Category Archives: Interviews

Professor Carl Jones delivers a lecture on ‘fake news’ for secondary school children

Carl Jones, a PR and Advertising senior lecturer at the University of Westminster has hosted an online lecture on ‘Fake news & how to Spot it’ earlier this week via the software Microsoft teams to almost 1,400 students within the UK.

The talk was arranged by the charity Speakers for Schools, which was established to put young people in touch with eminent figures and societal leaders including CEOs and professors, as well as their organisations.

As stated on their website, Speakers for Schools have managed to reach more than 890,000 students nationwide through their talks and work experience programme since the charity was founded in 2010.

During his talk, Jones discussed the theme of Fake News and later explored its appearances in social media sites, advertising, as well as journalism.

The talk was ended by providing a tool kit that young students are able to apply in order to find out whether a piece of information would be misinformation or not.

WNOL asked Carl Jones why he thought it mattered to make students – people aware of the circulation of fake news, his answer was:

Below is a Tweet of Carl Jones delivering the lecture a few days ago posted by Speakers for Schools charity.

By Gabriela Jimenez

Featured image from Pexels.com

Fashion student raises money to make scrubs for the NHS

Katie Winter-Wright is a Year 2 fashion student at the University of Westminster. She has been raising money via her social media platforms in order to make scrubs for the NHS workers.

Katie has used all the fund to buy specific fabrics that the scrubs needed.

This is an interview with her, let’s see what she’s got to say about the experience of volunteering. 

(image by: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash)

by Vivian Qui

Forgotten heroes near “breaking point”

Care workers up and down the country are calling for people to be more understanding of their position, after prime minister Boris Johnson labelled them as key workers in his lockdown guidelines.

NHS staff, social care workers, childcare and teaching staff, as well as those working  in supermarkets and other similar positions are only a fraction of those whose careers are considered essential for society to continue running.

However, many have complained that measures that are being taken to protect the vulnerable are not being extended to the right people.

KEY WORKER

©Chloe Rose

Many supermarkets in the UK have implemented designated hours in the day to NHS staff, as well as those over 70 to shop alone for their own protection. But a lot of care workers believe no consideration has gone in to their situations, with many of them having the responsibility to shop for elderly or vulnerable clients, as well as a duty of care to practice strict social distancing measures for the sake of their clients.

One care worker complained how it was “atrocious” that supermarkets were letting NHS workers skip queues while “not letting carers for vulnerable people do the same”. She stated that she knew “at least one elderly man who might not get his shopping now because a carer with a one hour time limit was not let in to stores in time”. 

The same carer commented that while “designated hours are good, not everyone can be there at the times they’ve been put in place, they’re early in the morning which is when most carers are in the community helping those most vulnerable with showering, medication and other essential daily duties and by the time we get the opportunity to get to shops we’re turned away because we’re not NHS”.

 

Care workers across the nation are also complaining of services being “near breaking point” due to shortages of Personal Protective Equipment.

Unison, a trade union representing all in the public sector, have recently called on the prime minister to do more to end severe shortages of PPE before the situation in the care industry becomes dire.

A care worker in a Tyne and Wear convalescent care home complained that PPE arriving at her workplace was being distributed to the wrong people or used irresponsibly. Leaving those who have constant contact with the vulnerable with only gloves and limited numbers of aprons to protect them and their clients against the potentially deadly virus.

“We’re being treated like second rate citizens just because we don’t have an NHS badge hanging around our necks. We’re putting our own lives and our family’s lives at risk working in this sector but we’re still not considered equal to NHS workers.”

Not only are care workers being denied basic protection for the sake of themselves and those around them, many are seeing their workload increase as they are expected to take on the jobs of others in order to meet the high demand and fast turnover that COVID-19 is creating.

Short term care homes including convalescent and rehabilitation centres are seeing their turnover go from three to four weeks to just five days to keep up with hospital’s need to free up beds for patients suffering with novel coronavirus.

Sunderland care worker, Carol, also expressed concerns about the government’s lack of concern surrounding testing in the UK.

“People coming to us aren’t being tested before they leave hospital. They’re coming to us for convalescent care, but we don’t know what these people are bringing into our home. The cross infection risk is putting people in danger but again, because we’re not NHS it’s like we don’t exist.” 

With those working on the front line still not being considered for necessary testing, the risk of working with the vulnerable is far from over. But these unsung heroes of the care sector will carry on, knowing how vital their work is to the running of society.

For now, carers not working in the National Health Service can only hope their positions will begin to be held in the same regard as those working for the NHS, before they reach a point of no return.

CORONAVIRUS INFO

©Chloe Rose

 

Chloe Rose

 

 

Restaurant owners fear the future

Since the year 2000, Geatano “Tonino” Copia runs the restaurant “Pinocchio” in Gummersbach (Germany). The native Sicilian has cooked his way into the heart of many customers with his big heart, lots of humour and good food. But now he must fear for his existence.

source: https://stockata.de/bild/0006060-tisch-boden-rahmen-restaurants.html
A lot of restaurant owner across Europe must now fear for their existence

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus he has to fight with financial cells. Fewer and fewer people have come because of the risk of infection. “I really noticed that since the beginning of February the costumers are missing. When I served in January at the weekend about 500-1000 costumers for lunch and dinner, it was only half of it in February. Of course, this had also a financial impact ” he said.

source: https://stockata.de/bild/0002950-stuhl-tisch-sitzmoebel-restaurants.html
serving food to costumers is now forbidden

Almost three weeks ago, the public health service closed down all restaurants and prohibited serving customers across Germany. The only way to earn money now is the delivery and pick up service his restaurant offers. But he remains sceptical: “It is good that my restaurant has a good reputation in this area and that I have so many loyal customers. But I fear the future. The cost remain the same, but the proceeds are only 50% compared to normal times. I had to send 90% of my employees in short-time work”, he says.

source: Private
Normally costumers would enjoy the sun outside on the terrace while eating their food

Besides the fear of existence, the fear for family and friends in Italy is in the foreground.“I brought my mother, who actually wanted to enjoy her retirement in Italy, already home. However, I have more relatives and friends there and when I see the pictures from Italy, I am really worried and scared. This is only natural”.

source:https://stockata.de/bild/0000350-venedig-italien-venezia-wasser.html
Tonino is worried about friends and family as the situation in Italy is very dramatic

The federal government of North-Rhine Westphalia has approved a 25 billion- Euros rescue package for people like Tonino. It is designated to safe small businesses such as driving schools, restaurants or hotels from financial ruin and to avert the consequences of the crisis. It should be possible to obtain the permits quickly and easily.

“This help is really good and comes in very handy. I could probably close my business, because I don’t earn enough money to pay my rent, employees or the car I need for my delivery” complains the father of three and grandfather of two.

source: https://stockata.de/bild/0110745-haus-dasgovernmenthouse-casarosada.html
The German government want to help people with small businesses

Geatano Copia is one example of many, who will be hit very hard by the crisis. The friendly pizza maker has one last appeal: Stay at home and do not lose your heart.

source: private
although times are hard now, Tonino hasn’t lost this humor

featured image: https://stockata.de/bild/0000779-cheeseburger-hamburger-speck.html

10 tipps how to survive during the Corona crisis

Since its outbreak in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 the Corona virus or Corvid 19 has set the world in fear. Nearly every country is affected and has cases. The number is extremely rising.

According to Channel 4 news, 563 people have died in the UK from the 1st to the 2nd of April 2020. That’s why countries are under lock down and public life is set onto zero.

The most important thing is to contain the virus, so that the health care system does not collapse, and the care of all sick people in hospitals is guaranteed.

The question is how to behave and what rules and advices are given by the governments across Europe? Through a press release, the Robert-Koch institute, has given 10 rules for  people to follow:

1:STAY AT HOME:
This is the most important rule! People are advised not to leave their home if they do not need to buy food, go to work or to the doctor. Especially elderly people or people with health problems are asked not to leave their house at all. They can ask family or friends to do the shopping for them. If this is not possible, they can use delivery service

2:DO NOT HAVE ANY SOCIAL CONTACT APART FROM PEOPLE YOU ARE LIVING WITH
The next very important thing is to reduce your social contact. The governments across Europe advised people not to meet friends, work colleges or other people you are not living with. They also warned that grandparents shouldn’t have any personal contact to their grandchildren, as elderly people are mostly in danger.

3: HOMEOFFICE
If you have the possibility to work from home, you should do it. It will keep you safe.

4: AVOID LARGE CROWDS
In these times you should not go into parks or other public places. Most of the governments have already closed public places likes parks, restaurants or hotels.

5: DO NOT BUY TOO MANY GROCERIES
This is a very big  problem in Germany. People are buying too much food for themselves. The governments said that the supply of food is guaranteed at all times. Panic shopping is unnecessary and lacks solidarity towards your fellow men.

6: SNEEZ AND COUGH INTO THE CROOK OF ONES ARM AND ALWAYS WEAR A MASK
This is important not to infect anyone. No one can know if the others are not carrying the virus.

7: ONLY GO TO THE HOSPITAL IF IT IS A REAL EMERGENCY
The resources in the hospital are now used up to the point of exhaustion. Doctors and nurses are now working tirelessly. In order not to burden these people even more you should only go to hospital, if there is no other way.

8: KEEP DISTANCE
Keep at least two meter distance if you do not want to get infected or infect somebody.

9: WASH YOU HANDS AND DISINFECT YOUR HANDS REGULARLY
The government advices people to wash your hands at least 20 seconds and as often as you can. Furthermore, you should disinfect your hands if you touch something that somebody might have touched before you.

10: KEEP CALM
The last advice the government has given is to stay calm. The situation will only get worse, if everybody is freaking out. Take a breath and relax, go for a walk in the forest or watch a movie to think about something else. If everybody is taking the virus  seriously and listens to the advices, the situation will get normal as soon as possible.

Source: Robert-Koch Institue (Berlin, Germany): https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/nCoV.html

Channel 4 News: https://www.channel4.com/news/uk-coronavirus-hospital-deaths-rise-by-563-in-a-day-as-government-urged-to-increase-testing

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/coronavirus-2019ncov-novel-concept-resposible-asian-1625951248?irgwc=1&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=Pixabay+GmbH&utm_source=44814&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fpixabay.com%2Fde%2Fimages%2Fsearch%2Fcoronavirus%2F

featured image: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/coronavirus-china-novel-2019ncov-people-white-1629512083?irgwc=1&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=Pixabay+GmbH&utm_source=44814&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fpixabay.com%2Fde%2Fimages%2Fsearch%2Fcoronavirus%2F

De-stressing Doggies take on Degrees

Universities are starting to use dogs to de-stress their students around exam time. Therapy dogs are now popping up in university nursing areas around the UK to try to battle the ongoing mental health issues which are slowly rising. 

With the rates of student suicides growing, many universities are looking for ways to help students stay calm, especially during the dreaded exam period. Some people disagree with the idea, but Middlesex University has brought in two captivating canines to tackle the issue. 

Ice was happy, an ex guide dog, was happy to meet us. He now spends his time giving love back to the students who need him.

“We do drop in sessions and on Mondays we do walk arounds through lectures” Josh, dog carer and nurse, introduces us to Maisie and Ice. The two Labradors are dressed in red sashes and name tags depicting their status within the university. 

“We care about not just the students but the dogs as well, we’re always sure to not put them in an unsafe environment.” 

Labradors tend to be the chosen dog for therapy, however they also welcomed a boxer, but after an unfortunate incident where Josh’s bag was used as a toilet, he was sent home for bad behaviour. 

“The dogs have to be assessed before they can be seen by students.” When they’re not comforting a student, Maisie and Ice can be found with their owners who work at the university. Ice living out the winter of his life after successful years as a guide dog. 

Josh, Maisie and Ice all pose for a photo before starting their rounds of Middlesex University.

It’s not only for comfort, many come to overcome a fear. Through regular visits with the two dogs, both 8 years old, Josh confirmed many students had overcome their fear of dogs. 

“Sometimes they’re not stressed out, we get a lot of students who are just homesick and miss their pets”. The canine duo give them the love that many crave when they’re away from home. Homesickness is one of the leading reasons of depression within students, a study by Huffpost. 

Nevertheless, Josh thinks it has benefited the students very well. “I think everyone should do it. It’s such an easy thing to achieve, you’ve just got to find the right dog.” 

There is only one problem with dogs in university. Hair Everywhere. 

Julian Assange: The events leading to his arrest

Founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has been sentenced in the UK to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail back in 2012. The sentencing comes days before World Press Day 2019 on May 3rd. But who is Julian Assange?

Julian Assange is an Australian journalist, computer programmer and software developer. His infamy started at the young age of 16, when he hacked into a telecommunication company’s master terminal. He was then charged on 30 accounts of hacking in Australia, however, Assange was exempted with only a fine for damages to Nortel.

Assange further improved his technological skills and enrolled at the University of Melbourne. But this did not last long. For ethical reasons, such as not wanting to use his intelligence to aid the military, Assange left university and did not continue his degree in Mathematics.

Only 13 years ago, Assange began working on WikiLeaks: a website that “specialises in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored and otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. This website officially launched in 2007 and became one of the biggest whistleblowers of the century.

In June, 2012, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and was granted political asylum in August of that same year. Ecuador decided to protect him under the fear that his right as a human would be violated if he were to be extradited to Sweden.

Two years prior, in December 2010, Swedish authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant under the allegations of two counts of sexual molestation, one count of rape and one count of illegal coercion. On December 6th of the same year, Assange turned himself into British police.

In May 2012, the U.K’s Supreme Court ruled that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face his allegations. This forced Assange to seek political asylum at the

Ecuadorian embassy but only on their territory and if he left the embassy, he was free to be arrested by British police.

In 2015, the sexual assault and coercion charges were dropped, while the rape charges statute of limitations will expire in 2020. In February 2016, a United Nations panel was held which ruled that Assange was unreasonably detained and that he should be released and compensated for his deprivation of liberty.

However, both Sweden and UK rejected saying that Assange would be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy. On May 19th 2017, Sweden said that the rape charges against Assange would be dropped. Later that year in December, Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship, but his relationship with the country was starting to deteriorate.

This may have been as a result of Assange’s interference in the 2016 Presidential elections in America. Where 1200 emails from Hillary Clinton’s, one of the candidates in the presidential race, private server.

Earlier this year, in February, Australia granted Julian Assange a new passport as they feared that Ecuador would soon withdraw Assange’s asylum. Two months later, Australia’s fears came through Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum and as a result he was arrested at the embassy.

Following his arrest, it was announced that the WikiLeaks founder has been charged in the US for conspiring with Army Intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon.

The following explainer shows the timeline of events before his arrest.

Julian assange

Infographic by: Kenya Best

Sources: 

https://www.biography.com/activist/julian-assange

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

https://wikileaks.org/What-is-WikiLeaks.html

II Reunión Internacional de Contacto sobre Venezuela

 

London Spotter: Raj Stevenson

Blogger London Spotter, also known as Raj Stevenson, is a full-time student who in his spare time blogs about the latest aviation events and describes himself as: “an airlines for nightmare”.

“My dream and what I’m working towards, is making London Spotter my full-time job.” Raj’s humble days of plane spotting from the perimeter fence of London Gatwick Airport has led to him attending aircraft deliveries with Qatar Airways, events held by Airbus and the opportunity to meet industry wide names such as Sam Chui and Brian Kelly.

This teen critic of the aircraft industry accidentally stumbled across the path of writing about aviation claiming that he only started plane spotting when his best friend was on holiday, and was interested to see his flight’s progress. First by tracking his friend’s flight on a website called FlightRadar24, and then by visiting Gatwick Airport which was near his home.

“When I was 15 years old, I actually didn’t know much about aviation”. Stevenson used a website called Flight Radar 24, a free website which shows the responders of all commercial flights, to track the progress of his friend’s flight. From there on, Stevenson’s career in aviation “took off”.

Stevenson’s Instagram following has grown exponentially in the last year, and he now has a following of over 40,000 followers. His YouTube following too is substantial, with a following of almost 3,000 subscribers (Videos from Raj Stevenson’s channel is his sole property, all credits belong to Raj Stevenson and his channel London Spotter).

Stevenson provides advice concerning top tips when flying, how to find the best flight and hotel deals, and loopholes behind avoiding nuisance costs in the industry.

In light of infamous and recent incidents in aviation I asked Raj what he thought of aircraft safety in 2019. “It always will be a very safe way to travel, I’ve never been scared to fly, and if you look at the statistics it is safe.”

Raj seemed unfettered by the crash of identical aircraft, the Boeing 737 Max 8, one which crashed of the coast of Sumatra and the second shortly after take from Addis Ababa.

“You could say flying became safe when those to aircraft crashed.”

Raj’s Instagram page is a prime example of the work and all the achievements he has experienced. Though as a full-time student, he found providing the time and expenses of managing invitations to further aviation events and releases difficult to accept.

During of 2018, Raj extensively travelled much of Asia and the Middle East, and hopes to enjoy further travels this year. A perfect place to keep on track with Raj’s ventures is on Instagram: londonspotter.

“It’s not like the movies”- Andrew: An ex undercover officer

Andrew Gregory, 54, never imagined that when he went to the Job Centre at 18 straight after he finished his A-levels, that he would end up in a career as an undercover officer culminating in him becoming a Covert Operation Manager. His journey began at Dover docks, where for a few years he worked as a customs officer dealing with passengers at the port. This was until one day, one of his fellow colleges mentioned that there was currently work available in the investigation unit. Andrew was raised in a council estate in Kent, and as government grants did not exist at this time, university was never an option for him. As he excelled at school, he was determined to ensure that his background and financial situation would not hold him back from a satisfactory and lucrative career.

Andrew worked within an investigation team that focused on criminal organisations that were smuggling cocaine into the UK. This was an interesting and high profile field of work, because at this time cocaine and particularly crack cocaine were fairly new forms of drugs that were attracting press attention.

After 10 years of working within the investigation team, he then stumbled into undercover work where he spent the next 18 years of his career. His job entailed him travelling abroad and becoming the character of a lorry driver. His job was to meet with informers and sometimes collect drugs off individuals. He would then proceed to bring the drugs back to the UK, in order for him and his team to arrest the organisations arranging the importations and supplying the drugs to the public.

“My most interesting job was probably the one that lasted for five years. I started the job and saw it through to the end. We infiltrated an organisation who we thought were trying to smuggle four tons of cocaine into England, but it ended up being into Spain. They handed us four tons of cocaine thinking we were working for them.”

 

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Andrew whilst undercover, had to always be on his toes. One little slip up could have blown his cover and ruined a whole investigation. He built up a character that he believed in, and was similar to his actual life to ensure that every operation ran smoothly and that no mistakes were made. His character was that of a single lorry driver. Once his home life changed and his daughter was born, his character and real-life circumstances diverged. This wasn’t an issue but it just meant that Andrew had to be extra careful whilst undercover. Within his field of work, Andrew was always being watched as criminals live on the edge. They are sharp and look at the little things such as what he wore, what he ate, and particularly how he talked.

Andrew faced many struggles and hurdles throughout his 18 years within undercover work.  He has often stated that one of the surprising aspects of his job, was that when he was working alongside criminals for long periods of time he found himself growing fond of them and their company. Whilst being involved in this certain job, Andrew had to ensure that his emotions and personal opinion did not get in the way of the operations and its main objectives.

“When it comes to crimes such as smuggling and robbery the people that do them can be anybody. I believe that it all just depends on who you hang around with and what path you chose to take.”

 “I did a job in Liverpool and I was undercover as a lorry driver. I had to live up there for a month. Whilst I was there I had to go to the pub for drinks with the bad guys and watch them take drugs in front of me.”

 The job wasn’t all fast cars, expensive dinners and travelling, even though these were just some of the amazing perks. Due to Andrew spending 18 years working as an undercover officer, it caused a strain on him personally. He would spend long durations of time away from home, and once he started a family this caused his work to become more and more stressful. He could spend weeks within his character and then have to go home and change back into himself. This caused his personality to considerably change due to the sharp transition he would have to face on a regular basis.

“Spending sometimes weeks with criminals would change my character. I became less of a nice person and unfortunately, you don’t get much help or support in this line of work. I definitely did it for too long.”

 Andrew was lucky when it came to his career. He fell on his feet, believed in what he did, and never had to worry about there being a dull day in the office. However, it’s not like the movies, it’s an intense, overwhelming and 24/7 job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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