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Street art — graffiti with facial mask on the wall during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Warsaw, Poland | Adam Nieścioruk - Unsplash

Face coverings and masks have become more of a political issue than a medical one of late. As time has gone on the reasons of why we should wear one have been forgotten. With a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, but not yet being administered, now more than ever it is important we keep going. Below are three reasons why wearing a mask or face covering are important. Obviously they are not 100% effective, but as you’ll see below, they are significantly better than nothing at all.

1. Masks Protect Others

The primary ways COVID-19 spreads is by person to person contact and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Face masks, however, can block these droplets. They act as a barrier to keep virus-containing droplets from escaping an infected individual and landing on another person or surface. …


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Placards in Support of Kashmir Following the Removal of Article 370 | Credit: Paul BeckerCC BY 2.0

The final status of Kashmir is a shadow that has hung over India and Pakistan since the partition of British India in 1947. Indeed, it has been the main reason for hostilities between the two nuclear armed states over the years. While both countries initially agreed that the people of Kashmir should be allowed to decide their own future status, neither state has ever put forward legitimate proposals to carry out a joint referendum in the contested area. However, despite the various United Nations (UN) resolutions and bilateral agreements, India has now incorporated Indian Administered Kashmir (IaK) into the Indian State in a way that effectively removes any route to self determination. …


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Credit: Marco Verch | CC BY 2.0

Tareq Haddad is a journalist and author. Last week he resigned from the media organisation Newsweek, after their editors proceeded to, in his view, suppress an important story. The story in question is in regard to whistleblower who has spoken out on the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report in to an alleged Chemical Weapons attack in Syria.

The alleged attack led to the US, UK and France launching airstrikes on Syrian Government infrastructure in retaliation. As you will read, genuine questions have been raised about the accuracy of the report produced by the OPCW, yet certain Newsweek Editors saw fit to kill the story. Also, there are numerous questions as to their links to one of the world’s most powerful Lobby groups and their general journalistic principles in general. This is an important and vital read for anyone interested in the Syrian conflict which has raged on for years.

Tareq Haddad — 14th December 2019


A new in-depth study has revealed that just 24 companies own the majority of the world’s biggest news outlets. Tech website AddictiveTips conducted the study to find out just consolidated media companies really are in The United States, The United Kingdom and Australia. While the results not be surprising, the study gives a fascinating insight into just how little variety there really is.

Tech blog AddicitveTips have conducted an extremely in-depth and detailed study into the ownership of the world’s media outlets. Their findings show that just 24 companies own the majority of the world’s most powerful news outlets.

The Study

AddictiveTips press release states that the purpose of their study is to;

“uncover the powerful companies and CEOs who control the bulk of today’s news — and present the findings in a tangible way.”

Digital media has become the main driver of news in recent years. Hardcopy newspaper distribution is in free fall, so the battle to control the narrative has moved online.

Rather than turning on the TV at 10pm for the news, you’re more likely to be watching Vox Pops online or seeing mainstream journalists revealing their big “scoop” directly on Twitter. Although the latter has come in for criticism recently, as the “scoop culture” has led to less fact checking so as to get the accolade. …


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Now UK Prime Boris Johnson in 2017 | Credit: Chatham HouseCC BY 2.0

I n 2005, then MP for Henley, and now Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in the Telegraph that; “We should forbid the imams from preaching sermons in anything but English” and described British Muslims as being part of a “multicultural apartheid”. These new comments and others I’m about to reveal, will raise further questions about Boris Johnson’s general attitude towards Muslims and whether he can be trusted as Prime Minister.

Previous comments that Boris Johnson has made as a journalist have been reported before. He faced widespread criticism when he likened Muslim women who wear the Burqa, to “bank robbers” and “letterboxes.” Even after making the comments, Mr Johnson doubled down and defended them.

Since becoming Prime Minister, questions have been raised as to whether he takes the issue of Islamophobia seriously, and more importantly, has he contributed to it.

According to Tell MAMA,a charity who log hate crime against Muslims, hate crimes towards Muslims rose by 375% following Johnson’s letterbox jibe

During the Conservative Party leadership contest Johnson and the other candidates promised that they would commission an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. However, just last week it was confirmed that the report had been changed to look at “all forms of prejudice.” …


As has been widely reported, Extinction Rebellion (ER) began their “International Rebellion” this week. This has seen activists concerned about the threat of climate change, engage in civil disobedience. In the United Kingdom where the movement was born, London has been hit by waves of protests that, at times, has brought the capital to a standstill. However, since the the environmental group’s last set of protests in the Summer, the Metropolitan Police has changed their tactics significantly. They have taken a far more aggressive approach towards those protesting, and the media covering them.

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as;

“an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.”

In other words, they will carry out acts in public that will bring disruption to others, but at no time will engage in violence.

Civil Disobedience has a long history of being used to protest against some of the greatest injustices we have faced.

Gandhi called it satyagraha, when he fought against British Colonial Rule in India. The US Civil Rights Movement used it in the 1950s and 60s when they fought for equal rights black people.


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Rory Stewart MP who’s now running for London Mayor | Credit: FCOCC BY 2.0

Ex International Development Secretary Rory Stewart MP has made not one, but two major announcements today. Both of which will come as a blow to the Conservative Party. First he told his local constituents that, as well as resigning from the Conservative and Unionist Party, he would no longer be standing as a Member of Parliament at the next General Election. Then he dropped a bombshell that will have sent shockwaves through 10 Downing Street. He announced he’s running as an independent candidate for London Mayor.

R ory Stewart is seen as a popular politician in Westminster. Only a few months ago, he was running to be the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.

Seen as a moderate who was unlikely to win, he embarked on a campaign titled; #RoryWalks. He started a social media campaign that caught on very quickly capturing the public’s imagination. He did something that very few Tories ever do; go out on the streets and talk to the public.

It proved popular, and was praised by politicians on all sides for being respectful and inclusive. However, some saw it as Stewart attempting to model himself as “one of us” so as to distance himself from his voting record. …


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President Trump on a Visit to Israel in 2017 | Credit: Wikimedia/US State Dept

President Trump is never far from making controvertial statements. In his latest outburst he branded any Jew who votes Democrat as showing a “total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”. Has the President finally gone too far?

Donald Trump has recently made a serious of outbursts about Democratic Representavies Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib due to their stance on Israel. Last week saw him tweet that they should be barred from visiting Israel and Palestine for those views.

The Israeli Government did indeed bar the two US politicians from visiting the countries, citing that Israeli law prohibits anyone who openly boycotts Israel from entry. The Israeli foreign Minister did later offer Tlaib a “humanitarian pass” to visit her grandmother in Palestine, but Rep. Tliab turned this down after speaking to her grandmother in the West Bank saying;

“She said I’m her dream manifested, I’m her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged and bow down?”


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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire after it revealed the cost of the controversial Universal Credit advertising campaign in the Metro Free Newspaper. A junior DWP Minister revealed that the DWP had splashed out £225,458 on the campaign which ran over nine-weeks online and in print.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the UK government department in charge of welfare benefits and pensions. It has come under fire since the Conservative government introduced various welfare reforms designed to save money.

It was revealed in May, that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) planned to run a nine-week advertising campaign to “myth bust” what the Department called; “untruths” about Universal Credit.

Before the adverts had even ran, criticism flooded in. This was after an internal DWP memo was leaked revealing the adverts wouldn’t contain any DWP branding.


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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The current form of austerity was introduced by the Conservative-Liberal coalition government that came to power in 2010. The world was still recovering from the aftermath of the financial ‘crash’ of 2008; the most significant global economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929–39). It is effectively a campaign of budget cutting designed to reduce the UK’s (at the time) unsustainable budget deficit. Although NHS and education spending was ‘ring-fenced’ spending was cut across all other areas of society.

As the then Chancellor George Osborne pronounced;

“The truth is that the country was living beyond its means…Today, we have paid the debts of a failed past, and laid the foundations for a more prosperous future.” …

About

Alex Tiffin

Freelance journalist covering politics with a specific interest in welfare, disability & world events. I present facts so you can make informed decisions.

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