More than 200 jobs could be axed at car parts firm ‘due to Brexit and Covid’

More than 200 jobs at a car parts firm in south Wales face being axed partly due to Brexit and coronavirus, the company has said. Tory Britain Kautex Textron, which has a plant in Ystrad Mynach near Caerphilly, South Wales, said it was discussing possible staff reductions with its workers as well as the potential closure of the site after 51 years in the town. The plant opened in 1970 and makes car parts including water containers and nozzles. A spokesperson for the company told the PA news agency if the decision was made to close the plant it would work to provide other internal opportunities “to as…

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Second independence vote backed by 60% of UK Labour supporters, survey suggests

A new survey suggests that 60% of Labour supporters across the UK back another independence referendum “in principle” in the next few years, and 56% think the party should too. Labour out of step with its supporters? The YouGov study, which spoke to 1,073 Labour members between 17 March and 24 March, found that while supporters in the rest of the UK believe there should be another vote, just 31% in Scotland feel the same – with 61% against the idea and 8% undecided. However, the weighted sample in Scotland for the poll was just 43 people. The Scottish Parliament elections are coming up. If the SNP win,…

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Hancock accused of ‘cronyism’ over shares in family firm which has NHS contracts

Labour has said there are “serious questions to answer” after it was revealed that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has shares in a family company that has contracts with the NHS. Mr Hancock declared in the MPs’ register of interests in March of this year that he now owns over 15% of shares in company Topwood Limited, which specialises in secure storage, shredding and scanning of documents. The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the firm, which is owned and run by his sister, won a place on a framework to provide services to the English NHS in 2019, as well as contracts with the NHS in Wales. NHS…

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US troops set to leave Afghanistan. That’s one down, another 150 or so countries to go.

US president Joe Biden recently announced his administration will pull troops out of Afghanistan. This brutal war has cost tens of thousands of lives and plunged the country into a protracted conflict. Additionally, it failed to break the Taliban’s power or bring ‘democracy’ to this Middle Eastern country. Rather, the Taliban is stronger than ever and the government in Kabul is a US puppet with problems of its own. If ever there was a case of futile and pointless war, this is it. And it serves as a prime example of western intervention making a bad situation worse. Furthermore, though Biden’s decision to withdraw should be welcomed, we…

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Met police officer jailed for attacking a Black man who was visiting his partner’s grave

Charlie Harrison, a Metropolitan police officer, has been jailed for breaking a Black man’s knee in a ‘clear case of racial profiling’. Harrison fractured Carl Abrahams’ knee while Abrahams was visiting his partner’s grave with his children. Southwark crown court found Harrison guilty of causing grievous bodily harm. He has been jailed for two years and three months. The incident On 31 December 2018, Abrahams – a 47-year-old Black man – was visiting his partner’s grave in east London “with his two teenage sons”. Harrison – part of the Metropolitan police’s violent crime taskforce – approached the family after getting out of an unmarked police car. The plainclothes…

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You will never walk alone: the Hillsborough disaster remembered

It’s 32 years since 96 men, women, and children died at an FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989. It became known as the Hillsborough disaster. The tragedy would come to symbolize Thatcher-era Britain – a byword for class war, corruption and gutter press lies. All of those who died that day were Liverpool fans. In the aftermath, the right-wing gutter press and other sections of the British establishment launched a war of slander and obfuscation against the city and its people. This included false accusations that fans had tried to steal from those who lay injured and dying. And that a police officer trying to administer first…

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BBC coverage of death of Philip Windsor breaks UK TV complaints record

The BBC’s coverage of the death of the duke of Edinburgh has drawn 110,000 complaints, the highest number ever published in the UK about television programming. Philip Windsor died at Windsor Castle on 9 April at the age of 99, prompting the corporation to clear its schedules across both BBC One and BBC Two to run a series of mirrored special programmes. The coverage also took over the news channel and BBC radio stations. Journalist Martine Croxall announced the news on the BBC (BBC/PA) According to the BBC’s fortnightly complaints bulletin, some 104,010 people complained about the coverage within the first three days. At time of publication on…

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Equality watchdog warns of ‘two-tier society’ with vaccine passports

Introducing coronavirus status certificates (vaccine passports) could create a “two-tier society” which discriminates against certain groups, the equalities watchdog has warned. Tiers The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said vaccine passports could be a “proportionate” way of easing restrictions, following the “significant curtailment” of freedoms due to lockdown measures. But in a submission to the Cabinet Office following a call for evidence, it raised concerns about “unlawful discrimination” against people from disadvantaged or ethnic minority backgrounds by restricting access to jobs and services. The warning came after the Department of Health and Social Care launched a consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment for staff at…

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“We’re in a Transition Phase”: Dr. Monica Gandhi on Vaccine Safety & Why You Still Need a Mask

U.S. health officials have delayed a decision on whether to resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clots in six women who received doses. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, says it’s “prudent” to investigate reports of blood clots but notes the issue “is very rare” and unlikely to cause more than a temporary delay. She also says it’s important to raise “vaccine optimism” by continuing to tout the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines. “Eventually we are going to get back to the normalcy of not masking and distancing. We’re just in…

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Cut the Defense Budget: Rep. Khanna on Bloated Pentagon Spending, Ending War in Yemen, UAE Arms Deal

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: You tweeted Tuesday Congress should reject President Biden’s Pentagon spending hike, at the same time he’s talking about pulling out of Afghanistan. You wrote, “Instead of continuing to increase the bloated Pentagon budgets or defense contractors, we should invest in keeping us safe from pandemics and climate change. We need a 21st century national security strategy.” And you signed, along with 50 House Democrats, a letter to Biden from the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus that read in part, “Hundreds of billions of dollars now directed to the military would have greater return if invested…

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