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US election 2020: Donald Trump urged to make huge change to avoid devastating result

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National polls have so far suggested that Trump’s main rival, Democrat Joe Biden, is sliding ahead in popularity.

The past year has by no means been easy for Trump, with his administration being forced to tackle a plethora of issues including racial unrest, international tensions and a global pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly been one of the biggest issues faced by Trump, and his handling of the national outbreak has been divisive – particularly so now, as states across the US are recording record numbers of new infections following lockdown easing.

Indeed, Trump has previously been at odds with the White House’s senior coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci, who has voiced concerns about the country reopening its economy too quickly.

In May, Fauci warned that ending state lockdown measures too early could cause “suffering and death” in the country due to a resurgence of outbreaks.

Trump, meanwhile, had been vocal about reopening the country’s economy as fast as possible, tweeting a couple of months ago that “the Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes.”

He continued: “They would wait until November 3 if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!”

According to US CDC data, the US has recorded a total of 2,624,873 total confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 127,299 deaths.

The president has also raised eyebrows with his unwillingness to wear a mask in public – something that even Republican senators have expressed concerns about.

Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander, for example, has warned in a Senate hearing that “the stakes are too high for this political debate about pro-Trump anti-Trump mask to continue”.

READ: Boris Johnson warned to brace for ‘rude awakening’ if Biden clinches US election victory

Sen. Alexander said he had “suggested” to the president that he should wear a mask on occasion to tackle the issue.

Meanwhile, the anti-racism protests that broke out in cities across the US in May following the death of George Floyd after a police officer knelt on his neck are still ongoing.

Trump has reacted aggressively to the protests, at one point suggesting that people involved in looting would be shot.

The president also threatened to deploy active duty US military troops to cities across the country in an effort to quell the widespread demonstrations.

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On this front, Trump was opposed even by his senior defence aides, with Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary, telling journalists at the start of June that “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act”.

The 1807 Insurrection Act would have allowed Trump to send US troops to city streets even if state and city authorities opposed it.

Trump did not end up deploying active military troops – though he came close. At one point hundreds of troops were flown in to military bases around Washington.

But even now, Trump has continued to mire himself in racial controversy. On Sunday, the president retweeted a video that included one of his supporters shouting “white power”, before this was deleted.

Anonymous Trump allies told Reuters that some people were beginning to wonder whether Trump wants to be re-elected at all.

One said: “People are even actually saying, ‘does he want this anymore?’”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has claimed that he will not hold any campaign rallies in public while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

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UK flood warning: Part of country on alert – Flooding MAPPED

Just days after seeing highs of 33C, temperatures are expected to drop below average for the time of year as the UK returns to the on and off rain of earlier in June. Issued this afternoon, England’s Environment Agency has a warning out for the Lake District, in particular the area around Keswick Campsite, which sits on the north edge of the water.

The Government’s Flood Information Service reports: “The level of Derwentwater remains high as a result of the heavy rain that fell over the weekend.

“Consequently, there is flooding to low lying areas bordering the shores of Derwentwater and the frontage of the Keswick Camping and Caravan Club Site.

“The level of Derwentwater is slowly falling, but is still high.

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths which may be flooded. This message will be updated as the situation changes.”

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The Government has three levels of flood warning – Prepare, Act, and Survive.

This particular flood warning comes under Act – which the Environment Agency advises anyone in the area to turn off gas, electricity and water, move belongings and pets upstairs, and moving vehicles to higher ground.

Unfortunately the weekend isn’t set to bring sunnier skies, with drizzle and heavy rain forecasted in some parts.

Despite this, the Met Office has reported a low risk of flooding across England and Wales for the rest of the week and weekend.

The report reads: “Local flooding from surface water is possible but not expected in parts of the south and central England on Thursday.

“Local flooding from surface water and rivers is possible in parts of Yorkshire, and possible but not expected elsewhere in parts of the north of England and Wales on Friday and Saturday.

“Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.”

Weather over the rest of the week and weekend is expected to be bright in parts but unfortunately there will still be showers across the UK.

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The Met Office reports for Thursday, July 2: “Cloudy across central parts with rain gradually dying out.

“Sunny spells with scattered heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms across southern areas. Mostly dry across northern areas.”

Some brighter weather will be seen in the south of England during the weekend, with a mixed bag forecast for elsewhere.

The Met Office report reads: “Dry and bright in the south Friday, cloudy elsewhere with rain, heavy in places.

“Generally cloudy with rain at times Saturday.

“Rain spreading southeastwards Sunday, sunny spells and showers following.”

High pressure is expected to arrive on British shores next week, meaning some relief from wet a dreary days.

Temperatures are expected to remain the same with some warmer spells and clearer skies all around.

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UK weather forecast: Britain braced for 27C scorcher as heatwave RETURNS in July – Charts

Britain is set to bake in some of the highest temperatures this year as forecasters warn temperatures could soar to a sizzling 27C. According to maps from WXCharts, the UK may see highs of 24C over this coming weekend, with temperatures rising in time for Britons to leave their homes with coronavirus restrictions easing across the country.

However, and in the second week of July there are “signs that the weather may become drier, more settled and warmer again”.

And in some areas temperatures will soar to a hot 27C.

Weather maps from NetWeather show in the first full week of July temperatures will continue to rise across the country, with up to 26C possible in London by Friday, July 10.

That will see Britain return to the scorching weather of the June heatwave which saw millions rush to UK beaches.

Netweather maps forecast 27C in the south of England on July 14, with maps turning red with heat that week.

The forecast reads: “It looks as if relatively dry, settled and warm conditions may be established at the start of this period, bringing some sunshine for most parts, particular southern and central areas.

“The northwest may still be more changeable with nearer normal temperatures.”

Maps from WXCharts also show temperatures rising from Saturday, July 4 onwards – turning red as the mercury heats up.

And the Met Office forecast states between July 15 and July 29: “Most likely continuing settled overall, but confidence in the longer range forecast is low (typical for this time of year).

“Plenty of dry, fine weather around, with the most likely scenario seeing rain increasingly moving away from the northwest bringing more prolonged settled weather here too.

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“A greater likelihood than earlier in the month of warm or even hot episodes across the south, especially south-east, with a chance, albeit still low, of thunderstorms.

“Temperatures are expected to be above average overall.”

It comes as restrictions begin to ease in England on Saturday, July 4.c

Britons will have the chance to basque in the sunshine in pub gardens this weekend after venues were forced to close their doors more than three months ago to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Europe is also due to enjoy hot weather over the coming weekend as a heatwave also hits the continent.

Spain and Germany could see scorching highs of 43C by Sunday.

 

While, France will be hit with highs of 31.5C on Saturday, rising to 33.3C by the following Wednesday.

Most of Europe will enjoy temperatures of more than 30C over the first week of July.

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China chaos: Australia plans long-range hypersonic missile system as tensions erupt

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to boost the country’s defence budget by 40 percent over the next 10 years and announced plans to acquire long-range missiles and other capabilities to “deter” future conflicts. It comes amid deteriorating relations between Australia and China which are widely seen to be at their worst in decades.

We want an Indo-Pacific free from coercion and hegemony

Scott Morrison

Mr Morrison said the steps were needed because the region had become the “focus of the dominant global contest of our age”.

He listed several areas of tension including the border between India and China, and conflict over the South China Sea and East China Sea.

And he said Australia would pivot its military focus to the Indo-Pacific region.

He said: “We want an Indo-Pacific free from coercion and hegemony. We want a region where all countries, large and small, can engage freely with each other and be guided by international rules and norms.”

Although Mr Morrison did not name China, Australia’s muscular posturing towards the Pacific is seen as a signal that Canberra intends to be more assertive in its dealings with Beijing and less reliant on the US.

The new defence capability budget, which amounts to about 2 percent of GDP – replaces a previous decade-long strategy.

Australia will purchase from the US Navy up to 200 long-range anti-ship missiles, which can travel up to 229 miles.

It will also invest in developing a hypersonic weapons system – missiles which can travel thousands of miles.

Up to £12bn is being earmarked for cyberwarfare tools which Mr Morrison said “says a lot about where the threats are coming from”.

Last month, he warned that Australian institutions and businesses were being targeted by cyber attacks from a “sophisticated state actor”.

The remarks were broadly interpreted as aimed at China.

Mr Morrison said tensions between the US and China had been ramped up in recent years warned relations between the two were “fractious at best”.

He said the coronavirus pandemic had worsened the tensions and put the global security order at its most unstable point in decades.

And he also warned the region was seeing “military modernisation” at an unprecedented rate.

He said: “The largely benign security environment that Australia has enjoyed, basically from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the global financial crisis, that’s gone.

“The risk of miscalculation – and even conflict- is heightening.”

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Mr Morrison said Australia would vigorously defend its democratic values and those of others in the region and insisted increasing military capabilities would help “to prevent war”.

Security analysts have interpreted the shift as Australia taking a more defined opposition to China’s increasing influence in the region.

Sam Roggeveen, director of the Sydney-based Lowy Institute’s International Security Program, said: “China is the unspoken elephant in the room.

“While it’s absolutely right that we focus on our region, but buying long-range missiles – particularly ones for land targets – could invite a response from Beijing.”

Relations with its biggest trading partner have further deteriorated in recent months following Australia’s push for a global probe into the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

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Met Office weather forecast: Forecasters reveal when UK can expect 40C

Met Office weather forecasts show a bleak week ahead for much of the UK, with dominant showers and general cloud cover. The latest spell of miserable weather follows the warmest days of 2020, as people boiled under scorching highs of 34C, nearing the all-time maximum for June. The agency has now revealed the chances temperatures could spike further still, towards unprecedented highs of 40C.

A new study revealed today by the Met Office Hadley Centre found an increased likelihood of 40C days within the coming years.

The study, published in scientific journal Nature, found chances of extreme temperatures would increase “significantly” by the end of the century.

Parts of the UK might see 40C days every three to four years on average under a “high emissions” scenario, it added.

Should the world manage to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement, the probability would become “considerably” lower.

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Rather than the three to four-year scenario, a medium-emissions world would see 40C summers roughly every 15 years.

Summers with daily maximum temperatures of 35C currently happen once every five years but may do so as much as every other year by 2100.

Dr Nikolaos Christidis, lead author of the study, revealed where the most extreme temperatures would emerge, and how quickly the probability is increasing.

He said: “We found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century, with the most extreme temperatures expected to be observed in the south-east of England.”

“Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of temperature extremes in the UK.

“The chances of seeing 40°C days in the UK could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence.

“The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been rapidly increasing, and, without curbing of greenhouse gas emissions, such extremes could be taking place every few years in the climate of 2100.”

The extreme temperatures would be “highly unlikely” under a “natural” climate, study co-author Dr Mark McCarthy added.

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Dr McCarthy, who is also head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said the temperatures of the hottest days of the year increase roughly every decade.

He said: “This research shows human-caused climate change has set us on a course to see temperature extremes in the UK that would be highly unlikely under a ‘natural’ climate, although urgent action to reduce emissions now can significantly reduce the occurrence of extreme high temperatures in the UK in the future.

“Analysis shows that in some parts of the south-east between 1960 and 2019 the hottest days of the year have already increased by 1°C each decade, showing the UK is already on a warming trend when it comes to heat extremes.”

The Met Office said the latest research would prove vital when it comes to planning for future extremes.

Information taken from the study could aid in mitigating the effects of the extreme temperatures in the UK, they added.

Temperature records in England have broken frequently over the last 10 years, with the new maximum of 38.7C set in Cambridge last year.

The highest temperatures in Scotland and Wales are slightly lower, with temperature records set decades ago.

In Wales, officials recorded 35.2C in August 1990, and Scotland recorded 32.9C in 2003.

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Russian warplanes to strike enemy ground targets in drills as Putin flexes military muscle

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The crews of about 15 Sukhoi Su-30SM and Su-24 aircraft from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation will practice eliminating a notional enemy’s ground targets during the week-long war games.

Crews will practice tasks at the training ground to eliminate a notional enemy’s military hardware

Baltic Fleet spokesman

A spokesman for the fleet said: “During the drills that will last until the end of this week, the crews of Su-30SM multirole fighters and Su-24 frontline bombers will practice tasks at the training ground to eliminate columns of a notional enemy’s military hardware and provide fire support for units of the Baltic Fleet’s army corps in the conditions of a present-day all-arms battle.”

The pilots will also practice aerial battle manoeuvres, carry out reconnaissance and hitting targets and make target runs under enemy jamming.

The aircraft crews will strike more than 100 various targets during the drills.

The spokesman said: “The basic aim of the drills is to sharpen the skills of the crews’ flight training within their units and practice pairs’ co-ordinated and competent operations in a single tactical pattern, including in a manoeuvrable aerial battle.”

The training mission involves about 15 aircraft and more than 100 flight and ground personnel from the air regiment of the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation squadron.

Meanwhile, the Russian Pacific Fleet’s anti-submarine warfare ships and submarine forces have been holding tactical drills in the Sea of Japan.

A spokesman said: “In accordance with the combat training plan, a tactical exercise was held in the Sea of Japan, during which a diesel submarine of the Primorye Flotilla of All-Arms Forces carried out an attack on a group of a notional enemy’s ships.

“Despite the anti-submarine warfare ships’ active measures, the submarine managed to stealthily penetrate the area, detect the ships that simulated an assault force and attack the tactical group successfully with four practice torpedoes.”

The naval strike force, comprising the small anti-submarine warfare ships Koreyets, Sovetskaya Gavan and MPK-221, was assigned the task of detecting and eliminating a notional enemy’s submarine.

The strike group’s operations were supported by an Il-38 anti-submarine warfare plane.

The fleet spokesman said the submarine was detected and attacked with rocket-propelled depth charges and torpedoes.

Russia has been flexing its military muscles amid simmering tensions with the West.

The US announced last week it was set to deploy a squadron of hunter-killer drones in Poland in a clear signal to Vladimir Putin and is also drawing up plans for new military infrastructure in the eastern European country.

The Pentagon has already confirmed plans to base MQ-9 Reaper drones in neighbouring Estonia for the first time, is a stark illustration of the tense nature of US-Russian relations.

In accordance with the deal, the US Air Force will begin rotating an MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance drone squadron into Poland, as well as establishing an aerial port there.

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In addition, a location for a US armoured brigade combat team has been agreed, while the two countries are discussing additional support infrastructure plus a combat aviation brigade.

Officials refused to speculate on whether Donald Trump was planning to move any of the 9,500 US troops recently pulled out of Germany to Poland.

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China flu virus: Most terrifying detail of NEW disease highlighted by expert

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The new strain of swine flu has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”, according to the researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor James Wood, Head of Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, warned current vaccines “may not protect adequately” against it.

Prof Wood said: “Pig farming is a massive industry in China and pigs can be important hosts from which novel influenza viruses may emerge.

“The authors have conducted a thorough investigation into the risks of newly emerging swine flu viruses in China and show that there is evidence that these may pose a risk to human health, in particular that they can replicate in human cells and may already be infecting some pig farmers in China.

“Current vaccines may not protect adequately against them.

“The work comes as a salutary reminder that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of zoonotic pathogens and that farmed animals, with which humans have greater contact than with wildlife, may act as the source for important pandemic viruses.”

Dr Alice Hughes, Associate Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, added that swine flus are “not uncommon” in Asia, with hygiene standards and food containing hormones and steroids likely to contribute to outbreaks.

Dr Hughes said: “Swine and avian flus are not uncommon in Asia, and we hear periodic reports of them thankfully largely limited to livestock – in China there is sensitivity on this, so there is screening.

“Hygiene standards, and feeds including hormones and steroids across Asia are likely to be contributory factors to compromised immune systems and the potential of viruses to spread.

“Pork and poultry are also very popular across Asia, so there are huge numbers of the animals in the region – in fact, current statistics show over half the world’s pig population is in China.”

Professor Kin-Chow Chang of Nottingham University told the BBC the new virus should not be ignored.

He said: “Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses.”

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The new flu strain identified in China, called G4 EA H1N1, is similar to the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

The researchers detected it after looking at flu viruses found in pigs in China from 2011 to 2018.

Pig farm workers also showed elevated levels of the virus in their blood, the researchers said.

They added: “Close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented.”

It comes as new figures show coronavirus has infected more than 10 million people around the world and more than 500,000 people have died.

Coronavirus is widely thought to have started at a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

It is believed to have made the jump from animals – possibly bats – to humans.

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Coronavirus strain revealed to be 10 TIMES MORE infectious than China spread

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Sars-Cov2, the strain of virus that causes COVID-19, has been shown to mutate and change overtime. Scientists remain uncertain as to how best tackle the virus, despite it’s similarities to SARS.

Researchers at Florida’s Scripps Research Institute has said that a mutated version of coronavirus seen in the West is more infectious as it doesn’t break as often inside the body.

This is because the”spike protein” that the virus uses to attach to airway cells has adapted since January.

The scientists say that coronavirus used to break off regularly while trying to bind to receptors in people’s airways, which it would use to gain entry to the body, but is now more resilient.

While scientists have known for months that the strain seen in Europe and the US is more potent that China’s original, it is the first time a cause has been suggested.

A genetic mutation developed through transmission and replication has caused the protein to be less likely to snap.

As it is more resilient, it become the dominant strain replicated by the virus.

Scientists say that because of this mutation, coronavirus is now approximately 10 times more infectious.

The mutated version of the virus is named G614 – a change from D614, representing the Wuhan strain discovered at the start of 2020.

In May, researchers discovered that G614 had become the dominant strain seen in patients from the UK, US, Canada and Italy.

Lead researcher on the Scripps institute’s study, Dr Hyeryun Choe, told the Washington Post the mutation seemed to have happened to ‘compensate’ for the weakness of the spike protein in the past.

The way the virus enters the body is by using its spike to latch onto a receptor – called an ACE-2 receptor – inside someone’s airways, where virus’ multiply rapidly inside once entering.

Dr Choe and her colleagues examined the differences between the spike proteins, dubbed S, on the outside of both versions of the coronavirus.

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Dr Choe and her colleagues said: “These results show SG614 is more stable than SD614, consistent with epidemiological data suggesting that viruses with SG614 transmit more efficiently.”

Elaborating to the Washington Post, Dr Choe continued: “The epidemiological study and our data together really explain why the [G variant’s] spread in Europe and the US was really fast…

“This is not just accidental.”

They added however that despite the higher infectiousness of the virus, there seemed to be no change in how effective it was, which they suggested was because the spike protein has nothing to do with virus replication after it goets inside the body.

Dr Choe’s study suggested that the process of reproduction, and using the body’s resources to achieve this, is how the coronavirus causes illness.

The study added: “An interesting question is why viruses carrying the more stable SG614 appear to be more transmissible without resulting in a major observable difference in disease severity.

“It is possible that higher levels of functional S protein observed with SG614 increase the chance of host-to-host transmission, but that other factors limit the rate and efficiency of intra-host replication.”

The paper was published online on bioRxiv without being reviewed by independent scientists.

Coronavirus has infected 10,275,392 people worldwide, and killed 504,851, as of June 30 and according to John Hopkins University.

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China‚Äôs ‘grooming’ of British business elites REVEALED in explosive new book

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China and the UK have seen fraught tensions in recent months, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as exiting trade issues surrounding Huawei and Britains 5G networks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ramped up his anti-Chinese legislation as Beijing attempts to introduce a new security law against Hong Kong.

The Times has reported that a group of political and business leaders committed to stronger ties with China has taken legal action against a new book exposing Chinese efforts to groom Britain’s elites.

The book, Hidden Hand, is an exposé of Chinese influence networks in Britain.

It portrays Beijing’s influence in Britain through the Chinese Communist Party as far reaching and unstoppable.

They influence British elites through the 48 Group Club, which was founded in part by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine.

The group’s website has been taken down after the book’s publication, and Stephen Perry, a London businessman who chairs the club, has begun legal action to stop the publication of the book in the UK and Canada.

 

Australian academic Clive Hamilton, co-author of the book, said to the Times: “In our judgment, so entrenched are the [Chinese] influence networks among British elites that Britain has passed the point of no return and any attempt to extricate itself from Beijing’s orbit would probably fail.”

Hidden Hand was written in collaboration with Mareike Ohlberg, a senior fellow in the Asia programme of the German Marshall Fund.

The book says that while the club, with 500 members and headquarters in London, keeps a very low profile at home it serves as a networking hub “through which Beijing grooms Britain’s elites”.

It claims that Mr Perry had met Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2018, where the Chinese Communist Party regards the 48 Group Club as central to its influence efforts in Britain.

At their meeting Mr Xi lauded the work of the club and Mr Perry in turn praised China’s “tremendous achievement” and praised the Chinese leader’s vision “of a community with a shared future for humanity”.

The authors say their source for details on the meeting between Xi and Perry as Perry’s blog on the 48 Group Club website.

Hidden Hand contains footnotes on Mr Perry’s blog six other times as a source for it’s chapter on the club.

Mr Perry was the only Briton among ten foreigners awarded the China Reform and Friendship Medal in 2018 to mark the 40th anniversary of the economic reforms known as “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

An archived snapshot of the website, from December, listed current and former MPs, peers, chief executives, and prominent individuals from academia and media as “fellows”.

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When approached by The Times for comment, some MPs listed on 48 Group Club’s website were unaware of it’s existence.

Richard Graham, a Conservative MP, said he was unaware of being a fellow of the group, but said it was “very kind” of them to offer it.

Jack Straw, a former Labour home secretary, said that he had never heard of the club “so why I’m on their website I’ve no idea”.

Mr Perry declined to comment to the Times report.

Lord Heseltine has confirmed his links to the group, and said it was primarily a network for those involved in Chinese trade.
Heseltine has also defended it’s usefulness as a forum to communicate with Chinese diplomats and politicians.

He said to the Times: “I’ve spoken at a number of their big dinners, when I have made comments that are frank about Chinese activity.”

In a statement the board of the 48 Group Club confirmed that it had taken legal advice. “We were, and remain, concerned about some of its reported content, not least since at no time did the authors attempt to contact us in the course of their research.”

It added: “The 48 Group Club is not in any sense a vehicle for Beijing. It is an independent body promoting understanding of China and positive Sino-British relations, which we believe to be in the UK’s national interest.

“Any suggestion to the contrary is quite false.”

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China passes major controversial Hong Kong law – ignoring global outcry

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The law passed unanimously early this morning, with 162 members of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee giving the legislation their backing, SCMP reports.

It’s understood that the law will officially come into action on Wednesday.

It’s understood that Hong Kong activists are already making plans for civil disobedience in opposition to the law, and that thousands of police will be on standby.

Under the law, it will become a criminal act – with a maximum penalty of life in jail – to commit serious challenged to Beijing’s authority.

These include secession, or breaking away from the country; subversion, or undermining central government; terrorism; and collusion with foreign forces.

The law has been a major source of concern both in Hong Kong and around the globe over fears that it will curb personal freedoms, particularly in Hong Kong which has a level of autonomy from Beijing authorities.

Another issue with the legislation is its lack of transparency. SCMP adds that only a “handful” of Hong Kong officials were able to see a draft version of the law before it was passed.

As such, details of the law have not been made public, though some details have emerged.

For example, it’s reported that under the law Beijing will set up a national security office in Hong Kong with the aim of gathering intelligence on what it deems to be national security threats, and even send some cases to mainland China for trials, the BBC reports.

In addition, Beijing will have the final say in how the law should be interpreted, and not Hong Kong.

READ: Donald Trump tightens restrictions on exports in fresh blow to Hong Kong 

It has raised fears that Hong Kong’s judicial independence will be stripped away, and there are also concerns that government candidates who oppose the law would be disqualified from running in elections.

China was granted sovereignty over Hong Kong by Britain in 1997, on the condition that the “one country, two systems” principle be observed.

In essence this means that Hong Kong is able to have some freedoms, including an independent judiciary and democratic rights, which places in mainland China do not have.

It remains to be seen what implications the passing of the law will have internationally.

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Boris Johnson, for instance, had threatened that if China went ahead with the law then the UK would relax its immigration rules for certain Hong Kong residents and allow them to stay in Britain for longer than are currently able to.

Johnson said that the law would “curtain [Hong Kong’s] freedoms and drastically erode its autonomy”.

He added: “Britain would then have no choice but to uphold our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong”.

It’s thought that around 350,000 Hong Kong residents hold British National (Overseas) passports while a further 2.5 million would be able to apply for them.

Holders of these passports would be able to come to the UK for a renewable period of one year – up from six months currently – and also be given the right to work.

Meanwhile, China has announced visa restrictions on people from the US who “behave egregiously” in regards to the imposition of the Hong Kong law. It’s not known how many people this would effect.

It’s thought to be in retaliation to US visa restrictions on Chinese officials that were imposed just days prior due to the Hong Kong legislation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that.

“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy … or undermining human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong”.

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