Zika Outbreak: Where Not To Travel

Mosquito-borne disease Zika had spread to more than 20 countries in the United States. The effects of the disease is generally mild. However, it has b...

Three Things To Remember To Improve...

It's a new year. Alongside your New Year's Resolutions are possibly some habit-changing ideas. While you're betting you won't do them anyway, it's bet...


The Role of Doctoral Education in 2...

Ph.D education guarantees any graduate a higher starting position than others. However, it does not guarantee a higher pay 50 per cent of the time. Wh...

Government Plan For Small Claims Co...

A number of institutions intensely criticised UK Chancellor George Osborne's plan to use the small claims court to address all minor soft tissue motor...

Zika Outbreak: Where Not To Travel

Mosquito-borne disease Zika had spread to more than 20 countries in the United States. The effects of the disease is generally mild. However, it has become associated with brain defects with newborns.

No travel bans have been announced. However, countries affected by the virus include North, Central and South America excluding Canada and Chile.

Pregnant women travelling to these areas should reconsider their travel plans as microcephaly surges have surged in Brazil and other parts of South America.

The UK National Travel Health Network and Centre said that pregnant women should also seek travel advice from health professionals when travelling to the said locations

According to the CDC, Zika lingers in the blood for a week. It will not cause infections for a conceived baby after the virus is cleared from the blood.

The CDC’s statement said “there is currently no evidence that Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.”

To avoid infection from the Zika mosquitoes, it is advised that people cover up with long-sleeved shirts and trousers, use insect repellents and apply sunscreen before applying the repellent. It is highly advised to close windows and use air conditioning in any hotel, whenever possible.


Three Things To Remember To Improve Your Personal Finance Status In 2016

It’s a new year. Alongside your New Year’s Resolutions are possibly some habit-changing ideas. While you’re betting you won’t do them anyway, it’s better to have one as a guide for one’s self. But don’t just change your habits and improve your health; go for something that helps you in your retirement, such as tax breaks and improving your credit scores.

Improve Your Plastic Use

A double-edged sword that carries you to shopping Valhalla or down in the debt Underworld, credit cards and financing are powers that require extreme thinking and flawless commitment. If you can’t be a hero in 2015, strive to be one this year.

If you’ve got some high debt, consider having debt consolidation. The fees are worth it if you can drive yourself up to become an AAA customer!

Updates on Tax Breaks

Remember that you could claim tax relief for your business travel expenses, if you’re the one who spent for it that is. As long as your employers indicate you spend for yourself during business-related travels, you can claim tax relief.

Declare some of your income as personal allowance. Within one tax year, you have £10,600 at your disposal.

Remember Your Emergency Funds

You have health insurance, sure. But you’re going to need some quick, liquid cash at any time an accident occurs. Regardless of health insurance, situations such as business bankruptcy, financial “rigidness” or in any case when quick money is needed, the emergency fund is your saviour.

Make sure to keep a regular check and replenish your emergency fund whenever you can. This has been a lifesaver and it can save you from whatever 2016 can bring.

More on Kiplinger.com

The Role of Doctoral Education in 2025

Ph.D education guarantees any graduate a higher starting position than others. However, it does not guarantee a higher pay 50 per cent of the time. While most make a great living as professors, it does not guarantee stability even for the most intelligent educated student out there.


According to analysts, the tightening academic job market and the increasing corporatization of the academy is doing little to help education level up, especially graduate education. It is because the public’s aversion from investing in higher education.

Leadership in higher education in today’s modern world sees the faculty not as the highest value of the institution, but rather they are agents of the university’s board of trustees and the legislature for public universities.

Graduate school in the United Kingdom is heavily saturated with non-educational leadership. Many graduate schools attempt to increase their master’s programs and a modification of the system allowing those with master’s degrees to take straight to the workplace.

Doctoral students still have no guaranteed employment outside or even inside the academe of the country.

Teaching has become problematic as faculty members will not change the system of education in countries. The only change one can see according to analysts and observers is the possibility of a flexible dissertation requirement that would bend different student needs. It would mean graduate school bending itself to suit the schedules of students, as an example.

Government Plan For Small Claims Court And Personal Injury To Fail

A number of institutions intensely criticised UK Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to use the small claims court to address all minor soft tissue motor accident injuries. Osborne intends to use the court to decrease the increasing number of exaggerated injuries. The UK is known as the “whiplash capital of Europe”.

According to the UK Law Society President Jonathan Smithers:

“The Law Society is gravely concerned that these proposals will completely undermine the right of ordinary citizens to receive full and proper compensation from those that have injured them through negligence. These proposals will stop people obtaining legal advice for all personal injury claims below £5,000 and stop people claiming for often debilitating injuries arising from road traffic accidents if these injuries are considered minor.”

Observers said that it could mean victims must make damages-based arrangements with legal professionals to obtain consultation and representation. However, the amount £5000 in damages could be less appealing to legal professionals. It would also mean less recompense for victims.

The government’s plan intends to decrease the UK insurance industry’s £2bn bill. The increase of £90 per insurance premium for new motorists insurers would abolish once all exaggerated claims are decreased.

Many criticised that the small claims court is not a definite solution to the problem. Observers said more needs to be done to identify exaggerated claims from legitimate injury claims.

All Wales Adults Are Donors Through New Law

A clear break from the “opt-in” process of organ donation through an introduction of a revolutionary new system is expected to save hundreds of lives.

The landmark integration of a new organ donation system automatically includes all adults in the UK to become organ donors unless they opt-out of the system before they die. The new system, closely watched by the United Kingdom and the Wales Government, can save a great number of patients by increasing the number of organ donors by a quarter.

Anybody over 18 can become potential donors by just doing nothing. If you are an adult living in the country for more than 12 months, you are automatically a donor.

Organs included in the donation include kidneys, heart, liver, lungs and pancreas. The organs will go anywhere in the United Kingdom.

The new system will help reduce the 1,000 people dying before their organ transplant due to the time it takes to receive an organ donor.

Medics will act as adults may have given approval in the form of a “deemed consent” if the adult had not opted out of the system.

According to Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford:

“The latest figures show 14 people died last year in Wales while waiting for a transplant. The change to a soft opt-out system for organ donation will deliver a revolution in consent.

“Organ donation saves lives; increasing the rate of organ donation allows us to save more lives. That’s the key motivation for this significant change.”


Would You Rather Save Up For Holidays Than Retirement?

Our excuse to save money is a great holiday away from the daily stresses of work, overtime and taking care of children and whatnot. Having a vacation or a weekend getaway is something anybody can treasure to relieve stress and pain. Or maybe it’s just delaying something more inevitable because if you’re saving up for holidays, are you setting aside something even for your retirement?

While the US may not reflect the entirety of western lifestyle, let alone the United Kingdom’s own workforce personal spending habits, data from the country shows about 30 per cent of adults and parents don’t save up regularly for their retirement. Instead, they’re regularly saving for the holidays.

Surveyor T. Rowe Price adds that about 28 per cent of adults don’t regularly save for college but would save more money for holiday spending.

As fun-loving people of the United Kingdom, I’d say the data on this can be spot-on with our country, or maybe not? I’ll publish figures here later!

But it is true when TRP Senior Financial Planner Stuart Ritter says:

“It’s always tempting to splurge around the holidays, but parents aren’t doing themselves or their kids any favours by overspending.

“We’re all inclined to be more generous this time of year, and it’s important to be mindful of the financial trade-offs we’re making and stick to a budget that aligns with our priorities.”

It would seem that the financial crunch of 2008 was due to this type of behaviour, which apparently we haven’t changed, globally-speaking.

Five Minute Delay Biggest TfL Mistake According To Uber

The UK Transport for London (TfL) had investigated several management issues related to the huge rise in London’s vehicles, which led to traffic congestion and plenty of pollution in the UK capital. Their assessment led to a conclusion and a recommendation, that all Uber drivers start their trip within five minutes of booking.


The ride-sharing service responded saying that the idea would leave London drivers £1000 a year with company service fees taken into account.

Uber’s official statement said:

“These plans would take money away from hard working partner-drivers and also create a safety issue with people banned from getting into their car, even after it’s booked and waiting right there and they would add to congestion as cars will be forced to hang around, clogging up streets before being able to start trips. Let’s keep London moving, not slow it down.”

Encouragement To Prepare For an Appropriate Route

The TfL consulted with minicabs and found a five-minute interval to encourage drivers to prepare their appropriate route.

The TfL said technology has made it convenient for customers to find rides at any time, even more convenient than using minicabs or black cabs.

“…but it has also given rise to a number of wide issues.

“These include rising traffic congestion, illegal parking and an impact on air quality. No final decisions have been made and the consultation runs until December 23. We’re keen to hear a range of views from the trade and from Londoners.”

The Future Of Education: Meet Altschool

It’s not new that schools are handing free tablets or Chromebooks for enrolling students (not really free, they charge it with your tuition). But if you have video cameras that are used for teaching reviews per student and having students create playlists to focus on their interests rather than a well-rounded set of academics, you’re probably set for the school of the future.


That’s what Max Ventilla, the founder of micro-school AltSchool, does with students, who are showing positive results.

AltSchool’s Objective

Max Ventilla was a former Google Executive in San Francisco, California. His school aims to avoid “grades’ Classifications and instead rebrands teachers, schools and classrooms with hip, child-friendly terms such as educators, learning labs and studios.

School begins between 8-9AM but the schedules per student can be adjusted. Students sign in using an iPad application upon entry. An online platform tracks everything from the student’s health condition to the child’s personalised learning plan.


The Personalised Learning Plan allows the student to focus on his or her interests and learning every skill they need with their educators in learning labs. Studios allow the students to exercise theory to application where their “learning block” sessions allow them to see the results of their work, which they would remember and hone, throughout the next few years.

The True Future of Education?

Ventilla views the traditional school system as outdated for the modern educational need.

“There’s a need for schools that are created this century. [Most] schools are terrifyingly similar to the schools I went to 30 years ago.”

Parents have seen the possibilities Ventilla has introduced and 4,000 applications come in for every 200 slots per school in the Silicon Valley university. Students are selected based on their interaction with each other rather than a private-school interview or examination.

Not everyone is convinced with the true future of education.

“Utilizing a model that is centrally tech-focused and individualistic in nature will serve to diminish the interaction and overall social maturation of students,” says Jae Gardner, CEO of tutoring and educational consulting company the Ivy Key.

“When they come out, are they going to be academically prepared?” asks Upper West Sider Rachel Fremmer, who has two daughters in New York City public schools and is active in the schoolsystem’s governing body. “No curriculum is fine if you have a really motivated kid, but [what] if you have a kid who just reads comic books or plays Minecraft all day?”

GP Contract for Seven-Day Service

GPs in England can go under a seven-days-a-week voluntary contract to provide services with better pay for patients according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron intends to establish the seven-day hospital services by 2018. In the Conservatives Conference in Manchester, Cameron announced the contract despite controversies surrounding financial and performance figures that may ‘shame’ the announcement.

The Royal College of General Practitioners warn that the seven-day hospital service in England is unachieveable because it can risk the quality of care.

Meanwhile, trials of the seven-day hospital services allowed 18 million patients receive extra care during weekends from March 2015

Jonathan Asworth of the Labour party said Prime Minister David Cameron could not be trusted with his promises. He said Cameron has a track record of unfulfilled promises. He said the Tories took the “health service backwards.”

The new GP contract will be voluntary. It would allow GPs to partner or pool their services with other GPs, which would allow them to create federations to deliver seven-day care to more than 30,000 patients in their communities.

Federations will allow GPs to provide and deliver better integrated care, according to Cameron. This would allow them to share their knowledge with other health specialists including pharmacists and nurses in different communities.

Voters Are Watching Corbyn, Liberal Democrats Closely

The Liberal Democratic party has always been one to fall into the disfavour of plenty of UK voters. Their shame after being defeated in a general election four months ago had seen its leaders resign. However, four months later and the party is back discussing a possible future of the UK under their command.

With Jeremy Corbyn rising to the Labour leadership and cementing the position of the hard-Left Labour members in the party, many MPs may choose to defect to the Liberal Democratic party or create their new political party.

The Liberal Democrats now have Tim Farrow as their new leader. However, many ask if it will be enough to have Farrow as the man to do the Liberal Democrat everything they would need to have.

Farrow and Corbyn are both popular with activists. However, it is possible he could fail to reach out to his other members. Voters are watching closely and political parties who feel they are near to having a proper understanding of their political position, they may fail.

However, Farrow may save the Liberal Democrats from being an irrelevant party in the United Kingdom.