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Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

The Independent
Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News
Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News

Chiara Giordano,Akshita Jain and Jon Sharman –

Labour is attempting to pin the blame for surging coronavirus infections squarely on the prime minister today, dubbing the Delta strain of Covid-19 the “Boris Johnson variant”.

The government’s “unforgivable recklessness” at the border is the cause of the surge and the delay to the end of lockdown, according to Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary.

It comes as NHS England announces that all over-18s in England should be able to book their first vaccine by the end of next week. Boosting vaccination rates is a key plank of Mr Johnson’s plan to reopen the economy on 19 July.

The PM said on Monday he was confident no further delay would be necessary but was unable to rule that out, warning of the possibility that an unforeseen and “far more dangerous” variant could emerge.

Scientists have warned more than 40,000 people could die this summer as the Delta variant sweeps through the UK, even after the decision to postpone the lifting of lockdown.

Key Points

  • The recklessness of government has led to a surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says
  • Boris Johnson delays lifting lockdown restrictions
  • Summer death toll could hit 40,000
  • PM ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims
  • All over-18s to be invited for vaccines by end of the week, NHS boss says
  • Something ‘unprecedented’ would need to happen to delay 19 July lifting
More than 1,000 Covid patients in hospital, highest figure since start of May

 Jon Sharman

The latest internal NHS England data, shared with The Independent, shows there are now more than 1,000 Covid patients in England for the first time since the start of May.Adslow-watches.comHandmade in Switzerland: 24 hours and only 1 hand. The Slow Watch helps you to live for the moment.

In total, the NHS England data shows there are approximately 1,030 patients in hospital who have tested positive for the virus with a total of 216 patients in intensive care, writes Shaun Lintern.

The numbers are up by almost 40 in the past 24 hours, despite 154 discharges over the same period with 75 new admissions of patients with Covid-19 as well as 118 existing patients testing positive since Monday.

The northwest region remains the worst hit with almost 350 Covid patients – similar levels to that last seen in April.

The Royal Blackburn Hospital has now overtaken Bolton Hospital has the epicentre of hospitalisations with 56 Covid patients on its wards with 19 patients in intensive care – the highest level of Covid patients since early March.

Bolton Hospital recorded 42 Covid patients in beds with 12 patients in intensive care. Levels last seen in mid-March.

30 million second vaccine doses delivered, Hancock says

 Jon Sharman

Some 30 million people have now had a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Matt Hancock says.

Delays after 19 July only if something ‘unprecedented and remarkable’ happens, claims Gove

Jon Sharman

Something “unprecedented and remarkable” would need to happen for the 19 July “terminus date” for lifting Covid restrictions to be pushed back, Michael Gove has said.

The Cabinet Office minister said he shared Boris Johnson’s confidence that 19 July would see the final easing of lockdown measures, with the four-week delay announced on Monday buying more time for people to receive vaccinations.

Scientists had warned that the rapidly spreading Delta variant, which was first identified in India, would lead to a significant rise in hospital admissions if stage four of England’s road map went ahead as planned on 21 June.

Some Tory MPs have reacted with fury to the delay, and the news was described as a “devastating blow” for the night-time industry.

Asked about the circumstances in which the 19 July date could be extended further, Mr Gove appeared to tempt fate. He told Sky News: “It would require an unprecedented and remarkable alteration in the progress of the disease.”

He told BBC Breakfast the future could not be predicted with “perfect” confidence.

“But, insofar as we can be confident about anything in this complex world, we can be confident that the increased level of vaccination that we will have by 19 July should allow us to further relax restrictions,” he said.

Mr Gove also said he wants “as few restrictions as possible” after 19 July, but added that he will be “guided by clinical advice from doctors and scientists”.

Additional reporting by PA

Sturgeon to postpone Scotland lockdown easing

Jon Sharman

Scotland is “unlikely” to move to Level 0 restrictions from 28 June, Nicola Sturgeon has said. Instead, the country is expected to follow the lead of London and delay its lockdown easing until July.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon did not rule out the further easing of restrictions but said the Scottish government needed to “buy ourselves sufficient time” to allow the vaccination programme to continue its work.

She said: “Given the current situation – and the need to get more people fully vaccinated before we ease up further – it is reasonable to indicate now that I think it unlikely that any part of the country will move down a level from 28 June.

“Instead, it is likely that we will opt to maintain restrictions for a further three weeks from June 28 and use that time to vaccinate – with both doses – as many more people as possible.

“Doing that will give us the best chance, later in July, of getting back on track and restoring the much greater normality that we all crave.”

Read more below:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

Sturgeon says Scotland ‘unlikely’ to move out of lockdown as scheduled

Additional reporting by PA

Average age of hospital patients falling, says Sturgeon

Jon Sharman

The average age of people in hospital with Covid-19 in Scotland is falling, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The first minister said the highest number of new admissions was in people aged in their 30s and 40s.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: “The fact that more of the recent hospital admissions are in younger age groups may mean that fewer of the people being admitted are becoming seriously ill or requiring intensive care. It made also help to explain my next point.

“Hospital occupancy – the total number of people with Covid in hospital at any given time – is not rising at the same rate as hospital admissions or cases.

“Indeed, while there has been an approximate five-fold increase in cases since the start of May, hospital occupancy is around double what it was at the start of May.

“That suggests that people are being discharged more quickly and spending, on average, less time in hospital than patients in earlier phases of the pandemic. Again, though, while that is encouraging, further analysis is needed to confirm this.”

PA

India confirms first death directly linked to adverse reaction after Covid vaccine

14:28 , Leonie Chao-Fong

An Indian government panel studying the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines has said that a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis after inoculation.

It is the first confirmed death in the country directly linked to a reaction to vaccination, writes Akshita Jain.

A report by the National Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) panel, which is part of India’s health ministry, said the man was vaccinated with Covishield — the local branding for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced here by the Serum Institute of India — on 8 March and labelled the case as a “vaccine product-related reaction.”

Dr NK Arora, chairperson of the AEFI committee, told India Today it “is the first death that we have seen in which the reason of death after an investigation was found to be anaphylaxis after vaccination.”

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

India confirms first death due to adverse reaction after Covid vaccine

Jon Stewart called out for peddling ‘harmful’ lab leak coronavirus theory

 Leonie Chao-Fong

Jon Stewart appeared on The Late Show on Monday and promoted a right-wing conspiracy theory about the origins of Covid-19, leading to a backlash on Twitter.

The comedian raised the theory when host Stephen Colbert asked him how he was feeling about the state of the scientific response to the pandemic, writes Ellie Harrison.

Many viewers condemned Stewart for his comments, with some calling him a “conspiracy nut” and “dangerously misinformed”.

The idea that Covid-19 could have escaped from a lab has long been dismissed by members of the scientific community, while others have derided such theories due to their connection with former President Donald Trump.

However, calls from his successor Joe Biden for a transparent investigation into the origins of Covid-19 have recently brought the theory back under the spotlight.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

The Late Show viewers call out Jon Stewart for peddling ‘harmful’ lab leak coronavirus theory

PM to meet Commons speaker after Covid announcement row

Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson will hold talks with Lindsay Hoyle, after the Commons Speaker gave him a tongue-lashing for announcing the delay to lifting Covid restrictions at a press conference – rather than in the Commons – but it may not be straight away, writes Rob Merrick.

“The prime minister is going to be meeting with the Speaker to discuss this,” his spokesperson said. However, asked when, he replied: “In due course.”

Mr. Johnson has watched the footage of Nick Watt, the BBC political reporter being abused by an anti-lockdown mob and was as appalled as everybody else.

“This footage is deeply disturbing. Journalists should never face that kind of behaviour,” his spokesman said, adding: “Violence, threats, and intimidation like this are never acceptable.”

The prime minister is also throwing his weight behind Cressida Dick, despite criticism of her in the Daniel Morgan report. Asked if the Metropolitan Police commissioner had his full support, his spokesperson replied: “Yes.”

Downing Street also made clear the fill removal of all Covid rules will only go ahead on 19 July if the four existing tests are met, meaning the policy is still “data not dates” – despite Mr Johnson calling it “a terminus date”.

Ireland to lengthen quarantine for partially vaccinated Britains

Leonie Chao-Fong

People arriving from Britain into Ireland will be required to quarantine for 10 days if they are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, the Irish government has said.

The doubling of the quarantine period for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated arrivals is in response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

But plans are still underway to enable people to travel more freely between the two countries from mid-July, an Irish minister insisted.

Ireland’s transport minister, Eamon Ryan, told reporters on Tuesday: “It is just to reflect concern about the Delta variant and to try and hold back the development of that variant here as much as we can and give us time to get vaccines out to give us cover against it.”

Israel scraps indoor mask order as Covid infections wane

Leonie Chao-Fong

Israel has ended one of its final remaining Covid-19 restrictions by no longer requiring people to wear masks indoors, writes Joe Middleton.

From Tuesday, only staff in medical facilities, unvaccinated people visiting care homes, people en route to quarantine, and passengers on commercial flights will be required to wear face masks.

Israel has this month logged either zero or one daily Covid-19 deaths, health ministry data shows.

New infections have been in a steady but gentle decline after a steep drop-off in February and March.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Israel scraps indoor mask order as Covid infections wane

The coronavirus pandemic continues to redraw traditional transport links: Stena Line has announced the first ferry connection between Wales and Northern Ireland

Jon Sharman

The dramatic re-drawing of transport routes due to Covid is continuing – with a new ferry link between Holyhead in northwest Wales and Belfast, writes Simon Calder.

It is the first time the ports have been connected by a scheduled ferry service.

From 25 June to 18 July, Stena Line will sail at weekends between the two ports. In normal times, Holyhead has only one route, to Dublin.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Wales and Northern Ireland to be linked by ‘temporary’ ferry route

Opinion: When the PM confirmed the great reopening on 19 July, he should have announced a relaxation of the borders

Jon Sharman

Immigrants living in Britain haven’t had the best time recently. Granted, few people have had a pleasant time over the past year and a half; still, we have arguably had it worse. First, there were the Brexit years, in which politicians tripped over themselves to tell voters how little they liked us.

Then, as things were starting to – finally, cautiously – calm down, the pandemic hit, writes Marie le Conte. Suddenly, we got stuck in this country, with no way of seeing our friends or families. Your violin may be small: after all, we chose to make this place our home, and no one forced us to move.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

When Britain reopens on 19 July, we need to relax our borders | Marie Le Conte

Blackburn infection surge has peaked, data suggests

Jon Sharman

The surge in Covid-19 cases in Blackburn with Darwen looks to have peaked, with case rates stabilising for the first time in over a month, new figures suggest.

A total of 897 coronavirus cases were recorded in the local authority in the seven days to 10 June- the equivalent of 599.2 cases per 100,000 people.

Although this is up week-on-week from 548.4, it is below the figure of 666.7 recorded for the seven days to 7 June, which was the highest for the area since the middle of January.

Since 7 June, the seven-day rate of new cases has dropped on each successive day.

The figures have been calculated by the PA news agency from Public Health England data.

Blackburn with Darwen has been battling a sharp rise in cases since early May, driven by the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 that originated in India.

PA

Unforgivable recklessness of government has led to a surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says

 Jon Sharman

The government’s “unforgivable recklessness” with its approach to Britain’s borders during the pandemic is responsible for the surge in the variant first identified in India and the delay in lifting Covid restrictions, Labour has said.

Dubbing the Delta variant as “the Johnson variant”, the shadow home secretary said Boris Johnson’s “negligence and incompetence” had left the country facing “weeks more of restrictions — and yet more uncertainty” at a speech on Tuesday, writes Ashley Cowburn.

The remarks from Nick Thomas-Symonds came after the prime minister announced his decision to postpone Stage four of the roadmap out of lockdown until 19 July after a recent surge in infections and concern of the transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Unforgivable recklessness of government has led to surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for people exposed to coronavirus is not effective

Jon Sharman

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for Covid-19 does not prevent symptoms in people who have been exposed to the virus.

The drugmaker announced on Tuesday its treatment, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid by 33 per cent, compared to the placebo, but that this was not statistically significant.

Trial participants were adults over the age of 18 with confirmed exposure to a person who had coronavirus within the past eight days.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for people exposed to coronavirus is not effective

Wales should not be ‘taking risks’ by lifting restrictions as cases rise, says first minister

Chiara Giordano

First minister Mark Drakeford has said Wales should not be “taking risks” by scrapping coronavirus restrictions while the number of people falling ill from the virus continues to rise.

Asked if Wales would be far behind England’s 19 July date for the lifting of Covid-19 rules, Mr Drakeford told PA: “We expect to see the number of people falling ill from coronavirus in Wales rise over the weeks ahead because of the Delta variant.

“We are at least in the fortunate position in Wales that our vaccination programme has already gone considerably further than the programmes in England or Scotland.

“We’re in a very different position than we would have been only a matter of months ago, and we need to protect the ground we’ve already gained by not taking risks that might undermine everything we’ve achieved together.”

BBC Newsnight political editor chased through street by anti-lockdown protesters

Chiara Giordano

A BBC journalist was shouted at and chased down the street by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster.

Footage showed Nicholas Watt, Newsnight’s political editor, being accosted by several people during a demonstration outside Downing Street on Monday.

Our reporter Tom Batchelor has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Restriction easing would’ve led to ‘big surge’ as vaccine booking open to over-18s

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Restriction easing would’ve led to ‘big surge’ as vaccine booking open to over-18s

BBC Newsnight political editor chased through street by anti-lockdown protesters

Covid may lead to emergence of ‘superfungus’ in Brazil, say scientists

Chiara Giordano

Scientists have warned overcrowded hospitals, exhausted health care workers, and other factors are creating “ideal conditions” for the emergence of a “superfungus” with the ability to resist drug treatment.

The first two cases of infection with the fungus Candida auris in Covid patients, described in the Journal of Fungi, was reported in a hospital in Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

My colleague Vishwam Sankaran explains more in the article below:

Covid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

Covid may lead to emergence of ‘superfungus’ in Brazil, say scientists

People scramble to move second jab forward amid Delta variant surge

 Chiara Giordano

People eager to get their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine have been scrambling to move appointments forward amid a surge in the Delta coronavirus variant, after finding they can rebook for a closer time.

Some have said they have been able to cancel existing appointments for their second jab and sign up for another one several weeks earlier than originally planned.

My colleague Zoe Tidman has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of the week amid restriction easing delay

People scramble to move second Covid vaccine forward amid Delta variant surge

Just 1% of hospital beds in England occupied by Covid patients

 Chiara Giordano

Just one per cent of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with Covid-19, according to the head of the NHS in England.

Sir Simon Stevens told the NHS Confederation annual conference: “At the moment about one per cent of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with a Covid diagnosis and the age distribution has really flipped as a result of vaccination.

“Back in January, it was 60/40 – 60 per cent of beds occupied by people over 65, 40 per cent (occupied by people) under 65.

“Now it’s flipped to 30/70, so it’s about 30 per cent occupied by people aged 65 and over 70 per cent by younger people whose prospects are much greater.”

Covid mentioned on 153,493 UK death certificates

Chiara Giordano

A total of 153,493 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,480 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

Lifting lockdown would have caused big surge in cases, says former chief scientific adviser

 Chiara Giordano

The government’s former chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir Mark Walport, has told LBC radio that if nothing had been done, the doubling of cases would have seen a big surge.

He said: “It’s fairly obvious that, if you increase people’s social contacts at the moment, then the rate of transmission will rise further.”

He later told Sky News that “another month will enable many more people to be jabbed and for the effects of those first and second jabs to actually kick in”.

He said a further four weeks of data will also show the extent to which the link between infection and hospital admission is weakened, and politicians will be able to make “a more confident decision”.

‘Common sense’ approach to enforcing rules around dancing at weddings, says Gove

Chiara Giordano

Michael Gove said there will be a “common sense” approach to the enforcement of rules around dancing at weddings.

Asked if the police will be sent in, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think we’ll use common sense. It is the case that the bride and groom are expected, allowed, encouraged to have a first dance, but it’s also the case that we’re not opening dance floors for weddings because we’re not opening them elsewhere as well.

“It’s four weeks. After this four-week period then I hope that we can get things back to normal. In the meantime, there are restrictions, but overall, I think, you know, common sense is the answer.”

All over-18s to be invited for vaccines by end of week, NHS boss says

Chiara Giordano

All adults aged over 18 will be able to book a Covid vaccine by the end of this week, the head of the NHS in England has said.

Speaking at a virtual annual conference of health leaders organised by the NHS Confederation, Sir Simon Stevens, who is stepping down from his role next month said: “I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the national booking service to all adults aged 18 and above.”

Our health correspondent Shaun Lintern has more details below:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

All adults over 18 to be invited for Covid vaccines by end of week, NHS boss says

Latest Covid death figures for England and Wales

Chiara Giordano

A total of 98 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 4 June mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up three per cent on the previous week, but the ONS said the number of deaths registered was affected by the bank holiday on 31 May and that differences between the figures should be treated with caution.

Around one in 77 deaths registered in the week to 4 June (1.3 per cent) mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

Government ‘as confident as confident can be’ about restrictions ending on 19 July, says Gov

Chiara Giordano

Michael Gove has said the government is “as confident as confident can be” about 19 July being the date for the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “The data shows that we should be in a position to have vaccinated so many people by that date in July that we will be able to lift restrictions.

“Now, you know, none of us can predict the future with 100 per cent certainty – there could be something bizarre and unprecedented that occurs.

“But, on the basis of all the information that we have, then we will have successfully protected such a large section of the population, and of course children will be facing summer holidays and that brings the infection rate down. So we’re as confident as confident can be about that date.”

PM ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims

 Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson would “never put the health of the country at risk” for a trade deal photo opportunity with India, Michael Gove has claimed.

The Cabinet minister’s defence of the prime minister comes after Labour accused the PM of delaying action to stop travel from the country for fear of disrupting trade talks and ruining a planned photo-op.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has the full story:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

Boris Johnson ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for a Brexit trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims

EasyJet shifts Spanish flights from UK to Germany

Chiara Giordano

Britain’s biggest budget airline is moving capacity for Spanish flights from the UK to Germany.

In response to the continuing severe restrictions on international travel from the UK, Easyjet has switched flights to continental Europe. Some aircraft that were expected to connect British airports with Palma in Mallorca have been switched to Berlin.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

EasyJet shifts Spanish flights from UK to Germany

‘Puny weak’ border policy to blame for delay to lockdown lifting, claims shadow health secretary

 Chiara Giordano

Labour’s shadow health secretary has claimed the reason the nation is in the current situation is because the government did not impose travel restrictions sooner.

Jonathan Ashworth Radio 4’s Today programme: “Rather than red listing this variant, we essentially gave it the red carpet treatment as 20,000 people were allowed to arrive from India over a number of weeks in April, even though the warning signs were there.

“That essentially seeded this Delta variant across the country.

“Nobody wanted to be in this place and we could have avoided this if it was not for the Delta variant, and I’m afraid this is on Boris Johnson for his puny weak border policy, which was secure as a sieve.”

Future restrictions are a ‘possibility’, says expert

Chiara Giordano

A member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) advising the government has said future restrictions are a “possibility”.

Professor Graham Medley told the Today programme: “It really depends upon what the prospects look like in terms of the way this virus reacts with the vaccine, and that has actually turned out to be good news and uncertainty is solidified in terms of being good news.

“There is that possibility though; I think that depending on what the government wants to achieve, they may well have to make decisions that are against what they would much prefer not to do which is to make the changes that we’ve got irreversible.

“It is possible we could end up with a situation whereby the numbers of people going to a hospital, really mean that the government has to take some kind of action that they don’t want to, but I think that’s always been the case – the government has always taken action to that it didn’t want to, it never wanted to lockdown.

“And it’s always going to be the case in the sense that there is this pandemic ongoing but the next pandemic will happen at some point unknown, and then having used lockdowns once it’s quite possible that the government would choose to use them again.”

Something ‘unprecedented’ would have to happen for 19 July lifting to be delayed

Chiara Giordano

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said something “unprecedented and remarkable” would have to happen for the 19 July date to be extended further.

He told Sky News: “It would require an unprecedented and remarkable alteration in the progress of the disease.”

Delay to lockdown lifting ‘regrettable’, says Michael Gove

Chiara Giordano

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said it was “regrettable” that ministers had to order a delay of up to a month to the final phase of the road map.

Asked if restrictions would ease on 19 July or whether there could be another delay, he told Sky News: “That will be the terminus date.

“What we said is that we won’t lift those restrictions before 21 June, in the road map it says not before, and the whole point about the road map was to build in an element of flexibility and caution.

“It is regrettable that we do have this pause before moving to Step 4, but what we want to do is to make sure that when we do make that move, that we don’t go back.

“Because the worst thing for business, worst thing for any of us, would be to open up again and then to very quickly find that we have to reimpose restrictions.”

200,000 more people in work during May as economic recovery strengthens

Chiara Giordano

UK employers added 200,000 people to payrolls in May as more people returned to work and the unemployment rate fell as the economic recovery from the pandemic strengthened.

The number of people in payrolled employment rose 197,000 between April and May but remains 553,000 below the level reached before the pandemic began, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

Our business correspondent Ben Chapman has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

200,000 more people in work during May as economic recovery strengthens

Summer death toll could hit 40,000

 Chiara Giordano

Scientists have warned more than 40,000 people could die this summer as the Delta variant of coronavirus sweeps through the UK, even after Boris Johnson’s decision to delay the lifting of lockdown restrictions by four weeks.

A paper submitted to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) said a summer wave of infections, hospitalisations and deaths was “likely” whether or not restrictions were lifted because of the highly virulent nature of the variant.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock and health correspondent Shaun Lintern have the full story:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

Scientists warn of 40,000 ‘summer wave’ Covid deaths as lockdown lifting delayed by four weeks

Boris Johnson delays lifting lockdown restrictions

Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has set a new “terminus date” of 19 July for the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions after being warned easing measures as planned could lead to thousands of deaths.

The prime minister ordered a delay of up to a month to the final phase of his roadmap out of lockdown due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

Experts feared going ahead with Step 4 on 21 June as anticipated could lead to hospital admissions on the scale of the first wave of Covid-19, heaping unsustainable pressure on the health service.

To avoid this, Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference it was “sensible to wait just a little longer” as he put back the end of all legal limits on social contact by a month.

No new Covid-19 cases in Indian slum for first time during second wave

Akshita Jain

The densely populated slum area of Dharavi in India’s Mumbai city reported zero Covid-19 cases on Monday, the first time since the second wave of the pandemic hit the country.

Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, has reported 6,861 cases of coronavirus till date, and out of these, 2,900 infections were reported in the second wave, according to The Indian Express analysis.

73% elderly in India experienced increased abuse during lockdown

 Akshita Jain

Nearly 73 per cent of the elderly population in India suffered increased abuse during the lockdown imposed to contain the deadly second wave of Covid-19, according to a new report.

The Agewell Foundation, a Delhi-based not-for-profit, said 61 per cent of those claimed that interpersonal relationships was the main reason for the increasing incidences of elder abuse, according to news agency PTI.

Crowds outside metro stations as Delhi reopens

Akshita Jain

As India’s national capital Delhi eased restrictions on Monday, long queues could be seen outside metro stations and people had to wait for more than 50 minutes to board a train.

Some stations had to be temporarily shut to manage crowds.

The transport system resumed operations last week at 50 per cent seating capacity, but people flocked to metro stations after the national capital allowed malls, markets and private offices to open on all days from Monday.

He said that while this does not mean there will be a sharp spike, it does mean that this is going to take over.

https://twitter.com/dipalay/status/1404655819363287041/photo/3

‘Delta likely to become dominant variant in the US’

06:22 , Akshita Jain

The Delta variant of Covid-19 — identified first in India — is likely to become the dominant source of new infections in the US, said Dr Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Dr Gottlieb told CBS: “Right now, in the United States, it’s about 10 per cent of infections. It’s doubling every two weeks.”

India to get Novavax Covid-19 vaccine soon

Akshita Jain

The US’s Novavax vaccine will likely be available in India soon, as the company said it has begun regulatory filing with the Serum Institute of India.

Novavax has said its vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in protecting against moderate and severe Covid.

The vaccine maker has an agreement with the Serum Institute of India for the development and commercialisation of the vaccine in low and middle income countries, including India.

Delta variant doubles risk of hospitalisation, says study

Akshita Jain

A Scottish study has found that the Delta variant of Covid-19 — first detected in India — doubles the risk of hospitalisation compared with the Alpha variant — first identified in Kent.

But scientists said that two doses of vaccine still provide a strong protection against the Delta variant.

Chris Robertson, professor at University of Strathclyde, was quoted as saying by Reuters that if a person tests positive for Covid-19, two doses of the vaccine or one dose for 28 days reduces risk of hospitalisation by 70 per cent.

Akshita Jain

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday 15 June, 2021.

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The Independent

G7 summit: Cornwall gathering branded ‘colossal failure’ as promises on climate, aid, and vaccines fall short

The Independent

The Independent

by Andrew Woodcock and Rob Merrick 

Boris Johnson’s chances of success at this autumn’s crucial COP26 global warming conference in Glasgow hang in the balance after the G7 failed to deliver significant new pledges on climate finance at their three-day summit in Cornwall, campaigners have warned.

Despite the prime minister’s promises of a new green package to match the US funding of reconstruction of post-war Europe, the gathering of leading global powers at Carbis Bay delivered “a partial plan not a Marshall plan”, said Christian Aid.

A communiqué issued by the G7 states – the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan – promised that each would “increase and improve” their contributions towards a promise made 11 years ago for rich nations to spend $100bn (£71bn) annually helping poorer countries adapt to global warming.

But specific pledges came only from Canada, which doubled its commitment to $4.4bn (£3.1bn) over the next five years, and Germany, which promised to increase spending by €2bn to €6bn (£5.2bn) a year by 2025.

After being addressed by Sir David Attenborough on the urgency of action, the group of major democracies also promised to move away from using coal plants without carbon capture technology.

But they gave neither a detailed plan for how to make the change or a target date to achieve it – though they did agree to stop subsidising new coal-fuelled power generation in developing countries from next year.

Meanwhile, former prime minster Gordon Brown branded the summit an “unforgivable moral failure” after the G7 nations pledged only 870 million of the 11 billion vaccine doses which the World Health Organisation says are needed to inoculate the world by next year, and made no new pledges on vaccine financing.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 05: Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses activists on May 5, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
© 2021 Getty ImagesGLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 05: Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses activists on May 5, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A defensive Mr Johnson denied that Brexit wars and his huge overseas aid cuts had fatally undermined the summit – his first appearance as host on the global stage, five months ahead of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.

At a closing press conference, he insisted that “great commitments” had been made to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, and said the target to vaccinate the world by the end of next year will be done “very largely thanks to the efforts of the countries who have come here today”.

A Build Back Better fund would give access to finance for developing countries to develop infrastructure in a clean and sustainable way, as an alternative to financing from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

And he said he “rejected outright” the suggestion that his £4bn-a-year cut in UK international aid spending had undermined his moral authority to secure commitments from other countries.

Asked about a diplomatic spat with France over the UK’s failure to implement the Northern Ireland protocol, Mr Johnson insisted it had not deflected from the agenda he had set out.

The “vast, vast majority of conversations” had been about “other subjects”, he insisted, claiming: “There has been a fantastic degree of harmony between the leaders of our countries.”

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL - JUNE 13: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay on June 13, 2021 in Cornwall, United Kingdom. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit. This year the UK has invited India, South Africa, and South Korea to attend the Leaders' Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
© 2021 Getty ImagesCARBIS BAY, CORNWALL – JUNE 13: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay on June 13, 2021 in Cornwall, United Kingdom. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit. This year the UK has invited India, South Africa, and South Korea to attend the Leaders’ Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. (Photo by Phil Noble – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

But Max Lawson, from Oxfam, said: “This G7 Summit will live on in infamy. Faced with the biggest health emergency in a century and a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet, they have completely failed to meet the challenges of our times.

“The G7 have chosen to cook the books on vaccines and continue to cook the planet. We don’t need to wait for history to judge this summit a colossal failure, it is plain for all to see.”

And the Civil Society 7 (C7) group of charities said: “Without 10 billion vaccines, the removal of patents and investment in healthcare systems pledges to inoculate the world by the end of next year ring hollow.

“Multiple commitments for climate action have been made and remade. Yet even after this summit, we are still short of the significant climate finance needed.”

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Jamie Peters said: “We have seen lovely words about the importance of climate change, but unless there is thorough funding and these words properly put into action, this weekend just amounts to staged set-pieces and polished speeches. Climate breakdown has to be treated as the absolute global emergency it clearly is. That means a detailed plan for doing something from the world’s leaders.”

ST IVES, CORNWALL - JUNE 13: Extinction Rebellion environmental activists stage a demonstration with a banner saying "G7 Act Now" on the beach during the G7 summit on June 13, 2021 in St Ives, England. Environmental Protest Groups gather in Cornwall as the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay. This year the UK has invited Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea to attend the Leaders' Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. Protest groups hope to highlight their various causes to the G7 leaders and a global audience as the eyes of the world focus on Cornwall during the summit. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
© 2021 Getty ImagesST IVES, CORNWALL – JUNE 13: Extinction Rebellion environmental activists stage a demonstration with a banner saying “G7 Act Now” on the beach during the G7 summit on June 13, 2021 in St Ives, England. Environmental Protest Groups gather in Cornwall as the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay. This year the UK has invited Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea to attend the Leaders’ Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. Protest groups hope to highlight their various causes to the G7 leaders and a global audience as the eyes of the world focus on Cornwall during the summit. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Christian Aid director of policy Patrick Watt said that the meagre progress at Carbis Bay boded ill for Glasgow, where the UN is hoping for a decisive step forward from the commitments made in Paris in 2015 to keep global heating within 2 degrees celsius.

“The US committed 6.5 per cent of its post-war GDP to the Marshall Plan,” said Mr Watt. “The UK, in contrast, has reneged on an aid promise one-tenth as ambitious.

“The G7 needed to progress comprehensive debt relief, deliver on climate finance promises, and act to end vaccine apartheid. The G7 leadership has failed to make real progress in any of these areas.

“The success of the COP26 climate summit now hangs in the balance. There is still time for rich nations to deliver a solidarity package that tackles these interconnected crises. Without it, the COP will fail.”

Mr Johnson said there had been “big pledges around the table” on climate finance, with the UK itself giving £11.6bn, adding: “I do think that we can get there.”

 (PA)
© Provided by The Independent(PA)

And he argued: “The world was looking to us to reject some of the selfishness and nationalist approaches that have marred the initial global response to the pandemic, and to channel all our diplomatic, economic and scientific might into defeating Covid for good.

“And I do hope we have lived up to some of the most optimistic of hopes and predictions.”

But Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said: “This was the most important G7 for a generation. But instead of agreeing concrete plans to tackle the biggest global challenges, Boris Johnson’s strained relationship with fellow world leaders has taken centre stage and derailed this crucial summit.

“By every measure, the prime minister’s summit has come up short. No clear plan to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022. No ambitious commitments to place the path on the path to climate safety.

“With less than six months until COP26, the government must raise the ambition and work constructively with countries across the world to deliver for people in Britain and around the world.”

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St. Lucia Times News

“Don’t Share the Video. It is Wrong!”

https://stluciatimes.com/dont-share-the-video-it-is-wrong/
St. Lucia Times News

June 11, 2021

https://stluciatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/social-media-mobile-telephone.jpg

The President of Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia has expressed disgust at the continued sharing of graphic and at times embarrassing videos on social media.

Catherine Sealys is also concerned about the sharing of ‘intimate videos’ without the consent of the subject.

“Don’t share the video. It is wrong!” Sealys advises.

Sealys recalls that in the past several videos have appeared on social media, featuring among other things, mothers beating children and a man taking advantage of a naked woman who appeared to be intoxicated.

And most recently this week, the Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia President noted that a video had appeared on social media of a female accident victim in Vieux Fort.

Someone records the woman as she lies in pain on the ground with her skirt lifted.

“Your first duty is to save someone’s life, not to record them,” Sealys told St Lucia Times.

“For a woman to be in an accident and to be injured and to be on the ground suffering and somebody is videotaping her and then circulating that video, speaks to our tendency to absorb trauma, to be unempathetic,” she explained.

“Because if you are looking at this woman suffering, your first duty is to see how can you help her,” Sealys stated.

“I do not know what has happened to Saint Lucia, but everybody seems to feel anything that happens just take out my phone and start to video,” she lamented.

Sealys expressed concern over the national threshold for doing things that are unacceptable.

But she also condemned the hypocrisy of people who condemn the viral videos but share them anyway.

According to the Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia President, the relatives of victims continue to suffer.

“The persons in the video – they’re all over the place, not in the most dignified manner. We need to check ourselves in this country,” Sealys declared.

“This has to stop,” she asserted.

The Computer Misuse Act of Saint Lucia states:

  1. Malicious communications

(15. — (1) A person shall not use a computer to send a message, letter, electronic communication or article of any description that —

(a) is indecent or obscene;

(b) constitutes a threat; or

(c) is menacing in character,

with the intention to cause or being reckless as to whether he or she causes annoyance, inconvenience, distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he or she intends it or its contents to be communicated.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both and in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

According to the law,  “computer” means a device that accepts information, in the form of digitalized data, and manipulates the information for some result based on a program or sequence of instructions on how the data is to be processed.

TMR: Below is an article that is a clear example for social media and less responsible media… and for more – visit: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter

BBC apologises for coverage of Christian Eriksen’s on-field treatment (msn.com)

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Olivia and Anna

Girl, 6, ‘kidnapped’ by dad weeks ago tragically confirmed as body found in sea

Olivia Gimeno Zimmerman disappeared on April 27 alongside her one-year-old sister Anna. Today, authorities confirmed a body found off the coast of Tenerife was hers mirror

TMR: This and all like this, can get you to feel feelingless. But just imagine this could be happening to hundreds of thousands and millions around the world, straight in our faces, to our most elderly, elderly and, not so elderly; moving on to some vulnerable youths!

By Natalia Penza & Chiara Fiorillo 11 JUN 2021

Olivia and Anna
Olivia and Anna went missing on April 27 (Image: SOLARPIX.COM)

A six-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her dad weeks ago has been confirmed as being a body found on seabed.

Olivia Gimeno Zimmerman disappeared alongside her one-year-old sister Anna on April 27.

Their father Tomas Gimeno went to pick Anna up from the home of his former partner, Beatriz Zimmerman, and then collected Olivia from an after-school German learning centre before they went missing.

Search teams yesterday located a body more than 3,300ft underwater in a sports bag weighed down with an anchor off the coast of Tenerife.

Following fingerprint tests, authorities have today confirmed the body was that of Olivia.

A spokesman for the investigating judge in charge of an ongoing court probe said: “Fingerprint tests carried out this morning on the body recovered yesterday in the sea off Tenerife have confirmed beyond any doubt that the body is that of Olivia’s.”

Tomas Gimeno
Tomas Gimeno allegedly nabbed the two girls (Image: SOLARPIX.COM)

The girl’s sister Anna and dad Tomas Gimeno, 37, are yet to be found nearly two months after the trio vanished, sparking an international manhunt.

Gimeno is believed to have taken the two little girls on his boat, with traces of the father’s blood located on board, El Pais reports. Support My WeightHow To Shred Fat Around Belly and Thighs (Do This Every Day)eToroLearn how you can invest in leading brands with 0% commission with eToroby TaboolaSponsored Links

A child safety car seat was also found floating in the sea and the Civil Guard has confirmed that it belonged to Anna, according to the Spanish newspaper.

Olivia and Anna
An international search was launched after the two girls disappeared (Image: SOLARPIX.COM)

Overnight Spanish media reported claims investigators suspect Gimeno drugged and killed his daughters at his home before putting them in separate bags, taking their bodies out to sea and throwing them into the ocean with the anchor attached.

Opened medicine packets containing sedatives and muscle relaxants were allegedly discovered in his living room, Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported.

Gimeno had allegedly been seen on CCTV loading several bags onto his boat at Marina Tenerife in Santa Cruz the night the girls went missing.

Related Articles

A security guard said he had seen a man fitting his description alone, with no sign of the youngsters, the report claimed.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among celebs who highlighted the girls’ disappearance in the days after they went missing.

Georgina, 27, said in an emotional post to her 24 million Instagram followers shortly after the mystery disappearance: “I hope with all my heart that the girls are found safe and well and can hug their mum again soon.”

Santa Cruz mayor Jose Manuel Bermudez reacting to the discovery on Thursday, saying: “There are no words to express the terrible desolation I feel. From respect at the mother’s pain and with all the caution the terrible news that is reaching us deserves, I want to express to the family all the solidarity of the citizens of Santa Cruz.”

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez tweeted: “I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia, who disappeared in Tenerife, following the terrible news we have just heard.

“I send a hug and my love and that of my whole family, who today show solidarity with Beatriz and her loved ones.”

Such as this:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/teenager-living-italy-killed-buried-24301530?int_source=taboola&int_medium=display&int_campaign=organic

Posted in COVID-19, Crime, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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Democracy, while, America urgently needs a real investigation of the Trump regime — or it will all happen again

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Reprint

We recently learned that Trump’s minions spied on reporters — and no one cares. These crimes must not be forgotten

By Chauncey DeVega
Published May 13, 2021
Donald Trump, Stephen Miller and Bill Barr (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, and Bill Barr (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

During Donald Trump’s time in office (and arguably beyond), he and the Republican Party inflicted many deep wounds on American democracy and the rule of law. President Biden and the Democrats have done an admirable job of slowing the bleeding. But for the victim’s life to be saved, the weapons must be seized, and the wounds treated and healed. For that to happen the full truth of the Trump regime’s crimes must be publicly revealed.

Unfortunately, such an outcome appears unlikely. In the most recent example of organized forgetting by a country that would rather look away from the truth than confront it, we learned last week that under Trump the Department of Justice obtained the phone records of reporters who were investigating the Trump-Russia collusion scandal. Then we immediately stopped talking about it.

At Politico, Josh Gerstein reports:

An editor at the Post, Cameron Barr, said in a statement that the newspaper is “deeply troubled by this use of government power to seek access to the communications of journalists,” but there was nothing close to widespread outrage at the news that an authoritarian president and regime and his flunkies apparently spied on journalists who were investigating crimes against democracy. This obvious abuse of power is largely being treated as a non-event of little public importance. That is precisely how authoritarianism is normalized — when the public no longer cares about the crimes committed by those who hold power. 

These acts were committed under a president who repeatedly described the free press as “the enemy of the people” and “fake news,” in a Goebbels-like campaign to create an alternate reality in which the Great Leader is never to be challenged and free speech and other rights are to be crushed.

Moreover, the same president and regime repeatedly embraced, fawned over and admired foreign dictators and autocrats who imprison and kill journalists. In his book “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” former national security adviser John Bolton recalls Trump saying of journalists: “These people should be executed. They are scumbags.”Advertisement:

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Given the Trump regime’s use of Border Patrol officers and other pseudo-police agents to seize protesters and reporters off the streets in Portland and other cities last year, it is terrifying to imagine how “enemies of the people” would have been detained had Trump’s coup succeeded and he remained in office.

The collective non-reaction to the Trump regime’s targeting of journalists is just another example of the way uncomfortable and dangerous truths about the Age of Trump are disappearing into the memory well. Congress needs to convene a truth commission and other public investigations before all such truths have vanished. There are many questions about the Trump presidency that must be asked and answered for the United States to move forward in a safe and responsible way.

Were the coup attempt and the Capitol attack directly planned by Donald Trump and his inner circle? What role did Republican members of Congress play in the assault? What was actually discussed in the Oval Office meeting where the coup attempt was allegedly discussed with Trump by disgraced former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and various others? Why were the military and law enforcement essentially ordered to stand down by the Trump administration? What figures in the Trump administration may have coordinated such orders and plans? How is the Trump-inspired right-wing extremist movement being funded and coordinated?Advertisement:

The people of Puerto Rico were basically abandoned to die after Hurricane Maria. What role did Trump himself play in that decision? What other Trump regime officials were involved?

What role did William Barr and the Justice Department play in concealing the Trump regime’s crimes, attacking his personal and political enemies and in other ways undermining the rule of law? And what specific role did Barr and other senior officials play in concealing and distorting the Mueller report’s findings about the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election?

Why did the Trump regime refuse to treat white supremacists and other right-wing hate groups and paramilitaries as serious threats to the country’s safety and security? How many such individuals and organizations have infiltrated the country’s military, police, law enforcement and national security apparatus more generally?

Beyond immigration policy, what role did Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller — who has shown himself to be an unrepentant white supremacist — play in policy-making more generally? Given the creation of concentration camps and an explicit policy of causing misery and hardship for brown and Black migrants and refugees, did the Trump regime commit crimes against humanity?Advertisement:

A new report from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that at least 900,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. That number is roughly 50 percent higher than the official death toll of almost 600,000.

Public health experts have estimated that the number of deaths might have been limited to 100,000, had the Trump regime and Republican Party acted responsibly during the early months of the pandemic. Do these actions rise to the level of criminality? Did Trump and his Republican supporters commit democide against the American people?

There are many other questions to be asked as well about financial crimes, corruption, election-rigging, voter suppression and attacks on civil rights, as well as the federal government’s response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter people’s uprising.

To this point, Republicans in Congress are blocking any attempt to hold a proper investigation of Trump’s coup attempt and the Capitol attack, very likely because they are implicated as co-conspirators. Advertisement:

Too many Democrats — including President Biden — are eager to move on, perceiving a public accounting for the crimes of Jan. 6 (and the Trump regime more generally) as a distraction from their broadly successful policy agenda.

The American people have short attention spans, are traumatized by the Age of Trump and the pandemic, and have been taught as a culture that ignoring bad things will make them go away. Confronting the truth about the Trump regime and American neofascism, how it came to be and the ongoing threat it poses requires a maturity, patience and dedication that too many Americans do not possess.

A truth commission could at least potentially provide a proper accounting for the Age of Trump, and help create a shared narrative for the American people. Such a commission would also quite likely uncover crimes committed by the Trump regime that to this point have remained hidden.

But there is no full and genuine public accounting for the crimes of the Trump regime, it is all but certain that Donald Trump will not be America’s last neofascist president but instead its first. To hold no serious investigation is also to grant permission for more right-wing terrorism and political violence. The Republican Party has already decided that free and fair elections are a priori illegitimate, and their outcomes are illegal if the Democrats win. Advertisement:

Today’s Republicans are obsessively working to create a type of one-party state and apartheid autocracy. If the Age of Trump is allowed to drain away down the memory well, they will probably succeed. America’s multiracial democracy will then exist only as a fading memory, until that too is forgotten. 

Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Joe Manchin and Donald Trump: The two men who threaten it all –

Joe Manchin and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Joe Manchin and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

https://www.salon.com/2021/06/11/joe-manchin-and-donald-trump-the-two-men-who-threaten-it-all/

The end of QAnon: U.S. Democracy still isn’t safe

Donald Trump | Alex Jones | QAnon Supporter (Getty Images/Salon)
Donald Trump | Alex Jones | QAnon Supporter (Getty Images/Salon)

https://www.salon.com/2021/06/11/the-end-of-qanon-us-democracy-still-isnt-safe-_partner/

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Facebook fact-check fallacies and pandemic panics

Contribution, Part 113

Are FaceBook’s “Independent Fact-Checkers” the last word on the Covid-19 vax facts?

BRADES, Montserrat, June 5, 2021 –  Obviously not. But, why that is so important, is especially if we value our freedom (and so, too, the independent media).

The Scarlet Brand used by Facebook to try to discredit Dr. Damian Wojcik of New Zealand and others






Yes, the Facebook warning label we can see was recently used to dismiss the sober concerns by New Zealand Doctor, Damian Wojcik; which  TMR brought to the attention of Montserrat’s public. So, it is time to use the right of reply to set the matter straight.

See: https://www.covidplanb.co.nz/data-science/an-open-video-from-nz-gp-damian-wojcik/?fbclid=IwAR1CcGR9BhcQk09_luX5Xvrr-v1qPHdC1BAeEysS2ELepDS0ntAUh5jduBU

As, whenever there is a crisis, officials and other power brokers try to keep a lid on it.

As part of that, they establish a dominant narrative, put out by their favoured voices.  And, historically, you can safely bet your last $5 in your back pocket, that that narrative will at most give half the truth, will promote power agendas, typically reflects someone’s business selling point, and too often will be dangerously manipulative. If they can get away with it, anyone who refuses to toe the line will be smeared as an irresponsible, incompetent misleader of the public, etc, etc. And, far too often, that is utterly unfair to voices trying to warn about overlooked issues and concerns.

Montserrat’s history since 1989 is littered with cases in point, but that’s just because we have been hit by crisis after crisis since Hurricane Hugo struck thirty-two years ago.

A glance at, say, Acts 27 will show this problem is as old as the hills. As regular TMR readers are doubtless familiar with, Mr. Moneybags had his bought-and-paid-for “techie” persuade the Centurion and the passengers to ignore that crazy Jew in chains over there muttering about dangerous sailing conditions. All that was needed to slip forty miles down the coast to a fine harbour was a good afternoon’s breeze. 

Ah, there it is, a gentle South wind. Let’s go.

Halfway there, of course, a wicked nor’easter struck, instantly reducing the ship to a sinking condition. By the time it was over, it was through intercessory prayer and the grace of God that they were glad to shipwreck at St Paul’s Bay, Malta.

That’s a bit of history that needs to be regularly expounded from our pulpits.

For sure, Dr. Damian Wojcik deserved a fairer hearing for his sober, quietly presented fifteen-minute, well-researched word of counsel[1]:

  • He is a General Practitioner with twenty-seven years of experience in a practice that includes nutrition and environmental medicine. He is also a Forensic Physician, trained to give expert testimony, and having twenty-seven years’ experience as a Police Doctor.
  • He speaks as spokesman for a circle of other doctors concerned about how the vaccines for Covid-19 are being rolled out; they shared their concerns through an open letter to the NZ Medical Council, Medsafe, and the Royal College of GP’s. (So, yes, this is a case where experts disagree, so it is unjustified to claim that the voice of officialdom and its favoured spokesmen decisively represent THE Science.)
  • He speaks in the name of the famous Hippocratic Oath,[2] which constituted Medicine as a responsible, trustworthy profession, 2400 years ago. The key ethical commitments are, first, do no harm; next, cure if you can; and last, care for always. (Our own doctors take that same oath. If they haven’t our Governments are committing a travesty and worse)
  • He counsels that “there is emerging evidence that Covid-19 vaccines carry a risk of severe adverse reactions and death.” He points to over 4,000 deaths listed by the American registry for such over the past five months, relative to 259 million vaccinations (most vaccines require two “jabs”). This is a fact from a standard source; the issue is the balance of risks and benefits, as well as reasonable alternatives.
  • He then highlights that CDC calculations show this exceeds the total for vaccines over the preceding ten years and it is also over a hundred times higher than the rate for influenza vaccines, signs that this is significantly riskier than is generally acceptable for vaccines.
  • He is concerned that patients are individuals, not Lab Rats to be “sacrificed in a global vaccine experiment,” at least, not on his watch for his patients. This is controversial of course but it is a values statement informed by the fact that the vaccines were sharply expedited and would normally require several further years of tests before general approval.
  • He cites the conceded point as of May 2021, that there is no conclusive evidence that the vaccines prevent infection or transmission of the disease. The hope has been that they will reduce the intensity of disease, hospitalisations, and fatalities.
  • He speaks to the Nuremberg Code,[3] created in 1947 after Nazi Doctors abused patients through dangerous or often fatal medical experiments. This requires that participation in medical experiments must be based on voluntary informed consent.
  • The pivot here is that in his opinion [which is a matter of ethical judgment], the emergency approvals and riskiness of the vaccines constitute a global experiment that requires balanced informed consent rather than coaxing. (Fair comment: if there are significant, widespread long-term problems from the vaccines this may become a serious legal issue.)
  • He specifically speaks of mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, like gene therapy, a controversial opinion, but one linked to the role of mRNA as carrying the genetic code out to cellular machinery for building protein molecules, etc, here, viral spike proteins intended to spark an immune response. (However, on fair comment: there are concerns tied to earlier animal trials with adverse outcomes and even to apparent damaging effects caused by spike proteins in the body.)
  • [AstraZeneca inserts spike proteins into a Chimpanzee virus which is injected to spark an immune response, however, the spike protein itself apparently can cause damage to the lining of blood vessels. We all know of the blood clotting concerns.]
  • Again, he speaks to a climate of fear, pressure, and state over-reach, having already noted that vaccine manufacturers are indemnified and insurers will not payout in case of vaccine-related adverse events. These are again summaries of fact and statements of linked controversial but legitimate opinion or concern.
  • He goes on to call for respectful, courteous dialogue.
  • He reports the current global fatality rate as 0.15%, comparing to the typical infection [not, case] fatality rate for seasonal influenza, 0.10%. Such rates seem to be responsible estimates and are clearly comparable. We do not go into a global lockdown with a “warp speed” operation to provide vaccines for the annual flu.
  • Similarly, he suggests that over the past year, as physicians have learned what treatments work, hospital fatality rates have fallen.
  • In this context, he pointed to supplements such as Zinc, Vitamins C and D, adding that “there are at least eighteen randomised clinical trials to support the use of oral Ivermectin in hospitalised patients; which results in significantly reduced mortality.”
  • He suggests that “this information should be more widely applied and not suppressed.”

There is, again on final fair comment, manifestly nothing in this that warrants branding his remarks as “False Information.” Facebook’s fact-checkers themselves need to be fact-checked.


[1]See https://vimeo.com/553855810

[2] See https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html

[3] See http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

Posted in Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Health, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

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Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Sentiment Contaminates Debate on Virus Origin: MI6 Ex-chief

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images) Covid-19
The Epoch Times

By Lily Zhou June 4, 2021

Anti-Trump sentiment has been one of the factors that contaminated the debate on the origin of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, has said.

Efforts seeking a full inquiry into the origins of the CCP virus have been growing recently, including a letter signed by 18 international researchers pushing for a “proper investigation.”

Speaking to The Telegraph‘s “Planet Normal” podcast on Wednesday, Dearlove said that it was interesting that U.S. epidemiologist Ralph Baric—” one of the original scientists to research with Zhengli Shi,”—is one of the signatories.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei Province, on Feb. 23, 2017. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

Shi, nicknamed “Bat Lady” for her research on bat coronaviruses, is a senior virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the center of a theory that says the CCP virus, a virus that causes COVID-19, was accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab, where it had been created by enhancing natural bat coronaviruses during gain-of-function research.

Baric and Shi are both among the authors of a paper published in 2015 on bat coronaviruses. Baric is also one of the scientists that classified the CCP virus and named it “SARS-CoV-2.”

However, despite the pivot in the debate on the origin of the virus, the former spy chief said the evidence ‘Has Probably Been Destroyed‘ by the Chinese regime.

CCP Propaganda, Anti-trump Sentiment Contaminate Debate

Dearlove has said he believed the lab accident theory a year ago when British oncology professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian biotech company CEO Birger Sorensen wrote a paper in which they claimed to have found “inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface in positions to bind efficiently” with human cells.

According to The Daily Mail, Dalgleish and Sorensen have written a new paper, which reasserts that the CCP virus was artificially enhanced, claims “COVID-19 ‘has no credible natural ancestor,” and that versions of the virus had been reverse-engineered to cover its origin.

The UK’s intelligence agencies reportedly dismissed the lab leak theory as “fake news” in June last year, and now consider it “feasible,” according to media outlets.

U.S. President Joe Biden also said on May 26 that he wanted the Intelligence Community to produce a report on the origin of the CCP virus in 90 days.

Dearlove told The Telegraph that he did feel “a sense of vindication.”

“We’ve had a lot of stick for advocating this point of view,” he said, “and at long last, it seems as though it’s going to be a balanced scientific debate.”

Dearlove attributed the dismissal of the theory to the Chinese regimes’ narrative control, “academic bullying” behavior in the scientific community, and anti-Trump sentiment.

“I think there are all sorts of reasons: Control of the narrative by the People’s Republic of China; and some extraordinary behavior in the scientific community, which successfully shut down any debate,” he said.

“I would describe it, almost as academic bullying, some of the influential virologists absolutely insisting that they knew the answer.”

Dearlove said he suspected that “a lot of very eminent scientific journals are not willing to print stuff which was going to upset the Chinese.”

“Well this doesn’t seem to me very strongly in the spirit of science,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 28, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The third reason why the theory had been dismissed out of hand is that “an awful lot of respectable academics did not want to associate themselves with a view which was being pushed by the Trump administration,” Dearlove said, referring to former U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In a way, it was a contamination of the argument,” he said, adding that he was happy that the removal of the factor has changed the balance of discussion.

Asked if liberal groupthink and anti-Trump sentiment had been responsible for letting the Chinese regime off the hook for so many months, Dearlove said: “I think to a certain extent.”

‘Most Disruptive Global Event Since WWII’

Dearlove called the CCP virus pandemic “the most disruptive global event since World War Two.”

“It’s more consequential in its ramifications for pretty much every economy, every country in the world, every political leadership,” he said. “Quite apart from the number of people it’s killed and the chaos that it’s caused, it must change the way that we view China in the future.”

Epoch Times Photo
Police use a water cannon against protestors at the Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, on May 1, 2021. (Olivier Matthys/AP Photo)

The Chinese authorities officially confirmed that the virus can be transmitted between humans on Jan. 20, 2020, almost three weeks after Taiwan wrote to the World Health Organisation (WHO) pointing out signs of the human-to-human transmission of the virus.

On Jan. 23, 2020, Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in China, imposed a lockdown. By then, around 5 million people had left the city without being screened for the virus. But international travel was still allowed from Wuhan to the rest of the world. Read MoreTimeline: China’s Handling of the Pandemic and Canada’s Stance

An early study by the University of Southampton suggested that if non-pharmaceutical interventions were carried out one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, the number of COVID-19 cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent, or 95 percent respectively.

Virus Outbreak members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.
A worker in protective coverings directs members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Jan. 14, 2021. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo)

Asked if “it’d be fair to say that over 3 million people have lost their lives to save the face of the Chinese government,” Dearlove replied, “I fear that that is maybe a conclusion that we will eventually reach when all the material about the pandemic is put together.”

“There’s no question the Chinese reacted appallingly in the initial stages, and there was no need for this virus to be disseminated through the international airline system and international travel in the way that it was,” he said.

Dearlove said that even if the CCP virus pandemic has started from a zoonotic outbreak, which he believes is highly unlikely, “the fact that they managed it so bad” would have destroyed the Chinese regime’s international reputation.

WHO ‘A Lost Cause’

Apart from the Chinese regime, the WHO has also attracted criticism over its failings in response to the CCP pandemic.

The WHO has said that Chinese authorities first informed it about the outbreak on Dec. 31, 2019, but the WHO conveyed none of its information to the world that day.

It also remained silent when the epidemic spread widely in Wuhan, and the Chinese regime silenced doctors and other whistleblowers who tried to warn the public about the outbreak.

The organization delayed informing the world about the possible human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 disease or infections among healthcare workers, allowing the CCP virus to spread internationally, and ignored findings from medical experts in Taiwan who conducted evaluations of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Critics also challenged a WHO report published in March, which said that the CCP virus likely spread to people via an unknown animal.

Epoch Times Photo
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on an update on the CCP virus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 6, 2020. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Dearlove said he suspected the organization had been manipulated.

“One ends up with a feeling of great suspicion about the lack of independence in the WHO,” he told The Telegraph.

“I’m sure you’re aware, the current head of the WHO … was the Chinese candidate to lead the WHO,” he said, referring to the organization’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

And it looks very much as though they have, in this instance, been manipulated.”

Asked if the organization can be pushed to behave objectively, Dearlove said maybe it could, but he’s not optimistic.

“In a way, the WHO, in my book at the moment, looks like a lost cause,” he said, adding that it probably shouldn’t be the agency to deliver “material which gives us a clear understanding” of what happened.

Eva Fu, Omid Ghoreishi, Ella Kietlinska, and Reuters contributed to this report.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

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Brexit victory: EU’s power ‘crippled’ without London in ‘massive blow to Brussels’

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BREXIT has dealt a “massive blow” to the EU as London was crucial to its financial appeal, experts have said.

By Charlie Bradley Fri, Jun 4, 2021

Brexit minister Lord David Frost urged the City of London last month to “get on and do its own thing” as a deal for equivalence with the EU looks out of reach. UK financial firms lost their wide-ranging access to EU markets when the Brexit transition period ended on December 31 and now have to navigate a patchwork of regulations from individual member states. Former chancellor Lord Norman Lamont asked Lord Frost at a Lords committee meeting about progress on equivalence and added that “increasingly in the financial services sector people are not looking with great hope for equivalence”.

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Lord Frost said the EU was still mulling over documents of equivalence assessments sent by the UK almost a year ago.ADVERTISING

He added: “We’re still waiting for the EU to complete those processes.

“Obviously the City needs to get on and do its own thing pending that and increasingly that is what has happened.”

It appears the EU is also facing challenges, however, as Politico reported in December that Brexit has “crippled” Brussels’ soft power over financial rules.

Brexit news:
London remains a sticking point (Image: getty)
Brexit news:
The City of London was crucial for the EU (Image: getty)

Simon Gleeson, a lawyer specialising in international capital markets at British firm Clifford Chance, said that when Hong Kong and Singapore both adopted EU-compliant market regulations, they were interested primarily in London.

He told Politico: “If you look at it from their perspective, it was clear they wanted access to London.

“The question now will be, will they really care about access to Frankfurt and Paris enough to change their rules in the future?”

He added that “Brexit is a massive blow to the EU’s extraterritorial ambitions, especially in financial regulation”.

READ MORE: Von der leyen condemned for ‘disgusting and reprehensible’ move

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Brexit news:
Johnson and VDL during trade talks (Image: getty)

The EU has not granted the UK equivalence – something the bloc is using as a “soft power tool” according to Michael McKee, a partner specialised in financial regulation at law firm DLA Piper.

He also said that the EU wants to exert pressure on smaller countries, but is not less competitive without the UK.

Mr. McKee continued: “Particularly with smaller countries it’s easier for the EU to exert pressure to change their laws.

“The EU without the UK is nowhere near as large and developed a financial market. In some respects, the UK is better placed to take on Europe competitively.”

DON’T MISS
Von der leyen condemned for ‘disgusting and reprehensible’ move [INSIGHT]
Andrew Neil’s admission as he ‘declared war’ on SNP and Sturgeon [ANALYSIS]
Brexit tensions with EU sparked as Expats warned of ‘deportations’ [INSIGHT]

Brexit news:
Frankfurt is Europe’s finance capital (Image: getty)
Brexit news:
The EU uses equivalence for ‘soft power’ (Image: getty)

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Professor Iain Begg of the London School of Economics has told Express.co.uk that, while money is being “sucked” out of London into EU capitals, there isn’t need for major concern just yet.

He said: “It is certainly the case that jobs are to not just Amsterdam but also Paris and Frankfurt and Dublin has been a major winner too.

“That’s financial activity that needs to be inside the eurozone being sucked away from London, at the same time the City is reinventing itself and looking at where it has markets globally.

“As yet, I don’t think there is any clear indication that the City is a loser from Brexit, but it may be that some European centres are marginal winners. If the trickle turns into a flow then we can say this is something damaging for the British economy.”

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Nearly 18 months, have they learnt yet financial responsibilities?

Nearly 18 months, have they learnt yet financial responsibilities?

June 4,2021

We dare to expect surprises in that 2021 Budget address

Coming up, far much later that it could have at least been expected, rather than ought to be, will be the budget presentation which is predicted to be perhaps the worst, if not merely backward in the last twenty (20) years.

After H E Governor Pearce had been accused in April to have affected (adversely) the presentation of a request to the UKG for COVID-19 pandemic support, he early this year told us, admitting that the then five-month-old ‘new’ MCAP government did not start out too well with the pandemic, they did well soon afterward. He suggested they deserved some credit, which was not forthcoming from here.

The government even after earlier announcing they received some $3 million after the $8 million support (which we believe should have been at least $8.25) seem unwilling to account for the $3 million. In fact, the whole matter surrounding that money and the amazing ‘deficit budget’ is still yet to satisfactorily explained to the public as emphasised by the Opposition

As Montserrat tries to find its place in a world that is beginning to believe it Is not the only living planet, life and all its assortments and departments of thrills and disappointments for the past twenty-plus years, may have its starts and stops, but as of today, it continues to retrogress.

The feeling is that it is difficult trying to be positive as much as negativity surrounds us. For just about any venture or relationship pursued, it has been stressed inexhaustibly that without good or proper communication success will be remote. Today, it is a course that must form part of almost every discipline. But isn’t it strange that the majority of our graduating students do not have a clue about its necessity, its essentialism, or its practice?

This government has at the head of it, Ministers who were part of the government who were given the golden opportunity to carry on from the change about of the hopes for a new Montserrat from 2008. A 2008-2020 Sustainable Development plan they began to manage from early 2009.

After changes to the (development) plan smart or otherwise, they were given the green light, maybe reluctantly, but May 1, 2012, HMG said yes; it is a day that today should be celebrated, but up to now some of the same people, maybe out of shame seem not to remember.

Through their own undoing, they lost the management seats in September, 2014 while two of them remained in Opposition, only one came over in this new MCAP government but the replacement and one former Minister sit with them in the management seats, with two popular newcomers. How that came about will feature in the not too far distant future.

All that background to say that there ought to have been enough experience, that even after shockingly declaring in January 2020, that they were onlookers at the Financial Aid Mission (FAM) and ‘learning’.

“Surely, it was a very full experience for us as a new government. My ministers and I certainly enjoyed the exposure that we have had…but we have learned a lot.” He said they had attended most of the sessions, “and the only reason why we did that is because we want to be familiar with how it works…we had no great expectations because we knew that the talks were about finalising this round of talks for the recurrent budget 2020-2021…”

(See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/fam-budget-discussions-friendly/)

The Premier and Minister of Finance like Minister Kirnon have 14 years experience in the Legislature. Farrell’s tenure has been continuous from 2006, while Kirnon served five, 1991-1996; 2006-2015.

After the shock, up came another. And having a budget in 2021 in June is difficult to understand, although we can think of some undesirable phrases to express what the most likely reason might be.

How is, the pandemic notwithstanding, with the fact that they managed to prevent many from enjoying a livelihood, even after their poor representation at the FAM, receiving what they expected, saying he is pleased with this outcome, did not have a budget ready to roll out immediately since April. Although he feigned ignorance about the Financial matters of the country, did he really learned nothing from 2009-14-20? Or is it that he is really just as all the whispers are about his leadership?

Recall that there was a time when the Council Chamber (wherever Budget presentations were held in the Legislative Assembly) was full and overcrowded along with ears perked to the radio everywhere. There was always much to look forward to, the hints, possible tax increases, where the new jobs would come from, and more and more.

In short. we the people all deserve (never mind those who feel fattened just by their presence) to understand why the standstill and nothing to energise some semblance of economic if not just mere existence activity. The excuses about ‘opening the borders’ and the suspicious push for a total of 70% vaccination coverage as a requirement are really lame and show up a government with no plan. Surely, they have not expressed any?

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Editorial, Local, News, Opinions, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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