Scientists warn Government’s Integrated Review reproduces ‘most militaristic and aggressive’ aspects of UK foreign policy

The Integrated Review combines the worst elements of 20th century British foreign policy, a group of ethical scientists has warned. The Review is meant to set the tone of post-Brexit foreign and defence policy, but Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) warns that it will set off an arms race, fail the world’s poor, and embed an “uncritical nationalism.” SGR executive director Dr Stuart Parkinson writes: The government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy was widely trailed in the media as “the most radical reassessment of Britain’s place in the world since the end of the Cold War”. In reality, it mixes grand ethical aspirations with…

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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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Scientists warn transmission increase is likely as government sets out plans to return to schools

Education unions have warned reopening schools in full would be “reckless”, as scientists say it could lead to increased transmission. This evening, the prime minister is expected to announce the opening of all schools from 8 March. This is despite several education organisations and scientists calling for a phased reopening to prioritise safety of staff and students. The announcement follows research suggesting reopening schools will lead to the R number rising to above 1, increasing transmission. ‘Wider opening must be safe and sustainable’ Nine education organisations, including the National Education Union (NEU), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and GMB have implored the government to be cautious…

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Scientists warn of new coronavirus wave if lockdown is lifted too quickly

Britain could face a coronavirus wave as big as the current one if lockdown restrictions are lifted too quickly, a scientist advising the government has said. Professor Steven Riley, a member of the SPI-M modelling group, said that while the rollout of the vaccination programme had been “incredibly successful” it did not mean controls could simply be dropped. “Scientists are genuinely worried” Prof Riley told the BBC Radio Today programme: No vaccine is perfect. We are certainly going to be in the situation where we can allow more infection in the community but there is a limit… I think scientists are genuinely worried. We don’t want to show…

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Impeachment Trial: Democrats Warn That Trump Would Use Political Violence Again If Not Convicted

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, here in New York, as we turn to what is happening right now in Washington, D.C. We are talking about this historic second impeachment of a president of the United States. That’s right, we are talking about Democratic House impeachment managers having wrapped up their case against Donald Trump saying the former president remains a threat and should be convicted of inciting the deadly January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. Trump’s legal team begins their defense today. On Thursday, lead House Impeachment Manager…

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Scientists warn against lifting lockdown amid ‘more deadly’ mutant coronavirus strain

Scientists have warned there can be no early easing of lockdown rules after evidence that the mutant coronavirus variant which emerged in the South East of England may be more deadly than the original strain.Mortality ratesBoris Johnson has appealed to people to stay home and follow the rules after he revealed the new variant may be associated with “a higher degree of mortality”.He also said the government could have to bring in further restrictions on travel. This was following a warning that other new variants found in South Africa and Brazil may be more resistant to the vaccines that have been developed.Patrick Vallance suggested the new variant could…

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Scientists warn that national lockdown needs to be stricter

The national lockdown needs to be toughened further to have a similar impact on case numbers as the March shutdown, scientists have said. A more infectious variant, coupled with the usual winter pressures, requires stricter measures than the ones announced by Boris Johnson for England this month, the experts warned. Similar lockdown measures are in place across Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Activity Professor Robert West, a participant in the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), said the current restrictions are “still allowing a lot of activity which is spreading the virus”. The professor of health psychology at University College London said that he and people he…

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Experts warn ‘rash’ Christmas easing of coronavirus rules will ‘cost many lives’

Pressure is increasing on the government to rethink the easing of coronavirus restrictions over the Christmas period after two leading medical journals warned the move would “cost many lives”. “Rash” In a rare joint editorial, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Health Service Journal (HSJ) called for the “rash” decision to relax social distancing measures over the festive period to be scrapped. They said that the government “is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives”. London mayor Sadiq Khan also expressed concern about the five-day “Christmas window” which would allow three households to mingle between December 23-27. Warning The joint editorial warning was…

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Hospital bosses warn Boris Johnson that relaxing restrictions could ‘trigger third wave’

NHS bosses have warned the prime minister that relaxing restrictions could trigger a third wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) at the busiest time of year for hospitals.In a letter to Boris Johnson, NHS Providers urged “extreme caution” in moving any area of England to a lower tier, according to reports by the BBC.The first review of England’s tier allocation is due take place on Wednesday 16 December. This would be two weeks after the three-tier system was brought in after the end of lockdown. (PA Graphics)“The NHS simply won’t be able to cope”But areas should be moved into the highest tier of restrictions “as soon as this is needed,…

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Barbara Ransby & David Sirota Warn of Close Links Between Biden’s Cabinet Picks & Corporate Power

President-elect Joe Biden declared “America is back” this week as he revealed some of the people who will staff his administration in key national security posts, vowing to roll back Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and embrace multilateralism. Among his picks are longtime adviser Tony Blinken for secretary of state, diplomatic veteran Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, and former Secretary of State John Kerry for a new Cabinet post as climate czar. Historian, author and activist Barbara Ransby says Biden’s picks so far mostly come from the centrist establishment of the Democratic Party and lack progressive voices. “We need people who have compassion, who…

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