Displaying items by tag: scandal
Mary, a former resident of Marianvale Home for mothers and babies in Newry, said, ‘My baby was taken from me. We have been asking the Executive to set up an inquiry for years. Ministers have brushed us aside.’ Her statement echoes the cry of women and babies in near-identical institutions who suffered arbitrary detention, forced labour, ill-treatment, and the removal and forced adoption of their babies. These criminal acts were carried out by both Catholic and Protestant churches and organisations. They enforced a regime of praying, knitting and scrubbing floors. Women were treated as prisoners, not expectant mothers. There were over a dozen of these institutions, where 7,500 women and girls gave birth. The last one closed in the 1990s. Two UN committees have recommended that the government should establish an inquiry into these abuses.
On 18 May Austria's vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned after German media published a video that purportedly showed him offering government contracts to a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch, in exchange for media coverage and political funding. The scandal drove Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to call for snap elections instead of trying to revive his weakened coalition government. ‘Enough is enough,’ Kurz told reporters, while Strache, who leads Austria's far-right Freedom Party, described the incident as a ‘targeted political assassination.’ The video was reportedly just months before Austria's last election, where Strache's party received 26% of the vote and 51 seats. In the wake of the video, Kurz said the abuse of power, taxes and interference in media affairs were among his concerns. Strache vowed to take legal steps to address the video.
Blood transfusions in the 1970s and 80s infected 4,800 patients with hepatitis C or HIV. As a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal begins this week, the victims and families of the 2,000 who died want justice and the Government held to account. The stigma attached to HIV meant that victims received hate mail and death threats, and the scandal was hushed up. This inquiry will finally give people the opportunity to tell their stories as evidence is heard. One victim said, ‘They will be horrified to hear what happened’. The UK relied on blood products from America manufactured from blood from thousands of paid high-risk donors (prisoners and drug addicts). Campaigners say there is evidence that the health service knew the blood was contaminated but carried on giving it, and there have been allegations of a government cover-up.
Shelter, a Christian charity ministering to vulnerable young people, says it is ‘scandalous’ that over 130,000 youngsters across Britain are expected to be homeless this Christmas season. Alastair Welford, the founder of Nicodemus, a Christian charity in Warwickshire with similar aims, said the figure could be an underestimate. He added, ‘When you think of the number of churches in this country, if 20% of them started little homeless projects - little marginalised youth projects with some support from us - it would be incredible’. 9,500 children will spend their Christmas in a hostel or bed and breakfast; others will be in local authority emergency accommodation. London is worst affected by child homelessness.
An audit by the Gambling Commission issued on 21 November has shown the quadrupling of child problem gamblers to more than 50,000 in two years. It also found 70,000 youngsters were at risk, and 450,000 children bet regularly - the equivalent of one in seven children aged 11 to 16. Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans, branded the figures as a ‘generational scandal’, and warned that the UK needs to take the dangers of gambling seriously. The audit also showed that children were being inundated with gambling adverts, with two-thirds saying they had ‘seen it on TV’, and nearly a million young people had been exposed to gambling through ‘loot boxes’ in video games or on smartphone apps. See also our recent article on FOBTs: https://www.prayer-alert.net/praise-reports-pa-site/item/11186-uk-government-backs-down-over-gambling-machines
The European Commission president’s informal manner at EU meetings has been criticised. He denies accusations that he has a drink problem. Now he must now take urgent steps to explain his role in an illegal wiretap scandal. In 2013 Jean-Claude Juncker resigned as Luxembourg prime minister after his intelligence chiefs were accused of tapping phones, bugging politicians and keeping 13,000 secret files. He denied any involvement, but was dragged back into the scandal after fresh claims that members of his staff had tampered with crucial evidence. Now a secretly recorded telephone conversation between him and his intelligence chief in 2007 shows them discussing an interference that he denies ever authorising.
Former Guatemalan football federation official Hector Trujillo, arrested in December 2015 in Florida, has become the first person to be sentenced in investigations into corruption in FIFA. He had accepted almost $200,000 in bribes from a sports marketing company. A further forty football and marketing executives have been accused. Many of the charges involve bribes paid around the organisation of regional tournaments and World Cup qualifying games. Prosecutors in Switzerland have also been investigating, and FIFA has conducted internal enquiries.