Editor says …..As l read many blogs daily some are using their time and providing people of this world in may countries with information that could either save their lives or at least help someone to help another person.
But others readily tell us that governments knew that our health services were under-funded and under-staffed …OK I agree ….but blame does not allow us to gain.
If we work together to help those in our community the best way we can then maybe that will bring about the change we seek in our ❤️ And in so doing God by any name will be able to see we #Care2Share his love given by his sons crucification and help and guidance will come.
🙏’s Friends, Followers, Readers and All People of this World Amen
The #pandemic has opened up a bio-based-weapon that can be used to politicise a story on peoples heartache over the death of a loved or to enable ‘ hard hearted ‘ journalists who want the story first to leave no stone unturned even if their intentions are not honourable……
So what of #truth this concept that alludes the media just to create sensationalism and lead people like the shepherd …herding their flock to the edge of the cliff and offering advice of what to do when the hit the bottom ….followed by blaming their stupidly of being lemmings ……
The news should be informative and place before its readers …advice and guidance to enable the public to become to form an opinion and not to place before their audience a convoluted message of misleading information ..that neither informs or provides anything but hollow words ……
People deserve better than the sum of what the media call news …..and we need to become the purveyors of #truth and not publish as bloggers what they wheel out and call the daily news …….
Be safe my friends, followers and readers God Bless 🙏’s
#AceHealthReport – May.09: Under Pakistan’s partial lockdown, all but essential shops, businesses and markets will close until 16 May: Transport in and between regions and cities is restricted to private vehicles, taxis and trains, all with reduced capacity:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk PAKISTAN: Enters partial lockdown as Eid nears as non- essential businesses and tourism sites must close and travel across the country is restricted from 8-16 May: The country is currently battling a third wave of #COVID19 infections, recording more than 140,000 cases and 3,000 deaths in April and health officials had warned restrictions could be necessary given neighbouring India’s devastating surge in cases.
Pakistan recorded an additional 4,109 positive cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry. The actual number of infections is likely to be higher because of under-reporting as fears of ‘impending doom’ as Covid threatens Pakistan
Officials are keenly aware that people could spread the virus as they gather to celebrate Eid with their families this week. On Friday Dr Faisal Sultan, who advises Prime Minister Imran Khan on health, said that the country was facing a “critical period” as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.
While he said there were “very initial signs of some stability” in cases, infections could again surge if measures were not taken now.
While local authorities have been imposing restrictions to try to contain the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Imran Khan has resisted another nationwide lockdown, saying last month he wanted to avoid such measures because of the harm it could cause to the economy.
But Pakistani officials are mindful of neighbouring India’s ongoing battle with a deadly second wave. Inside India’s rundown rural hospitals unable to cope with the Covid crisis
Countries around the world are sending medicines, oxygen and ventilators by the planeload to try to ease the crisis gripping India’s health system. The country has recorded hundreds of thousands of new cases each day for weeks, and infections are now spreading from cities to the countryside.
Asad Umar, Pakistan’s federal minister for planning, posted a series of tweets on Saturday warning that “the entire region is exploding with cases & deaths”.
“The need for caution is clear,” he tweeted. “The danger is higher than ever and knocking at our doors.”
Thousands of people would normally travel to Pakistan from all over the world for Eid, however travel restrictions are in place for many countries.
“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that.”
Various space debris modelling experts are pointing to the early hours (GMT) of Sunday as the likely moment of re-entry. However, such projections are always highly uncertain.
Originally injected into an elliptical orbit approximately 160km by 375km above Earth’s surface on 29 April, the Long March-5b core stage has been losing height ever since.
Just how quickly the core’s orbit will continue to decay will depend on the density of air it encounters at altitude and the amount of drag this produces. These details are poorly known.
Most of the vehicle should burn up when it makes its final plunge through the atmosphere, although there is always the possibility that metals with high melting points, and other resistant materials, could survive to the surface.
When a similar core stage returned to Earth a year ago, piping assumed to be from the rocket was identified on the ground in Ivory Coast, Africa.
The chances of anyone actually being hit by a piece of space junk are very small, not least because so much of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean, and because that part which is land includes huge areas that are uninhabited.
The zone of potential fall in this case is restricted still further by the trajectory of the rocket stage. It’s moving on an inclination to the equator of about 41.5 degrees. This means it’s possible already to exclude that any debris could fall further north than approximately 41.5 degrees North latitude and further south than 41.5 degrees South latitude.
China has bridled at the suggestion that it has been negligent in allowing the uncontrolled return of so large an object. Commentary in the country’s media has described Western reports about the potential hazards involved as “hype” and predicted the debris will likely fall somewhere in international waters.
The Global Times quoted aerospace expert Song Zhongping who added that China’s space monitoring network would keep a close watch and take necessary measures should damage occur.
But the respected cataloguer of space activity, Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, US, said the situation did reflect poorly on China.
“It is indeed seen as negligence,” he told BBC News.
“This is the second launch of this rocket; the debris in Ivory Coast last year was from the previous launch, i.e. a basically identical rocket.
“These two incidents [the one now and the Ivory Coast one] are the two largest objects deliberately left to re-enter uncontrolled since Skylab in 1979.”
Fragments of the US space station Skylab scattered across Western Australian in 1979, attracting worldwide attention.
Hugh Lewis, who models space debris at Southampton University, UK, noted that more than 60 years of spaceflight had left a large legacy of junk in orbit. The responsibility for this litter rests on several countries, but principally Russia and the US.
“It’s worth remembering that there are approximately 900 orbital rocket stages in low-Earth orbit, left behind by nearly every launch-capable nation and with a combined mass orders or magnitude greater than the one expected to re-enter the atmosphere this [weekend],” Dr Lewis posted on Twitter.Long March-5B rocket launched the Tianhe module on 29 April
Modern practice now calls for rocket stages to be de-orbited as soon as possible after their mission. In the case of large core segments, these would normally come straight back, within one orbit, falling into the ocean or on land (the US company SpaceX now propulsively lands its core stages so they can be used again).
For upper-stages that go into an orbit and may travel around the globe several times as they precisely position a payload, the preference is to include a re-ignitable engine that can steer the stage into a return at the earliest opportunity.
Usually, this would be over an ocean – potentially in the furthest place from land in the South Pacific, between Australia, New Zealand and South America.
Over an area of approximately 1,500 sq km (580 sq miles) this region is a popular graveyard of rocket elements and defunct satellites, where the remains of around 260 missions are thought to be scattered on the ocean floor.Space junk map tracks 200 ‘ticking time bombs’
#AceNewsReport – May.08: Pro-independence rioting following a demonstration in the final months of World War II prompted the massacre of thousands of mostly unarmed Muslim civilians, a turning point in Algeria’s long independence struggle.
ALGERIA: REMEMBERS: Mass killings committed by France: On May 8, 1945, thousands had rallied in Setif as allied powers, including colonial ruler France, marked a hard-won victory in Europe over Nazi Germany according to Daily Sabah’
by French Press Agency – AFP
“Long live the allied victory,” demonstrators shouted.
But the festive gathering soon turned into a demonstration for an end to colonial rule, with cries of “Long live independent Algeria!”
That was a provocation for French police, incensed by the appearance, for the first time, of Algerian flags.
As they ordered the removal of the green and white standards, scuffles broke out.
Demonstrator Bouzid Saal, 22, refused to drop his flag e– so a French policeman shot him dead.
Outrage tore through the massive crowd.
The ensuing riots and revenge attacks on Europeans sparked a wave of repression by French authorities that left as many as 45,000 dead, according to Algerian official figures.
French historians put the toll at up to 20,000, including 86 European civilians and 16 soldiers.
The killings would have a transformative impact on the nascent anti-colonial movement. A full-blown independence war broke out nine years later, finally leading to the country’s independence in 1962.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who will lead the first national day of remembrance for the killings on Saturday, has described them as “crimes against humanity”.
Authorities will hold a series of events in Setif, 300 kilometers (190 miles) east of Algiers, including a march to the spot where Saal was killed.
Fortnight of retribution
The French launched a 15-day campaign of violence, targeting Setif and the surrounding rural region, bombing villages and hamlets indiscriminately.
General Raymond Duval led French authorities’ ruthless clampdown, imposing martial law and a curfew on a patch of territory stretching from Setif to the sea, 50 kilometers north.
Nationalist leaders were detained on pure suspicion, and villages suspected of harboring separatists were strafed by the air force and set ablaze.
Women, children and the elderly were massacred and some 44 villages were destroyed in 15 days of retribution.
Executions continued until November 1945, and some 4,000 people were arrested.
“I have secured you peace for 10 years,” General Duval warned the colonial government in a letter.
“If France does nothing, it will all happen again, only next time it will be worse and may well be irreparable.”
Still sensitive, decades on
Setif remains a highly sensitive episode for Algerians, as well as for some in France.
Paris only officially recognized it in 2005 when the ambassador in Algiers called the massacres “an inexcusable tragedy.”
Five years later the bloodshed received some rare attention on the big screen, with the controversial Oscar-nominated film “Outside the Law.”
Rachid Bouchareb’s movie ignited much soul-searching in France – but was also bitterly condemned by the far-right.
Riot police had to hold back angry protesters when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
The crowd, which included military veterans, was furious that French public funding had gone to a movie they claimed falsified history.
But France has since made moves to recognize crimes committed during its 132-year occupation of Algeria.
In March, President Emmanuel Macron admitted “in the name of France” that lawyer and independence figure Ali Boumendjel had been detained, tortured and killed by French forces who then covered his death up as a suicide.
Last year, Macron tasked French historian Benjamin Stora to assess how France has dealt with its colonial legacy, and urged officials to accelerate the opening of French archives on the Algerian war.
Released in January, the Stora report made several recommendations, including the creation of a “memory and truth commission” to hear testimony from those who suffered during the war.
It did not, however, suggest a formal state apology. Macron has offered neither “repentance nor apologies” but rather “symbolic acts” of reconciliation.
Algeria has dismissed the report as “not objective,” and has not moved to reciprocate Macron’s steps.
It did however welcome his admission of French responsibility for Boumendjel’s death.
These are countries on GREEN LIST: Portugal, Israel. Singapore , Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia, Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Tristan de Cuna, & Accension Islands and the list will be reviewed every three weeks. Countries can be added or removed at short notice.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of holiday firm TUI, said: “While we were expecting to see just a handful of destinations on the green list, this is an overly cautious start.”
Airlines UK, representing UK carriers, described it as “a missed opportunity” and “a reopening of air travel in name only” which left the UK “at risk of falling behind”.
And Easyjet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “The decision to put so few European countries into the green tier is simply not justified by the data or the science, and is inconsistent with the approach to reopen the domestic economy.”
UK citizens risked missing out on bookings for hotels if other European tourists were permitted to travel, he added.
Making the announcement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the easing of restrictions was “necessarily cautious” in the light of the threat from new variants of Covid-19.
He said the UK’s success in combating the virus was not matched in many other countries.
However he said the list would be reviewed every three weeks by the Joint Biosecurity Centre – the team set up last year to monitor the threat from the virus.
Some firms had hoped the rapid roll out of the vaccination programme in the US would allow summer travel to resume there more quickly.
“There is no reason for the US to be absent from the green list. This overly cautious approach fails to reap the benefits of the UK’s successful vaccination programme,” a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic – one of the airlines which relies heavily on UK-US traffic – said.
“A transatlantic travel corridor is vital to deliver a much-needed boost to economic recovery,” the spokesperson added.
But British Airways predicted that more countries would be included before the summer.
“What’s clear is that with high levels of vaccination in the UK being matched by other countries, we should see more destinations going ‘green’ before the end of June,” BA chief executive Sean Doyle said.
“We cannot stress more greatly that the UK urgently needs travel between it and other low-risk countries like the US, to re-start the economy, support devastated industries and reunite loved ones.”
‘A happy moment’
Meanwhile, Ryanair, Easyjet, Tui and British Airways all said they would be increasing their flights to Portugal and other destinations on the green list.
Tourist-dependent firms in Portugal were quick to welcome the news.
“No-one enjoys a holiday more than the British people,” said Miguel Campino, owner of Maria’s Restaurant – a beach venue on Praia do Garrão Poente.
“They bring a colourful atmosphere to all the restaurants, bars and hotels. This is a happy moment for everyone, for Portugal, for England… it’s great news.””No-one enjoys a holiday more”: A restaurant owner in Portugal is excited to welcome back tourists from England
João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Bureau, also said the region was ready to welcome UK visitors back.
“We are obviously delighted with the news,” he said. “It’s a recognition of the remarkable work Portugal has done in reducing levels of Covid to be able to restart the economy safely.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast that the UK had offered to host the match but that it would “ultimately be a decision for Uefa”.
However, the UK consumer body Which? warned that practical difficulties over taking a holiday abroad would remain.
“Travellers will have an expectation that these new government rules should protect their health and their money, yet serious issues around lengthy airport queues and a broken testing system remain unresolved,” Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said.
Although international travel has been heavily restricted since January, returning travellers have experienced long delays at border control when arriving at Heathrow, sometimes waiting for up to six hours.
Private firms offering Covid tests to returning travellers have been criticised for failing to deliver tests and results on time.
“Travellers should also be aware that there is still some financial risk involved in booking travel plans, depending on how you book and which company you choose,” said Mr Boland.
“In a summer when further disruption can be expected, travel companies must be honest about the risks holidaymakers may be taking on. Crucially, holidaymakers also need to do their research before booking, as choosing the right provider could be the difference between getting hundreds of pounds back or just getting the run-round.”
A further 15 deaths in the UK within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Friday, bringing the total to 127,598. There were 2,490 new cases.
More than 35 million first doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been given and more than 16.7 million second doses.
Which countries are on the green list for foreign holidays?
18 hours ago
From 17 May, people in England will be allowed to take holidays abroad in a small number of countries.
Portugal and Israel are among the permitted destinations on the government’s green list, which tourists will be able to visit without having to quarantine on their return.
What’s been announced?
Countries are in three categories – green, amber and red. Green countries have the fewest rules.
Their status depends partly on the number of Covid-19 cases in each country and the success of their vaccine rollout.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet announced plans to restart foreign holidays.
Which countries are holidaymakers allowed to visit?The government advises that not all the green list destinations are currently open to UK tourists and it is travellers’ responsibility to check. For example, travel to mainland Portugal and the Azores is currently for essential purposes only. This could change, as in March the Portuguese government said it hoped to welcome UK tourists in May.The 12 countries and territories on the green list are:
What are the rules for visiting a green country?
Take a private Covid test in their holiday destination before returning home – this can be a lateral flow or PCR testFill in a passenger locator form online before leaving their destinationTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in EnglandThere will be no need to quarantine when back home, or take additional tests, unless the post-arrival test is positive.The cost of private PCR tests vary between suppliers, but the transport secretary said he hoped prices could come down to less than £50 per person. Tui Group is offering test packages for between £20 and £90.People should not be travelling to amber countries for leisure.Take a private Covid test before returning to EnglandFill in a passenger locator form online before heading homeSelf-isolate at home for 10 daysTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in England and again on day eightThey could end self-isolation early by taking an optional PCR test on day five, under the existing test to release scheme.You should not be travelling to red countries for leisure.Forty-three countries are now on the red list, including Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Brazil and South Africa.People can only enter the UK if they are a UK or Irish national (or UK resident).Take a private Covid test before returning to EnglandFill in a passenger locator form online before they head homeBook a 10-day hotel quarantine and testing package for each member of their group before departureTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in England and again on day eightCountries can be added to the red list at short notice. If a country’s status changes while you are visiting, you would have to follow the stricter rules on your return.What have other countries said about holidays?The European Commission has recommended allowing travel for anyone who has received the last dose of an EU-approved vaccine at least two weeks beforehand. Vaccines used in the UK would qualifyGreece’s tourism minister tweeted that tourism will reopen on 14 May, but with five security levelsPortugal and Cyprus hope to welcome UK tourists from mid MaySpain hopes to open up from JuneFrance says tourists with a French Covid-19 “health pass” (TousAntiCovid) will be allowed from 9 JuneHow can travellers prove they’ve been vaccinated?From 17 May, the main NHS app will include a feature allowing users to demonstrate they have had two vaccine doses.It’s hoped the app can be used as proof of vaccination when people holiday abroad. A letter can also be requested.The app is not the same as the NHS Covid-19 one – currently used for contact tracing.What are the vaccine passport plans for holidays? What about UK holidays?Getty ImagesHolidaying in England, Scotland and Wales is now possible, but there are still rules to follow. When, where and how can I go on holiday in the UK?What are the current international arrival rules?At the moment, people in England face a £5,000 fine for having a holiday abroad and must fill in a travel declaration form with a valid reason for their journey.You must take a Covid-19 test (in the three days before your departure). You must book and pay for two PCR tests for your UK quarantine, unless you are exempt and complete a passenger locator form.You must travel directly to your home/place you’re staying and not leave for 10 days.Only use public transport if you have no other option.Day one of quarantine is your first full 24-hour day in the UK. Rule-breaking fines are £10,000.Common Travel Area arrivals (Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man) do not have to arrange tests, fill out the locator form or quarantine.There is separate advice for quarantining in:ScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandWhen would I need to quarantine in a hotel?Anyone allowed to enter England from a red list country (or who has passed through one in the previous 10 days) must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed facility, rather than a private address.You will need to agree to book and pay for a quarantine package in advance.10-day (11-night) rate for one adult in one room is £1,750Additional rate for one adult (or child over 11) is £650Children aged five to 11 are charged £325You can be fined £10,000 or jailed for not providing accurate details of countries you visited.Please upgrade your browser
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#AceNewsReport – May.08: The organizations of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances have transferred data on 379 persons who have gone missing since the beginning of the April 28 demonstrations to the present day to the [International Commission on] Missing Persons and the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office,” the human rights group wrote on Twitter late on Thursday:
COLUMBIA: Over 370 People Go Missing During 9 Days of Tax Reform Protests Rights Group Says: According to the latest data from the Ombudsman’s Office, searches for 51 people are underway, another 38 have been found. The protests resulted in 352 civilians and 38 law enforcement officers receiving injuries.
Violent Anti-Government Protests in Colombia
@Sputnik: 13:30 GMT 06.05.2021:
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Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against President Ivan Duque’s government on Bolivar Square in Bogota on 5 May 2021.
Rallies in Colombia against an increase in gas prices and utility bills as part of state-proposed tax reform have been underway since 28 April. Despite President Ivan Duque withdrawing the controversial reform on Sunday, protesters have continued to rally across the country. Demonstrators are now demanding a review of the sanitary emergency and health care reform, the dissolution of the ESMAD riot police, demilitarization of cities and punishing those responsible for killing protesters.
At least 31 protesters were killed, 1,220 were injured and 87 went missing in the first week of protests against the tax reform, according to the Colombian Institute for Development and Peace Studies. The United Nations condemned the use of violence against protesters.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘Surge testing to be deployed in Bolton: Additional surge testing and genomic sequencing deployed where a small number of confirmed cases of variants of concern have been identified’
It comes as a small number of cases of the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351) and a cluster of cases of the variant first identified in India (B.1.617.2) have been identified.
This follows the classification of the variant first identified in India as a variant of concern by Public Health England, and a public health assessment showing a rise in transmission in parts of Bolton. Confirmed cases have been asked to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified.
Everybody who resides or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.
By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.
People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: According to court documents, Aleksandr Grichishkin, 34, and Andrei Skvortsov, 34, of Russia; Aleksandr Skorodumov, 33, of Lithuania; and Pavel Stassi, 30, of Estonia, were founders and/or members of a bulletproof hosting organisation:
‘Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing “bulletproof hosting” services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States’
The group rented Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, servers, and domains to cybercriminal clients, who used this technical infrastructure to disseminate malware used to gain access to victims’ computers, form botnets, and steal banking credentials for use in frauds. Malware hosted by the organization included Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole Exploit Kit, which rampantly attacked U.S. companies and financial institutions between 2009 and 2015 and caused or attempted to cause millions of dollars in losses to U.S. victims. A key service provided by the defendants was helping their clients to evade detection by law enforcement and continue their crimes uninterrupted; the defendants did so by monitoring sites used to blocklist technical infrastructure used for crime, moving “flagged” content to new infrastructure, and registering all such infrastructure under false or stolen identities.
“Every day, transnational organized cybercriminals deploy malware that ravages our economy and victimizes our citizens and businesses,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The criminal organizations that purposefully aid these actors — the so-called bulletproof hosters, money launderers, purveyors of stolen identity information, and the like — are no less responsible for the harms these malware campaigns cause, and we are committed to holding them accountable. Prosecutions like this one increase the costs and risks to cybercriminals and ensure that they cannot evade responsibility for the enormous injuries they cause to victims.”
“Fraud over the internet has had a major economic impact on our community, and all over our nation and the world,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Saima S. Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan. “An essential part of reducing the fraud involves vigorously investigating and prosecuting individuals such as these ‘bulletproof hosters’ who enable the fraudsters in victimizing people over the internet.”
“Over the course of many years, the defendants facilitated the transnational criminal activity of a vast network of cybercriminals throughout the world by providing them a safe-haven to anonymize their criminal activity,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “This resulted in millions of dollars of losses to U.S. victims. Today’s guilty plea sends a message to cybercriminals across the globe that they are not beyond the reach of the FBI and its international partners, and that anyone who facilitates or profits from criminal cyber activity will be brought to justice.”
According to court filings and statements made in connection with their guilty pleas, Grichishkin and Skvortsov were founding members of the organization and its proprietors. Skvortsov was responsible for marketing the organization’s criminal business and served as a point of contact for important and/or disgruntled clients, and Grichishkin was the organization’s day-to-day leader and oversaw its personnel. Skorodumov was one of the organization’s lead systems administrators, and at some points, its only systems administrator. In this role, he configured and managed the clients’ domains and IP addresses, provided technical assistance to help clients optimize their malware and botnets, and monitored and responded to abuse notices. Stassi undertook various administrative tasks for the organization, including conducting and tracking online marketing to the organization’s criminal clientele and using stolen and/or false personal information to register webhosting and financial accounts used by the organization.
Stassi, Skorodumov, and Grichishkin pleaded guilty in February and March 2021 to one count of RICO conspiracy. Skvortsov pleaded guilty today to the same charge. All four guilty pleas took place before Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan. Sentencing of Stassi, Skorodumov, Grichishkin, and Skvortsov has been set for June 3, June 29, July 8, and Sept. 16, respectively. Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine each sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI investigated the case with critical assistance from law enforcement partners in Germany, Estonia, and the United Kingdom.
Senior Counsel Louisa K. Marion of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick E. Corbett of the Eastern District of Michigan prosecuted the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: Based in Telford, the contract will create 200 jobs at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), including 130 engineers and 70 technicians, with a further 450 jobs to be established throughout the wider supply chain across the West Midlands, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne and the Isle of Wight:
British Army to possess most lethal tank in Europe: The new tank will carry additional high velocity ammunition able to travel at faster speeds with an increased range. Ammunition will also be programmed digitally from a new turret with a 120 millimetre smoothbore gun. This cutting-edge tank will also feature an upgraded engine with a new cooling system and suspension to improve accuracy when firing in transit.
A new automatic target detection and tracking system will be used to identify threats, whilst new thermal long-range cameras will be fitted as part of a day/night image system.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said:
This represents a huge shift in the modernisation of our land forces through the increased lethality of Challenger 3. This pioneering new technology allows us to deliver immense warfighting capabilities in battlespaces filled with a range of enemy threats.
The £800 million investment will also create hundreds of highly-skilled jobs across the country ensuring our soldiers benefit from the very best of British engineering.
Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Chris Tickell CBE said:
The announcement of the Integrated Review has provided us with a huge amount of opportunity and left the Army in a good place. The integration of Challenger 3 is key to ensure our success and integration in the land domain, ensuring that we meet our international commitments and continue to protect the nation.
As part of the Army’s commitments to adapt to meet future threats, Challenger 3 will be fully digitalised integrating information from all domains whilst being able to travel up to 60mph. The Challenger 3 tank is being developed to replace the current Challenger 2 tank which has been in service since 1998. Full Operating Capability for the tank is planned for 2030, with initial operating capability expected by 2027.
Director Land Equipment for DE&S, Major General Darren Crook said:
This is a significant step forward for Defence and UK industry as we continue to develop and modernise our fleet of land vehicles and I am looking forward to working closely with our industry partners to deliver the very best capabilities we can for the British Army.
As outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, the British Army will be more deployable and better protected in the face of our adversaries. The announcement of Challenger 3 reaffirms our commitment to invest £3-billion into Army equipment over the next decade, delivering a modernised, adaptable and expeditionary fighting force.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: Tensions have been rising over the potential eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers: The Red Crescent has opened a field hospital to treat the wounded.
JERUSALEM: Al-Aqsa mosque: Dozens hurt in Jerusalem clashes: Most were injured at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades as Palestinians threw stones and bottles’
📲 @twittervid_bot ….
——————- 💵 خرید امن بیت کوین با نوبیتکس 💵
The Al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem’s Old City is one of Islam’s most revered locations, but its location is also the holiest site in Judaism, known as the Temple Mount.
The site is a frequent flashpoint for violence, which unfolded again on Friday night after thousands had gathered there to observe the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli Police said they had used force to “restore order” due to the “rioting of thousands of worshippers” after evening prayers.
An Aqsa official called for calm over the mosque’s loudspeakers. “Police must immediately stop firing stun grenades at worshippers, and the youth must calm down and be quiet!”, Reuters news agency quoted them as saying.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 88 of the injured Palestinians were taken to hospital after they were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets. Police said some of the six officers injured needed medical treatment.
Reuters: At least 163 Palestinians and six Israeli police officers were hurt in Jerusalem, emergency services and police said
Reuters: Israeli Police at the site, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews
The international community also appealed for de-escalation on Friday, as anger mounted over the threatened eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem’s Shaikh Jarrah district.
A US State Department spokeswoman said Washington was “deeply concerned about the heightened tensions”.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Vennesland, urged all parties to “respect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City in the interest of peace & stability.”
The UN has said Israel should call off any evictions and employ “maximum restraint in the use of force” against protesters.
Israel’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the long-running legal case on Monday.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of the international community. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the future capital of a hoped-for independent state.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: The SNP’s bid to win a majority at Holyrood will go “down to the margins”, according to The Herald. The paper features a picture of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon celebrating with supporters at the Glasgow count on a day when her party won 39 seats.The Scotsman reports Ms Sturgeon is set for another five years in power but says she conceded the prospect of winning an overall majority is a “long shot”. The paper adds the SNP’s hopes of securing at least 65 seats were “all but dashed” when Labour’s Jackie Baillie held on to Dumbarton.
Scotland’s papers: Majority ‘long shot’ and Sturgeon’s referendum vow….
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The i says the election saw tactical voting by pro-union supporters designed to prevent the SNP from winning a majority. As the second day of counting gets under way the paper also reports the signs point to a “record turnout” despite the Covid pandemic.A masked Nicola Sturgeon also features on the front page of the Daily Telegraph. The paper says a “huge surge” in turnout from SNP supporters has secured a fourth term for the party. The broadsheet also carries a warning from the head of the UK’s Border Force that holidaymakers should expect airport delays of “15 times normal” when the travel industry opens up again this summer.”Can Tories stop SNP tidal wave?” asks the Scottish Daily Mail.
Although the paper describes the prospect of an SNP majority as “dwindling” it reports Nicola Sturgeon believes her case for Indyref 2 has not been dented.A picture of Labour’s Jackie Baillie celebrating her victory in Dumbarton, the SNP’s number one target seat, features on the front page of the Scottish Daily Express. The paper says tactical votes have put Ms Sturgeon “under pressure” as she looks set to miss out on an overall majority.
The Times leads with the first minister’s vow to hold another independence referendum after making gains on the first day of counting in the Holyrood election. The party took three target seats, including Edinburgh Central, which was held by former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.The National opts for a jubilant picture of Ms Sturgeon and SNP supporters under the headline: “Yes on track”. It reports Scotland is set for a pro-independence majority “despite unionist tactical voting”.The Courier features a socially distanced picture of the SNP’s Joe FitzPatrick and supporters celebrating after he won a third term as MSP for Dundee West.
The Glasgow Times reports the SNP is on course for a clean sweep of the city’s seats.The Scottish Sun leads with the conviction of “suntan hitman” Sean Orman for the murder of T2 Trainspotting actor Bradley Welsh in Edinburgh. The paper reports Orman, who was jailed for 28 years, was paid £10,000 for the contract killing in April 2019.
The Daily Record leads with an interview with the husband of a woman who accused former first minister Alex Salmond of assault. The paper says the ex-SNP leader’s political comeback with the Alba Party has made the woman’s life “hell again”. Mr Salmond was last year cleared of all the sexual assault charges against him.
The Daily Star also leads with the conviction of Sean Orman for Bradley Welsh’s murder. The paper reports the motive for the shotgun murder of the former boxing champion “may never be known”.The front page of the Edinburgh Evening News is also dominated by the murder of Mr Welsh. The paper reports the killer’s mobile phone, which was deliberately set on fire, may now be used to help police “snare city crime bosses”.
The Press and Journal leads with the conviction of a rapist who fled Scotland fort the US and tried to fake his own death. Kim Avis, from Inverness, disappeared in February 2019 after reportedly going for a swim at a beach in California. The market trader was later extradited and has now been convicted of sting of sex abuse charges.A Dundee taxi driver has told the Weekend Telegraph about the terrifying moment a passenger held a knife to his throat and demanded money. Bob Griffin, 63, stayed cool, calm and collected and was back at work the following day.
And the Evening Express front page features a picture of an overturned car which was flipped by its owner while he was four times the drink drive limit.The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: Officers and London Ambulance Service [LAS] attended: At the scene, a man, aged in his 30s, had been attacked by a group of males and had suffered a number of knife wounds: The victim, who was with his 12-year-old son at the time of the incident, was taken by LAS to an east London hospital where his condition was not life threatening:
LONDON: Barking Assault: Met Officers appeal for information: After a man was violently assaulted with his child was not injured but was, understandably, distressed that took place around 20:25hrs on Tuesday, 4 May, police were called to reports of a stabbing at Thurlestone Avenue’
Detective Sergeant Sajid Asghar of East Area Command said: “This was a violent and seemingly unprovoked attack on the victim and it was sheer luck that the victim did not sustain more serious injuries: “Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not life threatening but, it would have been a terrifying experience for both him and his young son: “ The attack took place on a residential street and I am appealing to local residents and anyone who may have been driving through Thurlestone Avenue to come forward with any dash cam, doorbell or mobile phone footage that could assist our investigation: “ No matter how insignificant you think your information is, it might be a missing piece that completes our timeline of how the incident played out, so please do get in touch.”
Anyone with information or footage should call police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting 7026/4MAY21: To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers or visit crimestoppers_uk.org.
Hard calls save lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of knife crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers.
No piece of information about knife crime is insignificant or too small. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families.
Crimestoppers never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111. It could save a life.
#AceNewsReport – May.08: Officers attended with colleagues from the London Ambulance Service and found the body of the deceased, who is now confirmed to be Maria Jane Rawlings. Maria was aged 45 and a mother of two daughters. She lived in the Chelmsford area:
LONDON: MET Detectives launch a murder investigation hin Romford: ‘Homicide detectives are investigating after the body was reported around 14:00hrs on Tuesday, 4 May by a man who was out walking his dog in Little Heath, Romford’
[Victim: Maria Jane Rawlings]
A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary on Wednesday, 5 May, gave a preliminary cause for Maria’s death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.
Maria’s family are aware and are being supported by specialist officers; they have asked that their privacy is respected as they begin to come to terms with their loss.
Officers are continuing to examine the crime scene and will remain in the area in the coming days. Any members of the public who believe that they have information that could assist police are asked to approach those officers, or to call the incident room on 020 8345 3865.
Maria attended Kings Georges Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford on the evening of Monday, 3 May. She then left the hospital and made her way on foot to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.
It is believed that whilst walking on this road, someone may have approached Maria.
Her body was found the next day in Little Heath, Romford.
Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier is leading the investigation. He said: “My team and I are working around the clock, following a number of enquiries in our work to establish what happened to Maria. Her family are understandably distraught and we are doing all we can to help them as they begin to come to terms with their loss: “ Now I am asking for the public to help us. I want to hear from anyone who knew Maria and knows about where she had been and who she had been associating with. Have you seen her in the area in the company of another person? Had you recently heard or seen a disturbance or struggle in the area but did not think it significant at the time? You might have dash cam or doorbell footage that could have captured her – please think carefully and, if you can help, contact police.”
Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, BCU Commander for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, said: “I understand the concerns around safety that will arise from this, particularly from women, and we have increased patrols in the area from our local policing teams. Community safety remains a high priority and I urge anyone who has any concerns to speak to my officers when you see them or contact us.” There have been no arrests; enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8345 3865; via 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD3551/4May: Anyone with footage can upload it via the following link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/01MPS21S25-PO1
#AceHealthReport – May.08: Chelsea and Manchester City fans should not travel to Turkey for the Champions League final, says transport secretary Grant Shapps, after he added the country to England’s travel red list:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk Champions League Final: ‘Fans should not travel to Turkey says UK Government: European Football last hosted the Champions League final in 2005, when Liverpool beat AC Milanas the biggest game in European football is set to take place in Istanbul on 29 May’
Schapps said Covid-19 red list countries “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.
He added that the government was open to hosting the game in England.
Schapps said that the Football Association is in talks with Uefa about switching the game, but that it is “ultimately a decision for Uefa”.
“The UK has a successful track record of hosting matches with spectators so we are well placed to do it,” he said.
“So we are very open to it, but it is actually in the end a decision for Uefa to make. But given it is two English clubs in the final, we look forward to hearing what they have to say.”
The BBC understands that the government will look at solutions for whatever circumstances arise around the final, including exploring travel exemptions for players and club staff.
UK citizens returning from red list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.
If the final was to switch to England, Wembley Stadium, the most obvious host venue, is already set to host the Championship play-off final on 29 May.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: Mr Pughsley said other forces were helping in the inquiry, and he appealed to the killer to give themselves up:
KENT: Julia James: Police don’t know weapon used to kill PCSO: Kent Police’s chief constable Alan Pughsley also said detectives still had no motive or suspect in the case: Ms James, 53, was found on 27 April near woodland in Snowden Kent, having suffered serious head injuries: He said detectives were not able to say if the attacker was a man or a woman and officers would like to speak to anybody who was in the area pictured on 27 April: Ms James left her home in The Crescent just after 15:00 BST on 27 April to take her dog for a walk in nearby woodland.
Image of man released as part of Julia James murder enquiry
An image of a man who could be key to the Julia James murder investigation has been released by detectives.
Officers want to speak to the individual pictured who is understood to have been in the Aylesham area on Wednesday 28 April 2021 – the day after PCSO Julia James was murdered.
Julia, 53, was found deceased next to Akholt Wood in Snowdown at around 4pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021. She had been working at home that day before taking her Jack Russell Toby for a walk in the Aylesham Road area.
A post-mortem revealed Julia died from significant head injuries.
Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards from Kent Police said:
‘We are now in a position to release an image of a man we would like to speak to.
‘We firmly believe he has information that could help this investigation and we urge him to come forward.
‘We are also appealing to the public or anyone who knows this individual to please come forward with his details. Perhaps he lives near you, perhaps you work with him or perhaps he visits your local shop to buy food.
A £10,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to a conviction in the case.
‘Please get in touch and help us find the answers Julia’s family deserve.’Anyone who recognises the man in the photo is urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Witnesses and anyone with any other information, CCTV or dashcam footage are also still being asked to submit details online at this link.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: According to court documents, in September 2019, Zhang visited Gao Xing in jail while she was in federal custody and the subject of an international human trafficking investigation. During the visit, Xing instructed Zhang to delete material information, including contacts and conversations from her WeChat account: WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment application that can be accessed by mobile devices, personal computers and the internet. Xing provided Zhang with a method to obtain her online WeChat account login information from her mother in China, and other details pertaining to her account. Xing indicated that the items she needed Zhang to delete would make her case or situation worse and she further instructed Zhang to change her WeChat name:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Chinese national pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to conspiring to commit evidence tampering in relation to an international human trafficking investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
Xu Zhang, 31, a New York resident, was indicted in September 2019, after conspiring with his girlfriend and co-conspirator, Gao Xing, also a Chinese national, to destroy and conceal records pertinent to a federal grand jury investigation.
This announcement was made by the acting U.S. attorney for the middle district of Tennessee.
During a telephone call from the jail the next day, Zhang confirmed to Xing that he had deleted the information requested and changed Xing’s WeChat name in an attempt to delete and destroy material information related to her WeChat account.
Xing committed suicide in her cell Nov. 1, 2019, at the Daviess County (Kentucky) Detention Center.
Zhang faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 15, 2021.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted HSI with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers is prosecuting the case.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: The president warned that any ANC members facing corruption charges would also face suspension if they did not leave their posts within 30 days:
SOUTH AFRICA: Top ANC official refuses to step down: ‘Ace Magashule denies the charges and said that he, as head of the ANC, had suspended President Cyril Ramaphosa as the dispute illustrates a power struggle within the governing party’
9 hours ago
The ANC tougher code of conduct is being seen as a test of whether the party of Nelson Mandela is serious about ending years of corruption within government.
On 30 March, Mr Magashule was given a 30-day ultimatum to step down after being charged with embezzling public funds while he was premier of the Free State province. He refused to resign voluntarily, which resulted in the ANC suspending him.
A party letter on Monday said the decision to suspend Mr Magashule would be “in the best interest of the organisation”.
Getty ImagesPresident Ramaphosa (right) led the ANC to victory in the 2019 general election
But on Wednesday, he responded in a letter to President Ramaphosa and his deputy Jessie Duarte that he was “appealing this unconstitutional suspension” and would stay in the job while his appeal was ongoing.
He then vowed to suspend the president, but the ANC called on Mr Magashule to “respect” the party decision.
Mr Magashule is the most senior ANC official who risks prosecution since President Ramaphosa took office in 2018. Mr Ramaphosa promised to tackle corruption and promote good governance, describing his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s time in office as “nine wasted years”.
Mr Ramaphosa and Mr Magashule come from rival factions.
David Lewis, head of the Corruption Watch NGO, said Mr Magashule’s removal was the “first really strong sign that the ANC is prepared to clean up its own ranks”, according to the AFP news agency. Thapi and Sankara, youth activists from South Africa.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: Tens of thousands of people lit candles across the city in what was largely a peaceful event, bar a brief skirmish with riot police in one neighbourhood:
HONG KONG: Activists including Joshua Wong jailed over banned Tiananmen Massacre vigil over democracy sentenced to over Tiananmen Square vigil: Last year was the first time the annual June 4 vigil had been banned in Hong Kong, with police citing #coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings, as they did for all demonstrations in 2020
Published: https://t.me/hongkongfp/12960 Hong Kong Free Press, [May 6, 2021 at 4:53 AM]
#AceNewsReport – May.07: Jill Mortimer secures Hartlepool seat for Conservative party: Ms Mortimer beat her closest rival, Labour’s Paul Williams by 6,940 votes: The result is a blow for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in his first election test since taking over the party:
Elections 2021: Conservatives take Hartlepool from Labour in by-election: But the Conservatives will see it is a sign they are building on their gains in traditional Labour heartlands at the 2019 general election.
Sir Keir had been warning his party had a “mountain to climb” to hang on to Hartlepool, but allies of his predecessor as leader Jeremy Corbyn are calling on him to change direction.
Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “Crushing defeat for Labour in Hartlepool. Not possible to blame Jeremy Corbyn for this result. Labour won the seat twice under his leadership. Keir Starmer must think again about his strategy.”
The left-wing Momentum group, which backed Mr Corbyn, said: “Starmer’s strategy of isolating the left and replacing meaningful policy with empty buzzwords has comprehensively failed.”
But Sir Keir’s allies say the defeat, which saw a 16% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, means the party has not changed enough under his leadership.
Former Hartlepool MP Lord Mandelson said it was clear from his conversations with voters in the town that Mr Corbyn was “still casting a very dark cloud over Labour” and that the party had more work to do put that era behind it.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Hartlepool defeat was down to “two Cs: Covid and Corbyn”.
Labour’s loss of Hartlepool in a by-election is the most dramatic illustration yet that the party has so far failed to connect with the Leave-supporting, working class voters they lost heavily in 2017 and 2019.
Support for the Brexit Party, which registered 26% in Hartlepool in 2019, collapsed – the successor Reform party secured just 1% of the vote.
It looks as though the Conservatives picked up the Brexit Party’s former support, in line with the proportion of Leave voters preferring the Conservatives to Labour to the order of 3/4 to 1.
However, the swing to the Conservatives of 16% is more than can be accounted for by the collapse of the Brexit Party.
Labour’s vote fell 9 points to 29%, so the party clearly lost some of its 2019 support, as well as suffering from the movement of Brexit Party voters to the Conservatives.
Part of the explanation may lie in the success of independent candidate, Sam Lee, who won 10% of the vote.
Together with the pattern in key wards there is clearly a debate about whether Labour can win support from Leave voters by ignoring Brexit as it has in the past 12 months.
The Conservative gain of Northumberland council is a further illustration of the success of the Conservatives in Leave voting areas.
There were 16 candidates standing in the Hartlepool by-election, but Conservative Ms Mortimer won with 15,529 votes, while Labour’s Mr Williams received 8,589.
She hailed it as a “truly historic” result, adding: “Not only that, I am the first woman ever to be elected as MP for this town.Labour’s Steve Reed “shattered” by Hartlepool loss
“Labour have taken people in Hartlepool for granted for too long.
“I heard this time and time again on the doorstep and people have had enough and now, through this result, the people have spoken and have made it clear it is time for change.”
The result is more evidence of the long term shift in politics where areas that had chosen Labour for decades were less and less convinced.
That didn’t start with Boris Johnson and didn’t even start with Brexit.
The success of the vaccine programme has no doubt helped the Tories.
The Hartlepool constituency was formed in 1974 and had returned a Labour MP in every vote since – until Thursday’s poll.
The seat came back into contention after its former Labour MP, Mike Hill, resigned in March.
The by-election was one of a raft of elections taking place across Britain on Thursday, with voters picking representatives for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd, as well as mayors and local councils in England, and police and crime commissioners.
#AceHealthReport – May.07: The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk Statement on AstraZeneca #COVID19 vaccine following JCVI update: The government’s statement following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)’
As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.
The government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 40 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible, and only if doing so does not cause a substantial delay in accessing a vaccination.
More than 50 million vaccines overall have already been administered, and our current vaccine supply and rate of infection means we are able to take this precautionary step while remaining on track to achieve our target of offering a vaccine to all adults by the end of July.
Everybody who has already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same jab, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts following their first vaccination.
When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against COVID-19.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: This would be the strongest growth since official records began in 1949: However, it comes after the economy shrank almost 10% last year in the sharpest drop in 300 years:
LONDON: ‘UK economy set to grow at fastest rate in more than 70 years: According to BOE its expected to expand by 7.25% this year, with extra government cash for workers and businesses helping to limit job losses’ after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in the March Budget that the furlough scheme, which subsidises employees’ wages, would be extended until the end of September.
By Szu Ping Chan Business reporter, BBC News
Bank policymakers also held interest rates at a record low of 0.1%.
The Bank expects the recovery to gather pace as the reopening of high streets paves the way for a mini-spending boom.
The UK’s rapid vaccine rollout is expected to support consumer confidence, with the economy expected to get back to its pre-pandemic size before the end of the year.
Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, compared the rapid expansion to the growth seen during the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, when factories started using new manufacturing processes.
“I don’t think we’ve had a bounce-back quite of this nature, certainly in modern times,” he said.
While Mr Bailey cautioned that the surge in output would only return the UK economy back its 2019 size, he added: “Given what the economy has been through, it is good news.”
Fewer job losses
Mr Bailey said the extension would help to limit the rise in unemployment “significantly”.
The Bank now expects the unemployment rate to peak at 5.5% later this year. This is far below the 7.75% it predicted in February.
It expects “most employees” to return to work as the economy starts to reopen.
The number of people on furlough is expected to fall to 2.75 million in the three months to June, from just under five million at the start of this year.
“Given the expected near‑term recovery in activity, unemployment is projected to increase only slightly,” policymakers said in the Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Report.
The Bank of England is trying to play down the idea that there is a post pandemic boom, but nonetheless these are very significant increases to the forecast for economic growth this year, and a substantial cut to predicted peak unemployment.
Much of this is “rebound” – the natural and obvious result of large swathes of the economy reopening. But the changes indicate the underpinning of a more sustained recovery too.
The peak in unemployment has been sharply downgraded, from close to 8% to 5.5%, thanks to the furlough scheme extension, a stronger recovery, and an assumption that the long-term damage from the pandemic will be smaller than previously expected.
That means about 700,000 expected job losses not materialising. If this does come to pass, it will far exceed even the most optimistic assumptions from the start of the pandemic crisis.
The Bank also assumes that vaccinated Britons feel safer, more confident and are now spending more of the savings arising from a year of lockdowns.
There are clear uncertainties, relating to virus variants. But the Bank is at least pointing to a summer recovery, with the economic damage from the pandemic repaired by the end of this year.
Spend or save?
Households have squirrelled away more than £150bn in extra savings over the past year as more people have worked from home, particularly higher earners.
The Bank expects them to spend about 10% of this extra cash as the economy returns to normal.
However, more than half of those surveyed by the Bank said they would keep the money in savings, suggesting that many households remain cautious about the economic outlook.
Policymakers stressed that the outlook “remains uncertain” and “continues to depend on the evolution of the pandemic”.