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UK shop closures at record high in 2020

A 'Closed' sign on a shop door

A 'Closed' sign on a shop door
A record number of shops closed during the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus lockdown, new figures show.

A total of 11,000 chain operator outlets shut between January and August this year, according to research from the Local Data Company and accountancy firm PwC.

Around 5,000 shops opened, leaving a net decline of 6,001 stores, almost double the drop during the same period last year.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: "We know that the pandemic will continue to impact the way we work, rest and play; however, in terms of how we shop, this isn't new.

Fire

Lobster facility fire in Nova Scotia 'suspicious,' Canadian minister says

Bill Blair
© REUTERS/Blair Gable/Files
Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair speaks during a meeting of the special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 16, 2020.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Saturday said a fire that destroyed a lobster facility in southwest Nova Scotia was "suspicious", adding that he has authorized more Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to keep peace in the region where fishery tensions have escalated.

"I am deeply concerned about the suspicious fire and confident that investigators will find the answers they need to hold those responsible to account", Blair said in a statement.

"I have now approved a request from Nova Scotia's Attorney General to enhance the presence of contracted RCMP resources as needed in that jurisdiction in order to keep the peace", he added.

Comment: More from CBC:
...

Tensions have been simmering for weeks in the province's southwest, sparked by the launch of a moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band outside the federally mandated commercial season — 21 years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case of Donald Marshall Jr.


The landmark decision affirmed the Mi'kmaw right to earn a "moderate livelihood" from fishing. The court later said the federal government could regulate the Mi'kmaw fishery but must justify any restrictions it placed on it.

Many commercial lobster fishermen say they consider the new Sipekne'katik fishery in St. Marys Bay illegal and worry that catching lobster outside the mandated season, particularly during the summer spawning period, will negatively impact stocks.

Sipekne'katik officials have said the amount of lobster that will be harvested and sold is tiny compared with what's caught during the commercial season, which begins in late November and runs until the end of May.

They say the fishery was launched after the band was unable to find common ground with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the definition of "moderate livelihood."

Calls for Ottawa to take action

When it comes to laying blame for the escalating conflict, many — including the Sipekne'katik First Nation, commercial fishers, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and opposition parties — have pointed fingers at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for failing to properly define a "moderate livelihood."

The premier tweeted Saturday afternoon that he is "deeply concerned about the acts of intimidation and violence" in southwestern Nova Scotia.

...



Laptop

Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA locked out from Twitter for asking question about mail-in voting fraud

charlie kirk twitter ban

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has been locked out of Twitter for “violating [Twitter’s] rules against posting misleading information about voting,” according to the platform.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has been locked out of Twitter for "violating [Twitter's] rules against posting misleading information about voting," according to the platform.

On Saturday, the conservative advocate tweeted the following:

"Pennsylvania just rejected 372,000 mail-in ballots

Comment: The mask is completely off now for Twitter. Through their repeated egregious censorship and obvious favoritism they have proven themselves to be nothing more than an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party.

See also:


Attention

73-year-old Vet Trump supporter assaulted in Massachusetts, 34-year-old charged with assault

Kiara Dudley

Douglas police report they have arrested 34-year-old Kiara Dudley.
A 73-year-old Vietnam veteran out holding a sign supporting President Trump was assaulted on Saturday, according to local reports in Massachusetts.

Douglas police report they have arrested 34-year-old Kiara Dudley, of Douglas, and charged her with assault and battery on an elderly person causing injury.

Police state that a couple, which included the veteran, were waving Trump flags and signs at an intersection. Dudley then approached the elderly couple, allegedly harassing them and making them move, the Boston Herald reported.

Comment: When your ideological insanity allows you to assault an elderly person simply because you disagree with them politically, it's time to question your life.

See also:


Megaphone

Woman detained by police during late night lockdown protest in central London

london protest arrest
A small crowd in London clashed with the police on the evening of October 16 as the city began enforcing more stringent coronavirus regulations.

New restrictions prohibit people from separate households from mixing inside restaurants, bars and pubs.

The video shows one woman being detained by authorities while some people can be heard chanting "leave her alone."

Comment: See also:


Megaphone

'Do you want me to stop working?' As Paris restaurants are ordered into new curfew, angry citizens hold street protest

paris protests curfew
Over a hundred protesters took to the streets of Paris to decry the new curfew introduced by President Macron to stop the spread of Covid-19. Restaurant staff complained about the restrictions as customers supported the rally.

People carrying flares and chanting "Freedom!" marched through Paris' streets on Saturday, denouncing the recent restrictions imposed by the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

"I work in the food business, do you want me to stop working?" a man supporting the protest told the Ruptly video agency. "I hope that the government stops these ridiculous measures that put people in the streets."


Comment: Meanwhile in Prague:
Protest against Covid-19 rules in Prague escalates into clashes with police




[...]

The rally was gathered to object to the government's response to the Covid-19 epidemic. One of those rules triggered the violent confrontation. Gatherings of more than 500 people are currently banned in the Czech Republic, and even smaller ones require people to wear face masks and spread in groups of up to 20 people separated by at least two meters.

The municipal authorities estimated that around 2,000 people flocked to the square, and ordered the rally to disperse. While most of the demonstrators complied, some refused and instead confronted the police. Dozens of arrests were made in connection with the riot.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek praised the police response and accused "several hundred hooligans" of instigating the violence. Prime Minister Andrej Babis told Czech media he was "shocked" by the rioters' actions and accused them of endangering themselves and others. "I am in favor of harsh punishment in their case," he said.

[...]



X

Twitter removes mask guidance from White House Covid-19 adviser, claiming it violated policies on 'misleading information'

white house scott atlas
© REUTERS/Tom Brenner
Twitter has removed a tweet from White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Atlas questioning the effectiveness of mask mandates, claiming the message violated the platform's Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy.

"Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination," Atlas told Newsweek on Sunday about his tweet being removed.

In the original tweet, Atlas wrote, "Masks work? NO," before citing various examples and quotes from health officials pushing back against the protection face coverings can provide.

The information cited included details of various places that have seen Covid-19 cases rise despite mask mandates, as well as quotes from both the World Health Organization and Dr. Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal's Evidence-Based Medicine publication.

Comment: See also:


Eye 2

Ghislaine Maxwell wants to keep secret 'damaging deposition' from 2016

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein
© Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein: the two seemed mutually dependent
Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and alleged madam of millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is trying to keep what Reuters called a "damaging deposition" out of the current case against her.

Reuters reported that Maxwell's attorneys are appealing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling that would "unseal sworn testimony related to Epstein, including a April 2016 deposition from Maxwell and a deposition by an Epstein accuser." Maxwell claims the ruling hurts her ability to defend herself against the criminal charges she faces as a result of her association with Epstein. Maxwell is currently charged with procuring underage girls for Epstein as well as perjury for denying the allegations under oath.

"Maxwell, 58, has said negative publicity from the disclosure of 'intimate, sensitive, and personal' information from her deposition would violate her right against self-incrimination, and imperil a fair trial because jurors might hold it against her," Reuters reported.

Attention

'Log off! Log off!' Teacher orders students when sexual assault livestreamed during first grader's remote learning class

Catrell A. Walls

Catrell A. Walls
An 18-year-old man out on bond for a gun case was held without bail after he livestreamed himself during a sexual act with a 7-year-old first grader on break from her Chicago Public Schools remote learning class on Thursday prosecutors said.

Catrell A. Walls, of the West Chesterfield neighborhood on the South Side, was arrested Thursday afternoon shortly after 3:30 p.m., after he was seen molesting the girl, police said.

Walls, charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old, appeared for a bond hearing Saturday afternoon before Judge Charles Beach.

Police were made aware of the attack when the girl's teacher saw it on a computer screen during a Google classroom e-learning session.

Walls showed complete disregard of children and a "wanton callousness for human life," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Andreana Turano told Beach.

In addition to Thursday afternoon's incident, which alarmed multiple students who viewed it and were heard asking, "What's going on, what's happening?" the victim told authorities Walls has a history of sexually assaulting her, for the last year, Turano said.

Heart - Black

Police call outs to people suffering mental health crises soar by up to 248% in UK

police

Two fifths of people in England waiting for NHS support end up calling emergency or crisis services
The police are being called to deal with soaring numbers of incidents involving people suffering from mental health crises, sparking fresh concern about lack of NHS help for the mentally ill.

The number of such 999 callouts in England has risen by 41% over the past five years, with some police forces seeing more than a twofold jump since 2015, new figures reveal. Mental health experts say the increase highlights the erosion over recent years of services for people with conditions such as depression and schizophrenia who end up in crisis.

Under the Mental Health Act, the police are called out to help deal with a situation because someone having a mental health emergency may pose a risk to themselves or others.

Comment: As the numbers show, and this is no doubt linked not only to a lack of funding, but the quality of life and the increased stressors placed on citizens suffering over a decade of austerity measures. And now, in 2020, after months of lockdowns, we have isolation, next to no support available, and job insecurity has increased manifold, and so we can expect to see mental health problems to reach unimaginable proportions in the coming years and society will suffer dearly for it.

See also: