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Taunton Titans draw with Bishops Stortford in National One


TAUNTON Titans will feel like they lost points on Saturday after drawing with Bishops Stortford after controlling the majority of the game.

The Titans were the better team for much of the action, but a few lapses in focus allowed their opponents to come back into the game later.

Head coach Tony Yapp said he was disappointed, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the game.

“The mood after that feels like a loss if I’m honest, we were better for a lot of the game but we let them come back late which is disappointing.

“The Bishops are a good team and they taught us a lesson here, we have to be at our best for 80 minutes if we want to win.

“There are still a lot of positives to take from this and I’m proud of how far our boys have come this season.”

Shai Bonnick on the charge (photo: Clayton Jane)

In the early exchanges, it was Stortford who brought the game to Taunton, and the away team were in front after four minutes when Josh Stannard passed into the corner; the conversion put them 0-7 up.

This woke Taunton up and they went straight on the attack, and after a few penalties they went close and through a maul they scored their first of the game which Jack Walsh converted.

Stortford went further ahead through a penalty but it would be their last score of the half as Taunton gained momentum.

In the 20th minute, Jack Walsh sold the last defender with a brilliant dummy to score and put Taunton ahead, he also converted the try, but that try cannot be mentioned without giving credit to Frankie Dart.

He picked up the ball about 20 yards from his own try line and beat at least five tackles before finally being stopped about twenty yards from the other try line.

Taunton could have scored more tries before the break but Stortford managed to keep them out but Walsh scored a penalty so by the break it was 17-10 for the Titans.

In the second half, Taunton came off flying and when Isaac Dalton attempted a try in the 43rd minute things were looking good, the conversion was missed but it was then 22-10.

Somerset County Gazette: Jack Walsh picked the man of the match (Picture: Clayton Jane)Jack Walsh chose the man of the match (photo: Clayton Jane)

Then almost in the next attacking game Taunton was over the top again, this time Harry Tarling sailed nearly undamaged.

Taunton was flying, Walsh converted the try and the score was 29-10 in favor of the home side.

From there, Taunton should have kept scoring and going on to win, but Stortford never gave up.

They then scored three unanswered tries, the last in the 78th minute and they earned themselves a draw.

Next up for Taunton is an away trip to face the Rams on Saturday January 29, kick off at 3pm.

UK residents stranded abroad due to Home Office ‘misleading messages’


When Jageer Ali visited Pakistan in November last year, he intended to stay for 10 days. He was visiting family and he had to return to the UK, his 12-year-old home, to resume his job as a store manager at Pret a Manger. But when he tried to catch his early morning flight to London, the 39-year-old was shocked to find he couldn’t get home.

The Pakistani national, who has settled status in the EU by virtue of his ex-wife, an EU national, was told by airline staff that he needed additional documents – a valid biometric residence card (BRC) – in order to re-enter the UK. Jageer had one but it was expired. He had been led to believe by a communication from the Home Office that he could travel with his digital-only status in the EU.

Six weeks later, the London resident is still stuck in Pakistan. He risks losing his job. He contacted the Home Office after he was refused entry on the flight and was told to apply for an immigration document called a BRP card – at a cost of £250. But this was rejected as the application must be made from the UK. It has not been reimbursed.

” I do not know what to do. I keep calling the Home Office and have to explain my situation again each time, and they always come up with something different. Sometimes they say they don’t know what to do. How can I find a solution? Jager said.

“My boss asks me what happens when I get back to work. I really do not know. It’s very stressful. I’m still paying the rent for my flat in London. I will have no income this month. I can’t find a way out of this situation. I just need to go home.

Jageer is one of many non-EU nationals who have traveled abroad believing their settlement status in the EU – a form of immigration status granted to EU citizens and their family members in the UK after Brexit – is sufficient to prove their immigration status, but have been prevented from returning to the country. Government guidelines on this are confusing and there has been a lack of clear information to deal with the situation they find themselves in.

To complicate matters further, a document that people receive when they obtain settlement status in the EU states that this means they can “travel in and out of the country without having to prove your status, as your information will be verified automatically”. An email sent by the Home Office to all EU Settlement Status holders last year stated: “You don’t need to do anything if you are traveling to or from the UK and that you have EUSS settlement or pre-settlement status”. Lawyers say this constitutes “misleading” information and have asked that those affected be compensated.

The printed document people receive when they get settlement status in the EU suggests they can travel without additional documents


Italian national Cristina Feretti and her young children were unable to spend Christmas with her husband, Cameroonian national Christian Nkoyoh, after he was prevented from boarding a return flight from Italy.

Christian had been led to believe that he could travel without a valid BRP card. After being refused on the flight, he too was wrongly advised by the Home Office to apply for a BRP which was rejected because he was outside the UK, at a cost of several hundred books. He was then told he needed to apply for a travel document known as the EUSS Family Permit, which he did, but it took two months to arrive.

While Christian was away, Cristina was also diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. “I was alone the day I was told. It destroyed us,” she says. “Being alone here with my two children, especially during the Christmas holidays, was so difficult for me. I already had symptoms. I really struggled.

Cristina and her children had to spend Christmas without her husband Christian

(Cristina Ferreti)

“We’re not the kind of people who do the wrong thing. We would never try to get in trouble. We just didn’t know that, because there’s nowhere that explains it properly.

In a third case, Russian national Victoria Krayushkina, 32, who has lived in Britain for nine years, was unable to return home for three months after being prevented from boarding a flight after visiting her family in Russia because she did not have a valid BRC card.

“I was told that I didn’t need another BRC and that I didn’t need to apply for a new one. My digital status says I can ‘travel inside and outside the UK without having to prove my status’. I have traveled abroad before since mine expired and had no trouble coming back,” she said.

The 32-year-old has been unable to do her job and has had to continue to pay rent for a flat in London that she currently cannot live in.

Ms Krayushkina said: “The situation has made financial planning really difficult, and it’s hard to get out of my routine. I didn’t take much. I had to ask friends to take my cat… The uncertainty is driving me crazy. I work full time, I pay all the taxes. I don’t see why I deserve separate treatment.

Victoria has been stuck out of the UK for three months and says it is impacting her job and finances

(Victoria Krayushkina)

Luke Piper, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the3million, said: “People are in dire straits, unable to return home to the UK, due to inconsistent and misleading communications from the Home Office. This has significant emotional and financial consequences. Some of them will have spent thousands of euros to take refuge in countries where they do not live. They should be compensated.

Andrew Jordan, head of immigration advice at the charity Settled, said the issue demonstrated the Home Office’s ‘reluctance’ to issue a physical document to EU settlement holders was creating problems.

“It may work in theory, but not in practice. The Home Office has been warned of these issues many times, from the start, but they refuse to change course,” he said.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The letter that non-EEA people receive when they obtain status under the EUSS states that when they return to the UK after having traveled abroad, they must present their valid passport and biometric residence permit at the UK border.

“We are reviewing the guidelines for non-EEA people with EUSS status, to ensure they are clear on the steps they should take when traveling in and out of the EU. UK.”

They added that they do not routinely comment on individual cases and that each family permit application is reviewed as quickly as possible and on its individual merits, but processing times may vary depending on the volume and complexity of applications. .

Obituary: Kathleen “Katie” Vallière Denis Ouilette


Kathleen “Katie” Valliere Denis Ouilette

SKOWHEGAN — Kathleen “Katie” Valliere Denis Ouilette breathed her last in the early morning of January 17, 2022 with her daughter by her side. She was born July 8, 1930 at 29 Chestnut St. in Skowhegan to Henry and Roxie (Russell) Valliere. She graduated from Skowhegan High School in 1948 and graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 1950 with a degree in medical secretarial science. She continued her education throughout her life with various courses until 2000. She held several certificates and licenses to perform the various jobs she performed throughout her life. At a very young age, Katie was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice. She sang on stage at the Strand Theatre. She also sang in choirs in the schools she attended, as well as in the churches she attended. She has sung at many weddings over the years and it was recently shared that one of those weddings was longtime friends George and Elaine Cannell. Three days before her own wedding, Katie declined an invitation to join the New York Opera. She didn’t join opera but her minister and close friend Larry Kalp from New Jersey remembers teaching a 70-member children’s choir. His first job was to help his father at “Henry’s Hardware”. Other early work experiences include working as an after-school dental assistant for Dr. Dumont and Dr. Gower, switchboard operator at the Lakewood Summer Theater, and personal secretary for attorney Thomas Weeks. While working in Lakewood, she met her first husband Joseph Denis. They married in January 1953 and began their life together in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They had three children together. From 1953 to 1969, they lived in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey due to her husband’s job. In 1969 they returned to Maine with their three children to start their new business ZD Wire Products. In 1972, they became owners of the Lakewood Resort. Katie was known to sing every night at the hostel closing the bar with “Climb Every Mountain”. One of her proudest memories was the opportunity to sing with Jack Cassidy. For several years Katie continued to work in the hospitality industry at the Red Coach Inn and the Holiday Inn. Then, in 1977, she took up a totally different job and worked for CN Flagg when building Scott Paper Company in Hinkley. In 1976, she met her second husband Lewis Ouilette. They married in February 1977. She became stepmother to two sons. She and Lew lived a wonderful and eventful life together until his passing in July 2018. From 1977 Katie continued to work in various jobs as an office manager and sales and marketing in various places of business. She has also served as Activities Director at Maplecrest Nursing Home as well as 234 Madison Avenue. In 2009, she became very active with Madison Community Access TV channel 11. So many people loved watching her on “Now You Know” and “Keeping Pace”. She also wrote a column for the weekly newspapers “If the walls could talk”. She enjoyed being a member of several area heritage boards, but especially enjoyed working with Bob Washburn on the Abner Coburn Days. Katie was an active person. Nothing stopped her. At 90, she called Governor Mills and offered to work for her. She even survived Covid at the age of 90. She is also one of the first survivors of Lyme disease which she contracted in the early 80s. Unfortunately, it was then that she lost her voice and suffered severe pain in her arms and legs. For this reason, she donated her body to science in hopes that they might learn more about Lyme disease and the effects it has on individuals and a possible cure. She and Lew are remembered for their volunteer hours across Madison and Skowhegan. Katie was the traveling historian of this region. Much of the story left this area when Katie passed away. In 2006, she received the Alton Whittemore Award from the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, she received the Senate Sentiment Award from Senator Agnes King. In 2019, the Senate and House of Representatives joined the City of Madison and dedicated the City of Madison Report to Lew and Katie. Also in 2019, she and Lew were recognized by Somerset County Commissioners for their endless hours of volunteerism. Katie loved to entertain and be the center of attention. She always had people over for dinner. She opened her home to so many people from everywhere. She was sometimes known for her feistiness and her never-give-up attitude. She had a huge impact on so many lives and will be missed by so many. Katie was predeceased by her parents Henry and Roxie; her husband Lew; his son Russell, his son-in-law Ray; cousins ​​Ernald, Sherwood and his wife Nancy. Katie is survived by her children, Craig and his wife Laurie, Lynn, Nick and his wife Loan, Dean and his wife Donna; grandchildren, Daniel, Angela and her husband Tim, Andrea and her husband Jeremy, Michelle and her husband Jason, Matthew and his wife Heather, Brittani, Danielle and her husband Kevin, Paul and his wife Bryanna, Marc and his wife Diana, Roxie, Leigh and his wife Samantha; great-grandchildren, Landen, Sydney, Kinley, Caden, Kyler, Rylie, Cody, Reese, Owen, Bella, Olive, Francis and Sawyer; cousins, Ray, Mimi and Mal; special friends, Chuck, Jordan and Celine, Drew and Susanne, Chris and Claire, Larry and Duane, Debbie, David and Joyce, Tiger and Linda and so many others. She was called Maman and Nana by many. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff at Maplecrest for the love and care they extended to our mother during her stay there. A celebration of Katie’s life will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are in the care and control of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home 183 Madison Ave. Skowhegan Maine. http://www.SmartandEdwardsfh.comIn lieu of flowers, please donate to:St. Jude’s Hospital or a location of your choice

Golden Book

Philadelphia man arrested after being found asleep in garage in Somerset


SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Philadelphia man is behind bars after police say he was found sleeping in another man’s car.

Warren K. Pleasant, 30, was found asleep in a man’s vehicle in his garage. The mechanic told police around 8:15 a.m. on January 20 that he went down to the garage, which was part of a company he worked for, to replace insurance cards for the company’s vehicles. The victim noticed a pair of shoes next to a vehicle, then noticed Pleasant in the driver’s seat sleeping.

The victim then called the police and, upon making the call, Pleasant woke up and told the victim he was on the run for murder.

After police arrived and spoke with Pleasant, he said he stayed in the garage for about 36 hours to stay out of the cold. He also told police he was “at large” on a burglary warrant.

Police have charged Pleasant with criminal trespassing and he is currently being held in the Somerset County Jail.

There are currently no charges against Pleasant for murder.

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Nation’s biggest abortion protest may be last under Roe | News


WASHINGTON (AP) — Anti-abortion protesters began gathering in the nation’s capital Friday with high morale and a sense that the country has reached a pivotal moment that could lead to a sweeping rollback of abortion rights in many many states.

The March for Life, for decades an annual protest against abortion, comes this year as the Supreme Court has indicated it will allow states to impose tougher abortion restrictions with a ruling within months. to come – and possibly overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion.

“My hopes have been dashed many times, but I’ve never felt like this,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

The rally, held on the anniversary of the Roe decision, comes amid a surge of COVID-19 that is expected to limit attendance at the National Mall. Some abortion opponents posted on the event’s Facebook page that they will not be attending due to COVID-19 vaccination mandates for people visiting restaurants and other places in the District of Columbia.

The pandemic hasn’t dampened the optimism of a resurgent anti-abortion movement that sees a new Texas law banning most abortions as a sign of things to come, and who say they’re not done fight for restrictions even if the conservative majority of the Supreme Court rules in their favor later this year.

At least 26 states are in line to further limit abortion access if Roe is weakened or overthrown, according to abortion rights groups. In December, the court indicated in a landmark case that it would uphold a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and allow states to ban abortions even earlier. The Mississippi affair directly concerns Roe.

For months, courts have handed Texas abortion providers a string of defeats to block a law that since September has banned abortions once heart activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. and before some women know they are pregnant. Another loss for Texas clinics came on Thursday, when the Supreme Court declined to expedite an ongoing challenge to the law, which providers say is now expected to remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

“This law is cruel and unconstitutional, and I am deeply disappointed that our justice system has done very little to stop it,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs four abortion clinics in Texas.

The Supreme Court was remade by three nominees for former President Donald Trump, who in 2020 became the first sitting president to address the March for Life. The schedule for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris did not include any Friday events related to the march.

Lawmakers from both parties weighed in Friday to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reflect on the changing political landscape surrounding abortion.

“This has been an eye-opening year for the cause of life in America, and we have made significant progress in standing up for our youngest and most vulnerable,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader.

“The stakes are higher than ever, with the health and autonomy of women and families across the country hanging in the balance as Republicans work methodically to challenge and unseat Roe,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H. “It’s time to sound the alarm and clarify: the decisions about our bodies, our health care and our future are ours.”

Democrats and abortion providers say if Roe is unseated, they expect opponents to tighten restrictions on access to abortion drugs by mail.

“As far as what the Republicans are planning, I wouldn’t discount anything. There’s almost an excitement, a kind of giddy about them,” said Arizona Democratic State Senator Rebecca Rios.

Mississippi State Senator Joey Fillingane, a Republican who has lobbied for the state’s tough abortion laws, said he was unable to attend the March for Freedom. life in Washington, but that he was happy that he and two GOP colleagues were recognized there. Mississippi has only one abortion clinic, and Fillingane said the state should target access to abortion-inducing drugs next.

If Roe is overturned, Fillingane said he expects states to take different approaches to establishing their own abortion laws.

“I think that’s how it should be,” he said. “The laws in California, based on their population and what they want, can be very different from the laws in Mississippi depending on what our population thinks about the question of life.”

Challenges to payday rule’s ability to repay accruals denied | Troutman Pepper


On Jan. 14, a DC federal judge granted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) motion to dismiss a case filed by the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) after the NALCAB challenged the CFPB’s decision, the repayment requirements cancel .

The payday rule has been both modified and challenged since its inception in 2017. In July 2020, the CFPB removed the repayability of payday rule provisions that included provisions requiring lenders to verify borrowers’ ability to repay their loans without additional borrowing. along with provisions for lending vehicle titles and other forms of short-term, expensive credit. The original rule also restricted lenders’ practices for collecting payments from borrowers’ bank accounts.

The NALCAB filed the immediate lawsuit in October 2020, alleging that the CFPB violated the standards of federal legislation by amending its 2017 payday rule. The lawsuit asked the court to reverse the annulment and order the CFPB to implement the full, original 2017 payday rule.

NALCAB argued that removing the ability to repay accruals increased demand for its services, thereby reducing the effectiveness of other NALCAB efforts. NALCAB also argued that it needed to spend more time training organizations that help consumers get out of the debt reversal cycles associated with payday loans. NALCAB claimed association status on behalf of one of its member organizations.

The judge ruled that the NALCAB found no “specific and demonstrable impairment of its activities” in relation to the repeal of the original payday rule. The judge stated, “The case law in this district makes it clear that there must be a separate perceptible impairment in the organization’s ability to provide services – something that makes it difficult for the organization to conduct its activities. NALCAB has not made a plausible allegation of such interference.” The judge denied the association’s claim on the same grounds and that the association had failed to establish infringement.

Our opinion. This is one of the challenges the CFPB faces in relation to their payday rule. As discussed in our blog entry, the Fifth Circuit has issued a stay and extended the June 2022 payday rule settlement date pending the issuance of final judgment.

What should you consider when considering taking out a payday loan?


After acceptance of the loan by the credit company, the amount will be credited to your account immediately. Online payday loans are easy and timely to obtain. Online payday loans are a fantastic choice for people who are short on cash to meet their needs. Regardless of the name, such loans tend to be short-term with a higher interest rate when people can get anywhere from $50 to $1,500. These loans are available without restrictions if used wisely. Online payday loans are a type of advance intended for lenders in United States, United Kingdom and other countries where they are in demand and legal.

Payday loan possible

Online payday loans are exactly when the borrower installs some kind of security on the borrowed money. A person can get online payday loans at the best possible rate by applying. Typically, people take loans when they run out of money. On-line payday loan are made to create a good rental experience and almost everyone qualifies.

Online loans can also be seen as an ideal solution if you have a bad credit report, says Dan Carpenter, CEO of MoneyZap.com. Cash loans can be used for any money you want. Payday loans are seen as an option these days when you want to borrow funds for same-day use. Lenders give you the money you need, when you need it, without the hassle and red tape of long-term financing, which also helps you solve financial problems.

Some are much better than others and are one of the best options for making quick cash. Short-term loans without a credit check are difficult in relation to the borrower’s salary. In other words, as opposed to next month’s paycheck. Instead, look for help that an MFI can offer. Payday loans provide quick access to cash assistance and are responsive to all requests.

How to Get Online Payday Loans?

You can get financing almost anywhere in the US. Filling out an online application is all you need to do to get a 12 month loan. Online loans allow you to reach your goals quickly, pay any bills you need, and get your loan back with reasonable interest rates and terms. Online loans are an excellent way to arrange instant funds.

No Credit Check Loan is a line of credit specially designed for troubled lenders to help them with quick financial help. Make sure you are willing to repay the loan without delay. Online payday loans can be obtained from 100 to 1000 euros. Secured loans, credit checks are ignored in the form of secured and unsecured real estate.

Canadian individuals can get at least $100 for short-term loans with bad credit. However, you cannot get more than $1,500 as that is the maximum limit. People apply for a large number of loans when they are faced with a very low interest rate. Compared to guaranteed loans, online loans before paycheck charge a slightly higher interest rate. Moreover, online payday loans do not require any collateral.

What do you need to know about payday loans online?

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money or taking out payday loans online. Well-managed debt is actually an important part of the practice. However, it is common knowledge that a payday loan is difficult to manage as there are very high fees and interest rates. This type of loan is for people who are already living paycheck to paycheck and will likely find it difficult to fully pay off the debt.

commissions and interest

The commission on a payday loan can be a percentage of the amount borrowed or a fixed fee, depending on the amount of money borrowed. For example, on a $100 loan, the commission is $15 with an additional $15 per $100. The fee will be charged again each time the loan is extended or extended if the borrower is unable to repay the loan within a specified period.

Payday loans also have an annual percentage rate (APR) that depends on many factors adding to the amount. People who live paycheck to paycheck find it particularly challenging. Paying off a loan with a paycheck means they don’t have enough money to get on the paycheck. In this situation, another loan is often taken out with the same fees and annual interest. Once you get into this cycle, you pay off the payday loan only to take on another one as it becomes extremely difficult to survive until the next paycheck.

Regular fees and short repayment periods

Regular fees, short payment terms, and small payment amounts mean that the cost of a payday loan can add up very quickly. This is often mentioned by companies that offer employer-sponsored financial advice.

Should I take out a payday loan?

Experts agree that payday loans should be approached with caution. You can solve a short-term money crisis. But if you can’t pay off your original loan with the money you have left over to avoid another loan, they can cause you even bigger problems. However, financial instinct does not outweigh the urgency many people face when they are unable to buy essentials or pay bills.

If you need to borrow money and cannot responsibly borrow it from family or friends, first explore short-term payday loan alternatives. They offer a small loan from your credit union, bank, or small loan company. Be sure to read the fine print to understand all the fees and interest rates involved to ensure it’s a smarter option than a payday loan. If a loan is still your only option, then choose a loan with the lowest fees and interest rates.

Lenders are required by law to disclose the cost of the loan. Borrow only what you owe and make it less than your salary so you can pay back the loan with no additional fees. Ideally, you’ll have enough money left over to pay your next paycheck. So you don’t have to borrow more money to fill the gap. As you explore lending options regardless of your credit or income, be wary of apps that promise to lend money quickly. Many offer small loans for a few days and often do not have a check. They are a safer and smarter alternative to payday loans.

Africa Minister visits East Africa to address regional challenges and deepen economic ties

  • The Minister for Africa traveled to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia to deepen partnerships in trade, education and health, and discuss solutions to regional challenges, including conflict and drought
  • Vicky Ford announced £17million in UK aid to respond to drought across the region and one million COVID-19 vaccines
  • The Minister also announced new investments in East Africa and attended the regional launch of British International Investment (BII), where she announced a £37 million investment in Equity Bank of Kenya.
  • In Ethiopia, she met Prime Minister Abiy to discuss ways to peacefully end the conflict in northern Ethiopia and UK support for post-conflict recovery.

Africa Minister Vicky Ford visited three East African countries, focusing on supporting drought-affected communities and building strong economic partnerships.

Africa Minister Vicky Ford MP said:

The UK is deepening its ties with partners across East Africa.

As the region grapples with one of the worst droughts on record, the UK is delivering lifesaving food aid to vulnerable communities in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and leading the global effort to support countries on the frontline of climate change.

“British International Investment’s work across East Africa will provide honest and reliable funding, drive growth and create jobs in the UK and the region.

I am glad that efforts are being made to restore peace in northern Ethiopia, where the conflict has caused great suffering to millions of people. The UK stands ready to support peace efforts.

And we are working with our partners in East Africa to address some of the key challenges facing the region today: security and stability; serious humanitarian crises; bring more girls to school; and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines.

While in Kenya, the Minister announced UK funding of £17 million to support nearly one million people in East Africa affected by extreme weather events caused by climate change.

In Nairobi, the Minister hosted an East Africa launch of the new British International Investment (BII) at an event alongside Cabinet Secretary for Finance Ukur Yatani and a host of business leaders . BII confirmed a new £37m investment in Equity Bank to drive the growth of small businesses in Kenya at the event.

The Minister also announced that the UK would provide analysis and expert advice on how to boost green manufacturing jobs in Kenya (worth £400,000) and confirmed that the company will British engineering Atkins had been appointed to design the new Nairobi Central Station, a landmark regeneration project. Nairobi’s central business district.

In Uganda, the Minister visited Onwards and Upwards School in Wakiso District, where she met with students who spoke about the impact two years of school closures have had on them and their aspirations for the future. to come up.

The Minister also saw first-hand collaboration between the UK and Uganda at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, where our two countries have collaborated on HIV, Ebola and more recently Covid-19.

Ford has announced a new agreement with the Ugandan government for the UK to donate an additional one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming months, following 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated last year.

UVRI’s links with the UK have existed since its founding in 1936 and UVRI now receives funding from the UK Government through the Medical Research Council and the UK Research Institute.

While in Ethiopia, Minister Ford met with Prime Minister Abiy and Minister of State Redwan to call for peace in the north and for the government to commit to the African Union-led mediation efforts and expresses the UK’s willingness to support a peace process.

To address some of the immediate needs, the Minister has announced new health and education support for people living in conflict-affected areas (worth £5m), which will see 30 000 children who have been forced out of school by conflict in the classroom.

The Minister also announced additional funding of £4.5 million, which will go to local women’s organizations in Tigray to provide vital support to survivors of gender-based violence, peacebuilding work in the Somali region and capacity building of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

Minister Ford also met with Finance Minister Shide to discuss UK support for opening the Ethiopian economy to private investment in low-carbon infrastructure.

The eye-watering amount of money Deborah Meaden spent on Dragon’s Den


Somerset’s Deborah Meaden has made headlines over the years for her quick wit and business acumen.

But she also invested in numerous start-ups during her time on Dragons’ Den, spending a huge amount of money during her time on the show.

New search for Small Business Awards looked at every deal ever done on Dragons’ Den to find out just how much the Dragons’ investments really set them back.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson visits Taunton as PM faces fresh calls to quit – live updates

Peter Jones has been with the series since its launch in 2005 and has accepted the most trades.

Over 18 series, he made a whopping 41 trades averaging 2.28 trades per season.

These include Levi Roots and its Reggae Reggae Sauce, Intern Avenue by Dupsy Abiola, and WoodBlocx, home-made wood landscaping products by contractors Henry and Philip Blake.

Peter is closely followed by Deborah Meaden who has completed 34 deals over 16 seasons, and Theo Paphitis who has invested in 20 companies during his eight seasons in the Den – an average of 2.5 deals each season he has played in .

Although Deborah Meaden said in a 2007 interview with The Guardian that she could “get quite candid” and even felt criticized for not investing, she invests an average of 2,125 trades per season.

Even though Sara Davies has only been on Dragons’ Den for two seasons, she has the most average trades per season, averaging 5.5 trades per season.

Sara Davies is currently the youngest investor to appear on the show and said she was “a fan from the start” and was even asked to appear on the show 13 years ago.

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How much did the dragons spend?

Taking the top spot with an overwhelming portfolio of 41 investments, Peter Jones invested £2,080,666.67 over 18 seasons, averaging just over £115,500 per trade.

Peter Jones is the oldest dragon to first appear in the series when it debuted in 2005.

The Dragon who invested the second highest amount of money was Deborah Meaden, who invested a total of £1,799,000.00.

Meaden is a British businesswoman and TV personality who made her money mostly from the travel industry and has been on the show for 16 seasons, starting with season three.

The amount she has invested is around four percent of her net worth – which is the most of all the dragons.

Theo Paphitis, a retail tycoon and entrepreneur who is also the former chairman of Millwall Football Club, has invested the third highest amount of money while being on the show for eight seasons.

Retail mogul and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis was on Dragons' Den for eight seasons.
Retail mogul and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis was on Dragons’ Den for eight seasons.

Theo Paphitis has invested a total of £1,449,166.67 in potential entrepreneurs.

Sara Davies, the newest Dragon, invests an average of £249,583.34 for each trade. The British businesswoman and entrepreneur is the founder and owner of Crafter’s Companion.

She started the start-up, which is now a million pound business, while a student at York University.

Some success stories

Reggae Sauce Reggae

One of the biggest deals ever on Dragons’ Den happened in 2007 when singer and reggae bandleader Levi Roots offered his Reggae Reggae Sauce to the Dragons.

Although Duncan Bannatyne didn’t believe in the idea, Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh invested £25,000 each to manufacture the product, along with 40% of the company’s share capital.

The barbecue sauce, which Levi Roots started selling at the Notting Hill Carnival, was a secret recipe from his grandmother and the company now has a net worth of £45million. It even exceeds sales of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, according to Sainsbury’s.

Reggae singer and bandleader Levi Roots landed one of the biggest deals ever when he launched his Reggae Reggae Sauce on Dragons' Den.
Reggae singer and bandleader Levi Roots landed one of the biggest deals ever when he launched his Reggae Reggae Sauce on Dragons’ Den.

Lean tan

Another Dragons’ Den success story is Skinny Tan, created by budding inventors Kate Cotton and Louise Ferguson from Essex.

After spending 10 years in Australia, the duo returned to the UK and attempted to expand their self-tanning brand startup.

After the company launched in 2012, the brand made a profit of £600,000 in the first year. However, after its founders introduced themselves to the Dragons in 2013, the company achieved worldwide success and even became one of the UK’s best-selling tanning products.

The Dragon’s Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney have made an investment offer of £60,000 for a 10% stake in the company.

After the investment, the company entered into an agreement with Boots and expanded to Spain, Canada, South Africa and Dubai.

magic whiteboard

Another of the biggest deals ever on Dragon’s Den was when Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis invested in a magic whiteboard.

The product was founded by husband and wife team Neil and Laura Westwood in 2006 and is a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that stick to anything with static electricity.

Meaden and Paphitis invested the respectable sum of £100,000 for a 40% share in the business.

The Magic Whiteboard is now available at all major office supply stores with a global customer base.

In 2008 the product was stocked in 230 Ryman stores, in 2016 over a million rolls were sold and it is now the largest pegboard range in the UK since 2018.

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The rules that govern our general elections


Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently facing calls to resign over ongoing Downing Street party scandals that allegedly took place while such gatherings were banned under Covid restrictions.

The Mirror reports that Mr Johnson was elected with a strong majority on December 12, 2019, out of some 80 seats.

It won 48 seats outright in December with 43.6% of the vote – more than any other government since 1979.

General elections in the UK are usually held every five years or earlier.

The Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) of 2011 sets a specific date for the holding of elections.

They must take place on the first Thursday of May every five years. Previously, prime ministers could call elections when it suited them, usually when it was most favorable to their party.

However, Mr Johnson is in the process of repealing this law so that he can call an election whenever he wants until 2024.

Under the Elections Registration and Administration Act 2013, Parliament must be dissolved 25 days before an election, and the next general election is currently scheduled for May 2024.

Under current rules it could not take place earlier unless there was a two-thirds “super majority” of parliament – as in previous snap elections – or a vote of no confidence.

But if the FTPA is repealed, Mr Johnson could call an election whenever he wants, and there are many rumors that it could take place in the fall or winter of 2023 – or even sooner.

He reportedly told his cabinet after a recent reshuffle that he sees it as the midpoint of his premiership. It has only been two years since the last election.

If an election takes place in the short term, it is called a snap election. If Mr Johnson is ousted by his own backbench MPs, his replacement could well call an election sooner, in the same way Theresa May staged a snap election in 2017, less than a year after taking over David Cameron.

However, her ploy to strengthen her government and start Brexit negotiations with a mandate backfired as she lost her narrow majority and had to side with the DUP after the election, resulting in a Parliament suspended.

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