30/08/2017

Other News In Brief

Call For Lord Mayor To Refuse Invite To Trump White House

SDLP Councillors on Belfast City Council have tabled a motion proposing that the Lord Mayor refuse an invite to attend the Trump White House.

The call was made in light of his incendiary failure to condemn racist gangs in the US and continued use of inflammatory rhetoric.

SDLP Councillor Brian Heading said: "President Donald Trump is a man who has attempted to ban travel access to an entire religion, mocked the disabled and bragged about the sexual assault of women. Since his election he has given succour to bigots and racists under the guise of the ‘alt-right’ movement. Democrats across the world should have no fear of calling the fascists of that movement out for what they are.

"This city has had a long and proud association with a series of US presidents who have sought to galvanise our peace process on the basis of respect for the diversity of our society. We should not let that be tarnished by rushing to the sound of clicking cameras with a President who opposes the basic values of our peace.

"As Belfast's first citizen, the Lord Mayor should reflect those values. That’s why we're proposing our Mayor decline any invitation to champagne socials at the Trump White House."

SF Demands Assistance Is Made Available To Flood Victims

Sinn Fein Is To Meet with the permanent secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs today, 30 August, to demand assistance be made available to those affected by the recent floods.
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The party's agriculture spokesperson Declan McAleer called for a concerted action by statutory agencies and departments to ensure the appropriate response is taken.

He said: "It is important that department officials on the ground make strenuous efforts to reach out to isolated and vulnerable farmers who have been cut off by the floods and have no access to the internet and other vital services

"We will also raise the possibility of a hardship relief scheme similar to the one introduced by the former Agriculture Michelle O'Neill in response to the snow crisis in 2013.

"People are in the process of cleaning-up and rebuilding and we need to ensure every possible assistance is provided to them."

Alliance Hits Out Over Deliberate Fire In Castlereagh

Alliance Lisnasharragh Councillor Michael Long has said someone could have been killed after a deliberate fire which saw a number of locals rescued from flats.

The blaze was started at the property in Rosewood Park, Castlereagh. Flammable liquid was poured over the front door of the flat and set alight. A passer-by raised the alarm.

A pregnant woman and her partner in one flat escaped through a window, while two women and two children were rescued from upstairs flats.

"This was a disgraceful incident, which could have easily led to the loss of life of a number of people, including children," said Mr Long.

"What on earth possesses someone to start such a dangerous fire and put so many lives at risk? I am thankful to the Fire Service for ensuring no-one was killed here.

"It is important those behind this attack are brought to justice. I would urge anyone with any information on it to contact police immediately."

(CD)

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