For the first time during Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, First Lady Melania Trump appeared beside her husband at a rally in Tampa, Florida on Thursday.
For the first time during Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, First Lady Melania Trump appeared beside her husband at a rally in Tampa, Florida on Thursday.
Prince Andrew's chief accuser was a prostitute who lied about her age and was paid "half a million" by the disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, new court papers allege. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 37, who claims to have had sex with the prince three times when she was 17, was "on the game for about a year" before she met Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of sex trafficking her and a number of other young women in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Ms Roberts Giuffre has always insisted she was a victim and never a willing participant, accusing her critics of "recycling fantasies of their version of the truth for years". She claims the men who abused her have been using their wealth and influence to keep her quiet, accusing the Queen's son of "hiding behind his mummy's skirt" saying: "I didn't do it." Allegations contained in newly-filed legal documents claim Ms Roberts Giuffre was 16, not 15, when she first met Ms Maxwell in Florida. She is also accused of changing her story about meeting Donald Trump at the last minute and of confusing one of the men she claimed to have been sex trafficked to with another Harvard professor. It is also alleged that she may have doctored an email and was using legal action as a form of "blackmail". Ms Roberts Giuffre has always insisted she is trying to expose the truth, and founded non-profit organisation Victims Refuse Silence in 2015 to help fellow survivors of sex trafficking.
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Coronavirus infections are dropping across the UK as the latest R rate fell to between 0.8 and 1. Last week, the r value, which indicates levels of Covid-19 transmission, was between 0.9 and 1. The Government’s Sage advisory group, which publishes the data, suggested the second wave of the pandemic is starting to subside across the country, as it found that the number of new infections is shrinking by between one and three per cent every day.
Covid cases and deaths today: coronavirus UK mapAre UK coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authorities
Matt Hancock’s “step-grandfather”, who he paid tribute to after he died of coronavirus, was actually his step-father's ex-wife's second husband, it has emerged. Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Hancock said the coronavirus figures in Liverpool mattered to him “because last month my step-grandfather Derek caught Covid there and on November 18 he died”. Close to tears, Mr Hancock added: “In my family, as in so many others, we've lost a loving husband, a father, a grandfather to this awful disease. “So from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to everyone in Liverpool for getting this awful virus under control.” It has now emerged that Derek Johnston, who died aged 77, was only distantly related to Mr Hancock. Mr Johnston was the second husband of Mr Hancock’s stepfather’s ex-wife, MailOnline reported. The Health Secretary’s complex family tree involves his mother’s third marriage to Robert Carter, who was formerly married to Marjorie Johnston, who then remarried Derek. A representative for Mr Hancock said he had nothing to add to his earlier statement in the Commons, which came at the end of a testy debate on the Government’s tiered lockdown system. Mr Hancock attempted to persuade MPs they should vote for the plans, pointing to how well the fight against the virus was going in Liverpool, where Mr Johnston lived. “It's down by four-fifths in Liverpool, that's what we can do if we work together in a spirit of common humanity,” he said. “We've got to beat this, we've got to beat it together.” When the vote came, 55 Tory MPs rebelled against the Government - the largest insurrection of this Parliament. The measures easily passed after the Labour Party decided to abstain.
China is conducting "human testing" to create "biologically enhanced soldiers," the head of US intelligence has claimed as he warned that Beijing poses the biggest threat to America's national security. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, warned that the US must be prepared for an "open-ended" confrontation with China which he likened to the Cold War. Mr Ratcliffe, who oversees America's intelligence agencies, said he believed China's intention was to "dominate" the planet in every sense: economically, militarily and technologically. He claimed that US intelligence showed China has "conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities". "There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power," he said. Mr Ratcliffe said his unique vantage point on the current security threats facing the US had led him to conclude that "the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II". He went on to outline in granular detail China's strategy of economic espionage, which he framed as: “rob, replicate and replace.” “China robs US companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology, and then replaces the US firms in the global marketplace,” he said.
Brexit trade talks reached stalemate on Friday night after the EU was accused of making a "ridiculous" demand for 10 years of unfettered access to Britain's fishing waters as the price of a deal. Boris Johnson paused talks for a "stock take" of whether an agreement can still be salvaged. A senior Government source said: "Their new offer was frankly laughable. They know we can't possibly accept it. It's ridiculous. If they think we will just cave in, they have made a massive miscalculation." Mr Johnson will speak to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on Saturday in an attempt to break the deadlock. He could also make a personal plea to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, blamed for "destabilising" the talks by making unreasonable demands on fishing and state aid. Mr Macron is under pressure from other EU member states to give ground, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Friday urging "compromise" from both sides to get the deal over the line.
His family are shocked.
It’s the latest twist in a bizarre testimony that instantly went viral on Wednesday
Labour will be putting "two fingers up to voters" if it refuses to back a Brexit trade deal, Sir Keir Starmer has been warned, as a prominent Remainer MP said they would vote for it. Amid splits at the top of the party on whether to withhold support for an agreement, shadow business minister Lucy Powell suggested Labour would struggle to win back voters in “Red Wall” seats if it attempted to abstain. Arguing that a “skinny deal” could be “built on” in future, Ms Powell added that it was better than no deal - which she said would be a “catastrophe” - and was therefore “quite hard for us to oppose”. Echoing her concerns, Chris Bryant MP, a staunch Europhile, revealed he intended to back the deal and urged his colleagues to do the same. Writing for The Telegraph, the former foreign minister said that even if Boris Johnson failed to strike the “comprehensive deal we were promised” the alternative of no trade deal would be “even worse.” While Sir Keir has hinted he intends to back a deal, Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, is said to be one of several shadow cabinet ministers who believe Labour should abstain to avoid being blamed for any economic fallout. Other sceptics include shadow trade secretary Emily Thornberry and shadow justice secretary David Lammy, both prominent remainers, as well as shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray. On Friday evening Lord Kinnock, the former Labour leader, also waded into the row, telling peers that backing the deal would be politically "lethal" for the party. "We must abstain and explain that this is the rational course when faced with a damaging ‘yes’ and a disastrous ‘no’,” he wrote in a private Whatsapp group. However, Ms Powell, who helped lead a review into last year’s crushing election defeat, argued that it was better to be “strong” than refusing to take a position either way. “It’s not just about Brexit, although Brexit was a big symbolic expression of Labour losing touch with its traditional voter base,” she told Huffington Post. “And we can’t keep putting two fingers up to people if we want them to vote for us again and support us and be part of the agenda that we want for the future.” According to Labour insiders, Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, and Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, are also in favour of a deal. Mr Bryant, the MP for Rhondda in Wales, warned that a no deal exit would lead to tariffs on Welsh lamb that would make the meat unaffordable in the EU, where half is sold at present. He also voiced alarm about the security implications of leaving without a deal, adding: “If the Prime Minister does what I expect him to do, namely negotiate some kind of minimalist trade deal with the EU at the very last minute – I expect I will vote for it and I would encourage all my Labour colleagues to do the same.” enior Labour source told The Telegraph a final position was likely to be hammered out over the next few days, adding that the party would need to have come to “collective decision” either before or soon after any deal is struck. Allies of Sir Keir allies have also been frustrated by leaks suggesting the shadow cabinet is divided and are determined to prevent a repeat of the public rows that plagued Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. They believe they are an attempt by advocates of an abstention to bounce Sir Keir into sitting on the fence. While they insist no position has been reached, they have warned that there will be no room for dissent on the frontbench once a decision has been taken. However, a number of shadow cabinet figures believe that proponents of a deal have become too preoccupied on the Red Wall rather than focussing on the issues that will define the next four years. One source told The Telegraph that some in the party appeared to be trying to “refight the last election” rather than thinking of the “bigger picture.”
Wildlife conservation officials in Kenya are working to save eight giraffes stranded on an island in Lake Baringo by transporting them to a nearby nature preserve on a custom-made steel barge.Footage by Save Giraffes Now (a Texas-based nonprofit that teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and the Northern Rangelands Trust to carry out the complicated rescue mission) shows giraffe Asiwa being brought from the flooded island to her new home at a Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy sanctuary.The animals are part of a group of Rothschild’s giraffes that were sent to the remote Kenyan Rift Valley in 2011 in an effort to save the animals from poachers and to increase the subspecies’ population, People reported.According to reports, the eight giraffes ended up isolated after recent heavy rains turned the peninsula they were living on into an island.Asiwa was the first giraffe to cross the water on the barge, and a second giraffe named Pasaka has since been rescued.“There is great urgency to execute this rescue,” said David O’Connor, president of Save Giraffes Now. “We couldn’t have asked for a better result, and we’re eager to move the others soon. With giraffes undergoing a silent extinction, every one we can protect matters.” Credit: Tyler Schiffman & Ami Vitale/Save Giraffes Now via Storyful
Kelly Loeffler, the wealthiest member of the US Congress currently sparring in the high-stakes Georgia Senate run-off, has donated thousands of dollars to anti-LGBT+ and anti-abortion groups and organisations.
Caving to Brussels on fish and the level playing field to secure a post-Brexit trade deal risks turning Britain into a permanent “client state”, senior Conservative MPs have warned Boris Johnson. With the UK on the cusp of reaching an agreement with the European Union, a group of “die-hard” backbenches have urged the Prime Minister not break his promises to Leave voters in last year’s election. It comes amid fears that Mr Johnson could be forced to grant a flurry of last-minute concessions after intensive lobbying from French president Emmanual Macron to secure more preferable terms on fishing, state subsidies and non-regression clauses. Under British plans designed to placate the French, Mr Johnson has reportedly agreed to defer repatriating up to half of the fishing quotas for several years. However, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, told The Daily Telegraph that fishing was a “totemic issue”, adding that the UK needed to start with control over “100 per cent”. “We have to be treated like Norway is treated,” he added. “We’re not looking for an increase, we are looking for control. From there we negotiate with other countries what access they get. It’s as simple as that.” Meanwhile, there is growing concern that the so-called level playing field – a common set of rules and standards designed to ensure Britain does not give advantages to its business which undermine the EU - will prevent Britain from diverging in the future. The two sides are still believed to be at odds over the policing of the arrangement, particularly over how it will be policed and how to future-proof the agreement to ensure fair competition over time. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has also called for further concessions from the UK on state aid, with Mr Macron determined to prevent subsidies being used to undercut French businesses. Last night Theresa Villiers, the former environment secretary, warned that the UK was now at the point of “maximum danger”, adding that “regulatory autonomy is a core part of delivering Brexit.” “This is the main means by which the EU could potentially tie us into their laws and their court. I see this as the main threat to getting Brexit done,” she added. “There are level playing field agreements in the Canada deal and arbitration mechanisms that are acceptable. But on the other end of the spectrum we are locked in as a client state.” However, several MPs said any potential backlash was likely to be limited to several dozen hardliners, meaning Mr Johnson is unlikely to face any major challenge in pushing the trade deal through Parliament. “It’s very much the ones that caused Theresa May a lot of trouble,” said one. “There’s an element of this which is that nothing will be good enough for them except no deal. As long as it looks reasonable I think most people will wear it.” Dr Liam Fox, the former trade secretary and prominent Brexiteer, added: “We have to be realistic and if we want to get the best for the majority of the British economy we will have to make some compromises. Trade agreements are not a series of ultimata, they are a negotiation.”
Do you know where the ‘Jacaranda City’ is? Do you know which country was divided in two between 1954 and 1975?
Lawyer told outgoing president to stop spreading ‘destructive lies’
Saturday could be the most important day in Brexit since the UK's formal exit from the EU at the end of January. Talks between the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost have reached the end of the road. There is now a "pause" and the entire process is being passed up to the two principals, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, to discuss in a telephone call this afternoon.
Labour has suspended two more senior officials of a London party after a heated meeting in which they spoke out in support of Jeremy Corbyn over the anti-Semitism scandal. Chair of the Chingford and Woodford Green CLP Gary Lefley and vice chair Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi have been suspended pending an investigation, the Standard understands. It comes amid a wave of suspensions across local Labour parties after they were ordered not to discuss Mr Corbyn’s suspension or criticise the Equality and Human Rights report into the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
Public Health England is urging people to stay warm and look out for those most at risk.
His friends have a lot riding on him lifting the glitterball.
Sidney Powell, the attorney who was distanced from the US president’s legal team because she pushed election-related conspiracies, was said to have submitted a lawsuit that “breathed more lies” than most cases seen in court, after she challenged Michigan’s election results. Issuing a response to Ms Powell’s lawsuit on Thursday, judges for the City of Detroit said the lawsuit contained “warped logic”, and dismissed claims that vote machines had been tampered with, among other conspiracy theories. “Few lawsuits breathe more lies than this one,” said the 45-page court document, which was shared online.