The seemingly never ending Brexit soap is nearing its climax as British parliament blocked a no deal Brexit at Halloween.
PM Boris Johnson is left almost empty handed as one of the oldest legislatures in the world took over control and voted against a no deal Brexit. This unparalleled spectacle took place after a failed attempt from the conservatives to disable parliament for 5 weeks in order to secure Britain leaving the EU on October 31st with or without a deal.
It is widely feared that the country will end up in chaos and major economic damage occur in case the UK is crashing out the EU.
The House of Lords should approve the no deal legislation later this week. They will work overtime to get the job done.
With not many alternatives available, legislation proposed by the PM to organize early general elections mid-October also failed to get the required 2/3 majority.
Boris Johnson maneuvered himself in a very difficult not to say impossible position with his promise to leave the EU at the end of October under all circumstances. But what initially looked like a smart move turned against him.
Disabling Parliament for another 5 weeks until mid-October is widely seen as a violation against democracy.
It all began last week as in the middle of the wide spread uproar a conservative party member defected and the conservative majority in the House of Commons was lost.
Add up the 21 conservative party members that –after voting against the PM- were fired. They were purged in short order from a party many of them devoted their political lives to. And there is the bombshell resignation from MP and business minister Jo Johnson, the younger brother of the Prime Minister who puts Britain’s national interest first above family loyalty.
What Boris Johnson tried to do is similar to the practices that are usual in Brussels. Switching off and ignoring democracy.
Dictatorial EU practises are now introduced in British politics leaving many in disbelieve and leading to an appalling unprecedented situation.
I remember Boris Johnson as a great Mayor of London, doing an outstanding job. Being PM of this country is something else and might require a different approach.
Where are we now? A general election is almost unavoidable. The opposition demands this to happen after October 31 to avoid Brexit surprises during the turmoil of such elections. And in one way or another, a snap election before October 31 gets no backing, the government can decide to resign.
The question is, will a new House of Commons find a way to rediscover the spirit of compromise, humility and understanding. Without this, it seems unlikely Brexit will ever happen.
Times change and so do ethics. It is Alan Turing, earlier prosecuted for being gay, showing up on the new 50 pound note that is due to arrive in 2021.
As an informatics scientist. Mr. Turing played an important, not to say, “Crucial” rule during WWII by breaking the Nazi Germany’s communication code.
He worked at the UK’s deep secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center helping to crack the Nazi Germany’s secret codes by developing the Turing logic bombe.
Turing was ground breaking. He was also one of the most important forces as it comes to artificial intelligence. One of the many things he developed was the so called Turing test; a way to measure artificial intelligence.
But in the fifties being openly gay was a criminal offence. In England, as in the rest of Europe, homosexuality was strictly prohibited.
In that period of time, homosexuals were sent to prison and forcibly treated with hormones. In 1954 Turing committed suicide and died at the age of 41,
It was not earlier as in 2013 when Turing received a royal pardon; this following apologizes from the British government in 2009.
The new 50 pound bank note is part of a transition to more secure bank notes. Switching from paper to safer and long life polymer.
The United States Department of Interior published an alarming list of 35 mineral commodities under threat and critical to the economic and national security of the land.
Immediate steps are necessary to avoid critical situations in the mid and long term.
It’s like a leaking reservoir; the worldwide pace fundamental and essential natural resources are consumed overrules the input at a deeply concerning speed.
Earth resources are now diminishing at a pace never seen before. The world population digests natural resources 50% faster as they regenerate.
Scientists warn that we are heading towards a point of no return that could change the way humanity lives forever or even worse.
It is known for a while that large oil fields are running out of capacity. This is a bigger and more immediate treat than the impact fossil fuels have on the climate.
As I said many time before: Yes, there is climate change but bear in mind that the average worldwide temperature is barely raising. Climate change means not necessarily a rise in temperature. No need to panic about the climate because it is just a geographical shift.
I urge the press to stop spreading lies and misinformation. For example: They often talk about “the hottest particular day in history” but they fail to tell that decades ago a day with a far higher temperature occurred months earlier.
Some places are warmer than before but many colder. There is also a seasonal shift. In the Western hemisphere autumn stays longer warm and spring is in many places colder as it was in the past.
Let’s focus on the real threat.
The U.S. mineral warning list is really something to pay attention to. It includes basic minerals like aluminum (used in almost all sectors of the economy), the platinum group metals (used for catalytic agents as exhausting pipes in automobiles), rare elements used in batteries (for telephones and, my goodness, ELECTRIC cars) as well as other electronics.
Believe it or not, even a shortage of sand looms as the Africa swamps are turned into modern housing area’s and infrastructure construction works are widely on the rise.
It is of deep concern that humanity almost unavoidably will have to fight securing the basic needs in order to survive. After the first symptoms, such as the already occurring price hikes, later on technological developments and day to day life will be hindered.
Scientists predict that at the end of the day we all could end up in a major global conflict.
There is no other workaround as to decrease demand.
It is really frightening to see how living standards in Africa are bound for further hikes. Inhabitants of this part of the world are looking foreard to live luxury life plus all that comes to it.
I sincerely believe, the only way to avoid mass extinction is to stop the expanding world population.
If politicians don’t take action immediately, in the long run, circumstances unfortunately will do.
This week, the Australian High Court has ruled that a semen donor is the legal father of an eleven year old girl since, by providing the sperm, and being actively involved in her life.
The bombshell verdict comes after the lesbian mother and her wife announced to move with the child to New Zealand.
The semen donor went to court to prohibit the couple taking away his daughter.
After a five- year battle the High Court’s decision overturned an earlier lower court’s judge ruling that the donor has no right to claim.
At the time of the semen donation, in 2006, the mother of the child was single and a close friend of the donor. However, the initial plan to raise the child together failed at a certain moment as the mother started a relation with a woman.
Despite the donor mentioned as the father on the child’s birth certificate and the girl called him “daddy” she began arguing that he was not the real father.
The High Court now ruled that unmistakably he is the legal father and has the right to prevent the family relocating to New Zealand.
The judge explained that in this case the father was not just a sperm donor. After donation he kept involved in the child’s life.
What we’ve learned from this case is that semen donors playing an active role in the child’s life, sometimes can be seen as a parent.
It happens in many cases that donors in one way or another are involved in children’s lives. Usually they do not claim to be the legal parent of the child. Donors and recipients should be aware of the consequences.
The cost of medicine is exploding. The U.K. is no exception compared to what is happening round the globe.
As the NHS is struggling to keep expenses under control, providing substitute generic medication instead of costly branded medication is a way to put some relieve on the rising unbudgeted pressure.
But are generic medicines as good as promised? This question is increasingly important since prices of generic medicine are now on the rise as well and an American journalist made some shocking revelations.
Branded medicines are medicines mostly marketed under the name given by the company that developed them. Generic medicines are often copies produced in countries with low labor cost.
As protection rights after 20 years expire, companies and pharmacists are free to copy medicine. They can manufacture and sell the medication under its own generic name mostly at a lower price.
In 2016 and 2017, the NHS spent over £4.3 billion on generic medicines. This is more than 28% of total medicine expenditure.
As the cost of branded medication soars, generic low cost alternatives are increasingly popular.
But according to Katherine Eban, an American journalist who wrote the book “Bottle of Lies”, generic medication might not be as safe and effective as we generally believe.
Mrs. Eban investigated the pharmaceutical industry for a decade and focused on generic medication produced in the Far East and sold in the U.S.
She came to the appalling conclusion that at least the American Food and Drug administration, was misled and manipulated. Plant owners in India and China cheated FDA inspectors many times.
She revealed that it is very easy to manipulate data.
Weeks in advance, overseas companies in the Far East producing the generic medication get an announcement of scheduled inspections.
Thanks to this information, plants in China and India are well informed that the FDA inspectors are coming.
This allows factories where the substitute generic medication is made, manipulate data and results.
In her book she writes: “I discovered overseas drug companies that altered documents, shred them, invent them and in some cases even steaming them overnight to create the impression that they are old”
The FDA dismisses claims that it is easy to mislead. “We conducted a number of unannounced inspections at foreign plants over the past several years”
But Mrs. Eban is convinced that in some cases, at least in the U.S. generic medicine becomes available without proper vetting.
She says that the FDA is overwhelmed and under resourced in its duty to ensure the safety of overseas drug production.
She also produced evidence about inspectors that were poisoned with contaminated drinking water to undermine inspections.
Mrs. Eban: “The investigators were poisoned in the course of their inspections with tainted water from the tap, which you can’t drink in India. They felt sick during inspections. I mean, this was a way of running out the clock”
In one instance, an investigator had his hotel room bugged.
In other cases manufacturers tried to scan passenger lists in airports to try to determine exactly who was coming and when. There were elaborate measures that the plants took to try to protect against bad inspections.
The United States warned the UK not allowing Huawei to build the new 5G network. 5G by Huawei would be a fatal mistake putting the special relationship between the two countries at risk.
The US has many activities over here, intelligence and military bases included.
Britain plays also an important role in the Five Eyes network, a secretive global intelligence network formed in the aftermath of World War II. The objective is to share intelligence data between the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Despite the US intelligence and military has their own worldwide communication networks, the US government considers Huawei dominated technical infrastructures in countries as the UK an unacceptable risk.
It is feared that the Chinese manipulate highly advanced computer and telecommunications firmware to steal sophisticated data from governments and high tech companies.
The warning from the Americans comes at a very bad moment. After leaving the EU, regarding trade relations, the US is one of the last resorts the UK can bank on.
In a statement during a speech to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US has an obligation to ensure that the places they are operating, the places where American information is, and the places where the US is subject to a national security risk that all operations are inside trusted networks. Pompeo: “We don’t believe you can have those technologies in your systems and still have a trusted network
For the UK there is too much at stake (security and trade). Bearing this in mind it is believed Britain will do its utmost to avoid making the wrong decision and assuage US security fears.
UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt responded that the UK will never take a decision that compromises the country’s ability to share intelligence with the so called “Five Eyes” colleagues, particularly the US.