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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Brazil in Crisis: COVID Deaths Soar & Hospitals Overflow Amid Unprecedented Political Upheaval

Brazil now accounts for about a quarter of all COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country, and its overall death toll of more than 310,000 is surpassed only by the United States. Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces intense pressure to abandon his opposition to vaccinations, lockdowns and mask-wearing. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, professor of neurobiology at Duke University and former coordinator of the largest scientific COVID-19 task force in Brazil, says Bolsonaro “has played on the side of the virus” by opposing any efforts to control the outbreak. “Since the beginning, he downplayed the severity of the pandemic.” Source link

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Richard Burgon MP demands PM admits “deadly consequences” of his Covid dithering

Boris Johnson has said he is “deeply, deeply sorry” for the loss of lives in the past 12 months due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The death toll The prime minister faced calls to “apologise” for the UK’s death toll a year on from the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. On 17 March, Labour’s Richard Burgon aid Johnson should “hold up his hands” to the fact he has overseen a death toll “six times higher” than the 20,000 figure which was considered “a good outcome” one year ago. Johnson said he takes “full responsibility” for the government’s actions in the past year during the pandemic and that “there will…

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“Huge Victory”: Black Farmers Hail $5B in New COVID Relief Law to Redress Generations of Racism

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We begin today’s show looking at a major provision in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that aims to address decades of discrimination against Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian American farmers, who have historically been excluded from government agricultural programs. The American Rescue Plan sets aside $10.4 billion for agriculture support and allocates about half the funds to farmers of color who were, quote, “subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group,” unquote. The…

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Texas Gov. Lifts Pandemic Restrictions, Defying Public Health Experts, and Blames Migrants for COVID

Texas is the largest state to lift its mandate on face masks and fully reopen businesses, joining a growing movement in states governed by Republicans to ease pandemic restrictions even as experts warn it is too soon to do so, despite the accelerating pace of vaccinations in the United States. “This is completely politically motivated,” says Dr. Dona Murphey, a physician scientist and community organizer in Houston who is helping to lead a campaign demanding Texas reinstate the mask mandate. She says Republican Governor Greg Abbott is ending the state’s pandemic restrictions as “a maneuver to conceal failures” related to the Texas electrical grid, which went down during…

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New York Congressmember Mondaire Jones: Israel Should Ensure Palestinians Have Access to COVID Vaccine

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to, finally, ask you, Congressman Jones, a follow-up on a conversation we had yesterday with Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill and a leading Jewish activist, Mitchell Plitnick, who wrote a book called Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. We were talking about vaccines and Israel, one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid, the fact that the health minister of Israel said Israel is about as responsible for making sure that Palestinians have vaccines — Israel is number one in the world in vaccinating its own population — as…

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Mumia Abu-Jamal Tests Positive for COVID, Prompting Urgent Call to Release Elder Political Prisoners

Renowned political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal’s lawyers confirmed Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and also has congestive heart disease. Abu-Jamal also suffers from the preexisting conditions of liver disease, which advocates say is directly related to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ failure to treat his hepatitis C in a timely fashion. Mumia’s movement doctor, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, says the only appropriate treatment is freedom. Marc Lamont Hill, who co-authored a book with Abu-Jamal titled “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,” says this is an opportunity to exercise COVID compassion. “The only possible solution, the only fair solution, is to let…

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COVID Deaths Soar in Brazil as Bolsonaro Blasts Lockdowns. Experts Warn It Will “Get Worse.”

Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll has now topped nearly 260,000, the world’s second worst after the United States, as hospitals are overwhelmed with new cases. International concern is also growing about the P1 variant of the virus, which overwhelmed the Amazonian city of Manaus and caused its hospitals to run out of oxygen. Less than 4% of Brazil’s population has been vaccinated. Marcia Castro, demography professor at Harvard University, says the crisis in Brazil is due to “a combination of inaction and also wrongdoing” by officials, including President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed lockdowns, masks and other public health measures. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,”…

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Cuomo Must Go: Calls Grow to Remove NY Governor over COVID Nursing Home Cover-up & Sexual Harassment

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls from fellow Democrats and progressive organizations to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation after three women — two former aides and a woman who met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding reception — accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. “Credible accusations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of Cuomo’s abuse of power,” says New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is calling for Cuomo’s resignation. Kim also discusses a…

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Black People Face Higher COVID Infections & Deaths. Should They Have Lower Age Cutoffs for Vaccines?

As the U.S. vaccine rollout continues to expand, health justice advocates worry about a racial gap in vaccinations. Black communities have been hard hit by the pandemic, but rates of vaccination in communities of color lag behind largely white communities across the country. Dr. Oni Blackstock, a primary care and HIV physician, argues that age cutoffs should be lowered or removed for Black people in order to speed up inoculations, noting that Black Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans and also dying at rates similar to those of white Americans who are 10 years older. “These fixed-age cutoffs that most states implemented…

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