Why are my trains being delayed?

Trains – Why are they being delayed?

Northern, Southern rail and Merseyside rail staff have gone on strike because certain rail companies are considering only having the driver as the staff on the train to save costs. However, this would mean that at least one person per train would lose their job and it would mean the driver, as well as driving the train, would have to do the conductor’s job. The rail employees are going on strike for 24 hours in a row over keeping guards on trains 100 managers were drafted to do conductor duties to allow some trains to run.

Transport bosses have appealed for people to work from home in order to minimise delays. It is said that 60% of Northern rail services will be cancelled as guards and drivers walk out for 24 hours over keeping guards on trains. The strike is happening between 12:01 am and 11:59pm on Monday 20th of March.

Arriva North West showed they wanted to help with the traffic when they tweeted:

“Northern Rail train tickets will be valid on Arriva buses in the North West to help passengers during RMT industrial action.” – 13th March

Andy Heath of Merseyrail said “It is unfortunate that many drivers took the decision not to work today.”

While Southern rail said it aimed to run most of its 2,200 trains, more than half of Arrivals services were cancelled because of the strike.

The RMT strike on southern is the 30th since a row over if a conductor is needed almost a year ago. Unions have argued that the changes mean conductor’s will be sacked but rail operators have vowed that this is not the case.

Northern rail said it plans to run 980 services during the strike (which is about 40% of Northern rail services normal timetable.)

We asked the public about their opinions on the rail strike and this is what we got:

“I understand why the railway workers went on strike and I agree with them.”

“If they went on strike again for similar reasons I would go with them as I agree with them.”

“Everyone has their right times to go on strike and this is not one of them this strike is very inconvenient for the public and any train users.”

The train strikes, although seen as an inconvenience by some people, are mainly respected and appreciated.

By Jack and Ben – Correspondents for General News section


This case is not a walk in the Park Geun-hye

The former South Korean President – Park Geun-hye – was removed from office, because of her role in the recent corruption scandal.

At a time where tensions are so high, what will happen? A new president must be elected in sixty days, as Ms Park has been facing impeachment over the scandal. However what will this mean for the people? Whilst China and North Korea, the public must choose a new president.

Park has been accused of; bribery, extortion and abuse of power. Although she denies any wrong doing, we will see what happens. In speeches, she said that she was open for questioning, but has refused any opportunities.

Park Geun-hye has strangely been accused of cult activities. These allegations popped up after she reconnected with an old friend. This friend had set up the cult ‘The Church of Eternal Life’. Choi Tae-min (the leader) told Ms Park that he had been visited by the soul of her late mother, whom had been assassinated by North Korea. Choi’s daughter is said to have manipulated Park to force companies to donate billions to her non-profit organisations. One of the judges on panel said she “seriously impaired the spirit of… democracy and the rule of law.”

Fighting Famine In South Sudan

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Famine in South Sudan.

There has been a terrible famine that has arrived in South Sudan, which is the first famine in six years. South Sudan had a brutal civil war that lasted 25 years. This resulted in South Sudan independence in 2011. But a conflict in December 2013 reopened deeply rooted tension that had not been reconciled.

South Sudan ranks as the 11th Country in the world for child hunger with 32.5% of children that are younger than the age of 5, underweight. This is because about 60% of South Sudan is inaccessible by road during the rainy season, complicating relief efforts by WFP and other agencies. Another reason is because disruption to trade routes and food markets mean the conflict is increasing hunger even in areas not affected by the fighting

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With over a million people forced to leave their homes, the conflict is reversing some of the progress made recently. 270,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since December. Between 4,000 and 5,000 pour into Ethiopia weekly, many with high rates of malnutrition.

Quotes for well known new reporting teams that have been to the site have said, “Waters offer desperate families refuge from war but little food.”-Itv News. This quote alone shows how little food they get.

To raise we have both entered a sponsored run and whatever we make will be donated to a charity that supports the famine in South Sudan.

by Ailis and Simmone

Trump’s Travel Ban Blocked Yet Again

The travel ban for Muslims from six mainly Muslim based countries has yet again been blocked, but this time, by the judge of Hawaii.

The travel ban was an order that said there would be a ninety day ban for six mainly Muslim countries an a hundred twenty day ban on Muslim refugees. President Trump used this order to “stop the terrorists from entering the United States but critics say it is very discriminatory towards the Muslim race.”

The first travel ban was issued back in January, but this caused protests among US citizens and refugees. Consequently, a judge in Seattle blocked the ban, therefore stopping the travel ban before it could take place.

Judge Watson said that the ban would cause “irreparable injury” by violating the First Amendment protections against religious discrimination. Hawaii also said that the ban would lower down tourism and the ability to recruit potential students and workers.

Mr Trump’s administration has argued, however, that as long as his interest is in keeping the country safe, he is not discriminating any religion.

Back in January when the ban was first ordered, it was protested against due to the fact that it would likely stop the process rights of certain individuals with valid visas and paperwork. The argument if whether the ban questioned the rights of the Muslim immigrants was kept silent. Until today.

Mr Trump was rather angry about the ban and said that he will continue the case until it is done.

Article 50 – What is it and why is it significant?

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When will Theresa May trigger Brexit?

Article 50 is the article that will mean the UK leaves the EU. It is a one page agreement for all EU member states.

Over the next couple of years, Theresa May and the government will negotiate with several world leaders about Britain and it’s exit with the European Union (Brexit). They will have to come up with many trade agreements and new laws that will be put in place instead of our current EU laws. EU law makes up 13% of our current laws and plays a part in 62%. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU in April 2018 which could change the way we travel, work and trade.

Here is an explanation of the article that decides the requirement to leave the EU.

The first point in the article expresses that any member state of the European Union which decides to withdraw does so with it’s own constitutional requirements and that secondly any members state that wishes to leave shall notify the European Council of its intention.

Thirdly, the treaty will cease to apply to the state in question 2 years after the notification to leave the European Union is sent.

Finally, a majority vote must be defined in accordance with the Article 238 which states “The qualified majority shall be defined as at least 72% of the members of the Council, representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union.”

Once Article 50 is put in place it can not be stopped, extended unless by unanimous consent and any deal must be decided by a majority vote. The UK will not take part in any internal EU discussions in the period after the article has been invoked.

The Conservative party predicts this article will be triggered by Theresa May before the end of March 2017.

Here we have an interview with a few members from the general public about what they think about Brexit and Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

by Ben and Jack – Correspodents for the General News section

Muslims Outraged

muslim-protestsA group of protesters on Thursday the 17th of November in America were showing their opinion about the decision/opt from Donald Trump to kick out all Muslims from America. A 19 year old Muslim, who has heard Islamophobic comments before, is trying to avoid the reality that Trump won. He said, “There is more to come… There are a lot of Ilhans in our communities” He also stated that it will only attract more danger.

About a month later on the 12th of December 2016, Muslims went out onto the streets and started forming violent acts towards the Police. Anti-Trump demonstrators have voiced concerns that his presidency, due to start on January 20, would infringe on Americans’ civil and human rights. In Los Angeles on Thursday night, police arrested about 185 people, mostly for blocking roadways or being juveniles out past curfew, according to police.

Some protestors carried signs saying things such as “Trump Fuera” which means they want Trump out. They also carried Mexican flags with them. They covered the street the Republican National Committee chairman, acknowledged on Friday the tight race with the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but said anti-Trump protesters have to accept the election results.

Protests still carry on as Christmas rolls up and hopefully it could blow over after the New Year.

By Joe.

Can music affect concentration?

A study was done at the Imperial College and the Royal College of Music to examine whether listening to music influenced concentration whilst doing a task.

Families often have arguments over whether children should be allowed to listen to music whilst revising and music has often been used in professional settings such as operating theatre. The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, involved playing music into participant’s ears whilst they attempted to play the board game ‘Operation’ – where players have to remove pieces with tweezers without setting off a buzzer. The 350 people had to carry out the tasks whilst being played AC/DC, Mozart and then the background music of an operating theatre.

Whilst women weren’t effected by any of the music played the men seemed to have a higher level performance when listening to Mozart. However this was only the case for people who enjoyed listening to classical music and after this was considered there appeared to be no change in their performance.

The research teams could not come up with an explanation as to why women were less affected but suggested it might be a greater susceptibility among men to “auditory stress” – where sensitivity is affected by “loud or discordant music”.

Dr Daisy Fancourt, leader author of the research, regarded the study using the board game ‘Operation’ as “tongue in cheek” but that it was a component of wider research into how music could change people’s performance, including in settings such as operating theatres.

However questions were raised about whether different types of music could influence the effectiveness of how teams worked. “This study suggests that for men who are operating or playing a board game, rock music may be a bad idea,” Dr Fancourt said.

By Finnerty