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NHS Checks and Treatment on Patients’ Doorsteps Part of New Changes to Health and Care in England. From today, 42 statutory integrated care systems will bring together GP teams, hospitals, local authorities, and other partners to plan and deliver health and care services in their area…reports Asian Lite News

Dedicated mental health staff to help children and young people in GP practices and blood pressure checks in betting shops are among initiatives devised and delivered by new integrated care systems that come fully into force today.

Boosting health checks in the community to find people with health problems before they become seriously unwell is a key goal of the shift to integrated care systems, where local organisations work together to better meet the needs of local people.

From today, 42 statutory integrated care systems will bring together GP teams, hospitals, local authorities, and other partners to plan and deliver health and care services in their area.

With mental health services for children experiencing record demand, new roles, including wellbeing practitioners, will be in place for local practices to support young people and help with access to local mental health teams. As well as expanding capacity through new roles, GP teams can develop special interests and access training in specific areas such as eating disorders.

A GP practice in Stockport is already going into betting shops to deliver blood pressure checks, identifying and preventing hypertension issues before people end up in hospital.

In Coventry and North Warwickshire, a local sports club offers diabetes and weight management support, taking referrals from GP teams but also reaching out to people in the local area they think might be most at-risk. People can receive tailored one to one diet and lifestyle support, and access to the club’s gym facilities.

And thanks to these local authority partnerships in Bedfordshire, patients who frequently call 999 but do not need emergency help are given alternative “lifesaving” support in their community, ensuring peoples’ needs are met as well as freeing up staff time to deal with emergency calls.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said the changes had the “power to completely transform health and care for people in their local communities” as well as cutting red tape within the NHS and saving taxpayers’ money.

The changes are set to save an estimated £14 million each year by reducing the number of chief executives working in the NHS by almost 170.

New systems are already proving to be an effective tool in tackling the covid backlogs, with eight systems reducing two-year waiters to single figures ahead of the end of July target. Nationally, there are 70% fewer two-year waiters than in January.

 “Integrated care systems have the power to truly transform the way that we care for people up and down the country – not only will the NHS provide care when someone is unwell or has an accident but alongside our local government partners, we must also now play an increasing key role in managing peoples’ health so that we can catch more killer conditions earlier and save lives,” said Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive.

 “Local areas are already doing this by going out into communities to spot signs and symptoms earlier in places such as sports clubs and betting shops as well as ensuring people can access community support rather than using 999 or going to A&E.

 “Through these schemes, we are already making a massive difference to peoples’ lives. The NHS will now build on this success and innovation and deliver care for patients that is fit for the future as well as saving taxpayers’ millions of pounds each year.”

Lincolnshire ICS brought together acute, community and mental health teams to reform local stroke services, helping patients with rehabilitation in their own home earlier and using digital solutions. As a result, they have seen the average length of stay for stroke patients in hospital fall from 13 days to just four and a half.

The linking up of systems is also playing a key role in bringing down elective backlogs, with the Croydon Elective Centre seeing around 300 patients every week from across South West London ICS – a 10% increase on pre-pandemic levels.

The site has seen around 2,000 patients from neighbouring trusts with its own entrance, operating theatres and inpatient wards which were ‘Covid-protected’ during the pandemic to enable it to continue powering though backlogs. 

Today also marks another significant change, as NHS England & NHS Improvement becomes NHS England. The two organisations initially merged in April 2019.

While as part of the vital work to better integrate health and social care, the Health and Care Act also extends hospital discharge rights for patients and carers – including young carers for the first time. The act will ensure hospital trusts involve patients and carers in hospital discharge decisions when further care and support is needed and where appropriate.

ALSO READ-Royals not to release Markle ‘bullying’ probe details

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Truss urges govt to supply defensive weapons to Taiwan

China warned about the danger of sending the “wrong signal” to Taiwanese “separatists,” as it accused the US of interference…reports Asian Lite News

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Wednesday suggested supplying defensive weaponry to Taiwan to counter China’s aggression well in advance to prevent a Ukraine war-like scenario. She renewed her calls for NATO to “make clear to China” that invading Taiwan like Russia invaded Ukraine would be “a catastrophic miscalculation” in Asia.

She suggested that the Alliance must boost security in the Indo-Pacific region in order to protect Taiwan against China well in advance. She had also earlier echoed similar statements during a speech on the UK’s foreign policy conference, asserting that Britain rejects “the false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security” in favour of “a global NATO.”

Truss’ suggestion comes as China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated Beijing’s concerns about US intervention in Taiwan, a threat to its ‘one China’ policy and urged that it ceases all official interaction with the self-administered island nation. China warned about the danger of sending the “wrong signal” to Taiwanese “separatists,” as it accused the US of interference.

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had warned of a Ukraine-like invasion in East Asia, saying that the whole region could witness a stability issue due to rising military might of China, Russia’s ally. The Taiwan Strait must be maintained, Kishida said, adding that the countries in East Asia must respond as “one” and remain united in the face of the rising belligerence.

Speaking earlier in London via a translator Kishida said, “Collaboration among countries sharing universal values becomes ever more vital.” We must collaborate with our allies and like-minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the Indo Pacific, especially in East Asia,” said the Japanese Prime Minister. “Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow,” he warned.

His remarks came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi challenged the United States for interfering in the Taiwan issue, and warned against bolstering ties with the island nation. Yi accused US President Joe Biden of trying to “establish a new version of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Indo-Pacific region.”

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Royals not to release Markle ‘bullying’ probe details

Meghan and Harry shocked the royal family when they accused unnamed members of racism during an interview with US talk show star Oprah Winfrey…reports Asian Lite News

The details of a probe into allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex against royal family staff will not be published despite its outcome leading to reform in the palace’s administration, according to a senior family source.

Buckingham Palace launched an investigation last year and gathered testimony from staff about their experiences of working for Meghan, before she and husband Prince Harry quit frontline duties in January 2020.

During a briefing on the annual royal finances report, published Thursday, a senior palace source said the details would remain hidden to protect the privacy of those who took part.

“Because of the confidentiality of the discussions we have not communicated the detailed recommendations,” they said.

“The recommendations have been incorporated within policies and procedures wherever appropriate, and policies and procedures have changed.”

Meghan and Harry shocked the royal family when they accused unnamed members of racism during an interview with US talk show star Oprah Winfrey.

She denied the bullying allegations, which first emerged in March 2021, just before the Oprah interview, and called them “a calculated smear campaign”.

The allegations and the interview deepened a crisis for the family, which has been hit by revelations about Prince Andrew’s links to late billionaire financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Relations between Harry and his father Prince Charles have reportedly been strained, but a royal source said he had a “very emotional” first meeting with his granddaughter Lili earlier this month.

Harry and Meghan were low-key attendees at the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, jetting in from California with their children Lili, aged one, and Archie, aged three.

Charles’s charitable foundation is currently under investigation for an alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

Separately, the Sunday Times last weekend reported Charles had accepted £2.5 million ($3 million) in charitable donations from Qatari former prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani in carrier bags and holdalls.

The royal source said at the Wednesday briefing the cash was “passed immediately to his charities”.

“For more than half a decade, with the situation as it has evolved, this has not happened and it would not happen again,” the source added.

The briefing was held as the family released its 2021/22 report on the Sovereign Grant, which pays for the monarch’s official duties and upkeep of royal palaces.

The report showed the pandemic was still curtailing the family’s earning power, with income below 50 percent of pre-coronavirus levels as public visits to palaces took a hit.

Keeper of the Privy Purse Michael Stevens warned that the family finances were also likely to be squeezed by rising prices.

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UK offers 75 scholarships for Indian students

The announcement was made against the backdrop of British and Indian business leaders and government representatives gathering in London for the India Global Forum…reports Asian Lite News

The government announced on Wednesday it has partnered with businesses in India to offer 75 fully funded scholarships for Indian students to study in Britain from September to mark the country’s 75th year of Independence.

This is the highest number of fully funded scholarships given by the UK for the one-year master’s programme to date. HSBC, Pearson India, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Sons and Duolingo are among the businesses supporting this special initiative.

The programmes on offer include Chevening scholarships for a one-year master’s programme, with the opportunity to study any subject at any recognised British university.

The British Council in India is offering 18 scholarships for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – covering more than 12,000 courses across more than 150 UK universities. The British Council is also offering six English scholarships.

HSBC India will sponsor 15 scholarships, Pearson India will sponsor two and Hindustan Unilever, Tata Sons and Duolingo will sponsor one each as part of the 75 scholarships.

The fully funded scholarships include tuition, living expenses and travel cost for a one-year postgraduate programme. A minimum of two years’ work experience is required for candidates to be eligible.

The announcement was made against the backdrop of British and Indian business leaders and government representatives gathering in London for the India Global Forum.

Speaking at the forum, British high commissioner Alex Ellis described the scholarships as a great milestone. “Thanks to the exceptional support from our partners in industry, I am delighted to announce 75 scholarships for Indian students to experience the best of the UK. Nearly 30% of Chevening scholars in India come from smaller cities or are first generation students, making this an increasingly diverse programme,” he said.

HSBC CEO Hitendra Dave said the objective of the “Chevening HSBC Scholarship” is to encourage young people with potential to become leaders and decision-makers by leveraging world class educational facilities.

During his recent visit to India for a summit meeting, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the “India/UK Together” programme that promotes cultural ties between the two sides. Education is one of the key pillars of the “living bridge” between the UK and India that connects people.

Nearly 108,000 student visas were issued to Indians in the year ending March 2022, almost double the number compared to the previous year, the British high commission said.

Chevening is the British government’s international awards scheme offered in 150 countries since 1983. India’s Chevening programme is the largest in the world with more than 3,500 alumni.

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Boris announces £1 bn military support to Ukraine

This will be a “first step” to allow Ukraine to go beyond its “valiant defence” efforts and move towards “mounting offensive operations” to regain territory…reports Asian Lite News

Britain pledged another £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine Wednesday to help it fend off Russia’s invasion, including air-defence systems and drones.

The fresh funds will bring Britain’s total military support to Kyiv since the start of the war in late February to £2.3 billion, Downing Street said in a statement.

The package includes “sophisticated air-defence systems, uncrewed aerial vehicles, innovative new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces of vital kit for Ukrainian soldiers,” it said.

This will be a “first step” to allow Ukraine to go beyond its “valiant defence” efforts and move towards “mounting offensive operations” to regain territory.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Vladimir Putin’s attacks against Ukraine were “increasingly barbaric” as the Russian leader “fails to make the gains he had anticipated and hoped for and the futility of this war becomes clear to all.

“UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught,” the statement quoted him as saying.

“And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.”

Britain was one of the first nations to provide Ukraine with lethal military aid such as anti-tank missiles in response to Russia’s invasion. It has also been involved in training Ukrainian soldiers.

ALSO READ-Putin slams NATO’s ‘imperial ambitions’, warns Finland, Sweden

Arab News Gallery

Night Concert in Vienna

Members of the Vienna Philharmonic perform during the Summer Night Concert at the park of Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. The Summer Night Concert 2022 was staged here by the Vienna Philharmonic. (Xinhua/Guo Chen)


Arab News

Car Bomb Rocks Aden

Car bombing hits the convoy of General Saleh Al-Sayd, commander of the Security forces in the neighboring southern province of Lahj

 A car bomb explosion struck a motorcade of a high-ranking security official in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Wednesday afternoon, a government official told Xinhua.

“The car bomb blast hit the convoy of General Saleh Al-Sayd, commander of the Security forces in the neighboring southern province of Lahj when his motorcade was passing through a main street near Aden’s airport,” the local government source said on condition of anonymity.

The source said that the explosion killed at least five guards and two pedestrians, and destroyed an armored vehicle of the official’s convoy.

The security commander who was apparently the main target escaped the attack as he was sitting in another armored vehicle, according to the source.

Following the attack, local security forces were heavily deployed across Khormakser residential neighborhood where the blast occurred and blocked roads.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. Several local government and security officials were targeted in similar incidents recently in Aden and elsewhere in the war-ravaged Arab country.

Considered Yemen’s temporary capital city, Aden is where the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has based itself since 2015.

Local authorities are trying to maintain security and stability in Aden. However, sporadic bombing incidents and drive-by shooting attacks still occur in the strategic Yemeni port city.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthis seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government out of the capital Sanaa

Houthis Urged to lift Siege

 UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said that he has urged the Houthi militia to open main roads to the besieged city of Taiz in southwestern Yemen.

Grundberg noted that he made the appeal when he met on Tuesday with Mohammed Abdulsalam, Houthi’s chief negotiator for the ongoing ceasefire, in Muscat, Oman’s capital.

“We discussed the implementation of the truce, particularly the priority to open roads in Taiz and other governorates,” Grundberg wrote in a tweet, adding that Omani officials and the diplomatic community in Muscat attended the meeting.

“Opening roads is critical to ease the humanitarian suffering of Yemenis and build confidence,” the envoy noted.

ALSO READ:5 soldiers killed in Yemen despite truce

On Monday, the UN envoy held a meeting with Rashad Al-Alimi, Chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, during which the leader of the Yemeni government called for the international community to exert more pressure on the Houthis to fulfill their commitment under the truce agreement.

Ending the Taiz siege is the last major term to be fulfilled under the agreement reached by the country’s warring parties before entering the ceasefire in April.

The government-controlled Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, has been under siege since the civil war erupted in Yemen in late 2014. Lifting the blockade would facilitate the movement of citizens and their access to humanitarian aid.

Africa News

New House for Zimbabwe Democracy

China to hand over completed new parliament building to Zimbabwe  … a special report by Gretinah Machingura and Tafara Mugwar

Zimbabwe’s new parliament building, constructed and fully funded by China as a gift to the southern African country, is now complete and ready for occupation. It took 42 months to complete the project, instead of the original 32-month timeframe due to COVID-19 disruptions. Construction began in November 2018.

Sitting on the historical Mount Hampden Hill, about 18 km northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the six-story building is a fine piece of magnificent architecture that fuses both Zimbabwean and Chinese characteristics.

Shanghai Construction Group Company, the contractor, on Wednesday conducted a guided media tour of the building ahead of its official handover to the Zimbabwean government in the near future.

SCG project manager Cai Libo said the completion of the project was a major milestone for the China-Zimbabwe friendship which continues to blossom.

“There will be no doubt that the new parliament building will become a landmark building in Zimbabwe and even in the whole of southern Africa,” Cai said. “The project commenced on Nov. 30, 2018, and was completed on May 27, 2022, and we spent 42 months completing this project. From 2020 we faced a lot of challenges due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We were supposed to complete this project last year but we were delayed because of the COVID pandemic but now, we have come to the end and are waiting to hand over this building to the Zimbabwean government.”

The new parliament building was one of the most important projects in China-Africa cooperation, aimed at strengthening friendship and solidarity between the people of Zimbabwe and China while improving facilities in parliament for better service to Zimbabwean people, he said.

“The project strongly supports democracy in Zimbabwe while boosting the country’s image,” Cai said.

Completion of the new parliament building, which borrows heavily from the iconic Great Zimbabwe ruins, also heralds the start of a new capital city as the Zimbabwean government plans to put up off-site infrastructure such as residential areas, shopping centers and access roads to establish a self-contained new city to decongest the capital Harare.

The government also plans to put up structures for two other arms of the state — the executive and the judiciary in Mount Hampden.

The imposing building has a combined floor space of 33,000 square meters, with two main sections — a six-story office building and a four-story parliament building. The office building and parliament building are connected by three bridges on each floor.

With the current parliament building having been built during the colonial era and now old and small to accommodate parliament business, the National Assembly at the new parliament building has more than enough space, with a capacity of 400 seats against the 270 House of Assembly members. The new Senate chamber has a capacity of 150 seats, against the current 80 Senate members. The new structure has extra facilities for conferencing, 15 committee rooms and adequate space for office staff and parking.


The office building contains 600 rooms, including offices for VIP, Members of Parliament and parliament officials. In total, the building has the capacity to accommodate 1,000 people.

Cai said skills sharing and transfer were one of the hallmarks of the project.

“This building is a landmark building in Zimbabwe. This is a show of solid friendship between China and Zimbabwe. This is a gift from the Chinese government to the Zimbabwean government. It was funded by China Aid funds, it’s a grant to Zimbabwe and not a loan so there is no payment to be made in the future. All Members of Parliament will use this building and parliamentarians serve the whole nation and therefore this is a gift to the whole nation,” Cai said.

Africa News

Kenyatta Woos Investors FromPortugal, EU

President Kenyatta launched the Kenya-Portugal Business Forum in Lisbon

 President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied Portuguese investors, entrepreneurs and captains of industry to make Nairobi the fulcrum of their business interests and investments in Africa.

He said Kenya’s immense commercial potential, in almost all sectors of the country’s expanding economy and the cosmopolitan configuration of her population makes Nairobi the ultimate destination for Portuguese investment.

 “We are a melting pot where we welcome people from all parts of the world so long as they come in peace. So long as they come in the name of trading, working and working together, we welcome people.

“I was reminded yesterday that Nairobi has been voted as the best city for expatriates to live, find accommodation. You can make you base for your African operations out of Kenya and we are more than willing to work and support you in that endeavor,” he said.

The President spoke on Wednesday in Lisbon when he joined his Portuguese host Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the official opening of the Kenya-Portugal Business Forum on the last day of his two-day state visit of the Portuguese Republic.

The business meeting was organised by the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) and its Portuguese equivalent, AICEP Portugal Global, to explore business partnership and investment opportunities by Kenyan and Portuguese captains of industry, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

At the meeting, also attended by Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and his Tourism counterpart Najib Balala, the President regretted that despite the two countries having a long history of bilateral ties, the volume of trade flow between Nairobi and Lisbon remained low.

 “I do believe there is still much scope for deeper bilateral works between our two countries. We seek to deepen that because it is unfortunate for two countries with such strong trading and private sector base are only dealing with very minimal amounts. The trade between our two countries, the investment between our two countries is very minimal in comparison with the opportunity that exists,” he said.

President Kenyatta pledged continued Government support to Portuguese investors seeking investment opportunities in Kenya, saying his administration had established a conducive business environment.

On the available investment opportunities in Kenya, President Kenyatta encouraged Portuguese investors to consider tapping into the country’s thriving ICT, health and infrastructure sectors.

“You have wide experience, especially in the infrastructure, healthcare and ICT sectors. And I do believe we can do a lot more together. We have very strong ICT credentials.

“We have a very young and technically savvy population and generation. What we need to do is to ensure that these start-ups now become unicorns that are able to compete in the global environment,” he said.

President Kenyatta underscored the importance of the strong Kenya-Portugal partnership, saying the relationship is anchored on “long standing political, cultural and economic ties”.

 “I believe that there is a lot of opportunities. A chance for us to work strongly together. A chance for us to do great things together. A chance for us to prosper together.”

“The opportunities that we lay out will only become real. Will only be converted to prosperity and jobs if we actively engage,” President Kenyatta said.


On his part, President de Sousa assured Kenya of a “forever partnership” with the Government and the people of the Portuguese Republic.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to do more and more, and better and better. For you to help us to do more and more, and better and better but also for you to invest more in Portugal.

“We must have more tourism coming from Kenya. We must have your investment here and share this investment with Portuguese partners,” the Portuguese leader said.

The Kenyan business delegation at the forum, also attended by Principal Secretaries Johnson Weru (Trade), Nancy Karigithu (Shipping) and Chris Kiptoo (Environment), was led by KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki.

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Putin slams NATO’s ‘imperial ambitions’, warns Finland, Sweden

Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm would inevitably sour over their NATO membership, he added…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned NATO’s “imperial ambitions”, accusing the military alliance of seeking to assert its “supremacy” through the Ukraine conflict.

The Russian leader also said on Wednesday that he would respond in kind if NATO deployed troops and infrastructure in Finland and Sweden after the two Nordic countries join the military alliance.

Putin made his comment a day after NATO member Turkey lifted its veto over the bid by Finland and Sweden to join the alliance when the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security.

Helsinki and Stockholm joining NATO marks one of the biggest shifts in European security in decades.

“With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems that we have with Ukraine. They want to join NATO, go ahead,” Putin told Russian state television after talks with regional leaders in the central Asian ex-Soviet state of Turkmenistan.

“But they must understand there was no threat before, while now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in kind and create the same threats for the territories from which threats towards us are created,” he said.

Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm would inevitably sour over their NATO membership, he added.

“Everything was fine between us, but now there might be some tensions, there certainly will,” Putin said.

“It’s inevitable if there is a threat to us.”

Putin also denied that Moscow’s forces were responsible for a missile raid on a crowded shopping centre in the Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk earlier this week, in which at least 18 people were killed and many remain missing in the rubble.

“Our army does not attack any civilian infrastructure sites. We have every capability of knowing what is situated where,” Putin told a news conference in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat.

“I am convinced that this time, everything was done in this exact manner,” Putin said.

Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting the shopping centre and civilian shoppers.

Putin made his comment as NATO on Wednesday branded Russia the biggest “direct threat” to Western security after its invasion of Ukraine. The military alliance also agreed on plans to modernise Kyiv’s beleaguered armed forces, saying it stood fully behind Ukrainians’ “heroic defence of their country”.

“President Putin’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and has created the biggest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference.

“NATO has responded with strength and unity,” he said.

US President Joe Biden announced more land, sea and air force deployments across Europe, including a permanent army headquarters with accompanying battalion in Poland – the first full-time US deployment on NATO’s eastern fringes.

Top US intelligence official Avril Haines said on Wednesday the most likely near-term scenario for the war is a grinding conflict in which Moscow makes only incremental gains but no breakthrough on its goal of taking most of Ukraine.

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