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Life Style

Despite White House Assurances LGBT Advocates Fearful

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality advocates on Tuesday said they were bracing for President Donald Trump to roll back their rights in the workplace despite White House Assurances that this was not going to happen.

The official line is that the 2014 executive order issued by President Barak Obama that barred discrimination against the LGBT community working for federal contractors remains intact.

A White House statement said, “The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP (Republican) nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

Advocates, however, fear that Trump will bring in a new set of executive orders that would allow discrimination on religious grounds undermining the executive order that protected them.

Trump at Odds with other Republicans over LGBT

Many of Trump’s fellow Republicans have often fought civil rights that protected sexual orientation and gender identity.  Enforcing the previous executive order does place Trump at odds with others in his own party.  During his presidential campaign, he had acknowledged gay rights and called for LGBT voters to vote for him.

The LGBT community, however, is hardly secure in having a President like Donald Trump.  His vice president Mike Pence is a conservative Christian and he, along with other senior Republicans oppose gay rights.

The president of Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, felt the appointment of Pence showed Trump’s true views on LGBT.

He said that although Trump spoke a good game he has filled his cabinet with those who had spent careers demonising the community.

U.S Supreme Court

The death of Antonin Scalia has left a vacant position at the U.S Supreme Court with many in the LGBT community fearful of who Trump will nominate as a replacement.

In an MSNBC interview in 2015 Trump said the Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage should stand.

Categories
Politics

London celebrities threaten to boycott council tax over bin collections row

Shirley Valentine actor Tom Conti, fashion designer Nicole Farhi and playwright Sir David Hare are all threatening not to pay their council tax in a row about fortnightly bin collections.

Camden Council in North London, where they all live, used to collect rubbish once a week. However, in a bid to cut costs, it has cut back the collections to once every fortnight instead. However, the move has not gone down well in plush areas of London, including Hampstead, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park, which are all well known for being celebrity haunts.

Mr Conti, 75, said he pays £2,719 per year in council tax but wasn’t getting enough for his money. He said it was shocking that the council wasted so much money and did not collect the rubbish. He added: “It will mean dirtier streets. I don’t know whether they are targeting richer neighbourhoods on purpose but it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Ridiculous idea

Meanwhile, Ms Farhi who is married to Sir David branded the changes ridiculous, asking where she was meant to store her rubbish while waiting for a collection. She pointed out that she already pays more for her council tax than many people because she has a large house, and demanded that she get the same service as other boroughs of London. Ms Farhi said she was also concerned that less frequent rubbish collections would attract vermin such as rats and foxes.

Other celerity residents set to be affected include One Direction singer Harry Styles, chat show host Jonathan Ross and comedian David Walliams.

Camden Council said it was taking a road by road approach to bin collections, adding that it had made sure those homes will be serviced just once a fortnight have big enough storage areas so that rubbish does not spill out into the streets.

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Breaking

Police Make an Arrest in Quebec Mosque Shooting

A man has been arrested in connection with the Quebec Mosque shooting that happened on Sunday evening.  They have also detained a witness for questioning.

The attack left six people dead, and five people are in a critical condition.  Earlier, police had said they had two suspects in custody.  Now one appears to be a witness to the attack.

One of the men was arrested at the scene, while the other was picked up after he called 911.  According to authorities the two men are believed to be in their 20s and 30s and had no prior record.

Canadian authorities have stated they do not believe that there was anybody else involved in the attack and they have the situation “under control.”  They have not given a possible motive for the attack.

Fifty People at the Mosque at the Time of the Shooting

At the time of the incident there were 50 people at the mosque.  Twelve other people were injured in addition to the six dead and five critically injured.  The fatalities were aged between 35 and 65.

In the aftermath of the attack provincial police have increased police presence by seventy five officers, while investigation teams are looking for forensic evidence at the mosque.

Terrorist Attack

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have described the shooting on the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre as a terrorist act.

The attacks come as U.S President Trump’s executive orders ban Muslims and people from seven countries from the Middle East and Africa.

The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui said the shooting happened where men were worshipping and was dismayed by the incident.  He was not inside at the time.  He thanked the public for the support shown on the mosque’s Facebook Page.

In June last year the same mosque was targeted by an Islamophobic group who put a pig’s head on the steps of the mosque during Ramadan.   Pork is forbidden to be eaten in Islam.

Categories
Entertainment

Paris Jackson lands her first acting role

Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris is entering the acting world. The teenager has just won her first acting role, on the Lee Daniels show, Star. Daniels had already sparked rumours a fortnight ago when he posted an image on Instagram showing the two engaged in a meeting. He captioned it “talking, talking, talking”.

However, it was not confirmed what they were talking about, until now. Sources said that the renowned director and producer actually met her so she could do a screen test. She impressed the 57 year old so much that she has now been offered a part in the show. Star already stars music legend Queen Latifah, and is about three women who form a band in Atlanta.

Paris has long spoken about her acting ambitions. In an interview with The Ellen DeGeneres Show six years ago, she said that she decided she wanted to act when she saw her father in the movie Moonwalker. The 18 year old has already embarked on a modelling career, being spotted doing a shoot for Chanel in Paris.

Low self esteem

She told Rolling Stone magazine that she had suffered from low self esteem problems for years, saying that there were people who thought she was ugly and others who thought she wasn’t. However, she revealed that when she was modelling, and focusing on what the photographer was saying, she felt pretty.

Paris also opened up about the heartbreak she suffered as a result of losing her father at such a young age. She said that while people told her that time heals, she did not think this was true. She added that you simply got used to it. However, she also said that losing her dad in 2009 meant she felt braver going forward because she had already dealt with the worst thing that could have happened to her.

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Politics

Sir Mo Farah may not be able to get home to wife and children – because of Trump’s immigration rules

Olympian Sir Mo Farah fears President Donald Trump’s new immigration rules could prevent him from getting home to his wife and daughters, who live in America. On Friday, the new president signed orders stopping anyone who is a citizen of seven, mainly Muslim countries, from entering America for 90 days.

And, while Sir Mo may be one of Britain’s most successful athletes, having taken two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, he was actually born in Somalia, which is one of the countries on President Trump’s hit list.

He and his family are based in Oregon, but he is currently out of the country, training in Ethiopia. In a strongly worded message on social media, Sir Mo wrote: “On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

Now their home

He explained that he was a British citizen, but had lived in the US for six years. Sir Mo said he worked hard, contributed to society and paid his taxes. He added that he was bringing his four children up in a place which they now considered to be their home.

Sir Mo said he was so worried about the situation that he was now thinking about how he would tell his youngsters that their Daddy might not be able to get back home to them, and he went on to say that the President had made a policy decision based on “ignorance and prejudice”.

The elite athlete moved to Britain from Somalia when he was eight, and said that Britain had welcomed him, giving him the chance to fulfil his dreams. Sir Mo is now trying to clarify the situation as it applies to him because, although he was born in Somalia, he only holds a British passport.

 

Categories
Politics

Petition to Cancel Trump’s UK Visit Reaches 100,000 Signatures

Less than five hours after its launch, 100,000 people have signed a petition in favour of banning Donald Trump from a state visit to Britain.  The matter will now be debated in parliament.

The petition cites Mr Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” and calls for him to be allowed into the country but to meet The Queen.

As the petition has over 10,000 signatures it will be debated in parliament.  The petition reached the 100,000 figure in just under five hours after being launched at 8am.  It earned 56,000 signatures within the last sixty minutes.

Data shows that signatures came from North, South, and Central London with high signing rates in Edinburgh, Bristol, Brighton, and Manchester.

The petition states, “Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.

“Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”

May Under Fire

The petition and subsequent debate will further apply the pressure to Theresa May.  She has been constantly under fire over a range of issues, when in each case she has failed to answer pressing questions of the day, either avoiding the question or choosing to answer a different question to the one put.

In relation to the Trump travel ban, Theresa May is being criticised in her own party as more divisions erupt within it.  Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, a Muslim, said the U.S travel ban would stop him entering the country and for the first time in his life he feels discriminated against.

A decision on when the parliamentary debate will occur will be decided at a later date.

Categories
Health

Couple and their cats poisoned by 3D printer

A couple from San Francisco, and their two pet cats, have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by their 3D printer. Roger Morash, 35, and his wife Valerie Morash, 32, were found dead in their flat in Berkeley, along with their two cats.

The pair, who were both former alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology died because their 3D printer was leaking carbon monoxide, according to police officials. The couple were discovered by a friend, who had become concerned for their welfare.

After their sudden death, a GoFundMe page was launched to help family and friends meet the cost of getting to their funeral, with a staggering $15,000 being raised in just three days. A shocked colleague of Mr Morash’s said they were modest, educated and talented.

Toxic fumes

The deaths come after a research team from the Illinois Institute of Technology issued a warning about using 3D printers at home. When they are used on certain types of plastic, they can emit toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide.

Mr Morash had been an indie game developer who worked at Harmonix. He had worked on the popular Amplitude and Shard platforms. There have been conflicting reports about the potential cause of death, with some saying that officers were still stumped, while others saying they passed away as a result of toxic fumes. Post mortem examinations will be carried out on the husband and wife to determine an official cause of death.

Friends and colleagues have already started posting touching tributes on social media, with one saying Mr Morash was: “One of the nicest game developers I’ve ever met passed away last night. Roger Hanna Morash was an amazing person as well as programmer.”

Meanwhile, Dan Crilip said: “Shocked to hear of the passing of my friend, Roger Hanna & his wife, Val. Sending out lots of love for friends, family, & colleagues today.”

Categories
Education

School forced to close after 150 pupils and teachers fall ill

A school was forced to shut its doors after a huge number of students and staff fell ill with a mystery vomiting bug. The virus spread like wildfire at the Dene Magna secondary school in Gloucestershire, affecting 150 people, which is around a fifth of the total number of pupils.

So many pupils, teachers and support staff had to go home because they were ill, that head teacher Stephen Brady decided he would have to close the school completely. So far, it has not been confirmed what the illness is, although it is likely to be the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

The school has now brought in a specialist cleaning company to embark on a thorough clean of the whole building before the school opens up again on Monday. Mr Brady said that the situation had become worse and worse, so it was common sense to send everyone home.

Perfect storm

He described it as a “perfect storm” of bugs, saying that pupils had been suffering from feelings of nausea and sweating, while others had diarrhoea and vomiting. The school spoke to officials at the local authority, who advised that a deep clean should be carried out. Pupils who are ill are expected to have recovered within 72 hours.

In a message to parents, the school urged mums and dads to keep their children home over the weekend, so that they did not pass on any germs to friends. He also said pupils should have a “good wash” so they returned clean and healthy on Monday.

The latest closure follows a similar incident at a primary school just eight miles away, which also had to shut when a quarter of its students fell ill. Staff also called in sick so the school, in Coleford, took the decision to close for an afternoon so a thorough clean could take place.

Categories
Entertainment

Twitter troll sacked from his job after vile posts about Katie Price’s disabled son

A vile Twitter bully who mocked glamour model Katie Price’s disabled son Harvey had been fired from his job. Thirty year old Mark Williams from Teesside in North East England sent a number of tweets to the model turned television presenter about her son, including one image showing a bag of Haribo sweets changed so it read “Harveybo Tan*********”.

He also said the 14 year old was a “c***” and even went on to say he hoped he choked on sweets. The posts appear to be a number of vile messages which target a number of celebrities and gay people. He had worked at the window maker Portrack in Stockton.

However, his bosses decided to sack him over the posts, even though he deleted 3,000 tweets which targeted abuse at celebrities and minorities. A colleague said that he was fired. While they added that they did not know anything else about the circumstances, they said that he had definitely gone.

Apologised

Williams said sorry about he was exposed as the troll. He said that his posts were in bad taste, but that he never thought Ms Price would see them. He said that he would like to issue a sincere apology to Ms Price, Harvey and their family for comments he described as “immature and thoughtless”. He also apologised to his own friends and family for the shame he had brought on them. He went on to confirm that the abusive posts had cost him his livelihood.

He had previously sent abusive tweets to Geordie popstar Cheryl Cole and country singer Taylor Swift, as well as issuing posts of support to the footballer Adam Johnson after he was sent to jail for sexual activity with a child. It is not known if Ms Price has contacted police about the social media abuse.

Categories
Science

Doomsday Clock Hits two and a half minutes to Midnight

The clock that symbolises the end of the world, The Doomsday Clock, has moved to two and a half minutes to midnight.  This is the closest the clock has come to the end of the world since 1953.

The clock which gauges world tensions was moved to the new time via live stream.  Researchers took the decision to move the hands due to climate change and nuclear war concerns.

Lawrence Krauss and David Titley, of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which sets The Doomsday Clock said they took the decision as the international community have failed to deal with nuclear weapons and climate change.  In part, the movement of the hands is due to Donald Trump who does not believe in climate change.

Other issues included nuclear weapons being built by India, Pakistan, Russia, North Korea, and China.

In a statement, the group wrote, “A rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a darkening global security landscape that is colored by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise.”

One of the researchers said the fact that 2016 was the hottest on record showed there was nothing wrong with the science behind climate change.  They also said that they hoped the clock hands moving so close to midnight raises the level of conversation and prompts calls to action of people around the world.

Earth Closer to Oblivion than 1984

According to the researchers, this is the closest the world has come to ending than in 1984, when east – west relations were at their iciest.

The clock hands move backwards and forward in line with world events and developments.   Initially, it only took into account the risk of global nuclear war, but now takes into account the risk of climate change, biotechnology advances, and artificial intelligence.