Let’s lay down the law on asylum ‘illegals’

© Doc_Steele and istockphoto

© Doc_Steele and istockphoto

Every week, there are headlines about illegal immigrants, sneaking under lorries and even hiding behind car seats – all so they can claim asylum in ‘soft-touch Britain’. Why don’t we send them back to their countries? Are they taking us for a ride?

To answer that, we really need to understand the law and process around asylum – and so does much of the media.

It’s time to get the story straight. More

From terror to treatment: Three TB stories

A man standing outside

Andrey Yushko

When someone in Turkmenistan learns they have tuberculosis (TB), the questions they need answered come thick and fast. What is this illness? Will it kill me? Can I get treated for it? How will it affect my family? Will I lose my job, or even my home?

TB can kill. But the disease is curable, although treatment in Turkmenistan is a long and difficult process. And poverty and stigma can make recovery even more difficult.

That’s why, for more than a decade, the British Red Cross has worked with our partner – the Turkmenistan Red Crescent – to support thousands of people through months of treatment and recovery. More

Ten reasons to step away from the screen and get outside

© friedmanwd and istockphoto

© friedmanwd and istockphoto

Here’s the perfect way to knock back some fresh air and say hello to spring – and it’s all for a good cause.

From now until September, you can visit hundreds of gardens to raise life-saving cash – including some never seen before.

Not only will you get your daily dose of green space, but many are a whole day out in themselves: with mazes, woodland walks, treasure hunts and cream teas.

Prepare for a few surprises. Here are just a few things you can see and do:

1. Hang out with an alpaca

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Ebola virus disease explained: Q&A

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

An outbreak of Ebola has left thousands dead in West Africa. The Red Cross, along with other humanitarian agencies, is working to stop the spread of the deadly and highly contagious disease.

1. What is the Ebola virus?

Ebola virus disease is a severe and often fatal illness – outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Outbreaks occur predominately in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests.

The first incidence of Ebola was in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks: in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo close to the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The origin of the virus is unknown. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest ever documented, both in terms of the number of cases and the size of the affected area.

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In pictures: the difference clean water and toilets make in Kenya

DSC_0281

In developed countries such as the UK, it’s easy to take simple things like flushing a toilet or a glass of water for granted.

But an estimated 2.5 billion people (more than one third of the world’s population) do not have access to basic sanitation such as toilets.

And then there’s the issue of fetching water. The average distance walked by women in Africa and Asia to fetch water? A sobering 3.5 miles.

World Water Day on Sunday serves as a reminder that much more needs to be done to address the global imbalance.

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Asylum seekers: are they living on easy street?

It’s hard to picture what life is like for an asylum seeker in the UK. Some papers talk about five-star mod cons, while others write about dirt and grime.

So are they living it up in a luxury apartment, while you’ve bagged a rip-off bedsit? And do they jump to the front of the council house queue?

Let’s look at the housing an asylum seeker actually gets – and lift the curtain on those living conditions.

It’s time to get the story straight.

MythBuster_SocialMedia Blog More

Cyclone Pam: volunteers on the front line

©IFRC

©IFRC

The amount of destruction caused by Cyclone Pam, which hit a string of Pacific islands last weekend, is still unknown. But we do know the disaster has left people in its path dead or injured, and many thousands homeless.

Aid workers from around the world have been racing to the countries affected, including Vanuatu, in the wake of the disaster.

But one team was in action before the cyclone had even arrived. More