zoom 2015 has been a particularly dark year for safety in docks at European ports, according to the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).“In 2015 European Dockworkers, their families and their unions have mourned colleagues, relatives and comrades who lost their life while working in the ports of Antwerp, Bilbao, Bremerhaven, Helsinki, Oxelösund, Sines, Valencia, just to mention those accidents that have been publicly reported,” the Federation said.As explained by ETF Dockers’ Section Chair Terje Samuelsen, although these accidents have occurred in different circumstances and according to different dynamics, dockworkers are experiencing growing pressure as they are demanded to be more and more productive.“Time pressure plays a significant role in safety because there is a tendency to overlook procedures that would allow preventing a certain number of accidents”, said Samuelsen.“Investigations are still ongoing on most of these accidents and we will have to wait for the final results to make an assessment of the causes and take measures to avoid that similar accidents occur again. However, we believe there is a safety emergency that must be tackled. Beside expressing our deepest condolences to the families we are expected to act, together with employers, port authorities and all involved actors”, he concluded.The ever changing maritime and port industries have serious implications for port workers. This is in particular important seeing the changes in vessels’ size.“In a context where vessels’ size is growing, cargo volume is not increasing and ships are not full, it is legitimate and urgent for the industry to dialogue and act”, Torben Seebold, ETF Dockers’ Section Vice-Chair, said.“Let’s take the case of the North Range ports, and in particular of Rotterdam: automation is introduced without a preliminary meaningful dialogue with the workers, port capacity has been increased and volumes are not growing. In this framework it is not easy for operators to recoup their investments, and they are not entitled to state aid as other players in the maritime sector. Port employers are pushed to cut their costs and in the end workers pay the highest contribution, in terms of job security and working conditions, as pressure on them is increasing. “We have already started a dialogue with FEPORT on this. However, discussions have to be taken also at the level of maritime clusters and have to involve all concerned parties, including local institutions”.H
LOS ANGELES — Even before federal prosecutors unsealed charges against Michael Avenatti, the lawyer best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in legal battles against President Donald Trump was facing legal scrutiny for his business practices.Avenatti was testifying Friday in his own defence in a civil case that included allegations he pocketed $1.6 million from a client as the feds were including that claim in their criminal case that could put him behind bars for decades.Avenatti, 48, faces charges in California for allegedly filing bogus tax returns to secure $4 million in loans and embezzling the client’s settlement funds. He faces charges in New York of threatening to release damaging information against Nike if it didn’t pay him and another lawyer up to $25 million.About 12 hours after being released from custody, Avenatti returned to his combative form Tuesday and went on the offensive, accusing Nike of “rampant” corruption.He claimed on Twitter that Nike funneled “large sums” of money to elite student-athletes bound for top colleges and said the corruption reached the highest levels at the company.Prosecutors haven’t commented on whether Avenatti’s information about Nike was accurate but said he crossed a line by trying to enrich himself with threats.A Nike spokesman declined to answer questions about Avenatti’s tweets. The company released a statement Monday saying it will “not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation.”While he confidently declared after his release from custody that he would be exonerated, Avenatti told CBS on Tuesday that he is concerned about the charges.“I’m nervous, I’m scared,” he said. “If I wasn’t, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.”The arrest of Avenatti, who seized the spotlight as a Trump antagonist and considered his own run for president, came as a surprise to many, but not to some of those who have worked with him.Jason Frank, who was an independent contractor for the now-bankrupt firm of Eagan Avenatti, has been seeking compensation he claims he’s owed for work done before he resigned in 2016, according to federal court filings.Frank is still trying to collect a $10 million judgment his firm won against Eagan Avenatti and a $4 million personal judgment against Avenatti.Avenatti repeatedly failed to turn over court-ordered records, and deposited millions of dollars of client fees into accounts hidden during bankruptcy proceedings, Frank’s lawyers wrote in filings seeking a court-appointed receiver.“The conduct described in the criminal complaint is the conduct we’ve seen Mr. Avenatti engage in with respect to his debts to his partners going back years,” attorney Andrew Stolper said. “What you see is a lawyer using his kind of inside knowledge of the legal system.”Most of a nearly $1.4 million payment sent to Eagan Avenatti as part of a settlement with the NFL was funneled to an account for personal expenses such as rent on a luxury apartment and monthly payments on a Ferrari, Frank’s lawyers said.On Friday, Stolper questioned Avenatti under oath at a debtor exam about a $4 million payment his firm received from Los Angeles County on behalf of a paraplegic man who tried to kill himself in jail.Avenatti testified that he paid the firm’s client, Geoffrey Johnson, all the money he was owed, but checks show Johnson received monthly payments totalling no more than a couple of hundred thousand dollars over the past three years, Stolper said.In an email to The Associated Press, Avenatti said Johnson approved all transactions and accounting and has been kept in the loop.“He has repeatedly thanked me for my dedication to his case and the ethics I have employed,” Avenatti wrote.Avenatti was also questioned in court about the case of Gregory Barela, who he negotiated a $1.9 million settlement for in an intellectual property dispute against a Colorado company, according to court records.Barela hired new lawyers to chase the money down after he said Avenatti wouldn’t pay him. They went to the FBI after finding records that $1.6 million was paid to Avenatti.Attorney Steven Bledsoe sat in court Friday afternoon as Avenatti repeatedly dodged questions and denied stiffing Barela.“Avenatti testified he paid Mr. Barela everything he was owed without ever identifying any payment,” Bledsoe said. “Documents show he didn’t pay anything. It was just B.S.”Prosecutors also dispute Avenatti’s account.While he was still on the witness stand in Los Angeles, prosecutors filed a wire fraud charge in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana accusing Avenatti of embezzling from Barela.Prosecutors said Avenatti deceived Barela about the date he received the payment and never turned it over to him. At one point, he provided a $130,000 “advance” on the payment he already received and later offered to loan Barela $100,000 if he paid interest.“It appears Mr. Avenatti loaned the client’s own money to the client,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in announcing the charges. “Money that Mr. Avenatti had already secretly collected.”Attorney Ken White, a former federal prosecutor, said the relatively short criminal complaints without disclosing too much evidence indicates prosecutors are confident they have a strong case. Indictments are likely to offer more information and, possibly, additional charges that could include evidence uprooted by Frank.“It will be interesting to see when the indictment finally comes down to what extent it’s going to mirror more of what his former partner’s been saying,” White said.___Taxin reported from Santa Ana. Associated Press writer Jim Mustian in New York contributed to this report.Brian Melley And Amy Taxin, The Associated Press
A man who posted pictures on Facebook of the body of someone believed to have leapt to his death from the Grenfell Tower fire has been jailed for three months.Omega Mwaikambo, 43, posted one video and two pictures of the body bag with the man inside and then later five pictures of the victim’s face and body after opening it to look inside.He pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court to two counts of sending by a public communications network an offending, indecent or obscene matter. After his arrest he provided the police with the pin to his iPad and phone and the images were taken down from the web.Mr Little said the offences were high culpability because “even the fact of the death would not have been known to the family” of the victim at this early stage.The court heard the victim has yet to be identified and the defendant had been kept in custody for his own safety after his arrest.Michelle Denney for the defence said “It was an unusual case” and Mwaikambo, who has not previous convictions, had been making tea for the firefighters.She said: “He found the deceased person and was shocked by the fact the body was there and felt a sense of shock that the body was there unattended.”The defendant had tried to find someone to come and help but “there was not one else in sight” and took the photos to “show how the victim was being treated” and get someone’s attention.She said: “He was not someone that has gone to the scene to look at what’s going on in some macabre way.”She added her client had witnessed a lot of the terrible things throughout the night, it was an “error in judgement” to post the images and “would not have done so had he not witness some of the traumatic events that unfolded”. “It appears as if that individual might have been someone that jumped from the tower and had not survived and was waiting to be moved to the coroner’s mortuary.” Ms Denney said: “He accepts he should have taken them down and he accepts posting the images was ill conceived.”He apologises to the victim’s family any all the other victims for what he has done.”Sentencing District Judge Tanweer Ikram said: “The whole country, if not the whole world, has been shocked by what has taken place in the last few days in relation to the fire at Grenfell Tower.”The horror is not to be underestimated.”The dignity of the dead must always be respected.”What you have done by uploading those photos shows absolutely no respect to this poor victim. To show his face as he lies there is beyond words.”That view is shared in the horror and disgust that is shown by those people that have uploaded messages on your profile.”It is an aggravating feature that when people said to you ‘This is really sick, just call the police’ and ‘call the cops rather than post photos’, you didn’t.”You didn’t remove the photos.”These offences are so serious that a community order or financial penalty would not mark the seriousness of the offence.”The judge accepted Mwaikambo had no previous convictions and was remorseful for what he did, but with the events of the fire the case was “unprecedented”. Mwaikambo, who lives just yards away from the tower, had watched the blaze engulf the building throughout the night and had made cups of tea for firefighters as they battled the blaze.However later on Wednesday morning he saw a body bag outside his flat and took the photos on his iPad and uploaded them to Facebook.Prosecutor Tom Little said: “He lives very close to Grenfell Tower as the court will be aware for the catastrophic fire on June 14.”He uploaded photographs and video of the deceased inside the body bag and then five photographs of the upper body and the face and the blood that had drained from the body. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mwaikambo, of Testerton Walk, was given six weeks for each charge to run consecutively and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and and costs of £85. The tower after the fireCredit: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sales of e-cigarettes are now valued at £283 million, up 12 per cent from £252 million in 2017. The study also found that 62 per cent of Britons want the vaping industry to be regulated, while more than half believe that vaping is addictive and 42 per cent think it is a gateway to smoking. Vaping is seen as increasingly “fashionable”, say consumer experts, as almost one in three 18-24 year olds now use the smoking substitute.The number of millennials using vapes has risen from 24 per cent in 2016 to the current 28 per cent, according to a survey of 2,219 UK adults by analysts Mintel.Meanwhile middle-aged Britons are taking up vaping at the fastest rate of any age group, with the practice jumping from 13 per cent to 20 per cent among 45 to 54 year olds in the same period.Mintel associate director for beauty and personal care, Roshida Khanom, said: “Over the last couple of years the proportion of vapers has increased with a particular rise in 45-54s, despite public concerns around vaping among young people.”This increase in vapers among middle-aged Brits may be reflective of them joining what they consider a fashionable trend.”Our previous research shows that 45-54s are the age group most likely to agree that vaping is fashionable.”One in five Britons vape, up from 17 per cent in 2016, with men twice as likely to vape as women.But only one per cent of non-smokers vape, according to the survey, suggesting that few non-smokers take up the devices.