, the Foreign Ministry announced on Monday. He said Xi's visit will be a great opportunity for people from the two countries to learn more about each other. Qu Yingpu, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the newspaper seeks in-depth cooperation with Polish media, especially in establishing a content-sharing mechanism for new media, so that people can quickly and easily learn about the current affairs of both countries.
Artur Dmochowski, president of Polish Press Agency, said: "Xi's visit to Poland is extremely important, as China's place in the world is more and more important. In addition to the media forum, the State Council Information Office hosted a series of cultural activities on Tuesday to enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of China and Poland.
The Beautiful China, Beautiful Poland exhibition, with dozens of photos from both countries, opened at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile, about 100 bookstores around Poland began a monthlong book fair on Tuesday to promote books on ancient and modern China.
Also on Tuesday, a library of books on China was established at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Guo Weimin, vice-minister of the State Council Information Office, visits a photo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday. The Chinese government released a report on Tuesday reviewing the nation's human rights progress from 2012 to 2015 and promising a greater effort in the future. China launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-15) in June 2012, the second of its kind, following one that covered 2009 to 2010. Major targets and tasks set by the plan had been fulfilled as scheduled by the end of 2015, according to the report issued by the State Council Information Office.
About 48 percent of the binding targets and over 50 percent of the targets concerning people's livelihood had been met ahead of time, thus realizing the comprehensive implementation of the plan, the report said.
Fulfilling the plan as scheduled demonstrates the commitment to and confidence of the Party and government in promoting human rights in a coordinated and orderly way, and also shows the huge advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, according to the report. However, it conceded that the government is keenly aware of many challenges, including that China's economic development mode is still crude and fraught with problems from unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development. The country is still struggling with a big gap between urban and rural areas as well as problems of immediate concern to people's welfare, including medical care, education, elderly care, food and drug safety, income distribution and the environment. The dialogue in Beijing, following the first such conversation in Washington in December, was attended by Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun and Suzanne Spaulding, an undersecretary at the US Department of Homeland Security. US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been scheduled to attend the meeting, but they withdrew after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The US government attaches great importance to the agreement reached by President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in September and has faith that both nations will work to transform differences into cooperation, she added. The mass shooting in the US has prompted both countries to give more emphasis to collaboration on security issues, including cybersecurity, Spaulding said. For example, 17 Chinese suspected of making pornographic videos involving children have been arrested after the US informed China that such videos had been posted on websites in February, Tao said. Cyber issues are "an important element in our bilateral relationship", the ambassador said.
Along with the topic of fighting cybercrime, the dialogue also covered establishing a hotline between the two countries, safeguarding cybersecurity and exchanging law enforcement information in cybercrime cases.
Wearing T-shirts with giant panda and bamboo cartoon images, most of them were returning to China for the first time. In coming days, they will review their adoption files, take traditional Chinese cultural classes, return to the orphanages where they lived before being adopted and travel to tourist destinations, including Chengdu in Sichuan province.
The heritage tours have been organized by the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption since 2006. Li Liguo, the minister of civil affairs, said in a welcoming speech that the Chinese government pays great attention to children's interests and rights, and has sought the most suitable adoptive families worldwide for Chinese orphans.
Susan Dixon, a 62-year-old from Chicago, said her daughter Sara was only 14 months old when she adopted her in Chongqing. Adopted Chinese youngsters and their family members take a selfie during a visit to Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday. With the US reeling in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead and 53 wounded, a US senator introduced legislation that would bar people convicted of hate crimes from owning or buying firearms.
Bob Casey Jr, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said at a press conference on Monday that law enforcement needs to focus on the connection between violence and hate crimes. ISIS claimed responsibility on Monday for the slayings in an official broadcast on the group's Albayan Radio.
Casey described the deadly shooting as "an act of terror" and "an attack on the LGBT community".
Leaders from around the world expressed their condolences for the worst mass shooting in American history. President Xi Jinping called President Barack Obama on Monday to express sympathy on behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people, according to Xinhua.
Premier Li Keqiang said in a press conference after his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that China "opposes terrorist action in all forms". Congressional Democrats challenged Republican lawmakers by reviving legislation that would deny the sale of firearms to those on terrorism watch lists, which had failed to pass in December. The Democrats said they will try to attach the revived legislation to the Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill that will be on the Senate floor this week, according to the website Politico.
New York Senator Charles Schumer, a supporter of the legislation, said that Democrats believe they will "do better" this time in getting Republicans to support it.
Julian Mortenson, a professor of law at the University of Michigan, said that gun control advocates expect each mass shooting to be the catalyst for significant reform, but it has not happened. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence advocacy group said in a statement released on Sunday when the Orlando shootings took place that it is "far too easy" for those who are intent on causing harm to access guns. Obama said on Monday that "it appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information" online; he added that "all those materials" are now being scrutinized and "exploited". Investigators said they are operating under the theory that the attack was inspired by ISIS. Mateen's ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said outside of her home in Boulder, Colorado, on Sunday that their marriage lasted four months and that she had left their Florida home and filed for divorce. A man kneels at a memorial service the day after a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Monday. A foreign ministers' meeting on Tuesday between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be a good opportunity to dispel doubts about China and to ease tension in the South China Sea, experts said.
Beijing is ready to discuss further promoting and upgrading China-ASEAN cooperation and "jointly ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea", Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday during a briefing on the meeting. At the meeting, to be held in Yuxi, in Southwest China's Yunnan province (which borders Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar), China is looking for an in-depth exchange of views on topics including China-ASEAN ties and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, Lu said. The declaration is a key document, signed by China and the 10 ASEAN member countries in 2002, that endorses political settlement of maritime disputes. The 11 countries held their 12th senior officials meeting on fully implementing the declaration on June 9 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Jia Duqiang, a senior researcher on Southeast Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the meeting will be a good opportunity for China and the ASEAN countries to have productive and candid discussion.
Jia said the discussions inevitably will consider the potential impact of the Philippines' arbitration case against China on the sea issue.

The meeting is expected to show "emphasis and expectations by both sides on advancing China-ASEAN cooperation", he said. Luo Yuan, a researcher at the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science, said the South China Sea issue is "not between China and all the ASEAN countries". He said some ASEAN members not directly involved in the issue "have displayed their willingness to downplay the disputes" at recent international events. Speaking in Washington on June 9, Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said that small countries like Singapore hope China and the US "would be able to work around the differences, compete but keep the competition within reasonable limits, cooperate effectively and above all, avoid conflicts". Many in China believe that the US involvement in the disputes over the South China Sea has complicated the situation. Chinese Islamic leaders at a symposium held to reinforce a positive image of Islam and curb extremism condemned the deadly mass shooting at an LGBT venue in downtown Orlando, Florida, in the United States.
The mass shooting, the worst in US history, took place on Sunday as a man armed with an assault rifle killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. A law enforcement official said the gunman made a 911 call from the nightclub professing allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, The Associated Press reported. As Muslims across the world celebrate Ramadan, Haji Kerim said it is a time to promote friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims. Guo Chengzhen, vice-president and secretary-general of the association, said Islam has always been against terrorism. The symposium, held in Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, centered on issues such as incorrect interpretations of jihad, which have given rise to extremism in Xinjiang. Guo said the symposium aims to help Muslims in Xinjiang identify and avoid extremism, and to hold exchanges on current thinking in the Islamic world. Microsoft Corp will buy LinkedIn Corp for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal, marking CEO Satya Nadella's first big effort to breathe new life into the software giant's business-productivity tools. By connecting core software like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint with LinkedIn's network of 433 million professionals, the deal marks a turn for Microsoft, which stumbled in a mobile-phone venture launched under Nadella's predecessor.
The deal could help keep services like Outlook e-mail relevant enough that customers won't want to leave it for rivals such as Google's Gmail, analysts said. For LinkedIn, the opportunity to tap Microsoft's customers, including the 1.2 billion users of its Office suite of business software, could help it jumpstart growth, which has slowed in recent quarters. Nadella has been trying to reinvigorate the once-lumbering company since taking over two years ago and has helped build more credibility around Microsoft's efforts in areas such as cloud-based services. As devoted socialists, trade union activists and supporters of adult education, the Adlers were passionate advocates of the transformative power of education. With focus on Preparing For Work and Helping in School courses, WEA tutors Heather Dommet and Vivian Vermede introduced students Lubna and Shamena who addressed the audience with stories of how the WEA has helped them to integrate, gain confidence and find employment and volunteer opportunities.
He also touched on the Emergency Powers Act prior to World War Two and the more recent terrorism acts which, in attempting to make the population secure, unavoidably restrict civil liberties.
We then heard about the two inspiring mosaic projects with students of diverse age, ability and background working together to produce two pieces currently on display at The Barn in Greater Leys and Littlemore Community Centre. Of the students taking part, 22 per cent were from black or ethnic minority backgrounds and 41 per cent had a disability. In addition, the study found that 36 per cent of all students valued the arts, music or literature more than they had previously whilst 35 per cent had a greater understanding of other cultures. Tutors, students, members, volunteers and colleagues from across the country were in attendance, with vigorous discussion around sustainability (the theme of the 2016 conference) and the future of the charity. He has been instrumental in developing a wide range of renewable energy systems and is now leading on the ground-breaking Zero Carbon Britain research.
Speaking from personal experience, Lord Blunkett told the audience of the challenges he faced when returning to education and of the ultimate gain.
I was privileged to hear from a variety of wonderful speakers and educational practitioners and felt honoured to share the success stories of the WEA Awards recipients.
Women’s lives have been transformed by technology, changes in our economy and in social attitudes so that women expect to compete on equal terms.
The adult education charity has been going for more than a century and it is as badly needed today as it was in 1903.
This low level of adult skills inevitably impacts on the success of the economy as a whole.
People like my grandfather, who left school at 11 but who enrolled on a WEA course and eventually won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford, and another to Peterhouse at Cambridge. When I read economics at Cambridge I was intimidated by the cutglass accents and the seemingly easy social confidence of my fellow students.
It is a vicious cycle that affects many women, which is why we have to do more to support mothers in the workplace.
Last year, the WEA launched a campaign focusing on the importance of education and lifelong learning, to enable women to overcome the disadvantages they face in society.
Its latest report, published last week, revealed that one in four UK workers would sacrifice pay for greater flexibility.
According to the World Economic Forum it is now ranked 18th out of 145 countries in terms of the gender gap, an improvement from the 26th place ranking it achieved last year.
According to the report no country in the world has achieved gender equality but I think there are lessons we can learn from those at the top of the league table: Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take another 117 years until the pay gap between men and women is closed. We also need to recognise and reward good practice wherever we see it, learn from our own experience and the experience of other countries and cultures.
However, far fewer are supportive of fathers with young children (35%), older workers (26%) and other employees (34%) who may have additional responsibilities such as elderly or unwell relatives to care for, charity and volunteering responsibilities, or a desire to attend additional training or classes outside of work. Over half (52%) of medium-sized employers said this would be logistically too difficult to implement, whilst over a third (35%) worry it would impact negatively on the business. Almost a third of employers (31%) place the onus on employees – saying they would be encouraged to reconsider their decisions if employees would consider taking cuts in return for more flexible working hours. A quarter (24%) of employees think employers should offer flexible shift patterns, and almost a quarter (23%) would be willing to be paid less in return for working fewer hours if this were an option.
Our economy depends on a skilled and motivated workforce that functions productively – and our best hope of achieving this is through encouraging employers to adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce. This year the theme of the conference is sustainability, with an event on the Friday of national significance with a great line up of speakers and workshops along with the Association Dinner.
He has a track record of innovation and impact in his work to bring together economic life and social justice.
He chaired the Jubilee 2000 campaign and was part of the team that founded the Fairtrade Mark. Standing Orders Committee has therefore confirmed that Lindsay Pearson is duly elected to the post of Deputy President. It encourages intellectual curiosity and lifelong opportunities to learn which we are passionate about in the WEA. Since 2010, we have witnessed a drastic reduction in the ESOL budget of almost 50 per cent.
By creating a more cohesive ESOL strategy, the Government could help thousands of people across the country unlock their potential and contribute to the economy.
Standing Orders Committee therefore confirms that Lindsay Pearson is duly elected to the post of Deputy President. Before voting you should read the supporting statements from the cadidates and the role description for the post of President below.
You will have either recieved an email from Electoral Reform Services or a ballot paper by post providing security details for the election. Further information about the regulations of governance of the WEA can be found in our Governing Document. Applicants should hold a First Degree or equivalent in their subject(s) or have significant, demonstrable professional knowledge and skills. Our work transforms outcomes for people in deprived communities; it reduces social exclusion, increases social mobility and enables families to break the cycle of deprivation. Without continuous opportunities to learn throughout our lives, the economic potential of many citizens will be lost and our productivity levels will continue to lag behind other competing countries.
While this is welcome, we believe there needs to be more investment in adult learning alongside a rebalancing of our education and skills policies to reflect the fact that productivity improvements will be driven by those who are already in the labour market.
From now on, everyone is going to be thinking about how to continuously increase skills through life. During her life, she gave so much of her time to the charity and had volunteered with us for over 25 years before her death at the age of 81.
The formation of a Scottish Parliament Cross Party Working Group on Adult Learning has backed this up - testament to the shared belief that adult learning benefits people and communities throughout Scotland. An effective vehicle for economic and social justice, a strong adult learning sector is key to the future of Scotland. Chief Executive of the WEA, Ruth Spellman and WEA Director of Education Joanna Cain, joined the group to highlight the importance of adult education to communities throughout England. This year alone, the Adult Skills Budget has already had cuts of 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent, and many students are concerned that further cuts will have a devastating impact on a service which provides skills, confidence and support to disadvantaged communities across the country.
Adult education is important because it helps individuals and their families break cycles of deprivation and forge better lives themselves. Thousands of people have joined the WEA in saying this is a vital service for our economy and our society.
There are other challenges too, such as the future of the research environment, how to assess the quality of teaching and dealing with the effects of marketisation.
Part-time numbers have fallen more in England than other parts of the UK with lower (or no) fees, but it is not the sole cause. Now, research from the University of Oxford has shown that singing is a great ice-breaker and can get groups of people to bond together faster. The conclusion – singing groups bonded quicker than those taking part in other classes. At the end of the seven months, all the classes were reporting similar levels of closeness. Indeed he represented my Cousin, Bill Bald and successfully defended him in a case of wrongful dismissal. It is for this and the many other unrealised potentials that we always regret the passing of a life, the achievements stand as testament, the intentions and possibilities as feasible conjecture.
Tracey is a former beautician who, five years ago, decided to change career and study counselling and hypnotherapy after years of being a shoulder to cry on for family, friends and clients.
She will be empowering those with low self-esteem to recognise their worth and talents by teaching a confidence course with us. The sector is calling for greater recognition of the value of part-time education and is asking students, past and present, to share why they love part time study. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, which funds the WEA and other adult learning institutions like ourselves in England, has been asked by the Chancellor to suggest cuts of 25% and 40%.
Further cuts, on top of the 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent cuts to the Adult Skills Budget already announced this year, will have a devastating impact on a service that is life-changing for many people. At the same time employer investment in skills and training has declined by 2.5bn since 2011. Our aim is to raise awareness, make the case for adult education and to give adult learners a voice. Individual letters or emails to your local MP and the Chancellor will make a difference and make sure that adults are not forgotten when cuts are being made.
Please click here to download a template of what you might consider writing - the suggested text is also below. Further cuts, on top of the 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent cuts to the Adult Skills Budget already announced this year, will have a devastating impact on a service that is life-changing for many people and communities across the country. The group will aim to start a wider debate about the future of adult education in this country. Learning can change people’s lives and improve not just their skills and job prospects but also their confidence and health. APPGs have members from all the main political parties in Parliament and the Adult Education APPG will be supported by the WEA and other specialist adult education institutions.
Our aim is to engage key stakeholders, organisations within the FE sector, parliamentarians and other major influencers in a debate about the future of adult education. About half of the 32 billion yuan ($4.88 billion) revenue Tencent generated in the first quarter came from online games. In May 2015, when Softbank increased their ownership in Supercell to 73 percent, that deal was valued at around $5.5 billion so while there definitely a premium being paid, it doesn't seem out of line with a fair valuation," he said.
The game developer said in March that it posted a profit of $930 million on revenue of $2.3 billion in 2015. The vast majority will be attending the summit for the first time, according to Vinai Thummalapally, executive director of SelectUSA, a federal government initiative to attract foreign direct investment into the US. Some 50 government and business leaders will speak at various sessions throughout the summit, whose theme this year is "The Innovation Advantage". He noted that the growth percentage of the Chinese economy is misleading because the economy is getting so much bigger, meaning the aggregate economic value of the growth has continued to grow. In the long run, inclusion of A-shares is a certainty and just a matter of time, as China's capital market evolution and reforms have been progressing steadily. It features about 100 roles and is being filmed with a budget of 120 million yuan ($18.46 million). The discovery was announced on Monday during a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego. The reason for his anxiety was media reports that suggested China doesn't allow its Muslims to observe fasting. That is the holiest night on the Islamic calendar, the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Quran were revealed.
It is also the only CEE country that has joined the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Liu said.
Lipton suggested that a well-staffed group is needed to specifically resolve the mounting debt and to address the associated banking consequences. The debt problem in China is mostly internal and isn't likely to turn into a crisis, with enough foreign exchange reserve, he added.
But the event was postponed after Sunday's shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub that left 50 people dead. All had been issued between 1978 and 2013, during which time China started and carried out its reform and opening-up strategy. This caused possible overlaps with older regulations, which were still legally effective but hadn't been overhauled. An office set up under the State Council to work on the task consulted departments, experts and netizens. It will help governments at all levels to work more effectively, with fewer institutional costs that arise from regulations that have outlived their usefulness, and will improve government credibility, they said. So Wanda is pulling out all the stops to make sure the first movie released in China under the acquisition should not surprise anyone," he said. It worked with brands like Jeep, Lenovo, Intel and an herbal tea maker to market the film, according to the Los Angeles Times. During a Monday announcement of his new production company in China, Hollywood director Renny Harlin said he is set to direct anadaptation of Legend of the Ancient Sword, a popular Chinese video game. Wang said the closed-door meeting, which was first proposed by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was timely, significant and involved strategic communication.
China is committed to future meetings to build trust and dispel misunderstandings, he added. As President Putin is expected to visit China soon, the launch will help pave the way for the visit. Medvedev has contributed three pictures to the new album, showcasing the high level of attention he pays to Sino-Russian relations.
Chu Yin, an associate professor in the Public Administration Department at the University of International Relations in Beijing, said China's participation in the IOM will improve its border management and labor migration policies and bring them in line with international practices. It will be Xi's first state visit to Poland, one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. He added that the paper plans to produce a 20-page special edition to cover Xi's activities in Poland. China has provided the library with about 240 types of books and will give 300 books each year for the next five years.
The joint dialogue should be developed into a major channel for communication and cooperation on cybersecurity issues between China and the United States," Guo, who also is a state councilor, said at the dialogue.
Spaulding said the focus of the talks was to make sure both sides fulfilled commitments made by the countries' presidents, according to a news release provided by the Public Security Ministry after the dialogue. The US and China both have a large number of internet users and share common interests in internet security, she added. The plan for a hotline for fighting cybercrime and related issues and a list of agreements will be issued on Wednesday, according to the ministry.
They are aimed at helping Chinese adoptees living overseas to understand how they were adopted, recapture their childhood, and learn more about traditional Chinese culture.
Julie Kavanagh, minister counselor at the US embassy in Beijing, said more than 90,000 Chinese children have been adopted by US families since 1979. Authorities said on Monday that they had identified all but one of those shot and killed at the Pulse nightclub by Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police. He professed allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) in a 911 call he made during the attack, law enforcement officials said.
But Mateen, who had been interviewed twice by the FBI and once was on a terrorist watch list, had previously expressed solidarity with Islamist groups that oppose Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said on Monday, adding "confusion" about his inspiration for the attack, the Los Angeles Times reported. A commemorative summit will be held in September, and Tuesday's meeting will help prepare for it, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu said. And what I will plead to the Chinese as well as to the Americans is to avoid a zero-sum mentality," he said.
Some in the US are not happy about the prospect that Philippines President-elect Rodridgo Duterte might pursue a bilateral consultation with China regarding the maritime disputes, something China has sought for some time. It is an act of terror against humanity and has nothing to do with religious factors," Adiljan Haji Kerim, vice-president of the Islamic Association of China, said on the sidelines of the symposium. Police killed the shooter, who was identified as Omar Mateen, 29, a US citizen who was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan. And because the acquisition brings a network heavy in marketing and sales professionals, it delivers a shot across the bow to competitors in those areas, such as Salesforce and Marketo. The day concluded with two students, Ali from Afghanistan and Aziz from Iraq, telling their stories of how they partook in WEA Community Interpreting Courses to help others like themselves to integrate and find success. Half of the students were on means-tested benefits and 28 per cent from disadvantaged postcodes.
If he had not secured his O-level qualifications by attending evening classes, he would not have been able to attend university and subsequently forge a career in national politics. Award-winning journalist Nadine Dereza hosted the event, which highlighted the fantastic work of the students, tutors and staff that make the WEA special. After my third was born I had to deal with redundancy and the serious illness of my husband.
On Saturday, the formal business of the conference will take place with debates on some of the key issues affecting the WEA and adult education. It was entitled Changing Lives and revealed the extent to which adult learning impacts on so many areas of an individual’s life. In order to help people fully integrate into their communities and boost active citizenship, we believe more should be done to encourage and facilitate English language learning for those who need it.
An effective ESOL programme has the potential to promote community cohesion, fair access to services, social mobility and can enable students to access the labour market. Applicants should also hold a Level 4 teaching qualification (minimum) or be willing to work towards this. Unless we have accessible and affordable education and skills provision economic growth will stall, our productivity levels will continue to be below the G7 average, and five million adults will continue to struggle without basic literacy and numeracy skills. Alongside the petition, hundreds of WEA students who have benefited from adult education have been writing to their MPs to protest against potential cuts in the Spending Review. Singing is found in all human societies and can be performed to some extent by the vast majority of people.
Each course, made up of two-hour sessions, was run over seven months with a two-week break in the middle. It was a difficult feat considering that she had four children (her youngest at the time was one years old) and it meant leaving behind the security of a profession which she was thriving in. Please help us maintain this vital service for generations to come by highlighting the importance of adult education to the Chancellor and BIS over the coming months. The annual output values of the metallurgical and petrochemical sectors fell by 15 and 25 percent respectively year-on-year last year.
The photographer was having a sandwich for lunch at his desk, and though I can't remember what I did yesterday, I do remember shouting out: "Vic, it's Ali. I finished, submitted it to the editor, he read it, went through it with his blue editing pencil, marked it more than I liked, gave it to the typesetters and said nothing. He never rang at that ungodly hour unless there was a monumental blunder that demanded a severe dressing down.
That survey found that more than half of those aged under 60 gave improving communication skills as a specific skill developed on a WEA course.
Whilst we can’t guarantee tutors work, inclusion on our Tutor Panel ensures that you will be considered when suitable courses arise.
Any solution is likely to rest upon innovative delivery methods and other ways of improving access as much as relying on tweaks to the entitlement for financial support. Muhammad Ali greeted us with an outstretched, unsteady hand and entertained us for 30 minutes, never once breaking stride.

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