From December 2021, Firmus energy implemented a 38% rise in the cost of gas across their “Ten Towns” network area. This follows a 35% hike in October and the previous 18% hike, earlier in 2021, meaning the company practically doubled prices in a single calendar year.
This year's Labour conference again reflected the process of transformation which has been taking place in the party since Jeremy Corbyn came to the leadership in 2015.
The trial has brought to the fore the prevalence of sexist and misogynistic attitudes that exist in the legal system and society in general. In Northern Ireland, over 94% of all rape trials have resulted in no conviction for the accused. The conviction rates for sexual violence are far lower than for any other crime. In the South only 19% result in convictions and 7% when the case is contested. As Suzanne Breen, one of the few journalists who have covered this trial in a fair manner, put it: “This was a case where it wasn’t always clear who exactly was on trial. Each defendant is rightly allowed their own legal representation. But a 21-year-old woman being cross-examined by four defence barristers over eight days pulls at your heart-strings…The young woman failed to secure the verdict she desired. She did not win, yet she has certainly not lost.”
The surge in price rises continues unabated. Official figures released in May put inflation at a rate of 2.9%, with most economists predicting further price rises this year.
On 28th October 2016, a fish trader, Mohsen Fikri, was murdered in Al-Hoceima in the Rif region of northern Morocco following a police check. The appalling images of his death caused great anger and launched one of the largest protest movements in Morocco since the Arab Spring mobilisations in 2011.
While the attention of the media has been on the protracted collapse of Stormont and the aftermath of the general election, the ramifications of austerity continue unabated.
It has been two years since the demonstration in Belfast which brought 20,000 people to the streets in support of marriage equality. Prior to this point, the issue had been brought up a number of times in Stormont, but was repeatedly rejected by elected representatives.
The UK recently experienced three horrific attacks in Manchester and London. Although devastating, the solidarity amongst Mancunians and Londoners showed the depths of human kindness. However, right-wing groups attempted to hijack innocent deaths to further their intolerant agendas.
Another abortion rights case is currently on its way to the European Court of Human Rights. This case aims to challenge the decision by Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to deny women from Northern Ireland free access to abortions under the NHS in England.
As the days pass from the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, it becomes clearer that, although the cause of the fire is as yet unknown, the speed and ferocity with which the fire spread could have been prevented if not for failures by the landlords and the Tory Party to provide the residents with safe accommodation.