Government

UK government plans to remove key human rights protections



Robert Buckland wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

The government is planning to “opt out” of parts of the European convention on human rights in order to speed up deportations of asylum seekers and protect British troops serving overseas from legal action.

The proposals are being coordinated by Downing Street aides. They are intended to rule out claims in areas where judges have supposedly “overreached” their powers.

The restrictions, according to the Sunday Telegraph, could pre­vent mi­grants and asylum seek­ers from us­ing the leg­is­la­tion to avoid being removed from the UK and to shield Bri­tish sol­diers against claims following over­seas op­er­a­tions.

Downing Street’s determination to restrict human rights powers has become entangled with the EU withdrawal negotiations. The government is resisting giving Brussels a formal undertaking to adhere to the convention.

A government spokesperson said: “The UK is committed to the European convention on human rights and to protecting human

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Afghan-Taliban talks: Government calls for ceasefire

Taliban delegates speak during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar September 12, 2020Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The Taliban has sent several delegates to the talks

The Afghan government has called for a humanitarian ceasefire with the Taliban, as the first-ever peace talks between the two sides began in Qatar.

Abdullah Abdullah, who led the government’s delegation, stressed that there was “no winner through war”.

The Taliban did not mention a truce, reiterating instead that Afghanistan should be under Islamic law.

The US encouraged both sides to reach an agreement, telling them: “The entire world wants you to succeed”.

Afghanistan has seen four decades of conflict, with tens of thousands of civilians killed.

The historic talks began on Saturday, one day after the 19th anniversary of the deadly 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks in New York, that led to the US beginning military operations in Afghanistan.

The conflict in Afghanistan has been the longest in US history.

Why are these talks so important?

These

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Israeli government to impose second Covid-19 national lockdown



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images


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Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s government has decided to impose a lockdown lasting three weeks, local media have reported, a move that would make it the first country to reimpose such severe restrictions on a national scale.

Fearing mass gatherings during a string of national holidays over the next month, the cabinet decided to shut down the country as of Friday, the Jewish new year, until 9 October, according to the Ynet news website and Channel 12 television.

Ministers had been debating on Sunday a proposal that would see a return to full lockdown, with people banned from moving more than 500 metres from their homes, schools and places of worship closed, the private sector at minimum capacity, and all but essential shops shuttered. Under that plan, a gradual loosening of the rules would only be implemented if the rate of infection drops.

While the

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Our right to spend time with loved ones is being cruelly violated by the government | Dementia

Just as I sat down to write this piece, my phone rang. The woman’s voice was thick with distress. She didn’t want her name to be public, didn’t want practical help; she just wanted to tell her story to someone and she didn’t know who would listen and who would care.

Her husband, to whom she has been married for 57 years, has dementia and is in a home. Before lockdown, she visited twice a day, spending hours with him, kissing him, hugging and holding him. He is at a stage of his dementia where it can be hard to have a conversation, but, she says, “he understands affective language” – the language of touch, of physical presence and affection. People with dementia lose so much, but they usually do not lose their deep feelings, their love and need.

In March, the doors shut. When at last she was

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Coronavirus: Gateshead testing plan ‘held up by government’

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

A medical worker swabs a motorist at a testing centre

image copyrightPA Media

image captionThe government said it was increasing the number of mobile testing centres

Health chiefs in an area battling a Covid-19 spike say they are unable to carry out up to 30,000 tests per day while they wait for government action.

Gateshead was

among several places in the North East added to Public Health England’s watchlist of areas needing “enhanced support” last week.

The council said an empty pathology lab could be used to house extra resources.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government was “increasing the testing coming into the area”.

Gateshead’s director of public health, Alice Wiseman, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One “people are having great difficulty getting a test”.

“We’re up to 70 cases per 100,000 so it’s a significant increase. With not everyone able to

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Opinion | 7 ways Trump and his cabal are using government to corrupt the election

Quick: What do all these things have in common?

The answer: In all these cases, Trump isn’t just stating claims. He and his cronies are also corruptly manipulating the levers of your government to make them into truths, or inflate them into issues that will garner news coverage that helps him in some way, or both.

Because the crush of governmental manipulation to serve Trump’s personal and political ends is so relentless, we often focus only on isolated examples as they skate past.

But we need to connect the dots. Taken together, they tell a larger story that is truly staggering in its levels of corruption:

Rushing coronavirus treatments. The New York Times just reported that scientists inside Trump’s own government are warning that the White House is laying the groundwork to increase pressure to approve a vaccine before Election Day, “even in the absence of agreement on its effectiveness

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Pelosi, Mnuchin agree on plan to avoid government shutdown

Democrats and the Trump administration are taking a key step toward avoiding a government shutdown in September

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration have informally agreed to keep a stopgap government-wide funding bill — needed to avert a shutdown at the end of this month — free of controversy or conflict.

The accord is aimed at keeping any possibility of a government shutdown off the table despite ongoing battles over COVID-19 relief legislation, while sidestepping the potential for other shutdown drama in the run-up to the November election.

That’s according to Democratic and GOP aides on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on a Tuesday conversation between Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. They required anonymity to characterize an exchange they were

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Reversal of pesticide ban sparks criticism of French government

France has moved to reverse a ban on a class of pesticides only weeks after it came into force, reigniting a bitter dispute between environmentalists and farmers and embarrassing politicians who have championed ecological causes under President Emmanuel Macron. 

The French cabinet’s approval on Thursday of a draft law allowing sugar beet growers to use neonicotinoids was portrayed by ministers as essential to save the country’s sugar industry, the EU’s largest.

“I don’t want to abandon the sector and have my children eating only Belgian or German sugar,” Julien Denormandie, agriculture minister, said in a television interview. Viruses spread by aphids have severely damaged this year’s sugar beet crop in northern France. 

Environmentalists, however, are up in arms. Delphine Batho, a centre-left MP and head of Génération Ecologie, a green NGO, rejected the reintroduction of the pesticides as “ecocide, an ecological catastrophe”. Scientific studies have shown that neonicotinoids kill bees

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Korean doctors call off strike, reach agreement with government

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (UPI) — Thousands of striking South Korean doctors are ready to return to work as the Korean Medical Association and the ruling Democratic Party came to an agreement Friday that put a halt to the government’s medical reform plans.

South Korean interns and residents have been on strike since Aug. 21 in response to governments plans introduced in July that would have increased medical school admission quotas by 4,000 over the next decade.

The five-point agreement signed Friday morning by the KMA and DP said discussions would start from scratch after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, with special commissions to be formed that include doctors, politicians and health officials.

Later in the day, KMA President Choi Dae-zip signed another agreement with Health Minister Park Neung-hoo to end the strike and call on trainee doctors to return to work.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reacted with relief on Friday,

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Ethiopia’s Tigray Region to Holds Poll, Defying Federal Government | World News

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region will head to the polls on Wednesday in defiance of the federal government, the latest challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from a slew of regional leaders flexing their muscles ahead of next year’s national elections.

Abiy has overseen sweeping democratic reforms since taking power in Africa’s second most populous nation two years ago. But the federal government – and major opposition parties – agreed to postpone national and regional elections due in August until the COVID-19 pandemic was under control.

Tigray, whose leaders dominated the previous administration and have often bitterly denounced Abiy, announced it would hold elections anyway.

“We know there is an open threat by Abiy to militarily intervene against Tigray and to cut funds, but we will still go ahead with the vote,” said Getachew Reda, a former federal information minister and now a spokesman for the Tigray

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