#AceNewsReport – May.05: On 23 May 2020 National Crime Agency investigators arrested Miah at his home on suspicion of making/distributing and possessing indecent images of children. Officers searched his house and recovered Miah’s Samsung mobile phone, a memory stick, and a laptop:
#Paedophile student collected almost 500 sick pictures and videos: ‘Abid Miah, 21, from Fenham in Newcastle, admitted to three counts of making indecent images and was sentenced today at Newcastle Crown Court’ to 12 monthssuspended for 2-years and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Forensic examination revealed that the phone and laptop contained 493 indecent images of children. There were 177 category A images (the most serious), 157 category B and 159 category C. Many of the images were hidden in a secret album and an encrypted cloud storage app.
NCA investigators discovered two horrific category A videos: one of a four-year-old girl being sexually abused and another of another very young girl being tortured and sexually abused.
These videos were known to law enforcement and the children, who were abused abroad, were safeguarded.
After answering ‘no comment’ in interview and originally denying the offences Miah pleaded guilty in February this year.
Tracy Holbrook, NCA senior investigating officer, said: “Abid Miah possessed some truly horrific material, some of it was the most distressing my team have had to view in a long time: “ Miah tried to conceal his offending by using a fake email address and encrypted storage applications: “ Protecting children is one of the NCA’s biggest priorities and we will do everything we can to safeguard victims and stop offenders.”
He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, made to forfeit his electronic devices and sent on a rehabilitation course.
Child protection charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children.
Information and advice can be found on the Thinkuknow website. Links also include advice for parents, carers and professionals.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: The suspect ran off in the direction of Chaplin Road, closely followed by the victim and his wife, who initially attempted to pursue him:
MET UPDATE: Officers Appeal following unprovoked assault in Wembley: On Monday, 15 February at 16:15hrs, the victim, a man in his 40s, and his wife were walking on Fernwood Avenue when an unknown man approached the couple and struck the man in the face. The victim fell to the floor from the impact of the blow.
Related / Images & Videos/On Link
At this point, the suspect produced a large knife which he pointed in the direction of the victim and began chasing him in the opposite direction back down Chaplin Road.
After a chase, lasting approximately one minute, the suspect disappeared and the victim was able to alert police.
The man is described as black, aged approximately 25 years old, around 6ft tall and of a slim build. He was wearing a black hoodie, navy blue joggers and black trainers.
PC Catherine Brady, from the North West Command Unit, said: “I am appealing to anyone who was in or driving through the area on Monday, 15 February who may have seen a man fitting this description to please get in touch: Any further footage from home security cameras or dash cams may help us to identify this man and hold him accountable for his violent actions that afternoon.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCCand quote CAD 6014/15FEB21. Alternatively, you can leave information anonymously with the independent charity Crimestoppersby calling 0800 555 111.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: Ahead of the vote, Extinction Rebellion described the legislation as a “lie of the state” and called on lawmakers to reject its passage. Its objection to the bill centers on the removal of key measures before it was put before MPs. The group claims France’s industrial sector lobbied for the removal of many of the proposals, with only a few remaining:
In footage shared online, police officers could be seen stamping out the fires and dragging protesters away.
Some journalists were also reportedly pushed back by police.
Members of the National Assembly were also reported to have attended the demonstrations, including left-wing lawmaker Adrien Quatennens, who was filmed talking to police.
The draft legislation was approved on Tuesday at a first reading, but still needs the backing of the Senate.
It will then go back to the lower house, where it is likely to receive assent by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist majority.
The bill includes a ban on short-haul domestic flights that can be taken by train, curbs on landlords renting out poorly insulated properties, and the prohibition of outdoor heaters on restaurant terraces.
Other proposed measures include forcing state-run schools to offer meat-free menus, vetoing the construction of new airports, and clamping down on the use of plastic in supermarket packaging.
The French government has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to its 1990 levels, but this target has been criticized as too low by environmental groups.
The executive director of Greenpeace France, Jean-Francois Julliard, said on Tuesday that the new draft law would “not be enough to effectively tackle global warming.”
#AceNewsReport – May.05: Included in these records were emails from Iowa state officials to representatives of Big Tech pressuring these companies to remove Judicial Watch’s posts:
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it received 624 pages of records from the office of the Secretary of State of Iowa, revealing how state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter and Facebook) to censor posts about the 2020 election: Records Show Iowa State Officials Coordinated with Big Tech to Censor Election Posts & the records show communications between the Secretary of State’s office and representatives of Facebook and Twitter to Target Judicial Watch Posts.
Judicial Watch received the records as a result of a June 2020 Iowa Open Records lawsuit that was filed after the Iowa Secretary of State failed to comply with a February 2020 request for records and communications about a Judicial Watch report regarding the accuracy of the state’s voter registration rolls (Judicial Watch v. Iowa Secretary of State(No. 05771 EQCE085973)). Judicial Watch was represented by Iowa lawyer Alan R. Ostergren of Des Moines, Iowa.
The records show that officials in the Iowa Secretary of State office on multiple occasions contacted officials from Facebook and Twitter to try to have these companies remove Judicial Watch posts that raised concernsabout Iowa’s failure to maintain accurate election rolls.
On February 3, 2020, at 5:19 p.m., Kevin Hall, the communications director for the Iowa Secretary of State, wrote in a February 3, 2020, email to Facebook official Rachel Holland:
Circling back with an update regarding the content posted by Judicial Watch. Our third-party fact checkers have rated this content false, and we have applied a filter over the content warning users before they click to see it that the content has been rated false by independent fact checkers.
Please continue to report violating content to us by emailing email@example.com, and copying me (RachelHolland@fb.com), as I will be on an airplane for the next couple hours. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any other matters.
A couple of hours later, Hall followed up, “Thank you! They have new posts up, doubling down on the false claims.”
And Holland responded, “Thanks for flagging- we’ve got a full team with eyes on this now and are applying the false filter to similar articles as well. I’ll send you an additional update shortly!”
That same day, Hall and Maria Benson, the director of communications at the National Association of Secretaries of State, both tried to convince Twitter to censor Judicial Watch’s posts but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Hall filed a report with Twitter, and Benson escalated it by looping in Kevin Kane from Twitter. On February 3, 2020, Benson wrote, “Iowa Secretary of State has reported the below election misinformation, but Twitter has declined to take it down. As you can see from facts the tweets are clearly wrong. I wanted to bring this to your attention to hopefully remedy the situation. I’ve cc’d Kevin Hall, their Communicators Director.”
Kane responded rejecting the request saying, “Thanks Maria – This was reviewed by our team and is not in violation of our election integrity policy as it does not suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when. where. or how to vote. I understand this is not the outcome you are seeking and appreciate you continuing to report Tweets to our team.”
In an email the next day, Hall wrote to Kane saying, “Facebook, thankfully, was helpful. I would suggest perhaps reviewing your policies at Twitter and putting them more in line with what Facebook is doing to counter election misinformation.”
After being rejected by Twitter, Benson emailed Brian Scully, an official at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, writing on February 3, 2020:
Can you report this as well? Hannity is now retweeting and Twitter isn’t playing ball with us. I’ve cc’d Kevin Hall who you met Saturday. He’s IA SOS’s Communications Director. He’s been reporting and playing wack a mole by trying to reply to misleading tweets.
Scully responded promising to contact Twitter. “Sorry … been out of pocket a bit. Will reach out to Twitter. Let me know if you get something.”
“These records are yet another example of state officials conspiring with Big Tech to deny Americans their First Amendment rights,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These records further show that Big Tech censorship is a government scandal: Iowa government officials worked with Facebook to remove posts they didn’t like, and Facebook bowed to this political pressure immediately. It should be disturbing to all Americans that government officials are working to censor speech they disagree with and that these behemoth companies often seem willing to roll over and censor free speech.”
Judicial Watch last week released records from the office of the Secretary of State of California revealing how state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor posts about the 2020 election. Included in these records were “misinformation briefings” emails that were compiled by communications firm SKDK, that lists Biden for President as their top client of 2020. The records show how the state agency successfully pressured YouTube to censor a Judicial Watch video concerning the vote by mail and a Judicial Watch lawsuit settlement about California voter roll clean up.
#AceNewsReport: May.05: To All friends, followers and readers this is a fellow bloggers post and a great writer and will be the first one l shall be sharing on here on occasions please enjoy Editor
Yesterday, 1st May 2021 marked the 26th Anniversary of Military-Police Operation Flash! Croatia marked the 26th anniversary of Operation Flash in the town of Okucani today, honouring the Croatian police and army that liberated about 500 square kilometres of territory occupied by Serb aggressors in Western Slavonia. The operation was launched on May 1 and ended on May 3, 1995. In that short time the Croatian troops and police regained control of 500 square kilometres of land, including the main west-east motorway and the railway line leading to Eastern Slavonia. 42 Croatians were killed and 162 wounded.
Croatian Communists Of Today: Hypocrites, Vultures and Yo-Yos
During the war, Okucani was the centre of the Serb rebellion and a staging area for their terrorist attacks in Western Slavonia. As their defeat progressed, the Serb aggressors organised and ordered the missiles attacks on Zagreb, Karlovac and Jastrebarsko. During the attacks against Zagreb on 2 May 1995, seven civilians were killed and 218 wounded. Serb rebel leader Milan Martic was sentenced by the UN tribunal ICTY to 35 years for war crimes committed during those missile attacks.
All the while, during the entire Croatian Homeland War today’s President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic hid, away from battle zones, from Croatian lines of defence and liberation, hid outside Croatia, wishing that Croatia never succeeds in its independence plight, in its defence from brutal aggression.
“We do this (passing unique law on veterans’ rights) because we are convinced that the Homeland War is the foundation of the Croatian state, that the freedom given to Croats by Croatian defenders is the most important value that we must nurture and protect and respect their sacrifice. Therefore, in the future we will do everything for the dignity of the Homeland War, for the respect of Croatian veterans and their families,” said Prime Minister Plenkovic in Okucani yesterday.
“On this day, now many years ago, Croatian heroes liberated this part of Croatia with determination, knowledge, patience and courage, and after the ‘Maslenica’ ’93 action they enabled a few months later in August ’95 that Croatia be finally merged into a whole and liberated. Those were a few good and a few brave people. It was about hundreds, maybe thousands of people. The rest of us were in Zrinjevac, Geneva, personnel services, and here, and on other battlefields in Croatia, a small number of people fought and to them eternally thank and glory to Croatian heroes,” President Milanovic said in Okucani yesterday.
What a bunch of hypocrites! They could not care less about these Croatian heroes of the 1990’s who sacrificed their lives and many of whom lost their life or limb for democracy, for freedom from communist Yugoslavia. The legislation regarding war-veterans’ rights Plenkovic boasts about is a sham and is still leaving thousands of Croatia’s defenders without a veteran status and access to health and pension services.
The hypocrisy of both the Prime Minister and the President of Croatia lies in many purposeful “omissions” and the most important one is that they have done absolutely nothing in removing from the Historical Foundations (of independent Croatia) of the Constitution of the Republic Croatia this paragraph:
“- the establishment of the foundations of state sovereignty during the course of the Second World War, as expressed in the decision of the Territorial Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (1943) in opposition to the proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (1941), and then in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Croatia (1947) and in all subsequent constitutions of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963-1990) …”
In essence the above paragraph that keeps or validates the communist regime and its mindset that prevents responsive legislation. Yugoslav communist regime did not, as they purport, liberate Croatia from Yugoslavia but kept it enslaved and oppressed within it. It murdered hundreds of thousands innocent Croats who actually fought for independence during WWII. It filled over a thousand of mass graves with Croatian patriot bodies. It falsified Croatia’s WWII history in order to promulgate hatred against freedom-loving Croats. Both Plenkovic and Milanovic promulgate the same lies about WWII independence fight in Croatia; they fail to even offer small amounts of funding for new research that is shedding light on the colossal lies their communist predecessors have heaped up against patriot Croats. They do, however, find funds to fund various NGO’s that continue justifying communist crimes and communist Yugoslavia!
In May 1991 almost 94% of Croatian voters voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia, which led to the declaration of independence. This also led to the bloodiest and most brutal escalation of Serb-led Yugoslav onslaught against Croatia. It was only a few years after the Homeland War ended that this war of defence was inserted into the Historical Foundations of independent Croatia of today. But the paragraph relating to Antifascists (communists) was not deleted! And therein lies the main reason why lustration did not occur!
Former communists in high positions, communist Yugoslavia operatives, retained positions to work against the very concept of an independent Croatia during peace time.
Prime Minister Plenkovic keeps rubbing salt on the Croatian independence fight wound, keeps insulting the very sacrifice Croatian defenders and people made for Croatian independence during 1990’s by embracing the 1990’s rebel Serb minority representatives in the Croatian Parliament as coalition partners in his government. “Thanks to Plenkovic” these Serbs, whose brothers, sisters, parents etc slaughtered Croatians during 1990’s, ethnically cleansed them from their homes, devastated and destroyed their properties, raped their women and girls…now dictated the political scene and government rudder that still tries to equate the aggressor with the victim!
President Milanovic continues to mimic a yoyo, just as he did when he was the Prime Minister some years ago. He cannot maintain stability of his political views nor his respect for the Homeland War and its true meaning. His statements confuse even the most prominent of political analysts, let alone ordinary citizens. One day he is full of praise of the communist regime and the next day he is full of praise for Croatian Homeland War heroes.
These vultures feed on the corpses of Croatian victims of Serb aggression while dining with the Serb aggressor and all the while their mind is communist red. With this political impasse and mindset, they seemingly retain some 26 to 30 % of voter body. They are the voters who most likely live in apartments and houses stolen by the Yugoslav communist regime from Croatian Jews and from Croatians who in WWII fought for Croatian independence. They are the voters whose families benefitted from the Yugoslav false economy that relied on foreign loans, rather than productivity at work. They are the voters who lift no fingers against widespread corruption and theft. They are the voters who look up to such a government and President for their continued sucking at a foreign purse – this time the EU purse – rather than develop new jobs within Croatia, to sustain independence.
It would be understatement to say that Croatia is now in a political crisis much more than ever in the past twenty years. The roots of this crisis are embedded in the fact that the meaning and values of the Croatia’s Homeland War and secession from communist Yugoslavia are simply not receiving due respect nor the deserved place in this nation of developing democracy. To illustrate this here is a translation of a poem published yesterday by Pater Ike Manduric, a leading Jesuit priest in Croatia in spiritual well-being of the community, a war veteran:
“The enemy thought that Croatia was weak,
That there is no strength.
But it didn’t know that there waa love.
And love is strong.
The enemy believed it had greater rights than others.
And that the Croatian home is not holy
That it is not important to God
That communism is God.
But it was all a lie.
Then the Flash exposed the lie
The occupier was struck by the truth:
Communism is a fraud and a lie
Croatia is as strong as life
The Croatian home is sacred.
Congratulations on the Flash!
And I want and invoke a new Flash
Which will shed light on the lies again
Because they started going crazy again
Again, some rely on lies.
And there will be a Flash, some new one, for this time, with new weapons, and by all the signs of the times it can be read yes, to the one who loves the Homeland.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: F-35B Lightning fast jets will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Group’s (CSG21) formidable power in the air:
‘UK F-35B fighter jets operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth will join Operation Shader in the fight against #Daesh these are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology, enabling them to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks’ This will be the first time UK fighter aircraft are embarked on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010, and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail the seas’
The renowned 617 Squadron RAF (‘The Dambusters’) will operate the jets to provide tangible and impactful support to counter-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP said:
The F-35B Lightning jets will pack a potent punch against Daesh and help prevent them from regaining a foothold in Iraq.
This is a prime example of the UK Armed Forces stepping forward with our allies to confront persistent threats around the world. It is Global Britain in action.
CSG21, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation and will set sail next month on its first operational deployment.
This is a joint Royal Air Force and Royal Navy deployment which is committed to confronting persistent threats around the world and make a meaningful contribution to global security.
The F-35B Lightning jets, which will operate from HMS Queen Elizabeth throughout the deployment, will make a significant contribution in degrading Daesh.
Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said:
This deployment represents the embodiment of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Capability and utilising the F-35Bs in the fight against Daesh will further demonstrate our commitment to securing their global defeat.
March 2021 saw the second anniversary of Daesh’s final and total loss of territory in Syria. However, there remain significant numbers of Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
The UK remains committed to defeating Daesh and enhancing security in the region, alongside the Iraqi Security Forces and our NATO allies.
Operation Shader is the UK’s contribution to the Global Coalition against Daesh.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: Todays selection of posts from across our publishing panel, Twitter & Telegram with Kindness & Love❤️’
Scotland’s papers: Election polls and veterans ‘witch hunt’
The Metro reports on two polls that are indicating a majority for the SNP, but with only 43% of voters saying they want an independence referendum in the next five years: The Metro is looking at data from YouGov for The Times and Opinium for Sky News:
The SNP is facing its worst result since 2007 according to polling in The Scotsman. It writes that the party is set for a “shock result” that will leave it short of a majority, in the poll conducted by Savanta ComRes for the newspaper.
The Scottish Daily Mail says there are “just 24 hours left to block the SNP” as it looks at polling data ahead of election day. It says the prospect of a Holyrood majority for Nicola Sturgeon’s party is “on a knife edge” as leaders faced each other in the final TV debate on the BBC last night.Calls for the “witch hunt” of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland to stop is the front page of The Scottish Daily Express.
Two former paratrooper who served during the Troubles were acquitted on Tuesday of the murder of an Official IRA man 50 years ago: The Northern Ireland veterans “witch hunt” is also the lead in the Daily Telegraph: The paper says campaigners and military leaders have demanded an end to prosecutions after the first of a series of trials “collapsed in just six days”.Support for Scottish independence “slips back” to 45%, the same level as 2014, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.
The paper also writes about calls to protect Northern Ireland veterans after the “farcical” collapse of the trial in Belfast: A mum who was jailed for six years for neglect after her daughter starved to death “in squalor” has been given a prison cleaning job, writes the Scottish Sun. It says her relatives are in “horror over her ploy” to get early parole.
The i newspaper writes that the UK’s “holiday list” for quarantine-free travel will be released on Friday: It says the Scottish government may advise against travel abroad for “slightly longer” than the UK government.
The National front page asks whether Douglas Ross is the “worst leader ever?”. It says the Scottish Conservative leaders was “on the ropes” during last night’s BBC leaders’ debate.A former surgeon “exposed himself” on a balcony amid a “bitter planning dispute” with his neighbours, writes The Courier as it reports on a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.A man is missing and feared dead after a late-night blaze reduced a house to rubble at the village of Dores near Inverness, reports the Press and Journal.
Plans for a new city centre complex with offices, flats and retail will create 900 jobs in Dundee, writes the Evening Telegraph.Edinburgh council chiefs have refused to reveal the names of officials on a panel reviewing the city’s historic links to slavery, fearing they will become targets for abuse, reports the Edinburgh Evening News. It says the man leading the probe, Sir Geoff Palmer, has labelled the abusers as “minnows”.
The Evening Express says “ambitious plans” to transform the site of a former BHS store in Aberdeen have been revealed by the city council.The Glasgow Times reports on a probe into a “huge blaze” in Glasgow city centre and says that police are appealing for witnesses.”Break it to us gently, Nasa” is the headline in the Daily Star, which reports that scientists have warned that the planet has ” no chance of surviving an asteroid collision”
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: This has led to a rise in demand for vessels to aid migrant Channel crossings, with demand likely to continue as weather conditions improve through spring and summer:
‘UK law enforcement detected in excess of eight thousand migrant arrivals throughout 2020’
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – NCA Issue a warning to maritime industry over organised crime links to small boats: ‘The alert warns that since global #COVID19 lockdown measures were imposed in March 2020 the number of migrants attempting to enter the UK using small boats has increased significantly’
Organised crime groups are known to target legitimate sellers of vessels and equipment such as outboard motors and life jackets, both in person and online. There are also incidents recorded of boats and equipment being stolen: The NCA have conducted a number of operations targeting those who supply boats to people smugglers, but the Agency is asking those in the industry to report concerns or suspicious activity relating to the purchase of boat equipment:
NCA Head of Organised Immigration Crime Operations, Miles Bonfield, said: “Today we are directly appealing to those within the marine and maritime industries to help us stop those involved in organised people smuggling: “ Crossing the channel in vessels like these is extremely dangerous and life threatening – but the organised crime groups involved don’t care about safety or welfare, they just see migrants as a commodity to be exploited: “ We’re already working closely with a range of partners in the UK and on the continent to target the supply of these vessels, but we are now asking that the UK industry helps us and report any suspicions they may have.”
The NCA alert outlines a number of examples of potentially suspicious activity, including:
Cash being used in large sums to make payment;
Unusual combination of boats and equipment in one transaction;
Enquiries about bulk purchase of equipment i.e. life jackets;
Repeat purchasing of boats and/or equipment from the same retailer;
Lack of concern about the condition of the boat or equipment being purchased, or an indication that it may not be for the buyers’ use;
Customers wanting to complete their transaction and collection as quickly as possible.
Online buyers travelling to collect the boat and/or avoiding providing a fixed delivery address.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, commented: “ We are pleased to be working with the NCA to help raise awareness of this concerning issue and to reduce criminal activity. The NCA plays a key role in supporting the security and safety of the marine industry, and today’s warning about organised crime linked to small boats in particular is ultimately a safety issue and one that British Marine and our members take very seriously.
“The UK leisure marine industry must always play it’s part and I am confident that British Marine members will take the lead in this area and share the warning and ‘red flags’ to be mindful of within their businesses.”
Miles Bonfield added: “ Essentially we want people to follow their gut feeling. They know their industry and their customers well. If they sense something isn’t quite right or seems unusual, then please report it to the charity Crimestoppers, either by phone on 0800 555 111 or online. You will remain anonymous.”
Following a number of attempted thefts boat and marine equipment owners are also being asked to pay particular attention to security guidelines, ensuring vessels and equipment are secured accordingly: They can also assist by being vigilant and reporting any strange activity or behaviour, and ensure thefts are promptly reported, particularly vessels or engines.
Those contacting Crimestoppers with information should quote the alert reference ‘0647-OIC’. Anyone who lives or works around our coastline, marinas, ports or waterways and witnesses something they believe to be suspicious can always call the police on 101, quoting Project KRAKEN, or visit gov.uk/report-border-crime.
#AceNewsReport – May,04: Her win came as a surprise to political observers, who noted how much time and money the BJP invested in the state: Mr Modi was even accused of focusing on polls rather than the #pandemic:
WEST BENGAL: India Elections: Modi party defeated in West Bengal battleground: The BJP targeted West Bengal heavily during campaigning but the state was comfortably held by the incumbent, Mamata Banerjee, a fierce Modi critic the daughter of Bengal’ taking on India’s PM
Mr Modi and his home minister made dozens of speeches in West Bengal and were accused of focusing on the polls rather than the pandemic.
What happened in West Bengal?
With almost all the results counted, the Trinamool Congress party (TMC) led by the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has won more than 200 seats in the 294-seat assembly.
The results are set to make Ms Banerjee the leader of West Bengal for a third time. She is also India’s only female chief minister.
Celebrating the win, she said West Bengal had “saved” India with the result and tackling Covid-19 would be her first priority.
Getty ImagesMamata Banerjee has been a fierce critic of Prime Minister Modi
Victory was soured by the loss of her seat in Nandigram to a former aide turned defector to the BJP. She has said she will challenge the result in court but may have to run again to remain chief minister.
West Bengal, home to 90 million people and the city of Kolkata, is of particular interest to election watchers. It is one of the few states that have never been governed by Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP.
Although assembly elections were held in five Indian states, the real battle was over West Bengal.
The BJP had pulled out all the stops for electioneering, with PM Narendra Modi leading its campaign from the front.
To enhance his appeal further to the Bengali voter, he had grown his beard long, with his supporters drawing comparisons with the state’s much loved icon – Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.
But in the end, it all came to nothing.
At a time when a deadly second wave of coronavirus swept India and led thousands of Indians across the country to beg for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, Mr Modi’s frequent visits to the state to address huge rallies were called out as a major failure of his prime ministerial duties.
So Mamata Banerjee fought back anti-incumbency, the BJP’s mammoth election machinery, last-minute desertions from within her own party, and a largely unfriendly media to return for a third term.
Congratulating Ms Banerjee in a tweet, Mr Modi also noted: “From a negligible presence earlier [in West Bengal], BJP’s presence has significantly increased.”
Leader of the opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi congratulated Ms Banerjee for “soundly defeating the BJP” even though his party lost a significant number of seats in the state.
He was among a number of regional opposition leaders to revel in Ms Banerjee’s win.
Social media was flooded with memes and posts about the success of “Didi” – a nickname for Ms Banerjee, meaning older sister.
Voting in the state was held in eight phases over a month. The Election Commission is facing a great deal of criticism for refusing to reduce the number of phases and make campaigning virtual. Critics have accused the commission of being controlled by the BJP.
A number of congratulatory tweets noted that the TMC had won “despite” the commission.
As well as the north-eastern states of West Bengal and Assam, there was voting in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the South Indian union territory of Pondicherry, and local council elections in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in the north and Telangana in the south.
In Tamil Nadu, the main regional opposition party, the DMK, took power. A left-wing coalition retained power in Kerala, while a BJP-led alliance won no seats there.
On top of the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts saw the results as showing the limits of the BJP’s rhetoric in states with sizeable Muslim populations.
What are India’s latest Covid figures?
India has recorded more than 19 million cases of coronavirus – second only to the US. It has also confirmed more than 218,000 deaths, though the real toll is thought to be far higher.
Experts have cited low testing rates and the number of people dying at home, especially in rural areas, as contributing factors to under-reported figures.
The country’s previous highest daily death toll, also reported this week, was 3,645.
The head of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine, has blamed India’s government for the shortage of Covid jabs.
Adar Poonawalla told the Financial Times that initially Narendra Modi’s government only ordered 21 million doses, and a larger order was not placed until March, when the second wave of the pandemic had already hit India. The country has a population of 1.3 billion people.
In a separate statement, Mr Poonawalla said the Serum Institute of India has now received a total order of more than 260 million doses.
Brazil and the US have both registered daily tolls of more than 4,000 during the course of the pandemic.
In India, distressing images of families begging for hospital beds and life-saving supplies have been emerging for more than 10 days, while morgues and crematoriums remain overwhelmed.The BBC’s Yogita Limaye reports from a hospital in Delhi, which is running low on beds and oxygen
#AceNewsReport – May.04: A devastating fire at a historic boatyard has destroyed a yacht that was used to rescue troops from Dunkirk during the Second World War:
Historic ship used to save people from Dunkirk in WW2 destroyed in boatyard fire: ‘The Lady Gay was lost in the blaze on Platts Eyot in Hampton, south west London, on Monday, according to the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships’
#AceNewsReport – May.04: Emergency services freed ‘a number of people’ who were trapped, while witnesses said a ‘hero’ pulled neighbours from the wreckage of the terraced home in Mill View:
Two casualties after huge explosion rips through houses trapping people inside: ‘Residents reported hearing an explosion that shook their houses in the street in Willesborough, Ashford, shortly before 8am on Tuesday morning according to MetroUK today’
#AceNewsReport – May.04: In addition to the deaths, at least 70 people were injured in the wreck on the metro’s Line 12, the mayor said.Media stand at a police barricade barring access to the scene of the train crash:
The train collapsed down toward the road, trapping at least one car under rubble, according to authorities and firefighters and rescue personnel work to recover victims from a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed according to AP
#AceNewsReport – May.04: The federal court case is being brought by Epic Games, maker of the popular video game Fortnite. Epic wants to topple the so-called “walled garden” of the app store, which Apple started building 13 years ago as part of a strategy masterminded by co-founder Steve Jobs:
CALIFORNIA: Apple’s app store goes on trial in threat to ‘walled garden’ in case brought by video game ‘Fortnight’ that will last until at least to end of May’
Epic charges that Apple has transformed a once-tiny digital storefront into an illegal monopoly that squeezes mobile apps for a significant slice of their earnings. Apple takes a commission of 15% to 30% on purchases made within apps, including everything from digital items in games to subscriptions. Apple denies Epic’s claims.
Apple’s highly successful formula has helped turn the iPhone maker into one of the world’s most profitable companies, one with a market value that now tops $2.2 trillion.
Privately held Epic is puny by comparison, with an estimated market value of $30 billion. Its aspirations to get bigger hinge in part on its plan to offer an alternative app store on the iPhone. The North Carolina company also wants to break free of Apple’s commissions. Epic says it forked over hundreds of millions of dollars to Apple before it expelled Fortnite from its app store last August, after Epic added a payment system that bypassed Apple.
Epic then sued Apple, prompting a courtroom drama that could shed new light on Apple’s management of its app store. Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney will testify in a Oakland, California federal courtroom that will be set up to allow for social distancing and will require masks at all times.
Neither side wanted a jury trial, leaving the decision to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who already seems to know her ruling will probably be appealed, given the stakes in the case.
Much of the evidence will revolve around arcane but crucial arguments about market definitions.
Epic contends the iPhone has become so ingrained in society that the device and its ecosystem have turned into a monopoly Apple can exploit to unfairly enrich itself and thwart competition.
Apple claims it faces significant competition from various alternatives to video games on iPhones. For instance, it points out that about 2 billion other smartphones don’t run iPhone software or work with its app store — primarily those relying on Google’s Android system. Epic has filed a separate case against Google, accusing it of illegally gouging apps through its own app store for Android devices.
Apple will also depict Epic as a desperate company hungry for sources of revenue beyond the aging Fortnite. It claims Epic merely wants to freeload off an iPhone ecosystem in which Apple has invested more than $100 billion over the past 15 years.
Estimates of Apple’s app store revenue range from $15 billion to $18 billion annually. Apple disputes those estimates, although it hasn’t publicly disclosed its own figures. Instead, it has emphasized that it doesn’t collect a cent from 85% of the apps in its store.
The commissions it pockets, Apple says, are a reasonable way for the company to recoup its investment while financing an app review process it calls essential to preserving the security of apps and their users. About 40% of the roughly 100,000 apps submitted for review each week are rejected for some sort of problem, according to Kyle Andeer, Apple’s chief compliance officer.
Epic will try to prove that Apple uses the security issue to disguise its true motivation — maintaining a monopoly that wrings more profits from app makers who can’t afford not to be available on the iPhone.
But the smaller company may face an uphill battle. Last fall, the judge expressed some skepticism in court before denying Epic’s request to reinstate Fortnite on Apple’s app store pending the outcome of the trial. At that time, Gonzalez Rogers asserted that Epic’s claims were “at the frontier edges of antitrust law.”
The trial is expected to last most of May, with a decision to come in the ensuing weeks.
#AceNewsReport – May.03: Based on that report, Raab announced on Saturday that the World Service would receive £8 million in extra funding to “tackle harmful disinformation, challenge inaccurate reporting around the world and improve digital engagement.” The fresh funding comes on top of the £378 million the service has received from the FCDO since 2016:
LONDON: BBC gets government funding for global crusade against ‘fake news’ which is broadcast in more than 40 languages to 350 million listeners per week, the BBC World Service brings news and debate from London to the furthest reaches of the globe.
Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the British taxpayer, and some limited advertising, the service gives the British government worldwide messaging power via a news organization Raab described on Saturday as “unbiased and impartial.” As
Behind the veneer of impartiality, the World Service is viewed by the British government as a tool. This year’s ‘Integrated Review’, a document that lays out London’s foreign policy and defense priorities, identified the World Service as an instrument of “soft power” for Britain – one of a range of tools to be used against “systemic competitors like Russia and China.”
Raab accused “some states” of producing “harmful content” and “fake news around the coronavirus pandemic,” including content “encouraging scepticism around vaccines.” Promoting vaccines has been a key goal of the British government for several months now, to the point where military intelligence units and Government Communications Headquarters spies have reportedly been deployed to wage “information warfare” against anti-vaxx internet posts.
The messaging war around the coronavirus is the only clear example cited by Raab, and his announcement speaks of a broader war against “global disinformation,”“inaccurate reporting,” and “states and criminal gangs”who “twist the news to exploit others.” These terms are not backed up with examples, and are contentious in their own right. “Fake news,” for instance, was a term made famous during Donald Trump’s presidency, and was used by both Trump and the press to describe each other’s messaging.
FCDO Counter Disinformation & Media Development chief Andy Pryce, explained the government’s mission in no uncertain terms at a 2018 meeting, during which he said its ultimate goal was to “weaken the Russian state’s influence” via the co-option of journalists and media organizations.
The BBC isn’t the only “impartial” news service involved in the FCDO’s influence campaign. The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) also volunteered its services, establishing news outlets in “countries of interest”to the FCDO. A cited example of this activity is Aswat Masriya, an “independent” media outlet in Egypt, created by TRF in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Given the history of partnership between the BBC and the FCDO, the latest investment is likely aimed more at ensuring the British government’s version of the truth wins out against foreign powers than it is in fighting falsehood and disinformation:
#AceNewsReport – May.04: Russia has arrested on Thursday Aslambek Ezhayev, the director of the largest Islamic publishing house in Russia, “Ummah”, on suspicion of financing #IsllamicState according to the Federal Security Service.
Russia: Arrests the founder of the largest Islamic publishing house in Russia for financing #IslamicState acordsing to Shafaq, News on April 30, 2021”
The official representative of the Russian Investigation Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said today, Friday investigators, in cooperation with the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Interior, found that Ezhayev is involved in financing ISIS terrorist group.
Investigations revealed that since 2012, Ezhayev had held “multiple secret meetings with his counterparts and received funds to finance ISIS”
“Later, He transferred more than 34 million rubles (more than 455 thousand dollars) to people who are wanted in Russia for committing terrorist crimes.”…
#AceNewsReport – May.04: Officials say Boystown had more than 400,000 registered users: They say some images showed the most serious sexual abuse of young children:
GERMANY: DARKNET: The EU police agency Europol says it will also examine intelligence gained from the operation, and “more arrests and rescues are to be expected globally” on that basis as four held in German-led raid on huge child sexual abuse network: ‘The international operation, involving several police forces, targeted a dark net platform called Boystown, which has now been taken down’
2 hours ago
The dark net is an internet area beyond the reach of mainstream search engines.
The German-led investigation involved law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the US and Canada.
Several related paedophile chat sites on the dark net were also dismantled, Europol says.
German police say three men detained since mid-April are believed to have run the paedophile network: one aged 40 from Paderborn, one aged 49 from the Munich area and a 58-year-old from north Germany who has been living in South America for several years. He was detained in Paraguay’s Concepción region under an international arrest warrant, and German authorities have asked for his extradition.
The fourth suspect is a 64-year-old from Hamburg who was allegedly one of the most active members, responsible for more than 3,500 posts.
The US police battling against child abusers on the internet (2014)
#AceNewsReport – May.03: In February, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families (Task Force) to identify parents and children separated by the prior administration. The order directed the Task Force to implement comprehensive strategies that will bring families back together and ensure the families are provided support.
Biden Administration Begins This Week to Reunite Families Separated Under the Prior Administration: “The Family Reunification Task Force has been working day and night, across the federal government and with counsel for the families and our foreign partners, to address the prior administration’s cruel separation of children from their parents,” said Secretary Mayorkas, who serves as the Chair of the Task Force. “Today is just the beginning. We are reuniting the first group of families, many more will follow, and we recognize the importance of providing these families with the stability and resources they need to heal.”
The Task Force has been working tirelessly to establish a complete database of separated families, correct inaccuracies in the files they were provided, and build the processes to find every family and give them the opportunity to reunite and heal. The Task Force is in the process of reviewing additional cases for reunification in the coming months. The Task Force’s initial report is due on June 2, 2021, and will provide a full update on the Task Force’s progress.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leads the President’s Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families and is joined by the Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. Michelle Brané serves as the Task Force’s Executive Director. While the Task Force is leveraging existing authorities, the reunification effort is novel work that has required significant interagency coordination:
DHS has established a process for accepting parole requests and stands ready to process and receive families as they request to enter the U.S.
The Department of Health and Human Services is working on facilitating services to support harmed families.
The Department of State has developed a streamlined system for processing in-country requests for travel documents to enter the U.S.
The Department of Justice supports the Task Force in related settlement negotiation efforts.
While coordinating all these efforts, the Task Force is also exploring options for long term legal stability for reunified families and identifying and recommending policies to avoid repeating these unnecessary and cruel separations in the future. The Task Force has made critical progress in a short period of time, resulting in reunifications starting this week and many more in the weeks ahead.
#AceNewsReport – May.03: The original call was for a handful of people overboard but as rescuers arrived in boats and jet skis they quickly realized “it was going to be a bigger situation with more people,” said San Diego Lifeguard Services Lt. Rick Romero.
Associated Press: San Diego: at least three killed and 27-hospitalised after boat capsizes & Lifeguards, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies responded around 10:30 a.m. following reports of an overturned vessel in the waves near the rugged peninsula of Point Loma, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
“There are people in the water, drowning, getting sucked out the rip current there,” he said.
Seven people were pulled from the waves, including three who drowned, said Romero. One person was rescued from a cliff and 22 others managed to make it to shore on their own, he said.
“Once we arrived on scene, the boat had basically been broken apart,” Romero said. “Conditions were pretty rough: 5 to 6 feet of surf, windy, cold.”
A total of 27 people were transported to hospitals with “a wide variety of injuries” including hypothermia, Romero said. Most of the victims were able to walk themselves to ambulances, he said.
Officials said the group was overcrowded on a 40-foot (12-meter) cabin cruiser that is larger than the typical open-top wooden panga-style boats often used by smugglers to bring people illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.
“Every indication from our perspective was this was a smuggling vessel. We haven’t confirmed their nationality,” said Jeff Stephenson, a supervising agent with U.S. Border Patrol.
Under a pandemic-related order in effect since March 2020, migrants from Mexico and people from Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras picked up at the border are immediately expelled to Mexico without an opportunity to seek asylum. President Joe Biden has exempted unaccompanied children from expulsions but the vast majority of adults are quickly sent back without facing any consequences.
Border Patrol agents went to hospitals to interview survivors of the capsizing, including the boat’s captain who Stephenson described as a “suspected smuggler.” Smugglers typically face federal charges and those being smuggled are usually deported.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Jose Ysea said when he arrived on scene near the Cabrillo National Monument there was a “large debris field” of splintered wood and other items in the choppy waters.
“In that area of Point Loma it’s very rocky. It’s likely the waves just kept pounding the boat, breaking it apart,” he said.
There were life preservers on board, but it wasn’t known how many or whether any passengers were wearing them, officials said.
Among the rescuers was an unnamed Navy sailor who was in the area with his family and jumped in the water to assist someone in an effort described by Romero as a “huge help.”
Officials believed everyone on board was accounted for right away, but crews in boats and aircraft continued to search the area for several hours for other possible survivors, Ysea said.
On Thursday, border officials intercepted a panga-type vessel traveling without navigation lights 11 miles (18 kilometers) off the coast of Point Loma with 21 people on board. The crew took all 15 men and six women into custody. Agents determined all were Mexican citizens with no legal status to enter the U.S., according to a statement released by Customs and Border Protection. Two of the people on the boat, the suspected smugglers, will face charges, it said.
Border Patrol on Friday said law enforcement officials would be ramping up operations to disrupt maritime smuggling off the coast of San Diego this weekend.
As warmer weather comes to San Diego, there is a misperception that it will make illegal crossings safer or easier, the agency said in a statement.
In early March, an SUV packed with migrants collided with a tractor-trailer in the farming community of Holtville, California, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of San Diego. The crash killed 13 of 25 people inside 1997 Ford Expedition, including the driver, in one of the deadliest border-related crashes in U.S. history.
#AceNewsReport – May.03: Olympic National Park Rangers contacted Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders at about midnight Sunday requesting air rescue assistance for two people stranded about 60 feet high on a cliff’s ledge after climbing to retreat from rising tides:
Coast Guard rescues 2 hikers stranded on ledge in Olympic National Park, WA Rescued were Tessa Allen and Reed Farber, both in their 20s.
U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 05/02/2021 09:09 PM EDTNews Release
Coast Guard rescues 2 hikers stranded on ledge in Olympic National Park, WA
Editors’ Note: Click on image to download video.
Park Rangers requested a Coast Guard helicopter rescue Allen and Farber due to their inaccessible location to ground rescue crews.
A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew launched and quickly found the hikers when they spotted a cell phone light from the cliffside.
After realizing the hikers were actually about 150 feet from the water line, and huddled closely on a small ledge, the aircrew immediately knew the situation was life-threatening, and it was critical to hoist Allen and Farber as soon as safely possible.
When the rescue swimmer deployed from the helicopter to hoist the hikers, the brittle condition of the cliff’s face made establishing secure contact challenging as he worked to prepare Allen and Farber to be hoisted into the aircraft. The pilots, hovering about 240 feet above the hikers and rescue swimmer and near the limit of their hoist cable, kept critical attention focused on the nearby trees and dangerous pitch of the cliff’s ledge.
“The time of day and location of the hikers made this, by far, the most difficult hoist of my career,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sammy Hill, the aircraft commander for the rescue. “This was also the first operational rescue for both our rescue swimmer and flight mechanic. Considering the dark and perilous conditions, they did a commendable job saving the lives of these two people in their unprecedented first rescue.”
The Coast Guard aircrew hoisted the hikers from the ledge at about 2 a.m. and took them to Forks Airport where they were reported to be in good condition.
Hill also noted the success of this rescue is attributed to the joint unit and agency collaboration between the park rangers and multiple Coast Guard units and watchstanders.
The Coast Guard reminds hikers to always know the tide schedule while exploring near the beach and to always have a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency. The battery on the cell phone these hikers used to vector in their rescuers died just moments after the pilots spotted their location.
#AceNewsReport – May.03: A truck driver from Luton has been jailed for attempting to smuggle a group of migrants out of the UK:
NCA Report: Romanian truck driver tried to smuggle 17 migrants out of the UK: Romanian national Alexandru Fuiorea, 30, of Twyford Drive, was arrested at the M20 Medway Services on 4 October 2020.
His vehicle was searched by officers from the NCA and Kent Police, who found 17 migrants in the trailer. They were a mixture of Tunisian, Moroccan, Bangladeshi, Afghan, Indian and Pakistani nationals. The trailer was otherwise empty. The migrants were handed to the immigration authorities. A small amount of cannabis was found in the cab.
Fuiorea was charged with facilitating illegal immigration and possession of a controlled drug, and admitted these offences during a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on 18 December. He was sentenced to three years and eight months for the facilitation offence and one month for the drugs offence (to run currently) at the same court today (30 April).
NCA branch commander Andy Noyes said: “The organised criminals behind people smuggling move migrants across borders in both directions. This threatens the security of both the UK and France, while putting lives at risk: “ Enablers like Alexandru Fuiorea make these dangerous trips possible, in exchange for a fee: “ The sentence handed to him should serve as a warning to anyone thinking of getting involved in such criminality. The NCA and our law enforcement partners are determined to catch you and bring you before the courts.”