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Immigrant stories: The British citizen who was stripped of her passport

The holiday wasn’t supposed to last long.

Jean Gander had travelled back to Zambia, where she grew up, to visit family. She couldn’t have known that 15 months later she would still be there.

She is still there now, trapped with her two children in a bureaucratic nightmare.

Jean, the child of a British man and a Zambian woman, was given her first British passport in 1992, when she went to the UK to study. Seven years later, she met her husband.


Frank Neumann had had a biking accident and his physiotherapist told him to attend a local gym in Kentish Town.

“We met while I was trying to exercise,” he says.

“Every cloud has a silver living and my silver lining was meeting my future wife in the gym.”

Jean was on the running machine when she first saw the Swiss commodities trader walk in.

“I saw this tall man,” she says. “I’m very tall as well so I was attracted to him and we got chatting.”

Within a few years they had moved in together, got married and had a couple of children. Jean took up a job in Harrods and the couple moved into a house in Russell Square.

Then, in January last year, she visited family in Zambia and took the kids along.

While she was there, disaster struck. Her sister was diagnosed with cancer. Jean decided to extend her stay. And then she made a second fateful decision. She went to get her passport renewed.

“My brother, who lives here, said I shouldn’t renew my passport here,” she says.

“He’d got his passport done by flying to England. But I said: ‘I’ve got nothing to hide. I’ve renewed this passport twice before in London. I might as well do it here.’ I didn’t see anything wrong. It hadn’t even expired. It was still valid for another two months.”

For some reason which was never explained, they treated the case as a stolen passport rather than a renewal. Jean was born in Zambia in 1967 and had no birth certificate, so she had to send on her baptism certificate. But the document showed her African name, Christine Chibwe Chenda. This had never been a problem in the passport office in London Victoria, where she’d previously had it renewed. But it triggered questions in Africa.

“The official confiscated it,” Jean says.

“I said: ‘Give it back to me. I’ll do it in England and they won’t give me a problem.’

“She said: ‘This passport is the property of the Queen.’

“I could see their attitude from the very beginning.”

A priest reissued the certificate of baptism and attached an explanation but it was too late.

“They were asking for lots of kinds of proofs. They were really trying to dig into it,” Frank says.

“They treated that as Jean being a fraud. They were really asking for all kinds of details – where she went to school in Zambia, proof of her father’s British citizenship – it went on and on. We provided all the documents – documents about both parents, her dad’s passport, her mum’s passport.

Jean had to reapply to the regional office in Pretoria. They looked at it for six months.

In the mean time she had to start accepting her situation. She put her children, who had been separated from their country of birth, into a private school.

“It’s very expensive,” she says.

“The school fees are bad, but they have to go private school. They can’t go a normal school here. This is Africa. I have to put them somewhere they belong, with other European people.”

Then, half a year after they had reapplied, the office in Pretoria rejected her, saying they couldn’t link her to her parents. She was trapped in Zambia.

“I decided to pick it up here and get the local MP, Frank Dobson, involved,” Frank says.

“He sent a letter to the Home Office.”

Frank expected support from the British government for one of its citizens, but it wasn’t forthcoming.

“They did not help at all. They tried to do the contrary,” he says.

The Home Office asked for even more documents to be sent in.

“I had given all documentation to show she’d been living here – council tax bills, all kinds of bank statements, anything you can imagine. I provided them with it and they decided not to move.”

Next, Frank tried getting her a Swiss passport as his wife. But to do so he needed to live with her, which he couldn’t do because she was trapped in Zambia.

Now, Frank is trying to get Jean back into the UK by using his rights as a European citizen to live with his wife. Once Jean has returned, they will reapply for the passport again from there.

For now they are stranded – left without help by the British government, relying on one last legal avenue to get her back home.

“I need them as much as they need me,” Frank says.

“I fly three or four times a year to see my kids and my wife. I miss them. I miss them above anything.

“What am I going to do in the future? This can’t carry on forever. I have to consider, if the worst comes to worst, that I may have to quit my job and go live there.”

Down in Zambia, Jean is pining for Frank.

“I need my husband. My children need their father. I need my home,” she says.

“My sisters are there. My bothers are there. All my clothes are there, my things are there. It’s like being in prison.

“This is not my home. London is my home.”

Jean is still in Zambia and Frank is still in London. This is their immigrant story.

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Glasgow 2014: cyclists look to Hoy for inspiration

WHEN Sir Chris Hoy announced, a year ago this Friday, that two home Games would be one too many, it was more a blow to morale than a devastating setback to Team Scotland’s medal prospects.

As the greatest velodrome rider of all time, Hoy would, of course, have been an invaluable asset to the home team effort in Glasgow, even at 38. But Scotland’s athletes fared pretty well in Delhi in 2010 when he wasn’t fit to compete, and his career haul of four Commonwealth medals – two gold and two bronze – actually pales in comparison to his superhuman Olympic successes.

Still, the news had the effect of a blow to the solar plexus. It left the country wondering who, if anyone, would be able to fill the void and add a Scottish context to what will be a thrilling four days of track racing in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome this summer. Now, 12 months on, some worthy candidates have emerged not only on the track but on the road and in the mountains, with the result that followers of the home team ought to have some cycling success to toast at the 20th Commonwealth Games after all.

It might just prove that it is in the mountains where Scots will mine the richest seam. Cathkin Braes Country Park, just to the south of Glasgow, is where the men’s and women’s cross-country races will take place on 29 July and Gary Coltman, performance director at Scottish Cycling, is not afraid of making confident predictions, with the proviso that the team has not yet been picked.

“In mountain biking the prospects are good,” he says. “We’ve got arguably the two best riders in the UK, Grant Ferguson who is the British champion, and Kenta Gallacher. They are both strong contenders for the team and we’ve actually got another five guys chasing them for the three positions. That’s a really good situation and I’ve had a few comments saying that the Scottish team is going to be the hardest team to get on for the Commonwealth Games in the mountains. How will that translate into medals? We’ve definitely got a medal chance there with Grant, no doubt about it, he is getting better all the time [he claimed his first World Cup podium place on Sunday].

“With the females, we’ve got Lee Craigie who has always qualified; she is the British women’s champion. She will be a very popular competitor, and medals aren’t out of the question. Lesley Paterson is another girl who we haven’t talked about too much who is Scottish, based in America and has been doing ultra-triathlon stuff. We’ve potentially got a secret weapon there.”

Not so secret is the four-time Tour de France stage winner who will make a valedictory appearance on the road. David Millar, the reformed drug cheat, wrote in his autobiography that representing Scotland in Delhi four years ago, where he won gold and bronze, was one of the highlights of his career because it was such a refreshing change to compete outside the pro-cycling bubble. It would be wrong, however, to think that Scotland’s road prospects start and end with 37-year-old Millar.

“David’s main focus will be on the time trial,” says Coltman. “In the road race, he has acknowledged the ability of Andy Fenn, who has a chance of winning that race. He’s got a terrific sprint on him. He’s definitely a very quick finisher but if we can get them both up there in the last 20 per cent of the race, you just never know. We are looking at building a team around the two of them.”

Where the road racing might be watched by hundreds of thousands, a lucky few spectators have tickets for the track, where the absence of Hoy will be keenly felt as the great riders of England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand dominate and young Scots such as Callum Skinner and John Paul look for an opening. Could Katie Archibald squeeze herself onto the podium? Certainly the 20-year-old’s emergence over the past year, winning European and world gold medals, has given rise to optimism and Coltman believes she will have three chances, in the individual pursuit as well as points and scratch races.

“You are looking at almost a world-class field so medals are going to be very tough to come by. Because Katie is on such a steep upward curve, we have every hope that she could medal, but we’re under no illusions about how tough that is going to be as well,” said Coltman. “I knew that as soon as Katie got down into the team environment in Manchester, particularly in the team pursuit squad, she would flourish. So I’m not really surprised by her progress, but I can see why everybody else is.”

Thanks to Glasgow 2014 making this the most inclusive Commonwealth Games to para-sport athletes, the strongest hope of Scottish medals is held by the tandem partnerships, Aileen McGlynn/Louise Haston, Neil Fachie/Craig MacLean and Laura Cluxton/Lyndsey Carson.

Ironically, the rider on Coltman’s radar with the strongest Commonwealth Games heritage looks to have ridden himself out of contention. Ross Edgar won gold, silver and bronze in Melbourne and was Team Scotland’s flagbearer in Delhi. But, as Coltman tells us: “Ross switched to endurance after London and he has struggled, to be honest. He hasn’t met our qualification criteria and I’m not sure what his future holds.”

Four years ago in India, after Hoy pulled out and Edgar crashed out, Charline Joiner and Jenny Davies won silver in the team sprint. There is too much talent for there not to be any cheer for Scottish cycling fans in Glasgow. It only remains to be seen who will provide it.

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Bike insurer Carole Nash appoints Manc Frank

Rebecca Donohue

Rebecca Donohue

The specialist bike insurance company Carole Nash has appointed Manc Frank to handle its PR requirements on a retained basis.

Carole Nash has not previously retained a consumer PR agency for a number of years and it is understood that the company approached several agencies before appointing Manc Frank.

Headquartered in Altrincham, Carole Nash is now owned by the French mutual giant Caisses Regionales D’Assurances.

In the year to December 2012, the company reported fee income of £26.17m and ptp of £5.12m and was ranked as the UK’s 35th largest insurance broker by the trade title Insurance Times.

The company provides cover for over 300,000 motorcycles (one in four of the UK’s road licensed bikes it is claimed) and in recent years has expanded its offer to include vintage bikes and cars.

Manc Frank will be working with Carole Nash across its trade and consumer operations and supporting the broker’s overall marketing mix ahead of the key biking season spanning sponsorship of bike shows and brand ambassador work with World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea.

Rebecca Donohue, head of marketing at Carole Nash, said: “As the demands of the business have grown, PR has become a more integral part of our marketing mix – driving brand awareness, customer engagement and loyalty and we are keen to develop an even more effective communications strategy to further enhance our business and the relationship we have with the biking community.”

Manc Frank is part of Frank PR and the Manchester office, which opened in 2012, is the only one outside London and is tasked with managing the agency’s PR clients outside the M25.

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Glasgow 2014: Big pedals to fill for Scots riders

WHEN Sir Chris Hoy announced, a year ago this Friday, that two home Games would be one too many, it was more a blow to morale than a devastating setback to Team Scotland’s medal prospects.

As the greatest velodrome rider of all time, Hoy would, of course, have been an invaluable asset to the home team effort in Glasgow, even at 38. But Scotland’s athletes fared pretty well in Delhi in 2010 when he wasn’t fit to compete, and his career haul of four Commonwealth medals – two gold and two bronze – actually pales in comparison to his superhuman Olympic successes.

Still, the news had the effect of a blow to the solar plexus. It left the country wondering who, if anyone, would be able to fill the void and add a Scottish context to what will be a thrilling four days of track racing in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome this summer. Now, 12 months on, some worthy candidates have emerged not only on the track but on the road and in the mountains, with the result that followers of the home team ought to have some cycling success to toast at the 20th Commonwealth Games after all.

It might just prove that it is in the mountains where Scots will mine the richest seam. Cathkin Braes Country Park, just to the south of Glasgow, is where the men’s and women’s cross-country races will take place on 29 July and Gary Coltman, performance director at Scottish Cycling, is not afraid of making confident predictions, with the proviso that the team has not yet been picked.

“In mountain biking the prospects are good,” he says. “We’ve got arguably the two best riders in the UK, Grant Ferguson who is the British champion, and Kenta Gallacher. They are both strong contenders for the team and we’ve actually got another five guys chasing them for the three positions. That’s a really good situation and I’ve had a few comments saying that the Scottish team is going to be the hardest team to get on for the Commonwealth Games in the mountains. How will that translate into medals? We’ve definitely got a medal chance there with Grant, no doubt about it, he is getting better all the time [he claimed his first World Cup podium place on Sunday].

“With the females, we’ve got Lee Craigie who has always qualified; she is the British women’s champion. She will be a very popular competitor, and medals aren’t out of the question. Lesley Paterson is another girl who we haven’t talked about too much who is Scottish, based in America and has been doing ultra-triathlon stuff. We’ve potentially got a secret weapon there.”

Not so secret is the four-time Tour de France stage winner who will make a valedictory appearance on the road. David Millar, the reformed drug cheat, wrote in his autobiography that representing Scotland in Delhi four years ago, where he won gold and bronze, was one of the highlights of his career because it was such a refreshing change to compete outside the pro-cycling bubble. It would be wrong, however, to think that Scotland’s road prospects start and end with 37-year-old Millar.

“David’s main focus will be on the time trial,” says Coltman. “In the road race, he has acknowledged the ability of Andy Fenn, who has a chance of winning that race. He’s got a terrific sprint on him. He’s definitely a very quick finisher but if we can get them both up there in the last 20 per cent of the race, you just never know. We are looking at building a team around the two of them.”

Where the road racing might be watched by hundreds of thousands, a lucky few spectators have tickets for the track, where the absence of Hoy will be keenly felt as the great riders of England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand dominate and young Scots such as Callum Skinner and John Paul look for an opening. Could Katie Archibald squeeze herself onto the podium? Certainly the 20-year-old’s emergence over the past year, winning European and world gold medals, has given rise to optimism and Coltman believes she will have three chances, in the individual pursuit as well as points and scratch races.

“You are looking at almost a world-class field so medals are going to be very tough to come by. Because Katie is on such a steep upward curve, we have every hope that she could medal, but we’re under no illusions about how tough that is going to be as well,” said Coltman. “I knew that as soon as Katie got down into the team environment in Manchester, particularly in the team pursuit squad, she would flourish. So I’m not really surprised by her progress, but I can see why everybody else is.”

Thanks to Glasgow 2014 making this the most inclusive Commonwealth Games to para-sport athletes, the strongest hope of Scottish medals is held by the tandem partnerships, Aileen McGlynn/Louise Haston, Neil Fachie/Craig MacLean and Laura Cluxton/Lyndsey Carson.

Ironically, the rider on Coltman’s radar with the strongest Commonwealth Games heritage looks to have ridden himself out of contention. Ross Edgar won gold, silver and bronze in Melbourne and was Team Scotland’s flagbearer in Delhi. But, as Coltman tells us: “Ross switched to endurance after London and he has struggled, to be honest. He hasn’t met our qualification criteria and I’m not sure what his future holds.”

Four years ago in India, after Hoy pulled out and Edgar crashed out, Charline Joiner and Jenny Davies won silver in the team sprint. There is too much talent for there not to be any cheer for Scottish cycling fans in Glasgow. It only remains to be seen who will provide it.

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UK Summer of Cycling: Giro d’Italia – video

UK Summer of Cycling

UK Summer of Cycling BikeRadar

This is a sponsored post.

The UK is poised for arguably its biggest ever summer of cycling. Next month the Giro d’Italia will start with a team time trial in Belfast. In July, the biggest free sporting spectacle in the world – the Tour de France – will descend on Leeds and later that month the 20th Commonwealth Games – featuring a raft of spectacular track, road and mountain biking competitions, kicks off in Glasgow.

Anticipation for all three events is reaching fever pitch. And that’s not just because of the magnitude of these events, which will bring millions out to support the athletes, it’s because we’ve also discovered just how much we love cycling. Thanks to the Beijing and London Olympics and Tour de France, and stars such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome, we’ve been inspired to get out there and experience the thrills and freedom two-wheeled pedal power can give us. And we’re hooked.

Check out the video:

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BikeRadar launched a grand tour of our own and the first stage was Belfast

Call it the Wiggo Effect, Olympic legacy or whatever, the fact is the UK is a bona fide cycling nation now. We’ve got the cycling superstars, the teams and this year we’ve got the races to prove it.

To check out how the host cities and the regions around them were preparing for their respective events, BikeRadar teamed up with the all-new Mazda3 for a grand tour challenge of our very own: to visit all three cities and meet as many people connected with the events as possible. The catch? We only had three days in which to do it. It was a time cut almost as tough as that faced by the sprinters on a grand tour mountain stage.

Being the first Mazda to offer MZD Connect – an advanced information, entertainment and connectivity system, the all-new Mazda3 gives access to a range of online music and social media, allowing it to be the perfect vehicle to support such a challenge. The all-new Mazda3 also offers a full range of advanced SKYACTIV Technology and delivers a no compromise combination of exhilarating driving experience and handling while still achieving leading fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures.

On the challenge, there were loads of people we wanted to meet: athletes, fans, bike shop owners and the organisers who had campaigned, fretted and fought to bring these events to their home cities.

Our grand tour took us first to Liverpool for an overnight ferry to Belfast. There, we explored the magnificent Titanic Quarter which plays host to the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza on 9 May with a team time trial. If ever a city was primed and ready for a sporting spectacle of epic proportions it was Belfast. We heard how one local bike shop was going to paint the road outside maglia rosa pink and had somehow managed to lay its hands on one of the bikes ridden by Italian legend, Marco Pantani.

After 12 hours in Belfast we were back on the ferry and preparing for a visit to God’s own country, which is going to be decked in yellow, polka dot and green to mark the arrival of the 101st Tour de France.

But that – and our onward journey to Glasgow – is for another time. For now sit back and let the Belfasters’ anticipation for the Giro’s impending start fire you up for what promises to be a fanstastic corsa rosa.

You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar and on
Facebook at facebook.com/BikeRadar.
You
can also improve your fitness and train with us on
training.bikeradar.com.

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Reports suggests 500 lives a year could be saved ‘if London had Danish levels …

The World Health Organisation said that an estimated 542 premature deaths from pollution and road collisions would be avoided if 26 per cent of journeys were made by bike, the rate in the Danish capital.

At present, only three per cent of journeys in London are by bicycle.

As part of a “call to action” across Europe, WHO researchers forecast that 8,196 jobs would be created in London if it could dramatically increase its cycling rate.

The report’s release follows public health chiefs in Britain admitting last week that an estimated 3,389 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. In 2012, 659 cyclists were seriously injured in London and there were 14 deaths.

The health organisation said about 76,600 jobs would be created and 10,000 lives saved every year in Europe if cycling rates in major cities rose to match those in Copenhagen.

Today’s Unlocking New Opportunities report was compiled with Oxford university and released to coincide with a three-day conference in Paris on transport, health and the environment.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, urged countries to agree a “Paris declaration”, committing to investing in green transport.

“The pay-offs from these investments are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality,” she said.

The organisation said that air pollution in Europe caused mainly by traffic leads to almost 500,000 deaths a year, while road collisions result in 90,000 premature deaths.

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500 lives a year could be saved ‘if we had Danish levels of cycling’

The World Health Organisation said that an estimated 542 premature deaths from pollution and road collisions would be avoided if 26 per cent of journeys were made by bike, the rate in the Danish capital.

At present, only three per cent of journeys in London are by bicycle.

As part of a “call to action” across Europe, WHO researchers forecast that 8,196 jobs would be created in London if it could dramatically increase its cycling rate.

The report’s release follows public health chiefs in Britain admitting last week that an estimated 3,389 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. In 2012, 659 cyclists were seriously injured in London and there were 14 deaths.

The health organisation said about 76,600 jobs would be created and 10,000 lives saved every year in Europe if cycling rates in major cities rose to match those in Copenhagen.

Today’s Unlocking New Opportunities report was compiled with Oxford university and released to coincide with a three-day conference in Paris on transport, health and the environment.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, urged countries to agree a “Paris declaration”, committing to investing in green transport.

“The pay-offs from these investments are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality,” she said.

The organisation said that air pollution in Europe caused mainly by traffic leads to almost 500,000 deaths a year, while road collisions result in 90,000 premature deaths.

Share

500 lives a year could be saved ‘if London had Danish levels of cycling’

The World Health Organisation said that an estimated 542 premature deaths from pollution and road collisions would be avoided if 26 per cent of journeys were made by bike, the rate in the Danish capital.

At present, only three per cent of journeys in London are by bicycle.

As part of a “call to action” across Europe, WHO researchers forecast that 8,196 jobs would be created in London if it could dramatically increase its cycling rate.

The report’s release follows public health chiefs in Britain admitting last week that an estimated 3,389 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. In 2012, 659 cyclists were seriously injured in London and there were 14 deaths.

The health organisation said about 76,600 jobs would be created and 10,000 lives saved every year in Europe if cycling rates in major cities rose to match those in Copenhagen.

Today’s Unlocking New Opportunities report was compiled with Oxford university and released to coincide with a three-day conference in Paris on transport, health and the environment.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, urged countries to agree a “Paris declaration”, committing to investing in green transport.

“The pay-offs from these investments are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality,” she said.

The organisation said that air pollution in Europe caused mainly by traffic leads to almost 500,000 deaths a year, while road collisions result in 90,000 premature deaths.

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10 of the world’s best active holidays

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Top Trade Idea for April 14th, 2014 – EUR/CAD

Aspen TradingWhile there continue to be mixed signals in the forex market in terms of correlations, there still exist basic technical set-ups.  EUR/CAD being one to consider.

EUR/CAD is likely to run into resistance into the 1.5150 area where short positions make sense.  Stops are tight, just above 1.5184 and a downside target of 1.5080

Trade 14

 

About Dave Floyd, Founder AspenTrading.com – Head of Research Trading 

dave floyd

If he lived anywhere but Central Oregon, where the trails of the Cascades mingle with the warm sunshine and fresh air of the high desert, Dave Floyd would probably be one of those guys who lives and breathes trading and analysis 24/7. And he’d be about as boring as a cricket match. But fortunately for his clients, not to mention his wife and son, he found IT possible to manage Aspen Trading from anywhere in the world, and chose Bend back in 2004.

A native of Lancaster, Massachusetts, Dave earned a BS in Economics from Northeastern University in Boston in 1991 and landed his first gig in the trading industry in 1993 when he joined the fixed income FX desk of Standard Chartered Bank. The following year, his focus shifted to equities, and he spent the next eight years trading on a proprietary equities desk. In 2002, Dave decided it was time to go maverick and start his own niche FX firm; and the seeds for Aspen Trading Group were planted. Since then, Aspen has grown from a pure prop trading firm into a provider of expert FX research and analytics to both institutional and retail clients worldwide. Dave’s two decades of expertise in technical analysis and global fundamentals has led to him being published in Active Trader, Futures and SFO, as well as being seen on Bloomberg television and CNBC. Dave’s vision helped Aspen become nominated for Best Institutional FX Research Strategy in 2009 by The Technical Analyst magazine in London. In 2010, the company was nominated for Technical Analyst of The Year

And if that weren’t enough, Dave recently completed his EMBA (Executive MBA) at The University of Oxford Said Business School, in Oxford UK. But as we said, there’s more to Dave than just trading and analysis. He also gets excited about skiing, mountain biking, CrossFit, watching his son play soccer and of course, Bend’s famous microbrews. Those are things he won’t trade for anything.

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