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Priti Patel vows to overhaul ‘broken’ asylum system

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priti patel vows to overhaul broken asylum system

Priti Patel today vowed to stop people ‘taking our country for a ride’ by overhauling the ‘broken’ asylum system and cracking down on migrant crossings.

The Home Secretary pledged the ‘biggest overhaul in decades’ as she warned that the current arrangements are not ‘firm or fair’.

In her keynote speech to Tory conference, Ms Patel said that toughening enforcement and preventing abuse of the rules was the best way to ‘protect the vulnerable’.

The Cabinet minister also lashed out at Labour MPs berating her over her strong stance on law and order issues, saying she would not change tack just because she did not ‘conform’ to their idea of the views ethnic minorities should hold.  

Ms Patel told the conference, being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, that ‘do gooders and lefty lawyers and the Labour Party’ had to stop ‘defending the indefensible’ on asylum system.

‘We will protect those most in need and put the rights of those who respect the rules above those who take our country for a ride,’ she said. 

The impassioned speech came after a furious row over the leaking of ‘blue sky’ ideas for reforming asylum arrangements and stemming migrant crossings.

Proposals have been floated including introducing a processing centre on Ascension Island, 4,000 miles away, and even using wave machines in the Channel.

However, government sources have insisted the ideas were only ever considered in brainstorming sessions, and complained that they are being leaked to damage ministers. 

In her keynote speech to Tory conference, Ms Patel said that toughening enforcement and preventing abuse of the rules was the best way to 'protect the vulnerable'

In her keynote speech to Tory conference, Ms Patel said that toughening enforcement and preventing abuse of the rules was the best way to ‘protect the vulnerable’

Border Force brings a group of would-be migrants back to shore in the Channel last month

Border Force brings a group of would-be migrants back to shore in the Channel last month 

Ms Patel said that under the Conservatives the UK ‘has and always will provide sanctuary when the lights are being switched off on people’s liberties’.

‘A fair asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny,’ she said. 

‘But ours doesn’t. Because our asylum system is fundamentally broken. And we have a responsibility to act.’

Ms Patel said: ‘From the expulsion of Ugandan Asians from a repressive regime, to proudly resettling more Syrian refugees than any other EU country, to supporting campaigners fleeing political persecution in Hong Kong.

‘Under Conservative leadership, the United Kingdom has and always will provide sanctuary when the lights are being switched off on people’s liberties.

‘So, I will introduce a new system that is firm and fair.

‘Fair and compassionate towards those who need our help. Fair by welcoming people through safe and legal routes.

‘But firm because we will stop the abuse of the broken system.

‘Firm, because we will stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain.

‘And firm, because we will expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.

‘After decades of inaction by successive governments, we will address the moral, legal, practical problems with this broken system. Because what exists now is neither firm nor fair.

‘And I will bring forward legislation to deliver on that commitment. I will take every necessary step to fix this broken system. Amounting to the biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades.’

The Home Secretary promised ‘accelerate’ the operational response to illegal migration.

Discarded clothes and and shoes were spotted strewn across the beach on Tuesday morning

Discarded clothes and and shoes were spotted strewn across the beach on Tuesday morning

She said: ‘We will continue to hunt down the criminal gangs who traffic people into our country.

‘I will continue to use the full force of our outstanding National Crime Agency and intelligence agencies to go after them.

‘We will make more immediate returns of those who come here illegally and break our rules, every single week.

‘And we will explore all practical measures and options to deter illegal migration.’

Ms Patel went on: ‘As for those defending the broken system – the traffickers, the do gooders, the leftie lawyers, the Labour Party – they are defending the indefensible.

And that is something I will never do.

If at times it means being unpopular on Twitter. I will bear it.

If at times it means Tony Blair’s spin doctor mocking my accent. So be it.

And if at times it means Labour Members of Parliament attempting to silence me because I do not conform to their idea of what an ethnic minority woman should stand for. I will stomach it.

Because as Conservatives, we do not measure the depth of our compassion in two hundred and eighty characters on Twitter, but in the actions we take and the choices we make.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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People reveal the heartbreaking accounts of everyday racism they’ve encountered

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people reveal the heartbreaking accounts of everyday racism theyve encountered

People have shared heartbreaking accounts of everyday racism they have encountered – including a Native American and black person who was told that their family history is like a ‘rare and disgusting anomaly of nature’.  

From a Jewish person being told that Hitler ‘should’ve got them’, to strangers telling a woman with Chinese heritage to have her eyes ‘fixed’, these are some of the shocking incidents of racism experienced by social media users from around the world.

Taking to the secrets sharing app Whisper, another anonymous distressed poster admitted: ‘I’m Middle Eastern and I got called “a spy from Isis“.’

Here, FEMAIL reveals some of the shocking incidences shared on the US-based site…  

People have shared heartbreaking accounts of everyday racism they have encountered - including a Jewish person being told that Hitler 'should've got them' (pictured)

People have shared heartbreaking accounts of everyday racism they have encountered – including a Jewish person being told that Hitler ‘should’ve got them’ (pictured)

These are some of the tragic moments of racism experienced by social media users from around the world, with one person (above) admitting they were called an illegal immigrant despite being 100 per cent Cherokee

These are some of the tragic moments of racism experienced by social media users from around the world, with one person (above) admitting they were called an illegal immigrant despite being 100 per cent Cherokee

Shocking: Strangers told a quarter Chinese woman to have her eyes 'fixed so that [her heritage] doesn't show at all'

Shocking: Strangers told a quarter Chinese woman to have her eyes ‘fixed so that [her heritage] doesn’t show at all’

Taking to the secrets sharing app Whisper , another anonymous distressed poster admitted: 'I'm Middle Eastern and I got called "a spy from Isis"'

Taking to the secrets sharing app Whisper , another anonymous distressed poster admitted: ‘I’m Middle Eastern and I got called “a spy from Isis”‘

One person admitted: 'I'm black and Native American. White people constantly tell me they like me because I'm not "really black". What does that even mean?'

One person admitted: ‘I’m black and Native American. White people constantly tell me they like me because I’m not “really black”. What does that even mean?’

One woman was irritated by often hearing the remark: 'You're not like traditionally pretty but you're really like exotic pretty'

One woman was irritated by often hearing the remark: ‘You’re not like traditionally pretty but you’re really like exotic pretty’

A Native American and black person admits they were told that their family history is like a 'rare and disgusting anomaly of nature' (pictured)

A Native American and black person admits they were told that their family history is like a ‘rare and disgusting anomaly of nature’ (pictured)

One American social media user candidly confessed that they often received the question: 'You're native? But you're so pretty'

One American social media user candidly confessed that they often received the question: ‘You’re native? But you’re so pretty’

'When white people tell me I don't act or sound black,' one baffled social media wrote, suggesting they heard the phrase often

‘When white people tell me I don’t act or sound black,’ one baffled social media wrote, suggesting they heard the phrase often

One person admitted: 'An old lady threw a fit that a family of black people were in the lobby today, because "they probably have Ebola"'

One person admitted: ‘An old lady threw a fit that a family of black people were in the lobby today, because “they probably have Ebola”‘

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus: UK’s infections are on ‘steady rise’ but not out of control, app data suggests

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coronavirus uks infections are on steady rise but not out of control app data suggests

Coronavirus is not out of control in the UK, according to scientists who estimate there are now around 44,000 new infections happening each day.

King’s College London researchers behind the Covid Symptom Study predict cases were last week 20 per cent higher than a week before. The previous seven days had seen a rise of 31 per cent.

Based on reports from a million app users and more than 12,000 test results, the estimates last week aligned roughly with figures from the Office for National Statistics, which are considered to be the most accurate and will update today.

Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist behind the King’s study, said the spread of Covid-19 in the UK currently appears ‘steady’ and may even be slowing in Scotland.

The team estimated that Britain’s cases are doubling once a month and that the R rate was 1.1 in the week ending October 25.

Their update comes after a shocking mass-testing study published yesterday estimated that 96,000 people may be catching the disease every day.

But this came alongside a conflicting forecast which put the figure at closer to 56,000, sparking confusion about how severe the UK’s second wave really is. 

And Department of Health testing has picked up an average of just 22,125 cases per day for the last week, with 23,065 diagnosed yesterday. 

Looking back on the numbers of people dying can also give an impression of how widely Covid-19 is spreading – Government officials estimate 0.5 per cent of coronavirus patients die, which suggests the average 154 people who died each day in the week up to October 23 was the result of 31,000 new daily infections at the start of the month.

Professor Spector said the King’s College team, working with health-tech company ZOE, wanted to ‘reassure’ people that the situation did not seem to be as bad as ‘other surveys’ had suggested. 

In other coronavirus news:

  • West Yorkshire will enter the strictest Tier Three lockdown from Sunday, joining the regions around Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham;
  • London could face Tier Three rules within weeks, according to sources close to the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. Mr Khan yesterday repeated his calls for a national shutdown and said tougher measures need to be taken;
  • A Government source has reportedly told Boris Johnson that all hospital beds in England could be full by December 17 if no more action is taken against coronavirus. Tougher measures continue to be put in place, however, and Nightingale hospitals remain on standby across the country;
  • A study has suggested a variant strain of Covid-19, named 20A.EU1, has been behind 90 per cent of infections in England, and has been traced back to a farm in northern Spain in June.
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Data from King's College London's Covid Symptom Study app shows that coronavirus cases in the UK have soared to more than 40,000 per day after a lull in the summer but the team behind it maintain that they 'have not spiralled out of control'

Data from King’s College London’s Covid Symptom Study app shows that coronavirus cases in the UK have soared to more than 40,000 per day after a lull in the summer but the team behind it maintain that they ‘have not spiralled out of control’

‘While cases are still rising across the UK, we want to reassure people that cases have not spiralled out of control, as has been recently reported from other surveys,’ Professor Spector said today.

‘We are still seeing a steady rise nationally, doubling every four weeks, with the possible exception of Scotland which may be showing signs of a slow down. 

‘With a million people reporting weekly, we have the largest national survey and our estimates are in line with the ONS survey.

‘Data on covid-19 can be confusing for the public and we can’t rely simply on confirmed cases or daily deaths, without putting them into context. 

‘Hospital admissions are rising as expected, but deaths are still average for the season. As we become citizen scientists it’s important to look at multiple sources to get a broader view.’

ARE CASES REALLY GOING UP SO QUICKLY?

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An array of statistics last week suggested cases were no longer growing as quick as they once were.

Office for National Statistics, which tracks the size of the Covid-19 outbreak through thousands of random swab tests, revealed that the number of people catching the coronavirus in England alone every day stood at 35,200 last week.

Despite being a 26 per cent rise on its previous estimate and double that of a fortnight ago, top scientists insisted the figure was ‘hopeful’ because the speed of growth has clearly dropped. 

Cases doubled between October 2 and 9, then jumped by two thirds (62 per cent) the following week to 27,900 per day, according to the ONS data, which is considered the most reliable indicator of the true size of the crisis. 

The data echoed comments by the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, who said last week there were signs local lockdowns were starting to work and that curves were beginning to flatten in some areas.

Separate Department of Health data showed the number of daily cases by specimen date — the date the test was taken — had jumped by just 9 per cent from October 5 to October 12, rising from 15,310 to 16,683 in a week. 

But then cases appeared to take off again, increasing by 23.5 per cent from 17,589 on October 15 to 21,717 a week later. 

Since then, the outbreak appears to have slowed again, with the speed of growth in the most recent three days being 1.6 per cent, compared to around 7.7 per cent over the previous three days. 

Testing has stayed at a consistent level over the past two weeks, suggesting the current swab programme may be spotting as many Covid-19 cases as it can — with a test positivity rate above five per cent. 

The UK’s testing system will always miss asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections. Those who have no symptoms have no reason to request a test.

The current scheme is only swabbing 300,000 people a day — despite warnings it would need to be ramped up for the winter to cope with the surge in people who have coughs and colds.

As a result of the lack of capacity, NHS and social care workers are being prioritised, as are people with severe symptoms and those approached by Test and Trace. 

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The Department of Health yesterday announced a further 23,065 positive coronavirus tests from across the UK, up 8.6 per cent on last Thursday.

Numbers of people being diagnosed with the illness have soared since the start of September to a current daily average of 22,125.

But testing only picks up a fraction of the true number of infections because many people don’t get tested, don’t get ill with the virus or get a wrong negative result.

So studies done by scientists and mathematicians are the most accurate pictures of how many people are truly getting infected with coronavirus, whether it makes them ill or not.

King’s’ study is based on around one million people with the Covid Symptom Study app reporting whether they feel ill and confirming test results when they have them. It estimates there are 43,569 new infections per day in the UK and 34,628 in England.

The Office for National Statistics, which last week estimated there were 35,200 new infections per day in mid-October, uses mass testing of a random set of the population to calculate what percentage of people are Covid-positive and how this changes over time.

The Government-funded Imperial College London study, REACT-1, yesterday estimated there were 96,000 new infections per day. This study is also based on mass population testing and used 85,000 tests from between October 16 and 25.

Meanwhile a ‘Nowcast’ study by researchers at the University of Cambridge yesterday put the figure at 55,600 per day, based on the numbers of people who are dying of the disease and data showing how much people are travelling and interacting.

Looking back on the numbers of people dying of Covid-19 can give a fairly reliable estimate of infections but there are lags in the data because it usually takes more than two weeks for someone to die after catching Covid-19.

Officials believe that around 0.5 per cent of people who catch coronavirus die with it – one in every 200 people who gets infected. 

Therefore, the average 154 people who died each day in the UK in the week leading up to October 23 – the most recent reliable data – suggest that 31,000 people were getting infected each day two to three weeks earlier.

This may not, however, take into account differences in the age of people catching the virus. The infection fatality rate may now be lower than it was in the spring because there are more cases spreading among young people.

The second wave was triggered by the virus spreading among teenagers and people in their 20s in early September, when universities and schools went back, and those groups are far less likely to die, meaning there may be a higher ratio of infections to deaths and the 31,000-per-day could be an underestimate. 

Data in the Covid Symptom Study estimated that the North West and North East and Yorkshire accounted for half of all of England’s new infections each day, at 8,725 and 8,446 per day, respectively. 

A further 7,404 of the daily infections were springing up in the Midlands, it suggested, followed by 4,977 per day in London. Lowest was the East of England, with 2,278 per day, and the South West with 2,607.

Scotland accounted for 4,674 new cases per day, the study predicted, followed by 3,397 in Wales and 1,230 in Northern Ireland. 

England and Scotland had predicted R rates of 1.1, while it was 1.2 in Wales.

The Government is still refusing calls for a second national lockdown for Britain, fearing economic devastation if people are forced to stay home again, and pursuing its whack-a-mole local lockdown strategy.

Sixteen more areas were pushed into Tier Two ‘high risk’ restrictions yesterday, including parts of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Telford, and Luton and Oxford. 

And Leeds and West Yorkshire are now set to enter Tier Three – the highest level of restrictions – alongside the Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham regions.

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The North of England and the Midlands remain worst affected by Covid-19, the King's team predicts, with per-person infection rates also high in Scotland, Wales, London and university cities in the South of England including Bristol, Bournemouth, Exeter and Brighton

The North of England and the Midlands remain worst affected by Covid-19, the King’s team predicts, with per-person infection rates also high in Scotland, Wales, London and university cities in the South of England including Bristol, Bournemouth, Exeter and Brighton

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday: ‘We continue to see a worrying rise in cases right across the country, and it is clear decisive action is needed.

‘We have agreed with local leaders to move more areas into the High Local Covid Alert Level this week.

‘These restrictions are challenging for us all, but it is only by working together and following the rules that we will bring down the rates of infection. 

‘A failure to act now will only lead to longer disruption and greater economic damage. I want to thank everyone who is playing their part to break the chains of transmission across the country. We will beat this virus, but we must stick together as we enter the winter months.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Legoland announces new land for 2021 at its Windsor resort based around mythical creatures

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legoland announces new land for 2021 at its windsor resort based around mythical creatures

It promises to be a creature feature like no other. 

Legoland Windsor Resort has revealed it will open a new multi-million-pound land where mythical Lego creatures will ‘come to life’.

The land, called Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures, will open in spring 2021 and according to the resort will ‘feature thrilling new attractions and experiences, including a never-before-seen UK ride’.

Legoland Windsor Resort has revealed it will open a new multi-million-pound land where mythical Lego creatures will 'come to life'

Legoland Windsor Resort has revealed it will open a new multi-million-pound land where mythical Lego creatures will ‘come to life’ 

The new land marks the single biggest investment at the park since its gates opened 25 years ago and Legoland promises it will allow ‘children’s imaginations and creativity to run wild’.

A teaser video for the new attraction, shared on social media this morning, shows a mythical portal to another world opening for the first time at the theme park.

In a hint to the creatures that families may find in this ‘parallel universe’, huge footprints shake the resort, a winged shadow flies overhead and the 30-second film ends with an ice storm engulfing Legoland Windsor’s iconic entrance.

The resort said: ‘Working in partnership with Kids Industries, the Legoland Windsor team behind the new land spent a year discussing and testing ideas and concepts with seven-to-11-year-olds and their parents, who influenced everything from the final ride experiences, names and characters.’

The land is currently under construction and is located between Heartlake City and the Resort’s Lego-themed hotels.

Thomas Jellum, divisional director at the Legoland Windsor Resort, said: ‘What better way to celebrate our 25th birthday than by unveiling a unique experience like nothing else we have launched at the resort since we opened.

‘At the heart of Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures will be epic rides, including a UK first, and breathtaking mythical creatures designed to capture children’s imaginations and inspire them to build and play.

Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures will mark the single biggest investment at Legoland Windsor since its gates opened 25 years ago

Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures will mark the single biggest investment at Legoland Windsor since its gates opened 25 years ago 

‘Our new land has been two years in the making and co-created with families to make sure it delivers what children and their parents want from a theme park in 2021.

‘We can’t wait to share more details soon.’

Legoland Windsor is one of eight Legoland parks across the world.

The others can be found in the Danish town of Billund, California, Florida, Germany, Dubai, Malaysia and Japan.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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