Peers launch a scathing attack on the government’s War Crimes Immunity Bill

Peers in the House of Lords are giving the government’s controversial war crimes immunity bill a rough ride, with one peer describing it as “indefensible”. Another warned that it was among the worst pieces of legislation they had ever seen, while a third peer said it would put service personnel on a “different legal basis” to the society they defend. The Overseas Operations Bill aims to stop so-called ‘vexatious’ allegations being pursued against UK troops for abuse and even murder during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has been championed by former army officer turned veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer. Criticisms Former generals, veterans, human rights groups,…

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Dozens of experts call on Longleat to give the ‘UK’s loneliest elephant’ her last chance for companionship

Dozens of experts have thrown their weight behind calls for giving the ‘UK’s loneliest elephant‘ her last chance for companionship. Anne, who currently resides at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, hasn’t seen another elephant for 19 years. A French sanctuary has offered her a home, opening up the possibility of her spending the remainder of her days with her own kind. Action for Elephants UK (AFEUK) has been calling for Longleat to allow Anne to have an independent assessment to ascertain her suitability for such a move. The safari park hasn’t yet, however, agreed to that request. Now the Pro Elephant Network (PREN) has written an open letter…

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Highlights from a presidential inauguration like no other

On 20 January, two weeks after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the US. Taking place in the midst of a pandemic, it was an inauguration like no other. Biden’s message of unity The president began his inauguration speech on the topic of democracy, saying: This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope. He added: We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile, and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. Biden’s overarching message was of unity and the need to come together was a key…

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Nearly nine million people borrowed more cash due to pandemic

Nearly nine million people in Great Britain had to borrow more money because of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, published on Thursday, showed that 17% of adults reported borrowing money in December 2020 compared to 11% at the end of June.It also showed that the proportion of people borrowing more than £1,000 had increased from 35% to 45% during the same period. Nearly 9 million people had to borrow more money because of the #coronavirus pandemic by December 2020. The proportion that had borrowed £1000 or more also increased from 35% to 45% since June https://t.co/9TKCQ39J0o pic.twitter.com/ULMa0KfBDz — Office for National…

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Covid-19 infections ‘may have risen’ at start of current lockdown

Experts tracking the spread of Covid-19 in England say infections may have gone up at the beginning of the current lockdown. Professor Paul Elliot, who is leading the React study at Imperial College London, suggested the current measures may not be strict enough to see a drop in infections and the reproductive rate – the R. The study on 143,000 people, who were randomly selected, looked at the prevalence of coronavirus including in people without symptoms. Infections from January 6 to 15 were 50% higher than in early December, the study found. Elliott told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the current R rate – which represents how many…

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Quarter of doctors seek mental health support during pandemic

More than one in four medics have sought mental health support during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading doctors have said. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said that it was “extremely concerned” about the mental health of frontline doctors. A new poll by the college of its members found 19% said they have sought informal mental health support during the pandemic, while 10% said they had sought formal support. The RCP said that medics have been working for almost a year under extremely challenging circumstances. Almost two thirds (64%) of the 1,890 doctors who responded to the RCP poll said they were tired or exhausted. And nearly half (48%)…

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Contrary to what you might have read, many people in Cornwall oppose the G7

It’s recently been reported in the mainstream media that the G7 summit will be held in Cornwall this June. The G7 leaders – of UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, and Japan –  will be hosted at the four-star Carbis Bay hotel, complete with spa and beach access. Rooms cost up to £2,500. Media reports have, so far, uncritically focussed on how great the summit will be for Cornwall. But many local residents are angry that the summit has been dumped on their doorstep. Inequality The summit will be held just a mile away from St. Ives. Parts of St. Ives have the highest rate of child poverty…

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‘If Jeremy Corbyn hired an ex-spy, it would be all over the front pages’

The journalist who broke the story about the Labour Party hiring Israeli former-spy Assaf Kaplan has spoken exclusively to The Canary. And he pointedly said that if Jeremy Corbyn had done something similar, the establishment corporate press would have had a field day. Meet Assaf Kaplan Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor at the Electronic Intifada. On Tuesday 19 January, he broke a story about Keir Starmer’s Labour Party hiring an ex-spy. As Winstanley wrote: Kaplan will work in the office of Labour leader Keir Starmer… Kaplan was in Israeli military intelligence for nearly five years, an officer in Unit 8200, its cyberwarfare branch. He…

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It’s one rule for the rich as fox hunters again evade prosecution despite damning evidence

2021 is business as usual for fox hunters, who continue to evade prosecution when blatantly breaking the law. Footage given to The Canary shows a terrified fox cub being chased by dozens of hounds, while men in their red coats, belonging to the Cotswold Hunt, direct the dogs. The harrowing footage, taken by Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs, was filmed on 21 October 2020. But on 8 January 2021, the activists learned from the police that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was refusing to take any action against the hunt. The video shows a tiny fox being chased, while the whipper-in – a person who assists the main huntsman…

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University staff protest Tory attempt to undermine academic freedom and stifle criticism of Israel

The Tory government is trying to force UK universities to adopt a “flawed” definition of antisemitism. The Canary wrote in December 2020: Conservative education secretary Gavin Williamson is reportedly trying to force universities to sign up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism by the end of the year, or face funding cuts. But student opponents of the colonisation of Palestine are worried that it will silence criticism of Israel. An alternative definition of antisemitism has been put forward by Independent Jewish Voices. 48 out of 133 UK universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – have bowed under government pressure and adopted the IHRA…

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