A circuit-breaker lockdown backed by the Labour leader Keir Starmer would allow the Government to ‘get in control of the test, track and trace system’ and help control the pandemic, the UK’s largest teachers’ union has said.
The National Education Union (NEU) said the move, which would see secondary schools and colleges in England closed for two weeks at half-term, was urgently needed ‘to allow the system to work better’.
Th calls come after the Labour leader demanded Britain be plunged into a nationwide ‘circuit-breaker’ as soon as possible as he accused the Prime Minister of losing control of the pandemic.
Mr Starmer said a complete shutdown lasting two to three weeks could be timed to take place over half-term to minimise disruption but warned ‘sacrifices’ would have to be made to get the virus back under control.
The growing calls come as a raft of statistics published this afternoon showed cases are still surging in England by as many as 28,000 new infections per day, according to ONS estimates for the first week of October.
The National Education Union (NEU) has backed a circuit-breaker lockdown and said it would allow the Government to ‘get in control of the test, track and trace system’. (Stock image)
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said taking action now would avoid more disruption later
Britain also recorded another 15,650 new cases of coronavirus and 136 deaths today as Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a TV briefing to warn Britons the outbreak was still growing.
The NEU is now calling for secondary schools and colleges to be shut for two weeks, rather than one, over the October half-term to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: ‘Heads, teachers and school staff understand the educational impact of this, but we also understand that in exponential epidemics early action is essential.
‘Taking action now can avoid more disruption later.’
Yesterday Mr Johnson defended his three tier system but refused to rule out a circuit breaker.
He said: ‘Some have argued that we should introduce a national lockdown instead of targeted local action, and I disagree.
‘Closing businesses in Cornwall, where trans- mission is low, will not cut transmission in Manchester. So while I can’t rule anything out, if at all possible I want to avoid another national lockdown.’
On Friday, figures from the ONS showed that the highest rates of infection in England continue to be among young adults and secondary school pupils.
Mr Courtney continued: ‘This should be no surprise to either the Prime Minister or the Department for Education – scientists have consistency told them that secondary students transmit the virus as much as adults, and we have warned them that because we have amongst the biggest class sizes in Europe we have overcrowded classrooms and corridors without effective social distancing.
‘Our classrooms often have poor ventilation, leading to airborne transmissions, and in many areas we have also have overcrowded school transport where children are mixing across year-group bubbles.
‘These children live in families and are part of communities, so even if they have few or no symptoms themselves they are still part of spreading the virus to others, including to teachers and other school staff.’
He added: ‘Such a circuit-breaker could allow the Government to get in control of the test, track and trace system, and get cases lower to allow the system to work better.’
Labour Leader Kier Starmer (pictured) said a complete shutdown lasting two to three weeks could be timed to take place over half-term to minimise disruption but warned ‘sacrifices’ would have to be made to get the virus back under control
The calls from the teachers union and the opposition leader have piled pressure on PM Boris Johnson (pictured) to take urgent action to curb the spread of the virus
The union, which came under fire in August for resisting calls to get children back into school, is also calling on the Government to guarantee the expansion of free school meals for disadvantaged pupils if a circuit-breaker is introduced over the October half-term.
On Tuesday, Government statistics showed that more than one-in-five state secondary schools were not fully open last week.
The proportion of state schools that were partially closed over the past week increased – and most were not fully open due to Covid-related reasons.
This week, leading academics Graham Medley from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and Matt Keeling from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in the UK could save thousands of lives before the New Year.
The professors claimed between 3,000 and 107,000 deaths could be stopped by January if the Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposes the measure.
Professor Medley and Professor Keeling’s joint paper looks at what would happen if a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown was brought in from October 24 to November 7.
The document says the tougher measures could stop 5,000 to 140,000 people being hospitalised with coronavirus by January and may ‘limit the economic damage’.
In their paper the authors explain that ‘precautionary breaks’ would let the government control the virus ‘while their fixed duration and the forewarning may limit their society impact… potentially allowing other measures (such as contact tracing) to regain control’.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to implement a nationwide ‘circuit breaker’
In August, the Education Solidarity Network, part of the National Education Union, was met by criticism after it threatened to boycott the reopening of schools if its demands over coronavirus safety were not met.
The teaching union held a ‘day of action’ as it called for measures including free PPE, smaller classes to allow social distancing and weekly Covid tests for teachers.
James Kerr, a senior figure in the Education Solidarity Network, told The Times: ‘We have already lost colleagues to the virus and will lose more if there is not action.
‘It’s not the Victorian era anymore. Every worker should be able to go to work in the knowledge that they will return alive and well.’
This week the Prime Minister divided the country into ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ alert sectors after after a 9.3 per cent increase in cases on the previous week.
Liverpool was the only area to be immediately put into Tier 3, the highest level, on Monday with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham among cities being ranked as Tier 2, or ‘high’ risk.
But the Government also reached an agreement with Lancashire, which has now joined Liverpool in the top bracket.
The Department of Health said there would be a £12million support package in Lancashire as well as more money for an economic recovery ‘task force’ over the next six months. Local sources claimed in total it could be worth £30million.
Justifying the move in Lancashire, Health Secretary Matt Hancock pointed to an ‘unrelenting rise’ in cases.
The DoH said rates were highest for those aged 16-29 at 552 per 100,000 people.
Among the most vulnerable over-60 age group the rate stands at 214.
Thousands of venues are expected to be closed from midnight tonight, with casinos, betting shops and car boot sales given another 48 hours’ grace.
London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash will also move to the tougher Tier 2 restrictions from 0.01am on Saturday.
Tier 1 restrictions, which the majority of England have been placed under, are believed to mirror the rules currently in place across the country.
It includes the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.
Under Tier Two restrictions, households are also banned from meeting indoors, even in hospitality venues.
Two households are allowed to socialise outdoors but must stay within the six-person limit and adhere to social distancing.
There is an ongoing conflict about whether Manchester will become a Tier Three lockdown area, with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham arguing that the North was being treated like a ‘canary in the coalmine’ with experimental restrictions.
Today the Prime Minister told Mr Burnham he would impose tougher coronavirus restrictions on Greater Manchester unless the mayor backed down in his row with the Government.
Mr Johnson told Mr Burnham that ‘time is of the essence’ as the premier addressed a press conference in Downing Street this afternoon.
The PM said he had ‘not yet reached an agreement with Greater Manchester’ on moving the area into tier three and that he understood Mr Burnham’s ‘reluctance’.
But he said the ‘situation in the city was grave and it worsened with each passing day’ as the UK recorded another 15,650 cases – 13 per cent higher than the 13,864 recorded last Friday.
Talking about the situation in Greater Manchester, Mr Johnson said today: ‘On present trends in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave.
‘So I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively. I cannot stress enough time is of the essence, each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.
‘Of course if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents but our efforts will be so much more effective if we work together.’
This week Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson accused the Government of railroading through its tier three measures for the city.
In a message on Twitter Mr Anderson wrote: ‘We have not agreed anything, we have been told this is what Government intends to do with “no buts.”‘
The bitter standoff with leaders in the North and the Government showed no sign of breaking today, with Northern mayors issuing a joint statement condemning the financial package available.
The statement from Mr Burnham, Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North Tyne and Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: ‘The Government is claiming that the North is divided and only interested in getting what we can for our own region.
‘That is simply not the case.
‘We are all united in fighting for an 80% furlough scheme for all people affected by regional lockdowns, wherever they are in the country. Paying two-thirds of salaries will not be enough to protect the jobs of thousands – it should at least match the 80% that was available under furlough, with the minimum wage as the minimum support.
‘The Universal Credit top-up is not the answer. It doesn’t help everybody and takes weeks to come through. It will not prevent severe hardship for thousands of low-paid workers before Christmas.
‘But we won’t forget the self-employed and freelancers and other business who will be affected by these lockdowns, they also need support and we stand firm for those too. This is a fight for what is right.’
Today the Government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warned the outbreak was ‘growing everywhere’ and said that more action needed to be taken to bring down the R rate, which is somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5.
While an official report from SAGE revealed that the R rate in England had dropped for two weeks in a row, falling from an estimated range of 1.2 to 1.6 on October 2 to 1.2 to 1.4 today, the group cautioned there was no proof the outbreak was slowing.
What is a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown?
Two-week-long ‘circuit breakers’ would see tough restrictions introduced temporarily across the whole country to suppress the virus, before they would be lifted for a time and then re-introduced if necessary.
Measures could include bans on social between households, shutting down hospitality and leisure venues such as bars and restaurants, or restricting their opening hours.
But they are unlikely to lead to schools and offices closing for the time being.
This form of lockdown was first put forward by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, which he implemented in April.
He closed all workplaces except those deemed essential and place restrictions on public spaces and restaurants.
The idea is seen in England as the ‘last line of defence’, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week, with ‘local action’ preferred.
But north of the border in Scotland, a ‘circuit breaker’ has been seen as a temporary solution.
From October 9, pubs and bars in the central belt were being banned from serving alcohol indoors for 16 days and must shut by 6pm.
In large areas north of the border hospitality venues are being told to close altogether.
However there is a debate about the impact such a move has, with some questioning what happens as soon as the ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown is ended.
A circuit-breaker was at the top of a shortlist of coronavirus interventions recommended to the Government by expert advisers last month.
A Sage document, dated September 21 and released just hours after the Prime Minister announced his three-tier system of alert levels for England yesterday, said a package of interventions will be needed to reverse the exponential rise in cases.
Top of the list is a circuit-breaker, a short period of lockdown, ‘to return incidence to low levels’, followed by advice to work from home for all those that can.
Attendees of the September 21 meeting, held via Zoom, included the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.
The document says both local and national measures are needed, adding: ‘Measures should not be applied in too specific a geographical area.’
A separate Sage document, also dated September 21, looking at the effectiveness and harms of non-pharmaceutical interventions, said a circuit-breaker reintroduced for two to three weeks should act to reduce R below one.
‘Over a fortnight’s ‘break’, two weeks of growth could be exchanged for two weeks of decay in transmission, assuming good adherence to measures, and no additional increase in contacts before of after the break.
‘If this were as strict and well-adhered to as the restrictions in late May, this could put the epidemic back by approximately 28 days or more.
‘The amount of ‘time gained’ is highly dependent on how quickly the epidemic is growing – the faster the growth or stricter the measures introduced, the more time gained.
‘If regulations and behaviour then returned to pre-circuit break levels, there would be a return to exponential growth, but from a significantly lower level than would have been the case without the break.
‘The deleterious impact would be maximised if they coincided with school holidays.
‘Multiple circuit-breaks might be necessary to maintain low levels of incidence,’ the document said.
On Monday evening, Sage scientist Professor Calum Semple warned the new restrictions announced by the PM had come too late and a ‘circuit-breaker’ could be needed within weeks.
Asked if the level of response announced for London is sufficient for the threat, the University of Liverpool academic told BBC Radio 4’s PM: ‘I’m going to be difficult and say no, I think we’re a little late to react.’
He said there is a three-to-four-week delay before interventions see benefits in hospitals.
‘I and other people who were advocating for quite stringent severe local interventions where necessary three to four weeks ago, our fear is now that we’re in another place now,’ he said.
‘And that we’re going to need a much firmer intervention perhaps, the so-called circuit-breaker, in the matter of weeks.
‘The outbreak is a bit like a super-tanker, you put the brakes on but it takes a long time before you see the effect.’
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick today said the Government had taken ‘robust action’ despite being accused of ignoring its own scientists over a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown for England.
Mr Jenrick said this had included introducing the rule of six and 10pm curfews for pubs and restaurants but that the Government had also taken a ‘balanced ‘ approach to the situation.
Mr Jenrick told BBC Breakfast: ‘We listened to that advice as we always do and we did take action but these are balanced judgments.
‘We also have to balance that up against the effect on the economy, people’s jobs and livelihoods, on education which we have made a priority and all the other unintended consequences of taking action, whether that is on people’s mental health, on other illnesses and elective surgery that might be delayed or cancelled as a result of that.
‘We took a balanced view as to what was required at that moment and that’s the way we will continue to behave.’
Despite it being the reintroduction of restrictions on freedom, nearly two-thirds of the public said they would back a Scottish-style ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown.
An exclusive poll for MailOnline last week found strong support for a ‘short sharp shock’ of tough restrictions across the country in a bid to break transmission chains.
The Redfield & Wilton poll found 63 per cent would back a temporary crackdown being introduced across the UK – including 33 per cent who said they were strongly supportive.
By contrast, just 13 per cent of the 3,000 polled said they would be against the move.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Meet Maria Bakalova, Borat’s Bulgarian daughter who tricked Giuliani
The actress who honey-trapped Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the new Borat movie has been revealed to be a glamorous BLM-supporting 24-year-old from Bulgaria who was plucked from obscurity for the role.
Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed into the presidential campaign after it was revealed last night she duped Donald Trump‘s lieutenant Giuliani by pretending to be a conservative reporter.
Following an interview on coronavirus, Bakalova led the 76-year-old statesman into a hotel room, where he reclined on a bed and appeared to put his hands down his pants, before he was interrupted by Sacha Baron Cohen’s character.
‘She’s 15. She’s too old for you,’ Borat screams in the scene filmed in July, waving Giuliani off his ‘daughter’ Tutar.
Giuliani later pointed out, ‘I was fully clothed at all times,’ and told a reporter he was merely tucking in his shirt, not doing anything untoward.
‘I lean back and I tuck my shirt in and at that point they have this picture that they take, which looks doctored by in any event,’ the former mayor of New York told WABC radio Wednesday.
Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed to international fame after it was revealed last night she honeytrapped Donald Trump’s senior lieutenant and former mayor of New York Giuliani in the new Borat movie
Maria Bakalova posing in a swimming pool as sunlight washes over her
Rudy Giuliani leans back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off and seemingly puts his hands down his pants
Maria Bakalova is seen taking off the microphone of Rudy Giuliani in the new ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ which will be released on Amazon Prime Friday
Maria Bakalova enjoying the sun by the poolside in a picture from her Instagram
Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many of the titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter
Bakalova posted in June for ‘Black Out Tuesday,’ which saw many people posting a black square on their social media feeds to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement
The actress has been launched to the forefront of the battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, with Giuliani already center stage since he revealed emails which appear to show Hunter Biden profited from his father’s office.
Giuliani accused Hollywood of deliberately leaking details of his appearance in the Borat movie to stifle coverage of the Hunter Biden story.
‘They’ll do anything, they’ll attack me over anything possible,’ Giuliani said. ‘And now the idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalized false account of a ridiculous movie, I guess, he has done.’
Giuliani called it a ‘hit job’ and said that ‘everybody in Hollywood hates me.’
‘It’s not an accident that it happens when I turn in all this evidence on their prince and darling Joe Biden, who is one of the biggest crooks in the last 30 years and since I have the courage to say that I’m the target,’ the president’s personal lawyer said.
Little-known Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many A-list titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter which feature among the raft of luxurious poolside selfies she has taken in LA.
She made a hilarious appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s chat show alongside Cohen on Tuesday night.
Both actors in character, Bakalova demanded that Kimmel take his trousers off and marry her.
‘I am already married!’ Kimmel insisted, to which Borat asked: ‘How many wives do you have?’
The conservative Drudge Report chose to share the image, captioning it with ‘Rudy!!’ Drudge has become increasingly critical of President Donald Trump
The picture of Rudy Giuliani in a hotel room with ‘Borat’s daughter’ went viral when they hit Twitter. Here website Showbiz411.com features the image
Newsweek used the image too in its coverage of Rudy Giuliani being duped by Sacha Baron Cohen
Bakalova has starred in feature-length Bulgarian films, earning two awards for her performance in Transgression in 2018, playing the lover of an ageing rocker, and also as the leading lady in 2020 comedy, Last Call.
She has also appeared in several TV shows, with a credit in an episode of the Italian hit mafia series Gamorrah three years ago.
Born in Burgas in 1996, she studied at the Bulgarian National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress.
She attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019.
Giuliani, giving his account of his boudoir meeting with Bakalova, said he believed it was a ‘legitimate’ interview – the topic was the coronavirus – at the Mark Hotel in New York City in July.
‘I did the interview with the young woman who was new to interviewing and I was being kind to her,’ he said. ‘At one point she explained to me some problems I had, I actually prayed with her.’
When he got up to leave he said he had his jacket on.
‘I was fully clothed at all times and I had to take off the electronic equipment and when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt got a little out, came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on,’ he told WABC.
‘She says something about, “Do I want a massage?” I realize now that this is a set-up and I call my security guy Brian who’s right outside,’ Giuliani recalled. ‘And then all of the sudden crazy Sacha Baron Cohen runs in with a cape on and he’s yelling and screaming all sorts of stupid stuff.’
Like father, like daughter: Tutar (Bakalova) strolled in carrying a framed photo of Jimmy interviewing Jennifer Aniston before demanding the host remove his trousers
Bakalova with a drink and a packet of Sobranie cigarettes
Born in Burgas in 1996, Bakalova studied at the National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress
Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019
Bakalova smoking a cigarette and having a drink
Bakalova at the beach
The ex-New York City mayor also argued that in calling the police he proved he was an innocent party.
‘If I was doing anything wrong, I would not call the police and if he was doing anything right, he wouldn’t have been running away,’ Giuliani said.
The film is a sequel to the 2006 film ‘Borat.’
The pictures of Giuliani in a hotel room with ‘Borat’s daughter’ went viral when they hit Twitter, apparently originating screengrabs from review copies of the movie.
Websites Showbiz411.com and Newsweek both featured the image as they reviewed the new movie, with Roger Friedman of Showbiz411 calling the Borat sequel ‘goofy fun, gut laughs, and a lot of silliness.’
Among the most prominent sites to feature it was The Drudge Report, the conservative news and aggregation website that has increasingly become more critical of Trump.
‘Mocking hims as ‘Rudy!!,’ the decision by Matt Drudge to use the picture was likely to endear him to the president, who has tweeted repeatedly to his supporters that they should avoid Drudge, calling it ‘a CONFUSED mess.’
He said he realized that something was amiss when Borat’s ‘daughter’ asked if he’d like a massage.
What Rudy says: The president’s attorney tweeted his version of events claiming that he was set up by Baron Cohen months ago because of his release of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop this month
Sacha Baron Cohen pranked President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the new ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ which will be released on Amazon Prime on Friday
Other critics tweeting the image included Zac Petankas, a Democratic strategist who was a senior adviser to both Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, the party’s former Senate majority leader, and Seth Abramson, the author of a highly-critical book about Trump called ‘Proof of Corruption’ which features Giuliani on the cover photo.
BORAT CRASHED THE CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE
The first hint that there would be cameos of President Donald Trump’s allies in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ came when the trailer revealed in was Sasha Baron Cohen who had dressed up like Trump and crashed the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year.
He told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd what the stunt entailed: ‘Obviously, I’m wearing a fat suit,’ Cohen explained. He had to get through metal detectors to get into CPAC to see Vice President Mike Pence speak.
Security was there to ‘check everyone’s bodies going through. Bear in mind, I spent five hours in makeup that morning with the prosthetic team changing my face into Trump’s face. This fat suit is huge. It’s a 56-inch fat suit to turn my waist into Trump’s because we had estimated that was the most realistic,’ he said.
When he set the alarms off, he lied and said he had a defibrillator, Cohen told Dowd.
‘Then I ended up hiding in the bathroom, listening to conservative men go to the toilet for five hours until I broke into the room. We were surrounded by Secret Service and police and internal security,’ Cohen said.
As Pence spoke, Cohen is seen carrying his ‘daughter’ over his shoulder and yelling, ‘Michael Pennis I’ve brought the girl for you!’
He was then escorted out.
And the image was also being made into memes, one of them poking fun at Zoom masturbator Jeffrey Toobin. It showed the CNN analyst thinking ‘thank you Rudy.’
Giuliani described the situation in July, but neglected to mention he may have been caught in a compromising position.
‘This guys comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say a pink transgender outfit,’ President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer told Page Six at The New York Post. ‘It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had a beard, bare legs, and wasn’t waht I would call distractingly attractive.’
Giuliani didn’t recognize the man as Cohen right away.
He also called the cops.
‘This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away,’ the ex- New York City mayor said.
The July 7 incident occurred at the Mark Hotel in New York City.
‘I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me,’ Giuliani said in July.
On a radio show the same month, Giuliani told WABC that Cohen was trying to capture him in ‘compromising’ position, though he didn’t recall that the tactic had worked. ‘I don’t think so, I’m trying to remember,’ when asked if there was anything he should be ‘regretful’ about.
Giuliani’s spokeswoman Christianne Allen noted at the time that Cohen interrupted ‘an interview for a documentary on @realdonaldtrump’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.’
‘Un-fooled and placid, Mayor Giuliani notified security to call the police,’ Allen tweeted. ‘It was then, upon hearing the word police, Cohen turned from a screaming banshee into a fleeing hyena.’
‘I hear he was last seen running down the street in his bathroom,’ she added. ‘Better luck next time, Sacha!’
Allen has yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on Giuliani’s cameo in the new Borat film.
The film arrives just as Giuliani finds himself in the middle of the Hunter Biden laptop saga.
Giuliani said he got contents from the ‘laptop from hell,’ as Trump has been calling it, from a computer repair shop owner who gave it to his lawyer.
He then shared some of its contents to reporters at The New York Post, which has been criticized for running the story before the correspondence between Hunter Biden and others was authenticated.
Rudy Giuliani’s spokeswoman Christianne Allen said that the ex-mayor was ‘un-fooled and placid’ when Sasha Baron Cohen barged in on him and the actress who was playing ‘Borat’s daughter’
It contains personal photos of Hunter Biden, as well as emails that purport to show that Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings stretched to include his father.
The Post reported that emails from 2015 showed Joe Biden held a meeting with a top official from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden served on the board.
The Biden campaign has denied this meeting happened.
Biden, himself, said Giuliani is peddling ‘garbage.’
‘It’s a last ditch effort to smear me and my family. There is no basis to this,’ the Democratic nominee said in an interview with WISN, a Wisconsin ABC affiliate.
The president’s impeachment revolved around a scheme to pressure Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden. He held up military aid that had been appropriated by Congress.
Trump and his allies have alleged that the then-vice president pushed to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired because he was looking into Burisma, of which there is no evidence.
Trump has used the discovery of the laptop to call the former vice president a ‘criminal,’ which he’s said gleefully during everyone one of his recent rallies.
He’ll likely attack Biden that way Thursday night during their final meeting on the debate stage.
The president demanded that Attorney General Bill Barr appoint a special counsel to look into the matter.
‘We’ve got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody,’ Trump said on ‘Fox & Friends’ Tuesday.
‘This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election,’ Trump said.
Viral sensation: Trump’s critics jumped on the images and tweeted with them. Among those who tweeted were Philippe Reines, previously one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, and Zac Petkanas, a former Clinton senior adviser. Seth Abramson, an anti-Trump author and attorney and Keith Olberman, the former MSNBC and ESPN star turned YouTube commentator also weighed in
On Monday, Giuliani raised the stakes by sharing files from the laptop with the New Castle County police, according to Delaware Online.
The Delaware Attorney General handed the files over to the FBI, the site reported.
The FBI hasn’t confirmed or denied there’s an investigation, which is standard policy.
Mat Marshall, a spokesman for Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings told Delaware Online that what Giuliani’s team ‘showed up with was evidence that they say was involved in a crime.’
The former New York City mayor went on Newsmax Tuesday night trying to push the crimes were sexual in nature.
Giuliani reiterated that point again directly after he addressed the Borat footage Wednesday on WABC radio.
‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ will be released on Amazon Prime Friday.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
National Trust ‘facing questions over its purpose’ as regulator warns an inquiry could be looming
The charity regulator has warned the National Trust it could face an investigation over its ‘purpose’, amid claims it has strayed too far from its remit of preserving historical buildings and treasures.
The Trust sparked a woke row earlier this year after tweeting details about artefacts and buildings’ links to slavery – as dozens vowed to cancel their membership because of ‘virtue signalling’.
Twitter users blasted the UK-based charity for ‘lecturing’, ’emotional blackmail’ and ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ as some claimed the set of tweets ruined any enjoyment they once had for visiting its country estates.
Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust’s properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery – a move which Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described as disappointing.
Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust’s properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery
Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston (pictured) telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was ‘important’ it didn’t ‘lose sight’ of what its 5.6 million members expected
National Trust will keep the majority of ‘distressing’ artefacts linked to slavery
The National Trust has decided to keep displays in its country houses linked to slavery on show to ‘encourage debate’.
The announcement comes as the heritage conservation charity said its in the process of issuing a report, which has taken over a year to compile, which reveals that almost a third of stately homes are linked to slavery, the Times reports.
On the 21 September the Trust plans to make the report public on its website, highlighting the sometimes brutal origins or wealth of some of the country’s stately homes and castles.
Many of the homes’ original owners built the properties with the proceeds from sugar plantations in the West Indies and elsewhere in the empire.
The Times reported that the trust has surveyed almost 300 homes for the report.
‘Some of this is difficult stuff,’ Tarnya Cooper, who has been involved in linking the properties’ pasts, told the Times.
‘Some of the objects are really distressing because they come from a time when slavery was very much a part of this country and we’re such a different society now.’
Back in 2017, volunteers accused the charity of trampling on their rights by making them wear gay pride badges to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
And more recently, bosses have come under fire after announcing they are to axe nearly 1,300 jobs as they battle the impact of Covid.
Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was ‘important’ it didn’t ‘lose sight’ of what its 5.6 million members expected.
Complaints from members of the public over its controversial review into links between the properties and slavery sparked an approach from regulators and a formal probe could follow in the coming weeks.
Lady Stowell said: ‘The National Trust has a very sort of clear, simple purpose, which is about preserving some of our great historic places and places of great beauty and national treasure.
‘What people expect of the National Trust is that they focus on that purpose, they don’t lose sight of that. And when they do things which somehow seem to some of their supporters, some of the people that they’re relying on… they shouldn’t be surprised if that leads to questions and criticisms.’
Officials from the commission were first in touch with the charity a fortnight ago after complaints were first made.
While a statutory inquiry is not likely, the body does have various powers to take action against the Trust, including ordering it not to commission other similar reports or providing an official warning.
A spokesman for the charity told the Telegraph it always answers commission questions with ‘full transparency’ and said it was not aware of any formal action being taken.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Animal abusers face tougher punishment as MPs support increasing maximum sentence
Harsher sentences for animal abusers moved a step closer yesterday as MPs backed a change in the law.
The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading.
Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill, said he was inspired to do so after a mistreated springer spaniel he found abandoned by a road became his family pet.
Discussing the four-year-old dog called Poppy, Mr Loder said: ‘She had clearly been mistreated – her pads were red raw, there were cuts to her leg, she had nasty growths and she needed three teeth removed.’
The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading. (Above, Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill)
He added: ‘A mere six months discourages no one. So we must establish… a much tougher maximum penalty.’
Environment minister Victoria Prentis was among those to support the Bill, describing it as ‘absolutely necessary’.
She told MPs: ‘This Bill has the full support of the Government and we will do all we can to support its swift passage without amendment through the Commons and the Lords as soon as we possibly can.’
Labour also backed the legislation, with shadow environment minister Daniel Zeichner pressing for no further delays.
He said: ‘There is a correlation between animal cruelty and domestic violence.
‘I’m told women in domestic violence shelters are 11 times more likely to report that a partner had hurt or killed a pet.’
Environment minister Victoria Prentis (pictured) was among those to support the Bill, describing it as ‘absolutely necessary’
Conservative Sarah Atherton (Wrexham) also gave a warning about the increasing number of dog and cat adoptions during the pandemic.
Ms Atherton told MPs: ‘Preparing for today I spoke to vets in my constituency of Wrexham.
‘They tell me they are currently concerned about what is termed as “Covid pups” – and I take the opportunity to highlight, on their behalf, a dog is for life, not just for a lockdown.
‘My local vets have raised concerns about dogs purchased since March.
‘These pets have not had the opportunity to be raised and socialised in the wider community but in a solitary household.
‘Let’s hope we don’t see an increase in abuse and abandonment of pets due to possible behavioural problems or the cost of looking after pets as Covid restrictions continue.’
Responding to the debate, Ms Prentis added: ‘On live animal exports, we have a manifesto commitment to end long journeys to slaughter and fattening.
‘We will be launching a public consultation, I am very, very pleased to say, later this year.’
The Bill will undergo further scrutiny at a later date.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
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