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Day: 15 June 2022

Sky News world

Human remains found in search for British journalist Dom Phillips – as police say suspect led them to his body

The main suspect in the killings of a British journalist and indigenous expert has confessed to fatally shooting them in a remote part of the Amazon, police have said.Police told reporters that the suspect confessed on Tuesday night and also took officers to the spot where the bodies of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira were buried. Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira went missing on 5 June on a remote stretch of the Itaquai River in Brazil. Image: Bruno Pereira. Pic: BAND TV Image: Dom Phillips. Pic: BAND TV The federal investigator said that Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, nicknamed Pelado, told police he used a gun to kill the two men before they were buried nearly two miles into the woods.Alexandre Fontes, federal police superintendent in Amazonas, said excavations are continuing at the site but its remoteness means that there is no phone contact with officers there. Advertisement "From now on, we move on to a new stage: the phase of identifying these human remains, which are being collected with the greatest dignity, in order to preserve the chain of custody, evidence, which is very important. "These human remains will be taken (on Thursday) to our Criminalistics Institute of the Federal Police, in Brasília, where the identification will take place. More from World "This identification is carried out using the entire international methodology, which is adopted and recognised by Interpol, with the United Kingdom being part of Interpol."Our idea, when it is proven that these human remains are related to Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, we will return them to the family as soon as possible." Image: Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, nicknamed Pelado, showed police where Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira were buried. Pic: BAND TV Guilherme Torres of the Amazonas state police, said a boat belonging to Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira had not yet been found but police knew the area where it was hidden.He said those behind crime "put bags of dirt on the boat so it would sink".Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were last seen on their boat near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory, which borders Peru and Colombia.Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a fishermen, has been described as the main suspect in his case - and a second suspect, his brother Oseney, has also been detained.More people are likely to be arrested in relation to the killings, police said. Image: Oseney da Costa de Oliveira and his brother Amarildo, who is nicknamed Pelado. Pic: Band TV Read more:Officials link disappearance of British journalist in Brazil to 'fish mafia'Amarildo's family had previously claimed that he had denied wrongdoing and had been tortured by police in attempts to get a confession.Indigenous people who were with Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira have said that Amarildo brandished a rifle at them on the day before their disappearance.Brazilian officials had been scouring an area in the Itaquai River after tarpaulin from the victims' boat was seen - with a backpack, laptop and other personal belongings later found submerged underwater.The area where the two men disappeared has seen violent conflicts between fishermen, poachers and government agents.Mr Pereira previously led the local bureau of the government's indigenous agency, known as Funai, and has been involved in several operations against illegal fishing.There has also been violence as gangs battle for control of waterways to ship cocaine.The Javari Valley has seven known indigenous groups - some only recently contacted - and at least 11 uncontacted groups, giving it the biggest concentration of isolated tribes in the world.

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japan times

U.S. Fed rolls out biggest rate hike since 1994, flags slowing economy

WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday decided on its largest interest-rate hike since November 1994, moving ahead with a 0.75 percentage point increase while signaling further aggressive tightening as the United States grapples with its highest inflation in decades. Upon concluding a two-day meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank said it will lift its target range for the federal funds rate to 1.50 to 1.75%, following a 0.5-point increase in May and a 0.25-point rise in March. Unable to view this article? This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites. If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see this support page. We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

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Sky News world

Street in front of Saudi embassy renamed Jamal Khashoggi Way, as Biden's trip to kingdom nears

The street in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington DC has been renamed Jamal Khashoggi Way.The local council voted unanimously last year to rename the one-block stretch after the activist and journalist was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of DAWN, the pro-Arab democracy organisation founded by Mr Khashoggi, said: "We intend to remind the people who are hiding behind these doors... that we hold them responsible and we will hold them accountable for the murder of our friend."It comes as US President Joe Biden prepares to visit Saudi Arabia next month, a widely criticised trip that will include a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.After Mr Khashoggi's death, the Saudis initially denied involvement but, as international pressure grew, they admitted he had been killed in the consulate, describing it as a bungled repatriation effort. Advertisement The CIA has concluded that Mr Khashoggi was killed and dismembered on the orders of Mohammed bin Salman, an accusation the Saudis have denied. Image: Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 'Shameless capitulation' More on Jamal Khashoggi Related Topics: Ms Whitson said Mr Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia was a sign of "shameless capitulation".Mr Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, could not attend the ceremony - but in a statement, she described the Biden administration as "putting oil over principles and expediency over principles".She added: "Can you at least ask (the crown prince), 'Where is Jamal's body?'"White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not confirm whether Mr Biden would raise Mr Khashoggi's case with the Saudi crown prince.She said: "The president is a straight shooter. This is not something that he's afraid to talk about."Read more:Trial of 26 Saudis accused of killing journalist suspended by Turkish courtJamal Khashoggi's final words revealed in consulate recordingsIt is not the first time that a street housing an embassy has been renamed to make a point - a number of countries renamed streets with Russian embassies after its invasion of Ukraine.Free Ukraine Street, Ukrainian Heroes' Street, and Ukrainian Independence Street were among the names used in mainly European and Baltic countries.In Washington DC, in 2018, the street in front of the Russian embassy became Boris Nemtsov Plaza in remembrance of the Russian activist who was shot dead near the Kremlin three years earlier.'I'm glad the city did the right thing'Activist Claude Taylor started putting Jamal Khashoggi Street signs around the city shortly after Mr Khashoggi's death.He said there were 10 signs in different places at one point and one lasted for two years before it was vandalised.He was not invited to Wednesday's unveiling of the official sign but said: "I'm glad the city did the right thing and I'm glad he is being recognised this way."The renaming is ceremonial - this is why the sign is brown rather than the usual green - and it will not change the embassy's postal address.Nonetheless, the street sign will remain indefinitely.

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BBC News – Health RSS Feed – World News

Ambulance waits: 'Can you please tell them to hurry up or I shall be dead'

SharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Family photoDelays unloading ambulances at busy hospitals are causing serious harm to patients, a safety watchdog is warning. The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch has been investigating how the long waits are delaying 999 emergency response times across England. Kenneth Shadbolt, 94, waited more than five hours for an ambulance after a bad fall - an accident that proved fatal. Logs show that in his final 999 call he asked: "Can you please tell them to hurry up or I shall be dead."The BBC has been given permission from the coroner to view detailed evidence into his recent death.Ken Shadbolt had been in good shape for his age.A retired factory worker and carpenter, he lived alone in a semi-detached house in the market town of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, and could often be spotted cycling around the local housing estate on his electric trike.On the night of Wednesday, 23 March 2022, he called one of his five sons for a chat before turning in for the night. Just before 03:00, he got out of bed to go the bathroom and fell, hitting a wardrobe before collapsing on the floor. He had hurt his hip - how badly he didn't know - and couldn't get up. He could reach his mobile on his bedside, though, and dialled 999 for help. The BBC has seen transcripts of the three separate phone calls he made to South Western Ambulance Service that night. Image source, Family photoThe first call: 02:58 The first was short and factual, covering the basic details of his injury.He seemed calm and lucid but made clear he was in pain and needed an ambulance. He was told by the call handler not to try to move unless he felt in danger and assured that help was "being arranged"."How long will it be?" he asked."I don't know, unfortunately, [but] we will try to get someone there as soon as we can," came the reply. He then spoke to one of his sons who offered to drive up that night from the other side of the country. Ken said he thought an ambulance was on the way, and not to worry. Internal call logs seen by the BBC show that at this point Ken was triaged as a category two emergency, meaning paramedics should arrive in 18 minutes, on average.That didn't happen. Image source, Family photoThe second call: 03:13About 15 minutes later, he called 999 for a second time. It was clear by now that he was starting to worry. He said he couldn't move his right leg and talked about an injury to his shoulder as he'd hit the floor. He was worried about his mobile phone, saying the battery "won't last forever"."When I rang up 999 I thought I would get some treatment straight away," he told the next person on the line."It is still down as an emergency response," the call handler replied. "We are extremely busy at the moment but we are working on getting that help to you as quickly as we possibly can, ok?"An internal ambulance service log seen by the BBC shows that South Western Ambulance Service was indeed busy that night.It talks about "high demand" in the Gloucester area, with more than 60 patients waiting for help, some for more than eight hours.But something else was going on at the same time.The local A&E was very full, so paramedics arriving outside the emergency department were unable to unload their sick patients straight away. The ambulance service log warns there were "long delays with unloading at GRH [Gloucestershire Royal Hospital]" that night.Data seen by the BBC shows that 75% of ambulances were delayed for at least half an hour at Gloucester or its sister hospital in Cheltenham on 24 March, with 54% having to wait for more than an hour. That handover should be completed in under 15 minutes. If paramedics are queuing outside A&E, then they are not able to get back on the road and quickly pick up the next patient who needs help.A doctor's report into Ken's case specifically refers to "a lack of ambulances available" that night. The third call: 04:12 Another hour passed before he made his third and final call to 999. It was clear now that he was in serious pain. He felt "terrible sick" and said his "breathing is going too". "I need an ambulance because I'm going to fade away quite quickly," he said.The same reply came back: "The ambulance service is just under a lot of pressure at the moment... we are doing our best."I appreciate that you've been stuck for quite some time, Ken... we've not forgotten about you at all."Later in the call he said he was cold and could not reach his duvet. He'd already tried phoning one of his neighbours but could not get through, and said they "might be away". He was told by the 999 call handler to "try to stay still". "Can you please tell them to hurry up or I shall be dead," he said. "Send me the undertaker, that would be the best bet."He put the phone down for the last time.'Non-survivable'An ambulance finally got to Kenneth Shadbolt's house at 08:10 that morning, four hours after that final call. By then one of his sons had contacted a neighbour, who found him unconscious on his bedroom floor.He arrived at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital at 09:59, and was handed over to the trauma team. A doctor phoned the family and told them to come straight away and explained that his injuries were not survivable. Ken died at 14:21 that afternoon, with the cause of death given as a "very large subdural haematoma" or bleed on the brain. His son Jerry Shadbolt said: "The doctors were saying his injuries were non-survivable but would they have been non-survivable if he'd arrived at hospital four hours earlier? I'd like an answer to that question."He was on his own and he knew he was on his own. He must have felt abandoned and alone on his bedroom floor. That's the most troubling part of it for me."'Unacceptable'Jenny Winslade, executive director of quality and clinical care for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, offered her "sincere condolences" to the family and friends of Mr Shadbolt.She said delays handing over patients to A&E, and busy hospitals, meant it was "taking us too long to get an ambulance to patients"."This is a risk which we recognise is unacceptable," she said."We continue to work on a daily basis with our partners to ensure our crews can get back out on the road as quickly as possible, to respond to other 999 calls."Prof Mark Pietroni, medical director and acting chief executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said local and national health systems were "under intense pressure" and continued to face significant challenges "in response to unrelenting demand".The trust said that, currently, 240 hospital patients - out of a total of 837 beds for patients - were waiting for support to go home or be moved to other locations in the community.The national picture Doctors and paramedics have become increasingly concerned about long ambulance wait times across the UK this year. In England as a whole, the average response for a category two emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, was almost 40 minutes in May - more than twice as long as the 18-minute target.Last month, Dr Katherine Henderson, an A&E consultant and president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, described the situation as "more serious than we've ever seen it".She said the problem is often caused by delays discharging patients from hospital wards into a care setting, which then creates a bottleneck in A&E, leaving no space for new patients arriving by ambulance.The BBC has spoken to people who have spent hours waiting outside emergency departments this year, sometimes transferred between different ambulance vehicles because there is no room to treat them in the hospital itself.The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) says the delays are causing harm to patients, including some deaths.Its final report will be published later this year, but the interim findings - released on Thursday - show that staff who have witnessed harm to patients and their families are traumatised. "Harm is happening on a daily basis," said the HSIB's national investigator Neil Alexander. He referred to patients deteriorating in ambulances while waiting for treatment in emergency departments, and patients getting infections in hospital because they were staying there too long."And we are no longer using the word 'risk' in this investigation, because risk is being realised and is now harm," Mr Alexander said.The government said it would carefully consider the HSIB's report and would "respond in due course"."The NHS has allocated £150m of additional funding to address pressures on ambulance services, with the number of ambulance and support staff increasing by almost 40% since February 2010," said a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care."We have also established a national taskforce to identify ways to reduce delayed discharges and ensure patients are only in hospital for as long as they need to be."You can follow Jim on Twitter. Additional reporting by Kris Bramwell.Have you been affected by ambulance waits? Share your experiences by emailing [email protected] include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSayUpload pictures or videoPlease read our terms & conditions and privacy policy If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at [email protected] Please include your name, age and location with any submission. INSIDE THE ELIZABETH LINE: The 15 billion pound railway'I FIND IT UNBELIEVABLE': Richard Osman delves into his Brighton rootsMore on this storyAmbulance wait times endanger patients - doctors'20 hour delays' as ambulance staff struggle

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BBC News – Business RSS Feed – World News

How human-like are the most sophisticated chatbots?

SharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty ImagesChatbots have hit the headlines over the past few days after a Google engineer claimed that the firm's most advanced system has developed human-like feelings, or become sentient.Simply put, a chat bot is a computer program deliberately designed to mimic and respond to human speech. But just how lifelike are the best on the market? One thing for sure is that these intelligent virtual assistants, are now found everywhere.From Amazon's Alexa, to Apple's Siri, or a retailer's website, an estimated 80% of us now use chatbots - whether they are responding to us verbally, or via written text.In fact, chatbots are now said to be the fastest-growing way in which brands communicate with their customers.Google engineer says AI system may have feelings Sabina Goranova, a student at York University in Toronto, Canada, is typical of many people in that she is used to using chatbots on a daily basis. Firstly, she has Alexa at home, plus she consults with her university's own Savy system, via her mobile phone, to find required college information.Image source, Sabina GoranovaSavy was made for York and its students by IMB. It can quickly answer questions about everything from specific career advice to daily lunch menus."I appreciate the convenience of chatbots," says Ms Goranova. "I already used Alexa to save time, so Savy is another tool in my toolkit."Guillaume Laporte is chief executive of French chatbot firm Mindsay, which is now part of Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent virtual assistant company Laiye. Its customers include everyone from Nike to Walmart, and UK train firm, Avanti."Chatbots are beginning to mimic true human behaviour, but with robots essentially," he says.Mr Laporte adds that chatbots are now "10 times better than they were 10 years ago", and that after initial programming, and then using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), they can learn and understand what the user is saying, or typing, and thus know what to reply.Yet, he cautions that industry-wide chatbots are still not perfect, and that there still needs to be a human backup in place. "So the understanding rate differs between different companies and different industries. It can vary between 30% and 90%"Image source, Arthur De TassignyJim Smith, professor in interactive artificial intelligence, at the University of the West of England, is an expert in chatbots. He explains that when it comes to their ability to appear human-like it is important "to make a distinction between task-orientated ones delivering a service, and ones that are expected to have a wider chat about things"."The former, are the ones most used, and they can work really well," he adds. "They are taught using masses and masses of text."So, if they are in a call centre, and they know the sort of question they will be asked, they can achieve human-like levels of [customer] service. And it is probably important, for the sake of transparency, that it is made clear to the caller that he or she is not talking to a human.Image source, Avanti"For chatbots that are expected to have more of conversation with you, they can seem convincing to start, but they are doing statistics to work out what they likely should be saying to you next, and errors can keep multiplying."And ultimately if the systems get very good, say in 10 years [time], it is difficult to measure what is a human-like performance. I mean, pet parrots appear to be talking to you!"And I'm not sure that it is meaningful to ever say that a chatbot is sentient. After all, you can turn it off and on again, it is not a living thing."Image source, Getty ImagesProf Sandra Wachter, a senior research fellow in AI at Oxford University, says that chatbots are currently "still far away from appearing lifelike, or humanlike"."But as we move forward, we also need to think about ethical responsibilities," she adds. "At first glance, chatbots might give the impression that we are chatting with actual humans. And we have an ethical responsibility to avoid this confusion because it can lead to potential harm. "In the 'best' case, it merely leads to frustration when chatting with the bot - due to their limited functionality. In the worst case, we might trust them and share information that we otherwise would not."Image source, Sandra WachterIn the meantime, IBM's global chief AI officer Seth Dobrin, emphasises the benefits of chatbots. He points in particular to their increased use during the coronavirus pandemic to pass on important health messages."Take the National Health Service Wales for example," he says. "In 2020, they launched a virtual agent, Ceri, to answer common questions from citizens in a conversational tone, on topics ranging from isolating safely and effectively, protecting yourself and family members, managing symptoms like fatigue, advice on how to deal with anxiety and uncertainty, and more." New Tech Economy is a series exploring how technological innovation is set to shape the new emerging economic landscape.Yet, many people hate chatbots and just want to talk to a human every time. Psychologist, Stuart Duff of UK practice, Pearn Kandola, says he understands this sentiment."Many people dislike chatbots for a number of reasons, but especially when they try too hard to be human," he says. "Transparency, empathy and the ability to pick up on subtle tones in our communication are all important ingredients in building trust with other people."These are the reason why we can quickly 'click' with someone. But it is also why we put up our guard, if people don't understand our perspective or empathise with us. " He says while chatbots may have improved over the years, "they are still basic programmed communicators, prone to misread (or just miss) important words, tone and humour in what we are saying."Follow New Tech Economy series editor Will Smale on Twitter.

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Sky News world

Inmate on death row for 25 years 'totally innocent', politician says – as report into case released

A Republican state representative who describes himself as a death penalty supporter has said he believes that death row inmate Richard Glossip is innocent.Kevin McDugle, from Oklahoma, was responding to a report by a Houston law firm into Glossip's case. He said: "We've got an individual sitting on death row that has been there 25 years, and I believe he's totally innocent."Glossip, 59, has been convicted twice and sentenced to death for ordering the killing of Barry Van Treese, the owner of a motel in Oklahoma City where Glossip worked.Justin Sneed, a handyman, admitted robbing and beating Mr Van Treese in January 1997, but said he only did this after Glossip offered to pay him $10,000. Sneed is serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat in a room at the motel. Advertisement But the law firm Reed Smith, which produced its report for the state of Oklahoma for free, said that important evidence had been lost or destroyed in Glossip's case. It also said that a detective had improperly asked leading questions of Sneed in an effort to implicate Glossip. More on Oklahoma Related Topics: Stan Perry, a lawyer with Reed Smith, said: "Our conclusion is that no reasonable juror, hearing the complete record, and the uncovered facts... would have convicted Richard Glossip of capital murder." Image: Oklahoma state representative Kevin McDugle. Pic: AP More on Richard Glossip:Sky News podcast series: Another Dead Man Walking - would you like to watch me die?Death row inmate, 59, marries paralegal Lea Rodger, 32, in Oklahoma prisonThe lost evidence included financial records that were destroyed in late 1999 or early 2000, before Glossip's retrial and after his first conviction and death sentence were overturned.These could have contradicted the prosecution's theory that Glossip wanted to hide his alleged embezzlement from the motel, where he was manager, and so had Mr Van Treese killed.The report added: "This loss or destruction of evidence appears to be so critical to the defence as to cast serious doubt as to the fundamental fairness of the criminal trial against Glossip."Mr McDugle led the push for the investigation and said that, while "I do believe in the death penalty", safeguards were needed to protect the innocent.He called for Glossip to get a new appeals court hearing, adding: "If we put Richard Glossip to death, I will fight in this state to abolish the death penalty, simply because the process is not pure."Glossip's lawyer Don Knight said: "In the coming days, Mr Glossip's defence team will file a request for a hearing with the Oklahoma Court of Appeals so this new evidence of innocence can be examined in a court of law."Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, who took office after Glossip's second trial and second death sentence, said he is reviewing the report.He has previously said he thinks Glossip is guilty, having reviewed various items of evidence, and that he would support a retrial for first-degree murder and again seek the death penalty.Glossip was close to execution in September 2015 but prison authorities had the wrong lethal drug.After it was revealed that the drug had been used to execute another inmate, Oklahoma's executions were suspended.They resumed in October with the execution of John Grant, who convulsed and vomited before he was declared dead.

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Sky News technology - World News

Have you owned an older iPhone? If this £768m lawsuit is successful, you could get damages

A consumer champion is suing Apple for £768m over a software update in 2017 that effectively slowed down older iPhones.Justin Gutmann is seeking damages on behalf of up to 25 million iPhone owners in the UK who were affected by Apple's practices. Apple has admitted that a software update released in 2017 hampered the performance of devices, although it claims the software was meant to protect the phone's battery life.Critics have accused the company of purposefully reducing the effectiveness of older models to push customers towards buying newer ones.The company previously paid $113m to settle a similar case in Arizona, and $500m to settle another in California. Advertisement Mr Gutmann's claim has been filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the UK's specialist judicial body that hears cases relating to anti-competitive market practices. It is an opt-out claim - meaning people who owned an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X model do not need to actively join the case to seek damages. More on Apple Related Topics: "Instead of doing the honourable and legal thing by their customers and offering a free replacement, repair service or compensation, Apple instead misled people by concealing a tool in software updates that slowed their devices by up to 58%," Mr Gutmann said."I'm launching this case so that millions of iPhone users across the UK will receive redress for the harm suffered by Apple's actions."If this case is successful, I hope dominant companies will re-evaluate their business models and refrain from this kind of conduct," he added. The scandal erupted following a study by a Reddit user who claimed that Apple's tech automatically slowed phones when the battery has a diminished charge capacity.Apple admitted causing the issue and apologised for the apparent downgrade.In a statement, the company explained that as the lithium-ion batteries used in its phones age they become less able to provide the top levels of electrical current needed.The problems with peak current draws especially occur when batteries are cold or low on charge - "which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components", Apple said.Lithium-ion batteries lose their capacity over time due to the physical wear-and-tear of ions passing through the material of the battery.But iPhone users had complained about their devices turning off abruptly even when they had a significant amount of charge left.The company eventually said it would be replacing users' batteries for a discounted rate for a limited time and also introduce a feature to allow users to turn off the power management tool.The company said it had never and would never do anything to intentionally shorten the lifetime of a product. Its chief executive Tim Cook publicly apologised and said Apple has not tried to mislead anyone with the software.However Mr Gutmann claims Apple did not do enough to inform customers about its battery replacement service and that the company has abused its market dominance.Apple has not commented on the new legal claim.

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UK News - Newsnet.scot RSS Feed

Flight to nowhere

Photograph Sky News Molly Pollock looks at the mess the UK government has made of their inhuman policy to send immigrants to Rwanda Vulnerable refugees and the ECHR Recently politics in the UK certainly haven’t been dull or boring. The very opposite, as concerns hit the level of fury over the asylum seekers selected to be deported to Rwanda under Home Secretary Pritti Patel’s agreement with that country. Several days of furious action culminated in lawyers getting some of those on board the plane taken off. Then, literally at the eleventh hour, a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights stopped the chartered flight taking off on its 4000 mile trip. But the stay of deportation is only until the judicial review process on the arrangement next month, so deportations could still be on the cards. And what we weren’t told about this agreement with Rwanda was that it’s actually an exchange. So an equivalent number refugees from Rwanda will make their way to the UK. So what is the purpose of the stress caused to people who have lost everything and been through nightmares to find a safer place to live? Cue annoyance at the ECHR interference by many who did not realise that the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU and was born in 1949 out of the ruins of WWII to do everything possible to prevent inhumanity. Although no longer a member of the EU, the UK, at present, remains a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, accepting judgements from the courts. Today there have been mutterings about the UK leaving, wanting to be free to control its own borders and laws. If the UK were to leave it would be in the company of one other country – Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. This tweet from Tommy Shepherd MP really makes you wonder what these anti-human rights Tories are on Watching one Tory MP after another urging the Home Secretary to quit the European Court of Human Rights over the Rwanda ruling. Just when you thought Britain’s international reputation could not sink any lower. #YouYesYet?— Tommy Sheppard MP (@TommySheppard) June 15, 2022 There is ECHR and ECHR The Financial Times gave this useful note on the differences in a newsletter yesterday “Now, the European Convention on Human Rights (not to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights, which exists to safeguard the convention) is one of the named safeguards in the Good Friday Agreement. Also, the UK’s continued membership of various EU crime-fighting initiatives is contingent on the UK’s continuing membership of the convention as well. Actually leaving the convention would cause an internal row in the Tory party and come at a hefty cost to the government’s stated objectives.” Not to mention a further hefty cost to the UK’s and the Tory party’s rapidly declining reputation.

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