Extinction Rebellion is taking to the City. It’s high time the financial district was disrupted.

Support us and go ad-freeExtinction Rebellion (XR) is currently protesting across London as it aims to “target the root cause of the climate and ecological crisis – the political economy”. The “Impossible Rebellion” began in Covent Garden on 23 August, and is scheduled to continue for the next two weeks. One of its targets will be the City of London, otherwise known as London’s financial district. The protests intend to disrupt a sector of the UK economy that is a huge contributor to the emissions causing the climate crisis. As XR’s call to action states: We need to build pressure on the biggest financial institutions that are fuelling…

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Coronavirus bereaved families group vows to get answers as Scottish inquiry launched

Support us and go ad-freePeople who have lost loved ones from coronavirus (Covid-19) have pledged to deliver for others in the same situation, as a public inquiry was announced in Scotland. Inquiry Speaking at a press conference after the decision was made public on Tuesday 24 August, Alan Wightman – who leads the Scottish chapter of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice – spoke directly to families who had suffered loss from the virus. The group met with Covid Recovery Secretary John Swinney on 24 August, where they were told the inquiry would be fully established by the end of the year, with a consultation launched the same day.…

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Two hunters appear in court accused of ‘charade’ to flout fox hunting ban

Support us and go ad-freeA huntsman and a whipper-in actively encouraged hounds to look for a fox after a trail hunt was set up as a charade, a court has heard. Prosecutors allege that huntsman John Oliver Finnegan and  whipper-in Rhys Matcham breached the 2004 Hunting Act in Leicestershire on 4 February 2020. Both men, who deny any wrongdoing, were captured on camera by the League Against Cruel Sports from an observation point near Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicester Magistrates’ Court was told. Whipper-in Rhys Matcham is accused of breaching the 2004 Hunting Act in Leicestershire in February 2020 (Matthew Cooper/PA) Opening the case on 24 August, prosecutor Mark Fielding alleged…

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Paddy McGuinness calls to change ‘postcode lottery’ of autism family support

Support us and go ad-freeComedian Paddy McGuinness has said the “postcode lottery” of support for autistic families needs to change. Paddy McGuinness The TV presenter, who has three autistic children, also spoke of the importance of educating people on the condition, as he backed the launch of the UK’s largest study into autism. The work by Cambridge researchers is aiming to achieve better levels of support and understanding for autistic people. The Spectrum 10K project will recruit 10,000 autistic people from across the UK to boost understanding of how biological and environmental factors impact on them, organisers say. The project will be carried out by Cambridge’s Autism Research…

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Scientists warn of the climate crisis’s role in July’s deadly European flooding

Support us and go ad-freeClimate change has made the kind of heavy rainstorms that drove deadly flooding in Europe last month more likely, scientists have warned. Increasing risk Researchers found that extreme rainfall events similar to those which led to severe flooding in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are between 1.2 and nine times more likely to happen because of global warming. A rapid study by climate scientists as part of the World Weather Attribution initiative also found the kind of downpours that caused the floods are between 3-19% heavier because of rising temperatures caused by humans. They warned that as global temperatures continue to warm, the…

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The mainstream media’s depiction of van life is racist, classist and sexist

Support us and go ad-free“We haven’t done this because we have no other options. We’ve done it because it’s a better way of life,” 33-year-old Ailsa Gardner told the Mirror. After paying stupid amounts of rent on penthouse apartments, Gardner and her partner now live in a converted school bus. Their alternative way of living earned itself pride of place in 20 August’s The Sun, too. The newspaper said of the couple: with their rent costs halved, they gained the freedom to spend more of their lives on the road. The mainstream media is no stranger to covering stories on van life. There’s also 34-year-old Amy Nicholson, who dipped…

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‘Harrowing’ rise in child harm drives pleas for more funding

Support us and go ad-freeCouncil-reported incidents of child harm increased by nearly a fifth over the last year, prompting calls for more funding for children’s services. The Local Government Association (LGA) found there were 536 notifications of child-related serious incidents during 2020/2021. This is a 19% increase from 2019/2020 Child death related notices also increased by 19%. The LGA is now calling for more funding for children’s social care in the next spending review to help protect children. “Extra pressure on families” The LGA is worried that abuse and neglect were more likely to go unnoticed during the year’s lockdowns, and expressed concern pressure from the pandemic could…

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Home Office is accused of bypassing parliament to rollout facial recognition cameras

Support us and go ad-freeA group of civil society bodies has called on the government to ban facial recognition cameras, while accusing police and the Home Office of bypassing parliament over guidance for the use of the technology. Thirty-one organisations including Big Brother Watch, Statewatch and Privacy International have posted an open letter alleging guidance allowing police, local councils and enforcement agencies to use facial recognition across England and Wales has been given in defiance of court rulings against invasive filming. The guidance was published last week by the College of Policing during the parliamentary recess and without any announcement by it or the government, according to the…

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Extinction Rebellion is taking two weeks of action targeting the City of London

Support us and go ad-freeEnvironmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion is gearing up for another two full weeks of climate protests, which are due to take place across London. The group says thousands of people are expected to take part in their “Impossible Rebellion”, which plans to “target the root cause of the climate and ecological crisis” by disrupting The City of London. The call to action states: We’re at a crucial moment in history. Our climate is breaking down and life on Earth is dying: accelerated by our economic system and supported by politicians. Do you feel powerless to change anything? You are more powerful than you think. Join…

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Pretending to be outraged by Afghan human rights ignores the havoc wreaked by imperialism

Support us and go ad-freeWhen it became clear the Taliban would take Kabul, mainstream western journalists quickly pointed out the dangers this posed for the rights and safety of the Afghan people. One particular focus was the rights and safety of Afghan women. And, according to reports from sources in Afghanistan, those dangers are real. But, these cries of politicians and mainstream media pundits about rights for Afghan women are hard to swallow given the realities of life in Afghanistan Moreover, the last 20 years of western military occupation, not to mention British and Soviet occupations since the early 19th century, haven’t exactly delivered full equality for women.…

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