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Les travailleurs du monde entier se rassemblent alors que la France secouée par des manifestations contre les retraites pour marquer le 1er mai

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Les gens pressés par l’inflation et exigeant la justice économique sont descendus dans les rues d’Asie, d’Europe et des Amériques lundi pour marquer le 1er mai, dans une vague de mécontentement des travailleurs sans précédent depuis les fermetures mondiales de COVID-19.

La police française a inculpé des manifestants radicaux et des fauteurs de troubles qui ont brisé des vitrines de banques et de magasins et incendié alors que les syndicats poussaient le président à supprimer un âge de la retraite plus élevé. Les Sud-Coréens ont plaidé pour des salaires plus élevés, tout comme d’autres en Amérique latine. Les avocats espagnols ont réclamé le droit de prendre des jours de congé. Des travailleuses domestiques migrantes au Liban ont défilé dans un pays plongé dans la crise économique.

Alors que le 1er mai est marqué dans le monde entier comme une célébration des droits du travail, les rassemblements de cette année ont puisé dans des frustrations plus larges. Des militants pour le climat ont peint à la bombe un musée à Paris et des manifestants en Allemagne ont manifesté contre la violence ciblant les femmes et les personnes LGBTQ+.

Les célébrations ont été forcées à l’intérieur au Pakistan, teintées de tensions politiques comme en Turquie, alors que les deux pays sont confrontés à des élections à enjeux élevés. La guerre de la Russie en Ukraine a éclipsé les événements à échelle réduite à Moscou, où les célébrations du 1er mai dirigées par les communistes étaient autrefois des affaires massives.

Partout dans le monde, les événements du 1er mai de cette année ont déclenché une frustration refoulée après trois ans de restrictions liées au COVID-19.

Dans toute la France, quelque 800 000 personnes ont défilé, a indiqué le ministre de l’Intérieur Gérald Darmanin. Ils se sont mobilisés contre la récente décision du président Emmanuel Macron de relever l’âge de la retraite de 62 à 64 ans. Les organisateurs considèrent la réforme des retraites comme une menace pour les droits des travailleurs, tandis que Macron affirme qu’elle est économiquement nécessaire à mesure que la population vieillit.

Alors que les marcheurs étaient en grande partie pacifiques, la violence des radicaux, une réalité omniprésente dans les marches françaises, a entaché le message, notamment à Paris. Un policier parisien a été grièvement blessé par un cocktail Molotov, parmi 108 policiers blessés à travers la France, a précisé Darmanin. On ne sait pas combien de manifestants ont été potentiellement blessés. Des heurts ont également marqué des manifestations à Lyon et à Nantes.

“La violence est de plus en plus forte dans une société qui se radicalise”, a déclaré le ministre de l’Intérieur sur la chaîne d’information BFM-TV, accusant l’ultra-gauche. Il a dit que quelque 2 000 radicaux étaient à la marche de Paris.

Des gaz lacrymogènes étaient suspendus au point final de la marche parisienne, Place de la Nation, où un énorme nuage noir s’est élevé au-dessus des arbres après que des radicaux eurent incendié deux bidons de carburant devant un chantier de rénovation, a annoncé la police.

Les membres des syndicats français ont été rejoints par des groupes luttant pour la justice économique, ou exprimant simplement leur colère contre ce qui est considéré comme la direction déconnectée et pro-entreprise de Macron. Des militants syndicaux étrangers étaient présents, parmi lesquels Hyrwon Chong du Syndicat sud-coréen des métallurgistes.

“Aujourd’hui, nous assistons à la montée des inégalités dans le monde, à une inflation terrible”, a-t-elle déclaré, ajoutant que le gouvernement Macron tentait “d’abattre un pilier du système social qui est le système de retraite”.

À Skopje, la capitale de la Macédoine du Nord, des milliers de syndicalistes ont protesté contre une récente décision du gouvernement accordant aux ministres une augmentation de 78 %. Le salaire mensuel minimum dans l’un des pays les plus pauvres d’Europe est de 320 euros (350 dollars), tandis que la hausse mettra le salaire des ministres à environ 2 300 euros (2 530 dollars). “Nous sommes ici, non seulement (pour marquer) la fête du Travail, mais aussi pour avertir que s’il n’y a pas de justice sociale, il n’y aura pas non plus de paix sociale”, a déclaré le dirigeant syndical Jakim Nedelkovski.

En Turquie, la police a empêché des manifestants d’atteindre la place principale d’Istanbul, Taksim, et a arrêté une douzaine d’entre eux, a rapporté la chaîne de télévision indépendante Sozcu.

La place a une importance symbolique pour les syndicats turcs après que des inconnus armés ont ouvert le feu lors d’une célébration du 1er mai à Taksim en 1977, provoquant une bousculade qui a fait des dizaines de morts. Le gouvernement du président Recep Tayyip Erdogan a déclaré Taksim interdit aux manifestations, bien que de petits groupes aient été autorisés à entrer pour déposer des couronnes devant un monument.

Au Pakistan, les autorités ont interdit les rassemblements dans certaines villes en raison d’un climat sécuritaire et politique tendu. À Peshawar, dans le nord-ouest agité, les organisations syndicales et les syndicats ont organisé des événements en salle pour exiger de meilleurs droits des travailleurs dans un contexte d’inflation élevée.

Les partis politiques et les syndicats de l’opposition sri-lankaise ont organisé des rassemblements pour la Journée des travailleurs pour protester contre les mesures d’austérité et les réformes économiques liées à un accord de sauvetage avec le Fonds monétaire international. Les manifestants ont demandé au gouvernement de mettre un terme aux mesures de privatisation des entreprises publiques et semi-gouvernementales. Le Sri Lanka fait face à la pire crise économique de son histoire et a suspendu le remboursement de sa dette extérieure.

En Corée du Sud, des dizaines de milliers de personnes ont assisté à des rassemblements lors de ses plus grands rassemblements du 1er mai depuis le début de la pandémie au début de 2020.

« Le prix de tout a augmenté, sauf nos salaires. Augmentez nos salaires minimum ! a crié un militant lors d’un rassemblement à Séoul sur le podium.

À Tokyo, des milliers de membres de syndicats, de législateurs de l’opposition et d’universitaires ont exigé des augmentations de salaire pour compenser l’impact de la hausse des coûts alors qu’ils se remettent des dommages causés par la pandémie. Ils ont critiqué le projet du Premier ministre japonais Fumio Kishida de doubler le budget de la défense, affirmant que l’argent devrait être dépensé pour le bien-être, la sécurité sociale et l’amélioration de la vie quotidienne des gens.

En Indonésie, les manifestants ont demandé au gouvernement d’abroger une loi sur la création d’emplois qui, selon eux, ne profiterait qu’aux entreprises.

À Taïwan, des milliers de travailleurs ont protesté contre ce qu’ils appellent les insuffisances des politiques du travail de l’île autonome, faisant pression sur le parti au pouvoir avant l’élection présidentielle de 2024.

Les manifestations en Allemagne ont débuté par un rassemblement “Take Back the Night” organisé par des groupes féministes et queer à la veille du 1er mai pour protester contre la violence dirigée contre les femmes et les personnes LGBTQ+. Lundi, des milliers d’autres ont participé à des marches organisées par les syndicats allemands à Berlin, Cologne et dans d’autres villes, rejetant les récents appels des politiciens conservateurs à la restriction du droit de grève.

Plus de 70 marches ont eu lieu dans toute l’Espagne, et de puissants syndicats ont mis en garde contre un « conflit social » si les bas salaires par rapport à la moyenne de l’UE n’augmentent pas avec l’inflation. L’Illustre Collège des Avocats de Madrid a demandé des réformes des lois historiques qui les obligent à être de garde 365 jours par an, indépendamment du décès de membres de la famille ou des urgences médicales. Ces dernières années, des avocats ont tweeté des images d’eux-mêmes travaillant depuis des lits d’hôpitaux sous perfusion intraveineuse pour illustrer leur sort.

La première ministre italienne d’extrême droite, Giorgia Meloni, s’est fait un devoir de travailler lundi – alors que son cabinet a adopté des mesures le jour de la fête du Travail qui, selon lui, témoignent de son inquiétude pour les travailleurs. Mais les législateurs de l’opposition et les dirigeants syndicaux ont déclaré que les mesures ne faisaient rien pour augmenter les salaires ou lutter contre la pratique répandue d’embaucher des travailleurs sur des contrats temporaires. Beaucoup de jeunes disent qu’ils ne peuvent pas envisager de fonder une famille ou même de quitter le domicile de leurs parents car ils n’obtiennent que des contrats temporaires.

Dans l’Ukraine ravagée par la guerre, le 1er mai est associé aux célébrations de l’ère soviétique lorsque le pays était gouverné depuis Moscou – une époque que beaucoup veulent oublier.

« C’est bien que nous ne célébrions pas cette fête comme cela se faisait à l’époque bolchevique. C’était quelque chose de vraiment horrible », a déclaré Anatolii Borsiuk, un homme de 77 ans à Kiev.

Alla Liapkina a décrit les fleurs et les ballons des rassemblements du 1er mai soviétique, mais a déclaré qu’il était temps de passer à autre chose. « Nous vivons dans une nouvelle ère », a-t-elle déclaré. “Nous n’avons pas besoin de revenir à un tel passé.”

Au Venezuela, qui souffre d’une inflation galopante depuis des années, des milliers de travailleurs ont manifesté pour exiger une augmentation du salaire minimum à un moment où la majorité ne peut pas répondre aux besoins de base malgré leur dernière augmentation il y a 14 mois. “Des salaires et des pensions décents maintenant!” scandaient les manifestants dans la capitale, Caracas. Beaucoup ont également fait allusion aux sanctions américaines contre le gouvernement dirigé par les socialistes de Nicolás Maduro, scandant : “Ce n’est pas un blocus, c’est du pillage”.

En Bolivie, le président de gauche Luis Arce a dirigé une marche pour la fête du travail à La Paz avec un syndicat important et a annoncé une augmentation de 5 % du salaire minimum. Arce a déclaré que son gouvernement “est fort parce que les syndicats sont forts”.

Au Brésil, l’accent n’était pas seulement mis sur les syndicats traditionnels, mais aussi sur les travailleurs à temps partiel et ceux du secteur informel, le gouvernement du nouveau président de gauche Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva annonçant un groupe de travail sur des propositions visant à réglementer ce secteur après que le président a récemment décrit ces travailleurs comme «presque comme des esclaves.

(PA)

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International

Grieving families face hike in probate fees to £300 – despite three month waits for grants

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Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate fees are to to be hiked 10 per cent to £300, as families wait nearly more than three months on average for this vital step to be completed after a bereavement.

The average application time is little changed in recent months at 13.7 weeks.

That has shortened since the almost four months probate took last autumn, according to the latest official figures.

However, the number of cases taking six months or more soared 112 per cent between 2020 and 2023, according to figures obtained from the Government under a freedom of information request by financial firm Quilter.

And lawyers report application times are now ‘a bit of a lottery’ and they can’t give people a certain answer on how long the process will take.

Applying for probate is an important step to gain control over an estate after someone dies, allowing executors to access bank accounts, settle debts and sort out bequests.

But lawyers and other inheritance professionals have claimed bereaved families are suffering hardship and house sales are falling through due to probate delays.

A damning report handed to MPs, who are investigating long waits experienced by relatives sorting out estates, accused the Government’s probate service of being error-prone and lacking in experienced staff.

Meanwhile, the Government plans to increase fees from £273 to £300 from next month. The last increase was 27 per cent in January 2022.

Probate fees are waived for estates worth no more than £5,000, but otherwise a flat fee is applied.

That is after a controversial plan to introduce a sliding scale – which would have imposed rises of up to 9,200 per cent on the largest estates – was dropped after a backlash a few years ago.

> Are you executor to a will? Read our guide to applying for probate and scroll down for further expert tips

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

‘It’s a bit of a lottery how long any particular application now takes before the probate is granted,’ says Jo Summer, a spokesperson for the STEP organisation for inheritance professionals, who gave evidence and suggestions for improvements to MPs at a recent hearing.

‘More complex applications, particularly those done on paper, definitely take longer than the simpler digital applications. However, you can also send two similar applications at the same time and one takes far longer than the other.

‘There is no certain answer we can give people when they ask us how long the process will take.

‘Some practitioners have received probates back within two to four weeks. There was even a remarkable case where probate came back after nine days. Others, meanwhile, are still awaiting a response from the Probate Registry 18 weeks after filing.

‘It’s worse in cases where the application is from a trust company or where the executors have appointed someone to act as their attorney in obtaining the probate.’

Summers says the best scenario now would be a guaranteed period for probate even if it was longer, as this would be much better than the complete uncertainty over timing at present.

Regarding the pending rise in the charge to £300, she adds: ‘With the huge backlog of unprocessed applications in the system, significant uncertainty and inconsistency around when probate is likely to be granted and bereaved families in financial and emotional limbo, it may not be the best time to be increasing fees.’

Shaun Moore, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, says: ‘In the midst of grief, executors — often close kin or friends — face the added burden of navigating the probate maze. The increasing length of time it is taking the probate service to grant probate will just add to the stress of the process.

‘With probate wait times soaring, the emotional toll intensifies. Despite there being an increase in the number of people submitting their paperwork digitally it is clear that the probate service is struggling to keep up with the workload causing these longer wait times.

‘This can have huge ramifications for a family. It is natural that more complex estates will take longer for probate to be granted but the increases in wait times across the board is cause for concern.’

The Ministry of Justice was asked for comment but did not respond by the time of publication. 

> EIGHT ways probate delays can cause problems for grieving families – see below

How do you make probate applications go smoothly?

Shaun Moore of Quilter gives the following tips.

– Having your estate as organised as possible is the best course of action. This can include making a will, using trusts, and moving assets out of the estate so that they’re not part of the probate process.

– For example, you can place life insurance policies in trust. Upon death, the life insurance benefits are paid to the trustees and can be distributed, prior to probate, as per the terms of the trust.

Got a tax question? 

Heather Rogers, founder and owner of Aston Accountancy, is This is Money’s tax columnist.

She answers your questions on any tax topic – tax codes, inheritance tax, income tax, capital gains tax, and much more.

Check out her previous columns to see if she has already solved your tax conundrum. 

Or, you can write to Heather at taxquestions@thisismoney.co.uk.

 

– Lifetime gifts remove an asset from your estate for probate purposes but a gift made seven years prior to your passing may also help reduce any Inheritance tax liability.

– To apply for grant of probate you will need the deceased’s original will and death certificate, and to find out the total value of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.

What impact do probate delays have on families?

Quilter warns long waits for probate can have the following adverse effects.

Financial strain: When probate is delayed, the deceased’s assets, including bank accounts, remain frozen. This can prevent beneficiaries from accessing funds they may be relying on for living expenses, creating financial stress.

Property and asset management: Properties that remain in the deceased’s name cannot be sold or properly managed without probate. This can lead to issues such as homes falling into disrepair, depreciation of property value, or missed opportunities to sell assets at a favourable time.

Investment risks: Investments held by the deceased cannot be managed or reallocated without probate. This inaction can lead to missed investment opportunities or losses if the investments depreciate in value during the delay.

Tax liabilities: Estates are sometimes subject to various taxes, such as inheritance tax, income tax, or capital gains tax, depending on the jurisdiction. Delays in probate can lead to late payment penalties or interest charges. Furthermore, executors might miss deadlines for tax advantages due to delays.

Distribution delays: Beneficiaries waiting to receive their inheritance may face financial or personal difficulties. Delays can strain family relationships, especially if beneficiaries feel the process is not being managed efficiently.

Legal challenges: Prolonged delays in probate might lead to increased chances of disputes or challenges against the will. This could further delay the distribution of the estate and incur additional legal costs.

Utility bills and debts: Ongoing expenses such as utilities, insurance, and mortgages need to be paid. Delays can complicate the management of these bills, potentially leading to lapses in insurance coverage.

Emotional stress: The period following a death is already a difficult time for friends and family. Delays in the probate process can add to the emotional strain, prolonging the period of uncertainty and making it harder for everyone to find closure.

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International

The best places to stay… in the WORLD: Four UK B&Bs make the global top 10 in 2024 Tripadvisor awards, the No.1 hotel overall is in Brazil and Santa Monica property is declared top in America

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Tripadvisor has named the best places to stay in the world for 2024 – and the UK has emerged as top for B&Bs, with four properties making the global top 10 list in the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotels Awards.

The No.1 spot goes to Voile Bleue in Mauritius, but The Toulson Court in Scarborough – last year’s winner – takes the silver medal, Highcliffe House in Exmoor National Park comes sixth, Gloucester House in Weymouth is seventh and The Berburry Hotel in Torquay ranks 10th.

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil’s Hotel Colline de France, a boutique hotel in the middle of the mountain town of Gramado renowned, says Tripadvisor, for its personalised service and French elegance.

The travel site notes that for three consecutive years, the 34-suite hotel has been ranked in the top five, boasting more than 4,000 five-star bubble reviews.

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California, while the top property in Australia for this year is The Reef House Adults Retreat Palm Cove in North Queensland.

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil's Hotel Colline de France (above)

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil's Hotel Colline de France (above)

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil’s Hotel Colline de France (above)

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

TOP HOTELS IN THE WORLD, UK, USA AND AUSTRALIA 

Top hotels – world

1. Hotel Colline de France, Brazil

2. OBLU SELECT Lobigili, Maldives

3. La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa, Vietnam

4. Adiwana Suweta, Indonesia

5. Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba

6. Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives

7. La Siesta Classic Ma May, Vietnam

8. Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico

9. Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia

10. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Mexico

Top hotels – UK & Channel Islands

1. The Resident Covent Garden, London

2. Aviator Hampshire, Hampshire

3. The Chesterfield Mayfair, London

4. Hotel 41, London

5. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire

6. Greenhills Country House Hotel, Jersey, Channel Islands

7. St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection, London

8. Brown’s Hotel, London

9. The Milestone Hotel and Residences, London

10. The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, London

Top hotels USA

1. Shore Hotel, Santa Monica, California

2. Luma Hotel Times Square, New York

3. FivePine Lodge & Spa, Oregon

4. The Bryant Park Hotel, New York

5. Hotel Emma, San Antonia, Texas

6. The Loutrel, South Carolina

7. Lotte Hotel Seattle, Washington

8. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Illinois

9. Ironworks Hotel Indy, Indiana

10. San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter on the River Walk, Texas

Top hotels – Australia

1. The Reef House Adults Only Bespoke Escapes

2. Emporium Hotel South Bank

3. MACq 01 Hotel

4. Next Hotel Melbourne

5. Quest Orange

6. Zagame’s House

7. Pinetrees Lodge

8. Element on Coolum Beach

9. Terminus Apartment Hotel

10. The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart

Source: Tripadvisor 

 

 

 

The rest of the overall top hotels ranking comprises La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa, Vietnam (third); Adiwana Suweta, Indonesia (fourth); Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba (fifth); Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives (sixth); La Siesta Classic Ma May, Vietnam (seventh); Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico (eighth); Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia (ninth); and Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Mexico (10th).

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male, Maldives; the gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh; and the USA’s top luxury property is Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas.

UK world winners

The Resident Covent Garden - the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The Resident Covent Garden - the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The Resident Covent Garden – the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for 'best sustainable hotels'. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for 'best sustainable hotels'. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for ‘best sustainable hotels’. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

Tripadvisor also notes Fingal’s success in the ‘small and boutique hotels‘ categories, with the property coming 11th in the world list and second in the European list.

‘Tranquil’ Welsh boutique hotel, Grove of Narberth, nestled in the rolling Pembrokeshire hills, is named 13th in the ‘world’s best small and boutique’ list.

For travellers looking to relax and unwind, the Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa tops the inaugural list of the ‘best wellness hotels‘ in the world.

Tripadvisor says: ‘This all-inclusive sanctuary, deemed an “oasis of bliss” by one Tripadvisor reviewer, offers a full spa, gym and sports centre, diving centre, water centre, and more.’

New for 2024 categories

THE BEST B&BS AND LUXURY HOTELS IN THE WORLD 

B&Bs and inns – world

1. Voile Bleue, Mauritius

2. The Toulson Court, Scarborough, UK

3. Dar Ahlam Hotel, Morocco

4. Abode Bombay, India

5. Pousada Gaia Viva, Brazil

6. Highcliffe House, Exmoor National Park, UK

7. Candleberry Inn on Cape Cod, U.S

8. Gloucester House, Weymouth, UK

9. Yarra Gables, Australia

10. The Berburry Hotel, Torquay, UK

Luxury hotels – world

1. OBLU SELECT Lobigili, Male

2. Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba

3. Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives

4. Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia

5. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Indonesia

6. Chandys Windy Woods, India

7. Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico

8. Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas, Greece

9. Voyage Belek Golf And Spa, Turkiye

10. JW Marriott Hotel Pune, India

Source: Tripadvisor 

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for ‘best sustainable hotels‘.

Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali, ‘with its “no walls, no doors” design, breathtaking views, sustainably grown food and exceptional service’.

The Hari, London, is named No. 7 on the world list. The luxury Belgravia hotel is ‘silver certified’ by EarthCheck, with several Tripadvisor reviewers commending the hotel for its ‘eco-conscious’ efforts.

Dan Mitchell, Vice President & General Manager Hotels, Tripadvisor, said: ‘Our Best of the Best Hotels are marvels, acclaimed by thousands of travellers for their remarkable service, stunning design, and wealth of amenities that redefine what it means to have an exceptional hotel experience. According to our Tripadvisor reviewers, each of the world’s best hotels caters to the traveller looking for accessible luxury and unique, tailored experiences.’

The rankings are drawn up from an analysis of 12 months of review data for over 1.6million hotels.

There are nine categories in total – top hotels, all-inclusive, B&Bs and inns, family-friendly, luxury, small and boutique, pet-friendly, sustainable and wellness, with the latter three new for 2024.

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa - the world's No.1 all-inclusive

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa - the world's No.1 all-inclusive

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa – the world’s No.1 all-inclusive

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International

At least five migrants die attempting to cross Channel for UK

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At least five migrants, including a child, died overnight during an attempt to cross the Channel from France to Britain, a French police source said on Tuesday.

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International

Meet the doctor who spends ‘half an hour a day’ writing sicknotes for workshy Brits: GP reveals he’s noticed ‘significant rise’ in number of people being signed off work

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A doctor is spending 30 minutes every day signing people off sick with a mental health illness, but the GP says being back at work could actually be better for them. 

Dr John Havard revealed there had been a ‘significant rise’ in the number of people being signed off work, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

But he says it may not be a ‘wise plan’ for those feeling anxious or depressed to be staying at home as they ‘need the support of home, family, friends, and also those at work’. 

It comes as the number of people of working age in Britain that are economically inactive hit 9.4million, meaning they are neither employed nor looking for work.

Meanwhile, at the end of last year, 4,000 applications for sickness benefits were being made every single day.

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

Dr Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, estimated GPs across the country probably spend at least ‘half an hour each day’ issuing ‘repeat fit notes’ to those who have been off work for a while.

He said: ‘There certainly has been a significant rise in the number of patients being off work due to mental health problems.

‘This seems to have been exacerbated since Covid.’

His surgery often contacts patients to find out how they are recovering in an effort to get them back to work. 

This is because the doctors believe being it can be better for their recovery.

Dr Havard added: ‘When patients are anxious or depressed, there are a number of ways we can help. But being off work is not necessarily a wise plan.

‘Interaction and support from colleagues can be helpful, which means that signing some people off work may not be in their best interests.’ 

He was speaking after Rishi Sunak announced plans to strip GPs of their power to sign people off work, as part of a crackdown on what he calls the UK’s ‘sick note culture’.

The Prime Minister claims benefits have become ‘a lifestyle choice’ for some people, causing ‘spirally’ welfare costs.

He announced on Friday that the government will trial getting ‘work and health professionals’ to issue ‘fit notes’ rather than GPs.

Mr Sunak hopes that this will free up overworked GPs and enable specialists to make a more detailed assessment of a person’s ability to work.

He is implementing the plans amid concerns about the increase in long-term sickness since the pandemic, which has primarily been driven by mental health problems.

The Tory leader added that he would ‘never dismiss or downplay the illnesses people have’ but also argued that there is a need to be ‘more honest about the risk of over-medicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life’.

Disability campaigners have reacted with anger to the plans, with charity Scope branding them a ‘full-on assault on disabled people’.

Dr Havard said: ‘If the Government has a plan for the issue of repeat certificates, then I would welcome the idea.

‘Currently though, I have no knowledge of how it would work.’

He added: ‘As a general rule, I feel patients with anxiety and depression need the support of home, family, friends, and also those at work.

‘We should never underestimate the strength of the wider community to provide support.’

The overall welfare bill for the British taxpayer currently stands at £297 billion and it is projected to climb to £360 billion over the next five years — the equivalent of 11 per cent of Britain’s entire economic output. 

Over the same period, spending on sickness benefits is expected to rise from £66billion to more than £90billion.

Nearly 3million people of working age are currently on long-term sick leave – the highest figure ever, it was revealed on April 17.

One recent survey by this paper showed that in the 16 to 24 age group, 280,000 people are in receipt of unemployment benefits — twice as many as a decade ago, and 50,000 more than before Covid struck.

And it appears that the younger generation are more likely to be afflicted by negativity about their mental health.

Research by the Resolution Foundation revealed that the number of 18 to 24-year-olds who are economically inactive due to mental health has more than doubled in the past decade from 93,000 to 190,000. 

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Germany arrests aide to far-right MEP on suspicion of China espionage

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German police have arrested an assistant to a European Parliament member for the far-right Alternative for Germany on suspicion of “an especially severe case” of espionage for China, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

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Piers Morgan brands Man United a ‘Mickey Mouse club’ as Red Devils ‘hold talks with Disney over multi-million-dollar documentaries deal’ that will focus on their glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson

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Piers Morgan has hit out at Manchester United following reports that the club are engaged in talks with Disney over a multi-million-dollar documentaries deal that will focus on their historical success under Sir Alex Ferguson.

According to The Athletic, United are looking to strike a deal with the US streaming giants, but the proposed documentaries would not include coverage of their current plight.

Instead, it would look back on Ferguson’s 26-year stay at Old Trafford that saw the club win 13 league titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League on two occasions.

And Morgan is clearly not impressed as he reacted to the news by posting on X on Tuesday morning: ‘Mickey Mouse club – official’.

His dig at the Red Devils appears to be due to their reluctance to commission a documentary that focuses on their struggles since Ferguson retired in 2013.

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a 'Mickey Mouse club' following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a 'Mickey Mouse club' following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a ‘Mickey Mouse club’ following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United have failed to win a league title in the past 11 years, and have endured a miserable campaign with Erik ten Hag at the helm this year.

They currently sit seventh in the Premier League and were knocked out of Europe before Christmas, although they have booked their place in a second successive FA Cup final after edging past Coventry on penalties in Sunday’s epic semi-final at Wembley. 

It is understood that talks have been ongoing for two years between United and the US streaming giants, and a deal is yet to be agreed to due to the Red Devils holding out for improved terms. 

United were offered better terms when discussions first began, and are looking to maximise the revenue from a potential deal as they aim to adhere to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

Erik ten Hag was unable to make any signings in January due to United’s tight budget, and the club are now looking to diversify their revenue streams under new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The proposed documentaries would include considerable interview time with Ferguson, who still regularly attends United matches despite leaving the dugout 11 years ago.

Club ambassadors such as Bryan Robson and Peter Schmeichel are also expected to give their insight if the documentaries deal is given the green light.

The Disney documentaries could follow on the back of a one-off Amazon documentary on United’s Treble-winning season in 1998-99 that is set to air later this year for the 25th anniversary of the achievement.

A trailer was released earlier this month to give a sneak peek of what to expect, with David Beckham admitting that he worried he would never be able to play in England again after getting sent off at the 1998 World Cup for kicking Argentina’s Diego Simeone, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confessed he felt sick before his Champions League heroics at the Nou Camp.

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

Disney's Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney's Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney’s Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney’s Welcome to Wrexham series, which follows the success of the Welsh club owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, has been a massive hit with fans.

Striking a deal would also likely be a major coup for the streaming giants.

Prior to their documentary deal with Amazon, United had steered clear of being followed by behind-the-scenes cameras.

But they could now emulate other major clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Juventus who have all had documentaries commissioned by Amazon in recent seasons. 

However, United’s documentaries would be different as they would look back on their glory days rather than giving an up-to-date account of how the club is being run behind the scenes.

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Asia hit hardest by climate and weather disasters last year, says UN

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Asia was the world’s most disaster-hit region from climate and weather hazards in 2023, the United Nations said Tuesday, with floods and storms the chief cause of casualties and economic losses.

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Under-fire Met boss Sir Mark Rowley defends ‘professional’ officer who threatened to arrest ‘openly Jewish’ campaigner at pro-Palestine protest – as police chief fights to keep job

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The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has defended the ‘professional’ conduct of the officer who threatened to arrest an ‘openly Jewish’ campaigner at a pro-Palestine march. 

Sir Mark Rowley has said the officers who dealt with Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), in viral footage of the the April 13 march will not face sanctions. 

However, the Met boss has admitted some of the words exchanged during the incident were ‘clumsy and offensive’ – as 1,500 protesters and Mr Falter are set to descend on a pro-Palestinian march this weekend to press Scotland Yard to keep the streets safe for Jewish people.

It comes as Sir Mark is facing a battle to keep his job as British Jewish groups are calling for his resignation following the ‘openly Jewish’ incident and other criticisms of how pro-Palestine marches are policed. 

Yesterday, Britain’s top police officer had crisis meetings with two politicians that can sack him – Home Secretary James Cleverly and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

He said last night that sergeant at the centre of the row assessed that there was a ‘risk of confrontation’ due to Mr Falter’s presence. 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being 'openly Jewish'

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being 'openly Jewish'

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being ‘openly Jewish’

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to 'force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people'

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to 'force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people'

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to ‘force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people’

He told the Guardian ‘The sergeant at the scene clearly assessed that there was a risk of confrontation and was trying to help Mr Falter find a different route. 

‘I completely understand why the sergeant made this assessment. A couple of turns of phrase were clumsy and offensive … and we’ve apologised for that.

‘The wider actions and intent of the officer were professional and in the best tradition of British police trying to prevent disorder.’

Sir Rowley added: ‘The public would be horrified if we said: well, it’s obvious if those two groups come together, there’s going to be a massive fight. We’ll stand back and wait till it happens and we’ll pick up the pieces afterwards.’ 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the force needed to rebuild the trust of the Jewish community but added the embattled police chief had his confidence.

Sir Mark held meetings on Monday with Mr Cleverly and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said he has ‘full confidence’ in the commissioner.

Representatives of Jewish community groups including the Community Security Trust and London Jewish Forum also met Sir Mark and Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, who leads public order policing, on Monday morning.

The CST said it would continue to push for a reduction in the number of pro-Palestinian protests permitted in central London.

It released a statement after the meeting that said: ‘We will continue our dialogue with police later this week to express our concerns regarding the cumulative impact of the repeated anti-Israel protests in terms of disruption and intimidation of the Jewish community.

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his 'full confidence' following the 'openly Jewish' incident

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his 'full confidence' following the 'openly Jewish' incident

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his ‘full confidence’ following the ‘openly Jewish’ incident

‘We urge the police and Government to work together to find ways to limit this impact through reducing the number of protests, moving them to less disruptive locations and acting firmly and consistently whenever offences are committed by people on the demonstrations.’

After the meeting with Sir Mark, Mr Cleverly said: ‘Jewish people will always have the right to be able to go about their daily lives safely and freely, in London and across the UK.

‘Sir Mark has reassured me he will make this clear to all sections of the community as a matter of urgency. 

‘The Met’s focus now is rightly on reassurance, learning from what happened, and ensuring that Jewish people are safe and feel safe in London. I support them in that critical endeavour.

‘Public order policing is complex and challenging, but it remains incumbent on Sir Mark and the mayor of London to ensure that London is always a safe and welcoming city.

‘The force’s focus should be on policing protests properly and fairly, and we will continue to back forces in using all necessary powers to manage these often difficult situations and to keep people safe.’

The force has apologised twice over the incident on April 13, issuing one initial statement and then saying sorry for its first apology which had suggested opponents of pro-Palestinian marches ‘must know that their presence is provocative’.

A 13-minute of the exchange shows Mr Falter telling police he wants to cross a road to reach Kingsway in central London as crowds of pro-Palestinian protesters pass.

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being 'openly Jewish' launched the 'walk together' campaign

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being 'openly Jewish' launched the 'walk together' campaign

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being ‘openly Jewish’ launched the ‘walk together’ campaign

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

He tells one officer: ‘The Metropolitan Police says that these marches are completely safe for Jews, there is no problem whatsoever.

‘You are telling me that I cannot walk to the other pavement. That I have to be escorted by you.’

The officer says: ‘I am telling you that I will help you by escorting you over there and that way you will be completely safe, just as we promised, so we are keeping our word.’

Mr Falter has since said he will turn up at the next pro-Palestinian march and encouraged other Jews and allies to join him as more than 1,500 protesters are set to join him to press Scotland Yard to keep the streets safe for Jewish people.

The Met faces potential clashes at the march as the anti-Semitism campaigner threatened with arrest for being ‘openly Jewish’ launched the ‘walk together’ campaign.

Gideon Falter is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to ‘force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people’.

Since the incident on April 13, almost 9,000 people have signed a petition calling for the resignation of Britain’s top police officer.

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman who told Radio 4 yesterday: ‘The police have chosen a side.’

Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell told Sky News: ‘There are strategic issues… how we ensure that Jewish people, people of any faith at all, can go about their business.’

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the incident ‘clearly wasn’t handled properly … but the police work immensely hard every single day to keep us safe’.

Officer is defended by Met chief

Sir Mark Rowley last night praised the ‘professional’ conduct of the policeman at the centre of the row.

He said the unnamed officer had acted ‘in the best tradition of British police trying to prevent disorder’ when he stopped Gideon Falter from crossing into a protest.

Sir Mark said ‘a couple of turns of phrase were clumsy and offensive’ but the police had apologised for this. He told The Guardian that in other different incidents, he believed ‘officers are being set up with an intention to intimidate officers and create a sort of fakery to try and prove police are not operating neutrally’. He gave the example of an Asian officer who had a pro-Palestinian sticker put on his arm for a short time, which was photographed and shared online, leading to death threats.

Sir Tom Winsor, former chief inspector of constabulary, has backed the treatment of Mr Falter, saying police were trying to keep him safe.

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New bill in California could axe little-known rule that allows state to keep newborn blood indefinitely

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A little-known California law that allows the state to store baby blood indefinitely and sell to third parties could come to an end.

A new bill, recently passed in the state Senate, would give parents the choice to opt out of the retention and confidential use of their newborn’s screening specimen, which is taken by a heel prick at birth to screen hereditary diseases.

The bill was moved to Suspense File on Monday, where it will be held for consideration until the budget is passed. A date has not been provided. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been storing the samples in biobanks since the 1980s, accumulating more than 20 million blood cards, and is not required to inform parents about who is accessing their child’s DNA. 

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

However, CDPH has pushed back on the new bill claiming it would cost up to $4 million to implement and another $1 million a year moving forward. 

The costs would be needed to rework the current process, which would include paperwork for parents to opt out and information brochures detailing how blood samples are stored and used. 

But CBS News reported that a similar bill passed in 2015 cost around $120,000 to implement – far less than what CDPH has claimed.

DailyMail.com has contacted CDPH for comment. 

The bill, passed by the Senate in January, could die in appropriations due to the costs cited by CDPH.

If it is passed, the bill will move to the Assembly that then needs to determine if it should or should not go to Governor Gavin Newson. 

Senator Janet Nguyen, who authored the bill, said: ‘By giving parents the right to prohibit the use and retention of their baby’s blood sample for research purposes and indefinite storage by the state, we bolster the ability for parents to protect their child’s privacy.’

Genetic newborn testing started in the 1960s with the hopes of detecting diseases and conditions that could kill a child or cause severe problems.

Nurses fill six spots on a special filter card when administering the screening that is then sent to a lab for testing, but leftover samples are stored for the specific allowed time.

According to the state of Minnesota’s website, samples are kept so that tests can be repeated, used to identify a missing or deceased child and for medical research.

While data is sparse regarding how many samples have been stored, a report states that in 2009, 13.5 billion newborn blood spots were warehoused nationwide.

And reports show that most states have stored DNA since at least 2001.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) began storing samples indefinitely in state-run biobanks in 1983.

The state had only filled five spots on the card but increased to six in the 2010s, which reports have claimed are sold for $20 to $40 per spot.

In December 2020, it was revealed that investigators in California had sought access to newborn screening samples for criminal investigative purposes and made at least one arrest using the genetic material.

While the state automatically sends the blood to a facility, parents are given a pamphlet telling them where they can request the samples be destroyed.

A CBS News-Survey USA news poll found three-quarters of new parents had no idea California was storing their baby’s leftover bloodspots indefinitely or that they had the right to have their child’s sample destroyed.

Another issue with blood storage is that it holds the individual’s sensitive information.

‘Allowing the government to access samples with such sensitive information for reasons other than public health would seriously threaten our privacy — particularly given that our DNA reveals such information not only about us, but also our family members,’ the American Civil Liberties Union shared in a statement. 

CDPH may be pushing back on the mandate, citing that it ‘would cost between $3.8 million to $4 million (including one-time costs) in the first year and $1.6 million in ongoing costs thereafter to administer the provisions of the bill (Genetic Disease Testing Fund).’

However, the appropriations analysis states that the costs would be covered by the Genetic Disease Testing Fund (GDTF), not the general fund.

The storage and use of newborn blood took center stage last year after parents in New Jersey sued the state after finding police collected a baby’s DNA without a warrant to investigate the child’s father.

Hannah Lovaglio, a resident of Cranbury and plaintiff, told DailyMail.com in November: ‘This is a true parent right’s issue. This is their body; this is their property taken from them from five years of being a minor, and the state is not required to give any justification. 

‘It is deeply concerning [that they are] preying on the helplessness of a new parent,’ said Lovaglio.

‘In your most vulnerable moment, someone is taking something from your child, and you have no idea.’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia proposed a databank of the DNA-filled newborn blood spots in 2002 and using them—seemingly without parent consent—for additional purposes beyond the infant genetic screening program, according to the Citizens’ Council on Health Care.

Some states, such as South Carolina and South Dakota, destroy the blood spots after a year or as soon as testing has been completed.

Other states that store newborn DNA for years have regulations to limit what can be done with the samples, and some, like Alabama and Arizona, let parents refuse blood retention.

Approximately 29 US states provide parents with forms to refuse to screen, including Alabama, New York and Nevada.

Texas, Minnesota, and Michigan have also faced lawsuits over their blood storage practices, primarily because parents did not provide consent. 

The 2009 lawsuit in Texas, which was holding DNA indefinitely, resulted in the state’s 5.3 million blood samples, and now, all blood samples obtained after 2012 must be destroyed after two years.

A 2014 settlement in the Minnesota lawsuit resulted in 1.1 million blood samples being destroyed – the state began storing DNA in 2014.

In 2022, Michigan, which began retention in 2012, was also sued to destroy three million blood spots, but that lawsuit is ongoing.

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🔴 Live: US Senate to vote on wartime aid package for Israel, Gaza

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The Senate is returning to Washington on Tuesday to vote on $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, taking the final steps in Congress to send the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk after months of delays and contentious internal debate over how involved the United States should be abroad. Read our liveblog to follow today’s developments in the Middle East.

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