BBC Black tv character Idris elba Intelwars Luther UK

Diversity exec: Idris Elba TV character ‘doesn’t have any black friends’ so his cop drama Luther ‘doesn’t feel authentic’

Actor Idris Elba’s character on “Luther,” a British police drama, “doesn’t feel authentic” because “he doesn’t have any black friends” and “doesn’t eat any Caribbean food,” according a BBC diversity executive, Yahoo Celebrity UK reported.

What are the details?

The outlet reported that the comments came from Miranda Wayland, the BBC’s head of creative diversity.

“When [Luther] first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, black character lead,” Wayland told the MIPTV media conference, according to Yahoo Celebrity UK. “We all fell in love with him. Who didn’t, right? But after you got into about the second series you got kind of like, ‘Okay, he doesn’t have any black friends, he doesn’t eat any Caribbean food, this doesn’t feel authentic.””

Wayland also said, “It’s about making sure that everything around [characters] – their environment, their culture, the set – is absolutely reflective,” Unilad reported, citing the Times.

White creator of ‘Luther’ has another view

But Neil Cross, the creator of “Luther,” has previously addressed Elba’s character, Metro reported, and noted Luther’s race wasn’t a consideration.

“I have no knowledge or expertise or right to try to tackle in some way the experience of being a black man in modern Britain,” Cross said, according to Metro. “It would have been an act of tremendous arrogance for me to try to write a black character. We would have ended up with a slightly embarrassed, ignorant, middle-class, white writer’s idea of a black character.”

Here’s a recent trailer:


What did the BBC have to say?

In response to Wayland’s comments, the BBC told Metro that “we are tremendously proud” of the “Luther” series and that “of course people can have open discussions about our shows, but that doesn’t mean it’s a statement of policy.”

Metro said Wayland was appointed as the network’s head of creative diversity in February 2020 “as part of the corporation’s commitment to increasing on-air diversity.”

#BreakTheGlass with Miranda Wayland

Anything else?

“Luther” features Elba as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther and Ruth Wilson as his adversary Alice Morgan, Yahoo Celebrity UK said, adding that the hit show launched in 2010 and ran for five series until 2019.

Apology Crime free speech Hate speech Intelwars lbgtq offensive speech Police UK

Police billboard warns UK citizens that ‘being offensive’ is against the law — and the backlash is brutal

A photo of a billboard displayed on a street by Merseyside Police in the United Kingdom has been getting a good bit of attention.

Meant to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community and encourage people to report hate crimes, the banner warned citizens that “being offensive is an offence,” Metro reported.

What was the reaction?

After the photo of the banner hit Twitter over the weekend, folks hit back — hard:

“Utterly chilling,” one commenter wrote. “In a free society the right to be offensive is fundamental. This isn’t North Korea!”

Others reacted similarly:

  • “Being offensive is NOT an offence,” another user wrote, “despite your nonsense corrupted interpretation of hate crime laws, sometimes in debate you may offend people who are easily offended … that is NOT a crime … it’s debate, and it’s time you stopped the bloody overreach.”
  • “I’m a gay man, and I don’t appreciate this kind of heavy-handed intimidation telling people how to speak and think,” another user said. “[P]eoples’ minds change through dialogue … not by you telling people what they can say.”
  • “According to your van, being ‘offensive’ is actually a crime — and there’s a big man with a stick to get the message across,” another user said. “Do you actually understand freedom of speech as a right in this country?”
  • “This is a catastrophe. I’m gay, and I spent a chunk of my childhood living in Bromborough. You’ve harmed gay people with this crap because it looks like we’re demanding special treatment,” another commenter noted. “It’s a horrible look. Just get back to proper policing.”

And we can always count on British TV host Piers Morgan to properly lampoon governmental attempts to regulate speech, and he blasted police for the billboard on “Good Morning Britain”:

What happened next?

Soon after the backlash hit, Merseyside Police apologized for the message conveyed on the billboard.

“We would like to clarify that ‘being offensive’ is not in itself an ‘offense,'” Superintendent Martin Earl noted in a Monday statement, adding that although “well-intentioned,” the message “was incorrect, and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

Earl still emphasized that “hate crime is an offence and will not be tolerated” and “can come in various guises that can include assault, criminal damage, verbal, and written online abuse.”

Anything else?

U.K. free speech and hate crime law differ from American law. According to the Daily Mail, “general offensive comments are not crimes” across the pond. In addition, a hate crime perpetrator must be “motivated by hostility or demonstrating hostility toward the victim” based on the victim’s “protected characteristics” (e.g., disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or transgender identity), the outlet added.

More from the Daily Mail:

A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator can also be a friend, carer, or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose.

However, even comments that do not qualify as hate crimes can be logged by police as “non-crime hate incidents.”

Reports of non-crime hate incidents can show up in criminal record checks for six years, yet there are no grounds to appeal against them.

Some 120,000 people have received them so far.

breastfeeding Chestfeeding hospitals Inclusive language Intelwars Midwives Transgender activism UK watch

‘It’s nonsense’: Piers Morgan blasts policy replacing ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘chestfeeding’ in transgender-inclusive effort at UK hospital

UK talk-show host Piers Morgan tore into a transgender-inclusive policy that instructs midwives at one hospital to say “chestfeeding” instead of “breastfeeding” among other language changes.

What did he say?

Morgan — who’s famously against political correctness — piped up on Wednesday’s episode of “Good Morning Britain” to take issue with the story he saw reported on the front page of the Times.

“Midwives have been told to refer to ‘chestfeeding’ rather than ‘breastfeeding’ and replace the term ‘mother’ with ‘birthing parent,'” Morgan said before reading a Twitter user’s post that said, “I’m transgender myself, and Morgan is 100 percent correct. This isn’t what the majority of transpeople ask for, and it hinders our rights, not helps us.”

Morgan continued: “That’s my point … I want transgender people to have respect and dignity and equality. I don’t think you get there by telling midwives to stop using the term ‘breastfeeding’ because it may upset a few people when 99% of the people in there are breastfeeding. It’s nonsense, and this kind of PC-cop nonsense with the language … it has the opposite effect to what you think it does. It annoys people … it doesn’t bring you any inclusivity. It becomes exclusive; it alienates people.”

Here’s the clip:

What else do we know about the policy?

According to the Times, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is the first in the country to formally implement such a policy for its maternity services department, which now will be called “perinatal services.”

Staff also have to been told to replace “breastmilk” with the terms “human milk,” “breast/chestmilk,” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent,” the paper said.

Other language changes include replacing “woman” with “woman or person” and “father” with “parent,” “co-parent,” or “second biological parent,” depending on the circumstances, the Times reported.

What else has Morgan said?

Morgan is a classical liberal who highly values free speech and takes issue with those who try to squelch it — but he appears to have a special place in his heart for those who tout politically correct language.

In 2019, Morgan made big headlines when he lampooned the arrival of a gender-neutral penguin at London’s Sea Life, which prompted the “Good Morning Britain” co-host to announce that he was now identifying as a “two-spirit penguin” — a reference to a “two-spirit person” as one of 100 genders.

Afterward, the UK’s communications regulator got almost 1,000 complaints from viewers over Morgan’s jab — but he was eventually cleared as the regulator, Ofcom, wouldn’t investigate him.

Also in 2019, Morgan appeared on a Sunday program hosted by the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro and ripped fellow liberals who’ve “become utterly, pathetically illiberal” and have embraced a “version of fascism.”

And back in 2017 when violent, left-wing protests broke out over conservatives giving speeches on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, leading the school to cancel conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter’s speech over security concerns, Morgan hit back in a Daily Mail column saying that while Coulter is “a woman whose opinions I love to hate,” UC Berkeley was way off base.

He wrote that the “truth about many modern liberals is that they don’t believe in free speech at all” except “if people agree with them.” He added that if liberals “don’t like what they’re hearing, they scream and shout, punch and kick, petrol bomb and stab, and furiously demand the offender be silenced and banned.”

“This dramatic shift in liberal behavior from peaceful protest to violent hateful censorship is a vile, virulent virus that first infected vast swathes of America intelligentsia and has now spread across to my own country, Britain,” Morgan added.

Facebook Facebook posts Facebook users penalized Flagging posts Intelwars Language barrier Misogyny Plymouth hoe UK

Facebook sorry after reportedly deleting posts about the UK’s Plymouth Hoe and penalizing posters

Looks like a Facebook algorithm needs a course in European history.

Because the venerable social media giant apparently with wisdom out the wazoo now has some egg on its face. Or perhaps a full English breakfast.

What are the details?

The hubbub concerns the Plymouth Hoe, a historic seafaring site on England’s coast. Here’s what the Visit Plymouth website says about “the Hoe”:

It is here where Sir Francis Drake, intrepid explorer and local hero, is immortalized in a statue, situated just a few meters from the green where he finished his game of bowls before heading out to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588.

At the eastern end of the Hoe you’ll find The Royal Citadel, the most impressive 17th century fortress in Britain and for many years England’s most important defense against attack from the sea. The Citadel has been in constant military occupation since it was built and today it is home to some of Plymouth’s modern heroes — the troops of 29 Commando Royal Artillery.

The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “hoe,” the Guardian reported, which is a sloping ridge shaped like an inverted foot and heel.

But some Facebook users got in trouble after referring to the landmark in recent posts, presumably because “hoe” is considered a misogynist term elsewhere.

The administrator of one Plymouth Facebook page warned its users to be careful when mentioning the Hoe, the paper said.

“Just a quick post to say anyone living Plymouth h o e, please don’t write it as one word,” the message read, according to the Guardian. “Facebook are saying it’s harassment and muting people and giving them a Facebook ban. It’s not us doing that.”

One Facebook user’s comments were removed on several occasions, the paper said, adding that, “Now I am writing Oe.”

Another user told the Guardian that “someone asked me where I swam in Plymouth, and I replied, ‘Plymouth H O E.’ I got told off for bad language and could not comment for two days.”

Still another Facebook poster noted that when she mentioned the Hoe, she received the following message: “Are you sure you want to post this, it may be deemed offensive to some?” the paper said.


When all was said and done, Facebook apologized for its mistaken actions and promised to take steps to ensure residents and visitors can use the term “hoe” in relation to the Devon landmark, the Guardian said.

“These posts were removed in error, and we apologize to those who were affected,” a Facebook spokesperson said, according to the paper. “We’re looking into what happened and will take steps to rectify the error.”

Coronavirus lockdown Covid-19 tyranny fines Intelwars Police Sledding Snowball fights UK

Cops threaten expensive fines — for snowball fighting, sledding — amid strict COVID-19 lockdown in UK

Police in the United Kingdom are threatening to hand out £200 fines (about $275) for those who dare venture outdoors to enjoy the recent snowfall that reached half a foot in some places, the Mirror reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

And sledding or snowball fighting? That’ll earn you a ticket from the sheriff of Nottingham, mate.

What are the details?

The paper said the snowfall attracted large outdoor crowds over the weekend, but police in London, Surrey, and Wiltshire warned winter revelers to not disobey COVID-19 lockdown rules even with members of their own households.

Cops in Swindon broke up a Sunday sledding soiree of 200 people at Coate Water Country Park, the Mirror said, and Surrey Police handed out £200 fines to two carloads of men “out looking at the snow.”

The paper said Home Secretary Priti Patel and police have vowed to “get tougher on people flouting rules aimed at curbing the spread of the disease and saving lives.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Government guidance says citizens can leave their residences for exercise but only once daily, the Mirror noted, adding that approved forms of exercise include but are not limited to running, cycling, walking, and swimming. When others are around, people must stay two meters apart from all those not in your household, the paper added.

Alarm bells ringing

“We are currently responding to reports of about 150 children and about 50 adults gathering in the Sevenfields area of Swindon and concerns have been raised that they are not abiding by the coronavirus guidelines,” Swindon Police wrote Sunday on Facebook, the Mirror said. “Please do not gather in large groups — you are reminded that Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued to those who do not abide by the regulations. We are in the midst of a pandemic and failing to socially distance and wear face masks could aid the spread of the virus.”

Wiltshire Police Inspector Louis McCoy on Sunday wrote, “I don’t want to be dealing with [sledders] and snowball fights. There’s still a lockdown on. Think about it; don’t be tempted,” the paper reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit said it fined two carloads of men who were out for a drive to and said they were “looking at the snow,” the Mirror said.

“We stopped two cars that were traveling in convoy with each other in Guildford,” the tweet read, according to the paper. “The cars contained four men, all from different households … Four £200 COVID fines issued.”

Surrey Police also tweeted: “We are currently receiving lots of calls and reports relating to snowballs being thrown and people outside [sledding]. Enjoy the snow today, but please don’t involve other people, particularly more vulnerable residents. Please stay safe and remember that COVID regulations do still apply,” the Mirror said.

Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit said it handed out fines after a family’s car spun into a ditch, the paper reported, adding that “3 police cars, 2 ambulances, 1 doctor car, and 2 fire crews” were called, and that “tickets were issued.”

The Mirror said officers in Merton, south London, wrote: “Sorry to be ‘that grumpy relative,’ but with the snow coming down the way it is, please drive carefully. And if you’re going to have a snowball fight, please stick to your bubbles. Also do not eat yellow snow.”

Not everyone took it well

There was some pushback against police interfering in the fun — and some figured officers might have better things to to:

  • “Any chance you could use the time when you’re not stopping snowball fights and [sledding] to find my stolen car?” one person wrote back, the Mirror said.
  • Another asked, “So is taking the kids out sledging not exercise?” the paper noted.
  • “Do you think maybe it’s about time the police stopped disgracing themselves by enforcing laws that don’t actually exist?” another person asked, the Mirror reported.

UK enjoys blankets of snow ahead of wet weather returning

actor Cancel culture free expression free speech Intelwars Leftists Mr. bean Rowan atkinson UK

‘Mr. Bean’ star Rowan Atkinson blasts cancel culture: ‘Medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn’

“Mr. Bean” star Rowan Atkinson blasted cancel culture in an an interview with the Radio Times, likening the left-wing movement to a “medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn,”
Deadline reported.

What are the details?

The U.K. comic actor said social media has been responsible for increased sociopolitical polarization, which Atkinson said makes him nervous about the future of freedom of speech, the outlet noted.

“The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society,” he observed, according to Deadline. “It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘cancelled.'”

Atkinson added: “It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn. So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob, and it fills me with fear about the future,” the outlet reported.

Not the first time

This was far from the first time Atkinson has spoken up about free expression. In 2009 he decried U.K. hate speech legislation, which is much harsher than in the United States — at least so far.

“The last thing that any academic, or cleric, or practitioner in creative writing wants to hear is of police officers walking round with a tool box bulging with sanctions against speech and expression that ‘could be useful one day.’ I do not believe that legislation of such a censorious nature as that of Hate Speech, carrying as it does the risk of a seven-year jail sentence for saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, can ever by justified merely by the desire to ‘send the right message,'” he said.

In 2012, Atkinson urged a repeal of part of the U.K.’s Public Order Act that outlaws “insulting words and behavior” in order to stop the “creeping culture of censoriousness” which saw the arrest of a Christian preacher, a critic of Scientology, and even a student making a joke, the Daily Mail reported.

Saying the law was having a “chilling effect on free expression and free protest,” he noted to the outlet that “the clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult.”

And earlier this year Atkinson joined more than 20 prominent cultural figures in signing a letter against the Scottish government’s proposed Hate Crime Bill over fears it could limit freedom of expression.

Check out his recent words on these issues:

In full: Rowan Atkinson on free speech

aes algorithms Cryptography e-mail Encryption hashes Intelwars rsa UK

Brexit Deal Mandates Old Insecure Crypto Algorithms

In what is surely an unthinking cut-and-paste issue, page 921 of the Brexit deal mandates the use of SHA-1 and 1024-bit RSA:

The open standard s/MIME as extension to de facto e-mail standard SMTP will be deployed to encrypt messages containing DNA profile information. The protocol s/MIME (V3) allows signed receipts, security labels, and secure mailing lists… The underlying certificate used by s/MIME mechanism has to be in compliance with X.509 standard…. The processing rules for s/MIME encryption operations… are as follows:

  1. the sequence of the operations is: first encryption and then signing,
  2. the encryption algorithm AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256 bit key length and RSA with 1,024 bit key length shall be applied for symmetric and asymmetric encryption respectively,
  3. the hash algorithm SHA-1 shall be applied.
  4. s/MIME functionality is built into the vast majority of modern e-mail software packages including Outlook, Mozilla Mail as well as Netscape Communicator 4.x and inter-operates among all major e-mail software packages.

And s/MIME? Bleah.

Colorado contagious COVID-19 Intelwars Jared Polis UK US Variant

‘Significantly more contagious’ COVID-19 variant from UK has hit the US

A variant of COVID-19 spreading through the United Kingdom is now in America, as confirmed by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) who announced Tuesday that his state has discovered its first case of the “significantly more contagious” virus.

What are the details?

Polis’ office issued a notice saying that a man in his 20s tested positive for the B.1.1.7. variant to COVID-19, pointing out that the individual “is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.”

The governor said in a statement, “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious.”

According to
The Daily Mail, the B.1.1.7. mutation is possibly as much as 70% “more infectious and more of a concern for children,” and has been detected in roughly 60% of the recent COVID-19 cases in London.

But the
The Washington Post reported:

Although the U.K. variant appears more contagious, it is not leading to higher rates of hospitalizations or deaths, according to a
report from Public Health England, a government agency. Nor is there any sign that people who were infected months ago with the coronavirus are more likely to be reinfected if exposed to the variant, according to the report. All available evidence indicates that vaccines, and immunity built up in the population, should be protective against this variant.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Belsie González said in an email to CBS News that the agency “is aware of Colorado’s report of the first U.S. case associated with the U.K. variant of COVID-19.”

González noted, “In addition to the reported case in Colorado, we expect that there will be additional cases that are likely to be detected in the coming days.”

Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars lockdowns Prejudice Racism Study UK working from home

Study claims working from home can lead to increase in racism and prejudice

As the coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many have been forced to transition from working in offices to working from home, a new study claims that working from home actually can lead to an increase in racism and prejudice, BBC News reported.

What are the details?

The study — conducted by polling company Survation for the Woolf Institute, which researches interfaith relations — surveyed 11,701 people in England and Wales last year, the outlet said.

Institute founder Ed Kessler told BBC News that as more people work from home, they risk going “back into isolated silos,” and he added that offices and workplaces are “vital” for improving community relations.

The study suggests that of those who work in shared offices, three-quarters (76%) — regardless of ethnicity — were in an ethnically diverse setting, the outlet said, adding that unemployed people are 37% more likely to only have friends from their own ethnic group.

In addition, the study warns that without the establishment of alternative settings to offices, opportunities for social mixing between different religious and ethnic groups will be greatly reduced, BBC News said.

The study also examined opinions on diversity, the outlet said:

  • While nearly three-quarters of non-black or non-Asian respondents were comfortable with a close relative marrying a black or Asian person (74% and 70%), fewer than half (44%) said they were comfortable with the idea of a close relative marrying a Muslim person, BBC News noted.
  • The report also indicates a majority of Muslims were uncomfortable with a close relative marrying a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, or Sikh person — or someone of no religion. Around a third of Muslim respondents (38%) said they were uncomfortable with a close relative marrying a Christian person, the outlet said.

“Muslims were both the primary target for ‘uncomfortable’ responses, but also the primary source,” the report said, BBC News noted. In other words, the study indicated Muslims are the most likely group to hold negative attitudes towards people of other religions as well as the most likely target of such attitudes, the outlet added.

Is there hope?

Hadiya Masieh, who is Muslim, became close friends with Samuel Rosengard, an Orthodox Jew, after working together, BBC News said.

Rosengard told the outlet that while he’d never held racist or Islamophobic views, he may have had “misconceptions” about Muslim communities.

“Meeting Hadiya has really helped clarify where my thinking can be askew,” he noted to BBC News.

Masieh agreed, telling the outlet that for her “it was more of a political thing about Israel and Palestine,”

But working together has led to a close friendship, BBC News noted.

“It was just a very natural relationship that we formed because we had the exact same agenda and passions,” she told the outlet. “We were both from very different backgrounds, and the idea of Israel and Palestine was a hot topic. But we were able to discuss that in a way that was understanding of each other.”

Rosengard added to BBC News, “Before COVID we would have regular discussions about these kinds of issues. And also identifying common cultural traits between Jewish and Muslim communities and areas of agreement and disagreement. Hadiya and I would often start off conversations just bumping into each other in the open plan office and then head off for a coffee. But that just doesn’t happen. So that is a loss.”

bus Coronavirus Intelwars Kick Masks Physical attack Teen girl UK watch

Man kicks 16-year-old girl in face after shaming her for not wearing mask, ‘racially abusing her’ on UK bus. So fellow passenger body slams him.

A man was caught on cellphone video kicking a 16-year-old girl in the face after he chewed her out for not wearing a mask and was “racially abusing her” on a bus in the United Kingdom — and then a fellow passenger body slammed the man to the floor, threatened to “murder” him, stomped on his head, and threw him off the bus, the Daily Mail reported.

What are the details?

Video shows a man and woman sitting on the bus during an Oct. 1 ride in West Bromwich and excoriating a girl — who was sitting in front of them and on the opposite side — for not wearing a mask.

“All I’m saying is put your mask on!” the man told the girl, according to the outlet. “I’m not being racist, but the virus is more common in black and Asians. Put your f***ing mask on.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The Daily Mail said the girl replied but was shouted down by the woman who asked her, “Why do I have to come on the bus and put up with you sitting next to us with no mask on?”

The woman also told the girl, “If you weren’t 16 years old, I would knock you the f*** out,” the Daily Mail reported.

As the couple walk toward the bus door to de-board, the man turns around and kicks the girl in the face, the outlet said. It isn’t clear if he does so in response to a parting shot from the girl.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

With that, a passenger stands up, grabs the man from behind, and body slams him to the floor.

While the body-slammed man covers his head, the passenger stands over him, points his finger at his face, and threatens him: “What are you doing, you piece of s**t? I will f***ing murder you.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

As he’s walking away, he stomps on the man’s head.

The woman comes to the man’s defense and appears to try hitting the intervening passenger — but he easily swipes her away, grabs her and the body-slammed man, and throws them off the bus.

Here’s the clip. (Content warning: Language):

Viscous moment man kicks teenage girl in face for not wearing mask . newsheadlinesusa viral news

What are police saying?

A West Midlands police spokesman shared a still image from surveillance video showing the man as he was being thrown off the bus, the Daily Mail said.

“Do you recognize this man?” police asked, according to the outlet. “We want to speak with him urgently after a teenager was racially abused and attacked on a bus in Hill Top, West Bromwich last week.”

Image source: West Midlands police

Police said an “argument broke out on the 79 bus in Moxley at around 5:40 p.m. on 1 October, before a fellow passenger racially abused the 16-year-old and kicked her. We have spoken to the girl and are examining mobile phone footage which has been shared on social media. We take racially aggravated crimes extremely seriously, and our enquiries continue.”

Coronavirus Coronavirus tyranny COVID-19 funeral Intelwars social distancing UK watch

VIDEO: Staffer stops father’s funeral at UK crematorium, orders sons to move away from grieving mom due to COVID-19 rules

A staff member stopped a father’s funeral at a crematorium in the United Kingdom last week and ordered his two sons to move away from their grieving mother due to COVID-19 rules — and it was all captured on video.

What are the details?

At the start of his father Alan Wright’s service Friday at Crownhill Crematorium, the chairs were spread apart to conform to social distancing guidelines. Wright died from a heart attack in September, the Daily Mail reported.

But Craig Bicknell told BBC News he decided to close the distance between himself and his “vulnerable” mother as she was “lost.”

“I made everyone aware that I [would] need to comfort my mum at some point,” he added to the outlet. “When I saw my mum break as she did, it just took over that I had to comfort her and put my arm around her.”

Seconds later, Bicknell’s brother followed suit and moved his chair, and both sons were sitting next to their mother.

Image source: Daily Mail video screenshot

However, a crematorium staffer was seen on video walking in, raising his arms, walking behind the sons and their mother, interrupting the speaker, and telling Bicknell and his brother, “you have to put them back, I’m afraid,” BBC News said.

Image source: Daily Mail video screenshot

“You can’t move the chairs, you were told,” he added, according to the outlet.

The brothers complied.

Image source: Daily Mail video screenshot

What did the powers that be have to say?

Milton Keynes Council, which runs the building, told BBC News it regrets the incident.

“We are sorry to have upset this family,” a Council spokesman told the outlet. “We don’t usually step in if a guest needs to be comforted by another family member, and in this instance [we] should have taken a more considered approach. We ask funeral directors to let us know whether any chairs should be grouped in advance, and from now on this includes guests who are in the same household or bubbles, as well as people who need extra support.”

BBC News said COVID-19 government guidelines allow up to 30 people to attend a funeral and require social distancing.

What else did Bicknell have to say?

Bicknell noted to the Daily Mail that he and his brother Paul were left devastated by the “telling off,” and he added to BBC News that the incident left him “angry, upset; it was just an empty feeling.”

He also told BBC News that it “totally ruined the day” as he still had to deliver his eulogy after the confrontation.

“It was very hard to do,” he said. “I needed the service to carry on for my dad. It was a really scary feeling, I’ve never felt [it] before.”

Bicknell wrote on Facebook of the experience, “I can sit in a restaurant, I can sit in a pub, I can live at her house, I can travel in a limousine to the crematorium with 6. But when I want to give my mum a cuddle at dads funeral, a man flies out mid service shouting stop the service and makes us split…A devastating day made even worse,” the Daily Mail reported.

Covid19 Crime Cybercrime Intelwars UK

Cybercrime in the Age of COVID-19

The Cambridge Cybercrime Centre has a series of papers on cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic.

China HongKong Intelwars UK

UK’s Stunning Hypocrisy over Hong Kong

A British arms embargo on Hong Kong over “human rights concerns” while the UK continues to arm and train Saudis amid Yemen genocide? 

August 1, 2020 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Further evidence the UK hides behind “human rights” rather than stands for them was demonstrated when London placed sanctions on Hong Kong after the passing of a security law aimed at combating overt foreign interference in special administrative region of China.

British state media in an article titled, “UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong,” would claim:

The UK government will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong “immediately and indefinitely”.

The article also stated:

[British Foreign Secretary] Mr Raab also confirmed the government would extend its arms embargo – which has been in place with China since 1989 – to Hong Kong, stopping the UK exporting equipment, such as firearms, smoke grenades and shackles, to the region.

The article cited other members of the British government condemning China for alleged human rights abuses, violations of international law and a lack of democratic values. This comes after the UK caved to US pressure and banned Chinese telecom company Huawei from involvement in the UK’s 5G rollout.

Omitted from the BBC article was mention of the UK’s own and very real abuses.

British Human Rights Concerns are Projections of Own, Real Abuses  

At a time when the UK condemns China for its “actions in the South China Sea” the UK still finds itself involved in wars of aggression and military occupations around the globe, side-by-side their US allies.

Worse still is that while the UK pledged to extend an arms embargo on Hong Kong over human rights concerns, the British government continues to arm nations like Saudi Arabia who is still currently waging war on neighbouring Yemen in a conflict the United Nations itself has called “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

The New York Times in its article, “Britain Says It Will Resume Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia,” would admit:

Saudi Arabia is a big market for British arms manufacturers. Between April 2015 and March 2018, Britain’s government licensed the sale of at least 4.7 billion pounds (around $5.89 billion) of military equipment to the Saudis, and a further £860 million to its coalition partners.

Sales of arms were temporarily “suspended” over growing awareness of their use in Saudi atrocities in its ongoing war of aggression in neighbouring Yemen. After sufficient lip service was paid to “investigating” the issue, sales were resumed with claims abuses were “isolated.”  The US has likewise sidestepped concerns over arms sales to Saudi Arabia with a $478 million missile sale moving forward. 

This staggering hypocrisy was noted even within the British government itself, the NYT would note:

Emily Thornberry, who speaks for the opposition Labour Party on international trade, described the resumption of arms licenses to Saudi Arabia as “morally indefensible.” The timing, she added, suggests “at the very least a case of mixed messages, undermining the government’s claim to be human rights defenders.”

Indeed, the British government’s claim to be human rights defenders is undermined if not entirely exposed as a façade behind which it advances various agendas. It cites “human rights” when smearing its opponents on the global stage such as China (often with fabricated claims), then eagerly, openly and unapologetically tramples human rights when convenient.

The common denominator between Britain’s otherwise contradictory stance regarding China and Saudi Arabia is its desire to advance its geopolitical agenda in undermining competitors and bolstering its own wealth and influence globally. Human rights is a mere prop to be used or abused.

Never were human rights an actual principle driving UK foreign policy, but merely a superficial enabler or inconvenient speed bump toward moving it forward.

Besides the UK’s stunning hypocrisy, the latest moves made against China regarding Hong Kong remind the world that the very sort of imperialist ideology that saw the British take the territory by force in 1842 is still very much alive and thriving in policy circles in London and across the Atlantic in Washington. While outright military occupation is impractical, the UK and its American partners still seek to influence and interfere in Hong Kong’s political and economic affairs.

The continued antagonising of China within its own borders, the use of warships to provoke China off its own shores and sanctions aimed at crippling the nation economically are all very deliberate acts undermining not only China’s peace, prosperity and stability, but that of the entire world who increasingly see China as a valuable economic and political partner.

The ultimate hypocrisy here is that as the UK claims it stands as a force for “good” in the world, it is in fact an enabler of waning Western interests desperately trying to plunge the world into chaos to spoil the success of its competitors and search for an opportunity to reassert themselves, reclaim their wealth and revive their demonstrably malign influence globally.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.   

2020 Intelwars Pestilence UK Weather

Giant swarm of flying ants shows up on weather radar

Adding to the surreal feeling that 2020 has consisted of a series of Exodus-style plagues, a huge swarm of flying ants swept across the United Kingdom on Saturday, and the swarm was so huge and so dense that weather radar mistakenly identified it as rain.

Brits were understandably confused when the U.K.’s Meteorological Office (known as the Met Office) displayed a weather map Sunday showing that it was raining in several places where absolutely no precipitation was falling.

The Met Office’s Twitter account quickly attempted to clear things up and sheepishly admitted that a giant cloud of flying ants was to blame for the mishap.

Some initial reports erroneously stated that the cloud of ants was so huge that it was visible from space, but the Met Office quickly cleared up any confusion on that.


The radar error was due to a phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day, which occurs once a year in the U.K. Flying ants across the country leave their nests in a frenzied search for mates. As a result, billions of ants take to the skies at essentially the same time. It should be noted, there is at least some amount of scientific disagreement as to whether Flying Ant Day is a misconception and that some scientists have suggested that the existence of a single Flying Ant Day is really a myth that is fed by the phenomenon of people remarking about it repeatedly on social media.

Either way, this particular cloud of flying ants was clearly unusual. BBC meteorologist Bryan King said that this was the largest cloud of insects he’d ever seen in the U.K.: “For it to actually to appear on the radar imagery, that’s something certainly incredible, and I just feel sorry for all the people who have to experience those flying ants.”

Perhaps equally pestilential were the massive flocks of seagulls that were reported to have congregated upon the cloud in order to enjoy a flying ant feast.

Intelwars LIBYA UK

Reading Stabbings: Deliberate Product of UK Foreign Policy

July 12, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – It should surprise no one paying attention that the suspect in the recent stabbing spree in Reading, UK was not only known to British security agencies as an extremist and security threat, but that he comes from the pool of extremists the British aided Washington in funding, arming, training, and providing air support for during the 2011 overthrow of the Libyan government and have harbored before and ever since.

The London Guardian in its article, “Libyan held over Reading multiple stabbing ‘known to security services’,” would admit:

The suspect in an alleged terror attack that left a teacher and two others dead was known to security services and other authorities, it emerged on Sunday.

Khairi Saadallah, the 25-year-old Libyan refugee held over the stabbings in a Reading park, was on the radar of MI5 in the middle of last year, sources told the Guardian.

Saadallah joins a long and growing list of extremists – and in the UK’s case, Libyans specifically – who have carried out attacks in the UK after receiving political and material support from Western governments in proxy wars waged across the globe.

The 2017 Manchester Arena bombing killing 23 and injuring over 800 was also carried out by Libyans Salman and Hashem Abedi, also extremists long known to British security agencies.

The London Guardian in its article on the Manchester bombing titled, “Salman Abedi: from hot-headed party lover to suicide bomber,” would report:

Quite when Abedi’s aggressive tendencies acquired an ideological bent is difficult to establish, but it has emerged that he travelled to Libya as a 16-year-old in 2011 to join the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and fight alongside his father in the battle to oust Gaddafi.

His father was a prominent member of the militia, which was banned in the UK because of its jihadi links.

Despite terrorists from LIFG still carrying out terrorism to this day the US and UK have both removed the group from their lists of terrorist organizations.

The Western media admits that LIFG was involved in fighting and toppling the Libyan government in 2011 and admits they provided weapons to fighters in Libya as well as granted them asylum after Libya collapsed into disarray in the wake of US-led regime change.

US Senators would even shower awards and support on senior LIFG leaders after the fall of the Libyan government – including Abdelhakim Belhaj who served as “emir” of LIFG and who would at one point lead what was left of Libya after 2011.

Western newspapers regularly admit that Western security services are fully aware of LIFG members living within the borders of their respective nations – having deliberately provided them asylum there.

It takes little imagination to predict tragedies resulting from the West’s policy of creating extremists, deploying them in proxy wars abroad, and then placing them amongst their own populations at home.

It was predicted long before the first US and British bombs dropped on Libya that their war of aggression against the North African nation would spread terrorism across the Middle East and North African region (MENA) as well as flood Europe with both refugees fleeing the catastrophe and extremists deliberately created by Western interventionism.

It is so predictable – in fact – that incidents like the Manchester Arena bombing or the Reading stabbings in Reading should be interpreted as deliberate by the British government – who like its American counterparts – readily uses extremists as armed proxies abroad and as an omnipresent threat at home justifying a growing police state while dividing and distracting the public.

Narrative management in the UK seeks to turn the stabbings into an issue surrounding race, religion, and social conditions when in reality the murders are a direct and deliberate product of the UK’s foreign policy and those responsible reside in London, Washington, and Brussels, not in mosques or in the pages of the Qu’ran.

To call it “blowback” is not accurate since blowback implies the consequences were somehow unpredictable or undesirable. It is inconceivable that the British government believes harboring thousands of terrorists within its borders will not result in terrorism.

It harbors these terrorists in order to cultivate and deploy them in future proxy wars and in the meantime prevents them from being liquidated abroad when targets of Western aggression get the upperhand.

To solve the problem of extremism the Western public must focus on the deliberate foreign policy creating it – not on the social, religious, and racial excuses used to cover it up and to distract away from it.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

Coddling Exams George floyd Intelwars Oxford University Students UK

Oxford University allows students ‘affected’ by George Floyd death to apply for special consideration in exams

Facing pressure to act in recent weeks, prestigious British college Oxford University said students “affected” by George Floyd’s death in the United States can apply for special consideration in their exams, the Evening Standard reported.

What are the details?

Vice chancellor and professor Louise Richardson told students about the decision in an open letter signed by the heads of Oxford’s colleges, the paper said.

Richardson thanked students for informing her about “the traumatic effect of the brutality which killed George Floyd” — which sparked protests and rioting and statue vandalism in the United States — and added that the incident was “a manifestation of institutionalized racism,” the Evening Standard added.

“Any student taking university assessments who feels their performance has been affected should submit a self-assessment mitigating circumstances form after their final examination or assessment,” she wrote, the paper said.

In addition, the Evening Standard noted that Oxford’s “heads of house” will alert tutors and welfare staff about the potential need for a workload cut and “urge colleagues to reach out” to those who apply for special consideration in exams.

Anything else?

Richardson also told the Oxford students’ union that “many departments in social sciences have begun work on making their curriculum more inclusive and adding diverse voices to it” such as “integrating race and gender questions into topics” and “embedding teaching on colonialism and empire into courses,” the paper said.

It’s not an unfamiliar pattern for Oxford:

Coronavirus Intelwars UK Videos

COVID-19, LOKIN-20 and the Death of Statistical Sense

Today we’re joined by Iain Davis of for an update on how Britain is reacting to the coronavirus madness that is sweeping the globe. We talk about COVID-19, the Coronavirus Act and other legislative nightmares, the statistical chicanery that is perpetuating this crisis, and how people across the UK and around the world are reacting to the new normal.

Coronavirus Intelwars Interviews UK

Interview 1543 – Iain Davis on COVID-19, LOKIN-20 and the Death of Statistical Sense

Today we’re joined by Ian Davis of for an update on how Britain is reacting to the coronavirus madness that is sweeping the globe. We talk about COVID-19, the Coronavirus Act and other legislative nightmares, the statistical chicanery that is perpetuating this crisis, and how people across the UK and around the world are reacting to the new normal.
Abuse of Power Coronavirus Intelwars Police social distancing UK watch

‘I’ll make something up’: UK cop suspended after video catches him threatening to fabricate charge against man and throw him in jail

A police officer in the United Kingdom has been suspended from duty after he was caught on video Friday threatening to throw a man in jail and adding that he would fabricate a charge against him,
Lancashire Live reported.

What are the details?

Police officials said in a statement that officers were on their way to execute a search warrant at an address when they “stopped to speak to a group of males with a quad bike” in Accrington, Lancashire,
BBC News reported.

The man the officer spoke to in the video was buying the quad bike for his stepson and was pulled over by police, the
Lancashire Telegraph noted.

Soon the man accuses the officer of harassment and says, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

With that the officer asks, “Do you want me to show you the definition of harassment?” He then tells the man, “Give me the keys and sit in the car and shut up.”

The officer then turns back and gets in the man’s face.

“If you wanna f***ing step to me, and push your chest out and something like that, then fine, I’ll lock you up. We’ll do that, shall we?” the officer says.

The man again insists, “I’ve done nothing wrong,” to which the officer replies, “I’ll make something up. Public order. Squaring up to a police officer. Shall I do that? Who are they going to believe, me or you?”

The officer then repeats the question, this time screaming it: “Who are they going to believe, me or you?”

Here’s the clip. (
Content warning: Language):

Lancashire constabulary copper threatens a lad then says he will make something up to arrest him

Amid the coronavirus lockdown, the man later noted on social media that the officer was “not keeping his two-meter distance, spitting at me while he was shouting,” the Telegraph said.

The aftermath

Lancashire Constabulary publicly apologized after the video went viral on social media and confirmed the unnamed officer was suspended from duty, Lancashire Live reported.

“We absolutely recognize the impact this footage has had on public confidence,” the police force said in a statement to Lancashire Live, adding that “we have also taken the decision to voluntarily refer the matter to the Independent Office of Police Conduct. We hope these actions go some way to reassuring the public how seriously we are treating this matter. We will be speaking to the man in the footage to keep him fully informed regarding the actions we are taking.”

Anything else?

There have been a number of headline-grabbing incidents involving police across the pond as the coronavirus lockdown there drags on.

U.K. police were caught on video tearing into a journalist documenting cops removing a woman from a public park because they believed she wasn’t there to exercise. One officer told the journalist he was “not authorized to go around videoing” before letting loose with some hollering: “You’re killing people! Go home!”

Last week an expletive-filled video was posted to Twitter showing a man berating “British f***ing police” who allegedly bashed through his front door “to make sure there’s nothing going on” amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Content warning: More than a few F-bombs:

And earlier this month, a U.K. cop was caught on video telling a man he isn’t allowed to sit in his own front garden due to the government’s COVID-19 lockdown.

The officer also chastised the man for wanting to go to the supermarket twice — and that she saw him out earlier after making a nonessential purchase: “You’ve already been to the shop once; I’ve seen you with two cans of pop.”

Coronavirus Intelwars Overreach Police social distancing Stay at home UK watch

‘You’re killing people! Go home!’: UK cop blasts journalist documenting woman’s removal from park; police said she was ‘clearly not exercising’

Journalist Michael Segalov noted on Twitter that while walking through Finsbury Park in London on April 5 he spotted police confronting a woman who protested she was being treated unfairly.

What happened next?

“I have done nothing wrong,” the woman could be heard saying on video Segalov recorded as police led her out of the park. “I’m not resisting.”

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

After he followed the officers and the woman out of the park where they stopped by a pair of police vans, Segalov recounted in his Twitter thread that he was “quickly surrounded — much closer than 2 meters — by 5 male officers. They stopped me being able to keep a safe distance. I explained calmly that I’m a journalist and was documenting an incident while walking.”

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

He then said Sgt. Gary Brown (3058U) got in his face and said he was “not authorized to go around videoing” before letting loose with some hollering: “You’re killing people! Go home!”

“Or you get fined,” another officer told Segalov.

What happened later?

According to a complaint letter filed by the ITN network, Segalov felt the officer’s spittle on his face, VICE reported.

More from the outlet:

The National Police Chiefs’ Council guidance on working with journalists during the coronavirus outbreak clearly states that “journalists are covered as key workers,” acknowledges that there is “a public interest in keeping the population informed,” and that police will “engage” with journalists if they are unsure why they are outside. Journalists are expected to follow the guidelines on social distancing, which Segalov was doing until he was surrounded.

“We are in a public health emergency, not a police state,” Segalov also noted on his Twitter thread. “Surely officers must not be able to act without scrutiny, and journalists must not be aggressively stopped from documenting what they see.”

VICE also said Segalov wants an investigation into Sgt. Brown and the other officers as well as a public apology.

What did police have to say?

Police told the outlet that officers were encouraging a woman who was “clearly not exercising” to leave the park when “a man, who identified himself as a journalist, began filming the interaction. The officers spoke to the man. We can confirm a complaint has been received in relation to that interaction which is currently being considered. We always expect our officers to engage with the public in a courteous and respectful manner and where this is not the case, their conduct will be reviewed and they can rightfully be held to account.”

According to the Islington Gazette, vans with loudspeakers have been at parks telling people, “You should only be here for exercise. If you’re not, then please go home.”

Pattern emerging?

TheBlaze recently reported on several disturbing incidents regarding United Kingdom police and their actions related to coronavirus social distancing measures:

On Monday, an expletive-filled video was posted to Twitter showing a man berating “British f***ing police” who allegedly bashed through his front door “to make sure there’s nothing going on” amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Content warning: More than a few F-bombs:

The previous week, a U.K. cop was caught on video telling a man he isn’t allowed to sit in his own front garden due to the government’s COVID-19 lockdown.

The officer also chastised the man for wanting to go to the supermarket twice — and that she saw him out earlier after making a nonessential purchase: “You’ve already been to the shop once; I’ve seen you with two cans of pop.”

Coronavirus fines Intelwars lockdown Police Scotland Shoppers social distancing Stay at home UK wine

Scotland residents complain police are fining them for leaving home to buy wine, other nonessential items

Scotland residents are complaining that police are fining them for leaving home to buy wine and other nonessential items, Edinburgh Live reported.

Come again?

The outlet noted that a reader contacted the editorial staff to say she was fined 30 pounds (just over $30) for leaving her residence to buy wine and snacks.

“I was walking through Holyrood Park on Sunday afternoon (5 April) [when] two officers asked to look inside my bag, and then fined me for only having crisps, other snacks, and a bottle of wine,” she told Edinburgh Live.

A West Lothian resident tweeted that “two people I know in West Lothian: a nurse in uniform leaving a patient’s house and someone leaving a shop with just a bottle of wine [were] fined £30,” the outlet added.

Another woman tweeted a complaint to Police Scotland that her friend was “given a fine for buying a bottle of Prosecco,” Edinburgh Live added.

The outlet said United Kingdom lockdown rules set up last month state residents should be leaving their houses only for “very limited purposes,” among them shopping for “basic necessities.” The outlet added that that is causing confusion since there’s no list defining basic necessities.

The other side of the coin

It should be noted that the woman who contacted Edinburgh Live about being fined for buying wine and snacks admitted to the outlet she had refused to comply with the officers’ request to return home immediately.

In addition, a 41-year-old woman from York was fined 660 pounds (just over $825) and arrested by British Transport Police for “loitering” at Newcastle Central station on April 1, Edinburgh Live said, adding that she reportedly refused to tell police why she was traveling.

More from the outlet:

Elsewhere in the U.K., other people have taken to social media to complain about what they claim is a “heavy-handed” enforcement of the lockdown rules.

One London resident tweeted: “Police have just fined me for taking the dog a walk at this time of night.” Walking dogs is allowable exercise as long as you are from a symptom-free household and stay within walking distance of your home.

In the North of England, one man complained to Derbyshire Police that: “My wife was stopped as she got in her car after walking the dog on the way to do the weekly shop for us, her 74-year-old mother and a vulnerable neighbor. Officers not interested in reasons, they were rude, bullying, gave a £60 fine with glee.”

70 vaccines Coronavirus america Coronavirus outbreak Coronavirus Pandemic Coronavirus response Coronavirus us Coronavirus vaccine Covid-19 vaccine Intelwars Oxford University UK Vaccine WHO World Health Organization

70 coronavirus vaccines are in development around the world — an Oxford scientist says one could be ready by September

One of Britain’s top scientists leading the effort to produce a COVID-19 vaccine recently said she is “80%” confident that a vaccine could be ready by September.

Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, told the Times of London over the weekend that her team is set to begin human trials on its potential vaccine by the end of April. By September, the product could be ready for distribution — but only “if everything goes perfectly,” she acknowledged.

“I think there’s a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine,” Gilbert said. “It’s not just a hunch and as every week goes by we have more data to look at. I would go for 80%, that’s my personal view.”

Gilbert’s team is one of numerous teams around the world working diligently — and at unprecedented speed — to come up with a working vaccine to fight the global coronavirus pandemic that has infected at least 1.8 million and killed over 115,000 people worldwide.

The World Health Organization announced Saturday that there are 70 vaccines currently in development around the world, with three of them already being tested in human trials.

According to Time magazine, the vaccine that is furthest along in the clinical process is being developed by Hong Kong-listed CanSino Biologics and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology That vaccine is in phase 2 of human testing. Two others being developed in the United States by Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Moderna, along with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, are currently in phase 1 of human testing.

The University of Oxford vaccine candidate could be the fourth product to begin human trials in the coming weeks.

Another vaccine being developed in the U.S. by a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are in the pre-clinical stage and are currently seeking fast-tracked approval for testing from the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading health official on the White House coronavirus task force, previously cautioned Americans that it would likely be 12-18 months before a vaccine could be developed. Until further notice that conventional wisdom still stands.

But the hope is that scientific innovation and ingenuity will speed the process and shorten the time period.

Gilbert is certainly hopeful about her team’s vaccine, but was careful to add that “nobody can promise it’s going to work.”

Boris Johnson Carrie symonds Coronavirus COVID-19 England Intelwars UK

British PM discharged from hospital, says he owes coronavirus doctors his life

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been released from the hospital, a week after he was admitted for coronavirus treatment. The British leader said that he owes his life to the medical staff who helped him battle COVID-19.

Boris Johnson was released from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, 16 days after he announced that he contracted the coronavirus. The 55-year-old prime minister was taken to the hospital last Sunday after suffering from coronavirus symptoms, including a cough and high fever.

Last Monday, Johnson’s conditions worsened, and he was moved to intensive care, where he received treatment until Thursday. While at the ICU, Johnson was supported with oxygen but was not put on a ventilator.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said: “The prime minister has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery at Chequers.”

“He wishes to thank everybody at St. Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received,” the spokesperson continued. “All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”

“I owe them my life,” Johnson said of the NHS medical staff at the St. Thomas’ Hospital. “I can’t thank them enough.”

Johnson will not immediately return to work “on the advice of his medical team.” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been the “stand-in” for Johnson while he recovers.

Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, said that “there were times last week that were very dark indeed.” Symonds, who is pregnant with their first child, sent words of gratitude to the staff at St. Thomas’ Hospital on Twitter.

“I cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough. The staff at St Thomas’ Hospital have been incredible,” Symonds tweeted. “I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you. There were times last week that were very dark indeed. My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones.”

“Thank you also to everyone who sent such kind messages of support,” she said. “Today I’m feeling incredibly lucky.”

Symonds sent Johnson letters and baby scans to lift his spirits during his time in the ICU. She is due to give birth in two months.

Coronavirus Intelwars Police social distancing Stay at home UK watch

UK cop tells man he can’t sit in his own front garden due to COVID-19 lockdown: ‘I’m asking you to go indoors; are you refusing to go indoors?’

A police officer in the United Kingdom was recorded on video Thursday telling a man he wasn’t allowed to sit in his own front garden due to the government’s COVID-19 lockdown, Metro UK reported.

What are the details?

Daniel Connell — who recorded the incident — had been spending time in his Eastwood, Rotherham, front garden with his partner and two children when the officer approached him near his doorstep, the outlet said.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

“You cannot come on your front garden,” the officer was heard saying, adding that she had a bodycam as well. “I’m recording [this video]; you cannot come on your front garden.”

Metro UK noted that government guidelines allow people to spend as much time as they want in their own gardens during the lockdown period, although social distancing measures must be observed if the areas border public paths or roads.

Connell argued that the officer was contradicting government guidelines, the outlet said, but she didn’t budge: “You know when you look around and there’s nobody out? It’s because you can’t come out.”

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

The officer also said it wasn’t a person thing: “It’s not me; it’s the government.”

Big Brother has powerful eyes

In what may be an even more disturbing exchange, Metro UK said the officer also chastised Connell for wanting to go to the supermarket twice — and that she saw him out earlier: “You’ve already been to the shop once; I’ve seen you with two cans of pop.”

The outlet said the officer claimed his soft drink purchase was nonessential.

“I’m asking you to go indoors; are you refusing to go indoors?” the officer asked Connell, after which he replied that he was indoors. She then walked away.

Here’s the clip:

Mea culpability

In the wake of the incident, South Yorkshire Police apologized and said the officer in the video has now been reminded of the lockdown guidelines for the public, Metro UK noted.

“This encounter was well-intentioned but ill-informed, and we’d like to apologize for the way it was handled,” South Yorkshire Police said, according to the outlet. “We’ve spoken to the officer concerned and made our approach absolutely clear. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience caused and will continue our work to support the [National Health Service]. Current guidelines from the government allow for the use of your gardens both front and back. If you garden has a road or path running along it then be aware of social distancing if there is likely to be people passing by on foot — please use common sense.”

Alexander Stafford, member of Parliament for Rother Valley, said in response to the video that the officer’s behavior “is clearly not right” and “an overreach!”

If there’s a familiar ring…

South Yorkshire isn’t a stranger to controversy of this sort: