Medical Examiner Accused of Covering Up Police Killing in Maryland Becomes Witness for Derek Chauvin

In the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a key witness for the defense was the former Maryland chief medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, who contradicted most other expert witnesses in the trial and suggested heart trouble and other issues, not the police restraint, caused George Floyd’s death. The decision by Chauvin’s legal team to rely on Fowler’s testimony shocked many in Maryland, where he is being sued by the family of 19-year-old Anton Black, an African American teenager from Maryland who died in 2018 after he was electrocuted with a Taser, pinned in a prone position and crushed under the weight of three white police…

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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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Government ministers accused of failing to take steps to tackle sexual assault in schools

As an inquiry is launched into an increasing amount of sexual abuse allegations in schools, ministers are said to have ignored requests for greater monitoring powers. The Guardian reported that the chief inspector of Ofsted asked for more powers to check “potential safeguarding issues” in independent schools in 2018 and 2019. The requests were ignored. Since then, more than 14,000 allegations of sexual harassment and assault in schools and universities have been shared on the website Everyone’s Invited. There are stories from both private and state schools. Ofsted is heading an inquiry into how sexual harassment is dealt with by schools, as MPs said ministers hadn’t taken the issue…

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Ethiopia Accused of Using Rape as a Weapon of War in Tigray as New Evidence Emerges of Massacres

We get an update on how the Ethiopian government has announced Eritrean forces are withdrawing from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, where harrowing witness accounts have emerged of Eritrean soldiers killing Tigrayan men and boys and rape being used as weapon of war by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. Eritrea entered the Tigray region to support Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s military offensive in November targeting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The true death toll from the conflict remains unknown, but researchers recently identified almost 2,000 people killed in 150 massacres by warring factions. CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir, who just returned from reporting on the region,…

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George Floyd’s family prays for justice as trial starts for police officer accused of killing him

The trial for Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of killing George Floyd, began on 29 March. Prosecutors say Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes in an incident that led to protests calling for justice around the world. A medical examiner later classified Floyd’s death as a homicide. Chauvin is facing several charges, including second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Floyd’s family have called for justice after holding a vigil in Minneapolis before the trial. One of his brothers, Philonise Floyd, said: I have a big hole right now in my heart. It can’t be patched up… I need justice for George. We need…

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Watchdog accused of ‘rubber-stamping’ police ‘aggression and violence’ at Sarah Everard vigil

A watchdog has backed the Metropolitan Police over its handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, saying officers were not heavy handed and remained “calm and professional”. But campaigners and those who witnessed the police violence on the ground have slammed the report as ‘rubber-stamping’ and described the police’s behaviour as “shameful”: In a shock to absolutely *nobody* who has dealt with British policing for any length of time, the inspectorate has done what was expected of it and rubber-stamped the Metropolitan Police's shameful conduct at the Sarah Everard vigil on 13 March at Clapham Common @SistersUncut https://t.co/tCL5PQTOgs — Netpol (@netpol) March 30, 2021 The Metropolitan Police came under…

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Minister backs Tory mayoral candidate accused of politicising Sarah Everard case

A government minister has backed the Conservative London mayoral candidate after he was accused of politicising the disappearance of Sarah Everard. “Fear” Business minister Paul Scully said Shaun Bailey can “absolutely” still run for office despite facing criticism for comments around the case of the missing 33-year-old. The mayoral candidate had said his wife and daughter “have to live in fear” in the capital but vowed to work to “deliver for the safety of women and girls” if he wins May’s contest. As a father and husband it breaks me to think that my wife and daughter have to live in fear in their own city. It doesn’t…

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Government accused of ‘snatching away’ promised NHS pay rise as the outrage grows

The organisation representing NHS Trusts in England is challenging the government over its defence of a controversial 1% pay offer to health workers. Growing controversy NHS Providers said the NHS has conducted detailed work around implementing a long-term plan. It claimed that in this plan the government assumed an NHS pay rise in 2021/22 of 2.1%, not 1%. It comes amid growing anger at the pay offer, with the main nurses’ union setting up a £35m industrial action fund. And another union is urging the public to support a slow hand clap next week as protest against the proposals. Deputy chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery said:…

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Trial date set for four accused of damaging Colston statue

A trial date has been set for four people charged with criminal damage in relation to the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston. The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June  last year, before being dumped in Bristol Harbour and later recovered by Bristol City Council. Charges allege that the four defendants, without lawful excuse, jointly and with others, damaged the statue of Edward Colston, a listed monument belonging to Bristol City Council. It is claimed that the defendants committed the offence “intending to destroy or damage such property or being reckless…

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Court hears American accused of Harry Dunn’s death was ’employed by an intelligence agency’

A US court has heard how the US woman charged over the death of a British teenager fled the UK with her family due to her work for a US intelligence agency. Anne Sacoolas, an American diplomat’s wife based at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, left the UK shortly after her car struck and killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August 2019. A Virginia court heard that Sacoolas was “employed by an intelligence agency in the US” at the time of the crash and that her work has been “especially a factor” in her rapid return to the States. Revelation The revelation came during a hearing in which Sacoolas’ lawyer…

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