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Alison Roberts

Lisbon, Portugal
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About Alison
Alison Roberts is a journalist based in Lisbon, Portugal. Currently freelance correspondent for BBC News, she also contributes to National Public Radio (US), CBC (Canada) and Deutsche Welle's English-language service (Germany), as well as Portuguese news agency Lusa. Edited Time Out Guides spanning 1999 to 2019 and contributed to others (e.g. Fodor's 2009-2024). Specialist experience in economic, business and labour issues and financial markets at Bloomberg News (in Germany and Portugal) and at Investors Chronicle (London).
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
Business Finance Politics

Portugal and the Slave Trade: Government and President at Odds - Should the Country Pay Reparations for Colonial-Era Crimes?

29 Apr 2024  |  www.b92.net
Portugal's government has stated it does not plan to pay reparations for its role in transatlantic colonialism and slavery, despite President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's view that the country should compensate for these 'crimes.' The right-center government, previously led by de Sousa's party, rejects this idea, while the far-right party Chega demands a parliamentary vote to condemn the president's comments. The debate resurfaced after de Sousa suggested Portugal should take 'full responsibility' for past atrocities, including massacres and violence. The Brazilian Minister for Racial Equality, Anielle Franco, calls for 'concrete steps' to back these words. Portugal's current stance remains unchanged, with no processes or programs for reparations, although the previous socialist government had intentions to return stolen items to former colonies.

Revisiting Portugal’s Controversial History: The Ongoing Debate on Colonial and Slavery Reparations

29 Apr 2024  |  Newsy Today
The Portuguese government has rejected the idea of paying reparations for its historical role in transatlantic slavery and colonialism. This stance was reaffirmed after President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa proposed that Portugal should acknowledge and address its past wrongs. The right-of-center government, which includes a party formerly led by President de Sousa, and the far-right Chega​ party, are opposed to reparations, with the latter planning to denounce the president's comments in parliament.

HMRC guidance for Employment Businesses working with Umbrella Companies

04 Apr 2024  |  paystream.co.uk
The article discusses new guidance released by HMRC for employment businesses working with umbrella companies. The guidance aims to help these businesses understand their legal responsibilities, protect workers, and ensure compliance within their supply chains. It covers the importance of filing intermediaries returns, following PAYE regulations, abiding by VAT self-billing requirements, and conducting right to work checks. The guidance also emphasizes the need for employment businesses to conduct due diligence on umbrella companies to avoid tax avoidance and protect their reputation. The article suggests that the guidance reflects the government's and HMRC's current stance on the umbrella marketplace, with a focus on compliance and worker protection. The outcome of the government's Call for Evidence on tackling non-compliance in the umbrella marketplace is still pending, with the draft expected to be published between late 2024 and early 2025.

Tackling Non-Compliance in the Umbrella Company Market

04 Apr 2024  |  paystream.co.uk
The article discusses the ongoing government consultation on addressing non-compliance in the UK's umbrella company market, which closed on August 29, 2023. It highlights the key proposals under consideration by HM Treasury and HMRC, such as defining umbrella companies, mandating due diligence, transferring tax debt, and potentially deeming the employment business as the employer. The article explores the potential impact of transferring tax debt from non-compliant umbrella companies to other parties in the supply chain, drawing parallels with the government's approach to Off-Payroll Working (IR35). It suggests that agencies may need to enhance due diligence and consider the implications of bringing payroll in-house. The article anticipates that the final recommendations may include a registration or licensing system for umbrella companies and a thorough due diligence process for the labour supply chain, but notes that the exact outcomes will remain unknown until the consultation results are published.

Deliveroo Riders Not Recognised as Workers by Supreme Court

04 Apr 2024  |  paystream.co.uk
The article discusses a recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld Deliveroo's classification of its riders as independent contractors, rather than workers. This case originated from Deliveroo's refusal to engage in collective bargaining with the Independent Workers of Great Britain trade union in 2016. The Central Arbitration Committee and later the Court of Appeal supported Deliveroo's stance. The Supreme Court's decision focused on the 'right of substitution' clause in the riders' contracts, which allows riders to substitute themselves with another person to perform their duties. This clause was a key factor in negating an employment relationship. The case did not bring new insights into IR35 legislation but reinforced the importance of substitution in determining employment status. The Court did not consider 'mutuality of obligation', another common factor in employment status cases, due to the emphasis on the right of substitution.

Salsa Classes every Thursday evening

04 Apr 2024  |  maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk
The article announces weekly salsa classes that are open to everyone, with sessions for beginners at 7pm and improvers at 8.15pm, followed by social dancing until 10pm. The classes aim to provide a fun and sociable environment where no prior dance experience or partner is required. Emphasis is placed on learning proper technique and establishing a solid foundation for future dance skills. Additionally, private lessons for individuals and groups of all levels are offered, including the option to have a special wedding dance choreographed.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement: A Steady Course Ahead of the General Election

04 Apr 2024  |  paystream.co.uk
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, outlined the UK government's economic plan, focusing on reducing national debt, tax cuts, supporting British business, sustainable energy, and education. Key announcements included cuts to Employee National Insurance rates, the abolition of Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed, and a reduction in Class 4 National Insurance. The National Living Wage will increase, tobacco duty will rise, and alcohol taxes will remain frozen. The 'full expensing' of capital equipment for businesses is now permanent, and Business Rate Relief is extended for small retail and hospitality businesses. State benefits like the pension 'triple lock' and Universal Credit will rise with inflation. Measures to combat tax avoidance and encourage investment in strategic industries were also announced. The Autumn Statement was seen as unsurprising, potentially due to the upcoming general election.

Why aren't umbrella companies licensed?

04 Apr 2024  |  paystream.co.uk
The article discusses the aftermath of the 'Tackling Non-Compliance in the Umbrella Company Market' consultation and the potential regulatory outcomes for umbrella companies in the UK. It highlights the complexity of legally defining an umbrella company, the enforcement of new regulations, and the possibility of a licensing system. The author mentions that the government is considering expanding state enforcement to include umbrella companies and may introduce a licensing arrangement that would require companies to meet certain standards. The article also references the role of existing trade bodies like the FCSA and Professional Passport in setting industry standards. PayStream, the company represented by the author, supports a fair compliance solution that balances government objectives with the administrative burden on businesses. The article suggests that the government's decision and subsequent legislation may not be immediate, but discussions with stakeholders will continue before any draft legislation is published.

Poll progress for Portugal’s hard right

13 Mar 2024  |  www.theneweuropean.co.uk
Portugal's right-of-centre parties, AD and Chega, have gained a majority of votes, with Chega winning seats in all but one district and performing strongly in the south. The president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has expressed concern over the rise of the far right, and AD's leader Montenegro has ruled out a coalition with Chega. The results come ahead of the European Parliament elections in June, raising questions about the far right's influence in Portugal. Chega has shifted policies for strategic gains, avoiding anti-European rhetoric despite its extreme stance, as evidenced by the campaign support from Spain's Vox party leader, Santiago Abascal.

Portugal vote too close to call as far right surges

10 Mar 2024  |  PressNewsAgency
Portugal's snap election results are too close to call between the two main parties, with the far-right Chega party making significant gains. Despite exit polls suggesting a slim victory for the centre-right Democratic Alliance, the final outcome remains uncertain with 98% of votes counted. The election follows the resignation of Socialist Prime Minister António Costa amid corruption allegations. Chega, led by ex-football pundit André Ventura, has become the third force in Portuguese politics, potentially acting as a kingmaker. The high turnout of nearly 65% reflects increased voter engagement. Economic issues and dissatisfaction with the incumbent Socialists have influenced the vote, with Chega gaining in the south but performing poorly in Porto. The possibility of forming a stable government remains challenging, with the next budget due in October and concerns over political instability.

Portuguese election too near name as far proper surges

10 Mar 2024  |  petnews2day.com
Portugal's center-right Democratic Alliance, led by Luís Montenegro, claimed a narrow election victory but faces challenges in forming a majority government. Both main parties polled around 29% of the vote, with the far-right Chega party, led by André Ventura, securing 18% and 48 seats in parliament. The election results indicate a highly fragmented parliament, with the Socialists conceding defeat and preparing to lead the opposition. The high voter turnout and the rise of Chega highlight significant political shifts, with economic issues and dissatisfaction with the center-left contributing to the election outcomes.

Make-up guru who's making millions telling women they need less

19 Nov 2023  |  Mail Online
Aimee Connolly, a beauty entrepreneur, launched her cosmetics and skincare brand, Sculpted By Aimee, to simplify the beauty routine for women, countering the complex 'contouring' trend popularized by Kim Kardashian. Starting her career at Urban Decay in Dublin, Connolly became a professional make-up artist and gained recognition on Ireland's equivalent of This Morning. Her brand, which promotes a 'less is more' philosophy, is now in 500 stores, including a new London store, and expects a £17.5 million turnover in 2023. Connolly, who employs 65 people, aspires to make Sculpted By Aimee a global brand. She emphasizes natural beauty, avoiding Photoshop and filters in her brand's marketing, and encourages women to feel confident without excessive make-up or cosmetic procedures.

Portugal's debate over colonial and slavery reparations resurfaces

01 Oct 2023  |  Yahoo Entertainment
The Portuguese government has stated it has no plans to pay reparations for its role in transatlantic slavery and colonialism, despite President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa suggesting the country should make amends for past abuses. The far-right Chega party condemned the president's comments, while Brazil's Minister of Racial Equality, Anielle Franco, called for concrete actions. The government reiterated its stance against reparations, although previous administrations had considered returning looted items. The debate has reignited discussions among anti-racist groups and far-left parties.

Government Consultation on Umbrella Companies: Ensuring Compliance and Fair Play

29 Aug 2023  |  paystream.co.uk
The article discusses the UK government's consultation titled 'Tackling Non-Compliance in the Umbrella Company Market', which aims to address issues of non-compliance within the umbrella company industry. It highlights the negative impact that non-compliant companies have had on the industry's reputation and the risks they pose to contractors. The consultation proposes steps to define umbrella companies, implement regulations, and determine enforcement responsibilities, with the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate (EAS) as a potential regulator. PayStream, a compliant umbrella company, supports the consultation and emphasizes its commitment to compliance and supporting contractors. The article also outlines three options suggested by the consultation to tackle non-compliance and PayStream's position on the matter.

Synteny, expression analysis and CSLD alignment

05 Jun 2023  |  rupress.org
The article discusses the synteny and expression analysis of Cellulose Synthase-Like D (CSLD) genes in the moss Physcomitrella patens. It details the evolutionary history of CSLD genes, including whole genome duplications (WGD) and intron loss, particularly focusing on the paralogy between CSLD2 and CSLD6. The article also covers the transcriptional profiles of CSLD genes across different developmental stages of P. patens, with data obtained from various sources including a NimbleGene custom microarray and RNA-seq analysis. Additionally, it presents a sequence alignment of PpCESA10 and PpCSLD proteins, highlighting conserved domains and motifs, and mentions mutations related to herbicide resistance.

Experiences of Caregivers and At-Risk Children Enrolled in a Prospective Pregnancy-Birth Cohort Study into the Causes of Type 1 Diabetes: The ENDIA Study

15 Apr 2023  |  mdpi.com
The article discusses the findings from the ENDIA Participant Experience Survey (EPES), which evaluated the experiences of caregivers and children involved in the ENDIA Study, a longitudinal cohort study in Australia. The study investigates environmental factors contributing to Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in children with a family history of the disease. The survey assessed satisfaction with the study protocols, reasons for participation, and the impact of COVID-19 on the study. Results showed a positive overall experience, with caregivers appreciating the contribution to T1D research and the monitoring of their children for early signs of T1D. Children liked the virtual reality headsets used during blood draws but disliked the draws themselves. The study faced challenges in participant retention, and the response rate to the survey was 50.5%. The article also discusses the importance of the relationship between research staff and participants, and the differences in experiences between caregivers and children.

AMCS: Pioneering Software Solutions for a Circular Economy

05 Apr 2023  |  newsweek.com
AMCS, a software solutions provider, has established itself as a leader in the global environmental, waste, recycling, and resource industries. With a focus on promoting the circular economy, AMCS offers innovative cloud-based software designed to optimize operations and margins for waste and recycling companies. COO Freddie Kavanagh highlights the company's growth through acquisitions and organic expansion, aiming to be a top player in each market. AMCS has also ventured into broader environmental services, transport, and utilities. Despite current economic pressures, Kavanagh sees long-term opportunities in digitization and workflow optimization. AMCS's commitment to sustainability is further evidenced by a research partnership with the Confirm Center at the University of Limerick, focusing on AI applications to improve recycling processes. The company's Irish roots and innovative approach are seen as advantages in markets like the U.S.

The Heart of a Monarch: Dom Pedro I's Legacy and Diplomatic Tensions Between Brazil and Portugal

05 Apr 2023  |  theneweuropean.co.uk
The article discusses the temporary relocation of the embalmed heart of Dom Pedro I, the first ruler of an independent Brazil, from Porto, Portugal to Brazil to mark the 200th anniversary of Brazil's independence. The heart, which has been preserved since Pedro's death in 1834, was displayed in Brasília and involved in ceremonies attended by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The article also touches on the strained diplomatic relations between Brazil and Portugal during Bolsonaro's presidency, the migration trends between the two countries, and the anticipation of improved relations under President-elect Lula da Silva. The historical context of Dom Pedro I's reign and his liberal values are contrasted with Bolsonaro's far-right views.

National Puppy Day: Romance Novels to Warm Your Heart

23 Mar 2023  |  blog.harlequin.com
In celebration of National Puppy Day, Nikki DeMarco combines the warmth of puppies with the comfort of romance novels to suggest perfect weekend plans. The article reviews several romance novels where puppies play a central role in the story and the characters' lives. 'A Pup to Rescue Their Hearts' by Alison Roberts tells of a nurse and a doctor brought together by a mentorship program and a dog in need. 'The Happily Ever After Playlist' by Abby Jimenez follows a woman who finds a dog that helps her heal after a loss. 'No Judgements' by Meg Cabot features a woman on an animal rescue mission during a hurricane. 'His Forever Texas Rose' by Stella Bagwell is a small-town romance with a veterinary twist. Lastly, 'Rescue' by Juliette Renard is a thriller romance involving a stray puppy, a remote cabin, and a dangerous presence. DeMarco, a high school English teacher and Book Riot contributor, also shares a bit about her own life and invites readers to talk about their pets.

Exploring Parental Attitudes and Experiences of Low Carbohydrate Diets for Children with Type 1 Diabetes

01 Mar 2023  |  mdpi.com
The article discusses a study on the experiences and attitudes of parents in Western Australia who are managing their children's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) with low carbohydrate (CHO) diets. Despite not being recommended by evidence-based nutrition guidelines, low CHO diets are gaining popularity among these parents due to perceived benefits such as improved blood glucose levels and reduced hyperglycaemia. The study used qualitative methods, including interviews analyzed with NVivo software, to explore the implementation of low CHO diets and the challenges faced by parents. It found that parents often do not discuss their dietary approach with healthcare providers and that there is a need for more research into the long-term effects of such diets on children's health. Parents reported various concerns, including the risk of cardiovascular disease, disordered eating, and nutritional deficiencies. The study suggests that healthcare professionals should engage more with families using low CHO diets to understand their motivations and provide better support.

Wharfedale Naturalists Society welcomes bat experts

26 Apr 2021  |  wharfedaleobserver.co.uk
The article provides an educational insight into the world of bats, highlighting their behavior, habitat, and the challenges they face. It mentions a talk given by bat experts Greg Slack and Matt Whittle to the Wharfedale Naturalists, where attendees learned about the 18 species of bats in the UK, their insectivorous diet, and their use of echolocation. The article also discusses the threats to bat populations, such as habitat loss and pesticides, and notes that bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The importance of bat surveys in new building developments is emphasized to ensure the protection of bats and their roosts. Resources for further information include the West Yorkshire Bat Group and The Bat Conservation Trust.

Renowned entomologist on the fascinating world of insects

26 Feb 2021  |  wharfedaleobserver.co.uk
George McGavin, an esteemed entomologist and broadcaster, delivered a webinar to Wharfedale Naturalists, sharing his experiences and discoveries in the field of entomology. He recounted his academic career at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities and his media work, including appearances on The One Show. George highlighted a significant discovery of a new species of wingless midge made during his time at Oxford. He also discussed the lifecycle of The Oil Beetle and the broader environmental challenges facing insects, emphasizing the negative impact of pesticides like neonicotinoids. George urged for environmental consideration and action, suggesting practical ways individuals can help, such as avoiding pesticides and fostering natural habitats. He recommended Paul Brock's book 'Insects of Britain and Ireland' for further learning. The article also mentions upcoming webinars and talks hosted by Wharfedale Naturalists.

Renowned entomologist on the fascinating world of insects

26 Feb 2021  |  thetelegraphandargus.co.uk
George McGavin, an esteemed entomologist and broadcaster, delivered a webinar to Wharfedale Naturalists from his home in Berkshire. He shared his academic journey from Edinburgh University to Oxford University and his subsequent media career. George recounted a serendipitous discovery of a new species of wingless midge by his students at Oxford. He also described the lifecycle of The Oil Beetle and highlighted the environmental threats to insects, emphasizing the need for policy change and personal action to protect the ecosystem. He suggested practical ways for individuals to foster an interest in entomology and protect the environment. Additionally, he recommended Paul Brock's book 'Insects of Britain and Ireland' as a resource for learning more about insects.

Renowned entomologist on the fascinating world of insects

26 Feb 2021  |  ilkleygazette.co.uk
George McGavin, an esteemed entomologist and broadcaster, delivered a webinar to Wharfedale Naturalists, sharing his passion for insects and highlighting the environmental challenges they face. He recounted his academic career at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities and his media work, including appearances on The One Show. George shared an anecdote about discovering a new species of wingless midge at Oxford and discussed the lifecycle of the Oil Beetle. He emphasized the negative impact of pesticides on insect populations and urged actions to protect the environment, such as avoiding pesticides and creating insect-friendly habitats. George recommended the book 'Insects of Britain and Ireland' by Paul Brock for those interested in learning more about entomology. Upcoming webinars for Wharfedale Naturalists include presentations on 'Nature in Lockdown' and effective wildlife recording.

Falling For The Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

30 Dec 2020  |  netgalley.co.uk
The article is a review of the book 'Falling For The Secret Prince' by Alison Roberts. The reviewer, Kelly M, who is identified as a Media/Journalist, praises the book for its engaging characters and compelling story. The characters are described as having their own journeys and vulnerabilities, which makes them relatable and realistic to the reader. The review does not provide detailed analysis but offers a positive recommendation for the book. Additionally, the page includes affiliate links, suggesting that the site may earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

This Visual Artist Is Bringing Bauhaus Back

21 Aug 2016  |  www.vice.com
Brooklyn-based artist Senem Oezdogan, inspired by the Bauhaus School, uses natural fibers to weave geometric patterns that reflect New York's urban landscape. A graduate of FIT, Oezdogan's work is influenced by Bauhaus theorists like Josef Albers and Paul Klee, and her recent painting series draws from Martha Graham's modern dance choreographies. Her approach to fiber art and painting emphasizes visual harmony, abstraction, and the balance of color and form, demonstrating the timelessness of Bauhaus principles.

A Space of Her Own: Ayqa Khan Raises a Voice

05 Jul 2016  |  www.vice.com
Artist Ayqa Khan, a first-generation Pakistani American, uses photography and digital illustration to explore her identity and challenge mainstream beauty standards by portraying South Indian women on their own terms. Her work, which includes themes of body hair acceptance, cultural duality, and personal vulnerability, has resonated with many young women. Khan utilizes social media platforms like Tumblr and Instagram to create digital spaces for discussion and engagement with her audience. Her art celebrates Pakistani and South Indian culture, featuring elements such as niqabs, ornamental jewelry, and food items, set against American backdrops like diners and rollerblading rinks.

The industrial archaeology of deep time

01 Feb 2016  |  academia.edu
The article discusses the significance of stone tools in understanding human history and behavioral variability. Stone tools are found across all habitable continents, including the Arctic, and their durability makes them valuable for studying long-term historical processes. In southern Africa, despite the introduction of new materials and technologies over the last two millennia, stone tools persisted among hunter-gatherers. The article highlights the resilience of indigenous African societies and their ability to adapt to environmental and social changes. Stone tools are contrasted with other technologies like ceramics and metallurgy, noting that stone tools are reductive, created by removing material, while others are additive or a combination of both. The ease of reinventing stone-tool technologies and their implications for studying social organization, economy, and cultural change are also discussed.

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