Bracknell Real Estate – Hudson Berkshire Experience Thu, 17 Nov 2022 20:02:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bracknell Real Estate – Hudson Berkshire Experience 32 32 Professional pricing package welcomed by industry, but ‘urgent reform’ still needed Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:29:34 +0000 The Chancellor’s new business rate support scheme has been welcomed by UK businesses, but hotel groups have stressed it does not go far enough to fix the ‘outdated’ system.

Jeremy Hunt has unveiled new measures to help businesses and shops which he says will be worth a total of £13.6billion.

The measures include freezing the corporate rate multiplier for another year to protect businesses from rising inflation, meaning rates will no longer be raised to double-digit price inflation at consumption (CPI) from next April.

This measure alone is expected to save businesses £9.3 billion over the next five years.

The Treasury has also pledged to increase rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from 50% to 75% for 2023 to 2024.

While the relief is capped at £110,000 per business, the government has said around 230,000 commercial properties are set to benefit from a £2.1billion tax cut next year.

In addition, many street traders who have seen the value of their property rents fall in recent years will benefit from an increase in business rates.

The government has said it will remove the cap on the downside, meaning businesses that see their corporate rate bills fall following a reassessment will immediately benefit from the cut.

Robert Hayton, UK chairman of property adviser Altus Group, hailed the autumn statement as a “budget for the struggling high street” that listened and acted on the concerns expressed by retailers.

He said: ‘This is a budget for the beleaguered high street where rents have been falling for several years.

“Next April will now level regions and sectors that have fared poorly while protecting them against unusually large increases in tax debt.

“The next part of the puzzle could come early next week with the release of new draft assessed values, and then businesses will know exactly their rate bills for next year.”

Total business rates paid by the retail sector are expected to fall by a fifth, the government has said.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) – which works with more than 5,000 member businesses – has also welcomed the new measures, which will prevent many retailers from overpaying their bills.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Today’s announcements show that the government has heard the concerns of the retail sector.

“This fall statement supports retailers by reducing near-term upward pressure on prices and helping retailers protect jobs, keep stores open and protect vibrant local communities.”

While industry groups have welcomed the support package, some have urged the government to consider a deeper structural change to the business pricing system as many businesses face crippling costs over the winter.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘It is right that the Chancellor has recognized the need to change our business pricing system and we welcome the extended and increased relief to 75% for pubs, so they don’t continue to be penalized by unfair taxation.

“Urgent root and branch reform is still needed to make business pricing fit for the 21st century. (With) the decision not to introduce an online sales tax, it seems that the government does not recognize the completely archaic nature of the current system.

She added that pubs and brewers are facing a ‘cost hurricane’ and that failure to provide additional support for the sector will have a massive effect on their survival.

Trade body UKHospitality echoed Ms McClarkin’s concerns, pointing out the Chancellor failed to address the fact that much of the sector may not survive the winter.

Its chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “I am delighted the Chancellor has listened to the vast majority of UKHospitality’s proposals on business rates, covering a multiplier freeze, extended reliefs and no transition down.

“However, the current system is still outdated and inadequate.

“The government has made a clear commitment to a thorough review and it is essential that this is delivered as soon as possible.”

Netflix’s The Crown: 5 Facts About Balmoral Castle Wed, 09 Nov 2022 05:00:00 +0000 NETFLIX hit drama based around the British monarchy under the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth is set to return to our screens today.

The long-awaited fifth season depicts the marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and the tragic death of Diana.

Much of the series will take place at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, popularly known as one of the late Queen Elizabeth’s most cherished residences.

However, Balmoral Castle is not used for the filming of The Crown, instead, Ardverikie Estate has been used.

Balmoral Castle made headlines in September following the death of Her Majesty The Queen. His coffin remained at Balmoral for two days after his death before being moved to Edinburgh and then to London.

As The Crown season five returns to our screen, here are some facts about Balmoral Castle you might not know.

Prince Albert bought Balmoral for Queen Victoria

Balmoral Castle was purchased by the Royal Family in 1852 and has been the Royal Family’s Scottish residence ever since.

Prince Albert bought the castle for Queen Victoria, having first been rented out in 1848.

In the fall of 1842, two and a half years after her marriage to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria made her first visit to Scotland.

The royal couple loved the Highlands so much that they decided to return there. A further visit to Perthshire and then to Ardverikie encouraged them to buy Balmoral.

Prince Albert has built a new castle

The Balmoral Castle that stands today is not the original that was purchased all those years ago.

After deciding it wasn’t big enough for the royal family, Prince Albert decided it needed a bigger one.

A new site was chosen, 100 yards northwest of the building, so that they could continue to stay in the old house while the new castle was under construction.

The castle was completed in 1856 and the old building was later demolished.

The Balmoral estate covers 50,000 acres

Balmoral Castle is not on a small plot; it covers around 50,000 acres, having been added by other members of the royal family.

Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral

As reported in The Telegraphit was at Balmoral Castle that Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth, who was only 20 at the time.

Their engagement was officially announced on July 9, 1947.

Prior to their wedding, the couple spent the summer months at Balmoral.

The ‘Balmoral test’ shown in The Crown is real

In the fourth season of The Crown, viewers got a glimpse of what was known as “The Balmoral Test”. With Netflix declaring for the upcoming season that the depictions are “fictional dramatization” and “inspired by true events”, many people wondered if this test was true – and apparently it is.

The drama showed Margaret Thatcher visiting Balmoral with the Royal Family as she tried and struggled to fit in.

Biographer Andrew Morton says in his book Diana: Her True Story that the test is actually real and performed at Balmoral Castle.

He said: “Since Queen Victoria purchased the estate in 1848, it has held a special place in the affections of the Royal Family. However, the quirks and obscure family traditions that have accumulated over the years can intimidate newcomers.

“‘Don’t sit there,’ they shout at an unfortunate guest mad enough to try to sit on a chair in the drawing room which was last used by Queen Victoria…Those who managed to navigate this social minefield, popularly known as the Balmoral test, are accepted by the royal family.

Newtown Pippin named one of Britain’s ‘most improved pubs’ after major refurbishment Tue, 01 Nov 2022 16:44:19 +0000 The owners of a once ‘mediocre’ Bracknell pub celebrate after transforming the forgotten building into a thriving community centre.

Simon and Vicki Powell have decided to take over The Newtown Pippin during the lockdown after many years of running other establishments in the area.

The pub’s successful transformation and growth within the local community has led to them being listed as one of the best pubs in the UK in the 2023 campaign for the Real Ale Good Beer guide.

CAMRA has also awarded the Bracknell Pub the title of ‘Most Improved Pub’ in the South East Berkshire Branch.

Simon Powell said: “We are absolutely delighted. It took a lot of effort, but we managed to turn a run-down estate pub into a fantastic community centre.

“Whenever we first bought it, we slept on the phone for three weeks while everything was gutted and refurbished.

“It was a huge challenge, but we are so proud that the community supported us.”

The couple took the flat-roofed building in March 2021 when restaurants and bars were closed. After weeks of hard work, they opened in April with outdoor dining and social distancing.

Simon said many doubted the couple when they decided to take on the challenge, but they were determined to change the reputation and welcome local families back to the area.

The owners have had a rough road over the past 18 months. From tackling anti-social behavior to tackling on-site drug use, the end result has been a breath of fresh air for the community.

Simon added: ‘This is the first time we have owned a pub after many years of running it over the years. We’re building a pretty nice independent and people appreciate that.

The Newtown Pippin received both the ‘Most Improved Pub’ award and inclusion in the CAMRA list on Thursday 27 October, where they were presented with a certificate.

Anthony Springall, the local CAMRA branch secretary, said: “Newton Pippin has been transformed into an amazing family pub with a fantastic community vibe.

“Vicky and Simon have transformed a mediocre estate pub into a community haven where you would be more than happy to invite your family over for dinner.

“Inclusion in the 2023 CAMRA Best Pubs list and ‘Most Improved Pub’ award reflects the hard work of licensees Simon and Vicki.

We recognize the efforts made to create a true community center which began with the pub taking over during lockdown and the progress seen has been phenomenal in creating a truly welcoming place which can be enjoyed by all the family.

Home prices fell for the first time in 15 months in October, according to Nationwide Tue, 01 Nov 2022 07:51:39 +0000 House prices fell month-on-month for the first time in 15 months in October, an index showed.

The 0.9% drop marked the first monthly drop since July 2021 and the largest drop since June 2020.

Annual house price growth also slowed sharply to 7.2% in October from 9.5% in September, the Nationwide Building Society said.

In the UK, the average house price in October was £268,282 – and the housing market is expected to slow in the coming months, the company added.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “October saw a marked slowdown in annual house price growth, to 7.2% from 9.5% in September.

“The market was undoubtedly impacted by the turmoil following the mini-budget, which led to a sharp rise in market interest rates.

“Higher borrowing costs have increased housing affordability at a time when household finances are already under pressure from high inflation.”

Mr. Gardner added, “The market is expected to slow down over the next several quarters.

“Inflation will remain elevated for some time to come and (the base rate) is expected to rise further as the Bank of England seeks to secure a slowdown in demand in the economy to ease domestic price pressures.

“The outlook is extremely uncertain and much will depend on the performance of the economy as a whole, but a relatively soft landing is still possible.

“Longer-term borrowing costs have declined in recent weeks and could moderate further if investor sentiment continues to recover.

“Given the weak growth outlook, labor market conditions should ease, but they are starting from a solid position, with unemployment at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

“Furthermore, household balance sheets appear to be in relatively good shape with significant protection against higher borrowing costs, at least for a period, with more than 85% of mortgage balances at fixed interest rates.

“The tight housing affordability also reflects underlying supply constraints, which should provide some support for prices.”

Mr. Gardner added that the running costs of less energy-efficient properties tend to be significantly higher, leaving these households particularly vulnerable to energy price increases.

Jeremy Leaf, a North London estate agent and former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: life concerns.

“Activity has slowly started to pick up since mortgage rates started to stabilize and are now starting to fall. Buyers are negotiating hard as they scramble to take advantage of good mortgage deals, while prices continue to rise. be supported by lack of stock.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “Sellers who only months ago could make their choice of offers are now biting the hand of a solid, procedural buyer – even those asking for a discount.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The fall in the Nationwide index in October – the first in 15 months and the steepest since June 2020 – provides the strongest signal yet. that real estate prices will fall in the face of soaring prices. mortgage rates and the compression of real disposable incomes.

Nicky Stevenson, managing director of estate agent Fine & Country, said: “Dealing levels are likely to continue to fall in the near term as the housing market adjusts to this new era of higher interest rates. “

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at estate agent Knight Frank, said: ‘Demand will come under more pressure next year as more people come to terms with the end of agreements in fixed rate and mortgage deals made earlier this year when rates were lower begin to expire.

“Government stability will help support transactions, but we are seeing a fundamental change in rates after 13 years of ultra-low borrowing costs that will drive prices lower.

“Low unemployment, tight supply and well-capitalized lenders mean we should avoid the kind of double-digit falls seen during the financial crisis.”

Madame Tussauds removes wax figure of Kanye West from public view Wed, 26 Oct 2022 14:42:13 +0000 Madame Tussauds has removed its wax figure of Kanye West from public view.

The model of the American rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye, has been transferred to an archive by the museum.

This follows several companies, including Adidas, ending their partnerships with West and his dropping from the Forbes billionaires list amid controversial remarks.

A spokeswoman for Madame Tussauds London told the PA news agency: ‘The figure of Ye (Kanye West) has been removed from the attraction floor in our records.

“Every profile deserves their place at Madame Tussauds London and we listen to our guests and the audience about who they expect to see at the attraction.”

The figurine was originally launched at the museum in 2015 alongside a waxwork by his then-wife, Kim Kardashian.

West was listed earlier this year at number 1,513 on Forbes’ rich list, valued at two billion dollars (£1.5 billion) due to his fashion brands and deal with Adidas.

On Tuesday, German sportswear company Adidas announced it was ending production of Yeezy, a fashion collaboration with West, following the rapper’s anti-Semitic remarks on social media.

Forbes now estimates West’s worth at $400m (£349m) – sourced from “property, cash, his music catalog and a 5% stake in the company of ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s form-fitting clothes, Skims”.

Talent agency CAA announced they had dropped West while fashion house Balenciaga also reportedly cut ties with the 45-year-old.

A Nike Air Yeezy prototype worn by rapper West at the 2008 Grammy Awards (Sotheby’s/PA)

A completed documentary about West was also shelved.

He also came under fire earlier this month for wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt while showing off his latest collection at Paris Fashion Week.

In recent days, his ex-wife Kardashian, 42, and family members have called for an end to the “terrible violence and hate speech” towards the Jewish community.

Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek also told Reuters news agency West’s comments were “awful” but his music would remain on the platform.

Ek added that it would be the decision of the rapper’s label, Universal Music’s Def Jam label, to remove the content if they were forced to.

Spotify has been contacted for comment.

Trump ally denies foreign influence charge Mon, 24 Oct 2022 21:20:25 +0000 A California billionaire known as an ally of Donald Trump used his testimony at his federal trial on Monday to question Mr Trump’s leadership on foreign policy, saying the former president had no idea of ​​the dynamics in the Middle-East.

Tom Barrack is accused of using his ‘one-stop access’ as a longtime friend of Mr Trump to provide inside information about the Trump administration to the UAE to advance foreign policy and business interests of the United Arab Emirates.

Prosecutors say that while UAE officials were dating Barrack, they were rewarding him with millions of dollars pouring into his business ventures.

Barrack, the former chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, told a New York jury that he considered Mr Trump to be a “bold” and “smart” businessman, and had backed his candidacy as a political stranger who “could be a good thing for the system”.

Tom Barrack leaves Brooklyn Federal Court in New York (Bebeto Matthews/AP/PA)

However, he testified that he was later disillusioned by Mr Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and other divisive positions which he called “disastrous”.

He testified that some of his clients at his private equity firm “were upset that I was friends with the president.” Mr Trump, he added, was seen as someone who “couldn’t spell ‘Middle East’…it was a nightmare”.

Barrack said he made it his mission to convince Mr Trump to encourage the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to align themselves with Israel in order to bring stability to the oil-rich region. He also worked behind the scenes to try to get the former president to drop the idea of ​​a travel ban for Muslims.

He said he took the position, “This is America. How can you ban a whole religion?

Barrack also testified that it would have been “impossible” for him to act as a foreign agent for a Middle Eastern investor in his business because other investors would object. Barrack said there is an intense vetting process to ensure fund managers do not have such conflicts of interest.

Investors “want to know that no one has an advantage, that they are all equal”, he said, otherwise “it would put off all the other investors”.

Barrack, 75, pleaded not guilty to acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice and making false statements. His lawyers denied doing anything underhanded.

The Los Angeles-based billionaire has known Mr. Trump for several decades, from his days in property development. Barrack played a vital role in the 2016 campaign as a top fundraiser at a time when many other Republicans were avoiding the candidate.

The government closed its criminal case last week. Much of the evidence focused on emails and other return communications between Barrack and his high-level executives in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Prosecutors say those communications show how Barrack and his contacts devised a strategy to convince Mr. Trump.

The accused suggested on Monday that there was nothing nefarious about his constant contact with UAE leaders while Mr Trump took office. The interactions would have been a normal part of doing business with any country or government partnering with it in high-end real estate transactions using state-owned investment funds, he said.

The explanation came after Barrack described his rise to a high finance heavyweight from his humble beginnings in Southern California as the son of a Lebanese-born small grocery store owner. With his experience, the Arab said he developed a cultural “sixth sense” for building relationships with customers in the Arab world.

Before being charged, Barrack attracted attention by raising $107m (£95m) for the former president’s inaugural celebration after the 2016 election. The event was scrutinized for both its lavish spending and to attract foreign officials and businessmen seeking to pressure the new administration.

Barrack will continue to testify on Tuesday.

Dorries claims Channel 4 documentary is ‘baseless’ – MPs Thu, 20 Oct 2022 11:53:17 +0000 Nadine Dorries’ claim that Channel 4 used actors instead of real people in a 2010 documentary about a deprived housing estate was ‘baseless’, MPs have said.

A report from the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said the former Culture Secretary’s claims about the Tower Block Of Commons show were not ‘credible’ , adding that deputies had seen “no corroboration”.

The report, published on Thursday, said: ‘We are concerned that Ms Dorries appears to have taken the opportunity, under the protection of privilege, to defame Channel 4’s reputation.

Had she still been Culture Secretary, the committee said it could have referred its comments to the Commons Privileges Committee, which is currently investigating allegations that Boris Johnson misled Parliament over Partygate.

Instead, the committee said it had decided to release its report “to allow the House and its MPs to draw their own conclusions.”

The dispute arose from comments made by Ms Dorries to the committee in May 2022, in which she claimed that some of the residents featured in Tower Block Of Commons “were actually actors”.

Ms Dorries had taken part in the scheme in 2010, which involved MPs spending time living in deprived housing estates across Britain.

Channel 4 and the programme’s creators, Love Productions, investigated his claims but found ‘no evidence to support the allegations’.

Committee chairman Julian Knight wrote twice to Ms Dorries urging her to correct the record, and the former Culture Secretary made ‘clarifications’ but maintained his central claim that actors had been involved.

In its report, the panel said: ‘We find neither the original claims nor the credible clarifications and have seen no substantiation of its claims that Channel 4 and Love Productions used actors in a reality TV show.

“On the other hand, the detailed investigation carried out by Channel 4 gives us the assurance that his assertions are without foundation.

Channel 4 and Tower Block Of Commons creators Love Productions investigated Ms Dorries’ claims (Philip Toscano/PA)

“We are concerned that Ms Dorries appears to have taken the opportunity, under the protection of privilege, to defame the reputation of Channel 4.

‘If Mrs Dorries had remained Secretary of State, pursuing a policy of selling the chain, we might have asked for the referral to the Privileges Committee but, as her demands did not impede the work of the committee and she no longer has a position of power over the future of Channel 4, we are instead releasing this report to allow the House and its MPs to draw their own conclusions.

Mr Knight added: ‘We recognize that those who testify will sometimes make mistakes, but it is vitally important to the integrity of parliamentary oversight that they are subsequently corrected.

“We are disappointed that despite having had several opportunities to reconsider her position, the former Secretary of State has not admitted that her memories may have been incorrect.”

Ms Dorries’ office has been contacted for comment.

Communist Party leaders say five million members probed for corruption Mon, 17 Oct 2022 13:32:04 +0000 China’s ruling Communist Party says it has investigated nearly five million members for possible bribery over the past decade, with formal criminal charges brought against 553.

It is unclear whether this will curb a growing economic slowdown and restore faith in the authoritarian system.

The party has 96 million members and has long operated its own internal system of vetting cadres, offering privileges and threatening harsh penalties for accepting bribes, selling offices or otherwise abusing authority.

At a Monday briefing on the sidelines of the party’s national congress held every five years, deputy secretary of the party’s discipline and inspection committee, Xiao Pei, said a total of 207,000 party officials had been sentenced to some form of punishment in the 10 years since party leader Xi Jinping took power.

Delegates observe a minute’s silence during the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (AP)

Seeking a third term as leader of the party, government and military, Xi has made fighting corruption the hallmark of his administration.

Xiao said most of those arrested by anti-corruption investigators were long-term offenders and only 11% of those punished had committed their first offense in the past five years.

“The spread of corruption has been resolutely contained,” Xiao said, adding that “directed policies and strong pressure” had persuaded 80,000 party members to voluntarily admit violations over the past five years.

The anti-corruption campaign, one of Xi’s main policies, has been widely popular with the public and has conveniently enabled him to ward off potential rivals.

A former justice minister and a former deputy public security minister received suspended death sentences last month after being found guilty of various corruption and other abuse of power charges.

Communist Party delegates
Delegates wearing masks attend the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (AP)

Chinese courts are beholden to the party and have a conviction rate close to 100%. After being internally investigated and expelled from the party, even senior government and military officials can expect long prison sentences, although death sentences have become somewhat rarer in very serious cases. publicized.

Xi, 69, reaffirmed the party’s full control over Chinese politics, economy and society in a speech at the opening session of the party’s congress on Sunday.

“The next five years will be crucial,” the Chinese president said in a televised address to some 2,000 delegates in the cavernous Great Hall of the People.

He has repeatedly invoked his slogan of “rejuvenating the Chinese nation”, which includes reviving the party’s role as an economic and social leader in a return to what Mr Xi considers a golden age after his takeover in 1949.

The congress will install leaders for the next five years. Xi is expected to break with tradition and give himself a third five-year term as party general secretary and promote allies who share his ideals.

Mr. Xi has his own experience of the vagaries of party justice.

Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP)

Her father, Xi Zhongxun, was a former vice premier and guerrilla commander in the civil war that brought Mao Zedong’s communists to power in 1949.

A few years later, the elder Mr. Xi was taken into custody when Mao turned against his former comrades, and Xi Jinping was driven from his home during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, which banished intellectuals in the countryside and subjected many of them to brutal public humiliation. beaten in the name of the class struggle.

Mr. Xi then attended the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and rose through the ranks of the bureaucracy in the provinces, reaching the post of party secretary – the highest position – in the largest city and financial center of Shanghai in 2007. , after his predecessor fell in a corruption scandal.

He took control of economic and military affairs and had his name listed in the party constitution alongside Mao, adding a reference to his ideology.

“Xi Jinping Thought” emphasizes reviving the party’s mission as China’s political, economic, social and cultural leader and its pivotal role in achieving the goal of “national rejuvenation”, the restoration of the country to a leading position in the world.

The president has pushed for a more assertive foreign policy and brushed aside concerns about an economy that has been hit hard by pandemic restrictions and a government crackdown on spiraling housing debt.

The economy looks set to grow by only about half of the official target of 5.5% this year, while unemployment is rising among recent university graduates to levels not seen before.

Despite the slowing economy, the government has stuck to the policy known as ‘zero-Covid’, which imposes near-daily lockdowns, travel restrictions and testing. The previous approach was seen as a success as Covid-19 ravaged other parts of the world.

As discontent simmers, especially as life returns to normal in other parts of the world, most people dare not speak out and Xi has not indicated any upcoming policy changes. health and other major issues.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signals continuity at Communist Party Congress Sun, 16 Oct 2022 05:54:16 +0000 Chinese leader Xi Jinping signaled Sunday that his government would maintain policies that have put it at odds with the United States and other nations and deepened the Communist Party’s control over the economy and society.

Mr Xi, speaking at the opening of the two-decade congress that is expected to give him a third five-year term, praised the achievements of the past five years and said the party would strive to achieve what it calls “rejuvenation”. ” of the nation.

“Our future is bright, but we still have a long way to go,” he told the more than 2,000 delegates attending the opening, which was held in the huge Great Hall of the People overlooking Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.

“We must foster a firmer sense of purpose, courage and self-confidence in the entire Chinese party and people so that we cannot be swayed by mistakes, deterred by intimidation or intimidated. by pressure,” he said.

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the Communist Party Congress in Beijing (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

A third term for Mr. Xi would break with recent precedent and further establish him as the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong.

The president called for further investment in the party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, and reiterated that China would not rule out using force to bring the self-governing island of Taiwan under its control.

“Reunification absolutely must be achieved and reunification will definitely be achieved,” he said.

Taiwan and China separated in a civil war in 1949 that brought the Communists to power in China. Many Taiwanese reject the term “reunification”, saying they were never part of communist China.

With Xi set to stay in power, little change is expected in China’s economic and foreign policies, as well as its intolerance of criticism and hardline approach to Covid-19, including quarantines and travel bans.

Mr Xi defended the pandemic response, saying it “puts people and their lives above everything else”.

Chinese Party Congress
The twice-a-decade congress is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

The week-long convention, the 20th in the centenary party’s history, comes as the economy faces major headwinds from a sharp downturn in real estate, the war in Ukraine and the economic toll of the tourism, retail and manufacturing from Covid -19 restrictions.

As with most Chinese political events, little information has been released in advance and the outcome will not be announced until next weekend, after days of closed sessions.

Congress is expected to approve an amendment to its charter that could further elevate Mr. Xi’s status as a leader.

Congress spokesman Sun Yeli gave some details at a press conference on Saturday. He said the changes “will meet new requirements to advance the party’s development and work in the face of new circumstances and new tasks.”

The previous congress in 2017 incorporated Mr. Xi’s ideology, known as Xi Jinping Thought, into the party’s constitution. The ideology is vague but emphasizes reviving the party’s mission as China’s political, economic, social and cultural leader and its central role in achieving national rejuvenation.

Xi, who has been in charge for 10 years, has already gained great power, placing himself in charge of domestic affairs, foreign policy, military, economy and most other key issues through the working groups of the party he leads.

Chinese Party Congress
Delegates at the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Under his leadership, the country expanded its global footprint while tightening already tight controls on news and dissent.

A rare public protest last week, in which banners attacking him and the politics of Covid-19 were hung in Beijing, was quickly scrubbed from the internet and any discussion about it quashed.

Xi touted as achievements China’s policies toward Taiwan and semi-autonomous Hong Kong that have been harshly criticized by the United States and other democracies.

He said actions taken after major protests in Hong Kong in 2019 had restored order and ensured it was ruled by patriots. His government imposed a national security law imposed on the city that virtually eliminated opposition voices and demands for democracy.

The King sends a message to the cast of Emmerdale during the National Television Awards Thu, 13 Oct 2022 23:51:55 +0000 The King praised the importance of the campaign by sending a special message to the cast and crew of Emmerdale for their 50th anniversary at the National Television Awards.

Host Joel Dommett surprised the soap cast with the pre-recorded speech at Thursday’s annual ceremony, held at London’s OVO Wembley Arena and broadcast live on ITV.

Charles said he was “thrilled” to celebrate the milestone, noting he’s old enough to remember when the show was called Emmerdale Farm.

He added: “It is a testament to all the hard work of its production team that it has since become such an important British institution and a major British export with hundreds of thousands of fans from Scandinavia to New York. Zeeland, all eager to follow fortune. of what remains of the Sugdens and their new neighbors.

“What makes Emmerdale so special is that it has stayed true to the vision of its original author, Kevin Laffan, who wanted to demonstrate that farming isn’t just a job, it’s a whole way of life. life.

“On a daily basis, Emmerdale continues to describe what life is really like for those who work the land and protect our precious countryside. It also brilliantly underlines something that concerns me greatly: the long-term sustainability of the way we produce our food.

“I am also encouraged by the efforts of the off-screen production team. Their ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 has already made Emmerdale one of the first UK programs to receive Albert Certification, recognizing its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its production process and to create content that emphasizes the importance of establishing a sustainable future.

(Mark Bruce/ITV)

“So it’s only fitting that the National Television Awards recognize Emmerdale’s enormous contribution and I hope those watching will join me in sending their warmest congratulations on his 50th birthday. And wish him a future equally prosperous.

ITV noted that the King recorded the message while still Prince of Wales, before ascending the throne following the Queen’s death.

After the speech, it was announced that Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle in Emmerdale, won the Serial Drama Performance award.

Later in the awards show, the soap opera returned to the serial drama gong, fending off competition from Coronation Street, EastEnders and Neighbours, which aired its final episode in July after 37 years on screen.

National Television Awards 2022 - London
Mark Charnock in the press room after winning the Serial Drama Performance award for his role as Marlon Dingle in Emmerdale, at the 2022 National Television Awards (Ian West/PA)

The long-running soap opera first aired in 1972 and was originally filmed in the actual village of Arncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales before moving to Esholt in West Yorkshire.

After 22 years, production moved to Harewood Estate, where a replica of Esholt was built, after the village became too busy to film, with traffic jams and disruption caused by visits from fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the characters and the locations of the soap opera.

The show will air a special one-hour episode on October 16, exactly 50 years to the day since the ITV soap opera first appeared on screens in 1972.

NTA Executive Producer Kim Turberville said, “We were thrilled to be able to surprise the Emmerdale team with such an important message.

“Fifty years of iconic Northern television is a great achievement and rightly deserves to be celebrated in the best possible way.

“It is with a big thank you to His Royal Highness for delivering this message to pop the icing on their birthday cake ahead of their very special weekend.”