After one month underground anti-HS2 activist decides ‘I’m coming out’

An environmental activist who spent almost a month underground in protest at the HS2 railway line has come out from a tunnel near London’s Euston Station. Geography lecturer Larch Maxey, 48, had his belongings confiscated by bailiffs on Monday and said in a video he “feels fine”, but that medics have persuaded him to go to hospital to “be on the safe side”. “I’m coming out” The subterranean system was created in secret by protesters who object to the redevelopment of Euston Square Gardens as part of the high-speed railway line. In a video posted on Monday, Dr Maxey said: I’ve basically met my match, they’ve come for…

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US approaches coronavirus death toll of 500,000

The US stands on the brink of a once-unthinkable tally: 500,000 people lost to the coronavirus. A year into the pandemic, the running total of lives lost is 498,897 – roughly the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and just shy of the size of Atlanta. The figure compiled by Johns Hopkins University surpasses the number of people who died in 2019 of chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, flu and pneumonia combined. America’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN: It’s nothing like we have ever been through in the last 102 years, since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be our…

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Confirmed: the Tories have caused destitution to explode

The number of households living in destitution has more than doubled in 2020. That’s according to new research. It shows nearly half a million two-adult families survive on less than £100 a week. But given what we know about the Tories’ coronavirus (Covid-19) response and pre-existing poverty, it’s hardly surprising. Destitution: out of control? The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has looked into UK destitution. It has done this for an episode of Channel 4 Dispatches. The NIESR hasn’t published its research yet. But the Guardian reported on the headline figures. It said that: Destitution is defined as a two-adult household living on less than…

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Keir Starmer just rallied to protect snivelling Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock needn’t have worried about the Labour leader savaging him on Sunday 21 February’s political TV programmes. Because Keir Starmer completely let the embattled health secretary off the hook. Hancock: flouting his ‘legal obligations’ The Canary reported on Saturday 20 February about a High Court ruling. As it noted: The Government is required by law to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000. But the Good Law Project and a cross-party group of MPs said the Tories didn’t do this. And a judge agreed with them. He said: There is now…

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Nearly £100bn in stimulus needed in Budget, says SNP

An economic stimulus of nearly £100bn is needed in the chancellor’s forthcoming Budget, the SNP’s Westminster leader has said. Stimulating Ian Blackford said a £98bn investment, equal to 5% of the UK’s GDP, would be needed to secure an economic recovery. He urged Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme and provide further support. In an article for Scotland on Sunday, Blackford said a “repeat of the Thatcher years” should be avoided. He said: We know Covid restrictions will still be with us for some time, so it is crucial that the Chancellor extends the furlough scheme and plugs the gaps in support to ensure that no-one is…

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Starmer just called the Labour movement ‘very patriotic’ then betrayed the teachers’ unions

Labour leader Keir Starmer has rejected pressure from unions to call for a phased return of schools, arguing that “ideally” all children should be back in England’s classrooms on 8 March. It comes as Starmer described the Labour movement as “very patriotic” on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Trust Boris, not the unions Starmer said he hoped Boris Johnson would set out a “cautious, careful” exit from lockdown when the prime minister publishes his road map on 22 February but the full return of schools should be the aim. “Ideally I’d like to see all schools back open on 8 March and all children back in schools…

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Exclusive: Presidential frontrunner’s advisor discusses Ecuador’s crucial election

Amauri Chamorro is a strategist in political communications, who has worked closely with former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and is currently advising socialist frontrunner Andrés Arauz. With the left on the verge of returning to power, Chamorro spoke exclusively with The Canary about Arauz’s political vision, the forces trying to stop him, and the legacy of neoliberalism in Ecuador. The interview has been edited in part for clarity. To begin, can you explain your role as advisor to socialist presidential candidate Andrés Arauz, as well as your work with former president Rafael Correa? With Andrés, I’ve been his communications adviser – I work directly with him and I’m…

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A Labour group linked to Starmer is under investigation by the Electoral Commission

Labour Together, a group linked to Labour leader Keir Starmer, is under investigation by the Electoral Commission for alleged breaches of electoral law. Failure to declare Business Insider’s exclusive reports that Labour Together (LT), “which counts among its current directors” shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, failed to declare “over £800,000 in donations within the time required under law”. Just £165,000 of the £970,492 donated to LT was declared within the 30 day period required. Another possible irregularity is the failure by LT to register a “responsible person within 30 days of accepting a reportable donation”. According to Business Insider: Figures published on the Electoral Commission website in February…

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Setback for Assange prosecution appeal after intervention by former government minister

Another err? In her ruling Baraitser concluded: “The defence has not established that Mr. Assange has been the target of a politically motivated prosecution”. In other words, her interpretation of ‘politically’ was not about Assange and his motivations but the US prosecution. That can easily be challenged, as observed in a May 2019 article in The Canary. For example, CIA chief Mike Pompeo described WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service”. There have also been numerous threats (including death threats) against Assange from the US, including by senior politicians: Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin demanded that Assange be hunted down “like an al-Qaeda or Taliban leader”. In 2010,…

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The left is under the most extensive attack since the 1950s

A former Labour MP has been tasked with examining left wing groups as part of a government review into UK ‘extremism’. But this move is just the thin end of the wedge. It is one part of a much wider assault on left-wing views and activity. Taken as a whole, we are witnessing perhaps the system’s greatest attack on us since the McCarthyism of the 1950s. John Woodcock: witchfinder general As The Canary‘s Tom Coburg recently wrote: In November 2019, home secretary Priti Patel appointed lord Walney (former Labour MP John Woodcock) as the government’s envoy on countering violent extremism. According to the Telegraph, Woodcock will be looking at “progressive extremism” in Britain. That includes how ‘far-left’…

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