President Joe Biden will announce a new working group with Britain and Australia to share advanced technologies in a thinly veiled bid to counter China, a White House official and a congressional staffer told POLITICO.
The trio, which will be known by the acronym AUUKUS, will make it easier for the three countries to share information and know-how in key technological areas like artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.
One of the people said there will be a nuclear element to the pact in which the U.S. and U.K. share their knowledge of how to maintain nuclear-defense infrastructure.
There’s nothing explicitly mentioning China in the three-way deal, the people said, but both noted that the subtext of the announcement is that this is another move by Western allies to push back on China’s rise in the military and technology arenas.
London’s controversial police boss Cressida Dick used 9/11 to attack companies like Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, and Apple for using end-to-end encryption. Her remarks came a few days after the Home Office announced it would award tech companies that would find a way to break end-to-end encryption.
In an opinion piece published in The Telegraph, Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, while commemorating 9/11, noted that encrypted messaging services make stopping terror attacks difficult, and sometimes impossible.
The UK government views people who were given placebos during Covid-19 vaccine trials as fully inoculated, Britain’s vaccines minister has said, adding that they would enjoy all the privileges granted by the NHS Covid Pass.
In remarks given before Parliament on Thursday, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi touted the country’s controversial NHS Covid Pass as having an “important role to play in slowing the spread of the virus,” and urged certain businesses and large venues to adopt the domestic health certificate in order to “keep their clients or their customers safe”. The NHS app can be used to show proof of vaccination status, negative test results or natural immunity.
But it seems the urgent need to methodically document people’s vaccination status, and use this private medical information to grant certain privileges, contains at least one loophole: individuals who have participated in vaccine trials will be viewed as “fully vaccinated” whether they received a placebo or an actual shot, Zahawi said.
Recommendations unveiled by the UK’s Law Commission are seeking to establish a new offense by criminalizing communications that could cause “likely psychological harms.”
Another offense that is recommended in the document concerns “knowingly false communications.” This is a serious threat to freedom of expression, and a chance for the authorities to get the last word on what is perceived as true and false.
The recommendation defines “harm” as something that causes “serious distress,” while “psychological harm” is also being mentioned. As for defining “serious distress” – the Commission refers to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
The proposed reforms are aimed at protecting victims of online abuse, but there are fears that the vague language and prioritizing subjective perception of speech over objective content could have dangerous consequences.
And the fact that identity and characteristics of the recipient of a communication is also given center stage leaves the door wide open for censorship based on identity politics.
Leeds city council is concerned about the origins of local produce such as Parkin cake because it may have once included sugar imported from the Caribbean and is therefore racist.
The gingerbread cake was flagged in a Labour council document as part of a white guilt audit performed to satiate the Black Lives Matter mob and uncover “examples of how racism continues to be prevalent in everyday life.”
“Historically, some of the ingredients used to make these ‘local’ products were gained through the triangular slave trade (for example, sugar),” states the document.
The crucial investigation, which the document confirms was conducted “in relation to Black Lives Matter,” laments “how local products such as Yorkshire Parkin and Yorkshire tea are, in fact, reliant on global trade.”
Oh no, the horror.
Where it gets more insidious is that this information is all being prepared for schools so primary-age kids can be taught how much they should hate themselves and their own country.
The document bemoans the fact that the sugar in Parkin cake, as well as ingredients for Yorkshire Tea, “would have been sourced from around the empire and would have involved the labour of enslaved people as well as exploitation of resources and communities around the world.”
Journalists could face prison sentences of up to 14 years for stories that embarrass the Government under plans to reform the Official Secrets Act.
Under a consultation run by Priti Patel‘s Home Office, which closes later this week, reporters who handle leaked documents would not have a defence if charged under new laws designed to clamp down on foreign agents.
The 1989 act is being updated to take into account the impact of the internet age, especially in the area of speedy data transfer.
Human rights organisations and the Law Commission, which drew up the proposals, say there should be a ‘public interest defence’ included to prevent the prosecution of journalists who receive leaked documents.
But in a paper released for the consultation, the Home Office said such a move would ‘undermine our efforts to prevent damaging unauthorised disclosures, which would not be in the public interest’.
Critics suggested that if the rules were in place now it could have led to a prosecution of the journalists who revealed this month that Matt Hancock was breaking Covid rules by having an affair with his married aide, because it relied on leaked CCTV footage.
The revelation prompted his resignation and the end of his marriage. But last week the Information Commissioner’s Office faced criticism for searching two homes as part of an investigation into how the material emerged and found its way onto the Sun’s front page.
As the UK Government heralds “freedom day” today, which is anything but, a prominent government scientific advisor has admitted that face masks do very little to protect from coronavirus and are basically just “comfort blankets.”
Dr Colin Axon, a SAGE advisor for the government told the London Telegraph that medics have given people a “cartoonish” view of how how microscopic viruses travel through the air, and the masks have gaps in them that are up to 5000 times bigger than Covid particles.
“The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,” Axon said.
“Once a particle is not on a biological surface it is no longer a biomedical issue, it is simply about physics. The public has only a partial view of the story if information only comes from one type of source,” Axon continued, adding “Medics have some of the answers but not a whole view.”
Noting that the “mask debate is about the particle journey,” Axon explained that “Masks can catch droplets and sputum from a cough but what is important is that SARS CoV-2 is predominantly distributed by tiny aerosols.”
“A Covid viral particle is around 100 nanometres, material gaps in blue surgical masks are up to 1,000 times that size, cloth mask gaps can be 500,000 times the size,” Axon urged.
A library in London was forced to apologize after a man dressed in a rainbow-colored bare-bottomed monkey costume with a fake penis was hired to perform in front of children.
“Footage shared on social media on Saturday showed members of the Mandiga Arts Group at Redbridge Libraries Summer Reading Challenge event at Goodmayes Library in east London,” reports the London Evening Standard.
“Three performers were filmed outside the event, with one dressed in an ‘inappropriate’ rainbow monkey costume, raising concern from residents.”
A video clip shows the individual wearing the rainbow-colored monkey costume running outside as a prominent dildo hangs from his crotch.
“Apparently this is meant to encourage kids in Redbridge to pick up reading for summer,” tweeted Conservative campaigner Has Ahmed. “Please tell me the rationale behind these indecent costumes that were shown to families and done so publicly. Is this really necessary?”
The much-discussed Pentagon Report on UFOs wound up becoming a topic of conversation in Britain’s Parliament this week as multiple politicians questioned an official with the country’s Ministry of Defense about the potential threat posed by the phenomenon. The enlightening exchange reportedly occurred during a House of Lords session on Wednesday when MP Lord Sarfraz detailed how the DoD assessment “does not rule out that these could be military aircraft with very fast capabilities or even extraterrestrial phenomena.” He then asked defense minister Baroness Goldie if she could “reassure members of the public that the Ministry of Defense takes reports of unidentified objects in our airspace very seriously?”
In response, she acknowledged the findings of the report and indicated that the MoD “holds no reports on unidentified aerial phenomena, but constantly monitors UK airspace to identify and respond to any credible threat to its integrity, and is confident in the existing measures in place to protect it.” Goldie went on to express what appeared to be a fairly skeptical take on the phenomenon, stressing that “the MoD deals with actual threats substantiated by evidence.” The conversation continued when another MP, Viscount Ridley, argued that “the idea that in an era of mobile phone cameras, drones and frequent travel there could possibly be alien spaceships whizzing about undetected in our atmosphere on a regular basis is not, I think, very plausible.”
Normally an annual gathering of British eccentrics marking the midsummer at one of the world’s most ancient sites, police descended on Stonehenge Monday morning to break up a meeting that contravened the government’s coronavirus lockdown regulations.
Police officers physically removed celebrants as they dispersed a crowd at the world-famous Stonehenge site, a Bronze Age UNESCO World Heritage Site formed of circles of enormous standing stones. Thought to be at least 4,000 years old, the stones are so arranged as to align with the rising sun on the morning of Summer Solstice — today.
The stones have major significance for British people generally, for world history, but also for British counter-cultural groups including Pagans and Druids, who celebrate simulacrums of pre-Christian festivals at Stonehenge annually.