The mighty oak, the “King of Trees” and a potent symbol of England with a special place in the country’s psyche, is just one established feature of the landscape threatened by invaders. The oak processionary moth whose caterpillars strip whole trees bare of leaves has taken hold in London since 2006 after oaks were imported from continental Europe. An invasive fungus that arrived from the continent is also causing the “dieback” of ash trees – crucial components of native woodlands – and in 2012, larvae of the Asian longhorn beetle, which kill oaks and willows, were found in Kent, resulting in 2,000 trees being burned. The Woodland Trust fears pests and diseases could now threaten most of the country’s 115,000 veteran and notable trees – the natural equivalent of listed buildings. Austin Brady, head of conservation at the Woodland Trust, said: “Losing some trees to diseases and pests is all part of life and death in the forest, but to lose our precious ancient trees would be terrible.” Multiple causes The threats to UK wildlife are multiple and varied, but modern lifestyles are taking a heavy toll. A significant cause of the threat to wildlife comes from loss of natural habitats due to ever-expanding urban sprawl. Suburban gardening trends – from the use of paving and decking to an obsession with pet cats – are fuelling the decline. Estimates by the Mammal Society suggest that the UK’s cats catch up to 275 million prey a year, of which 55 million are birds. Poor management of land, forests and fisheries also played a role, as have pollution andwildlife crime. The ploughing, draining and fertilising of grassland has been a major cause of species loss, heathland has been affected by urban development, mineral extraction and afforestation, and the clearing of woodland, pollution and intensive grouse moor management have damaged hills, valleys, moors and mountains. The intensification of farming driven by a demand for cheap food has left an indelible imprint on the landscape. Farmland birds and butterflies have declined substantially, farmland mammals such as brown hares are ailing, and 14 percent of all farmland flowering plants are threatened – some critically. Pollution from farmland run-off and water extraction have left many ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, canals, reservoirs, reedbeds, fens and marshes in a poor condition.
“If they look modern, then we might give them a makeover to make them look more traditional. If they are more traditional with the hijab, we try to take them to the parlour and change their hairstyle, change their shoes, everything. “It is very, very dangerous for them escaping from home and there is always a danger of being identified.” Other than makeovers they have to be careful when travelling to the airport. When they arrive back in the UK, the next stage of their uncertain future will begin. But those – like Nazia who is now back in the UK – are the lucky ones. The organisation has been involved in investigations around the murder of teenagers who were being forced into marriage. Escape The UK’s Forced Marriage Unit and charities working in the field say that although Pakistan may have the biggest number of forced marriages it is by no means the only country. This is an issue that crosses every border, religion, race, age and class. Sara: “It was like you’re an item to sell, to see what they can get” Teenagers like Sara – not her real name – are all too aware of this. She was meant to be married off to a man twice her age in India over the summer. “In exchange for [a] dowry he was going to give me land, a house, gold and all the wedding expenses,” she said.
Lorillard Acquires UK E-cigarette Brand (revised)
Post-acquisition, SKYCIG will become a separate operating subsidiary of Lorillard and the company will retain its current management team and business locations in the UK. Lorillard captured a leading position in the electronic cigarette industry in the U.S. after it acquired e-cigarette brand blu e-Cigs in Apr 2012. The SKYCIG acquisition will further boost Lorillards sales as the e-cigarette segment is evolving rapidly. It will also provide this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company an opportunity to expand in the wide UK electronic cigarette market. On the other hand, SKYCIG is expected to gain from Lorillard’s marketing, regulatory, research and development expertise, which will help the brand to further strengthen its foothold in the UK e-cigarette market. We note that smokers are shifting their preference to electronic cigarettes due to rising health concerns. Though sales of electronic cigarettes are on the rise, the maker of Newport and Maverick brands has been witnessing a decline in traditional cigarette volumes since the past many quarters. Cigarette volumes have been impacted by a slowdown in the tobacco industry, increasing health consciousness among consumers and significantly higher prices of cigarettes. Moreover, the industry deals with increased regulation on packaging (graphic warning labels) in some international markets and heightened Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) concerns about the effect of menthol and electronic cigarettes. The company has been making constant efforts to revive volumes.