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Tue, 23 Jan 2018
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'God Save the Queen': Tory MP calls for students to learn UK national anthem to aid integration met with backlash

© Mary Turner / Reuters
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell is calling for 'God Save the Queen' to be taught in schools across the UK to bolster a sense of "national identity" and aid integration - but the suggestion has been met with a backlash.

"With such a diverse society, it is even more important that all schoolchildren in the UK are taught the national anthem," he told the Romford Recorder. "This instils a great sense of belonging for young people growing up, and aids integration."

Reverend Paul Nicholson, founder of Taxpayers Against Poverty, spoke to RT's Polly Boiko in response to the Romford MP's comments. He said that, in modern Britain, we need to question what the UK's national song actually means.

"All the major faiths support the moral law that you should love your neighbor as you love yourself - so we should be asking what the national anthem stands for," he said.

Red Flag

UN envoy encounters 'unacceptable squalor' among homeless in California

Leilani Farha
© Talia Herman for the Guardian
UN special rapporteur Leilani Farha in San Francisco: ‘deeply, deeply concerned’ by homelessness in California
Leilani Farha was being given a walking tour in central San Francisco. Near a thronged artisanal grocery store and a food-truck park, she saw something under a freeway that gave her pause.

A young homeless man sat on the ground. He wore two pairs of jeans and had a hood pulled over his long brown hair. Before him was a crockpot filled with burning paper, over which he was heating tortillas in a dirty skillet. As cars, cyclists and tech commuter buses rushed past, white smoke poured into the darkening air.

"The last time I saw cooking on a sidewalk," Farha said, "was in Mumbai."

Farha, 49, is a Canadian lawyer. She is also the United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing, charged with probing deplorable living conditions and assessing compliance with international human rights law. Her latest project is a report on "informal settlements" - shanties, favelas, tent cities - which will be presented at the UN general assembly.


Police tase & assault handicapped veteran, arrest him for half a gram of cannabis

handicapped vet police assault
Disturbing body camera footage has just been released that shows a handicapped man being tased and manhandled by police officers for the heinous crime of flexing his rights.

Corey Bracken, 38, was trying to eat his lunch in his van outside a convenience store when officers approached him and demanded that he exit his vehicle. Bracken, aware of his rights and his need to protect himself against unlawful prosecution, began recording the incident.

Bracken rightfully asked for the officer's supervisor to come to the scene. He told officer Chris McGauley he was not going to exit his vehicle and was just trying to eat his lunch.


Catholic 'Deacon of Death' goes on trial accused of killing at least 10 people by injecting air into their blood

A Catholic deacon accused of killing at least 10 people - including his own mother - has gone on trial in Belgium.

Former nurse Ivo Poppe is suspected of killing his victims by injecting air into their blood, causing a fatal embolism.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at a clinic in Menen, where he worked as a nurse - and later, after being ordained, in a pastoral role.

Belgian newspapers have nicknamed the 61-year-old man the "deacon of death".

If found guilty of all the alleged murders, he would become one of the most significant serial killers in Belgian history.


The future? Amazon's automated grocery store opens Monday

Amazon Go store
Amazon.com Inc will open its checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday after more than a year of testing, the company said, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.

The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous - customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file.

For grocers, the store's opening heralds another potential disruption at the hands of the world's largest online retailer, which bought high-end supermarket chain Whole Foods Market last year for $13.7 billion. Long lines can deter shoppers, so a company that figures out how to eradicate wait times will have an advantage.


Police say homeless population at Atlanta airport is out of control threatening passenger's health and safety

homeless atlanta airport
Atlanta police officers working at the world's busiest airport are speaking out about the increase in incidents caused by an ever-growing homeless population.

While the homeless cannot go through the security gates without a pass, that does not stop them from setting up camp across the North and South Terminals as well as the connecting Atrium, which was built as a respite for airline passengers.


IDF kills Palestinian in search of suspect in killing of Israeli colonist

jenin house demolition
Israeli forces killed one Palestinian overnight between Wednesday and Thursday during a raid on the northern occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp, that was meant to capture or kill the suspect in last week's shooting of an Israeli settler near Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinian as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, contrary to Israeli reports that his cousin, Ahmad Nasser Jarrar -- allegedly responsible for the settler's death -- was killed.

Sources told Ma'an that Ahmad Nasser Jarrar evaded capture during the raid, after reportedly shooting and injuring two Israeli soldiers.

Two other Palestinians, whose identities remained unknown, were detained in the raid.

Israeli forces also punitively demolished three homes belonging to members of the Jarrar family. Locals identified the homeowners as Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, Ali Khalid Jarrar and Ismail Nasser Jarrar.

Георгиевская ленточка

Dare to compare: The advantages of everyday Russian life compared to the US

life russia versus USA
In many terms Russia and the U.S. are similar. Nevertheless, many things differ, including in everyday life - and in certain spheres of life, Russia turns out to be better
Two powerful countries with different views and approaches to many issues, Russia and the U.S. have always been compared to each other. Putting politics aside, Russia Beyond analyzes Reddit and Quora.com posts about the advantages of everyday Russian life compared to American and gives a brief outline.

Over the last couple of years, Russia has definitely been attracting Westerners' attention and not only in terms of hacking rumors and every other scandal under the Sun. The way ordinary Russians live and cope with their problems is also interesting, especially in comparison to the West, the U.S. in particular.

On Jan. 15, 2017 a user going by the alias ajl1239 posted a question on Reddit: "As a so-called 'Westerner,' I'd like to know what are some things that you absolutely think Russia does better than the West (i.e. U.S./EU)?" Six months ago almost the same question appeared on Quora.com: "In what ways is Russia better than the United States?"

We've studied the most popular answers, compared them with what we see in Russia, provided information from some other sources - and made a list of what Russia excels at. Here we go.

Comment: Further reading:

Heart - Black

Parents enraged after UK college removes front door of bathroom stalls in girls' toilet block, visible to classroom and CCTV camera

merseyside school bathroom
Parents are keeping their children at home in protest against a Merseyside school's decision to remove the front wall of a girls' toilet block, which they say is making pupils feel "scared and unsafe".

A privacy row has erupted between St Mary's College in Wallasey and parents after the exterior wall was removed to make the toilets open plan.

Pictures sent to The Independent show that the toilet cubicle doors are now exposed to an open corridor, and are in clear sight of at least one classroom and a CCTV camera.

It is believed that the decision has been made by the school in a bid to stop smoking, bullying and truancy, with the new layout meaning pupils can no longer hide in between lessons.


'Friend of a friend': Six degrees of separation letters wind up in NZ PM's hands

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
© AP Photo/ Nick Perry
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave the students of New Zealand schools a pleasant surprise by responding to letters delivered to her through six degrees of separation, the idea assuming that a chain of 'friend of a friend'-type associations no longer than six people long can lead one to contact anyone, even people in some very high places.

Ardern, the 37-year-old prime minister of the country of 4.7 million, published a post on her Facebook page recently along with a photo of one of the hand-delivered letters she had received. "Going through a few letters and I love how many of these there are!", she wrote, along with an explanation of the rules of the game.

The letter to the PM was accompanied by a text, which read that "If you're reading this then it means our experiment has worked. We are testing how connected New Zealanders are, regardless of their place in the world." Most of the letters reportedly asked the prime minister about how she liked her job and what it was like to lead the island country.