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Rebecca Long-Bailey was soft on anti-Semitism, colleague says

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Emily Thornberry has claimed her shadow cabinet colleague Rebecca Long-Bailey failed to push for tougher action on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

During a tense moment in a Labour leadership debate, the shadow foreign secretary said she and Sir Keir Starmer had called for the shadow cabinet to be more involved in tackling the party’s anti-Semitism problem.

But Ms Thornberry claimed she did not ‘remember’ shadow business secretary Ms Long-Bailey doing the same.

Speaking during BBC Newsnight’s televised hustings, Ms Thornberry said: ‘I think it would be right to say that the record shows that I have regularly called out anti-Semitism in my party.

Britain's opposition Labour Party leadership contenders appear on BBC newsnight last night. Left to right: Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry

Britain's opposition Labour Party leadership contenders appear on BBC newsnight last night. Left to right: Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leadership contenders appear on BBC newsnight last night. Left to right: Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry

‘It also should be said that Keir and I were both in the shadow cabinet and would regularly, the two of us, call for regular reports to the shadow cabinet.’

Asked whether she was ‘saying Rebecca didn’t’ demand such a role for leader Jeremy Corbyn’s top team, Ms Thornberry added: ‘No, I don’t think Rebecca did, but Keir and I did.’

In a terse exchange during the 50-minute debate, Ms Long-Bailey responded: ‘I did, I think you’ll find.’

But Ms Thorberry added: ‘Sorry, I don’t remember.’

Britain's opposition Labour Party leadership contenders,Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, are seen before the televised Labour leadership debate on BBC Newsnight in London last night

Britain's opposition Labour Party leadership contenders,Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, are seen before the televised Labour leadership debate on BBC Newsnight in London last night

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leadership contenders,Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, are seen before the televised Labour leadership debate on BBC Newsnight in London last night 

Ms Long-Bailey said she would sign up to the 10 pledges on tackling anti-Semitism that had been set by the Board of Deputies of British Jews if she becomes leader.

‘As leader I will be signing up to the 10 pledges. I would expect my shadow cabinet and all those within it, all our members and MPs within Parliament to follow my lead on that,’ she added.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir added: ‘If you’re not prepared to fight anti-Semitism, you shouldn’t be in the shadow cabinet.’

Lisa Nandy, the only backbencher left in the race, said there should be ‘no one in the Labour Party that doesn’t defend the right of Israel to exist’.

The Wigan MP also criticised the scale of Labour’s nationalisation plans in the last manifesto, saying ‘we can’t nationalise everything’.

She said: ‘One of the things we did in the last election was we made promises we simply couldn’t keep.

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) and Emily Thornberry (right) take part in the party leadership hustings on February 8, 2020 in Nottingham, United Kingdom

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) and Emily Thornberry (right) take part in the party leadership hustings on February 8, 2020 in Nottingham, United Kingdom

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) and Emily Thornberry (right) take part in the party leadership hustings on February 8, 2020 in Nottingham, United Kingdom

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) and Emily Thornberry (right) take part in the party leadership hustings on February 8, 2020 in Nottingham, United Kingdom

Labour MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) and Emily Thornberry (right) take part in the party leadership hustings on February 8, 2020 in Nottingham, United Kingdom

‘We cannot go round as a party making promises to nationalise everything, to slash or get rid of tuition fees but we hadn’t got a clue how we would do it and how we would pay for it.

‘People are smarter than that. We have to be honest with them.’

During the programme, all four candidates stated that they remained committed to scrapping university tuition fees and renationalising the water and electricity industries – pledges that were in the 2019 Labour manifesto.

But they jointly rowed back on scrapping private schools and introducing a four day week, two other controversial policies put forward during Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

 

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Italy sees near-identical number of coronavirus infections and deaths for a second day

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Italy today saw a near-identical number of coronavirus infections and deaths for a second day – as hopes remain the country is past the worst of the virus.

The death toll climbed by 837 to 12,428, the Civil Protection Agency said, with the daily tally rising, albeit slightly, for a second day running.

The number of new cases was broadly steady, growing by 4,053 against 4,050 yesterday, and bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on February 21 to 105,792.

Today’s figures show a slight decline in the rate of infections and deaths from the virus indicating the country is starting to recover from the worst of the outbreak. 

Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for more than a third of all global fatalities from the virus but it appears its strict lockdown measures may now be starting to work. 

Some 5,217 new cases were registered on Sunday and 5,974 on Saturday, suggesting the growth curve of new infections is flattening.

The number of new cases was broadly steady, growing by 4,053 against 4,050 yesterday, and bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on February 21 to 105,792

The number of new cases was broadly steady, growing by 4,053 against 4,050 yesterday, and bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on February 21 to 105,792

The number of new cases was broadly steady, growing by 4,053 against 4,050 yesterday, and bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on February 21 to 105,792

The death toll climbed by 837 to 12,428, the Civil Protection Agency said, with the daily tally rising, albeit slightly, for a second day running

The death toll climbed by 837 to 12,428, the Civil Protection Agency said, with the daily tally rising, albeit slightly, for a second day running

The death toll climbed by 837 to 12,428, the Civil Protection Agency said, with the daily tally rising, albeit slightly, for a second day running

Personal healthcare with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) transport infected Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients at the Verduno Hospital in Turn, Italy today

Personal healthcare with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) transport infected Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients at the Verduno Hospital in Turn, Italy today

Personal healthcare with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) transport infected Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients at the Verduno Hospital in Turn, Italy today

A worker sanitizes the staircase of altar of the fatherland (Altare della Patria) in Rome today during the coronavirus emergency

A worker sanitizes the staircase of altar of the fatherland (Altare della Patria) in Rome today during the coronavirus emergency

A worker sanitizes the staircase of altar of the fatherland (Altare della Patria) in Rome today during the coronavirus emergency

The daily tally of deaths in Lombardy, the worst-affected region, declined sharply, and new infections were also down for at least the third day running, suggesting the situation is improving there faster than elsewhere in the country.

In neighbouring Piedmont, on the other hand, the daily death toll of 105 was up sharply from the day before.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 15,729 had fully recovered on Tuesday, compared to 14,620 the day before. There were 4,023 people in intensive care, up from a previous 3,981.

Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for around 30 per cent of all global fatalities from the virus.

Italy’s largest daily toll from the five-week-old epidemic was registered on Friday, when 919 people died. There were 889 deaths on Saturday, 756 on Sunday and 812 on Monday.

It comes as the head of Italy’s national institutes of health says the country has hit the ‘plateau’ in its coronavirus infection rate, three weeks into a national lockdown, and should start to see a decline in new cases.

Employees of a private company prepare to spray disinfectant in a building in Rome today

Employees of a private company prepare to spray disinfectant in a building in Rome today

 Employees of a private company prepare to spray disinfectant in a building in Rome today

A Carabinieri officers checks a driver's documents during a control in Rome, Italy today

A Carabinieri officers checks a driver's documents during a control in Rome, Italy today

A Carabinieri officers checks a driver’s documents during a control in Rome, Italy today

Dr. Silvio Brusaferro said today that it would be folly to relax Italy’s productivity shutdown and stay-at-home restrictions now, even though the rate of new virus infections is slowing.

But he said, ‘The curve suggests we are at the plateau. We have to confirm it, because arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we’re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.’ 

Brusaferro confirmed that Italy’s R0, the average number of people who will get infected from one contagious person, is nearing one, down from estimates as high as two or three. Officials are aiming to get the R0 under one to rein in the epidemic.

In the absence of a virus vaccine that would bring that rate closer to zero, Brusaferro said governments around the world will have to come up with a mixture of measures to keep the infection curve down while gradually allowing some activity to restart.

It comes as the country’s former Prime Minister warned Italy must reopen its schools at the start of May or risk causing mass protests and riots.

Matteo Renzi, leader of the Italia Viva party who led the country from 2014 to 2016, called for factories to be reopened by Easter and for millions of children to return to classrooms on May 4 to ease the pressure on hard-hit families and the economy.

‘Italy cannot hibernate for another month because this is how the social revolt ignites,’ he said. ‘The balconies will soon turn into pitchforks; the songs of hope, into desperate protests.’

But health experts poured cold water on his idea, insisting that it is still too early to talk about relaxing draconian restrictions that has seen all-but essential businesses shuttered and people banned from leaving the house. 

Italian and EU flags flly at half-mast in tribute to the Covid-19 victims, at Palazzo Chigi, in Rome today

Italian and EU flags flly at half-mast in tribute to the Covid-19 victims, at Palazzo Chigi, in Rome today

Italian and EU flags flly at half-mast in tribute to the Covid-19 victims, at Palazzo Chigi, in Rome today

Renzi spoke out on Saturday, as it became clear that Italy’s rate of new coronavirus cases had begun falling. 

But Giovanni Rezza, an infectious disease expert who has been helping to lead the country’s response, said it needs to fall further still before measures can be eased.

Speaking at the weekend, he said the average Italian coronavirus patient is now infecting just over one person with the virus.

That is down from 2.5 people on average before the lockdown was put in place.

‘But it must fall further,’ he said, ‘below one before the alarm is over.’

Pierluigi Lopalco, another disease expert, agreed. ‘Thinking about reopening schools on May 4th is madness and making proclamations at this time is wrong,’ he said.

Renzi made his remarks in an interview with Italian newspaper Avvenire, in which he insisted that life must be allowed to carry on during the pandemic – albeit differently than usual.

‘The coronavirus season has a before, an after, but also a during,’ he said. ‘And in the course of the course we will have to deal with reality. 

‘For a year we will no longer shake hands. We will no longer be attached to the tables in a pizzeria, we will go to the cinema and the theater keeping the safety distance. 

‘Crowded places will be avoided and more work will be done from home. We will live differently, but we will live. We must start again, however. Because the alternative is to shut yourself in and die.’

Matteo Renzi, Italy's former Prime Minister and leader of the Italia Viva party, called on schools to reopen on May 4 - and warned the country risks rioting if people are locked up for too long

Matteo Renzi, Italy's former Prime Minister and leader of the Italia Viva party, called on schools to reopen on May 4 - and warned the country risks rioting if people are locked up for too long

Matteo Renzi, Italy’s former Prime Minister and leader of the Italia Viva party, called on schools to reopen on May 4 – and warned the country risks rioting if people are locked up for too long

Members of the military stand guard outside the Michelangelo hotel in Milan, which is being used to house quarantined coronavirus sufferers

Members of the military stand guard outside the Michelangelo hotel in Milan, which is being used to house quarantined coronavirus sufferers

Members of the military stand guard outside the Michelangelo hotel in Milan, which is being used to house quarantined coronavirus sufferers

Medical personnel and patients are pictured at a newly set up intensive care unit in the physiotherapy assistance gym of the Poliambilanza hospital in Brescia

Medical personnel and patients are pictured at a newly set up intensive care unit in the physiotherapy assistance gym of the Poliambilanza hospital in Brescia

Medical personnel and patients are pictured at a newly set up intensive care unit in the physiotherapy assistance gym of the Poliambilanza hospital in Brescia

It comes as two people at each end of the age spectrum have become beacons of hope in Northern Italy, ground-zero for the coronavirus in Europe.

Leonardo, a six-month-old baby and Italica Grondona, a 102-year-old woman have both survived the virus after each faced a long battle in hospital. 

Little Leonardo has recently returned home in the municipality of Corbetta in the northern Italian region of Lombardy after winning a 50-day battle against COVID-19.

Six-month-old baby Leonardo survived 50 days with the coronavirus. His mother said 'I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother'

Six-month-old baby Leonardo survived 50 days with the coronavirus. His mother said 'I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother'

Six-month-old baby Leonardo survived 50 days with the coronavirus. His mother said ‘I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother’

Local mayor Marco Ballarini called baby Leonardo ‘the wonderful face of hope’ and thanked the cute tot for helping to lift the spirits in the region.

He said: ‘Today we have a reason to smile and be happy, to feel like we are part of a community. Today, we look at the wonderful face of hope. Corbetta welcomes home little Leonardo who has just been released from hospital after defeating COVID-19.

‘Thanks a lot Leo, and thanks to your parents who never gave up. They brought summer to the hearts of all Corbetta citizens! Strength Corbetta!’

The baby’s mum told local media: ‘I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother.’

She said that she knew her baby was ill when he had a fever and his heart rate quickened, adding that her husband’s work colleague had been diagnosed with the virus.

The mother said that little Leonardo was well treated by healthcare professionals.

Italica Grondona, 102, battled the coronavirus for 20 days, with doctors calling her 'the immortal' as she also lived through the Spanish Flu when she was Leonardo's ago

Italica Grondona, 102, battled the coronavirus for 20 days, with doctors calling her 'the immortal' as she also lived through the Spanish Flu when she was Leonardo's ago

Italica Grondona, 102, battled the coronavirus for 20 days, with doctors calling her ‘the immortal’ as she also lived through the Spanish Flu when she was Leonardo’s ago

Meanwhile, A 102-year-old Italian woman in Genoa, also in Northern Italy, has made a miraculous recovery after catching the coronavirus and spending 20 days in hospital.

Earlier this month, Italica Grondona came down with symptoms of the deadly virus and was admitted to hospital with mild heart failure but she has since been discharged with doctors saying ‘the virus surrendered in front of her.’

‘We nicknamed her ‘Highlander’ – the immortal,’ doctor Vera Sicbaldi said to CNN, who treated the woman in the San Martino hospital in Genoa, adding that Gorondona ‘represents hope for all the elderly people facing this pandemic.’

Records from Italy’s National Health institute show that the average age of someone to die after testing positive for the coronavirus is 78, making Grondona’s case particularly exceptional.

The doctors were so impressed with the case that they decided to study it deeper, although Sicbaldi admitted that the doctor’s themselves did ‘very little’ to cure Grondona.

Sicbaldi said: ‘She only had some mild coronavirus symptoms, so we tested her and she was positive, but we did very little, she recovered on her own.’

Italy's largest daily toll from the five-week-old epidemic was registered on Friday, when 919 people died

Italy's largest daily toll from the five-week-old epidemic was registered on Friday, when 919 people died

Italy’s largest daily toll from the five-week-old epidemic was registered on Friday, when 919 people died

Given Grondona’s old-age, doctors said that it was possible she was the only patient they had treated to have also survived the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, estimated to have killed around 50 million people, after they undertook additional tests on her. 

‘We got serological samples, she is the first patient we know that might have gone through the ‘Spanish flu’ since she was born in 1917,’ added Sicbaldi.

She would have been around Leonardo’s age when Spanish Flu was raging through Europe. 

Amazingly, Grondona was discharged from hospital on 26 March and is now in a care home.

While her only son died in the US decades ago, her Nephew, Renato Villa Grondona has been looking out for her. When asked what her secret to surviving the virus was, he said he didn’t know, but said ‘I know she is a free and independent woman.’

‘She loves life, dancing and music, she loves Freddy Mercury and Valentino Rossi,’ the famous Italian MotoGP world champion.

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France coronavirus death toll overtakes China after biggest daily jump

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A record 499 people die from coronavirus in France in last 24 hours
A record 499 people have died from coronavirus in France in the last 24 hours (Picture: Getty – EPA)

France has become the third country in Europe to over take China’s coronavirus death toll after recording the biggest daily jump in fatalities since the outbreak began.

Health authorities announced an increase of 499 deaths of patients with the coronavirus in the country’s hospitals on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people who have lost their lives to Covid-19 to 3,523.

By comparison, 3,309 people have died of Coronavirus in China, according to figures from the John Hopkins Resource Centre.

Earlier this month Italy, followed by Spain, overtook China as the worst hit region for coronavirus deaths. The US, which has the most cases globally, has also had more fatalities than in China, with 3,440 recorded.

As authorities in Europe warn the worst is yet to come, life in Wuhan, the global source of the outbreak, is gradually returning to normal with borders reopening and metro services resuming.

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By stark comparison, France is transferring Covid-19 patients to hospitals overseas as the country’s healthcare system becomes overwhelmed by a surge in cases.

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Source: Metro News

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Husband saw wife drown after she got trapped under boat during diving trip

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Photos of Mollie Ghiz-Flynn and her husband Sean
Sean Flynn tried frantically to save wife Mollie’s life after she got trapped under a boat while diving, but was tragically unable to do so (Pictures: Facebook)

A husband was left traumatized after watching his wife drown after she got trapped under a boat during a diving trip. Sean Flynn and his wife Mollie Ghiz-Flynn, 37, were both sucked under the 48-foot vessel off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday.

Mollie became trapped in the boat’s propeller and was unable to free herself, with a subsequent rescue attempt unable to save her from drowning. Mollie’s father Jack Ghiz said his son-in-law had been ‘traumatized’ by the freak accident, and added: ‘I commend him for doing a valiant effort.’

Sean and Mollie, from Melbourne in Florida, got into trouble after the boat they’d gone diving on, the Southern Comfort, returned to pick them and other divers up from an offshore expedition. After Mollie was eventually pulled from the water, rescuers and paramedics performed CPR in an unsuccessful attempt to revive her.

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Jack Ghiz says his daughter, who married Sean in 2017, was ‘the most wonderful, beautiful person in the world.’ He told the Palm Beach Post: ‘She could do no wrong. She was glue to the family. Everybody loved her.’

Photo of Sean and Mollie on their wedding day
Sean and Mollie got married in 2017, with Sean now traumatized by his wife’s sudden death (Picture: Facebook)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the tragedy, but has yet to file any citations against the Southern Comfort’s operator.

It could end up falling foul of a rule put in place last week banning diving expeditions and other leisure activities in the water in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

That decree, issued by Palm Beach County, states that ‘all boat docks, ramps, marinas, and any other venues utilized for launching any vessels to be used for recreational purposes, including, but not limited to fishing charters, boat tours, diving excursions, and the like, are hereby closed until further notice.’

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Source: Metro News

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