Sturgeon defends right of orphaned teenager to stay in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has defended the right of an orphaned teenager who has lived in Scotland for a decade to remain in the country after residence permits expired in December. “Giorgi is Scottish” Giorgi Kakava, 13, was aged just three when he fled to Scotland from Georgia with his mother Sopio Baikhadze, who died in 2018. He was granted permission to stay in the UK along with his grandmother and legal guardian Ketino Baikhadze in July 2018 after the Church of Scotland launched a campaign. However, their residence permits expired in December. Giorgi’s plight was raised with the first minister in Holyrood by his Glasgow MSP Bob Doris –…

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Tory MP, aged 40, defends decision to accept Covid-19 jab

A Conservative MP who volunteered at a local hospital has defended accepting a dose of Covid-19 vaccine, despite being 40 years old. Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represents Bassetlaw in north Nottinghamshire, was given the AstraZeneca jab on Friday after having done a shift at Retford Hospital vaccination centre. Vaccinations are currently limited to the government’s four priority groups; the over-80s, over-70s, frontline health workers and those people classed as extremely clinically vulnerable. Clarke-Smith said the dose he got was “left over” from that day’s vaccine stock, preventing it going to waste. On Friday he posted about getting the jab on his Facebook account, including a picture of him posing…

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As Unicef step in to feed hungry UK kids, No 10 defends £45k pay rise to Dominic Cummings

Downing Street has defended Dominic Cummings’ pay rise of around £45,000 as taking him to the “correct level of salary” for his role as a “most important” special adviser.His salary raise to up to £144,999 provoked anger for rewarding an individual whose trip to Barnard Castle during the first lockdown has been cited as undermining public confidence in the government.The news comes on the same day that Unicef has launched its first UK operation in its 70-year history to feed hungry children. As Labour MP Richard Burgon tweeted, in the UK, “poverty is a political choice”.Cummings is in the process of leaving his role as Boris Johnson’s chief…

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Foreign Secretary defends aid cut and outlines priorities in ‘British interests’

Dominic Raab has denied the Government is “salami slicing” all parts of the UK’s overseas aid spending as he outlined the priorities for the slashed budget.The foreign secretary said the long-term strategic aims of the country’s international work will be based on “our values and grounded in the British national interests”.Raab listed his top five priorities for what is left of the budget. They are tackling climate change, Covid-19, girls’ education, conflict resolution and expanding in-house management of aid delivery “in order to increase the impact that our policy interventions have on the ground”.Foreign Office minister Baroness Sugg quit in protest against the plan, and more MPs have…

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Hancock defends ‘unbelievable’ range of private-sector deals during pandemic

Secretary for health and social care Matt Hancock has defended what he called the “extraordinary broad range of companies” the government has employed during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The health secretary said that the government “had to” work with the private sector in its work tackling the virus. He likened the Covid-19 testing programme to “building something that’s basically about the same size of Tesco in six months”. “Chumocracy” The comments come after he was probed about a Sunday Times report which said that the Government had awarded £1.5 billion to companies linked to the Conservative party during the pandemic. Describing the government’s response as a “Covid Chumocracy”…

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Biden Admits Past Mistake Supporting Crime Bill as Trump Defends Attacks on Black Lives Matter

President Trump and Joe Biden sparred on their records over race and criminal justice in Thursday’s presidential debate. Trump simultaneously promoted his criminal justice reform efforts while continuing to lean on “tough on crime” rhetoric. Trump also criticized Biden for authoring the 1994 crime bill and supporting other laws that intensified mass incarceration in the U.S., which Biden acknowledged was “a mistake.” Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for Color of Change PAC, says Biden’s admission highlights the importance of continued pressure on politicians on racial justice issues. “The Democrats can’t just make this about hating Trump. They also have to continue to fight and build and put out the policies…

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Biden Admits Past Mistake Supporting Crime Bill as Trump Defends Attacks on Black Lives Matter

President Trump and Joe Biden sparred on their records over race and criminal justice in Thursday’s presidential debate. Trump simultaneously promoted his criminal justice reform efforts while continuing to lean on “tough on crime” rhetoric. Trump also criticized Biden for authoring the 1994 crime bill and supporting other laws that intensified mass incarceration in the U.S., which Biden acknowledged was “a mistake.” Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for Color of Change PAC, says Biden’s admission highlights the importance of continued pressure on politicians on racial justice issues. “The Democrats can’t just make this about hating Trump. They also have to continue to fight and build and put out the policies…

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