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The picture the world has longed to see… Covid vaccines rolling off the production line

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the picture the world has longed to see covid vaccines rolling off the production line

Whizzing off the production line in thousands of tiny bottles – this is the vaccine that could end the Covid misery engulfing the planet.

Drug giant Pfizer has already manufactured ‘several hundred thousand doses’ of the jab at its plant in Puurs, Belgium, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. They are being stockpiled ready to be rolled out worldwide if clinical trials are a success, and regulators deem it safe and effective.

The US giant hopes to make 100 million doses available this year, of which 40 million are destined for the UK – a figure that will be dwarfed by the 1.3 billion jabs the company aims to manufacture in 2021. Every patient who receives the vaccine will need two doses.

Hundreds of thousands of doses of a possible Covid-19 vaccine have been prepared by a plant in Belgium

Hundreds of thousands of doses of a possible Covid-19 vaccine have been prepared by a plant in Belgium

Hundreds of thousands of doses of a possible Covid-19 vaccine have been prepared by a plant in Belgium 

Pfizer's UK boss Ben Osborn said: It was great to see the first vial coming off the manufacturing line. It just brought a tremendous smile to my face to see all of this work actually result in a product'

Pfizer's UK boss Ben Osborn said: It was great to see the first vial coming off the manufacturing line. It just brought a tremendous smile to my face to see all of this work actually result in a product'

Pfizer’s UK boss Ben Osborn said: It was great to see the first vial coming off the manufacturing line. It just brought a tremendous smile to my face to see all of this work actually result in a product’

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday today, Pfizer UK boss Ben Osborn says: ‘It was great to see the first vial coming off the manufacturing line. It just brought a tremendous smile to my face to see all of this work actually result in a product.’

Pfizer, which is working with Germany’s BioNTech, is currently running a trial on 44,000 people, and last week said it plans to apply for emergency US approval of its vaccine in November. That puts Pfizer in pole position in the race to launch a Covid vaccine.

Separately, Osborn said Pfizer’s laboratory in Sandwich, Kent, has unearthed drugs that could provide a potential cure for Covid-19. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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President Macron could announce new nationwide French lockdown TOMORROW

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president macron could announce new nationwide french lockdown tomorrow

French President Macron could announce a new nationwide lockdown tomorrow evening as a growing wave of anti-lockdown protests sweep Europe. 

The French government is envisaging a month-long national lockdown to combat the coronavirus resurgence which could take effect from midnight on Thursday, France‘s BFM TV reported today.  

Macron is due to make a televised address at 8pm tomorrow which is expected to see a national lockdown imposed or a host of local measures and curfews extended.

His office did not comment on whether Macron would announce such a measure then.

Customers are seen outside 'Le recrutement' restaurant few minutes before the nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Paris, France, October 27

Customers are seen outside 'Le recrutement' restaurant few minutes before the nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Paris, France, October 27

Customers are seen outside ‘Le recrutement’ restaurant few minutes before the nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Paris, France, October 27

Passengers wearing protective masks walk in the corridors of the Paris metro shortly before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew, October 27

Passengers wearing protective masks walk in the corridors of the Paris metro shortly before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew, October 27

Passengers wearing protective masks walk in the corridors of the Paris metro shortly before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew, October 27

French President Emmanuel Macron will make a televised address tomorrow

French President Emmanuel Macron will make a televised address tomorrow

French President Emmanuel Macron will make a televised address tomorrow

The national lockdown under consideration would be ‘more flexible’ than the strict restrictions on movement imposed in France in March this year, reported BFM TV.

France has had a big spike in the number of daily deaths from COVID-19, recording an additional 523 deaths in 24 hours this evening, the highest daily death total since April.

The French government also reported an additional 33,417 new infections.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told French citizens to ‘expect difficult decisions’ ahead of the announcement tomorrow by Macron.

Macron is hosting two emergency Defense Council meetings to discuss further restrictions against a second wave of the virus.

A wave of anti-lockdown protests have swept Europe as governments impose harsher lockdowns to curb the resurgence of coronavirus

A wave of anti-lockdown protests have swept Europe as governments impose harsher lockdowns to curb the resurgence of coronavirus

A wave of anti-lockdown protests have swept Europe as governments impose harsher lockdowns to curb the resurgence of coronavirus

A far right demonstrator holds an Italian flag during a protest over the restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus disease infections in Rome, Italy, tonight

A far right demonstrator holds an Italian flag during a protest over the restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus disease infections in Rome, Italy, tonight

A far right demonstrator holds an Italian flag during a protest over the restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus disease infections in Rome, Italy, tonight

People light flares as they protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Rome tonight

People light flares as they protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Rome tonight

People light flares as they protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Rome tonight

March and protests against the new provisions for the fight against covid in Rome, tonight

March and protests against the new provisions for the fight against covid in Rome, tonight

March and protests against the new provisions for the fight against covid in Rome, tonight

The number of people currently hospitalized has increased by 1,194 from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the total to 18,978.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: ‘Nobody disagrees with our objective, which is to absolutely prevent our hospitals being in a situation where they can’t admit new patients.’

Whilst France’s 9pm curfews imposed on many of the largest cities including Paris, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse and Lyon, has kept anti-lockdown protests at bay, other European cities have seen demonstrators turn violent. 

Demonstrations against the restrictions the national and local government have put in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in Naples, Italy, October 26

Demonstrations against the restrictions the national and local government have put in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in Naples, Italy, October 26

Demonstrations against the restrictions the national and local government have put in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in Naples, Italy, October 26

In Italy, violence was reported in at least two major northern cities, Milan and Turin, as vast crowds protested freedom-limiting restrictions enforced to tackle a second surge in coronavirus cases. 

Witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci shop, were ransacked in central Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off huge firecrackers and lighting coloured flares. 

In Milan at least 28 people were arrested after protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police in the capital of Lombardy, the original epicentre of the virus in Italy which is now seeing a resurgence of cases.  

Meanwhile in Barcelona, demonstrators set rubbish bins on fire in the streets – before riot police intervened to bring the chaos to an end.

The demonstrations came just one day after Spain declared a second nationwide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.

How long before it happens in Britain? Europe is boiling over with rage at more coronavirus lockdown rules – and politicians who flout them risk a collapse in respect for the rule of law, writes LEO MCKINSTRY

  • At least a dozen cities  in Italy have seen violent protests this week
  • There have also been protests on the streets of Barcelona and explosive anti-lockdown rallies in  Prague  
  • There have also been major protests in several cities in France including Paris and Marseille

By Leo Mckinstry for The Daily Mail

As the coronavirus crisis drags on, the mood in Europe is turning ugly. Tempers are fraying. Frustration is at boiling point.

And, as the shocking photos on this page reveal, with new Covid restrictions being introduced across the continent, many countries are sliding into open rebellion.

Take Italy, for example, where this week at least a dozen cities have seen violent protests against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown.

The most serious occurred in Milan and Turin, where demonstrators committed arson, vandalised public transport, looted shops and attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs.

Protesters  clash with police during a protest against the measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Rome

Protesters  clash with police during a protest against the measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Rome

Protesters  clash with police during a protest against the measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Rome

A police officer  during the demonstrations over the restrictions put in place in Rome

A police officer  during the demonstrations over the restrictions put in place in Rome

A police officer  during the demonstrations over the restrictions put in place in Rome

Demonstrators in Milan  protesting against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown

Demonstrators in Milan  protesting against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown

Demonstrators in Milan  protesting against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown

Police officers stand by burning flares during a protest against the new measures in Rome

Police officers stand by burning flares during a protest against the new measures in Rome

Police officers stand by burning flares during a protest against the new measures in Rome

The flames of discord have spread to Spain, where the declaration of a second state of emergency and the prospect of a six-month lockdown led to huge protests on the streets of Barcelona, with scores of rubbish bins set on fire.

There have been explosive anti-lockdown rallies in the Czech capital of Prague, at least one of which had to be broken up by the police using tear gas and water cannon.

Even Germany, where the public is renowned for its obedience to authority, is experiencing unrest.

‘Why aren’t you telling the truth, Mrs Merkel, about how we are losing our freedom, jobs and health?’ read one placard at a demonstration in Berlin.

Across the Channel in France, where a state of emergency has also been declared recently, there have been major protests in several cities, including Paris and Marseille.

Indeed, one poll yesterday showed that just 37 per cent of French voters think that the government of president Emmanuel Macron has handled the pandemic effectively – hardly a surprise given that the daily total of infections passed the milestone of 50,000 on Sunday. 

A firefighter walking past a burning dustbin after a demonstration against curfew in Barcelona

A firefighter walking past a burning dustbin after a demonstration against curfew in Barcelona

A firefighter walking past a burning dustbin after a demonstration against curfew in Barcelona

 So how long will it be until Britain follows suit and street protests are triggered?

Thankfully, our country has not yet reached the stage of combustible revolt. 

But, as stoicism gives way to scepticism, it is clear that there is far less unity now than there was back in the spring when the first lockdown was introduced.

Anti-lockdown demonstrations are a regular weekend occurrence in central London, while the willingness of normally law-abiding citizens to comply with ever-more complex regulations is beginning to fray.

This week even the BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire admitted that if the rule of six were still in place by Christmas, she would ignore it. 

She later backtracked from this stance, but her initial statement reflected an increasingly widespread disenchantment with the current rules.

Protesters in Milan attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs

Protesters in Milan attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs

Protesters in Milan attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs

According to the latest polls, only 39 per cent of the public approve of the No 10’s Covid policy.

Even Tory MPs seem to have had enough, with a number of those in northern seats now on the verge of open rebellion against the Government’s perceived lack of a coherent exit strategy from the new Covid lockdowns being imposed on them with devastating economic impact.

As someone who has to self-isolate because of an underlying health problem – the onset of Parkinson’s Disease – you would expect me to support the current restrictions. 

Yet I have deepening reservations about the Government’s handling of this crisis.

For it appears to me that we have ended up in the worst of all worlds, governed by rules that are both draconian and ineffective.

A central part of the problem is that the public’s faith in officialdom has been badly eroded, largely due to the gross hypocrisy of those who devised Britain’s restrictions.

After all, it is impossible to maintain national cohesion when there is one law for the hard-pressed citizenry, another for the privileged elite. 

Police officers stand guard outside a Gucci boutique store during the protests in Turin

Police officers stand guard outside a Gucci boutique store during the protests in Turin

Police officers stand guard outside a Gucci boutique store during the protests in Turin

Too many of the rule-makers have turned out to be rule-breakers, refusing to tolerate the same sacrifices that they so piously demanded of others.

The most egregious purveyor of such double-standards was undoubtedly Downing Street’s chief strategist Dominic Cummings, whose notorious trip by car to Barnard Castle in County Durham after he had contracted Covid was a clear breach of the lockdown.

His lack of contrition, never mind his refusal to resign, has permanently undermined the Government’s credibility and, I would suggest, was a tipping point for the public mood which, over the past few months, has been increasingly restive.

There were, of course, others like him, such as Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, who visited his self-isolating parents in distant Shropshire at the peak of lockdown, or SNP MP Margaret Ferrier, who shamelessly made a round-trip between Scotland and London last month despite knowing that she had tested positive for the virus.

Just as reprehensible was the behaviour of doom-mongering scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, the real architect of the lockdown strategy, whose illicit trysts with his married lover made a mockery of his own stern injunctions against household mixing.

 ‘I thought I was immune,’ he said in his defence, having tested positive for the coronavirus and isolated himself for ‘almost two weeks’ – an utterance that we now know contained more political than medical truth.

Meanwhile, the morale-sapping impact of such hypocrisy on the country has only been compounded by the Government’s heavy-handedness in meting out new restrictions.

Protesters in Milan during a protest against the new coronavirus measures

Protesters in Milan during a protest against the new coronavirus measures

Protesters in Milan during a protest against the new coronavirus measures

More than 8million people in England are now living under the highest Tier 3 rules, while the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have even tougher lockdowns.

Indeed the Welsh government appears to have become a mix of theatrical farce, communist East Germany and Cromwellian puritanism. Bizarre, contradictory regulations on essential sales have led to books on supermarket shelves being cordoned off with police tape. 

‘I can buy a Babycham, but not baby milk,’ complained one shopper, highlighting the nonsense.

At the weekend, a service at a church in Cardiff was even raided by police with searchlights because it broke Wales’s particularly draconian ‘firebreak’ restrictions.

This assault on essential liberties is wholly unBritish. Freedom is meant to be central to this country’s heritage. 

Yet today, ordinary people are being heavily punished without trial for the breach of some arbitrary edict.

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier

Chief strategist Dominic Cummings

Chief strategist Dominic Cummings

Rule-makers have turned out to be rule-breakers-SNP MP Margaret Ferrier (left) and chief strategist Dominic Cummings (right)

Just ask Manchester University student Carys Ingram, who was recently fined £6,600 after she posted a photo of herself on social media breaking quarantine rules during a visit to see her family in the Channel Islands.

Of course, it could have been worse. Last week individual penalties of £10,000 were imposed on three Nottingham students for holding a house party.

And in recent weeks we’ve seen just how easy it is for this jobsworth mindset to descend into outright cruelty.

That trend was epitomised earlier this month during a funeral at a Milton Keynes crematorium, where the ceremony was interrupted by an appallingly cold-hearted official who rushed forward to prevent a son from hugging his grieving mother.

It was a deeply disturbing indication of how individuals are being made to suffer unnecessarily by the current social-distancing measures.

Yet we must remember, too, that Britain as whole is also paying an enormous price for the current restrictions, both economically and in terms of our general health.

At the start of this year, who could have thought that by October we would be living in a country where the national debt is bigger than the size of the economy?

And so, after failing so miserably on so many fronts, it would take a Government of some nerve to now demand absolute obedience from the British public.

For if it does, it will only stoke the fires of indignation.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Amy Coney Barrett has ‘baptism of fire’ after joining Supreme Court

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amy coney barrett has baptism of fire after joining supreme court

Amy Coney Barrett was officially sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts Tuesday – returning the court to nine members but with conservative 6-3 majority.

The 48-year-old took her oath in front of a fireplace with her husband Jesse holding the Bible as Roberts administered the pledge, just after 10am.

Her arrival on the bench ends a tumultuous month since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and sees her face a barrage of politically fraught cases in her first days on the job, as the court weighs election disputes and prepares to hear a challenge to the Obamacare health law.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Monday pushed through the confirmation 52-48, over Democrats’ objections to an appointment so close to the November 3 presidential election. 

President Donald Trump, who nominated Barrett, has said he expects the court to ultimately decide the result of the election between him and Democrat Joe Biden.

Barrett joins the court with two election issues already awaiting her from key battleground states North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The court would be expected to act on both before Election Day, with Barrett, previously an appeals court judge and legal scholar as part of the court’s new 6-3 conservative majority. 

No Supreme Court justice had ever been confirmed so close to a presidential election.

On the bench for life: Amy Coney Barrett officially became Justice Coney Barrett just after 10am Tuesday as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office, with Jesse Barrett, her husband, holding the Bible on which she swore to uphold the Constiution

On the bench for life: Amy Coney Barrett officially became Justice Coney Barrett just after 10am Tuesday as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office, with Jesse Barrett, her husband, holding the Bible on which she swore to uphold the Constiution

On the bench for life: Amy Coney Barrett officially became Justice Coney Barrett just after 10am Tuesday as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office, with Jesse Barrett, her husband, holding the Bible on which she swore to uphold the Constiution

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34902804 8883757 image a 33 1603805456571

Justice Coney Barrett: Donald Trump celebrated his third appointment to the Supreme Court at the White House Monday; she faces a ‘baptism of fire’

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34902030 8883757 image m 15 1603804282292

Moment of history: Amy Coney Barrett, her hand on a Bible held by her husband Jesse, is sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by Clarence Thomas, its longest-serving justice

Lit up in celebration: The White House was draped in giant flags for the swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett (left) by Clarence Thomas (right)

Lit up in celebration: The White House was draped in giant flags for the swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett (left) by Clarence Thomas (right)

Lit up in celebration: The White House was draped in giant flags for the swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett (left) by Clarence Thomas (right)

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34901962 0 image a 13 1603804104317

First words as a Justice: Amy Coney Barrett takes the oath of office as Donald Trump savors the confirmation of the third justice of his presidency

Families together - and unmasked: Donald and Melania Trump posed with Amy Coney Barrett and Jesse Barrett on the Blue Room balcony of the White House after she was sworn in as the ninth Supreme Court justice

Families together - and unmasked: Donald and Melania Trump posed with Amy Coney Barrett and Jesse Barrett on the Blue Room balcony of the White House after she was sworn in as the ninth Supreme Court justice

Families together – and unmasked: Donald and Melania Trump posed with Amy Coney Barrett and Jesse Barrett on the Blue Room balcony of the White House after she was sworn in as the ninth Supreme Court justice

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34878600 8883757 image a 8 1603803453347

‘I cannot think of any other situation like this,’ said Rick Hasen, an expert on election law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. ‘It really is a potential baptism by fire.’

One week after the election, the court on Nov. 10 hears a case in which Republicans including Trump are asking the court to strike down the 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

During Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearing two weeks ago, Democrats focused on both Obamacare and election cases in voicing opposition to her confirmation and urged her to step aside from both. Barrett refused to make such a commitment. Justices have the final say on whether they step aside in a case.

At a White House ceremony on Monday night where conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered to her one of the two oaths of office that justices must take, Barrett pledged her independence from politics.

‘This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct,’ she said.

The political pressures put Barrett in a difficult position and she may tread carefully, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

‘She could be on the court for four decades. I don´t think she wants her first big ruling to be raising a question about her independence,’ Levinson added.

Trump has said he wanted Barrett to be confirmed before Election Day so she could cast a decisive vote in any election-related dispute, potentially in his favor.

The Supreme Court has only once decided the outcome of a U.S. presidential election – the disputed 2000 contest ultimately awarded to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

The justices already have tackled multiple election-related emergency requests this year, some related to rules changes prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Election may be on the ballot: Two cases on mail-in ballot counting are due to be considered this week - and Donald Trump says the high court might decide who gets to occupy the White House on January 20

Election may be on the ballot: Two cases on mail-in ballot counting are due to be considered this week - and Donald Trump says the high court might decide who gets to occupy the White House on January 20

Election may be on the ballot: Two cases on mail-in ballot counting are due to be considered this week – and Donald Trump says the high court might decide who gets to occupy the White House on January 20

Campaign point: The Affordable Care Act could be struck down in its entirety after a hearing the week after the election - with Barack Obama forcefully reminding voters of the issue on the trail for Joe Biden

Campaign point: The Affordable Care Act could be struck down in its entirety after a hearing the week after the election - with Barack Obama forcefully reminding voters of the issue on the trail for Joe Biden

Campaign point: The Affordable Care Act could be struck down in its entirety after a hearing the week after the election – with Barack Obama forcefully reminding voters of the issue on the trail for Joe Biden

On Monday night, the conservative justices were in the majority as the court on a 5-3 vote declined to extend mail-in voting deadlines sought by Democrats in Wisconsin.

Last week, in a stark sign of how Barrett’s appointment could affect such cases, the court split 4-4 in a case from Pennsylvania, handing a loss to Republicans hoping to curb the counting of mail-in ballots received after Election Day.

Republicans on Friday asked the court to block the mail-in ballot counting in Pennsylvania, knowing that Barrett was about to be confirmed.

The conservative majority even before Barrett’s appointment has generally sided with state officials who oppose court-imposed changes to election procedures to make it easier to vote during the pandemic.

The Obamacare case is the third major Republican-backed challenge to the law, which has helped roughly 20 million Americans obtain medical insurance. It also bars insurers from refusing to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Republican opponents have called the law an unwarranted intervention by government in health insurance markets.

The Supreme Court previously upheld Obamacare 5-4 in a 2012 ruling. It rejected another challenge by 6-3 in 2015.

Barrett in the past criticized those two rulings. Democrats opposing her nomination emphasized that she might vote to strike down Obamacare, although legal experts think the court is unlikely to do so.

The court hears another major case on Nov. 4 concerning the scope of religious-rights exemptions to certain federal laws. 

The dispute arose from Philadelphia’s decision to bar a local Roman Catholic entity from participating in the city’s foster-care program because the organization prohibits same-sex couples from serving as foster parents.

The court began its current term on Oct. 5 shorthanded following the death of Barrett’s predecessor, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

If the court is divided 4-4 in any of the cases argued before Barrett was appointed, it could hold a second round of oral arguments so Barrett can participate. 

MEET ACB, A CONSERVATIVE PIN-UP FOR HER DEEP FAITH AND BRILLIANT CAREER – AND A LIGHTNING ROD FOR LIBERALS

Amy Coney Barrett is 48, a mother of seven and a brilliant legal mind – and now she is the most divisive Supreme Court Justice in at least a generation and perhaps far longer.

She brings to the Supreme Court a short judicial career, a longer academic one and the hopes of a conservative legal movement that they have a secure 6-3 majority in the high court for now, and a stalwart vote on it for many decades to come.

Coney Barrett’s life story makes her the sixth Catholic on the court, keeps the six-three male-female make-up of the bench, and for the first time ever puts on the court someone who openly identifies with the charismatic wing of modern Christianity.

She is also the only one who did not receive an education at Harvard or Yale, and the only mid-western and southern justice, having been born and brought up in Louisiana and spent the rest of her life in Indiana.

Barrett was brought up in Metairie, Louisiana, as a member of charismatic, conservative, Catholic group  People of Praise and one of seven children.

Her father, Mike Coney, a former oil company lawyer, has been a leading member for decades. Her attorney-husband, Jesse, 46, whom she met while both were students at Notre Dame University, was also raised in the group.

She had studied for her undergraduate degree at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and contemplated further study in English literature but instead decided to study law, going to Notre Dame whose law school has built a reputation as predominantly conservative.

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children Emma; Vivian; Tess; John Peter; Liam; Juliet; and Benjamin. Her large family has been part of her appeal for conservatives. Vivian and John Peter are adopted from Haiti and their youngest son Benjamin has Down Syndrome

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children Emma; Vivian; Tess; John Peter; Liam; Juliet; and Benjamin. Her large family has been part of her appeal for conservatives. Vivian and John Peter are adopted from Haiti and their youngest son Benjamin has Down Syndrome

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children Emma; Vivian; Tess; John Peter; Liam; Juliet; and Benjamin. Her large family has been part of her appeal for conservatives. Vivian and John Peter are adopted from Haiti and their youngest son Benjamin has Down Syndrome

Judge Amy Coney Barrett introduced her family at her confirmation hearing including her children (from left, first row) Liam, Vivian, Tess, Juliet, Emma, J.P. and husband Jesse and then siblings (from left, second row) Vivian, Eileen, Michael, Megan and Amanda. Sister Carrie was seated across the aisle

Judge Amy Coney Barrett introduced her family at her confirmation hearing including her children (from left, first row) Liam, Vivian, Tess, Juliet, Emma, J.P. and husband Jesse and then siblings (from left, second row) Vivian, Eileen, Michael, Megan and Amanda. Sister Carrie was seated across the aisle

Judge Amy Coney Barrett introduced her family at her confirmation hearing including her children (from left, first row) Liam, Vivian, Tess, Juliet, Emma, J.P. and husband Jesse and then siblings (from left, second row) Vivian, Eileen, Michael, Megan and Amanda. Sister Carrie was seated across the aisle 

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents. In 2018, Barrett's father Mike Coney wrote an online biography of himself on his church's website, saying he joined People of Praise because he and his wife Linda 'felt a call to live life in a close knit Christian community…one that would help form our children into good Christians and strengthen our marriage and family'

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents. In 2018, Barrett's father Mike Coney wrote an online biography of himself on his church's website, saying he joined People of Praise because he and his wife Linda 'felt a call to live life in a close knit Christian community…one that would help form our children into good Christians and strengthen our marriage and family'

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents. In 2018, Barrett’s father Mike Coney wrote an online biography of himself on his church’s website, saying he joined People of Praise because he and his wife Linda ‘felt a call to live life in a close knit Christian community…one that would help form our children into good Christians and strengthen our marriage and family’

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children. She and her husband Jesse

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children. She and her husband Jesse

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children. She and her husband Jesse

Described by one professor as the best student he had ever had, she went on to be a clerk for Antonin Scalia, the justice who championed originalism as a judicial philosophy.

She had a brief career in private practice but became a law professor at Notre Dame, and married and had seven children.

The visible manifestation of her conservative Catholic beliefs was part of her appeal to political conservatives.

But it has also focused attention on the tiny group, which has just over 2,000 members and which does not represent mainstream Catholicism. 

People of Praise is headquartered in Notre Dame’s hometown, South Bend, Indiana, and many of its leading members have ties to the university. According to its website, the group has branches in 14 states as well as one in Canada and two in the Caribbean. It runs three Grades 7-through-12 Trinity Schools and one elementary school.

Both— who lives in South Bend — and People of Praise seem to have gone to extraordinary lengths to hide her affiliation. Articles mentioning her were removed from the group’s website shortly before she was to be considered for a seat on the Federal Appeals Court in 2017.

Barrett’s ties to People of Praise only became public when the New York Times broke the story three weeks after her confirmation hearing as an appeals court judge, but before the committee had voted. The committee eventually split along party lines to confirm her. Three Democrats voted with the Republican majority in the vote in the full Senate. 

People of Praise is strongly anti-abortion. It also rejects homosexuality. ‘Both are seen as being accepted by human law, but rejected by divine law,’ the former member explained.

‘Homosexual relationships are taboo, and any LGBTQ inclinations are seen as temptations that must be overcome through prayer. If that fails, the member must lead a life of chastity.’

Even dating is a no-no until a member has ‘prayed through their state in life’ and decided they are ready to ‘marry for the Lord.’ If they have not committed themselves to marriage, they must not date.

Barrett got her law degree at Notre Dame, graduating first in her class in 1997. She's pictured speaking at Notre Dame's Law School commencement in 2018

Barrett got her law degree at Notre Dame, graduating first in her class in 1997. She's pictured speaking at Notre Dame's Law School commencement in 2018

Barrett got her law degree at Notre Dame, graduating first in her class in 1997. She’s pictured speaking at Notre Dame’s Law School commencement in 2018 

Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small group that teaches that wives have to obey their husbands in everything

Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small group that teaches that wives have to obey their husbands in everything

Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small group that teaches that wives have to obey their husbands in everything

The group is probably best known for its doctrine that women must obey their husbands in everything, and its system where all men and single women must report to their mentor — called a ‘head’. Husbands act as the ‘head’ for their wives.

The ‘heads’ have such influence they give direction on who a member should date or even marry, how to raise children, whether to take a new job and where to live. 

Until recently the female leader was known as a ‘handmaid.’ But that title was dropped after the success of the dystopian TV show The Handmaid’s Tale and the negative connotations it brought to the title. 

Author Margaret Atwood, who wrote the original novel, said it was based on a group that has similar views to People of Praise. 

The conservative Catholic beliefs have bled into her public life:  she is a former member of the Notre Dame’s ‘Faculty for Life’ and in 2015 signed a letter to the Catholic Church affirming the ‘teachings of the Church as truth.’

Among those teachings were the ‘value of human life from conception to natural death’ and marriage-family values ‘founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman’.

She has previously written that Supreme Court precedents are not sacrosanct. Liberals have taken these comments as a threat to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Barrett wrote that she agrees ‘with those who say that a justice’s duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it’.

What she said is the distillation of originalism and raises the possibility that she could tear up precedent if she sees it as out of line with the original constiution.  

That puts her in sync with Scalia and the Republican senators who voted for her and expect her to rule in line with that for decades to come; it puts her violently at odds with those who do not agree, and puts her on track to be a justice whose presence on the bench is going to divide opinion as long as she remains on it.

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Rishi Sunak shares ‘frustrations’ of Northern Tory MPs over the latest round of coronavirus curbs 

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rishi sunak shares frustrations of northern tory mps over the latest round of coronavirus curbs

Rishi Sunak last night said he shared the ‘frustrations’ of a new bloc of angry Northern Tory MPs as it emerged he could try to win their support with a string of major infrastructure projects.

The Chancellor suggested that he sympathised with the MPs who stunned Downing Street on Monday by writing a joint letter outlining their frustrations with northern Covid lockdowns.

The 55 Tories in the Northern Research Group (NRG) have demanded that No 10 produce a roadmap for a way out of the restrictions, warning they risk damaging the Prime Minister’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Rishi Sunak last night said he shared the 'frustrations' of a new bloc of angry Northern Tory MPs as it emerged he could try to win their support with a string of major infrastructure projects

Rishi Sunak last night said he shared the 'frustrations' of a new bloc of angry Northern Tory MPs as it emerged he could try to win their support with a string of major infrastructure projects

Rishi Sunak last night said he shared the ‘frustrations’ of a new bloc of angry Northern Tory MPs as it emerged he could try to win their support with a string of major infrastructure projects

Yesterday, one MP in the group warned that No 10 faced a ‘tussle’ over the tiered system of local lockdowns, which have hit the North, particularly in ‘Red Wall’ seats the Tories won from Labour last year. 

Others said they would use ‘our muscle to argue our corner’ – but denied that was a veiled threat.

Collectively, the MPs have the numbers to overturn the Government’s majority. Boris Johnson is yet to respond to the letter, but last night Mr Sunak told the backbenchers that as a fellow MP for a northern constituency, he understood their concerns.

‘I absolutely share my colleagues’ frustration at restrictions – of course that’s frustrating if you’re having to live under these things and you want to know when it’s going to be over,’ he told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat.

‘But I also share their passion and ambition for the North. 

I want my constituents to make sure they have the same opportunities that everyone else does. 

The 55 Tories in the Northern Research Group (NRG) have demanded that No 10 produce a roadmap for a way out of the restrictions, warning they risk damaging the Prime Minister's 'levelling up' agenda

The 55 Tories in the Northern Research Group (NRG) have demanded that No 10 produce a roadmap for a way out of the restrictions, warning they risk damaging the Prime Minister's 'levelling up' agenda

The 55 Tories in the Northern Research Group (NRG) have demanded that No 10 produce a roadmap for a way out of the restrictions, warning they risk damaging the Prime Minister’s ‘levelling up’ agenda

The conversation can’t always just be about what’s going on in London, marvellous as London is.

‘And so whether you’re constituent of mine in rural North Yorkshire, whether you’re, you know, hanging out in Teesside, you should have access to the same set of opportunities.’ 

He said the Government remained committed to investing in infrastructure, education and skills, new job placements and rural broadband. 

Last night, sources told the Mail that the Treasury may seek to placate the MPs with offers of big infrastructure projects in their seats.

Though departmental budgets will be restricted to a year in the next spending review, large road, rail and infrastructure projects will be exempt. 

Northern constituencies could be the beneficiaries of some of these projects which will be allocated based on the manifesto commitment to ‘level up’, Treasury sources said.

Simon Fell, Tory MP for Barrow and Furness, said the group was ‘trying to essentially keep the Government honest on its promises to the north’, adding: ‘It’s going to be a bit of tussle for a while getting No 10 into the position where they understand what our voters are hoping for and what they expect to get out of us.’

The Tory MP for Shipley, Philip Davies – who signed the letter – said the NRG could ‘use our muscle to argue our corner’. 

He added: ‘The Government is pursuing a strategy which is collapsing the economy and this is disproportionately falling on the north of England. 

‘It is not what I call levelling up. If the Government brings forward any further restrictions, I won’t be voting for them.’

More than 8 million people in England, mainly in the North, will be under the most stringent restrictions by the end of the week. 

Warrington entered Tier Three yesterday and will be followed by parts of Nottinghamshire tomorrow.   

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