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Central Hall Westminster appoints SB Security Solutions as new security company

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Central Hall Westminster has announced the appointment of SB Security Solutions as its new security company following a competitive tender. SB Security Solutions will be delivering all aspects of security from front of house, stewarding and event security as well as VIP close protection at the central London venue. SB Security Solutions is a SIA (Security Industry Authority) Approved Contractor for the provision of security guarding, door supervision and close protection. The company has been providing backstage security and looking after the integrity of visiting clients, artists and performers for 14 years. Currently it provides security services to venues such as SSE Wembley Arena to major UK music festivals including Secret Garden Party and Wilderness to community events around London.

Paul Southern, managing director at Central Hall Westminster, said: This is an exciting chapter for us at Central Hall. Having seen an increasing demand for more complex security requirements over the past year, we have no doubt that SB Security Solutions professional and personal service will be an asset to the team and to our clients.

Steve Bettesworth, managing director at SB Security Solutions, added: We are extremely excited to partner with Central Hall and provide our services across a portfolio of events being held at the venue.

Local churches aim to shelter illegal immigrants

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 – 10:44 AM

BROCKTON, Mass. – The Department of Homeland Security is set to issue new guidance for additional immigration enforcement officers, and proposed guidelines would empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport undocumented immigrants. When Trump rolls those plans out, many people, including local parishioners, will be watching closely. An estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants are living in Massachusetts right now and with Trump’s immigration ban in place, many of them are worried they could be deported.

Many congregations in the state, including the Central United Methodist Church in Brockton, are joining dozens of other U.S. churches to help shelter illegal immigrants as the Trump administration intensifies deportation efforts. According to the Boston Globe, at least three Boston-area congregations plan to offer living space in their buildings to illegal immigrants. Houses of worship offer no legal protection for undocumented immigrants, but immigration officials have generally followed a “sensitive locations policy and have not taken people into custody in houses of worship, schools or hospital.

Sanctuary cities have come under scrutiny since Trump took office. He’s threatened to pull federal funding and that could impact places like Somerville, Boston and Lawrence. Last week the Associated Press reported a leaked memo indicated that the National Guard may be called in to help with deportations. Trump s original executive order triggered chaos at airports across the country and around the world including in Boston as travelers were detained when his original order went into effect.

Trump revised his immigration ban after federal courts held up his original executive order. According to Trump administration officials, the revised ban will target the same seven countries listed in his original executive order. It will also so exempt travelers who already have a visa to travel to the United States, even if they haven’t used it yet.

2017 Cox Media Group.

Defence expansion would break the budget if Australia ditches US alliance: Angus Houston

Scrapping the US alliance would force Australia to meet its own defence costs, hammering the federal budget, former chief of defence Angus Houston has warned, while also counselling the Turnbull government against over-reacting to China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea. He said Australia should not contemplate naval exercises close to the recently constructed islands, and should instead focus on diplomatic representations designed to halt further militarisation.

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Tillerson talks tough about Russia, China

At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson says Russia “poses a danger” and that China should be denied access to islands it has built in the South China Sea. Sir Angus, arguably Australia’s pre-eminent defence elder, said the US-Australia and New Zealand defence pact known as ANZUS, had been the institutional key to Australia’s national security since the blackest days of World War II.

“It has been the cornerstone of our defence policy ever since,” he said during an address to the National Press Club on the topic of Australia’s US alliance.

Picking up the tab for defences provided as an alliance obligation by Washington, would see pressure put on already stretched health and education commitments. He estimated the replacement cost of the US alliance would cause a virtual doubling of the current spending on defence to as high as 4 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

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In 2016-17, Australia will spend $33.931 billion on defence, which constitutes 1.94 per cent of GDP. If Australia were to increase to 4 per cent, its projected defence spend in 2017-18 would go from just over $35 billion to more than $72 billion – a jump of $37.3 billion. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is currently in Washington to strengthen the relationship with Trump administration officials, and is expected to discuss a possible request for an increased Australian contribution in Iraq in the fight against IS, and the refugee resettlement agreement.

Defence Expansion Would Break The Budget If Australia Ditches US Alliance: Angus Houston Sir Angus Houston addresses the National Press Club in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meares

Australian concerns over the reliability of the alliance have increased in recent months, fuelled by the volatility of policy emanating from President Donald Trump, who has railed against alliance partner countries that duck the full costs of their own protection. Speaking in Munich on Monday, US Vice-President Mike Pence, pointedly stopped short of withdrawing his boss’s warning that the failure of NATO member states to meet their obligations could see the US refuse to to come to their aid under the terms on that agreement.

Defence Expansion Would Break The Budget If Australia Ditches US Alliance: Angus Houston Illustration: Ron Tandberg.

“We vowed in that treaty to contribute our fair share to our common defence,” Mr Pence said.

“The promise to share the burden of our defence has gone unfulfilled for too many for too long and it erodes the very foundation of our alliance. When even one ally fails to do their part, it undermines all of our ability to come to each other’s aid.”

Asked about China’s creation of artificial islands, Mr Houston said a diplomatic course was required, warning that engaging in direct freedom of navigation voyages within the 12-mile zone would be counter-productive.

“Frankly, I don’t see a need to put a ship in close proximity to an artificial island claimed by China, I thinks that’s something that may result in consequences that we’d rather avoid,” he said. Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has proposed a more independent stance for Australia, arguing our security should be more rooted within the region than it has been in the past.

“Our future is basically in the region around us in South-East Asia,” he told the ABC’s 7.30.

“It’s time to cut the tag. It’s time to get out of it.”

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