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UK govt will NOT give £500 
to everyone who tests 
positive for Covid-19, 
contrary to reports
 – Number 10
January 22nd  (RT)


The UK prime minister’s office has denied reports it is 
planning to make a payment of £500 to people with 
Covid-19, in a bid to encourage them to stay at 
home and not take the virus to their workplace.


Number 10 said on Friday that the government already 
offers one-off payments of £500 to people who have 
Covid-19 and can’t work from home, but denied 
reports of making the payment universal.


“There are no plans to introduce an extra £500 payment. 
We already offer a £500 payment to support those on 
low incomes who cannot work from home,” a 
Downing Street spokesman told reporters. 


“We’ve given local authorities £70 million for the scheme 
and they are able to provide extra payments, on top of 
the £500, if they think it necessary. That £500, is on top 
of any other benefits and statutory sick pay that people 
are eligible for,” the spokesman added.


The spokesman refused to comment on a leaked document 
from the Department of Health and Social Care, which 
suggested the government would bring in a 
universal payment for everyone testing 
positive for the virus. 


The reports came as Environment Secretary George Eustice 
admitted on Friday that there were increasing examples of 
lockdown fatigue across the country and suggested more 
“draconian” measures may be necessary to combat the 
breaking of Covid-19 restrictions.


On Thursday, police had to break up a 400-person wedding 
at a Jewish school in north London. The organisers face a 
£10,000 fine for breaking lockdown rules. The school said 
it had no knowledge of the wedding’s existence.


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TORIES ARE STRIPPING & PRIVATIZING the NHS 
and Taking 
Away OUR RIGHTS: with a never-
ending lockdown that Labour MPs support!

Neil Clark, journalist, writer and broadcaster:
''The sad and rather shocking truth, is that the 
current UK Parliament could quite happily 
keep us locked down indefinitely. 
Remember, MPs get their £81K 
annual salaries (plus perks) 
paid in full, each month, 
whatever happens. 
And... there is no 
general election 
due until 2024. 


''The only way the restrictions will end, is 
if 
the public have had enough of them and 
stop complying in large enough numbers. 
Otherwise, what incentive is there for 
the 
well-heeled, power-crazed, lock
down-
addicted political class to
lift them, 
especially with the 
next general 
election so
far away?''



_______________________________________




Halfway through this winter of Covid,
 overall mortality is around normal 
for this time of year. Something 
doesn’t add up
January 21st  (RT)


by Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist 
and writer based in London. He has a 
background in the life sciences, and 
graduated from the University of 
Glasgow with a degree in genetics


Although the numbers of deaths attributed to the virus 
in the UK are higher than they’ve ever been, in total, 
not many more people are dying than in any other 
cold season. Is the mainstream media finally 
waking up to this?


A recent article in the Telegraph is one of the first in a 
mainstream outlet to even suggest a challenge to the 
official coronavirus narrative. These days, that 
narrative claims that the ‘second wave’ is 
actually deadlier than the first. (Recently, 
some Branch Covidians have been 
claiming a ‘third wave’, but there
is 
not yet a united front on that.)


The basic reasoning of the article is sound, even if it is 
long overdue. It laments how, every day, the media 
solemnly reports the latest Covid deaths' figures. 


Presenting this figure in isolation results in graphs 
that do, indeed, seem to show that we are at the 
height of a second, worse phase of a pandemic. 
But, like any statistics, daily death numbers are 
meaningless without context, which the media 
rarely provides.



They do not provide context because, if they did, the public 
might see a graph such as the one from a Telegraph article.
 It quite clearly shows the spring spike in overall mortality, 
which was caused by Covid (plus lockdowns). After that 
ends in summer, we see… nothing. Overall mortality 
ever since, even through this winter, hovers at 
around the five-year average. And overall 
mortality, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, 
is the only true way to know whether 
you are in a pandemic or not – all 
other figures can easily be fiddled.


Out of whack


So, why are the excess death data & the Covid deaths data 
so out of whack? And why isn’t Covid killing lots and lots of 
people this winter, as it did in spring? Even if you ascribe all 
excess deaths to Covid and none to lockdown, there really 
does not seem to be anything out of the normal variation 
in total deaths from year to year. And surely, by now, the 
toll of unnecessary deaths caused by untreated cancer, 
heart disease, depression and so on, has at least 
begun to register.



One reason coronavirus might not be slaying all around it this 
winter is because, well, this is not its first winter. Remember: it 
is called Covid-19, as in 2019. Of course, the official version of
 history states that the virus didn't reach Western civilisation 
until the spring of 2020, but evidence for this assertion is 
based on dodgy polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests 
and a profound rejection of common sense. (By the 
way, how many people do you know who had a 
severe bout of pneumonia-like symptoms 
last winter?)



But the main reason for the disparity is obvious: mass PCR 
testing. Under the current regime (science is the wrong word), 
a ‘Covid death’ is someone who dies having tested positive for
 Covid within the previous 28 days. When you test all hospital 
patients, as the UK does, then some of them will turn out to be 
positive – how many depends largely on the way you do the 
tests. And the more tests you do, the more ‘Covid deaths’ 
you will generate. It is that simple. Dr Mike Yeadon has 
written extensively on this, which he calls the PCR 
false positive pseudo-epidemic.


Too little, too late


In another time, it might have been shocking that it took so long 
for the science editor of a broadsheet newspaper to wonder 
why, in the midst of a killer pandemic the world’s not seen
 for a century or so, the number of people dying in the 
country is ordinary. Better late than never I suppose, 
but do not take this as a sign that reinforcements 
are coming. Even this article makes absolutely 
sure to pledge allegiance to Covid orthodoxy, 
stating without evidence: “severe restrictions 
were … clearly essential to control the
growing 
pandemic’’.


Most people do not get their information by sifting through 
government-issued statistics on websites designed to 
hinder you. But there used to be a word for someone 
who got paid to do exactly that and then tell the 
public, in plain English, what they found. Oh, 
that’s right – we used to call those people 
‘journalists’. There don’t seem to be many 
of them about these days, not even at
 the Telegraph.


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________________________________



UK police tipped off about ‘illegal rave’ 
show up to find cold pensioners 
queuing for Covid vaccine
January 21st  (RT)


Police officers in the UK who were tipped off about 
an alleged “illegal rave” showed up to find that it 
was actually just a group of old-age pensioners 
queuing for their Covid-19 vaccinations.


“Three police cars” arrived at a hall in Southend, England 
after receiving the false tip about a rave taking place, but
 instead found the queue of old people waiting outside 
for the vaccine, the local Echo News reported.


The chairman of the hall, Dennis Baum, told the website
 that instead of a “rave,” officers only found "80 and 
90-year-olds on wheelchairs, zimmer frames and 
walking sticks, patiently queuing for their 
vaccinations."


Essex Police, however, didn’t mention any tips about an 
illegal rave in their own statement, claiming that they 
had received “reports of congestion at the v
accination centre.” 


Rave or no rave, the vaccination centre was plagued with 
plenty of other problems on the day, including the cold 
weather, one elderly person turning up an hour and 
20 minutes early, shortages, and even a different 
vaccine turning up than expected (while the 
AstraZeneca shot had been expected, it 
was the Pfizer one that appeared).


“It was absolute chaos and very cold. The car park became 
chock-a-block with 80-year-old-plus drivers,” Baum said.


Illegal raves have, however, been a huge problem in the UK
 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with groups 
of hundreds – and even thousands – of young partygoers 
ditching social distancing in favour of a night out all 
across England, Scotland and Wales. Covid-time 
raves have also been reported in Ireland.


The UK has already vaccinated millions of people, with the
 rollout plan prioritizing health and social care workers, 
along with the elderly and vulnerable.



______________________________

 
 
Futile: LA ambulances told not to 
carry coronavirus patients with 
little chance of survival
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 (Press TV)
 
 
Ambulances in Los Angeles have been instructed not to 
carry patients who have little chance of survival from 
Covid-19,  as experts warn of a “human disaster” 
getting worse in the US city of angels.
 
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, the chief operating officer of Cedars-
Sinai Medical Center explained that the order was 
“very specific to patients who suffered from a 
cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived
 in the field.”
 
“Those patients have a very low rate of survival each 
if they are transported to the hospital. So at this time,
 it is deemed to likely be futile.”
 
The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic was, meanwhile, 
devastating the community with the number of cases and 
fatalities, on the rise.
 
“Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open 
church gyms to serve as hospital units,” County Supervisor 
Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically 
and mentally exhausted and sick.”
 
Solis called the situation a “human disaster.”
 
As of Tuesday, some 7,900 people were hospitalized with
 Covid-19 in the county, 21% of whom were in intensive
 care units.
 
More than 11,000 people have died in 
Los Angeles so far, due to Covid-19.
 
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services 
(EMS) Agency also issued a memo last week to 
ambulance workers.
 
“Effective immediately, due to the severe impact of the 
Covid-19 pandemic on EMS and 9-1-1 Receiving 
Hospitals, adult patients (18 years of age or 
older) in blunt traumatic and nontraumatic 
out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) 
shall not be transported [if] return of 
spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is 
not achieved in the field,” the 
agency said.
 
Over 21 million cases of coronavirus have been 
reported in the United States, causing some 
357 thousand deaths.
 
 
____________________________________


 
 
UK Judge Denies Bail
for Julian Assange
 
During US Extradition Appeal
by Mohamed Elmaazi
06.01.2021( Sputnik)
 
Judge Baraitser has repeatedly refused to grant the 
WikiLeaks publisher bail, declined to intervene with 
prison authorities to improve Assange's access to 
his legal team and case files, and won't address 
his alleged mistreatment at the hands of 
prison officials.
 
Judge Vanessa Baraitser has refused to grant Julian 
Assange bail, while sitting at Westminster Magistrates' 
Court, on January 6th, 2021. The request was denied
on 
the grounds that the Australian publisher had 
previously violated his British bail conditions. 
 
The editor of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks said 
that he was "disappointed" by the judge's decision, 
adding that the public should expect Assange's 
bail denial to be overturned.
 
The WikiLeaks publisher has spent 15 months in Belmarsh 
maximum security prison purely on the basis of pre-trial 
detention, as he challenged his extradition to the US on 
charges of espionage related to his role in obtaining 
and publishing classified documents, which 
revealed, among other things, war crimes 
committed by US forces.
 
The decision to refuse to grant bail follows Judge Baraitser's 
refusal to extradite Assange to the United States to stand trial 
on espionage-related charges, on the grounds that she was 
convinced that there was an insurmountable risk that he 
would commit suicide, should he be subjected to the US 
prison system, both pre-trial and post-trial, should he be
 convicted. Her judgement was nonetheless heavily 
criticised for casting "a shadow over investigative
 journalism" worldwide.
 
Judge Baraitser based her decision on the fact that the US 
government was appealing her refusal to grant extradition 
to Assange. She said that she was satisfied that there were
 "substantial grounds for believing" that Assange would 
still seek to abscond and could make use of a "vast" 
support network to do so.
 
The US government, represented by Clair Dobbin, argued 
strongly against granting the co-founder of Wikileaks
bail, 
higlighting that the "appeal would be frustrated
if Mr. 
Assange was not remanded into custody”.
 
Ms Dobbin also detailed Assange's role in helping NSA whistle-
blower Edward Snowden "escape justice" by assisting him in
 avoiding the arrest by the US, a claim which Judge Baraitser 
cited in her judgement, refusing to extradite the publisher. 
The prosecution has also stressed that they planned on 
appealing the judge's decision to refuse to extradite on 
the basis that she applied an exceptionally stringent
 test regarding the risk of suicide.
 
 
In arguments for the defence, Edward Fitzgerald QC said that
there should now be a presumption in favour of bail, now that 
the extradition request was discharged. He also pointed out 
that the offer for asylum from the Mexican president was 
misquoted and conditional upon discussions with the 
UK government.
 
Judge Baraitser refused two prior bail 
applications filed by the defence.
 
Preivous Bail Applications
 
The first bail application was made in 2019, after Assange 
completed his sentence for absconding whilst on bail 
when he found a refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. 
His 50-week sentence, nearly the maximum, was
 criticised at the time for being disproportionate 
and for ignoring the internationally protected 
right to seek and attain asylum.
 
A second request for the bail was refused by Judge Baraitser 
in March 2020, despite medical evidence that Assange was 
at risk of contracting a more severe form of the coronavirus 
disease 2019 (COVID-19). The judge defended her decision 
on the basis that prison authorities would look out for the 
inmates. She also pointed out she could not be satisfied 
that Assange would not attempt to abscond while on bail, 
despite the fact that he would be staying with his fiancé 
Stella Moris and their two children.
 
Since taking over Assange's case, Judge Baraitser has 
refused to intervene in any way regarding the WikiLeaks
 co-founder's conditions in prison.
 
Assange's legal team repeatedly said they were prevented 
from accessing their client, and that their client was being 
denied proper access to his legal papers. Lawyers also 
said that, in a single day, Assange was handcuffed 11
 times, strip-searched twice and had his legal papers
 confiscated from him.
 
Midway through December, Stella Moris tweeted out that 
her fiancé remained deprived of any warm clothes, 
despite the freezing temperatures.
 
Calls For Proper Medical Assistance
 
UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, along with 
two other independent medical experts, concluded two 
years ago that Assange showed clear symptoms of 
"psychological torture". Melzer also reproached 
the US, UK and Swedish authorities' continual
 refusal to properly investigate their findings.
 
Doctors for Assange, a collection of physicians from 
around the world, repeatedly called for the embattled 
publisher to be released from prison so that he could 
received proper medical treatment & avoid the risks 
posed by COVID-19, at a time when prisoners were 
released early all around the world, including, to
a
 limited extent, in the UK.
 
The US government has signalled that it plans on 
appealing Judge Baraitser's decision to refuse
to extradite Assange.
 


___________________________________



 Raphael Warnock makes history 
with runoff victory in Georgia race
January 6th, 2021 (Press TV)
 
 
Raphael Warnock has defeated Senator Loeffler, in 
Georgia's Senate runoff, pushing the Republicans 
one step closer to losing their majority in the 
upper chamber.
 
The US mainstream media, including NBC, CBS, ABC 
and CNN, projected Warnock as the winner, shortly 
before 2 am EST on Wednesday, with more than 
46,500 votes.
 
This comes as Warnock, the pastor of the Ebenezer 
Baptist Church in Atlanta, declared his victory in a 
video, after midnight, on Wednesday. 
 
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight 
we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our
side, anything is possible,” Warnock said. “So Georgia, I 
am honored by the faith that you have shown in me and
 I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to 
work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your 
vote for in this election." 
 
Neither Loeffler nor Warnock reached the 50 percent threshold
 needed to win the general election in November, sending the 
race into a runoff.
 
The pastor made history with his election win, becoming the 
first African-American senator to represent Georgia in the 
Senate. He would also be the first Democrat who wins 
a Senate race in Georgia, in 20 years.
 
Warnock’s victory gives Democrats 49 seats in the Senate, 
one shy of creating a 50-50 tie with Republicans, which 
would effectively give Democrats control because 
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the
 tie-breaking vote. A win for Jon Ossoff, another 
Democrat candidate, would give the Democrats 
their coveted 50th seat.
 
With 98% of the expected vote reporting, Ossoff leads 
with 50.2 percent -- 2,208,717 ballots -- while his rival 
David Perdue trails behind with 49.8 percent -- 
2,192,347 ballots.
 
 
_____________________________________



‘Bail him NOW!’ Roger Waters says
 after judge rejects extradition for
 Assange, calls ruling a ‘delaying
 tactic’ as US preps appeal
January 5th, 2021 03:31 (RT)
 
 
Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has demanded the 
immediate release of Julian Assange after a UK judge
 declined a US extradition request, telling RT the 
WikiLeaks founder’s battle is far from over, as 
Washington eyes an appeal.
 
“Let the man begin to live,” Waters said in an interview 
with RT on Monday, insisting Assange must be freed 
from custody at London’s maximum security 
Belmarsh Prison without delay, hours after 
a judge, Vanessa Baraitser, ruled against 
extradition for the anti-secrecy activist.
 
''We, [Assange’s] supporters, have to be saying ‘Bail. You 
have to bail him now.’ He’s suffered way beyond any 
suffering that should’ve been meted out to him for 
his one small bail infringement, which is his only 
crime under UK law. So bail him now.''
 
While Waters said he was heartened by the “scenes of
 jubilation” outside the Old Bailey courthouse following 
the decision, he noted it was “equally sobering” to see 
that the United States had already filed an appeal 
“within minutes of the judgement.”
 
“This is clearly a delaying tactic,” he said, of the ruling, 
adding that lawyers representing Washington 
“obviously” knew of the judge’s plan to 
deny extradition “because they have 
coached Judge Baraitser all the
way 
through the entire
kangaroo court
 in London.”
 
Further cautioning against optimism, the rockstar said a US 
appeal could drag out Assange’s case for “at least another 
couple of years,” while predicting that Baraitser would not 
grant him bail.
 
“She claims he’s a flight risk… She’ll give all the usual reasons.
 The real reason is, of course, is they want to keep him confined
 until he dies. That’s what they’re hoping for,” Waters said, 
adding that while Baraitser declined extradition, she 
nonetheless “judged that the whole US case 
against Assange was correct, legally, that
 the United States won the argument.”
 
So let us not run away with the idea that somehow she found
 that Julian Assange was innocent of the charges brought
 against him by the United States.
 
Waters said the implications of Assange’s case extend far 
beyond one journalist’s freedom, saying it symbolizes a 
“battle for the survival of the human race” and the 
future of the Fourth Estate around the world.
 
“If we allow the United States government to crucify a journalist 
on the grounds that he revealed war crimes by them, then we 
give up our access to the real world. We say ‘OK, we will 
believe what you tell us,’” he said, adding that corporate 
media outlets continue to wage “a very, very powerful 
propaganda campaign” to “smear Julian Assange.”
 
After spending some seven years under political asylum at 
Ecuador’s embassy in London – where he stayed amid
fears
Washington would charge and extradite him
over WikiLeaks’ 
publication of classified material
- Assange’s protected 
status was revoked in 2019
following a new president's 
rise to power in
that country.
 
He was arrested by UK authorities almost immediately afterward 
on a years-old bail-skipping charge, prompting the US Dept of 
Justice to unseal an 18-count indictment alleging that Assange 
conspired to “hack” military computers in order to obtain 
confidential records, including the 2007 ‘Collateral Murder’ 
video, which shows a US Apache helicopter gunning down
 a crowd of civilians in Baghdad, among them two Reuters 
journalists. He has since awaited extradition in Belmarsh 
Prison, where he remains even after the US request was 
shot down. A bail application is expected to be made 
on Wednesday.
 


_______________________________________


Julian Assange ‘free to return home’ 
to Australia, if extradition to US
is
 
blocked – PM
January 5th, 2021 (RT)
 
 
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 
that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange will be “free to 
return home” to Australia once his legal proceedings in 
the United Kingdom have ended.
 
Morrison’s remarks come amid pressure from Australian 
politicians, who have called on the country’s government
 to ask the Trump administration to pardon Assange and 
end its legal campaign against him. While Coalition back-
bencher George Christensen and South Australian 
independent senator Rex Patrick called directly 
for a presidential pardon, the opposing Labor 
Party said the government should “do what 
it can to draw a line under this matter.” 
 
Speaking to local radio station 2GB, Morrison stated that 
“should the appeal fail, obviously he would be able to 
return to Australia like any other Australian.” However, 
the prime minister appeared to back away from 
directly interfering in the process or making a
plea to the US president, saying, “The justice 
system is making its way and we’re not a 
party to that.” 
 
On Monday, a London court ruled that the UK could not 
extradite Assange to the US, because of concerns that 
it would be “oppressive by reason of mental harm” 
and could result in him attempting to take his own 
life. The US Department of Justice has 14 days to 
lodge an appeal against the judgment and has 
expressed its intention to do so. 
 
Assange is wanted over an 18-count indictment that stems 
from the publishing of thousands of classified documents 
on WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011. If the US convicted him on 
all charges, he could face up to 175 years in prison, 
according to his lawyers, although, Washington 
has argued the sentence would be more likely 
to be between four and six years. 
 
The trial has gained international attention, as Assange’s 
lawyers have argued the case is a politically motivated 
prosecution against a journalist for revealing evidence 
of war crimes and human rights abuses committed by 
the US government abroad. The US has not sought to
 play down this accusation, repeatedly asserting that 
the leaks were criminal and endangered lives. Still, 
supporters of the whistleblower maintain that
Washington is simply seeking revenge for
 their publication.


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____________________________________


Mexico to Take Steps to 
Grant Assange Political 
Asylum, President Lopez
 Obrador Says
by Henry Batyaev
4.01.2021 (Sputnik)
 
 
A UK court ruled earlier in the day to block WikiLeaks 
founder Julian Assange's extradition to the US, where 
he could face up to 175 years in prison for espionage
 and computer fraud. The US Department of Justice
 has voiced its disappointment with the ruling, 
vowing to keep seeking his extradition.
 
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said 
Monday that Mexico could grant Julian Assange 
political asylum, if London agrees to release him. 
Speaking at a press conference, the president 
said he had asked the foreign minister to 
reach out to the UK authorities about the
 possible offer.
 
"Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance, I am in
 favour of pardoning him...We'll give him protection", 
Lopez Obrador told journalists.
 
Earlier in the day, UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled to 
block Assange's extradition to the United States, as the 
journalist's mental state would make him a suicide risk
 if he were handed over to the US.
 
Following the announcement, the US Department of 
Justice said it was "disappointed" with the ruling 
and will continue its efforts to have the Wiki-
Leaks founder extradited.
 
Assange's Extradition Trial
 
Assange's lengthy extradition trial, where his legal team
 tried to present evidence he was being indicted for 
political reasons, wrapped up in October.
 
Assange is wanted in the US over the release of the largest 
trove of classified data in history. In 2010, WikiLeaks made 
public US diplomatic cables and documents exposing 
atrocities committed by American troops during 
military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Washington has accused Assange of spying and wants him 
handed over to the United States, where he could face up to
 175 years in solitary confinement if he is convicted on 18 
espionage and computer fraud charges for leaking the
 top-secret data.
 
Assange is being kept in Belmarsh Prison, 
near London, where he was taken after 
the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 
discontinued its political asylum
 for the journalist.


_______________________________


US 'Extremely Disappointed' WIth UK
Judge's Ruling on Assange, 
Vows
to Keep Seeking Extradition
by Lilia Dergacheva
4.01.2021  (Sputnik)
 
 
Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States 
to face charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit 
digital intrusion, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser 
ruled on the morning of 4 January 2021.
 
The US Justice Department has expressed its disappointment 
over a London court's ruling on Julian Assange, saying in 
a statement:
 
"While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate 
decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed 
on every point of law raised. In particular, the court 
rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding 
political motivation, political offense, fair trial,
and 
freedom of speech".
 
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser announced the court's 
decision to block the potential extradition of the jailed 
WikiLeaks founder on 4 January, in a development 
deemed by Assange's supporters, as the most 
important one in his 2-year long extradition 
hearing proceedings.
 
"I am satisfied that Mr Assange has the intellect and 
determination to circumvent suicide prevention 
measures [in the US]", the judge said, after 
rejecting every other argument made by 
the defence in the case.
 
The decision was made solely based on the judgement 
that the WikiLeaks publisher was at too high a risk of 
suicide or self-harm if he were to be extradited to the
 US. The judge notably rejected the rest of the 
arguments raised by the defence 
against extradition.
 
The judge accepted that Assange, who is now incarcerated
 in HM Prison Belmarsh, would likely be subjected to high 
levels of isolation, as well as Special Administrative 
Measures, both before and after a trial in the US,
 that would severely impact his mental health.
 
The defence will now decide whether they will launch a bail 
application without delay, as the bail option is believed to 
now be available to Assange, or whether they would like 
to prepare more thoroughly.
 
It is currently unclear whether the US government will seek 
to appeal the decision. The prosecution must request 
permission to appeal it in the High Court within seven
 days of the date of Judge Baraitser's verdict.
 
The US indictment against the award-winning author centres 
on his role in 2010-2011 in receiving & publishing classified
 logs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Guantanamo Bay 
detainee files, and US diplomatic cables. The documents
 revealed war crimes, as well as other criminality and 
abuse, allegedly committed by the US government 
and American-backed forces across the world.
 
If convicted of all of 18 charges brought against him in the US, 
Assange faces 175 years in prison. There is no public interest 
defence for any charge brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. 
17 out of the 18 charges against Assange fall under  legislation 
dating from the World War I period.
 
 

_____________________________




 Russia is developing world’s
first Covid-19 antidote,
 
preclinical studies show
drug effectiveness of
more than 99%
by Jonny Tickle
30th December, 2020 (RT)
 
Russia's Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) has 
announced the development of a drug to fight against Covid
-19, which would become the world's first direct-acting 
antiviral antidote if clinical trials are successful.
 
According to Veronika Skvortsova, the head of FMBA, studies 
thus far, have shown it is more than 99% effective.
 
“This is the first etiotropic drug that directly affects the virus. 
In fact, this is an antidote for coronavirus infection,” she 
informed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin Wednesday, 
noting that preclinical studies have been completed, 
which have shown the remedy to be “completely
safe” and “highly efficient.”
 
Aetiotropic means that the treatment is 
directed against the cause of a disease.
 
Skvortsova told the prime minister that the FMBA is ready 
to apply for permission for further testing, which they 
hope to get before the New Year.
 
“If clinical trials confirm the effectiveness of this drug, 
it will be the first safe, effective, direct-acting antiviral 
drug that has no analogs in the world,” she explained.
 
The FMBA is also working on a separate drug for the treatment 
of the most complex coronavirus cases, which suppresses and
 prevents a physiological reaction called ‘hypercytokinemia’. 
Also known as a ‘cytokine storm’, it is an immune response 
that leads to body tissue damage, and is thought by some
 to be causing Covid-19 deaths.
 
In May, the Russian Ministry of Health approved an anti-corona-
virus drug called ‘Avifavir’, a Favipiravir-based treatment that 
has been used in Japan since 2014 against severe forms of 
influenza. The medication is being produced domestically.
 
If effective, the antidote won't be Russia's only breakthrough 
during the Covid-19 crisis. Earlier this year, Russia became 
the first country to announce the registration of a corona-
virus vaccine named Sputnik V. After trials, it was revealed 
to be 95 percent effective in producing antibodies after 40 
days. Earlier this month, Putin ordered the start of mass 
vaccination, with it eventually beginning in Moscow on 
December 5th.
 
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!


________________________________________________



COVID vaccine: Pfizer Delays Deliveries
 Due to Temperature Control Issues
December 29th, 2020  (al Manar)

The COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by US pharmaceutical 
giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech was approved by the 
European Medicines Agency last week, after British and 
US health regulators had done so. The vaccine has 
now been making its way into Europe.


Delivery of new batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Spain 
and seven other EU nations has been delayed due to a “problem 
in the loading and shipment process”, the Spanish health 
ministry revealed on Monday, without specifying 
other countries that have been affected.


Spain started mass vaccination on 27 December after the Pfizer-
BioNTech vaccine got the green light from the European 
Medicines Agency (EMA) last Monday. The first batches 
of shots have already been shipped across the 27-
member bloc. However, Madrid said it was informed
 by the Spanish branch of Pfizer on Sunday night 
about a one-day delivery of the vaccine after 
logistics issues emerged at the company’s 
factory in Belgium.


Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa told radio station Cadena SER
 that the issue was “linked to the control of the temperature” and the
 problem was now solved, with new batches of the vaccine expected
 to arrive in the country on Tuesday, rather than on Monday, as
 initially planned.


“They (vaccines) will be available tomorrow first thing 
in the morning in vaccination points,” Illa said.


BioNTech earlier revealed during the presentation that their vaccine
 should be kept in an ultra-low temperature environment, around -70
 degrees Celsius, and delivered to distribution centres in dried-ice 
cool boxes. It can be then stored up to five days at 2-8 degrees 
Celsius when out of freezers.


Before the Spanish health ministry’s announcement, vaccination delays
 were reported in several German cities after it was revealed that around
 1,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech were not stored in cool
 enough places during deliveries, according to Reuters.


Europe began mass vaccination against COVID last week with the 
first shots being received by the most vulnerable segments of the
 population, including the elderly and health care workers, as well 
as politicians. The Spanish health minister said that he expected 
that around 70% of the country’s population will be vaccinated 
by the end of the summer.


Before being okayed by EMA, the Pfizer-BioNTech jab got emergency
 approval from Britain’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, and the US’s
 FDA in early December. The developers say that the vaccine has a 
95% efficiency rate against coronavirus.


Source: Sputnik



__________________________________




Boris Johnson Hails UK-EU Brexit Trade Deal, 
But What Does a 'Canada-Style' Agreement Mean?
by Oleg Burunov
25.12.2020 (Sputnik)


On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the UK-EU 
trade deal as "the biggest", saying it would allow British goods 
"to be sold without tariffs in the EU market".


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed London and Brussels
 finally reaching "a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal",
 after months of difficult talks and missed deadlines.


And while the EU and UK are celebrating "Brexmas", here's a brief 
insight into what the "Canada-style" agreement means in practice.


Deal EU-Canada Deal CETA


Johnson's remarks apparently refer to the so-called Comprehensive 
Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a deal that the EU began
 negotiating with Canada back in 2009.


Although CETA provisionally entered into force in September 2017,
 it has yet to be signed off on by all of the EU's member states.


The agreement stipulates that at least 98% of EU tariff lines are 
currently duty-free for Canadian goods, with tariffs only on 
poultry, meat, and eggs.


CETA helps the sides avoid unnecessary or discriminatory regulatory
 trade requirements, giving Canadian businesses preferential access
 to the EU.


The accord also protects the bloc's "geographical indications", allows
 professional qualifications to be recognised both in Canada and the 
EU, as well as sets requirements for product standards & investment.


Johnson Praises EU-UK Trade Deal

As far as the post-Brexit deal is concerned, Johnson touted it as "the
 biggest" trade agreement between the UK and the EU, also noting it 
"will protect jobs across this country".


The prime minister described the document as "a deal that will allow 
UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without 
quotas in the EU market".


"A deal which will if anything should allow our companies and our
 exporters to do even more business with our European friends, 
and yet which achieves something that the people of this country
 instinctively knew was do-able....  but which they were told was
 impossible", he pointed out.


Johnson stressed that concluding the agreement means the UK 
has "taken back control of laws and our destiny" as well as 
"every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is 
complete and unfettered".


According to him, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice 
will end and the UK will be "an independent coastal state".


"We will be your friend, your ally, your supporter, and indeed, 
never let it be forgotten, your number one market", the prime
 minister emphasised.


The remarks followed London & Brussels managing to arrive
 at a consensus after months of difficult talks as the sides 
remained at odds over fishing, especially access to UK 
waters by EU boats, as well as competition rules and
 mechanisms to settle future trade disputes.


Since the trade deal is slated to come into force from 1 January, 
EU member states will reportedly have to approve a provisional 
application of the agreement so that the European Parliament 
will have enough time to ratify the document.




 
 
 
WHO calls coronavirus
death toll in US 'shocking'
December 8th 2020 (Press TV)
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the 
coronavirus death toll in the United States as shocking, 
warning that the US is "facing a critical situation" now.
 
“The epidemic in the US is punishing. It's widespread.
 It's, quite frankly, shocking to see one to two persons 
a minute die in the US, a country with a wonderful, 
strong health system and amazing technological
 capacities," executive director of WHO's Health 
Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan said.
 
Ryan said the US has accounted for a third of all 
world cases over the last number of weeks.
 
He also encouraged Americans to keep maintaining
 social distancing “even if it sounds terrible.”
 
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said
 the agency has not yet contacted with President-elect Joe 
Biden’s transition team.
 
Earlier this year, Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal 
from the WHO, saying the body was too deferential to China, 
and called it corrupt. Biden has expressed an interest in 
reversing that decision.
 
US health officials are worried that the epidemic situation will 
become even more aggravated than it was during the Thanks-
giving holiday as the year-end holiday season is approaching.
 
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease 
expert, warned that the pandemic could worsen after the year-
end holidays, saying on Monday that he has the same 
concerns about Christmas, that he did about 
Thanksgiving.
 
“Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January 
can be a really dark time for us,” said Fauci.
 
Millions of Americas ignored public health advice and 
traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday in November.
 
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
chief, also said that the COVID-19 epidemic situation in the US is
 expected to worsen over the next four to six weeks --- with 
infections, deaths and hospitalizations continuing to rise, 
and with the number of hospitalizations expected to 
reach 150,000 to 175,000 in a single day.
 
Another lockdown in California as hospitals overwhelmed
 
People in the most populous US state faced heavy new 
restrictions on Monday aimed at slowing the spread 
of COVID-19.
 
California’s order has affected about three-quarters of the nearly 
40 million people in the state. It will last at least three weeks and 
shuts all but critical infrastructure and retailers.
 
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order allowed some schools to
 continue to hold classes. But the Los Angeles Unified School District,
 the state’s largest, closed campuses that had been partially open to
 offer in-person services and tutoring, affecting many special-needs
 students.
 
Newsom’s directive applied to places where fewer than 15% of 
intensive-care hospital beds remain available, so far affecting
 Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley near 
San Francisco.
 
Dr. Fauci said on Monday the state’s action would “rescue 
them from possibly getting their hospitals overrun.”
 
California set a record in new cases with 30,000 on Saturday and
 recorded nearly 25,000 more on Sunday. Hospitalizations also 
hit records. In the San Joaquin Valley, just 6.3% of intensive 
care unit beds were available, the state said Monday.
 
According to a Reuters tally, the COVID-19 infections are at their 
peak in the US, with an average of 193,863 new cases reported 
each day over the past week.
 
There have been 14.7 million confirmed infections and more than
 282,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the United States 
since the pandemic began, the most in the world.
 
New York’s governor threatened to ban indoor restaurant dining
 in New York City if hospitalization rates keep climbing this week.
 
Trump to order priority access to US vaccines for Americans
 
The US president will sign an executive order on Tuesday to ensure 
that priority access for COVID-19 vaccines is given to the American
 people before assisting other nations, senior administration 
officials said on Monday.
 
The Trump administration is confident it will have enough vaccine
 to inoculate everyone who wants a vaccine by the end of the 
second quarter of 2021.
 
The New York Times had said the US government declined, when 
vaccine developer Pfizer Inc offered, in late summer, to sell more 
vaccine doses to the United States.
 
The New York Times reported that Pfizer may not be able to provide
 more of its vaccine to the United States until next June. because of 
its commitments to other countries.
 
Trump, who has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the
coronavirus pandemic, is eager to take credit for the speedy
development and distribution of a vaccine.
 
US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, said the 
US government had the option to purchase an additional 500 
million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but declined to say 
whether the Trump administration was pursuing
 that option.
 
‘We messed up,’ a senator said, of the US approach 
to the pandemic, before his death --- caused by 
covid-19.
 
A US lawmaker complained about the country's approach 
in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, before dying, due 
to covid-19, this week.
 

 
____________________________________________
 
 


Unions slam government’s ‘shameful’ 
billion pound cut to Britain’s railways
7/12/2020 (Morning Star)


Unions have branded the government “foolhardy” and 
“shameful” after ministers announced a £1 billion cut 
to Britain’s rail infrastructure which will consign the 
country to the “slow lane” amid the coronavirus 
and climate crises.The reduction was omitted
 from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announce-
ment last week.


Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said today that Network 
Rail’s funding for enhancements during 2019-24 will be
 £9.4bn following the government’s spending review.
 
 
This is down almost 10% on the £10.4bn which rail regulator 
the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) had previously calculated.
The reduction was omitted from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 
announcement last week when he told the Commons the 
government would deliver on “record investment plans
 in infrastructure.”
 
 
Industry experts have said the decision is likely to affect a 
number of forthcoming projects, which they say calls into 
question Britain’s ability to rebuild following the corona-
virus pandemic.
 
 
The government defended its decision, saying it continues 
to “invest significant sums in modernising our railway” but 
admitted it was “closely examining” spending to “strive for 
a better deal for taxpayers” given the scale of support 
for railways.
 
 
A Department for Transport spokesman added: “We must 
ensure that, where necessary, projects are reviewed to 
reflect the changing demand for rail services as a 
result of the pandemic.”
 
 
Rail unions have warned the decision threatens jobs when 
Britain should be investing and building its way out of the 
Covid and climate crisis — also hitting out at the govern-
ment also over its latest environmental targets, which 
were announced today.
 
 
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association general secretary 
Manuel Cortes said: “On the day when the government 
has committed itself to increased binding targets to
cut 
emissions, it is foolhardy to cut investment to
the green 
transport offered by our railways.
 
 
“The fact that this spending cut didn’t feature in the Chancellor’s 
speech, in which he lauded record investment in rail, but was
 instead snuck out, says it all. The Tories are duplicitous - 
and their commitment to levelling up and investing in 
our futures, is paper thin.
 
 
“Without doubt cutting investment in our railways is both short-
sighted and reckless, particularly when borrowing costs are at 
a historic low.
 
 
“You can’t trust Boris Johnson and this lot as far as you can
 throw them.”
 
 
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said it was time for the 
government to “come clean” on what it plans to cut.
 
 
He added: “How is Britain to be rebuilt after Brexit, and after
 the pandemic, which has ravaged this country’s economy?
 And what has happened to this government’s promises?
 
 
“This revelation puts a question mark over not only some long-
planned, and much-needed, improvements to our transport 
infrastructure, but to the whole question of rebuilding this
 country after the pandemic.”
 
 
Environmental campaigners hit out at the government’s continued
 spending on road building while snatching back cash to improve 
rail infrastructure.
 
 
Greenpeace UK’s Sam Chetan-Welsh: “The Chancellor is happy 
to waste £27bn on road building schemes that will tear up our 
countryside --- adding to harmful air pollution and climate-
wrecking emissions that we desperately need to reduce.
 
 
“But when it comes to the little money that was available 
for upgrading our railways, he’s snatched it back at the 
first opportunity.
 
 
“This is completely indefensible, as is his attempt to bury this 
bad news, by leaving it out of last month’s spending review.
 
 
“Rishi Sunak either doesn’t get that we’re in a climate
 emergency or he simply doesn’t care.”
 
 
RMT representatives demanded the government reverse the 
cuts and instead invest and build its way out of the corona-
virus and climate crises.
 
 
The union said the spending cut could jeopardise planned 
works to electrify parts of the rail network, threatening
both
 the creation of new skilled jobs and Britain’s
carbon 
reduction promises.
 
 
General secretary Mick Cash said: “These massive cuts to 
rail infrastructure budgets are a shameful indictment of the
 government’s understanding of the importance of our rail 
network and fly in the face of their stated objective of 
building and investing our way out of the 
Covid-19 crisis.
 
 
“At a time when our economy and transport links need a 
once in a generation investment in rail to create skilled
 jobs and shift passengers and freight off the roads 
and on to rail, this Tory austerity by stealth, will 
only serve to do the opposite.”
 
 
 
_______________________________________





Labour suspends two activists for backing Corbyn
 in anti-Semitism row - and accusing Starmer of 
‘colluding with Tories’
December 3rd, 2020 (RT)
 
 
Britain’s Labour Party has suspended two leading members of 
a local organisation, one of whom is Jewish, after they publicly 
accused Keir Starmer of using an anti-Semitism probe to 
crack down on former party leader Jeremy Corbyn.


Those sanctioned are the chair of Chingford and Woodford 
Green Constituency Labour Party, Gary Lefley, and its 
vice-chair, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. 


The suspension came after the two staged an online meeting 
with fellow party members earlier this week, criticising the 
way the Labour leadership has handled the Equalities 
and Human Rights Commission's (EHRC) report on 
anti-Semitism in the party and expressed support 
for former party head Corbyn.
 
 
In his speech, Lefley attacked Starmer, accusing him of “collusion” 
with the Tories and plunging the Labour Party “into internecine
 warfare.”


By suspending Corbyn and removing his parliamentary whip, 
Starmer himself was “in breach of party rules,” Lefley insisted, 
according to British media reports.


Lefley also complained about the policies within the party,
which forced dissident members to “button our lip at risk
 of being expelled.”


During the same meeting, vice-chair Wimborne-Idrissi supported 
another member’s speech, in which the current Labour leader-
ship was accused of having “weaponised” the issue of anti-
Semitism. “There are many Jews in the party, including me,
 who endorse 100 percent” this point of view, she insisted.


“The cynical manipulation of Jewish fears and concerns is 
unforgivable and undermines all our work against racism 
of all kinds,” she allegedly said.


Wimborne-Idrissi is a rather controversial figure in the party, due
 to her involvement with the Jewish Voice for Labour group. The 
organisation stands against racism and discrimination of Jews, 
but also backs the Palestinian cause and resists attempts to 
widen the definition of anti-Semitism beyond its original 
meaning. The activist confessed that due to her views 
she had been labeled “not a proper Jew; the wrong 
sort of Jew; self-hating Jew” all her life.


A report by the EHRC in October found the Labour Party 
“responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and 
discrimination” of Jews under Corbyn’s
 leadership between 2015 and 2020.


Starmer, who became Labour leader in April, has called the report 
“a day of shame” for the party. But Corbyn reacted to it by saying 
that anti-Semitism claims were “overstated” and ended up being
 suspended from the party himself. He was soon reinstated, but 
Starmer didn’t return his parliamentary whip to him.


Corbyn’s suspension has led to a split in the party, which Labour's
 leadership has tried to overcome, seemingly by making discussing
 the issue a taboo. General Secretary David Evans said that motions 
in support of Corbyn undermine the party’s ability to provide “safe 
& welcoming space” to members, including those of Jewish origins.


Just days ago, Labour deputy leader, Angela Rayner, warned that
the 
party was willing to suspend “thousands and thousands”
of 
members over alleged anti-Semitism if necessary.


Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
 

 
 ___________________________




Deputy Leader Says Labour Could 
Suspend ‘Thousands’ of Members 
over  'Antisemitism'
December 1st,  2020  (FNA)
 
 The Labour Party will suspend “thousands and thousands” of 
members unless they “get real” about antisemitism, Angela 
Rayner warned, as an internal row rages over the 
removal of the whip from Jeremy Corbyn.
 
Following Keir Starmer’s decision not to allow Corbyn to sit as a 
Labour MP over his reaction to the Equality and Human Rights
 Commission (EHRC) report, dozens of constituency parties 
are reported to have passed motions in support of the 
former leader – despite the party’s General Secretary 
David Evans banning them from doing so.
 
Earlier this week, a meeting in Nottingham East with such a motion 
on the agenda left a Jewish attendee “feeling they had no choice 
but to leave”, according to local MP Nadia Whittome, who later 
issued a statement describing the “atmosphere and tone” of
 the meeting as “wholly unacceptable”.
 
Responding to the incident during an address at the Jewish 
Labour Movement’s One Day conference, the party’s deputy 
leader reportedly told delegates, “I want people to know that
 there has been suspensions and we’re on it and we are 
supporting Nadia, the MP there who spoke out and
 I completely commend her for doing that.
 
“Our members need to get real about this, our Labour members.
 If they don’t think antisemitism is within the Labour Party and
that there’s problems now, then there’s really no place for 
them in the Labour Party," she said.
 
“If they think making people feel unsafe or unwelcome in our 
meetings is a response to the EHRC report, then they need 
to be out of our party immediately. People need to 
understand what our Jewish community have 
been through,” she added.
 
According to LabourList, Rayner added, “I feel really, really
 angry actually that there’s been scenes like that in our 
CLP meetings."
 
“If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, 
we will do that. Because we cannot and we will not accept an
 injury to one, because an injury to one is an injury to all. 
That’s what we say in our movement,” Rayner added.
 
A Labour spokesperson clarified that Rayner’s comments 
addressed a wider context of denialism and the safety of 
Jewish members, rather than specific motions.
 
The threat of mass suspensions could serve to further inflame 
tensions within the party, with left-wing members of the National 
Executive Committee (NEC) already having accused the leader-
ship of trying to “censor debate and ignore our processes”.
 
The row first erupted with Corbyn’s respose to the EHRC’s report, 
which stated that “one antisemite is too many” but also said the 
scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated for 
political reasons” by opponents and the media.
 
Corbyn later said he did not intend to “belittle concerns” about 
antisemitism and regretted the “pain this issue has caused the 
Jewish community and would wish to do nothing that would 
exacerbate or prolong it”. 
 
He was eventually readmitted to the party by an NEC panel, but
 was immediately banned by his successor Keir from sitting in
 the parliamentary party.
 
According to LabourList, Keir told delegates at Jewish Labour’s 
event on Sunday that Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report 
was “just about as bad as you could get”.
 
The Labour leader was reported as saying that, while he believed
 the party had been “making good progress” in tackling anti-
semitism, Corbyn’s response “undermined me and what
 I was trying to achieve”.
 
And Rayner – who had defended Corbyn on the issue of antisemitism
 while serving in his shadow cabinet in 2019 – said, “I truly hope he
 reflects. I understand that he thinks he’s always tackled issues of
 antisemitism. I understand he thinks he’s always tackled issues 
of racism." 
 
“But on this, he’s wrong. He has to accept as a leader that 
we failed,” Rayner said.
 
However, pro-Corbyn figures have suggested that the current
 discussions around members’ suspensions could contradict
 the report’s findings – which stated that while the party leader-
ship may decide how to respond to decisions on complaints, 
“it is not legitimate for the leadership to influence, make
 recommendations, or make decisions on complaints 
outside of the formal complaints process”.
 
Former Corbyn aide Matt Zarb-Cousin tweeted, “Since the EHRC
 report was published the leadership’s made no progress on the
 recommendations at all, while contravening the very guidance
 contained within it to make a series of rhetorical and political 
gestures amounting to hot air.”
 
However, the 'Jewish Labour Movement' chair ,Mike Katz,
 welcomed Rayner’s “commendably strong words”, 
telling The Independent, “If anything shows the 
need for a cultural change, as well as better 
processes in the Labour Party, the last
 few days have done.
 
“There’s been some really, really ugly scenes in CLP meetings 
across the country as offices and constituencies choose to 
ignore direction from the Labour Party and pass motions 
about Jeremy Corbyn. The conduct in the meetings 
make them clearly not a safe space for Jews. And
 thinking about Jewish Labour members, this
 has to change,” Katz said.
 
He called for a “bottom-to-top reform” of the party’s culture and
 processes, adding, “We really want to be in a position where
 suspensions aren’t necessary, and thinking about whether 
you’re going to okay going to a meeting isn’t necessary 
because the culture of the party has changed."
 
Katz said there must be “the commitment to follow up suspensions 
with expulsion”, adding that “the process has to be done not under 
the broken, factionally-aligned process that we currently have, but 
under the process recommended by the EHRC”.
 
Keir has pledged to uphold the recommendations of the 
EHRC report in full, in a move supported by Corbyn.
 
 
 
__________________________




 
US Justice Department amends federal execution rules
 to allow death by hanging, electric chair, gas chamber 
& FIRING SQUAD
November 28th, 2020  (RT)


The US Department of Justice has expanded rules governing
 executions to permit a wider rage of methods - including 
firing squads and electrocution - as five federal inmates 
are set to face the death penalty before Inauguration Day.
 
 
The amended rule was entered into the Federal Register on Friday, 
permitting the government “greater flexibility” to carry out capital 
punishment using any method “prescribed by the law of the state
 in which [a] sentence was imposed.” While lethal injection 
remains the most common means of execution — and 
previously the only one permitted under federal 
regulations — the new rule will accommodate 
states that allow for alternative methods, 
including death by electrocution, 
nitrogen gas, hanging or 
firing squad.
 
The proposed rule change was initially floated in August — with the 
DOJ accepting public comments for only 30 days, half of the period 
typically allotted — and passed a White House review earlier this 
month, according to ProPublica, which was first to report on the
 amended regulation.
 
While 5 federal prisoners are currently slated for execution before
 President Donald Trump leaves office in late January, the rule 
change is not expected to affect their cases, as each is 
already set to receive lethal injection.
 
Before Trump took power, the last federal execution was carried out
 in 2003 — Louis Jones, was convicted of murder and kidnapping — 
but the current administration has revived the custom. 
 
The government has authorized capital punishment for 13 inmates 
so far in 2020, including the 5 still in custody, all of them approved
 in the last six months. Though state governments routinely 
sentence inmates to death each year, executions have 
been far more rare on the federal level, seeing a total 
of just 45 since 1927, according to the Bureau
 of Prisons.
 
Presumed President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to end capital
 punishment for federal crimes, saying his administration will 
not approve any executions, meaning Friday’s rule change 
may never be put into practice. That stance reflects 
growing calls from fellow Democrats to abolish 
the death penalty outright, arguing the 
practice is cruel and archaic.



________________________________




Scottish leader calls for 2nd
independence referendum
early next year
November 27th, 2020 (Press TV)


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second 
independence referendum, to be held as soon as next year, in 
a major challenge to the United Kingdom (UK), which is still 
struggling with the difficulties of Brexit.


Sturgeon said she anticipates that a vote will take place 
“in the earlier part” of the next Scottish parliament, 
which begins next year.


“The referendum, for a whole variety of reasons, should 
be in the earlier part of the next parliament,” she said.


Her Scottish National Party (SNP), which has formed the 
government since 2007, is expected to perform strongly
 in elections to the Scottish parliament in May.


This would give her government a mandate to 
hold another referendum on independence.


Scots voted 55-45 percent against independence
 in a 2014 referendum.


Boris Johnson under fire for incendiary
 comments on Scottish devolution


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the first 
referendum was decisive and should be respected.


His government has said there should not be 
another independence referendum in the 
near future.


If Sturgeon wins the election in May, Johnson will have to
 make a decision whether to refuse a referendum --- and
thus 
allow Scottish discontent to simmer --- or allow a
referendum 
which could break apart the union.


The UK and Northern Ireland includes England,
 Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.


Britain voted 52-48 to leave the European Union in a 
2016 referendum. Scots voted 62% to 38% in favor 
of remaining in the EU.


The issue of Scotland’s independence was then thrust back 
into the limelight. Sturgeon said, the day after the vote, that 
the situation was a "democratic outrage" and that another
 independence vote was "highly likely.”


Recent polls show support for the independence 
of Scotland, has been rising, lately.


An Ipsos Mori poll indicated last month that 58% of Scots
 would vote to quit the UK, if a referendum were held
 this year.



___________________________________





Georgia's Floyd County 'Ousts Chief Elections Clerk 
After Untallied Ballots Discovered Amid Audit'
by Svetlana Ekimenko
21/11/2020  (Sputnik)


Georgia earlier on Thursday certified the results of the 2020 
presidential election, upholding Democratic candidate Joe 
Biden’s win, with Governor Brian Kemp calling for another 
audit of the votes, saying it was “completely unacceptable”
 that thousands of uncounted ballots were discovered 
during the manual hand recount, after the
initial results.


The discovery of thousands of uncounted ballots has spurred 
the Board of Elections in Georgia's Floyd County to vote in 
favour of ousting Chief of Elections Clerk Robert Brady, 
according to FOX 5 Atlanta.


Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had requested
 that Brady step down earlier, in the wake of two incidents in
 Floyd County, with local officials meeting to discuss the 
decision before firing the clerk, the outlet reported.


Reportedly, there was consensus among both Republicans and
 Democrats on the need to fire Brady, despite the belief that the 
error was not made purposefully.


Uncounted Ballots


Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp certified the presidential 
election results on Friday in favour of projected President-elect 
Joe Biden, had discovered 2,750 ballots that had not been 
included in the original count in Fayette County amid the 
state’s audit of the 2020 presidential election.


"There was an issue where we noticed there were more people 
on the absentee ballot filed for voting in person in Fayette 
County than was in the actual reporting," Georgia election 
official Gabriel Sterling had said at the time.


According to Sterling, the issue occurred because several 
individuals failed to follow proper procedures. In a separate
 incident, some 284 uncounted ballots were found in Walton 
County, with the local Board of Elections chair, Lori Wood, 
suggesting the error occurred after votes had previously 
been uploaded from only one of the two ballot scanners 
in a precinct.


The findings followed the discovery of more than 2,600 
untallied ballots in Floyd County --- forcing election 
workers to rescan more than 8,000 ballots, with 
Floyd County Republican Party chair, Luke 
Martin, referring to the incident as a 
“concerning” mishap that “doesn’t 
appear to be a widespread issue”.


Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger blamed 
the problem in Floyd County on failure of election officials 
to upload votes from a memory card in a ballot-scanning 
machine.


Statewide Audit


The Peach State had embarked upon a hand recount of all 
votes on 13 November after the Republican Party and the 
Trump election campaign requested a statewide audit.


Trump’s legal team filed several challenges in the wake of 
the November 3rd elections, citing alleged voter fraud, 
despite major US media outlets announcing that the
Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden, was 
the winner of the 2020 presidential election.


Trump's campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani accused leaders 
of the Democrat-run cities in key battleground states, of 
carrying out a co-ordinated, "centralised" campaign 
of voter fraud, to rob Donald Trump of victory.


"As we started investigating... what emerged very quickly is there's
 not a singular voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself 
in a number of states. Almost exactly the same pattern. Which, to 
almost any experienced investigator, prosecutor, would suggest
 that there was a plan from a centralised place to execute these 
various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, 
and specifically focused on (as you would imagine) big cities 
controlled by Democrats. And particularly focused on big 
cities that have a long history of corruption," Giuliani said, 
speaking to reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday.


One of the key battleground states where Donald Trump demanded 
a recount, Georgia, was called in Biden's favour by the Associated 
Press earlier on 20 November, giving the Democrat candidate Joe 
Biden a total of 306 votes in the electoral college.


Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said Friday that
 he was, like all other Republicans, “disappointed”, but added:


"I live by the motto that numbers don't lie. As secretary of state, I 
believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct."


Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who certified the state's
 presidential election results Friday in favour of Biden, called for 
another audit of the votes, writes Fox News.


Kemp was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying it was
“completely unacceptable” that thousands of uncounted ballots 
were found in several counties during the manual hand recount 
in the wake of the initial results.


While acknowledging Donald Trump’s frustration over the 
outcome, Kemp said:


“He’s a fighter…  But, at the end of the day, I’ve got to follow the 
laws of the constitution of this state and that’s exactly what I’m 
doing.”


After the results are certified, the Trump 2020 Campaign has 
until Tuesday to request another recount, said Kemp, 
pointing to the vote being within a half-per cent.


“I would just say I’m formalising the certification. Now that 
Secretary Raffensperger certified, it triggers the ability of 
the Trump campaign to ask for the recount," said Georgia 
Governor Brian Kemp.



______________________________________



Britain died for me this week. It’s become 
a Covid-obsessed police state, and I don’t 
understand what it stands for anymore
by Chris Sweeney. November 7th, 2020 


Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written 
for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The 
Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-
selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter 
@Writes_Sweeney


I’ve always been proud to say I’m British – until now. The
 authorities’ bloody-minded determination to implement
lockdown rules at the expense of people’s wellbeing 
is not what our great country should be about.



Sometimes you can be too close. You are looking, but you
don’t see it. That’s where I found myself this week with 
the current state of Britain --- amid another round of 
ever tighter restrictions caused by the pandemic.



Don’t get me wrong. There are loads of things I’ve always 
loved about my country – our traditional British good 
manners for example. Rather than see it as a sign 
of weakness, I pride myself on our reputation 
for queuing in an orderly fashion. I also like 
that we hold the door open for the person 
behind us.



I admire our outstanding National Health Service, which 
allows everyone to access medical treatment without 
having to dig out a credit card or an insurance plan. 
And I enjoy flying British Airways over far-flung 
lands, offering me some form of attachment 
– even if it is superficial.



I won’t apologise for tea being regarded as the boring 
and bland equivalent to freshly ground coffee – it’s 
our drink, and I love it. And the way we honour 
our war heroes with the humble poppy, is
 thoroughly respectful.



But this week, some of that pride in being British 
died for me. It’s a very different sentiment I’m 
feeling. Beyond disillusionment. Fury even.



How could Britain have fallen so far 
in the way it treats its own people?



It began with the horrifying detention of a 97-year-old
grandmother by police in the Yorkshire town of Market
Weighton. Her daughter, a qualified nurse, wanted to 
bring her home from a care home, to look after her 
during lockdown, and quietly wheeled her out of
 the home.



However somewhere along the line, a jobsworth felt 
the need to justify their existence & reported what 
had happened. The episode ended with her grand-
daughter in tears filming a video, showing her
own 
mother in handcuffs inside a squad car,
while the 
old woman sat in another car,
completely 
bewildered.



The police’s response? They were responding 
to “a report of assault.” Incredible.



The horror continued, as students at the University of
 Manchester’s Fallowfield ''halls of residence'', awoke 
to find workers erecting fences around their facility 
to ensure they couldn’t leave. They were being 
installed, following government guidelines 
asking students not to return to their 
permanent homes.



One student said: “They're huge metal barriers, they're 
connected to one another and there's literally no gaps
….it makes it feel like we're in a prison.”



In what version of the United Kingdom do we keep our 
bright, young people caged like dogs? Unsurprisingly, 
some of the outraged students began to rip them 
down, causing even more angst.



ALSO ON RT.COM
Protests of more than two people 
will be ILLEGAL under updated
 rules for UK national lockdown



Another university using its power to force students 
to bend to its will, is world-famous Cambridge. It 
announced that anyone who leaves its halls 
of residence, won’t be able to graduate or 
progress to the next year. That’s despite 
each paying at least £9,250 per 
academic session.



Then there was the Ripped Gym in Harlow, Essex. It 
opted not to close --- in breach of the government’s 
latest lockdown. The morality of that is debatable, 
but the gym claims it didn’t sell any long-term 
memberships and offered only day passes. 
Whatever you think of the decision, what
 is beyond argument is that it didn’t need 
four police cars and approximately 20 
officers to descend in a raid-style 
scenario.


Were they expecting John Gotti? Rather, it was a well-
meaning business owner & some locals on treadmills. 
The owner ended up being dragged away & was still 
in police custody, at the time of writing.



Contrast this with the most tragic occurrence, the death
 of Corey Liversedge. This 16-year old from Aberdeen-
shire took his own life, as anxiety overcame him as 
a result of the suffocating nature of lockdown.



His grieving parents summoned the bravery to raise 
awareness of his plight, with his mother saying, “It’s 
not just children with diagnosed mental health 
conditions — it can happen to any child, and 
Corey was any child.”



Britain used to be a nation that cared. But now, it seems
 that the priority is treating any slight infraction of lock-
down rules like a terrorist attack, while vulnerable 
people are left to struggle along on their own, 
without help from the wider community.



The complete lack of emotional intelligence from 
our authorities was evidenced by London police 
arresting 104 people in a single night for 
breaching regulations.



What happened to community engagement? Aren’t we 
all supposed to be on the same side? Incredibly, it’s 
now even illegal for anyone to enter or leave Wales
---  unless it is covered by the contentious term of 
“essential travel.” The police, of course, are 
monitoring the roads and pulling over cars 
to conduct checks.



Yes, the pandemic is a serious situation and we 
should not be complacent about 48,000 people 
dying. Precautions have to be taken.



But what is happening across the UK is nothing short 
of barbaric. Our police have turned into robots, 
carrying out whatever they are asked to, 
no matter how cruel or wrong.



The government has forgotten what a wonderful 
population they are tasked with representing, 
and are treating us all like North Korea 
does dissenters.



They say you never really truly appreciate something 
until it’s gone. And I’m petrified that the courteous, 
courageous sprit that defines Britain, is on the 
point of disappearing for good, crushed by 
the uncaring iron first of the Covid-
obsessed authorities.



We deserve better than this.




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__________________________________

 

 
Corbyn Suspended for Telling the Truth
– 
A New Socialist Party Is Required
by Tommy Sheridan 
31/10/2020 (Sputnik)
 
 
The other day a thoroughly decent and honest man 
suffered a grave injustice. A man who has a peer-
less record in opposing racism and anti-Semitism 
was suspended by the political party he has been 
a member of for over fifty years, has represented 
it in the British Parliament since 1983 and was 
its leader from 2015-20.
 
Irony died in Britain yesterday when Jeremy Corbyn was 
suspended by the Labour Party with the consent and 
probable collusion of the man who succeeded him 
as leader, Sir Keir Starmer.
 
We now have a Tory leader in 10 Downing Street who is 
famed for his racist views including referring to black 
Africans as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.
 
A racist Prime Minister nostalgic for the days of slavery 
and brutal exploitation and ownership of black people 
was elected by the people of England in preference 
to a man whose whole life has been dedicated to 
fighting racism and injustice.
 
Corbyn Was Betrayed by His Own Party Bureaucracy in 2017
 
Jeremy Corbyn would have won the 2017 General Election 
if his campaign had not been sabotaged from within by 
Labour opponents. They hated him more than the 
Tories and refused to accept the democratic will 
of the Labour Party masses who elected Corbyn 
leader, not once but twice with a bigger majority 
the second time round in 2016. 
 
He led a remarkable 2017 election campaign which inspired 
millions and confounded all the opinion polls and political 
pundits as he came within a whisker of winning. He 
smashed the Tory majority and rocked the British 
Establishment. A genuine socialist was almost 
elected to lead the UK. Millionaires and 
billionaires were petrified that they 
would be forced to pay their taxes 
and public services would no 
longer be up for sale. 
 
Corbyn would have won if staff at the heart of the 
Labour Party had not actively undermined him.
 
Paid Labour Party staff expressing disgust for the 
elected leader of their party and hoping for a bad 
election result and undermining the effectiveness 
of the campaign wherever possible is what the 
right wing did with gusto. And - after the close 
call of the 2017 general election - the powerful 
and rich who make up the British Establishment 
and mainstream media declared war on Corbyn 
from every angle, but specifically colluded to 
weaponise the scourge of anti-Semitism and 
throw every slur and empty accusation 
against Corbyn that was possible 
to muster.
 
After 2017 Close-Call Anti-Semitism 
Was Weaponised Against Corbyn
 
An incredible narrative was created whereby a man that 
had done more in his life to confront and combat racism 
and anti-Semitism than anyone in British politics, was 
cast as an anti-Semite. It was bizarre, ridiculous, and 
obscenely unfair and inaccurate but it was effective 
in creating a wholly false perception. An inordinate 
number of Labour anti-Semitism stories, headlines 
and even documentaries were produced and by 
2018 polls of Jewish voters indicated an 
incredulous number believed the Labour 
Party was anti-Semitic while the problem 
in the Tories and Lib-Dems was perceived 
to be minor.
 
Labour Became Huge Under Corbyn – 
Over 500,000 Members
 
Jeremy Corbyn attracted hundreds of thousands of new 
members to the Labour Party and transformed it into the 
biggest membership party in Europe with well over 
500,000 signed up to his brand of socialism. The 
number of party members ever subjected to 
accusations of anti-Semitic behaviour never 
surpassed more than 300, so the anti-Semitic 
‘problem’ in Labour amounted to 0.1% of its 
membership at most but the coordinated 
media led campaign aided and abetted 
by Labour right wing MPs, created a 
deeply warped and distorted picture 
that almost 62% of party members 
were anti-Semitic.
 
This was the result of a well-coordinated media 
campaign led by the BBC to traduce the 
character of Corbyn and the Labour 
Party under him.
 
Feeding from the false narrative and whipped up 
hysteria created by the media the Equality and 
Human Rights Commission (ECHR) decided to 
launch a formal investigation into claims of 
anti-Semitism within Labour to establish if 
they had breached the Equality Act 2010 
and were guilty of acting unlawfully in 
relation to anti-Semitic actions. This 
decision was taken in May 2019 amid 
the Brexit crisis and talk of an early 
general election. The fact the ECHR 
acted on the basis of complaints 
from vehemently anti-Corbyn 
organisations indicates just 
how loaded the dice was 
from the outset.
 
Anti-Semitism is Abhorrent --- but 
Jeremy Corbyn is Not an Anti-Semite
 
All anti-Semitic behaviour and opinions should be 
condemned and confronted unreservedly. Of that 
there should be no doubt or debate. But the 
accusations of anti-Semitism against the 
Labour Party have been overstated and 
used politically to undermine Labour 
and Corbyn. Anti-Semitism is a problem 
in society as a whole. An ugly repulsive 
problem. But to suggest Labour has a 
bigger problem than other parties or 
that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite 
is patent nonsense and lies.
 
Unlike the Corbyn detractors, Labour’s 2020 ‘No 
Place For Antisemitism’ Report provides hard 
facts refuting media and ECHR allegations 
that Labour under Corbyn did not address 
anti-Semitism complaints.
 
The Labour Party expelled 45 members in relation to 
antisemitism in 2019, compared to 10 in 2018 and 
1 in 2017.
 
After rule changes passed at Conference in September 
2019 gave NEC panels the power to expel, twice the 
number of people were expelled in two months than 
had been expelled during the whole of 2018.
 
NEC Disciplinary Panels heard 274 cases relating to 
antisemitism in 2019, a tenfold increase on the 28 
cases heard in 2017.
 
In 2019, 149 members were removed from the party as 
a result of disciplinary processes relating to anti-
semitism, either being expelled or quitting the 
party as proceedings progressed.
 
The Labour Party suspended 296 members in relation to 
antisemitism in 2019, compared to 98 in 2018 – itself a 
big increase on the previous year”.
 
Once you have read the facts contained in this Report and 
considered that the lengthy ECHR Report which took 
almost 18 months to compile concludes that Labour 
is guilty of “unlawful acts of indirect discrimination 
and harassment for which the Labour Party is 
responsible” based on the conduct of TWO 
Labour Party members, Ken Livingston and 
a Councillor called Pam Bromley, you can 
reasonably conclude that when Corbyn 
said the allegations of anti-Semitism 
against Labour were “overstated” 
he was stating a fact.
 
Corbyn was a clear and present danger to the rich and 
powerful British Establishment and his sympathy with
 the Palestinian people and willingness to call out 
Israel’s human rights abuses made him dangerous 
on an international plain also. America and Israel 
could not tolerate a pro-Palestinian British Prime 
Minister. The anti-Semitism campaign was a 
conscious and dishonest scheme to under-
mine his electoral credibility and the BBC 
played a blinder in promoting the lie at 
every available opportunity.
 
A New Trade Union Supported 
Socialist Party is Now Urgent
 
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from Labour is an 
attack on him and every single socialist still in that 
party. Jeremy is now suffering the consequences 
of being popular on the one hand but being far 
too pliable on the other. The day Jeremy stood 
back & allowed socialists like Chris Williamson 
to be suspended was the day he succumbed to 
the right-wing bullies within the Labour Party 
hierarchy. Chris was a loyal lieutenant of 
Corbyn. A very capable and popular 
crusader for socialism. 
 
When the right wing went after him with the anti-Semitism slur 
Jeremy should have resisted and stood with Chris. Instead he 
sought to avoid an internal battle and that was his ultimate 
undoing. Jeremy had the backing of the members but not 
the comfortable and right-wing bureaucracy who used 
their influence to stifle Corbyn and undermine his 
2017 election campaign.
 
The new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is determined to turn 
the party back into a Tory second eleven like in the red Tory 
Tony Blair days.
 
The challenge to other socialist Labour MPs and the trade union 
leaders who support socialist policies which will actually 
improve the lives of their members is clear. If you can’t 
fight for the former leader of your party who raised the 
hopes of millions & came so close in 2017 to winning, 
then you are not worthy of the description of socialist. 
The time has come for a party of workers that promotes 
socialism with guile, enthusiasm, and pride. Instead of 
funding Starmer’s Tory Party Mark II, the trade union 
movement should fund a real socialist party --- 
committed to changing the lives of millions 
for the better.
 
The suspension of Corbyn must be the crossing of the Rubicon 
for the socialist and trade union movement. Labour is already 
irrelevant in Scotland. It will become irrelevant in England 
as well soon. The time for a new force backed with trade 
union organisation and resources, is now.
 
 
 



Police chief mocked after declaring British ‘civic duty’ 
is snitching on neighbours who violate Covid-19 rules
(RT updated October 30th, 2020) 


A UK Chief constable has been deluged with mockery 
and Hitler memes, after arguing it’s every resident’s 
duty to turn in neighbours and local businesses for 
breaking lockdown rules and complaining about
how British culture reviles snitches.


UK residents who report their neighbours and local 
businesses to the police for violating the country’s 
increasingly stringent Covid-19 control measures 
are just doing their “civic duty” and should be 
praised, not ostracized, Merseyside chief 
constable Andy Cooke told the Daily
Mail 
on Wednesday.


“People are doing a civic duty in contacting us for the 
right reasons,” he stated, insisting “the vast majority 
of people across the country are really concerned 
about this” and “any information that you can give 
us, in relation to breaches, will save lives, and
that’s 
why people are [reporting to the police].”


Lamenting that the practice of turning one’s neighbour in
to the authorities for minor infractions wasn’t more widely 
accepted among respectable Brits, Cooke blamed a 
“sneering culture” for placing rats at the bottom of
the social hierarchy.


His remarks weren’t received well on social media, where 
users were quick to pull out the Nazi pics & Orwell quotes.


“This is what Hitler and Stalin demanded 
of their people,” one user pointed out. 


Others suggested the cops focus on fighting real crime. 
Merseyside saw a 6.3 percent increase in violent crime 
over the past year, according to statistics released
 in July.


A few played along, tweeting that they could “hear voices 
of people having fun and not living in fear” and “even
saw two people hugging, no face masks they were 
even smiling.”


Several suggested the strategy of enlisting civilians
to 
police their neighbours would backfire, both by 
destroying trust in the police and by creating 
suspicion in communities.


Cooke’s paean to the common snitch came on the heels 
of similar comments by West Midlands Police and Crime 
Commissioner David Jamieson, who said in a Tuesday
 interview that police would not hesitate to break up 
Christmas and other holiday celebrations if they 
“flagrantly” violated the government’s rules 
on gatherings.


National Police Chiefs Council chair Martin Hewitt also promised 
“quicker enforcement” of “blatant” rule violations earlier this 
week, urging members of the public to report “egregious 
breaches” - like pubs being open past the 10pm cutoff - 
that “put everybody at risk.” As of Wednesday, the 
NPCC had issued 20,223 fines for violations of the 
Covid-19 restrictions, including 980 spot tickets
 for breaking lockdown.


Unlike Jamieson, however, Hewitt declined to speculate 
on whether his officers would be breaking up Christmas 
parties, instead merely urging the public to take heed 
of the rules in whatever part of the country they 
opted to spend the holiday. 


Despite a steep fall in the number of deaths with Covid-19 
from the pandemic’s peak earlier this year, the UK has
 introduced a strict three-tier lockdown nationwide, 
barring people from congregating in groups larger 
than six and prohibiting home visits.



______________________________________


COVID19 in the UK the story so far...
please see our Health page.

United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics and 
Human Rights, Article 6 - Consent: Any preventive, 
diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention 
is only to be carried out with the prior, free and 
informed consent of the person concerned. 

Article 3 - Human dignity and human rights: 
The interests and the welfare of the 
individual should have priority over 
the sole interest of science 
or society.



ROGER WATERS TO MUSICIANS:- "BOYCOTT ISRAEL"

Roger Waters formerly of Pink Floyd, in an open letter,
 calls on his fellow musicians to boycott the Zionist
Israeli regime and follow the example of the cultural
boycott against the ex South African Apartheid regime.

“Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments
 [to act] …. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters …
 to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists
 around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,”
Roger Waters says in his letter.

Waters says the Zionist regime has been found guilty of
 major breaches of human rights and international law
 by international organizations, UN officials and the
International Court of Justice.


He touches on two such cases, saying the regime has been
 identified as perpetrating the “crime of Apartheid”, including
 in a statement on March 9th, 2012 by the UN Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the “crime of
ethnic cleansing” including in East Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Waters adds that he has been a member of the Boycott,
 Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the
 Israeli regime’s occupation of the Palestinian lands and
 Tel Aviv’s violations of Palestinian human rights for 7
 years, and now wants other musicians to also join
the
anti-Israeli front.


“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global
 civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in
 Israel & occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform
 or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from
 any institution linked to the government of Israel, until
 such time as Israel complies with international law
and
universal principles of human rights.” 


The former Pink Floyd Musician also says he has recently
 faced a boycott by the US media after his November 29th,
 2012 address at the UN on behalf of the Russell Tribunal.

In the address, he sought accountability for the Zionist
 regime’s violations of the international law and the lack
 of United Nations resolve that prevents the Palestinian
 people from achieving their inalienable rights,
especially 
the right of self-determination.



____________________



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***********************************************


Daytime Delights...

Starts at 1pm
The Parc & Dare, Treorchy

Lunchtime Concerts in the Lounge Bar.

Indulge in a delicious cake and a cup of tea
while enjoying music and sing-along songs
from fantastic Welsh musicians.

Ticket information:
The Cultural Services Booking & Information Line:
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Mid Rhondda Modelling Club...


7pm - 9pm

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Mid Rhondda Modelling Club
has been running for over 30 years.

We meet on a regular basis
& enjoy making models for display.

We encourage both Gentlemen
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However, Young people under 16,
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Ticket information
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************************************************

 Comedy In The Laughter Lounge

The Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy.

COMEDY IN THE LAUGHTER LOUNGE

Join us once a month in the intimate setting
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Laugh? You'll snort like a pig!


Hilarious - TimeOut.

www.rct-arts.co.uk


Cash Spent On Privatising NHS ‘Doubled’

Friday 13th January 2017
 by Lamiat Sabin

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has revealed how
the huge amount of cash spent on privatising
parts of the NHS has more than doubled
under the Tories.

Mr Corbyn said: “The Conservatives are privatising
 our NHS by stealth, despite the repeated failures
 and costs of private provision.

“It saddles us with an expensive and unnecessary
internal market. It puts tax avoidance, not patient
 care, at the heart of its management. It also
 promotes excessive boardroom pay and
grotesque inequality.

“Health privateers are earning huge sums at
taxpayers’ expense, yet health workers are
 faced with a pay freeze.

“When health services are privatised, the brakes
 come off the pay - of the executives in charge.”

Health Emergency campaign director, John Lister,
 told the Star that it was “bizarre” how local clinical
 commissioning groups choose to divert cash into
 private companies, when investment needs to
 stay within the NHS.

He added: “Companies only want to pick up
profitable services such as elective care
and are not interested in taking the load
off under-pressure departments such
as A&Es.

“Despite the financial freeze, none of these firms
are making much money -- because the margins
 are small. It’s a pointless fracturing of the NHS.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 was
 brought in by the Tories to facilitate this.”

Mr Corbyn says his new proposal would require
that no public-sector department or government
contracted firm, could pay top executives over
20 times the salary of the lowest-paid worker.

Patients and health workers are denied quality
 of care and sufficient resources -- because the
 pay of bosses in the sector skyrockets. He said
 that the policy “will apply to the private health
 companies who bid for NHS contracts and pay
 their top executives indefensible & sometimes
 obscene amounts.

“Shrinking the widening pay gap in health will
aid Labour’s plans to end health privatisation
 and bring services into a secure, publicly
 provided NHS.”

(source - Morning Star)


________________________________



How to select or reselect your MP

New edition by Dave Osland. £4 from left-wing
bookshops, or Five Leaves Bookshop, Notts.

Post free to mail order customers via
0115 8373097 or via PayPal on
 bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk



Rhondda Records exists to express the Rhondda's
vision --- when it was confident, powerful, caring,
and socialist.

A Rhondda very aware
of the media's poisonous
tricks -- how they con working class people into
attacking each other, or racial groups, or, often,
even their best allies and friends... instead of
seeing their real enemies:--- an elite who hate
the very idea that working people can think,
create, or achieve a fairer society.

Thatcher said her proudest achievement was
Blair and New Labour - who parachuted in
careerists and expenses fiddlers - to stop
local Labour members having a say, and
who made genuine socialist MPs leave
the Labour party in disgust and many
members and voters to despair...
and the young to stop voting.

Jeremy Corbyn was always attacked because
he was trying to reverse all that New Labour
corruption --- that's why membership was
flooding in all over the UK - watch this
video in Kilburn, London: don't believe
the dripping poison of the media and
the corrupt MPs -- and understand
Jeremy's role !

______________________________________


John McDonnell revisits his childhood home




 

Watson's Choice

In a speech to a fringe event by 'Labour Friends
of Israel' member, the Party's deputy leader ,
Tom Watson, peddled full-on Russophobia.

 Conjuring up images of the Nazis invading the
Low Countries, Watson said Britain was facing
 a “Blitzkrieg for the digital age”, from Russia,
and called for a US-style inquiry into alleged
Russian interference in UK democracy.

Watson's hypocrisy when it comes to foreign powers
intervening in UK politics, is truly off the scale.
He has no problem, it seems, with proven
Israeli interference (documented in the
al Jazeera documentary, ‘The Lobby'),
saying he's “proud to defend Israel”
- but is paranoid about unproven
 Russian interference.

(Source - longer article by Neil Clark, in RT
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/439492-uk-
labour-party-conference-corbyn/ )

_________________________________________

It’s obvious why Labour’s new

general secretary Jennie Formby,
frightens the right-wing press

March 22nd, 2018 
Karl Rogers Analysis, UK
Spread the word: Facebook Twitter

On 20 March, the Labour Party appointed Jennie Formby
as its new general secretary. The right-wing press
immediately attacked her appointment.

 Ignoring her formidable record as a union organiser and
work in the NEC, Formby has been represented as
Jeremy Corbyn’s puppet - and as evidence of his
 “hard-left” seizure of the Labour Party machine.
 
But it’s obvious why the press barons
are
running scared.

Media red scaremongering

Formby barely had time to update her Linkedin profile
and Twitter feed...  before the right-wing press came
gunning for her. Predictably, the billionaire-owned
 propaganda machine, spun the news of her
 appointment, as a sinister seizure of power
by Corbyn & Unite leader Len McCluskey.

The Telegraph ran the headline: Corbyn and McCluskey
 tighten grip on Labour party as ally Jennie Formby
 appointed party’s new general secretary. The
 Express went with: Corbyn cements grip on
Labour as hard-left union boss Formby
named general secretary. The Sun
also framed the appointment as
an imposed “hard-left” takeover
 of the Labour Party. And The
Times declared “moderates
are no longer welcome”
 in the Labour Party.

Heather Stewart, political editor of The Guardian,
termed the appointment a “coronation” and
declared it the culmination of Corbyn’s
“two-year battle” to gain “complete
 control of the party machine”.

She has been a member of the Labour Party for 40 years.

She was regional officer in the UK’s largest trade union
– Unite – for 17 years. In 2004, she became the national
officer for Unite’s Food, Drink, and Tobacco Sector.

Between 2013 and 2016, she was political director
 of Unite, before becoming the southeast regional
secretary. She has been on the NEC for
seven years.

In other words, her appointment to general secretary of
the Labour Party, is the result of her experience and
abilities as a trade union organiser.

As Corbyn said, when he congratulated Formby:

''Her talent, experience and commitment to the Labour
and Trade Union movement, makes me confident
she
will play a crucial role in building on last
year’s
inspiring General Election advance
and taking
our party forward to victory.''

Her predecessor, Iain McNicol, said:

''As someone who has dedicated her life to fighting for
workers’ rights, equality and social justice, I know
Jennie will put all the commitment, drive and
organising talent, into getting Labour into
government and Jeremy into Number 10.''

Running scared

The press is scared of Formby......
because
she will be good at her job.

Get Involved!

______________________________________________________



Jewish Labour Movement Chair & exec
block
call for investigation into Israeli
interference

5th of February 2017
by Mike Sivier

This is deeply disturbing information
 from the Skwawkbox. Read:

Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman is Chair of the JLM
(Jewish Labour Movement) and vice-Chair of Labour
Friends of Israel (LFI). The former organisation is
highly controversial because of its affiliation with
 the openly pro-apartheid Israeli Labour Party
‘Havoda’ and the latter as it was specifically
mentioned by the Israeli
embassy operative
filmed by an
undercover Al Jazeera reporter,

 in connection with his actions: in setting up
pro-Israeli groups
inside the Labour party.


Supporters of both groups have been prominent
in the discredited, but persisting, antisemitism
smear against the national party.

And it appears that Ms Ellman and her allies in
 Riverside CLP – in spite of the obvious conflict
 of interest – have no intention of allowing
members to add their voices to the calls
for a full Labour investigation into the
 infiltration of the party by a foreign
 government.

Source: JLM Chair and exec block CLP call
for investigation into Israeli interference:

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/02/05/jlm-chair-
and-exec-block-clp-call-for-investigation-
into-israeli-interference/

________________________________________


Time For Labour To Go On The Attack
by John McDonnell

February 3rd 2017

Anybody who thought electing a socialist leader
of the Labour Party would be an easy ride, now
knows that was never going to be the case.

Winning an internal party election for leadership
 was the relatively easy part. The coup was also
totally predictable and could be planned for.
Therefore the second leadership election
was arduous, but with determination and
hard work, was eminently winnable.

We have now reached the toughest period so far.
The euphoria of winning a greater mandate in the
 second leadership election, despite every trick in
 the bureaucratic textbook used against us, has
given way to a serious appreciation of the
 challenge we now face.

The character of our politics is to be straightforward
 & honest with people. So let’s be straight about this.
 This is the toughest of times we have experienced
so far and it is not only also absolutely predictable
 and understandable but also something we
can completely deal with.

It does mean though that we need to understand
 fully what we are up against and what we have
 to deal with.

We are currently facing exactly what we predicted
but many didn’t fully appreciate. The full forces of
the Establishment are being thrown against us.

In no way will the elite Establishment tolerate
the popular election of a socialist leader,
 without a bitter fight.

One of the key fundamental problems we face, is
 not a lack of political analysis, policies, direction,
courage, determination or leadership.

It is the critical question of how we can communicate
a narrative about our objectives and policies in a way
 that can cut through the bilious, cynical distortion of
 every aspect of the traditional media.

Any criticism of media bias by the left
is always distorted as whining.

The various independent reports have proved
 conclusively that we are witnessing a level of
media bias that certainly most, have never
seen on this scale before.

The evidence demonstrates that it ranges from
 the Sun and the Mail to the Guardian and the BBC.

This daily grinding out of distortion and attack can
undoubtedly have its effect on our standing in the
 polls - and in turn - on the morale of some of our
 supporters, who are not always close to the
 action and may not be experienced in past
 trade union or political campaigns.

So we need to explain both what we are up
against, and how we can overcome this.

This is the time for determination in the face
of whatever they throw against us. The best
 form of defence is attack.

Politically, that means using the one resource
 that we have, which the other side doesn’t.
 It’s true that we are the many, they are
 the few.

Mobilising our large base of support in the Labour
 Party, the trade unions, progressive campaigns
and the wider community, is the way to win.

How we do that is the key to our success. First, it
means ensuring that our supporters and potential
supporters have the opportunity to engage in the
 exploration, discussion, debate & determination
 of political analysis and policymaking.

That’s why we're going on the stomp around the
 country, with a series of regional and national
economic conferences to develop our economic
 thinking and planning, from the grassroots up.

Similar exercises are planned in several other
policy areas, including how we can decarbonise
 our economy, based upon local initiatives,
facilitated by creative national
 policymaking.

New creative initiatives to enable large-scale
 involvement in digital democracy will facilitate
 and energise the discussion of politics and
policy in and beyond our party.

Second, it means mobilising around consistent
 campaigning --- setting up, or using, existing
structures to co-ordinate our campaigning
at local and national levels.

People are becoming increasingly angry at the Tories’
 attacks on our public services and more workers are
 willing to take action to protect their jobs and their
 living standards.

We need to lead in mobilising support and solidarity
 with these campaigns. It will require the increasingly
 effective use of social media to communicate ideas
 and to assist mobilisation.

Third, it also means gearing up and training our
 members to give them confidence & motivation
 to access the party’s structures and engage in
the vital routine work that is needed to ensure
 the political direction of the party and deliver
 the votes that we need in elections over the
coming years.

The message therefore, is that the times may
 be tough and may get tougher — but it is the
mobilisation of our committed, inspired and
 enthusiastic members, that will see us
through to success.

John McDonnell is shadow chancellor
 of the exchequer. This article first
appeared on Labour Briefing:

 labourbriefing.squarespace.com.


_________________________________



REVEALED: NUS official colluded with
Israeli embassy to oust student leader
Middle East Eye

11/Jan/2017
by Mike Sivier
of Vox Political

The worms are coming out of the woodwork now.

Shall we pencil in the Union of Jewish Students
as one of Shai Masot’s “front” organisations for
 the Israeli government?

A senior official from the UK’s National
 Union of Students, has been covertly
filmed conspiring --- to oust the NUS
president Malia Bouattia as part of a
 sting involving the Israeli embassy.

An undercover Al-Jazeera reporter – known
only as Robin – posed as a political activist
with links to the now disgraced Israeli
diplomat Shai Masot - to investigate
 the influence the Israeli embassy
 exerts on British politics.

“Robin” is heard discussing how to oust
Ms Bouattia from her position as NUS
president with NUS Vice President
Richard Brooks --- after Masot
 introduces him as the Chair
of the Young Labour
Friends of Israel.

___________________________


RIGHTING THE
McNicol INJUSTICES


Ms Walker, a lifelong anti-racist campaigner and
 socialist, was suspended from the Labour Party
 in May, amidst allegations of anti-Semitism. She
was reinstated but has been suspended again, 
after apparently being “set up” at a training
event organised by the Jewish Labour
Movement during the party’s national
conference in September.

She writes: “I was suspended from the Labour Party
in May of this year, amidst what appears to have
been
a breach of Data Protection law, by Iain
McNicol, as
General Secretary of the
Labour Party.


“I was suspended for the alleged (subsequently
cleared) charge of antisemitism. As a Jewish
person, whose partner is Jewish, this was
heart-breaking.

“Since May I have continued to be targeted by
 the media, in print, online and in other places.

“Currently I am suspended for questions asked at
 a training session on ‘Confronting Antisemitism
& Engaging Jewish Voters’ at this year’s Labour
Conference, after being unethically filmed by a
 Jewish Labour Movement campaigns officer
who is also a Labour councillor. It seems this
training was not a ‘safe space for all Jews’
by any means.

“As soon as the first article was released before
my notification had even arrived, trolls circled
for
the kill, posting spooky blacked up faces
(and
worse) to my Facebook account. The
community
& national newspapers led the
attacks,
querying my Jewish identity (a
racist move
in itself), my work as an
anti-racist activist
and my political
commitment.


“When my suspension was lifted, things got worse.
Indignation at my alleged breach reached the heights
 of irony, when Nigel Farage, anxious not to miss out
on the fun being had by among others, the Spectator,
a number of Labour MPs and officers of the Party...
 dedicated an article in Breitbart, and a good
dose
of righteous indignation on national
TV, to
publicly calling me out as a racist.


“The widespread hate campaign against me, led
to public abuse, strangers shouting ‘racist’ as I
walked to the tube. With the murderous racist
political discourse now taking the place of
debate, I became conscious I was
recognisable on the street.

“My story is just one of many where Labour members
have found themselves in a similar position. While
 this may not be the only case where a breach has
 occurred, as I was abroad at the time, it may well
be the most provable.

“We invite anybody who has a personal interest
in this case, or the wider public, to contribute.”

Solicitor Martin Howe, representing Ms Walker,
added: “Jackie Walker has faced a barrage of
 hurtful, threatening & nasty abuse since the
 private details of her investigation by the
Labour Party over alleged anti-Semitism
was
leaked to the press before she even
knew
of her suspension by the Party.


“This apparent breach of her private data has
had a devastating impact on her public and
private well-being and has led directly to her
being pre-judged & unfairly cast as a racist
-- before she was given any opportunity to
tell
her side of the story.


“Data Protection laws are there to protect all
of us and any breach is a very serious matter.”

If you would like to contribute to her fund,
details are on the web page.

Source: CrowdJustice –
Crowdfund public interest law

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget
 to share it. Politics is about everybody – so
let’s
try to get everybody involved!


______________________________________


Get Involved!

– If you feel you’ve been ‘purged’,
take this online survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/857YMDK


or this one:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc0du5YuhPZ8ahI
oxC_b6pvBprm
GA4XFdG-0r2dOVYyc4UNFg/viewform?c=0&w=1



– Request all your own data that
the Labour Party holds on you:

http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/privacy


– Sign the petition in support of
Jeremy Corbyn, if you agree:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-vote-
of-confidence-in-jeremy-corbyn-after-brexit


_______________________________________




IF - YOU THINK you HAVE
BEEN UNFAIRLY BARRED:


“Any member who is suspended & intends
to appeal the decision should throw in a
 ‘Subject Access Request in accordance
with the Data Protection Act’ --- for ALL
 data that the Labour Party hold on them.

The Labour Party are Data Controllers and
 therefore have to, by law, provide you with
 all material/information they hold on you.”

If anyone is in contact with anyone who
was barred from voting --- please can
you pass this info on:

The Labour leadership election was under the
jurisdiction of the electoral reform services.

If you were unfairly deprived of your vote you
can call them on 0208 365 8909 and lodge
 your complaint, and inform them of your
Data Protection request.

https://www.electoralreform.co.uk

The notification letters barring new members
did not give a clear reason, or information on
how to appeal, so Vox Political suggests that
 anyone in this situation, could also contact
 Liz Davies here: http://www.whycantivote.com

She is a barrister --- who can
advise members on what to do.


________________________________


Saving Labour? The secretive battle
 to oust Jeremy Corbyn – BBC News


Reg Race is a 'co-ordinator' of the group

 campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn.

At least, that's what a report ‘Saving Labour’
by the BBC’s Ross Hawkins, has concluded.

Reg Race is said to be co-ordinating a project
 to collect information on Labour members who
are willing to attack Jeremy & his supporters...
 but that doesn't mean he is the one behind it,
as no such information is available.

Meanwhile, the organisation has been collecting
 data on people sympathetic to its cause – which
 may be used for ''other purposes'' after the
 leadership election, we are told.

If these people admitted who they were and
 what they're doing, perhaps their behaviour
 might be more acceptable – but they won’t.

Supporting MPs, donors, and trade unionists,
 are all staying anonymous for the time being.

One wonders how these people would react if
 it was revealed that there was a secretive co-
ordinating hub of Corbyn supporters, working
 to spread their influence across the UK.

Reg claimed Saving Labour recruited
 over 120,000 registered supporters &
affiliated union members to vote anti
 Mr Corbyn, using online advertising.

The group, he says, has amassed details of
60,000 people on its own database, in just
 two months. There are plenty of numbers,
but virtually no names.

In his first broadcast interview, he told Radio
 4’s Today programme, he has the support of
 trade unionists - but will not say which ones.

 Nor will he name MPs or donors; those will
be published by the Electoral Commission,
 in the fullness of time, he says.

Why the secrecy?

“There’s a group of us and lots of us don’t want
to be out there in terms of the media, because
they are in relatively vulnerable positions,”
he says.

“Data's absolutely crucial in these races,” says Tom
 Flynn, Saving Labour’s full-time digital campaigner.
 “This was set up as a way of trying to get good data
on those Labour people who would like a change
of leadership.”

That data – contact details of sympathisers
who have a vote in Labour contests, could
 have an interesting future.

A Saving Labour supporter, Graham Jones MP
 suggests it may even play a part in trying to
 get rid of Unite’s general secretary, Len
McCluskey.

The data, the money, and the intent of those
 trying to wrestle back control of the Labour
Party from Mr Corbyn, will not expire, now
the
win for Jeremy has been declared.

They failed this year, but they will try again.

It will have to provide a list of its supporters
 & funders to the electoral commission, now
the leadership election is over, and
must
provide its first 3 monthly accounts

 and audits.

For a company that is supposedly all about
“savinglabour” it is trying very hard to hide
who is behind it.

 Momentum, by the way, had to have its
books audited early after a complaint

 "was raised".

Reply bladeofgrassuk on
 September 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

This is a survey that they have sent out to all
 their supporters. They are hoping to set up
local anti-deselection groups nationwide.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/53G2PLD

The goal of the groups will be to protect MPs
parachuted into “safe” Labour seats, from
being democratically removed from office
 for their role in the right-wing coup.

It is worth mentioning that these groups
 have managed to avoid appointing a Data
Controller under the Data Protection Act,
 and so are not subject to the DPA of 1998.

Reg Race? Could this be the same one?

‘Reg Race, the former Labour MP and close ally of
 socialist firebrands Tony Benn & Ken Livingstone,
 has been paid millions of pounds of taxpayers’
 money as a result of regulations brought in by
New Labour ministers. The union man-turned-
consultant has also become a substantial
Labour Party donor and is one of the biggest
 backers of Alan Johnson’s bid for the party’s
 deputy leadership.

Mr Race’s company, Quality Health, is one of
a select band of “approved contractors” that
health trusts must hire to conduct patient
 and staff surveys.’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1554774/
Ex-Labour-radical-now-makes-killing-on-NHS.html

(Report in original by clever Vox Political)


____________________________



IF NATO MEMBER ATTACKED 
--- IT DOES NOT MEAN WAR

Jeremy Corbyn was torn to pieces over not
wanting to go to war if a NATO member was
attacked (by Russia, the question implied).

There seems to be a mistaken idea that
preferring negotiations and a peaceful
approach to international relations, to
a kneejerk war which could so easily
 go nuclear - leading to the end of life
on this planet - can be compared to
Chamberlain's appeasement
before
World War 2.


Yet the NATO treaty itself, is not,
as some Tories have tried to
make out, a simple case of
rushing to war, if one of
NATO's states are hit.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty envisions
 the support of other NATO members, in the
case of external aggression, it's true, but...

 The response measures are left at the discretion
 of member states --- it can be a mere diplomatic
note of support - without providing any real aid.

__________________________



A DREAM COME TRUE


Support for Jeremy Corbyn from Tyrone O’Sullivan,
a fourth-generation south Wales miner, who led a
workers’ buy-out of Tower Colliery, to save it
 from closure.

"I’ve been close to Jeremy since the miners’ strike.
 Knowing the man, knowing his abilities and his
education, it was a dream come true for me when
 he became leader. His ideas and values are more
 necessary, here in south Wales, than probably
 anywhere else in the country. He wants
victory
for Labour, but only under
our terms -
for a change."


O’Sullivan, a lifelong Labour member, says 
Jeremy is the only true socialist, Labour
have had as leader, ''for
20 or 30 years''.



**************************************

CHILCOT REPORT:
SOME MAIN POINTS:

1)  "Military action was not a last resort".

2) UK government "undermined the
authority"
of the UN security council.


3) Weapons of Mass Destruction presented
 "with a certainty that was not justified".

4) UK forces were "ill-prepared".

5a) "The government failed to
achieve its stated objectives."


5b) Post-war planning: Blair "should
 have known what might happen".

6) Chilcot says Blair also "overlooked the
 threat the invasion would pose to Britain."

____________________________________

Blair to Face Law

The former prime minister has been put on notice
 by families of dead servicemen, that he will face
 legal action, for his part in the illegal Iraq war.

They are being crowd-funded now, and
have raised so much money, that Blair
is
probably heading for a big fall...


Shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn:
the Iraq Inquiry's findings are an "utter
 condemnation" of his terrible decision
 --- and his prosecution should now be
given "serious consideration".

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond:
"I would like to see Blair investigated by
the
International Criminal Court (ICC),
for
the crime of a war of aggression,
and
face parliamentary action to
stop
him holding public office
ever again."


A former British ambassador to the UN:
 "The UK was pushed into entering
this
military action, too early."


Stop the War Coalition Convener Ms German:
“This is an incredibly damning report for Tony Blair.
It will not call for legal sanctions, but it says that
Blair is culpable for the war, in many ways.

“He needs to be driven out of public life. He is
still part of the Labour Party. We need to make
 sure that truth & justice prevails. There must
 be legal action against Blair, & he should no
 longer be considered fit for any office.”

CND general secretary Kate Hudson:
 “The report shows that Tony Blair had
no respect for cabinet procedure, no
respect for Parliament, & no respect
for international law.

“Chilcot reveals the evidence that must now be
 used to bring Tony Blair to justice. This is our
 demand. Only when justice is served, can we
prevent disasters like the Iraq war from ever
happening again.”

 Iraqi journalist Juma al-Quraishi:
"Everyone who took part in the war against Iraq
should be condemned, either Britain, or others."

Baghdad resident Ali al-Saraji:
"Ex-UK prime minister, Tony Blair, destroyed
 our country. From 2003, to now, our country
has been the scene of destruction, killing,
massacres, explosions and sectarianism."

A defiant Blair refuses to accept accusations
 from service families that he was wrong and
reckless, and he insists that he would make
 the decision again, 'come what may'.

 Families of some of the 179 military personnel
 killed in Iraq, say the former PM is "a terrorist".

 Jeremy Corbyn has offered an apology,
 on Labour's behalf, for the "stain on
our party and our country".

____________________________________


Tony Blair: Guilty In The
 Eyes Of The Public
August 1st
by Steve Sweeney

Teflon Tony Blair escaped justice yet again yesterday -
after High Court judges blocked a private prosecution
against the former PM for war crimes over the
invasion of Iraq.

Campaigners accused the Establishment of a “concerted
 and coordinated effort” to exonerate Mr Blair for his role
 in the Iraq war, in which one million people were killed.

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German branded
Mr Blair as “the most protected war criminal in the world.”
However, she said: “In the court of public opinion
he has
long been found guilty.”

Iraqi General Abdul Wahed Shannan al-Rabbat had sought
 a private prosecution against Mr Blair, along with then
foreign secretary Jack Straw and attorney general
 Lord Goldsmith.

He accused Mr Blair of committing a “crime of aggression”
 by invading Iraq in 2003 and his lawyers asked permission
 from the High Court to seek judicial review to get the
Supreme Court to overturn a 2006 House of Lords
ruling that there is no such crime under the law
 of England and Wales.

Gen al-Rabbat brought the case after Westminster magistrates
refused to issue summonses in November last year claiming
 the trio had immunity from prosecution for decisions taken
 while in government.

However the appeal was dismissed yesterday by the Lord
 Chief Justice as having “no prospect” of succeeding.

But Michael Mansfield QC said that the findings of the
Chilcot Report justified the prosecution of Mr Blair.

He said that the inquiry showed Saddam Hussein did not
pose an urgent threat to British interests and that the
 intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction
 had been presented with “unwarranted certainty.”

The QC said that as the international crime of a war of
aggression had been accepted at the time of the
Nuremberg trials of nazi war crimes, it was the
duty of British courts to follow the example
and prosecute those responsible for the
 Iraq war.

The Nuremberg judges had said that war “is essentially
 an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the
 belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an
international crime; it is the supreme international crime
differing only from other war crimes in that it contains
within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary
Kate Hudson branded the decision as “hugely
disappointing” and said that “justice had
been left undone.”

She said: “Last year’s Chilcot report showed that Blair
had no respect for Cabinet procedure, no respect for
Parliament and no respect for international law.

“Iraq was devastated by the war Blair led Britain into,
 millions of innocent Iraqis were killed, British
soldiers
were killed and terrorism has
spread across the
Middle East.


“Chilcot revealed the evidence that must now be used
 to bring Blair to justice. Only when justice is served
can we prevent disasters like the Iraq war from
happening again.”

(Source - Morning Star)

_______________________________


PONCY LABOUR MPS PROBLEM?

A huge drop in working-class Labour MPs,
caused a massive drop in support among
 voters with similar backgrounds, reveals
 research seeking to explain why support
has dwindled in the party’s heartlands.

The study says past leaders like Kinnock
 and Blair made a concerted effort to pick
 “more and more middle-class candidates
to run for office, during the 80s and 90s,
 as part of an effort to rebrand” -- which
had initial successes at the ballot box.

But this “conscious electoral strategy”
stored up problems, as working-class
 voters who initially, just didn’t vote in
response, now seek an alternative.

The solution? Trust each constituency to put
forward its own candidates, and don't impose
 ‘party-approved’ choices who can't do the job.


Now, unfortunately, there are "entryist"  MPs who, for
decades, have been groomed by CIA cold war relic
organisations -- like the Atlantic Council -- and are
now trying to misdirect the Labour Party towards
cuts, a militarised police, and a US war agenda...

- and their anti-Corbyn slant is hobbling Labour.


‘How Can I Deselect My Labour MP?’ A Short Guide
to Reselection and Democratic Accountability
by Eric Sim, excellent free advice here:

http://novaramedia.com/2016/07/13/how-can-i-
deselect-my-labour-mp-a-short-guide-to-
reselection-and-democratic-accountability/


CHRIS BRYANT - SUPPORT THE MEMBERS'

LEADERSHIP CHOICE & POLICIES - OR GO!

Chris Bryant, the Rhondda's dodgy MP,
was on TV -- as soon as the PLP coup
started -- telling us that Jeremy MUST
go, because it was the ONLY way to
act in the Labour Party's interest...


Chris Bryant's voting record:
from TheyWorkForYou.com

On Tuition Fees:

On 27 Jan 2004:
Chris Bryant voted in favour of university tuition
fees increasing from £1,125 per year, to up to
£3,000 per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees
 to increase from £1,125 per year, to up to £3,000
 per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted for the introduction of variable
university tuition fees (top-up fees) of up to £3,000
per year in place of the previous fixed fee of £1,250
per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees
to increase from £1,125 per year to up to £3,000
per year, and to make other changes to higher
education funding and regulation arrangements.

On 14 Sep 2004:
Chris Bryant voted against: the immediate abolition
 of all tuition fees, the re-introduction of maintenance
grants of up to £2,000 for students from low-income
homes, and changes to the country's higher
education system.

On 14 Sep 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to reject the Liberal
Democrat policy of abolition of tuition fees.

On 25 May 2016:
Chris Bryant was absent for a vote on Queen's
Speech - Forcing Schools to Become Academies
- Further Rises in University Tuition Fees


On Human Rights:

Consistently voted for introducing ID cards

Almost always voted for requiring the mass
retention of information about communications

Generally voted for mass surveillance of
people’s communications and activities


On the Environment:

Generally voted against greater regulation
 of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract
 shale gas


On Special Interests:

Almost always voted against limits
 on success fees paid to lawyers in
no-win no fee cases

Generally voted against a
statutory register of lobbyists


On War or Peace:

Generally voted for use of UK military
 forces in combat operations overseas

Consistently voted for the Iraq war

Consistently voted against an
 investigation into the Iraq war

Generally voted for replacing Trident
 with a new nuclear weapons system

On 2 Dec 2015:
Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria
[without UN authorisation]

On 2 Dec 2015:
Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria
[without UN authorisation]


On Independence:

Generally voted for more EU integration

____________________________
   

Chris Bryant Labour MP
From Wikipedia

(aka 1962-1986: Mr Christopher John Bryant
1986-1991: The Reverend Christopher John
Bryant, 1991-2001: Mr Christopher John
Bryant, 2001-: Mr Christopher John
Bryant MP.)

Born in Cardiff, to a Scottish mother & a Welsh
 father, Bryant grew up in Cardiff, Wales (where
 his father worked for 5 years), and Cheltenham.

He was educated at Cheltenham College, an
independent school for boys in the spa town
of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, where he
was captain of the school swimming team,
and Mansfield College at the University of
Oxford, where he graduated in 1983, with
 a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English.
 This was later promoted to a Master of
Arts degree (MA (Oxon)), as per tradition.

After completing his first degree, Bryant began
 training to be a priest in the Church of England
at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, in Oxfordshire.
There, he obtained a degree in theology.

Although a member of the Conservative
 Party, and an elected office-holder in the
 Oxford University Conservative Association,
he joined the Labour Party in 1986, after
leaving Oxford.

He was ordained deacon in 1986 and priest in
1987. He served as a Curate at the Church of
 All Saints, High Wycombe, from 1986 to 1989;
then as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough,
as well as travelling in Latin America.

In 1991 Bryant left the ordained ministry, after
deciding that being gay and being a priest,
were incompatible. Statements made by
 Richard Harries, then Bishop of Oxford,
 also influenced his decision.

After leaving the priesthood in 1991, Bryant
worked as the election agent to the Holborn
 and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party,
 where he helped Frank Dobson hold his seat
 in the 1992 general election.

From 1993, he was Local Government officer
for the Labour Party; he lived in Hackney and
 was elected to Hackney Borough Council in
1993, serving until 1998. He became Chair of
the Christian Socialist Movement.

 He is both a member of the Labour Friends
 of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine &
 the Middle East. From 1994 to 1996 he was
 London manager of the leader-grooming
 "charity", Common Purpose.

 He was Labour candidate for Wycombe, in the
 1997 general election (he lost by 2,370 votes),
and Head of European Affairs for the BBC,
from 1998.

His selection for the very safe Labour seat of
Rhondda, South Wales in 2000, shocked many
 people given Bryant's background – gay, an ex-
Anglican vicar, and someone who was a Tory,
while studying at Oxford, and a member now,
of the Henry Jackson Society 'think tank' ---
 described by The Guardian newspaper as
 'neoconservative'. It is pro-US, pro-NATO
and pro-military intervention, as well as
being fundamentally anti-socialist.

 Fifty-two people applied for the candidature
and a local councillor was hot favourite to
 win, before Bryant was parachuted in.

In 2004, a photograph of Mr Bryant in his
 underpants, which he had posted to a gay
 dating website, was published in 'papers.

When an interviewer suggested he was
 a 'disgrace to the Rhondda', he replied:
"They can't get rid of me."


His pay, allowances and some expenses:

The basic annual salary for an MP, from
April 1st, 2016 is £74,962.  MPs also get
 expenses: to cover the costs of running
 an office, employing staff, having some-
where to live in London, plus, in their
constituency and travelling between
 Parliament and their constituency.


His MP's expenses story:

Chris Bryant changed second home
 twice to claim £20,000: the deputy
leader of the House of Commons,
 "flipped" his second home twice,
 in 2 years, allowing him to claim
 almost £20,000 for renovations
 and fees.

Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, split over
 £92,000 of expenses between 3 properties
 in Wales and London --- within five years.

In 2004, he attempted to claim £58,000 to
 overhaul his second home in Wales, after
allegedly complaining that properties in
his constituency were "terrace or mine
 owners' houses".

Mr Bryant, a former Church of England clergyman,
wanted the money for a new bathroom & kitchen,
 and to demolish his conservatory. He'd bought the
 detached house for £97,500, under a year earlier.

 He submitted a claim to the Commons fees office for
 £58,493.26 --- almost 3 times the annual maximum.
 He noted that the claim exceeded his allowance.

His alleged justification was disclosed... in
 correspondence between Commons officials.
 By email, an official wrote: "He had problems
finding a suitable property because in the
Rhondda there is a choice mainly of terraced
 property or mine owners' houses." When
approached by the Daily Telegraph,
Mr Bryant said: "I have never said
 or thought anything of the sort".

 In all, he successfully claimed over £13,000
 for renovations, repairs & appliances, in 2004.
Along with other bills, his annual claim was
 £20,902.

In April 2005, he flipped his expenses to his flat in
 west London, which he bought for £400,000 in April
 2002. He also claimed £630 a month for mortgage
 interest, along with other bills. After claiming over
 £3,600 over 3 months, he sold the flat in July 2005
 for £477,000.

Mr Bryant used his profits to buy a more expensive
 flat in west London, which was valued at £670,000.
 He immediately flipped his second home expenses
 there, claiming almost £6,400 in stamp duty, legal
fees and mortgage fees, incurred in the purchase.

He then began claiming interest of £1,000 a month
on the mortgage. He also claimed a further £6,000
 a year for the flat's service charge and ground rent.

In all, he claimed £92, 415 in second
home expenses, from 2004 to 2009.

Mr Bryant said at the time: "I moved flat in
 London, so as to be closer to Parliament."

Research by Channel 4 News in 2015 found that
at least 46 MPs had this kind of system in place
– a move one Labour backbencher described as
“a new fiddle”. Channel 4 reported then:

“Our investigation found that many of the MPs
 bought their London properties with the help of
the taxpayer, when a previous expenses system
 allowed them to claim back mortgage payments.
But when those claims were banned, following
 the expenses scandal, they switched to letting
out their properties, in some cases for up to
 £3,000 a month. They then started claiming
 expenses for rent and hotels in the capital.”

Among those identified was Chris Bryant, shadow
leader of the House of Commons. He had already
 bought a penthouse in London back in 2005 and
 claimed around £1,000 a month in mortgage
claims under the old system.

But after the expenses scandal, he started renting
the property out. It’s since been advertised by estate
 agents as having a private lift and a porter, with rent
 at about £3,000 a month. Meanwhile, Bryant moved
 into a new flat;- claiming his own rent on expenses.


August Strindberg's Birth Day

Today, January 22nd, in 1845,
 
August Strindberg,
 
polymath playwright, novelist,
poet, 
essayist and painter,
 
is born.
 
Johan August Strindberg was a prolific writer who often 
drew directly on his personal experience, for example,
on his painfully unhappy childhood. Strindberg's 
career spanned four decades, during which 
time he wrote over sixty plays and over
thirty works of fiction, autobiography, 
history, cultural analysis, and politics.
 
From his earliest work, he developed innovative 
forms of dramatic action, language, and visual 
composition.  He is considered the "father" 
of modern Swedish literature and his 
The Red Room (1879) has frequently 
been described as the first 
modern Swedish novel.
 
In Sweden, Strindberg is known as an essayist, 
painter, poet, and, especially, as a novelist and 
playwright, yet in other countries, he's known 
mostly, as a playwright.
 
Strindberg was also a telegrapher,
theosophist, photographer 
and alchemist.
 
Painting and photography offered vehicles for his belief 
that chance played a crucial part in the creative process.
 
 
 
“Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only 
the big eat the small; it is just as common for a 
bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad.”
 
 
“There are poisons that blind you, 
and poisons that open your eyes.”
 
 
“It's wonderful how, the moment you talk about God
 and love, your voice becomes hard, and your eyes 
fill with hatred. No, Margret, you certainly haven't
 the true faith.”
 
 
“We are already in Hell. It is the earth itself that is Hell,
the prison constructed for us by an intelligence 
superior to our own, in which I could not take a 
step without injuring the happiness of others, 
and in which my fellow creatures could not 
enjoy their own happiness without 
causing me pain.”
 
 
“Everything can happen, everything is possible 
and probable. Time and place do not exist; on 
a significant basis of reality, the imagination 
spins, weaving new patterns; a mixture of 
memories, experiences, free fancies,
 incongruities and improvisations.”
 
 
“The further from one another, 
the nearer one can be.”
 
 
“if you are afraid of loneliness, 
don't get married”
 
 
“Love between a man and woman is war.”
 
 
“Every moment of enjoyment
Brings to some one else a sorrow,
But your sorrow gladdens no one,
For from sorrow naught but sorrow springs.”
 
 
“And why does man weep when he is sad? 
I asked at last - Because the glass in the 
eyes must be washed now and then, 
so that we can see clearly, said
the child.”
 
 
“He saw the cause of his unhappiness in the family - 
the family as a social institution, which does not
permit the child to become an independent 
individual at the proper time.”
 
 
“I, too, am beginning to feel an immense need 
to become a savage and create a new world.”
 

 “For the whole of life consists of nothing but contradictions. 
The rich are the poor in spirit; the many little men hold the 
power, and the great only serve the little men. I've never 
met such proud people as the humble; I've never met 
an uneducated man who didn't believe himself in a 
position to criticise learning and to do without it.”


“I am a socialist, a nihilist, a republican, anything that is
anti-reactionary!... I want to turn everything upside
down to see 
what lies beneath; I believe we are so
webbed, so horribly 
regimented, that no spring-
cleaning is possible, 
everything must be
burned, blown to bits,
 and then we
can start afresh...”
 
 
“One gets more and more humble the longer one lives, 
and in the shadow of death many things look different.”




Wales elderly paying for health care

Figures released by The Office for National Statistics
(ONS) reveal that UK pensioners are 4th worst off....
out of all of the countries in the European Union.

_______________________________________

 
UK: Almost 2,000 COVID-Related Attacks 
on Emergency Services in Six Months
January 21st   (FNA)
 
 Almost 2,000 assaults on emergency workers were 
prosecuted in the six months following the UK’s 
first national lockdown, new figures showed.
 
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the attacks, 
often seeing police officers coughed and spat on, were 
the most common coronavirus-related crime between 
April 1 and September 30, The Independent reported.
 
The 1,688 offences also include incidents where officers 
were kicked, bitten and hit with heavy objects --- after 
stopping people suspected of breaking restrictions.
 
Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said
 the figures were “appalling” and that attacks were 
still taking place.
 
“I will continue to do everything in my power to protect t
hose who so selflessly keep us safe during this crisis,” 
he continued, adding, “We are also determined to see 
wider criminality during lockdown periods reflected 
in court, which is evident in the charges seen in 
this data.”
 
In one recent incident, a police officer believes he was 
infected with COVID by a suspect who spat on him 
while being arrested in Bournemouth on January 6.
 
The 47-year-old officer, who had been wearing a mask, 
said he developed symptoms two days later and has 
since tested positive for coronavirus.
 
“You can’t get control of somebody without necessarily 
getting hands-on with them - especially when they are 
not compliant, you have to contact them physically,” 
he added.
 
“COVID has changed things … you have to enter into 
that sort of zone of transmission. There is no way of 
avoiding that. We can use all the PPE and hand 
sanitiser in the world, ultimately, we are at 
higher risk,” he noted.
 
The police officer stated he and his colleagues should 
be “much nearer the front of the queue for vaccines”.
 
Another officer has been admitted to hospital after 
policing an anti-lockdown protest in Bournemouth 
earlier this month, Dorset Police stated, this week.
 
Senior police leaders have lobbied the government --- 
for frontline officers to be prioritised when the vaccine 
roll-out moves beyond the current 4 vulnerable groups.
 
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation 
(JCVI) has said it would consider exposure risk and 
occupation in the next phase, and on Wednesday 
Boris Johnson told MPs he wanted police, 
emergency service workers and teachers 
to be vaccinated “as soon as possible”.
 
The CPS recorded 6,469 offences flagged for a link to 
coronavirus between April and September, involving 
2,106 defendants. 90% of them were convicted.
 
The total included almost 1,200 prosecutions under the 
Health Protection Regulations, which initially enforced
 the national lockdown and have been adapted for 
different levels of restrictions, local lockdowns, 
mask wearing and other COVID laws.
 
The CPS added the cases included:  a man caught 
travelling illegally between different areas of Wales 
to find a prostitute, and a Manchester man who
 tried to claim attendees at a house party were 
his support bubble.
 
Some of the lockdown charges were against people 
prosecuted for other crimes, such as criminal 
damage and public order offences, and were 
breaking COVID laws at the same time.
 
Other coronavirus-flagged crimes were 480 public 
order offences, 466 criminal damage incidents, 
464 common assaults, & 2,234 other offences.
 
They included people threatening to “infect” victims 
with coronavirus, the theft of essential items during 
shortages early in the pandemic, and fraudsters
 taking advantage of the crisis.
 
 
____________________________



UK Now Has World's Highest 
Daily Coronavirus Death Rate, 
Oxford Research Reveals
by Oleg Burunov
19.01.2021 (Sputnik)
 
 
Britain, which is now in the grip of a national 
coronavirus lockdown, has Europe's highest 
COVID-19 death toll that currently stands at 
more than 90,000, according to Johns 
Hopkins University.
 
Right now, the UK has the highest daily coronavirus 
death rate in the world, figures collated by an 
Oxford University research platform 
have revealed.
 
According to Our World in Data, an average of 935 
daily fatalities in the past week was the equivalent 
of more than 16 people per one million dying each 
day from COVID-19.
 
The figures were published after UK Prime Minister 
Boris Johnson stressed that even though he 
"completely" understands Britons want to
 return to normal life as soon as possible,
 "it does depend on things going well".
 
"It depends on the vaccination programme going well, 
it depends on there being no new variants that throw 
our plans out and we have to mitigate against, and it 
depends on everybody, all of us, remembering that 
we're not out of the woods yet", Johnson stressed.
 
The statement followed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab 
saying late last week that the government hopes to ease 
some lockdown restrictions before the end of February 
as London presses ahead with the early rollout of a 
COVID-19 vaccine.
 
"What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown 
as soon as possible. By early spring, hopefully by March, 
we'll be in a position to make those decisions. I think it's 
right to say we won't do it all in one big bang. As we 
phase out the national lockdown, I think we'll end 
up phasing through a [regional] tiered approach", 
Raab noted.
 
He spoke after Johnson called for vaccinating a total of 
14 million people in the UK by mid-February. According 
to the prime minister, they should include the oldest 
age groups, as well as the clinically vulnerable and 
frontline workers.
 
The UK has been under a national coronavirus lockdown 
since 5 January, restrictions that stipulate the closure of 
schools and non-essential businesses, as well as people 
being ordered to work from home if possible.
 
As of Monday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain had 
climbed to 3,443,350, with 90,031 fatalities, according 
to the latest update from Johns Hopkins University.
 
 
 
_________________________
 




Post-Brexit 'Loophole' 
Lets UK Keep Sending
 Plastic Waste to Poorer 
Countries, Report Says
12.01.2021 (Sputnik) 
 
 
 The United Kingdom is facing a backlash
from 
environmentalists over a post-Brexit
"loophole" 
that allows it to ship plastic
waste to 
developing countries --- in
disregard of 
its previous pledges, 
The Guardian reported Tuesday.
 
From January 1, the European Union banned exports 
of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries outside 
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation 
and Development.
 
The UK, which left the EU’s single market and customs 
union on December 31, will continue the practice, 
despite Tory commitments that post-Brexit 
regulations would not undermine 
environmental standards, the 
British newspaper said.
 
The country, which is the 2nd-biggest producer of plastic 
waste after the United States, will now reportedly export 
plastic waste, under a procedure of prior informed 
consent, in accordance with which the importer 
can agree or disagree to take in 
such shipments.
 
Greenpeace political campaigner Sam Chetan-Welsh, 
quoted by the newspaper, slammed the UK 
government for creating a "loophole to
 
allow the dumping of our plastic trash 
on environments and communities" 
 in poorer countries, arguing that 
"this is not leadership, it’s failing 
to do the bare minimum."
 


_____________________________




Assange's Mother Calls UK Court's 
Ruling Against Extradition to US 
‘Best News’
04.01.2021 (Sputnik) 


Julian Assange’s mother Christine said Monday’s decision by
 a UK court to block her son’s extradition to the United States 
was "the best news."


"Thank you #TeamAssange... Its not over till hes safely home 
& all charges dropped, but today was the best news.. Its been 
10 long traumatic years. I hope I will hold my son again soon...
like I did here in 2010", she tweeted.


Fidel Narvaez, a former Ecuadorean consul who knew Assange 
from his time as a refugee at the Ecuadorean Embassy in 
London, told the media outside the court that the ruling 
was a "victory of all the people who never gave up."


"The British judicial system wanted to save face today, for those
 who were inside listening to the judge it was like listening to the
 prosecutors' statements to begin with. If it is not for the very, 
very fragile health condition of Julian Assange, he would be 
already extradited", he said.


He noted that the UK judicial system had upheld the political 
arguments provided by the US, meaning that freedom of 
expression was still under attack.


"The judge had to recognise…     the oppressive conditions of 
the US prison system and their special administrative measure 
for espionage cases and the risk of Julian going for suicide if 
he is extradited, that was the only things that stopped that", 
he added.


The WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower is wanted in the US 
on espionage charges after his website leaked thousands of 
secret US cables on Iraqi and Afghan wars. The court denied
 a US request to extradite him, over concerns for the 49-year
-old’s mental health.



______________________________________






Britain’s new plan to scrap gas boilers
 to hit zero emissions target will plunge
 MILLIONS into fuel poverty
by Damian Wilson
December 10th, 2020 (RT)


Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial 
industry consultant and political communications special 
advisor in the UK and EU.


UK climate change hardliners obsessed with eliminating carbon
 emissions want gas boilers replaced by 2033. But how will 
millions of Brits on the poverty line be able to pay for 
expensive new heat pumps costing upwards of £12k?


The climate change lobby will be toasting today’s launch of a 
whopping 1,000-page report detailing the UK’s pathway to 
hitting its 2050 net-zero emissions target, but the release 
does give rise to one unanswered question: who is 
actually footing the bill to turn Britain into a 
green utopia? 


Because while the Climate Change Committee’s extensive graphs
 and tables show an impressive shift from fossil fuels to cleaner 
alternatives, all this comes at a price beyond the reach of many.


Launching his green industrial revolution last month, Prime Minister 
Boris Johnson conjured up a new world of wind and nuclear energy
 where everyone cooks their breakfast on a hydrogen-fuelled hob 
and we all ride our bikes to work. 


Now, the government has chosen one of the coldest days of the year 
to announce that gas boilers, which currently heat 85 per cent of UK
 homes, should be banned entirely in 13 years.


That would mean fitting new heat pumps, costing thousands of 
pounds more than a gas boiler, in millions of homes across 
the country. 


The pumps are described as ‘reverse refrigerators’. Instead of making
 the inside colder and the outside warmer, they do the opposite, even
 when it’s freezing outside. Clever they might be, but they cost an
 arm and a leg whichever option you choose: air source, ground 
source or air-air. 


According to Friends of the Earth, while the heat pumps are an efficient
 way of providing heating, using around one unit of electricity to provide
 three units of heat – reducing your greenhouse gas footprint by up to
 60 percent – burnishing your green credentials comes at a price. The
 most efficient and quietest alternative, a ground-source pump, comes 
in at £23,000, according to estimates from the government’s 
consultancy firm.


The cheapest air-source versions will set you back an eye-watering
 £12,500, and like all the pumps, these sit outside the home and hum
 away like a fridge in your garden.


While most people agree that carbon reduction is a good thing, even if 
they don’t really understand what it’s all about, telling a single mother
 working two jobs to keep a roof over her family’s head that she needs 
to scrap her gas boiler for a much greener heat pump is an 
unenviable job.


No doubt there will be government grants, scrappage schemes and
 magical financial whizzbangery to sell these devices, but for many,
 the immediacy of finding dinner for tonight takes primacy over 
any planet-saving crusade.


How does this blanket ban on gas boilers make any sense to people
 who rely on a local food bank for the weekly shop or who have to
 choose whether to eat or heat as winter starts to bite. 


What the bods who sit on the CCC need to understand is that being
 green in the UK is a middle-class luxury. It’s a lifestyle option for 
those who can afford to make a choice and do so prompted by 
the pages of the Sunday supplements or an influencer’s 
account they follow on Instagram.


They can afford the green premium on their organic vegetable 
delivery from a biofuel van, the hybrid Lexus in the driveway 
or the sustainable glamping holiday in Cornwall. 


Outside this middle-class utopia, around 20 percent of people in the
 UK live in poverty. It’s a figure that shames us and we have been 
stuck on it for some years, according to the Joseph Rowntree
 Foundation. The government’s own statistics show that 
around 10 percent of people live in fuel poverty, 
meaning paying their fuel bills puts their 
household income below the 
poverty line.


These are not people looking to ditch their diesel- or petrol
-
chugging runabouts, worth a few hundred quid, for some-
thing powered by a lithium battery any time soon. Nor are 
they planning to outlay upwards of £12k on a heat pump 
while their gas boiler is working perfectly fine, just 
because the government says they should.


They would love cheaper energy and a cleaner car that doesn’t 
fail its MOT test each year thanks to its filthy exhaust emissions. 
But it’s a question of priorities. Do they eat and stay warm or do
 they join Greenpeace? 


Let’s aim for the sky on zero emissions. Of course we want a cleaner,
 greener world, but unless there is a parallel plan to tackle the endemic
 poverty that has no place in 2020 Britain, then plans for the planet will
 die on the vine as the essential public buy-in fails to materialise.


The government’s on-trend, Twitter-bite messaging is all very well, but
 it doesn’t mean a thing to a single Hartlepool mum on the breadline 
or the millions of others just like her.


Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!



_______________________________________




China eyes global anti-corruption 
cooperation in COVID-19 response
December 9th, 2020 (Xinhua)


 A senior Chinese official on Tuesday called for international anti-
corruption cooperation in the COVID-19 response to ensure that 
anti-epidemic funds and materials are used for saving lives.


Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist 
Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the 
National Commission of Supervision, made the remarks when 
attending a video conference on integrity in the COVID-19 
response and economic recovery by the Belt and Road 
cooperation partners.


Noting that global anti-corruption governance is facing new 
challenges, Yang called on all relevant parties to jointly 
combat cross-border business bribery, and create a 
standardized and legalized business environment 
under the principle of consultation and 
cooperation for shared benefits.


Before the conference, Yang met Ghada Waly, the Executive 
Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 
(UNODC), exchanging views with her on global anti-
corruption governance and preparations for the 
special session of UN General Assembly on 
anti-corruption issues in 2021 via video link.


He said later that all parties should adhere to multilateralism, 
support the authority of the UN in global anti-corruption 
governance, and make due contributions to building 
a better world with practical anti-corruption actions.


Representatives from 22 countries and international
 organizations participated in the conference online.


____________________________________________



UK wants to use literal army to fight 
‘anti-vaccine propaganda’ online.
 Are we in a budding totalitarian state?
By Lewis Olden, a London-based writer & entrepreneur
December 2nd, 2020 (RT)


With the impending rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine, a UK military cyber
 unit has been tasked to crack down on “online propaganda against 
vaccines.” Questioning something that will be injected into your 
body is now deemed radical.


With the anti-lockdown narrative beginning to become more prominent 
throughout the UK following the arrest of 150 people over the past 
weekend, a clampdown on independent thought is looming. The 
arrests were made because of anti-lockdown protests in 
London, and the heavy-handed nature of dealing with 
these protests is extraordinarily alarming.


Now the crackdown is moving online, where the gradual destruction 
of free speech is becoming ever more blatant and cynical. The 
Sunday Times reported that there is even a brazen operation 
to suppress people’s fundamental right to express 
their opinion.


The UK authorities intend on literally using military intelligence 
brigades to manage the elimination of free speech. The primary
 target of this military operation is what the Times calls “anti-vax 
militants” and supposed propaganda content across the internet
 and social media.


Info-warriors to battle stations


The unit that will be leading this operation are the renowned 77th
 Brigade. The 77th Brigade has been mobilised to conduct 
information warfare and was initially conceived to assist
 in operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The 
covert unit often works in cohesion with 
psychological operations teams 
within the army.


The 77th Brigade is a unit that combines the Army and Army 
Reserves for the purpose of non-lethal warfare & behavioural 
influence. The unit is currently based at Denison Barracks in 
Berkshire. It bills itself as “an agent of change” that uses 
“targeted information” activity and online outreach to 
assist with military objectives. 


The use of psychological operations to influence the narrative 
across social media platforms to ensure that the general 
conversation reflects the desired viewpoint is a powerful 
tool. Throughout 2020 the 77th Brigade has been 
coordinating with the Cabinet Office to counter
 ‘misinformation’ related to Covid-19.


It is interesting to note that the recently appointed Parliamentary 
Under Secretary of State for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim 
Zahawi, is the co-founder of YouGov. Targeting online polls is a 
specific method of psychological impression, as when people 
see their view is not the common understanding of reality, 
they may begin to reassess their opinion on a 
specific topic.


The interpretation of who is deemed to be an “anti-vaccine militant”
 is subjective, and there is certainly a wide scope for the abuse of 
such operations. Authorities have their own distorted idea of what
 constitutes ‘propaganda’ – and the damning label can potentially 
be slapped on anyone who dares to raise concerns about the
 imminent vaccines that have been developed within an 
unprecedented timeframe. 


Critiquing or even questioning any potential side effects or the 
motives behind the vaccine could result in the abolition of 
your name from the internet.


The irony of calling this an operation against “propaganda content”
 must not be lost on those who are executing it. Such an operation
 is an attempt to control free speech, it is an extraordinarily 
dangerous precedent to set and the death of debate is a 
very slippery slope. Sliding into a dictatorial state where 
people cannot oppose the authorities’ actions or plans 
leaves us all at risk of losing our fundamental human 
right to freedom of speech.


Nefarious ‘state actors’ or legitimate concerns?


An elite force, that from conception has been trained to control minds, 
is now being utilised against ‘state actors’ spreading ‘anti-vaccine 
propaganda’. The Ministry of Defence claims the UK population 
will not be targeted -- but we have all seen how easy it is for the 
government to ascribe any dissent to malign foreign influence
-- thus devaluing any legitimate concerns of its citizens.


This is a terrifying example of UK authorities manifesting
the totalitarian power that they believe they possess.
The silencing of those who are
legitimately sceptical
about the circumstances in which a vaccine has
 been produced are being denied the right to
voice their fears.

No 
matter how mad a conspiracy theory or how deluded
an individual 
may be, they should always retain the right
to speak their mind 
without fear of retribution, so long
as they are not doing so in 
a threatening manner.


The UK is purchasing over 350 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine
 from various pharmaceutical companies. The panic in which the
 vaccine was formulated and subsequently approved should 
lead to questions about its efficacy and safety. In any other 
situation, these would be seen to be perfectly 
reasonable concerns.


In the world we live in, every decision you make is recorded and
 watched, and a calculation as to why you elected to make that 
decision is made. Many of your thoughts are predetermined 
and fabricated before you even think them, you do not even 
question whether they are your own. Advertising so 
imperceptible, you are often blissfully unaware of 
how easily and comprehensively your 
personality is understood.


Society is starting to truly appreciate the power that data can hold.
 It is widely accepted that large technology companies are abusing 
the control they have obtained and are diminishing their user’s
 right to privacy. We are seeing various technologies being
maltreated by publicly listed corporations for profit, and 
the control they can have over your daily life grows 
with every second you engage with their technology.


Now, just imagine the power a state-backed cyber warfare unit could 
have. The mission that the 77th Brigade is on and its methods are 
still only vaguely understood – but the state already possesses a 
wide range of methods for covert information warfare. GCHQ’s 
Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), for example, 
boasts an arsenal of over 200 “info-weapons,” ranging from 
spoofed SMS messages to artificially increasing traffic to a 
specific website and manipulating online polls. With society’s
 growing reliance on technology to guide our collective 
consciousness, controlling this battlefield could be a 
means to conquer our minds and effectively police 
our thoughts. Thinking the wrong thing could 
become a crime, and we could find ourselves 
living in a state of perpetual anxiety where 
the defiance of compliance will never 
go unpunished.


A screen-addicted society is easy to control


The ever-darkening addiction to a glass screen that’s on your person
 24 hours a day and knows who you are with more precision than you
 know yourself is not natural. Promoting products you didn’t realise 
you needed until they were thrust before your eyes. Reading 
various articles all presented at particular moments on 
specific platforms to ensure the commentary results 
in you attaining the preferred conclusion.


The majority of many people’s lives are now spent interacting with
 screens and lockdown has only enhanced this phenomenon. It is 
therefore understandable why the UK authorities choose to focus
 their attention on controlling what is permitted to be shared online. 
By controlling these mediums of communication with subtle 
manipulation that is invisible, the illusion of control can be 
achieved by phantom force that remains intangible. Using 
technology to understand how modern society thinks and
 behaves enables state actors to accurately predict their
 population’s reaction to specific information & prepare
for the outlawed conjecture. This, in combination with 
silencing the critics, allows a single narrative to form
 which is taken as gospel by a large proportion 
of society.


The power to infect people’s minds is unlike any political tool in 
history. Creating the realms of perception and concocting the 
premeditated response enables the infiltration of free thought. 
What news-related media impacts your impression of reality 
and the ability to impact what you believe to be your individual 
opinion cannot be underestimated. Your activity & behaviour 
online provides a more precise picture of who you really are
 than your ego would ever allow. Therefore, those with the 
access to your data can ascertain what truly motivates 
you and what your core beliefs are. If these do not 
correlate with their own ambitions, a campaign of
 misinformation and manipulation can be initiated
 to attempt to alter these points of view.


Fear hangs heavy in the air and the greatest fear of all is, 
no one is sure what they are afraid of. The revelation 
about the conduct of the 77th Brigade, sheds some
light on the concise operation against free thought 
--- yet the most horrifying elements of control 
remain 
disguised in broad daylight and
inconspicuous
 in the shadows.  


Freedom is never free; you have to fight for it.


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___________________________




Boris Defends Bully Patel but Not Pensioners –
 His Govt is Morally Repugnant
by Tommy Sheridan
22/11/2020  (Source - Sputnik)


Anyone surprised by BoJo’s decision to condone shameful bullying at
 the heart of his government and order a “square” of defence be formed
 “around the prittster” after he decided to keep Priti Patel in his cabinet
 despite her being found guilty of breaching the Ministerial Code and
 bullying, has plainly been sleeping over the past eleven months.


That period has exposed the rancid hypocrisy, corruption, cronyism, 
and lack of integrity which characterises Johnson and the Tories 
under his leadership.


Priti Patel was accused of disgraceful conduct and bullying while an 
employment Minister under Theresa May in 2015, behaviour which 
drove a female civil servant to attempt suicide on at least two 
occasions and ended with a Department of Work & Pensions
 pay-out of £25,000 in April 2017 to avoid the scrutiny of an 
Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, harassment, 
discrimination, and victimisation.


Patel the Bully Became Patel the Liar


Patel was then moved to the role of International Secretary only to be
 found out as a devious liar whom May had to sack after her deliberate
 misleading of the PM and Parliament over secret meetings with Israeli 
officials, business representatives and lobbyists was exposed. She
 lied and was caught. She had to go.


Being a dishonest bully presented no barrier to Boris Johnson’s 
cabinet however and he appointed Patel as his Home Secretary 
in July 2019 after he became Tory leader.


Within weeks the top civil servant in the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam, 
felt compelled to warn her about her conduct and lack of respect for 
staff before eventually resigning from his post at the end of February
 this year in a move which caused shock waves in the civil service 
and government. He accused Patel of lying about a “vicious” 
campaign orchestrated against him and creating a climate 
of fear in her department.


Patel Investigation Handicapped from the Outset


A high-level investigation was reluctantly ordered into the allegations
 made by Rutnam, and he vowed to pursue a constructive dismissal 
claim against the government which is yet to be concluded. It is 
increasingly clear that the investigation has been less than 
rigorous as the senior civil servant appointed to conduct 
it was refused access to Rutnman despite him being the 
best equipped to inform the investigation. 


However the report that was compiled was laid on Johnson’s desk 
in April and he refused to act on it for months before recently 
contacting the author, Sir Alex Allan, and leaning on him to 
water down the conclusions. Despite the limited access to 
witnesses the investigation still found Priti Patel "shouted 
and swore" at staff in actions "that can be described 
as bullying" and that she had indeed breached the 
Ministerial Code which is normally an automatic 
resignation offence.


The fact Sir Alex Allan, former chair of the prestigious Joint 
Intelligence Committee, chose to resign rather than alter his
 report to save Patel’s reputation is admirable, but the full 
report is being kept secret. It must be revealed in full and 
the fact it was severely handicapped by the barring of 
access to Rutman’s input must also be highlighted.


Johnson Willing to Protect Patel but not Pensioners in Care Homes
Patel was ordered to issue an apology on camera on Friday but all
 it did was rub salt in the wounds of the campaign against bullying
 as she smugly smirked and smiled when she claimed to have no
 knowledge of bullying but apologised anyway. Please watch and
 remember - her conduct drove a lowly paid civil servant to 
attempt suicide on two occasions and compelled a very 
senior civil servant to resign. The lack of contrition for 
her actions and empathy for her victims is truly
 frightening.


If Johnson and his Tory gang of millionaires and spivs showed an iota 
of the concern and commitment to defend elderly care residents as
they have shown to defend lying bully Patel at least 20,000 lives 
could have been saved. A shocking report compiled by Amnesty
 International last month received very little media attention but 
condemned the Tory Covid19 response as a dereliction of duty 
and care towards elderly citizens.


Read the document and understand just how complicit this Tory
 government is in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens. It 
presents evidence that the government’s policy of herd immunity
 was responsible for mass murder. The government was entirely 
aware of the probable outcome of their policy and went ahead
 regardless of the risk to thousands of lives.


The report, “As if expendable: The UK government’s failure to protect 
older people in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic”, details 
how, between March 2 and June 12, 18,562 residents of care homes
 in England died with COVID-19. The vast majority (18,168) were 
aged 65 and over, representing almost 40 percent of all deaths 
involving the virus in England during this time frame. Of these, 
76 percent (13,844 deaths) occurred within care homes for
 the elderly.


During this brief period, 28,186 “excess deaths” were recorded
 in English care homes, a 46 percent increase in comparison 
with the same period over previous years.


Amnesty conclude that the Tory government together with its 
agencies at national and local level have “taken decisions and 
adopted policies during the Covid-19 pandemic that have directly
 violated the human rights of older residents of care homes in
 England—notably their right to life, their right to health, and 
their right to non-discrimination”.


The report argues that the decisions and policies of the Tory
 government “impacted the rights of care home residents to 
private and family life, and may have violated their right not 
to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment”.


Johnson was determined to “form a square around the prittster”
 to defend his lying bully Patel at the Home Office but didn’t lift a 
finger to defend thousands of pensioners in care homes. That is
 the warped and putrid priorities which define this government.


A Litany of Government Failures but No Resignations
Their top advisor broke lockdown rules but there was no resignation.


They have been caught awarding contracts worth over £20 billion of 
public money without proper scrutiny or tendering processes to
 friends of senior Tories and companies known to donate to the 
Tory party and no one has resigned.


The UK government’s late response to Covid-19 and failure to 
impose lockdown measures caused the unnecessary deaths 
of 20,000 --- but no one resigned from government.
International law will be broken because of the government’s
 Internal Market Bill --- but no one resigns.


The Johnson government backs bullies, liars, public contract 
cheats and international law breaking. It is morally repugnant 
and thoroughly incompetent. No wonder Scotland is so keen 
to break away as soon as possible.


_________________________________________________



Biden’s climate advisor has ties 
to oil and gas industry: Report
November 21st, 2020 (Press TV)


US President-elect Joe Biden’s senior advisor on climate change 
has faced strong criticism from environmental advocates over
 his ties with the oil and gas industry, according to a report.
Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana congressman who has played a 
key role in Biden’s presidential campaign, was named as a 
senior adviser to the president-elect and will become 
director of the White House Office of Public 
Engagement, The Guardian reported.


Richmond will advise Biden on climate change --- and help 
advance the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.


At a press conference this week, Richmond – who has 
represented a south Louisiana district for 10 years – 
announced that he would resign from Congress 
to assume his new position.


“I look forward to changing not only Louisiana but the 
entire south and empowering its citizens,” he said.


The Democrat has been under criticism from both local 
constituents and climate activists for receiving 
generous donations from the oil, gas and 
chemical industries.


He has also exhibited a degree of indifference to local air 
pollution, with his congressional district being home
to 
seven of the 10 most air-polluted census tracts
in the US.


Richmond pledged greater public engagement 
to address the issue.


Some advocates said while they were worried about 
Richmond’s track record on the climate, they were 
cautiously optimistic about his new appointment.


“I think he’s in a position now to be able to better serve the 
constituents of his district,” said Robert Taylor, president 
of the Concerned Citizens of St John Parish, a community 
group in one of the most polluted parts of the region.


“I’m happy to see him get the appointment, I just hope he 
uses it to help us,” he told the paper. Taylor added: “I 
would like to see him hold these chemical plants 
accountable because they are getting away
with murder.”


Biden has signaled his intent to put climate change on top 
of his administration's policy agenda. However, concerns 
persist about the degree to which the Democrat is willing 
to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry.


Apart from Richmond, environmental activists are worried 
about Ernest Moniz, another individual with ties to the oil 
and gas industry who is widely speculated to have been 
picked to lead the Department of Energy.


Moniz was Secretary of Energy in the administration of 
former President Barack Obama from 2013 through to
2017 and played a critical role in mustering support 
for the controversial use of fracking to produce 
natural gas.


Moniz is currently a director of Southern Company, the 
second-highest carbon-polluting energy company 
in America.


During the 2020 campaign, Biden unequivocally rejected 
calls to ban fracking, which experts say is harmful to the 
environment and people’s health.



___________________________________________




Report: Patients Discharged from 
UK Hospitals without COVID Test Results
October 28th, 2020 (FNA)


Almost half of hospital patients have been discharged 
without receiving the results of their coronavirus test 
– including some patients who were sent to care 
homes, new research revealed.


Independent national patient body Healthwatch England 
said it had learned many patients were discharged from 
hospitals between March and August this year without 
proper assessments with many vulnerable people sent 
home without medication, equipment or the care they 
needed, The Independent reported.


At the start of the pandemic thousands of patients were 
discharged to care homes as NHS England instructed 
hospitals to free up 15,000 beds ahead of the first 
wave of coronavirus.


Approximately 25,000 patients were sent to care homes 
with some not tested, sparking fears this helped seed 
care homes with the virus. There have been around 
16,000 care home deaths linked to COVID-19.


According to a survey of almost 600 discharged patients 
and interviews with 60 NHS staff, Healthwatch England 
said it had found serious flaws with the way hospitals 
had followed NHS England’s instructions.


In joint research with the British Red Cross, shared with 
The Independent, it found that 44 percent of patients were 
discharged without knowing the result of their corona-
virus test - including some to care homes.


It said, “Despite the policy stating that all patients 
discharged to a care home should be tested for 
COVID-19, we found that 26 percent of our 
survey respondents who were discharged 
to a care home were not tested.”


While the numbers involved were small, only 13 out of 50 
patients, the report added that this was “still a significant 
proportion of people who were required to be tested 
but did not receive one”.


Healthwatch added that while patients going to care homes 
must have the results available and shared with the home
it was still not national policy to test everyone being 
discharged. It argued this should now be an 
''ambition'' for the government.


Its report also raises concerns about the wider care 
of vulnerable patients sent home from hospital.


88 percent of patients reported having care needs 
after being discharged that have still not been met.  


82 per cent did not receive a visit or any
assessment from a health professional


Almost one in five of those who did not 
receive a visit, reported unmet needs.


In total 45 percent of people with a disability and 
20 percent of people with a long-term condition 
had support needs that were not being met, 
following their discharge.  


Healthwatch England criticised the national discharge 
policy put in place by NHS bosses, as “confusing” in 
places which it said may have contributed to some 
patients missing out on the care they needed.


Robert Francis QC, chair of Healthwatch England, said, 
“In March, hospitals were asked to discharge patients 
with little or no notice and the speed with which this 
took place was important, but led to mistakes."


“We do not want to detract from the heroic efforts of
t
hose on the frontline, who often put themselves at 
great risk to care for their patients, but services 
and system leaders have now had more time 
to prepare," he said.


“It’s essential that we learn from what people have 
shared with us about the impact that a poorly 
handled discharge can have on them and 
their loved ones. Taking action now will 
not only reduce the risk to patients but 
will also help improve the way people 
leave hospital in the future,” he added.


The British Red Cross and Healthwatch England said 
assessments for patients needed to be prioritised.


They also called for discharge checklists to make 
sure patients were asked if they needed help with 
transport and equipment.


Other recommendations included making sure carers 
and patients had a single contact for support, which 
was already national policy but still not fully adopted.


The report also said community services needed 
to be boosted, to cope with increased demands.


British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said, 
“We’ve seen first-hand the huge efforts made to 
improve the discharge process for patients and 
their families. However, we also know, despite 
good intentions and hard work, there are still 
barriers to making the ideals of discharge 
policy a reality."


“The Red Cross has been bearing witness to these 
issues for years, and we hope that the increased 
urgency of the situation will bring lasting change. 
Many of the people we support are older or more 
vulnerable, & fall into the higher-risk categories
 for COVID-19," Adamson said.


“Simple interventions, like getting equipment and 
medicine delivered, or follow-up visits, can make 
the difference between a good recovery or some-
one regressing to the point of readmission - 
precisely at the time we want people to 
stay well, and stay at home,” he said.


Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, 
said, “There has long been a wide consensus about the 
benefits for patients of being able to return home as 
soon as their specialist hospital care is complete, 
and it is good that delays have been reduced in 
recent times. While this is a very small snap-
shot survey, local hospitals will want* (sic) 
to take account of the points it makes.”


 (*No they won't!)


_________________________________________
 


By backing housing charity’s ‘Jewish only’ rule, 
UK court drops the ball. Aren’t we all equal in Britain?
by Chris Sweeney October 17th, 2020 (Source: RT)



A small legal challenge has turned into a precedent-
setting case about whether someone in today’s 
Britain can be prioritised or denied housing on 
the basis of their religion.The law isn’t always 
right and it’s not just people who can be 
taken hostage.


In a disgraceful decision deemed legitimate by the UK’s
 highest court, a single mother with four children was 
refused social housing – because she wasn’t a Jew.


It’s that simple. 


The charity Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA) 
owns 470 houses in the London borough of Hackney.
 Local authorities promised, in October 2017, the 
next available home to the woman and her kids, 
two of whom are autistic.


AIHA refused to hand over the keys to any 
of its SIX four-bedroom, unoccupied flats.


Their argument was it makes offers “only to members 
of the Orthodox Jewish community.” As Britain is a 
secular nation, the woman’s legal team found this 
claim astonishing and argued it had the same 
sentiment as the ‘No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish’ 
signs that were once displayed in some pubs. 


Lord Sales stated the charity’s use of positive discrimination 
was lawful, under the Equality Act 2010, in order to correct 
the disadvantage faced by the community. The issue 
apparently was not racism, but discrimination on 
the grounds of religious observance. The court 
considered the “widespread and increasing 
overt antisemitism in our society.”


Intolerance or hate speech of any form is unacceptable. 
But it’s hard to believe the courts and public reaction 
would have been the same, if this had been Islam or 
a group of Pashtuns from the Iranian border region.


Jewish affairs are treated differently. There's a 'kid gloves' 
approach and they’re deemed to be culturally valuable, 
while other communities are sometimes dismissed as 
interlopers. AIHA’s founder Ita Cymerman-Symons, 
speaking last year about the legal action, offered 
the view: “Which non-Jewish person, honestly 
speaking, wants to live in the midst of a 
building full of Haredi men with all the 
beards, and all the chanting on a 
Friday night and all the children?”


A homeless single mother with four children 
for one, along with many others.


Plenty of people in social housing endure noisy neighbours, 
potent cooking smells and screaming kids. But isn’t that 
wonderful? Diversity and living cheek by jowl with 
people who see, think and believe different
things 
to you.


That’s a rich learning experience for anyone.


The fallacy of the AIHA’s superiority complex of viewing 
Orthodox Jews above others is, every public service is 
available to their members. And, of the charity’s 2019 
income of £105,710, the sum of £39,716 came from 
British government grants. They won’t be stone-
walled at hospital or refused entry on a bus, so 
why should they be allowed to create their 
small-minded kingdom with impunity?


These Jewish community leaders seem to be shutting out 
anyone who doesn’t align with their beliefs. It’s unhealthy 
and depressing, especially in a multicultural metropolis 
like London.


The judgement also referenced issues that Orthodox Jews 
don’t like to live outside of the Stamford Hill area and they 
tend to be poorer than the wider Jewish community. Many 
of us would prefer not to live outside of the millionaire’s 
playgrounds of Kensington, Knightsbridge and Mayfair – 
but we tend to be poorer, so can’t afford it. That doesn’t 
mean the courts would support us founding the 
Republic of Poverty Housing Association, and 
letting us administer who can move in.


Even if we concede that Orthodox Jews appear to support 
AIHA’s ghetto-isation, aren’t the courts supposed to rule 
for the greater good? It makes no sense to encourage 
people to live in self-imposed enclaves. How are they 
going to progress in life, or do they never plan to 
leave the streets around their homes?


There’s also a wider impact of the judgement. It raises the 
hackles of the population. It hacks away at the concept of 
respecting every other citizen. The far-right will jump on 
this and sadly there’s no defence. It will birth more 
discontentment and raise tensions. 


The law lords have dropped the ball, because they are the 
highest court in the land, they had the chance to set a 
precedent. They seem to have been influenced by 
Jewish sensitivity, that labels anyone who 
disagrees with the faith an anti-Semite.
 It’s hard to see how justice, fairness, 
compassion and understanding are 
applicable. But superiority, tokenism 
and favouritism have been advanced.


Why?


Well one of the court’s final points was AIHA was "a small 
housing provider, but similar discrimination by a larger one 
might not be allowed.”


We’re all equal, right?

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has 
written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily 
Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with 
several international-selling magazines. Follow 
him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney




______________________________________





Brits should be ashamed of the casual cruelty 
we show towards over-60s, and shrugging it 
off as ‘banter’, does nothing to excuse it.
by Damian Wilson
9th October, 2020


Two-thirds of UK over-60s say they have been abused in 
public because of their age, with a fifth saying insults 
come from within their own families. It seems the 
idea that we should ‘respect our elders’, is no 
longer in fashion.


We live in a society where everyone just loves to talk 
about ‘respect.’ Even primary school children are 
indoctrinated with the concept, told they are due 
it by right and can demand it from others, if it’s 
not forthcoming. It’s all one-way traffic.


That’s why, as they grow older, and insist on enforcing 
their entitlement, it becomes increasingly evident that 
while they assume that right is a given for them, they 
actually don’t give a toss about it applying to 
anyone else.


Every now and then, research will put this into sharp relief, 
as is shown in the results of a survey undertaken by the 
University of the Third Age (u3a). The study found that 
the more senior members of society, basically those 
aged 60 and over, are frequently insulted by younger 
people, and they don’t like it.


Clueless Millennials, Zoomers and even Gen X’ers told the 
u3a pollsters that they don’t mean anything by slinging 
ageist insults, they were simply being “friendly” and 
the name-calling was just “banter.” Everyone 
does it.


The growing tendency of young people to airily dismiss their 
elders as over the hill old fogeys, and to even insult them in 
public because of their age, is not ‘banter,’ it’s insulting 
and rude.


The misuse of ‘bants’ as a term is one of modern life’s 
great irritations, because while young people have 
co-opted the word to (mis)represent the sort of 
behaviour that borders on bullying, with a thin 
coating of vicious humour, they are 
deeply mistaken.


Banter, in its traditional form, is an exchange between 
two people, a battle of wits, a game of intellectual 
ping-pong, like those nerdy folk on Channel 4 panel 
shows. Usually, those engaging in banter finish 
their jousting with a smug, self-congratulatory 
smile. It’s showing off, it’s proving how clever
you are. It’s not calling someone an old fart 
and shoving them out of the way.


Where’s the give and take, or clever verbal sparring, in 
a teenager shouting at an elderly woman in the street, 
“You dozy old biddy, move it!”. Or standing behind a 
chap of a certain age at a shop checkout, as he 
searches for his wallet and complaining,
“C’mon 
grandpa, hurry up!”?


That’s not banter. That’s something completely different. 


A new sort of passive-aggressive behaviour combined 
with name-calling, is increasingly common among 
young Brits these days, thinking that getting one 
over another person is some sort of achievement 
proving their superiority, particularly if it
belittles 
their victim as a result.


Of those surveyed, 63 per cent of over 60s said they 
had been verbally abused in public, with an ageist 
insult, while others had also noticed an increase 
in insults on television (65 per cent) social media
(33 per cent) and even from their own family 
(21 per cent).


My 11-year-old  thinks it’s funny to call me a ”boomer” 
when I can’t find the TV remote. She has a very clear 
idea of what the insult suggests, even if she’s 
actually out of range by a few years. I’m 56 -- 
so borderline Gen X’er, thank you very much.


Unfortunately for me, British families in general 
are not the sort of multi-generational dynasties, 
such as in Italy or India,  in which patriarchs 
& matriarchs, are given lifelong roles at the 
head of their family and afforded a respect 
that other members ignore at their peril.


Break the rules in one of these families, cause offence 
to an elder, and you will bring down the wrath of 
generations upon your head, face humiliation 
and even ostracisation. There is a sense of 
honour woven into the fabric of the family. 
These families are, sadly, not common 
amongst the British.


So most kids and young adults have no hesitation 
in freely hurling abuse at someone they consider 
a geriatric, past it, a fuddy duddy, over the hill, a 
fogey, a crone, an old dear, a codger, a biddy or 
a fossil, which by the way, are those insults 
most frequently employed, according to u3a.


This sort of casual cruelty, and the disregard 
it displays towards our seniors, is hugely 
disrespectful & we should be ashamed 
that it’s so widely accepted as nothing 
out of the ordinary.


We’re all guilty here. Causing offence like this should 
provoke more concern than it does, because it is an 
unwelcome sign of a breakdown in social and family 
hierarchies. Ignoring the concepts of seniority and 
wisdom --- we treat human beings like any other 
consumable, in our consumer-driven world ---
with a finite shelf-life & built-in obsolescence.


Many people feel no qualms about calling out an older 
person, in public, to remind them their time is up as a 
useful contributor to society and they need to shift 
it or risk being steamrolled by those behind them. 
While maybe not articulated quite like that as a 
traffic queue forms behind an elderly motorist 
showing excessive caution at a road junction, 
that, sadly, is often the underlying sentiment 
and we should be ashamed.


But most often, we’re not. We’re just annoyed at 
the inconvenience that someone older than us,
is causing to ourselves. Nearly 10 years ago, 
Age UK made a study of ageism & identified
it as the most widely experienced form of 
discrimination across Europe, affecting 
164 million senior citizens at that time.


Nothing much has changed in the UK in this regard 
since 2011, it seems. And if the latest study is 
anything to go by, things have become 
even worse. 


Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street 
editor, financial industry consultant and political 
communications special advisor in the UK & EU.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in 
this column are solely those of the author and do 
not necessarily represent those of RT.



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 Figures Reveal 17,000 Elderly People in UK 
Forced to Sell Home to Pay for Care Costs 
in Just One Year
October 5th, 2020 (Fars news agency)


More than 17,000 pensioners were forced to sell their homes 
to pay for social care last year, research by Money Mail reveals.


The shocking figure means that 330 elderly residents each 
week are taking the desperate step despite Prime Minister 
Boris Johnson’s promise to fix the social care funding crisis.


The calculations reveal the scale of the emergency, showing 
that the numbers forced to sell their hard-won homes have 
soared 45 percent since 2000.