A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state, Japan’s Health Ministry says, the latest new mutation of the virus discovered. Studies were now underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.Japan finds another coronavirus variant, Health Ministry says
The UK, having adopted a position as Washington’s proxy jailor, is not about to quit its sordid role. Assange’s wellbeing and health continue to be jeopardised by his stay in Britain’s most notorious prison, where determined despair, as Baraitser herself has acknowledged, can take their toll.Proxy Jailor: Denying Assange Bail – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Abbott’s chasing his Knighthood he can no longer get one in Australia (ODT)
And amid the current round of negotiations between Australia and Great Britain, there stands good reason for the reunited strange bedfellows of Abbott dealing with the Morrison government, according to the ACTU, for the following anti-worker characteristics: • No adequate protections for local workers and their jobs • Unregulated exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers • Deregulation of public services • and Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions that allow foreign corporations to sue governments for changes to domestic law.Internationally, unions fearful of Abbott’s past trade reputation – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Britain was reported to be considering whether to impose a new lockdown across the country, after new COVID-19 cases almost doubled to 6000 per day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says UK ‘now seeing second COVID-19 wave coming in'”
Hunting for a Knighthood? A way back? (ODT)
Labor has demanded the Morrison government explain how former prime minister Tony Abbott will manage conflicts of interest as he advises the United Kingdom on trade deals with countries including Australia. Mr Abbott confirmed his appointment as an unpaid adviser to the UK Board of Trade on Saturday morning after a firestorm of criticism over his past comments on women and gay people.Tony Abbott: Labor questions former PM’s conflict of interest in new UK trade role
It’s not as if our standards are wonderful. But by comparison to the revolting practices in the US, our food rules, laid down by the European Union, are a haven of sanity. As well as washing chicken flesh with chlorine to compensate for the filthy conditions in which it is raised and processed, and injecting dangerous substances into cattle and pigs, Big Farmer and Big Food in the US use 72 pesticides that are banned in the UK and food colourings that have been linked to hyperactivity in children, impose no limits on the amount of sugar in baby food and permit cow’s milk to contain twice the amount of pus that the UK allows.
In the week ending April 17, 22,351 people died in England and Wales – double the five-year average for that time of year and the highest weekly death toll since comparable records began in 1993.
Of the 11,854 deaths above the five-year average, 8758 were related to coronavirus. This leaves 3096 unexplained ‘excess’ deaths. Experts warned these deaths could be the result of people being reluctant to seek treatment in hospital for conditions unrelated to COVID-19.
The problem no addressed here is the involvement and irresponsible incitement by Murdoch Media to incite back to work demonstrations in the English speaking world. The demand to go back to the normal rather than progress to a very different economy. The talk of 28 years of GDP growth doesn’t begin to address the increasing income and wealth gap that helped generate it and the public austerity measures that accompanied it leaving us ill-equipped to deal with emergencies we face. Yes, Australia has fared better but I’d suggest it’s more a sake of good fortune than intent. We have always been some years behind first following the British and now the Americans last in line but nevertheless over that cliff. We aren’t our own masters we do have a level of solidarity but when the Oligarchs, LNP IPA and News Corp hold the wealth and power and are now assisted by the ALP what chance is there of a progressive peoples bailout and not just a corporate one in the future? (ODT)
Morrison government setting itself for an aggressive pro-business plan for our post-pandemic economy. Specifically, that means tax breaks for businesses and even a big swing at industrial relations. It’s the road that leads to lower wages, worse conditions and limited tax revenue. And while some of that might end up being an economic necessity, if that’s not done perfectly, it’s a road of austerity and increasing inequality that has proven so destructive elsewhere.
Obviously, all that will depend on the detail. But we should take this chance to heed the warning from those nations that are presently unravelling. Sacrifice a basic level of equality for economic growth and you risk social and political fracture. There will be much we can’t afford after this, but one of them is losing the threads of social solidarity we still have left, because we’ll need them desperately when the next crisis hits.
A new analysis of British media’s coverage of foreign policy has found that, by and large, the UK press acts as “an appendage of the state” and has been “misinforming the public” and “failing to report” completely on key issues.
The statistical analysis was carried out by Declassified UK, a new “public service journalism” project investigating Britain’s foreign,military and intelligence policies and run by journalist and historian Mark Curtis.
Why does Trump tweet such blatant falsehoods?
Britain is about to decouple itself from a continental economy beginning to get things right, and hook up with one that is palpably beginning to fail.
As former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted Tuesday: “Conservative MPs in UK finally standing up to Boris sadly underscores how much conservatives in the US have been cowardly in the face of Trump.”
“Cowardly” might be an understatement. Quivering Republicans have turned the party of Lincoln into a cult of Trump. They are the president’s supine enablers — and history won’t be kind to them.
In the UK, television news is governed by impartiality rules but our press is fiercely partisan, predominantly towards the right, and it is important that people understand this.
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But the current undermining of public trust in media, fuelled by President Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” and now mimicked by the UK government, goes far beyond scepticism or challenge. When research shows 72% of people in Britain believe television news to be accurate, it is right to be angry that Mr Johnson spurns it in favour of a union-flag-bedecked turn on Facebook.
Incredibly, the European press is speculating whether the US Navy will intervene, without any warrant of international law.
Trump and his warmongers have not only failed to increase US prestige among key allies in Europe, but have actually so diminished the US superpower that now small European courts are defying it.
As for the UK economy, on the macro-economic scale (external business) obviously when you are part of a large trading block you surf the wave of the clout that a block of 28 nations has when it does its deals, but you can also do your own, which people in the UK do not understand apparently, because all the “benefits” the Brexiteers crow about, the UK already has, only the people are too stupid or misinformed to know it. On the macro-economic scale with micro-economic effects (internal business) if you are part of a large trading block with which you do half your trade for free (paying the administrative costs as in any business) when you leave the block, lose the benefit of collectiveness (called synergy) and start paying to do trade, then you pay more for what you import (meaning higher prices, meaning inflation); your exports, being more expensive, are therefore less attractive so you sell fewer goods, which means you make less money. It means less revenue in taxation for the kitty, which means fewer resources available for the delivery of public services. Less money for schools and hospitals.
On a purely micro-economic scale, this is all translated into already tight margins squeezed to the point of no return, which means factories closing, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises failing, which means massive unemployment, which means within a few years technologies will have moved on making the unemployed chronically unemployable, which means higher costs in social benefits payments, which means fewer resources for public services. Less money for schools and hospitals.
Britain is on track to use more electricity from zero-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear than from fossil fuel plants this year, the country’s National Grid said.
Last week Britain became the first G7 country to commit to net-zero commissions by 2050
The successful transition has been largely due to a huge increase in Britain’s wind power capacity
It plans to phase out all coal-fired power generation by 2025
Only Fox could claim an absurdity like this to be true (ODT)
Fox claims “a lot of those demonstrations will also include pro-Trump folks”
Nobody seems to agree with what Trump is doing. When politics overruns reality who needs enemies when you have the Americans. The Kurds, Trump’s allies have been abandoned and given over to a battle with the Turks,(ODT)
But a former adviser to the US military and counter-insurgency strategist said Mr Trunp’s victory declaration was premature.
“There are still several thousand [Islamic State] fighters astride by Syria and Iraq,” David Kilcullen told ABC News.
“This is a group that grew from an insurgent organisation and has basically just dropped back below the radar to sort of guerrilla mode and they can effectively sustain that more or less forever.
“So I think that to describe them as defeated is, at best, wishful thinking at this point.”
It’s a defensive acquisition with an aggressive price.
Comcast is clearly looking to massively increase its geographical reach and swell its subscriber numbers, across the US, UK and Europe which this deal will achieve.
It would appear that this bulking up is what Comcast sees as its salvation – and its management was crowing loudly over the weekend about Sky TV’s great platform, it’s wonderful brand and talented management.
Young British Jews are facing a torrent of hatred from their own community for expressing solidarity with Gaza. And yet, more British Jews are struggling to see the values they hold reflected in the Israeli government.
In a fairytale love story that has captured hearts across the world, a retired army officer from England has married a popular American actress in a glamorous ceremony watched by millions.
Supporters of Israel among Britain’s ruling elite tend to recite mantras about the two nations sharing the same values.
If theft and plunder were regarded as values, the mantras would have a ring of truth to them.
Expecting full honesty and transparency from Theresa May’s government would, however, not be realistic. So it comes as little surprise that one of her cabinet colleagues has wished Israel a happy 70th birthday, while trumpeting its commitment to “justice, compassion, tolerance.”
The greeting – from Gavin Williamson, Britain’s defense secretary – was delivered at a time when unarmed protesters were being massacred in Gaza.
Britain’s ruling elites have never atoned for their role in enabling the 1948 dispossession of Palestinians. Rather, they have prolonged and exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians, while pretending to believe in justice.
Actually, no. The evidence from Finland – as well as numerous other pilot schemes across the world – shows the opposite is true. When people are given homes, homelessness is radically reduced, engagement in support services goes up and recovery rates from addiction are comparable to a “treatment first” approach. Even more impressive is that there are overall savings for government, as people’s use of emergency health services and the criminal justice system is lessened.
IT TAKES ALMOST 2 YEARS TO DEFEAT A LIAR WHO THEN SIMPLY WALKS AWAY IN SILENCE. A TYPICAL AND DAILY TACTIC BY ANDREW BOLT A MURDOCH MAN DO
The former Israel lobbyist and high-profile Labour lawmaker Ruth Smeeth has deleted a statement from her website which alleged anti-Semitism in Labour.
In one of the most high profile instances of the supposed “anti-Semitism crisis” in the UK’s main opposition party, Smeeth in June 2016 claimed she had been “attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional anti-Semitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy.’”
Activist Marc Wadsworth had in fact neither said nor implied anything about Jews. Neither did he use the word “conspiracy.”
Smeeth did not reply to a request for comment. You can read the deleted statement in full below.
The Dirty Pro- Coal Speeches Abbott gave in Britian had no effect on the enviroment.
As Tony Abbott and other prominent Coalition MPs make the case that Australia should be building new coal-fired power stations, Conservatives in Britain are pushing a very different agenda.
The Tory Government wants to end the use of unabated coal in the UK within seven years, and the policy is being driven by Claire Perry — the cabinet minister responsible for energy policy, who believes environmentalism is not a philosophy exclusively owned by the green-left.
“Conservatism to me is about protecting what you inherit and improving it,” Ms Perry told the ABC.
“So whether it’s making sure the economy is robust for the next generation or whether it’s about stewarding this beautiful environment that we live in, that for me is the essence of my conservatism.”
Conservatives have been at the forefront of action on climate change in Britain for decades.
But, no, for the Times it is deemed far more important to put on its front page a story surrounding the findings of a ‘scientific’ study claiming that, wait for it, “attractive people have a tendency to be more right-wing.”
Just think about this for a moment: this is a story that was carried on the front page not of one of Britain’s array of cheap right-wing tabloids, whose bread and butter is the sensational, salacious and sordid; but the front page of a supposedly serious newspaper, popular with the country’s political and business elite.
As exemplified in Fox News’ culture of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, there is an identifiable link between 21st Century Fox’s poor corporate governance and what is broadcast on the news outlets it owns.
Recent Russia-related coverage and commentary on Fox News and in The Wall Street Journal signify that the Murdochs and their news outlets continue to meddle in politics in damaging ways.
Regulators should be acutely aware that the line separating opinion and news programming at Fox News is nonexistent. The hiring of former White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka to a news position and a recent report from British broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruling that individual segments on Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity were in violation of broadcasting standards reinforce this fact. There are many more segments on Fox News programs from the last year that should be taken into consideration to assess 21st Century Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards.
Sky’s warning that Sky News could close if 21st Century Fox’s bid is not approved is suspect at best. No evidence has been presented showing that Sky News’ closure was being planned before 21st Century Fox’s proposed acquisition.
The CMA should also consider that aside from Sky News, 21st Century Fox post-merger would have access to — and potentially take financial and political advantage of — information about consumers by way of internet service.
To understand the success of the Universal Credit scheme that benefit claimants now depend on, you only have to look at the wise people who created it. The scheme was devised by Lord Freud, a city banker, and therefore ideally placed to understand the trials of living on benefits.It was carried forward by Iain Duncan-Smith, who had to struggle himself – but instead of wallowing in self-pity, he got off his backside and was given use of a Tudor mansion by his father-in law, the fifth Baron Cottesloe, which proves rewards come to those prepared to make an effort.Now that the scheme has run into trouble, the government should put together a team who similarly comprehend the emotions at the heart of poverty in modern Britain, such as Prince Harry, Simon Cowell and the Sultan of Brunei.
Police investigating London’s Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 80 people were killed in rapidly spreading fire, have sent a letter to survivors and families of victims saying there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect it was a case of corporate manslaughter.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is more popular than Prime Minister Theresa May with the wider public for the first time, new opinion polls suggest.
Donald Trump loves the safe space of Fox & Friends
Media Matters to Ofcom: Latest developments at Fox News prove the Murdochs aren’t fit to take over Sky