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Racism in Britain: the time for denial is over | Letters | World news



In the context of Black Lives Matter, I have read little that is more shameful and quietly eloquent than your interview with Danny Rose (Tottenham’s Danny Rose tired of police stopping him to ask if car is stolen, 3 August). Danny is right: nothing will change, because sexism and racism seem so ingrained in some institutions as to be hardly worthy of notice. After all, institutional racism does not exist in the Metropolitan police according to its commissioner, Cressida Dick, nor elsewhere according to some government advisers.

Let us imagine that Harry Kane, say, was stopped, searched and breathalysed, with no proper cause, or questioned on the propriety of his sitting in a first-class carriage – it would be front-page news and the commentariat would be up in arms.

“Why didn’t Danny report the train attendant?” I thought as I read the interview. Ah, but then, it would be his word against Danny’s, and we can guess the likely outcome.
Terry Walsh
Cartagena, Murcia , Spain

Given the Guardian’s excellent coverage of race and the Black Lives Matter movement over the last few months, I find it surprising and pretty offensive that the Danny Rose story appeared in the sports section of your website. This is not a sports story. It is a news story. Relegating it to the sports section devalues an excellent piece and belittles an important issue.
Caroline Flatley
Oldham, Greater Manchester

As a widower of 87, retired editor and lay magistrate, I have great admiration for the courage and commitment of the vast majority of police officers. As the grandfather and great-grandfather of mixed-race young people, I am aware of the institutionalised racism that stalks a small minority of police.

Having read with horror last week’s heart-rending Young, British and Black interviews (29 and 30 July) and your Danny Rose interview, I am not merely deeply ashamed to be white British, but I call on every police chief, politician and opinion-former to root out police officers who blight the name of those who seek to protect us. No one should be subjected to the racism recorded from teachers, the public, authority figures and the police. Words are not enough. Action – real, purposeful and meaningful – is required now. Would that those in charge had the guts to see it through.
Ron Jeffries
Ilford, London

It is no longer enough to call on the government to review the curriculum to include more black, Asian and minority ethnic history (‘Tone-deaf’ ministers reject BAME review of English curriculum, 30 July). The astounding accounts given by the interviewees for your Young, British and Black series make it clear that anti-racism training should be a core part of the national curriculum. I find myself reviewing my 40-year career at all levels in education. I hope I was never as insensitive as some of the teachers and pupils these people encountered. None of us can be sure that, even inadvertently, we haven’t flaunted our white privilege or unwittingly offended those from BAME backgrounds with whom we came in contact. I hope ministers can reflect and realise that the time for denial is over.
Linda Rhead
Hampton, London

“It is a movement, not a moment,” says Dawn Butler (Interview, 4 August). It is both. The noun form of the adjective “momentous” is indeed “moment”.
RA Jones

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Over 200,000 People Have Died in the US: Live Covid-19 Updates




Three major economies — the United States, China and Russia — have not joined. All three are pursuing their own vaccine plans.

In a virtual appearance before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, insisted that Russia’s vaccine was safe and effective, and offered free shots to U.N. staff. Russia’s approval of the vaccine, which came with much fanfare, occurred before it had been tested in late-stage trials.

More than 130 potential vaccines are estimated to be in development globally.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Tuesday that COVAX “represents the most secure means of access, because it includes vaccines from very different countries of the world.”

Mexico has seen one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, with over 700,000 recorded cases, or 555 per 100,000 people, and nearly 74,000 deaths, according to a Times database.

In other news around the world:

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand has apologized after being photographed with supporters without social distancing or masks last week while on the campaign trail, drawing criticism from the public and opposition politicians.

  • The awards ceremony for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been canceled because of the pandemic, the Norwegian Nobel Institute announced on Tuesday. Instead of the usual ceremony at Oslo City Hall, a scaled-back event will be held at the city’s university with a limited number of guests on Dec. 10. The prize will be announced at a news conference on Oct. 9.

  • Russia has reported a sharp rise in the number of new cases, with Moscow the epicenter of a nationwide spike in infections. Official figures released on Tuesday showed 6,215 new cases over the previous 24 hours — a marked increase from the start of the month and the highest number of daily cases since mid-July. Of those, 980 were reported in Moscow.

  • South Korea on Tuesday suspended a plan to provide free flu shots for about 19 million people, amid reports of problems with storing some of the vaccines during transport. The number of newly confirmed cases in the country, which is battling a second wave of infections, has stayed below 100 for the past three days. But millions are set to travel domestically next week to celebrate a five-day holiday.

  • Sixteen more residential areas in Madrid exceeded the infection rate criteria to return to lockdown restrictions, government data showed Tuesday. Those areas are in addition to 37 that went back under lockdown on Monday, raising the prospect that restrictions on movement will soon spread further across Spain’s capital region. Ignacio Aguado, the deputy head of the Madrid region, said that health care services were struggling to control the spread of the virus, while Salvador Illa, Spain’s health minister, urged residents of Madrid to stay at home as much as possible.

Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Stephen Castle, Troy Closson, Rick Gladstone, Abby Goodnough, Andrew Higgins, Jan Hoffman, Mike Ives, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Apoorva Mandavilli, Victor Mather, Patricia Mazzei, Patrick McGeehan, Raphael Minder, Claire Moses, Campbell Robertson, Simon Romero, Dagny Salas, Anna Schaverien, Christopher F. Schuetze, Megan Specia, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Katherine J. Wu, Carl Zimmer and Karen Zraick.

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Vatican: Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia ‘Intrinsically Evil’ | World News




NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Tuesday reaffirmed its stance that euthanasia and assisted suicide are “intrinsically evil,” and told priests they should minister to those contemplating such deaths to try to change their minds but shouldn’t be present at the end if they don’t.

The Vatican’s doctrine office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a lengthy new document on end-of-life care for the terminally ill on Tuesday. It takes into account medical advances, the advent of “do not resuscitate” orders and legal approval for assisted suicide, as well as new Vatican perspectives on palliative care, including for children.

Catholic teaching holds that life must be defended from conception until its natural death. It insists that chronically ill patients, including those in vegetative states, must receive “ordinary” care such as hydration and nutrition, but that “extraordinary” or disproportionate care can be suspended if it is no longer beneficial or is only prolonging a precarious and painful life.

The Vatican stressed in the new document that the renunciation of extraordinary care in no way can mean a request for assisted suicide or euthanasia, which it called “a crime against human life.”

“The judgment that an illness is incurable cannot mean that care has come at an end,” it said. “Euthanasia, therefore, is an intrinsically evil act, in every situation or circumstance.”

It said those who participate in it, including medical personnel, are committing “homicide” and that lawmakers who approve it “become accomplices of a grave sin.”

Pope Francis has described euthanasia and abortion as evidence of today’s “throwaway culture,” in which the sick, the elderly and disabled are considered unworthy of life.

In the text, the Vatican told priests they should provide spiritual accompaniment to those who have expressed a desire to end their lives through assisted suicide or euthanasia. But it said priests can only offer the sacraments of confession or anointing of the sick if the patients truly repent and change their minds.

“To delay absolution is a medicinal act of the church, intended not to condemn, but to lead the sinner to conversion,” it said.

And it told priests that if such patients don’t change their minds, the priests shouldn’t be present at the time of death since “that could be interpreted as approval of this action.”

The Vatican backed the use of hospice centers and palliative care, including deep sedation to reduce pain. But it said such medication must never be used with the intent of hastening death.

And it called for the expansion of “prenatal hospice centers” to provide medical, psychological and spiritual care to parents and children suffering pre-natal pathologies that are “inconsistent with life.”

Rather than resorting to abortion, the Vatican said, providing this assistance “helps the parents to handle their grief and to regard this experience not just as a loss, but as a moment in the journey of love which they have travelled together with their child.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Jailed Kurdish Politician Handed Another Year for Insulting Turkey’s Erdogan | World News




ANKARA (Reuters) – A former Kurdish parliamentarian jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges has been handed an additional prison term for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan, two of her lawyers said.

Sebahat Tuncel was sentenced last week to 11 months and 20 days for calling Erdogan an enemy of Kurds and women in a speech in 2016, comments one of her lawyers defended as legitimate criticism of a political opponent.

Tuncel had served in Turkey’s parliament for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Her lawyer said her words had been taken out of context

“The defendant said that the president was an enemy of women and Kurds,” said attorney Sivan Cemil Ozen.

Her statements were “criticism of a political rival, which is within the boundaries of freedom of expression,” she said.

In a July hearing, Tuncel denied the charge, saying she should be able to criticise a political opponent. The charges against her were an attempt to “prevent freedom and thought, expression and organisation, especially the freedom of politics,” she said.

Last year, Tuncel was jailed for 15 years for spreading terrorist propaganda and belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey and branded a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. She had denied the charges.

Charges of insulting the president carry a maximum four-year prison sentence. Such cases rose by 30% in 2019, with 26,115 people investigated, some 5,000 facing court hearings and 2,462 jailed, according to data from the justice ministry.

How Turkey’s courts turned on Erdogan’s foes

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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