GREAT BRITAIN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

GREAT BRITAIN

Jul 01 13:57

UK government evasive about sanctions if Israel annexes West Bank

Stuart Littlewood highlights the UK government’s deceptive policy towards Israel’s impending formal annexation of occupied Palestinian territories, noting that while ministers reject the prospect of annexation, they insist on being “friends and allies” of Israel regardless of its horrendous crimes.

Jul 01 11:04

UK firms slash 11,000 jobs in two days in retail and aviation

John Lewis has said it will close stores but has not confirmed how many jobs will go.

Topshop owner Arcadia and Harrods said they planned a total of 1,180 job cuts.

Others lay-offs to have been announced include:

Up to 5,000 job cuts at Upper Crust owner SSP Group
Up to 700 jobs at Harrods
About 600 workers at shirtmaker TM Lewin
300 staff cuts across Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank
1,700 UK jobs at planemaker Airbus
1,300 crew and 727 pilots at EasyJet

Jul 01 10:40

High Street bloodbath continues: John Lewis will close stores and axe staff as Harrods announces 700 jobs losses with other chains set to follow suit as more shoppers go online instead

John Lewis is expected to axe stores, workers and one of its headquarters as well as jobs at its sister business Waitrose while Harrods today revealed it must slash around 700 posts as coronavirus continues to choke Britain's high streets

The bad news at two of the UK's best loved department stores came amid disaster for retailers up and down the country as TM Lewin, Harveys, Bensons for Beds and Upper Crust hit the wall and tens of thousands of jobs are at risk in the ailing airline and engineering sectors.

Jun 30 15:19

Latest insanity to test how unquestioningly acquiescent you are – No Singing, Touching Or Trombones: The Government’s New ‘Covid-Safe’ Wedding Guidelines

Singing, touching, and “instruments that are blown into” are all off limits under new government guidance for coronavirus-safe weddings.

Large receptions after the ceremony, food for guests and loud music have also been specifically advised against in the guidance, which was published on Monday morning.

Even the process of exchanging rings has been sanitised, with the new advice specifically advising that “hands should be washed before and after”, with the wedding bands themselves “handled by as few people as possible”.

Jun 30 10:27

EasyJet to sack up to 4,500 staff and close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports as Covid pandemic deals another devastating blow to the airline industry

EasyJet is expected to lose up to 4,500 jobs across its entire network including around 1,900 UK employees.

Some 727 of its UK-based pilots are at risk of redundancy, equivalent to about one-third of its pilots in the country.

...

The beleaguered Luton-based carrier becomes the latest domino to fall in the aviation industry, which has suffered massive losses in the wake of the pandemic.

British Airways is cutting up to 12,000 staff, and Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair will each let go of around 3,000.

Jun 30 09:07

Leicester forced into local lockdown to combat surge in Covid-19 cases

It means the city of more than 300,000 people will have to wait while the rest of England enjoys new freedoms ... “The seven-day infection rate in Leicester is 135 cases per 100,000 people which is three times higher than the next highest city,”

So, using these numbers, ~400 people have tested positive for covid in the past 7 days.

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1327
The overall death rate from covid-19 has been estimated at 0.66%, rising sharply to 7.8% in people aged over 80 and declining to 0.0016% in children aged 9 and under.

Leicester is being closed down because a disease might cause a couple of deaths. Insanity.

Jun 30 08:33

Twelve million jobs are now being propped up by the state: Furlough bill rises by another £2.6billion in a WEEK to £25billion, while grants to self-employed hit £7.7bn

The coronavirus job retention scheme (JRS) which pays 80 per cent of salary costs for staff - rose £2.6billion this week from £22.9billion the week before.

It is now supporting 9.3 million jobs according to data released by the Treasury and HMRC this morning.

Additionally the support scheme for the self-employed rose to 7.7billion, across 2.6million claims.

Jun 30 08:29

GDP plunged by 2.2 per cent in three months before lockdown – the biggest fall since 1979 and WORSE than previously thought – as the Treasury prepares to borrow another £50BILLION to prop up the economy

Revised figures showed GDP tumbled by 2.2 per cent between January and March - the joint largest fall since 1979.

The plunge was bigger than the 2 per cent previously estimated, and underlines the scale of the pain facing the country.

UK plc is thought to have fallen off a cliff in after the draconian lockdown was imposed on March 23, with forecasts for the current quarter suggesting the worst recession in 300 years.

Jun 30 05:40

Doctors for Assange Say UK May be Liable for His Torture

UK officials may be legally culpable in the torture of Julian Assange

Doctors have warned that UK officials could be held accountable for the torture of Julian Assange in an open letter published in The Lancet on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The 216 undersigned physicians and psychologists from 33 countries have accused UK and U.S. government officials of intensifying Julian Assange’s psychological torture in spite of the world’s leading authorities on human rights and international law calling for his immediate release from prison.

Clinical Psychologist and Australian co-author of the publication, ‘The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange’, Dr Lissa Johnson said the failure to properly treat Mr Assange may amount to an act of torture in which state officials, from parliament to court to prison, risk being judged complicit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government is hoping and praying that Assange will die in his British prison, because what he actually said, though Wikileaks, has never, ever been disproven, and what he did was to embarrass the American government greatly for its collective, and pathological, serial stupidity.

Jun 29 12:08

Coronavirus: 'Most realistic' scenario says 10m will be on NHS waiting list by Christmas

Ten million people could be on waiting lists for NHS treatment by Christmas, health bosses have warned.

The combined effects of following social distancing measures, a backlog of treatments and staffing challenges are the main factors that will cause waiting lists to swell, a report by the NHS Confederation said.

According to the organisation representing health and care leaders, this is the most realistic scenario - and it would more than double the 4.2 million people who are currently waiting for treatment.

Jun 28 09:30

Keir Starmer’s love affair with Zionism could prove fatal for UK’s Labour Party

Stuart Littlewood says rather than getting Britain out of its mess and devoting all energies to that end, Labour leader Keir Starmer has decided to make Israeli interests, and banning criticism of Israel, his top priority, as shown by his sacking of senior Shadow Cabinet member Rebecca Long-Bailey.>>

Jun 27 12:11

Girlfriend of Man Who Flew “White Lives Matter” Banner Fired From Her Job

The girlfriend of the man who flew a “white lives matter” banner over a football match in the UK has been fired from her job after refusing to take “intensive racial sensitivity training.”

Jun 27 10:08

Contact details? No, just pop in for a pint: Boss of pub chain Marston's declares war on coronavirus red tape - and refuses to make staff wear masks because it would 'feel like a hospital'

One of the country’s biggest pub chains has said it will not force drinkers to hand over their contact details – fearing the policy will put them off.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, is also refusing to make staff wear masks, claiming pubs should not feel like hospitals.

He said customers would be able to prop up the bar when pubs open next week – ignoring another safety guideline issued by the Government.

Jun 26 09:04

Navy's two aircraft carriers do not have enough supply ships to keep them stocked with food and ammunition, experts warn

The Royal Navy's two £6.4billion aircraft carriers do not have enough supply ships to keep them stocked with ammunition and food, the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.

The Navy has just one vessel that can supply its biggest ever warships – the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales – on operations, the National Audit Office said.

Three supply ships are 'crucial' in order for the force to operate, the damning report found.

Jun 26 08:48

Owner of Britain’s biggest shopping centres Intu collapses into administration but will keep malls including the Trafford Centre and Lakeside open

Intu employs about 3,000 staff across the UK, while a further 102,000 work for the shops within its shopping centres.

Jun 26 05:24

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY BACKS ACADEMIC WHO TWEETED 'WHITE LIVES DON'T MATTER' - AND PROMOTES HER TO PROFESSOR

The University of Cambridge has spoken out in support of one of its lecturers who was hit by a wave of abusive messages and death threats for tweeting 'White Lives Don't Matter'.

Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, took to the social media platform on Tuesday evening to write: 'I'll say it again. White Lives Don't Matter. As white lives.'

However the controversial message, which has since been deleted by Twitter, was met with a barrage of outrage, with many people responding both publicly and privately with death threats and racist abuse.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To Dr. Gopal, I want to make my response crystal-clear.

I belong to one race; it is called "human", thank you very much, and in this context, you are my sister, as all humans are ultimately my brothers and sisters.

As a Christian, my job is to love you, not judge you; judgement is way above my "pay grade" as a believer.

As long as I can think, create, contribute, and love, at 71 years of age, I am still viable, not because I come from European ancestry, and in the sun, I stroke rather than tan, but because of these other qualities, which I work constantly to improve upon.

As a creatrix and active composer, I thoroughly refuse to define myself by what you may think of me, but how I define myself, as should all other beings on this planet.

And because I can still think, create, contribute, and love, my life matters as a human being.

You're welcome, Dr. Gopal!! :-)

Jun 25 17:57

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis warns festival could go BANKRUPT if it is not staged in 2021 because of coronavirus

Speaking to The Guardian to mark the festival's 50th anniversary, Michael, 84, said: 'We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt … It has to happen for us, we have to carry on.

'Otherwise it will be curtains. I don't think we could wait another year.'

Jun 25 17:48

Cambridge University backs academic who tweeted 'White Lives Don't Matter' - and promotes her to professor - after she received barrage of abuse and death threats

The University of Cambridge has spoken out in support of one of its lecturers who was hit by a wave of abusive messages and death threats for tweeting 'White Lives Don't Matter'.

Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, took to the social media platform on Tuesday evening to write: 'I'll say it again. White Lives Don't Matter. As white lives.'

Jun 25 14:49

Cambridge Rewards Academic Who Said 'White Lives Don't Matter' With Full Professorship

Cambridge University academic Priyamvada Gopal revealed Thursday that she was promoted to a full professorship after receiving backlash for stating that "White Lives Don't Matter."

Jun 25 10:04

The London school that tried to end racism: Year 7 pupils are divided into mixed race 'affinity groups' for a TV experiment - but white pupils 'are terrified they could ruin their lives by saying the wrong thing'

The programme was devised by Mariama Richards, an American diversity and inclusion practitioner who introduced mandatory affinity programmes in schools in New York and Washington DC, for children as young as eight.

When asked to discuss race, a student named Henry broke down because he was terrified of saying something which could offend someone, admitting: '[Before I talk about race] I think about how it's going to affect me in the future. If I say something bad, early in life, it could come back later in life.'

Jun 25 09:49

Why Big Brother is the big winner from the coronavirus crisis: From an app to order your pint to the death of cash, the pandemic has given a shot in the arm to the surveillance state, warns ROSS CLARK

Any sense of joy I had at the prospect of a pint with my friends down the pub a week on Saturday was snuffed out when I read what it will entail.

Before we set foot over the threshold we’ll have to register our names and contact details. The pub must keep this information for 21 days so, if someone in the bar that night subsequently tests positive for Covid-19 in this period, the NHS can trace us and order us to isolate for two weeks.

If that’s not off-putting enough, we’ll probably be confined to a table and banned from the bar. We may even have to order our pints via a smartphone app. No thanks. I’d rather sit in the back garden with my mates.

Jun 25 09:32

Police 'have lost control of the streets': Cressida Dick is accused of turning Met into 'laughing stock' and abandoning 'law abiding residents' to 'mob rule' after overpowered officers fled rioters screaming 'run them out!' as 'up to 30 PCs' were injured

In shocking scenes, social media footage showed hundreds of people gathered at the south London street party as fighting between revellers broke out before they turned their anger onto the police who had been called to the disturbance at the 'unlicensed music event'.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told MailOnline: 'Cressida Dick has lost control of the streets to a lawless minority. She has lost the confidence of the law abiding majority of residents in Brixton and the country and by effectively abandoning them to mob rule'.

Jun 25 09:21

Virgin Media goes DOWN in London: Thousands of people working from home are unable to get online as broadband provider suffers major outage

Users are also reporting outages in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and other areas, according to the website Downdetector.co.uk.

Jun 21 11:09

Gender clinic rushed UK kids onto ‘transition’ pathway after one or two visits, review finds

Staff at a UK state-funded “gender transition clinic” for children raised concerns during a review that children were quickly being set on a gender transitioning pathway only after one or two visits. Staff also raised concerns about being discouraged from reporting about children they suspected of being sexually abused.

“Let's pray that I am wrong because if I am not wrong, very many vulnerable children have been very poorly treated and will be left with, potentially, a lifetime of damage here," said one staff member in transcripts of staff interviews that were part of a review into the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). The transcripts were leaked to the BBC’s Newsnight team who reported on the matter June 19.

Jun 21 09:35

Andrew Lloyd Webber says government suggested musicals return ‘without any singing’

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed that a government report advised that musicals return “without any singing” to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In a week that saw industry figures warn that the UK is on the brink of “cultural catastrophe”, the composer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about his plans to keep theatre going.

Jun 20 09:35

EU’s aviation deal with Israel “the pinnacle of hypocrisy”

Stuart Littlewood highlights the absurd hypocrisy of Members of the European Parliament who have agreed in effect to reward Israel for its decision to annex more Palestinian territories while simultaneously discussing measures to deter Israel from declaring annexation of those self-same Palestinian territories.>>

Jun 19 20:40

“Embarrassing”: UK Football Players ‘Take a Knee’ Before Kick-Off

Footballers in the UK’s first Premier League game since the coronavirus lockdown took a knee before kick off, the first of what will undoubtedly by many examples of cringe virtue signaling about a “problem” that literally doesn’t exist.

“After the whistle for kick-off, every player and official inside Villa Park took the knee. Powerful stuff,” tweeted BBC Sport.

Every single player also now has the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirt.

However, the vast majority of respondents didn’t agree that it was “powerful stuff,” and instead opined that it was embarrassing.

Jun 19 06:51

Publishing Staff Threaten To Quit Unless JK Rowling's New Book Is Canceled

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

Staff at Publishing house Hachette have threatened to quit unless the company cancels its association with JK Rowling and scraps plans to publish her new book because they argue the author is ‘transphobic’.

The Daily Mail reported that “Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book” over Rowling’s recent assertions that biological sex is real and that there are only two genders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; do these people about to boycott on of their companies' best selling authors understand, with any degree of clarity, just how quickly they can be replaced, so the book moves forward?!?

I would say, probably not at all.

Jun 18 17:19

Dear British Television News, everyone knows you’re biased so can you just admit it and we can all get on with our lives?

Sky News is the latest broadcaster in the UK to tell its staff not to tweet about politics in an attempt to portray itself as an impartial outlet. It’s time UK broadcasting grew up and admitted there is no such thing.

Bias is a fact of life, everyone has prejudices about almost every facet of life. People are biased in favour of countries, sports teams, beer brands, clothing companies, tech, you name it, people have favourites.

These can be irrational, philosophical, instinctive, financial, emotional, familial, political, just to name a few of the factors that cause people to have preferences. Everyone knows this, even children know it, but there seems to be one segment of society that believes it can inoculate itself against bias – British journalists.

Jun 18 08:55

‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ Dame Vera Lynn Who Entertained WW2 Troops Dies Aged 103

LONDON (AP) – Dame Vera Lynn, the endearingly popular “Forces´ Sweetheart” who serenaded British troops abroad during World War II, has died at 103.

During the war and long after, Lynn got crowds singing, smiling and crying with sentimental favorites such as “We´ll Meet Again,” and “The White Cliffs of Dover.”

“The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain´s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103,” her family said in a statement. “Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family.”

Jun 17 01:54

SCIENTISTS EDITED HUMAN EMBRYOS IN THE LAB, AND IT WAS A DISASTER

SOURCE: ONE ZERO
A team of scientists has used the gene-editing technique CRISPR to create genetically modified human embryos in a London lab, and the results of the experiment do not bode well for the prospect of gene-edited babies.

Biologist Kathy Niakan and her team at the Francis Crick Institute wanted to better understand the role of a particular gene in the earliest stages of human development. So, using CRISPR, they deleted that gene in human embryos that had been donated for research. When they analyzed the edited embryos and compared them to ones that hadn’t been edited, they found something troubling: Around half of the edited embryos contained major unintended edits.

“There’s no sugarcoating this,” says Fyodor Urnov, a gene-editing expert and professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. “This is a restraining order for all genome editors to stay the living daylights away from embryo editing.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Playing with the essence of human life itself, by gene editing, can have potentially devastating effects on the future of humanity.

Jun 16 12:14

Police are warned refusing to take a knee could START trouble: Force tells officers who don't kneel at Black Lives Matter events that they could 'become a focus of protester attention'

A police force has angered officers by warning that they may face consequences if they decline to ‘take the knee’ at anti-racism protests.

Hertfordshire Constabulary said those who chose not to make the solidarity gesture ‘may become the focus of the protesters’ attention’.

The advice was issued during a recent operational briefing and points out that, when officers kneel down – joining in the symbolic stance of the Black Lives Matter movement – it ‘has a very positive reaction on the protest groups’.

But one senior detective told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It’s absurd. Will officers be expected to make similarly appeasing gestures at political events – far-Right protests, for instance?’

Jun 16 12:04

Here we go AGAIN! Now UK overseas aid is being wasted on paying for studies of jazz & long-dead Roman politicians

Let’s face it. Times are tough, money is tight and things are going to get a lot worse. We’ve just witnessed a whopping 20 percent of GDP wiped off the UK economy and now we learn that one of the flagship beneficiaries of our international aid largesse has been told its funding tap will be turned off until it can show it has stopped wasting millions by funding rubbish like studies of jazz in the Western Cape.

The Newton Fund – the body doling out hundreds of millions in cash – has also funded a student in Rio to the tune of £98,000 to look at the work of Roman orator Cicero (106BC–43BC) and squandered more than £100,000 on a student fellowship that included a biography of the South African Boer leader Paul Kruger.

Jun 15 14:33

Do Palestinian lives matter? Not according to the UK Government which continues to cuddle and slobber over the rogue regime that terrorises, dispossesses and slaughters them

Amid the anti-racism protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a US policeman, Stuart Littlewood argues that the UK government and the EU continually reward racist Israel “for its knee-on-the-neck brutality” and “for a crime of such enormity as can’t-breathe annexation”.>>

Jun 15 10:01

Fears grow for pilot of crashed US Air Force F-15C fighter jet after rescue crews FIND wreckage in North Sea 74 miles off Yorkshire coast

Fears are growing for the pilot of a crashed US Air Force F-15C fighter jet after rescue crews found a wreckage in the North Sea.

Recovery efforts are underway to drag the aircraft out of the water, but the pilot has not been found.

The plane had been taking part in a four-jet formation off Flamborough Head, near Bridlington, East Yorkshire, before it crashed at 9.30am.

Jun 13 11:37

Coronavirus: Unlawful do not resuscitate orders imposed on people with learning disabilities

Unlawful 'do not resuscitate' orders are being placed on patients with a learning disability during the coronavirus pandemic without families being consulted.

National charities have successfully challenged more than a dozen unlawful do not resuscitate orders (DNRs) that were put in place because of the patient’s disability rather than due to any serious underlying health risk.

Jun 13 11:31

Tens of thousands of UK coronavirus tests rendered invalid

Nearly 30,000 Britons had to be retested for the coronavirus after their swabs, which their government had flown out to the U.S., turned out to be invalid.

The voided tests were part of a batch of 67,000 that had to be sent over to a university in the U.S. after the privately run Randox laboratory in Northern Ireland experienced “operational issues.”

The U.K. government had previously admitted to sending 50,000 tests across the Atlantic. A report by the Telegraph has revealed that this figure is 17,000 short of the true number and that 29,500 were later returned as void — a move that could likely cost British taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Jun 12 11:57

REPORT: Over 95% of UK “Covid19” deaths had “pre-existing condition”

Over 95% of “COVID Deaths” recorded in England and Wales had potentially serious comorbidities, according to statistics released by NHS England.

The latest figures make for pretty stark reading. Or, rather, they would make for stark reading…if they didn’t follow the exact same pattern already shown in other nations around the world.

You can read the full report here. We’re going to focus on the comorbidity stats. Here are the number of deaths where Covid19 was listed as the only cause, split by age:

Ages 0-19: 3
Ages 20-39: 32
Ages 40-59: 255
Ages 60-79: 551
Ages 80+: 477

These are across all of England and Wales since the beginning of the “pandemic”.

Simply put: Of the 27045 deaths with Covid19 in English hospitals (up to June 3rd), only 1318 had no pre-existing conditions. That’s less than 5%.

This mirrors, almost exactly, the statistics reported in Italy back in March.

Jun 11 19:57

How the Hell Did We Get Here?

Jun 11 10:28

Coronavirus: Major disruption to cancer care revealed

Cancer care in England has faced major disruption during the pandemic with big drops in numbers being seen following urgent referrals by GPs, figures show.

The number of people being assessed by a cancer doctor after referral fell to 79,500 in April - a drop of 60% compared to the same month last year.

Meanwhile, patients starting treatment dropped to 10,800 - 20% below 2019.

The NHS said it had tried to protect services - and some of the impact was due to people not seeking treatment.

Jun 10 08:05

Destroy EVERYTHING! Will culture police keen to purge historical racism turn to museums, galleries and libraries next?

Councils across the UK should rethink their plans to review statues that are deemed offensive. Trying to curate the past to fit in with the present will only lead to more destruction, and ultimately division.

Trouble is brewing on the statue front, with various sides preparing to either defend or attack historical bronzes around the UK this weekend. So you’d think our political leaders would do something to defuse the tension and adopt a more considered approach to dealing with the issue of historical racism.

Not so. Labour councils across the country have said they’re willing to remove statues that are deemed offensive.

In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a commission that will look at all the statues in place to have the final thumbs-up, thumbs-down Caesar-like say on whether a bronze stays upright on its stone plinth or is toppled by an angry mob, as the Iraqis did with the statue of Saddam Hussein.

Jun 10 07:57

Coronavirus: NHS waiting list 'could hit 10 million this year'

Health bosses fear the Covid-19 crisis could see the number of people waiting for NHS treatment double to 10 million by the end of the year.

The NHS Confederation said challenges include a backlog of cases, maintaining social distancing, and staffing.

The body, which represents health and care leaders, said emergency funding and longer-term spending were needed.

Jun 10 07:55

Thousands of UK jobs go in sweeping retail closures

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another 3,600 UK jobs after the Restaurant Group, Monsoon Accessorize and Quiz announced major restructures.

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie and Benny's, expects to cut up to 3,000 workers after confirming plans to shut 125 sites.

Monsoon Accessorize has announced 545 job losses and the closure of 35 shops.

And fashion chain Quiz has put its stores into administration because not currently "financially viable".

Some 93 jobs will be lost through the reorganisation.

Jun 09 11:55

Google executive took part in Sage meeting, tech firm confirms

Google has confirmed that one of its senior executives participated in the UK government’s scientific advisory group on Covid-19, raising further questions about the composition of the secretive committee.

Demis Hassabis, a co–founder of Google’s artificial intelligence division, DeepMind, attended a meeting of the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) on 18 March, when the group was considering whether the UK should go into lockdown.

Jun 09 11:49

Doubts over Oxford vaccine as it fails to stop coronavirus in animal trials

The Oxford University vaccine tipped as a "front runner" in the race to develop a coronavirus jab does not stop the virus in monkeys and may only be partially effective, experts have warned.

A trial of the vaccine in rhesus macaque monkeys did not stop the animals from catching the virus and has raised questions about the vaccine's likely human efficacy and ongoing development.

The vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is undergoing human trials in Britain. The Government has brokered a deal between Oxford University and the drug company AstraZeneca to produce up to 30?million doses if it proves successful, having ploughed £47 million into the research.

Jun 08 16:08

BBC crisis: 30,000 sign up to Twitter campaign to 'DEFUND THE BBC' - 'It's time!'

A NEW campaign group called "Defund the BBC" has seen a flood of support in the last 24 hours.

The group, which operates on Twitter, describes itself as a grassroots campaign set up to defund the BBC amid allegations of bias. Founder James Yucel said: "I'm just a student that's fed up, so I've founded this movement to defund the BBC. It's time." One statement issued on the group's Twitter feed said: "25,000 followers on the first day.

"The BBC can't ignore the people forever."

Another tweet said: "This isn't just a campaign anymore.

"This is a movement."

Jun 04 11:42

Tottenham expect £200m loss as huge coronavirus impact on Premier League clubs uncovered

Tottenham have confirmed that they have loaned £175million from the Bank of England due to fears that they could lose in excess of £200m in revenue due to the coronavirus crisis over the next year.

Jun 03 21:33

Migrant crossings hit single day record

More than 160 migrants travelled across the Channel in small boats in 24 hours - a record for a single day.

The Border Force intercepted seven boats on Wednesday, while 11 men were detained on a beach at Samphire Hoe in Kent.

There were 166 migrants in total, including one boat which had 48 males and 16 females who presented themselves as Iranian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghani.

The Home Office said they have all been taken to Dover to be assessed.

Jun 03 21:32

Coronavirus: Thousands of homeless 'back on streets by July'

Thousands of homeless people who have been housed during the coronavirus pandemic could return to the streets by the end of June, a charity has warned.

Since the lockdown began, more than 14,500 people who were on the streets or at risk of sleeping rough have been given emergency accommodation.

But Crisis has warned contracts between local councils and hotels are due to end as government funding runs out.

Jun 02 20:35

Now we know coronavirus is not a random killer, this one-size-fits-all lockdown must come to an end, writes Professor KAROL SIKORA

Finally, we can say with confidence what many of us have suspected for weeks: not only is the end of the pandemic now in sight but also the people best-placed to recharge our economy have little to fear from it.

Thanks to definitive figures released yesterday by Public Health England, we know that Covid-19 is not a random killer, but one that targets specific groups – namely the old and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or dementia.

The statistics are astounding: those aged over 80 are fully 70 times more likely to die of the disease than those under 40, while being morbidly obese increases your risk of dying by two and a half times. And fortunately the death rate among children is very low.

Jun 02 17:31

Test and trace system data to be kept by government for 20 years

The disclosure – coming after ministers rejected a plea from MPs and peers to pass an emergency law to set out clear rules – will heighten privacy fears, on the day the scheme finally got underway.

Information including name, address, date of birth, phone numbers and email addresses, will be collected and stored by the NHS for people with Covid-19, or with symptoms.

Individuals will be able to “ask” for their information to be deleted, but Public Health England has warned “this is not an absolute right” and that it might “need to continue to use your information”.

A new privacy notice states that a private firm, Amazon Web Services, “is providing the secure storage location for the information collected by NHS test-and-trace”.

Jun 02 09:49

What Britons want (clue- it's not covid tests): People flock to McDonald's and Ikea but coronavirus testing centres are still so deserted that staff can dress up toys in PPE - as experts tear apart Hancock's figures

Matt Hancock today begged Britons to do their 'duty' and get tested as the UK's largest coronavirus drive-thru centres stood idle while newly opened McDonald's restaurants and Ikea stores were swamped.

Bored NHS contractors at Twickenham rugby stadium in West London even had time to make a horse mascot and deck it out in blue surgical face mask, white gloves and yellow high viz jacket to match their PPE.

Nearby testing sites at Chessington and Heathrow were also largely empty today with only a small trickle of cars arriving for their pre-booked test by medical staff who take a throat and nasal swab from drivers.

Jun 01 18:39

'Will the cops be setting up stings on TINDER now?': Eyebrows are raised as government makes sex in your home with a person from another household ILLEGAL (but it's okay in the garden)

Addressing the new rules on sex, one person wrote on social media: 'Will the cops be setting stings up on Tinder now that it's illegal to have sex unless you're living together?'

Another posted a GIF of a drooling Homer Simpson, saying: 'Illegal sex sounds so hot.'

A third implied every previously law-abiding single man would turn into a revolutionary akin to Che Guevara after reading that 'sex is now illegal'.

One Twitter user said his wife was going to 'ban sex with people she lives with, in solidarity'.

Another asked: 'How do I sign up to become one of the SEX POLICE for this sexy time ban then?'

One said: 'Not really happy about this so-called ''sex-ban''. I'm sure it's only so the NHS aren't inundated in 9 months' time!'

Jun 01 12:20

Sex in your house with a person from another household illegal from today

Sex in your house with someone from outside of your household is set to become illegal today.

The government is introducing new lockdown measures in England that prevent people from socialising (or gathering) with one person from outside of their household in a private space.

Up until now the person visiting a house for sex would have been the one in breach of the measures.

But now both people would technically be able to be prosecuted under the law, with Amendment Regulations being introduced in Parliament on Monday.

For those couples looking for a workaround, having sex in a public place is already illegal.

May 30 22:45

Is public opinion on Covid-19 being shaped by facts – or ‘terrorized’ by propaganda?

To what extent have such non-consensual methods of persuasion – that is to say, propaganda – been used with respect to Covid-19?

It has recently come to light that ‘behavioural scientists’ have been providing advice to the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). UK Column reports that this group, named the ‘Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Behaviour (SPI-B)’, was (re)convened on February 13, 2020.

One document produced by this group identifies “options for increasing adherence to social distancing measures,” which include persuasion, incentivization and coercion. In the section on persuasion it states that the “perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.” The document also mentions using “media to increase sense of personal threat.”

May 30 06:21

British mercenaries 'involved in botched operation' backing rebel leader in Libya, according to secret UN report

Six British citizens including two former Royal Marine commandos have been accused of taking part in a botched mercenary mission to Libya to fight on behalf of renegade general Khalifa Haftar.

The five men and one woman are named in a confidential report by the United Nations panel of experts on Libya into a botched mission that ended with the mercenaries making a remarkable sea-borne escape after falling out with their hosts.

The men, including former Royal Marines Sean Callaghan Louw and Andrew Scott Ritchie, were among around 20 mercenaries who travelled to Benghazi in eastern Libya in June 2019 in a contract organised by a UAE based company called Opus, according to the report seen by the Daily Telegraph.

As the report says, UN investigators believe that that they had been hired by General Haftar's Libyan National Army to fly assault helicopters and use fast speedboats to intercept and search merchant vessels ferrying Turkish weapons to Tripoli.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

THAT's... an industrial-strength "Oops there!!"

And forgive me, but isn't the UK supposed to be supporting the current UN-mandated government in Tripoli?!?

May 29 21:45

I’ve signed death certificates during Covid-19. Here’s why you can’t trust any of the statistics on the number of victims

By Malcolm Kendrick, doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England.

...

Then, along comes Covid-19, and many of the rules – such as they were – went straight out the window. At one point, it was even suggested that relatives could fill in death certificates, if no-one else was available. Though I am not sure this ever happened.

What were we now supposed to do? If an elderly person died in a care home, or at home, did they die of Covid-19? Well, frankly, who knows? Especially if they didn’t have a test for Covid-19 – which for several weeks was not even allowed. Only patients entering hospital were deemed worthy of a test. No-one else.

What advice was given? It varied throughout the country, and from coroner to coroner – and from day to day. Was every person in a care home now to be diagnosed as dying of the coronavirus ? Well, that was certainly the advice given in several parts of the UK.

May 29 08:38

Temporary morgues set up to cope with thousands of Covid-19 victims are mothballed as death rate drops

Temporary morgues set up around Britain amid the Covid-19 pandemic are being mothballed as the coronavirus death rate drops.

And some mortuaries introduced nationwide, as part of a Government strategy to place 30,000 bodies in temporary care, have not taken in a single victim, Mail Online can reveal.

May 29 08:31

You will NEVER know who got you locked up under Test and Trace system: Fears secrecy could leave programme at risk of pranks or people maliciously naming someone they have not even seen

The NHS Test and Trace programme launched yesterday and requires people who develop symptoms to self-isolate for seven days and to order a test.

If they test positive for the disease they must then hand over phone numbers and email addresses for people they have interacted with in recent days.

Those people will then be contacted and told that they must go into quarantine for 14 days - but they will not find out who originally tested positive.

The need for secrecy has been partially blamed on a fear of reprisals from people angry at being told to stay at home and potentially losing out financially if they are unable to work.

But there are concerns that not revealing who has named someone could leave the system open to abuse in the form of pranks or people maliciously reporting someone they have not come into contact with.

May 28 10:16

I’ve signed death certificates during Covid-19. Here’s why you can’t trust any of the statistics on the number of victims

Then, along comes Covid-19, and many of the rules – such as they were – went straight out the window. At one point, it was even suggested that relatives could fill in death certificates, if no-one else was available. Though I am not sure this ever happened.

What were we now supposed to do? If an elderly person died in a care home, or at home, did they die of Covid-19? Well, frankly, who knows? Especially if they didn’t have a test for Covid-19 – which for several weeks was not even allowed. Only patients entering hospital were deemed worthy of a test. No-one else.

What advice was given? It varied throughout the country, and from coroner to coroner – and from day to day. Was every person in a care home now to be diagnosed as dying of the coronavirus ? Well, that was certainly the advice given in several parts of the UK.

May 27 11:30

'I came to test my eyesight and it was well worth the 260 mile trip': TripAdvisor SUSPENDS reviews for Barnard Castle after page is flooded with spoof Dominic Cummings posts as internet pokes fun at lockdown visit

Boris Johnson's chief adviser told journalists on Monday how he made a 60-mile round trip from his parents farm in Durham to the market town, to see if he was ready for a 260-mile trip back to London.

The claim has catapulted the town into the limelight, with spoof reviews flooding in on TripAdvisor, while other memes have compared the drive to a trip to Specsavers.

One 'reviewer' wrote: 'Such a lovely place to go, can't believe I saw Dominic Cummings there!' Another said the market town was 'Better than Specsavers'.

Calling themselves 'bid Dominic C' another reviewer joked 'Think I got away with it,' while another reviewer said the market town was a 'great place for a test drive'.

May 25 18:59

Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests have been double-counted in the Government’s official tally, public health officials have admitted.

Diagnostic tests which involve taking saliva and nasal samples from the same patient are being counted as two tests, not one.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England each confirmed the double-counting.

This inflates the daily reported diagnostic test numbers by over 20 per cent, with that proportion being much higher earlier on in the crisis before home test kits were added to the daily totals.

May 25 07:57

'It's the Dominic Cummings lockdown tour 2020': No10 tweets reminder that Britons should 'keep 6ft apart from people you don’t live with'... sparking explosion of memes and ridicule

Memes mocking the Government include one reading: 'Rules do NOT apply to Tory MPs or their advisors.'

Another mocked up a poster resembling a stand-up comedy tour with Cummings photoshopped into the picture.

One suggested that the advisor was telling the public to adhere to guidelines while he and the Government do 'whatever the f*** we like'.

May 25 07:53

'If Dominic Cummings can break the rules, we can too!' Fears lockdown will collapse with crowds hitting parks and beaches in 79F heatwave after Boris Johnson's top aide drove 270 miles to Durham family home with coronavirus symptoms

Sun-worshippers descended on parks and beaches today amid an expected 79F heatwave as they declared, 'If Dominic Cummings can break the rules, we can too' after Boris Johnson's Svengali got away with a 260-mile trip during lockdown.

May 25 07:20

The Convergence Of Brexit And COVID-19

Authored by Steven Guinness,

Little has been made of Brexit since the UK ceremoniously left the EU on January 31st and entered into a transition period. Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, multiple rounds of negotiations on the future trading relationship have taken place, with round three having culminated earlier this month.

In the public eye negotiations are deadlocked. Both sides are insisting that the other must change course with just six months of the transition period remaining. As part of the withdrawal agreement, Britain has the option of requesting an extension to the transition, but must do so by the end of June. Failure to do so will mean that if a new trading relationship is not ratified by the end of the year, the UK and EU will trade on World Trade Organisation terms come the start of 2021, a consequence of which will be higher tariffs.

May 24 18:14

Boris Johnson faces his biggest rebellion yet as MPs from all wings of the party line up to tell him Dominic Cummings MUST go – just hours after PM backed his Svengali over lockdown breach row

Boris Johnson was facing a furious Tory backlash at all levels of his party last night after he attempted to mount an extraordinary defence of Dominic Cummings.

At a dramatic press conference in Downing Street, the Prime Minister claimed his chief aide had acted 'responsibly, legally and with integrity' while making a controversial 260-mile trip from London to Durham during lockdown.

Mr Johnson insisted Mr Cummings had 'followed the instincts of every father' by driving to his parents' farm after his wife developed symptoms of coronavirus. But he refused to deny that while in the North East, Mr Cummings had also driven 30 miles to go for a walk in the countryside in an apparent second lockdown breach.

And he failed to say whether he had given Mr Cummings permission for the Durham trip – or offer any apology for his most senior aide's behaviour.

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