Anti-racist groups to protest AfD leader’s visit to the Union

first_imgStand Up to Racism Oxford and Unite Against Fascism have come together to organise a protest coinciding with Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party leader Alice Weidel’s visit to the Oxford Union.The AfD is the third largest party in the German Bundestag, but Stand Up to Racism Oxford’s Ian McKendrick argues that the party “built up its following by stoking up racism against migrants, Muslims, and refugees.”As a member of parliament for the Baden-Württemberg region since 2017, Weidel has been outspoken on such issues, however claims that her own motivation for joining the party came from their anti-Euro stance.Speaking on behalf of the Union, Union President Stephen Horvath defended its decision to invite Weidel.He reiterated the organisation’s commitment to political neutrality and free speech, and also emphasised the fact that Union members would be afforded the opportunity to challenge Weidel and ask her questions once her initial speech was over.Horvath told Cherwell: “The Oxford Union remains committed to the principles of political neutrality and free speech, and we invite a variety of political leaders from different countries and competing ideological camps.“In recent years, those perspectives featured and questioned at the Union have ranged from Julius Malema, leader of the radically leftist Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa, to Marine Le Pen.“Alice Weidel is the leader of the largest opposition party in the German Parliament. After Dr Weidel’s speech in the Union’s debating Chamber, members will be welcome to ask her questions, and challenge her views if they wish.”Concern about the AfD has risen in recent months following claims of its links to neo-Nazi groups in Germany. In September, their Thuringian leader, Björn Höcke, was one of several key party members who marched alongside far-right protest group Pegida in Chemnitz.The ‘silent march’, as it was advertised, was called for by the party to honour the death of a local man, who was allegedly stabbed by an immigrant to Germany.Expressing surprise at the idea that Weidel’s speakership invitation was controversial enough to merit protest, an AfD spokesperson told Cherwell: “The AfD is a constitutional state party.“In the AfD, there are no members who are or were members of a far-right party. I think the protesters do not know what fascism and what racism is.”Labour MP for Oxford East, Anneliese Dodds, expressed her disapproval at the invitation, saying: “It is very concerning to hear that the Oxford Union has gone out of its way to court a far-right politician in this way.”Oxford City Councillor John Tanner described the planned visit as “an insult to the University, to Oxford’s minority communities and to all of us who believe in an open and multi-racial society.”This is not the first time that the Union has been criticised for allegedly giving racism a platform in Oxford, past speakers include Tommy Robinson and Marine Le Pen.Weidel’s speech is scheduled to begin at the Union at 8pm on 7th November. Protestors will gather from 6pm on St Michael’s Street.last_img read more

Chile Lowers Copahue Volcano Alert and Allows Evacuees to Return

first_img On the Chilean side, the volcano is located about 311 miles south of Santiago in a difficult-to-reach area dwelled by Mapuche-Pehuenche communities. The ONEMI also lowered its alert level from red to yellow, and told evacuees that “the technical conditions do not justify keeping people in a safe place.” By Dialogo June 05, 2013 The volcano has no historic record of lava eruptions, although in the last century there were several explosions with ash emissions, the last of which took place in December 2012. Last week, Chilean and Argentine authorities set a red alert for an increase of seismic activity associated with the Copahue volcano, and ordered the evacuation of about 3,000 people in both countries, of which 1,200 abandoned their homes. center_img On June 3, the Chilean National Emergency Office (ONEMI) lowered the alert of a possible eruption of Copahue volcano, located on the border with Argentina, due to a decrease in seismic activity, and notified the evacuees that they can return home. In Argentina, the 1,300 mile-high volcano is close to the village of Caviahue-Copahue, in the province of Neuquén. After receiving a technical report from the National Service of Geology and Mines, minister of Mining Hernán de Solminihac told the press that the alert level of Copahue had been “decreed down from red to orange.” last_img read more

State guidance to nursing homes about reopening to visitors

first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says state officials are providing new guidelines so nursing homes may reopen to visitors.In early March, long term care facilities were closed to visitors, to reduce the risk that residents would contract COVID-19.  “This time of separation has been extremely difficult for residents of long term care facilities and their loved ones,” Reynolds says. “I’ve heard stories of spouses that have been married for over 60 years who have rarely spent a day apart until these last three months, of sons and daughters who worry they’re missing precious time with an elderly parent.”The governor says there are also concerns about how social isolation is impacting the mental health of nursing home residents. Dr. Caitlin  Pedati, the state medical director, says facilities will get advice from the state on how to handle easing some of the COVID-related restrictions.  “Visitation of family as well as of health care personnel, trips outside of a facility, dining practices and group activities,” she says.Dr. Pedati says facilities will be advised to consider virus activity in the vicinity before making changes.last_img read more