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Fri, 15 Nov 2019
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A&E waiting times in England worst on record, other key targets missed


Just 83.6% of patients arriving at all types of A&E were treated or admitted within four hours, according to NHS England data. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA
A&E waiting times are at their worst on record as the NHS comes under intense pressure before what doctors and hospital bosses fear will be a very tough winter for the service.

Less than three-quarters (74.5%) of people who sought care at A&E unit in England in October were treated and then discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours - the smallest proportion since the target was introduced in 2004.

That is far below the 95% of patients that ministers and NHS chiefs say should be dealt with by A&E staff within four hours.

Comment: RT reports:
While UK politicians scrap for votes to help them gain power in the election, new data published by NHS England show that British people are struggling to survive as emergency hospital waiting times reach shocking levels.

The wellbeing of the NHS - a treasured British institution - is a major concern for people, coming second only to Brexit on their list of priorities. So, with the UK in the middle of a general election campaign, such woeful figures may have a damaging impact on the Tory government.

Perhaps sensing that this could have catastrophic consequences for the Tories, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth leapt on the new NHS figures, tweeting: "It's official - the Tories have pushed our NHS into crisis."

The Tories' Health Secretary Matt Hancock attempted to downplay his government's role in the poor statistics, insisting that his party was pledging the "biggest cash boost to the NHS but Corbyn's chaotic policies will put that at risk." The Tories have been in power since 2010.

No UK political party can claim to be completely innocent in the defunding and overall destruction of the NHS, although the Tories certainly have given it their best shot.

Knowing that the NHS will be such a pivotal issue in December's snap poll, both the Conservatives and Labour have promised to spend big on it. Labour has announced that an extra £26 billion ($33.4 billion) will be allocated in real terms - around £6 billion ($7.7 billion) more than the Tories.
See also: Cost of Privatization in UK: Rail, water & utilities hit households financially - study


Mass pig slaughter to combat swine fever turns South Korean river red

pig slaughter South Korea
A river coloured red with pigs blood in Yeoncheon county near the Demilitarise Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
A river near the inter-Korean border turned red with the blood of pigs slaughtered as Seoul attempts to curb the spread of African swine fever.

South Korea has culled around 380,000 pigs since the first case of the haemorrhagic disease - which is not harmful to humans but is highly infectious in swine - was reported in September.

Pig cases are nearly always fatal and there is no antidote or vaccine, with the only known way to prevent the disease from spreading being a mass cull of livestock.

A local NGO said that heavy rains last week caused blood from a burial site near the inter-Korean border - where some 47,000 pig carcasses were piled up - to seep into the Imjin River on Sunday, turning some of the stream red.


Ceasefire agreement reached in Gaza, Israel

Gaza Israel
© Sputnik
Tensions escalated in the Gaza Strip on 31 October, as IDF reported a rocket launched at its territory from across the border. Since then, the Israeli military has detected hundreds of rockets fired from the enclave.

A ceasefire agreement has been reached between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group, Kann News reported. According to an Egyptian source, it comes into effect at 5:30 am.

Earlier in the day, the leader of Islamic Jihad, Zeyad al-Nakhala, offered Israel terms for a ceasefire in the Gaza strip, while also accusing Israeli forces of starting the aggressive actions in the region.

Heart - Black

'Are you immortal? Let me check!' Terrified witnesses recall gunman blasting students at Russian college to Nirvana's music

College shooting in Russia
© RIA Novosti/Yevgeny Zemtsov
He was kicked out of the classroom for being late, but returned with a high-power shotgun and blasted fellow students at point-blank range. Witnesses have recalled the rampage at a college in Russia's Far East.

What seemed to be a regular day turned into a nightmare for students of the Amur College of Construction and Utilities in the city of Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border. Their quiet, below-average classmate - who they say was bullied at school - turned into a cold-blooded gunman after a seemingly unremarkable incident on Thursday morning.

The 19-year-old student, identified by the media as Daniil Zasorin, was told to leave after he came late for class. It is hard to tell what was actually behind his decision to return with his firearm - legally obtained and registered to the shooter himself - constant bullying or something more painful.

Some students suggested it was vengeance against his classmates for allegedly raping his girlfriend, according to Telegram channel Mash. The crime, they say, occurred inside the college building, and was to become a bloodbath in a matter of minutes.

Comment: Previously: 1 killed, several injured after college student opens fire at classmates in Russia's Far East


'Viva Morales': Massive march in Buenos Aires mobilizes against coup in Bolivia

Bolivian march
© Nodal
The Bolivian community's massive march in Buenos Aires.
"We will return better, we will fight, we will win and we will return. Long live Evo Morales Ayma," Bolivians living in Argentina chanted in unison.

Thousands of demonstrators marched Tuesday along the main avenue in Argentina's capital to reach the Bolivian Embassy in Buenos Aires, condemning the coup that Bolivia is going through and offering full support to the legitimate president Evo Morales.

A prominent figure of the Bolivian community in that country Iber Mamani thanked the "support offered by the social and political organizations of the popular Argentinian countryside that pronounced themselves against the coup," and demanded the protection of "the lives of the comrades who today are being persecuted, kidnapped and tortured."

The leader of the MST Vilma Ripoll also present at the march, expressed the her "rejection to the coup carried out by the big bosses, the corporations and the armed forces, and endorsed by politicians like Mauricio Macri who until now has not declared anything about it."

Comment: See also:


India's MoD wants 550 robotic surveillance units for Jammu and Kashmir, prototypes requested

2 on patrol
© HT
From helping in cordon-and-search ops, negotiating obstacles to lobbing grenades at terrorists holed up in buildings, the Indian Army will soon have robots to help it in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Ministry of Defence has started the process of procuring around 550 robotics surveillance units with minimum 25 years of service life for counter-insurgency ops in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said on Wednesday.

A senior Indian Army officer told IANS that these robots should be capable of climbing stairs and negotiating obstacles apart from throwing grenades at terrorists in built-up areas. "These robots should be capable enough for water fording with minimum 20-cm depth," the officer said.

During cordon-and-search-operations in the Valley, these robots will be the first line of defence, thus helping prevent casualties. "This would avoid casualty to our own troops during initial breach by terrorists," the officer said.


9yo child admits to arson as dozens of wildfires ravage southeast Australia

Australia bushfire
© Reuters / AAP Image / Dan Peled
Smoke from a large bushfire near Coffs Harbour, Australia.
As southeastern Australian is ravaged by dozens of wildfires, a nine-year-old boy has admitted to using a blowtorch to start another blaze in the state of New South Wales.

At least three people have died and more than 170 homes have been destroyed by over 70 infernos that are raging in the state. The army is expected to be deployed in one of Australia's largest ever peacetime military mobilizations in an effort to tackle the crisis.


Doom-mongering scientists now warn that climate change will kill thousands. Cutting out fossil fuels will kill MILLIONS

Slums in Rio de Janeiro; The view of Shanghai
© Reuters / Sergio Moraes; Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev
Slums in Rio de Janeiro; The view of Shanghai
Highlighting how climate change hurts humans is now a key strand of the green ideology. In fact, humanity is thriving - and taking bad advice from a new environmental report is the real risk to the world's population.

UK medical journal The Lancet has just published a familiar, downbeat assessment of the future of climate change and human health. The latest edition of its Countdown on Health and Climate Change, an annual analysis that tracks progress across 41 key indicators, examines the impact on human health if the world either takes action to meet the Paris Agreement targets or continues with 'business as usual'.

The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University in China.


Pope Francis: Tech executives, investors should be held accountable for putting profit before child protection

Pope Francis Protecting children conference
© CNS photo/Vatican Media
Pope Francis arrives Nov. 14, 2019, for an audience at the Vatican with participants in an international conference on protecting children and preventing their exploitation online.
Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology company executives and investors must be held accountable if they put profit before the protection of children, including from easy access to pornography on the web.

Francis spoke at the start of a Vatican conference on "Promoting Digital Child Dignity" that brought companies like Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft Corp and Facebook together with child protection groups and law enforcement and judicial officials.

"Companies that provide (internet) services have long considered themselves mere suppliers of technological platforms, neither legally nor morally responsible for the way they are used," Francis said.

"There is a need to ensure that investors and managers remain accountable, so that the good of minors and society is not sacrificed to profit."

Francis said the Church's "painful and tragic experience" with its own sexual abuse crisis gave it a "duty to approach these issues with a long-term vision".



High school shooting leaves multiple injured at Santa Clarita, California, suspect at large

school shooting santa clarita california
© Reuters / NBCLA
Police and emergency vehicles on the scene of a shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita
Multiple people were injured, at least two of them critically, in a shooting at a Southern California high school on Thursday morning, officials said.

The Los Angeles County sheriff's department said the suspected gunman, an Asian male wearing black clothing who was last seen at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, was at large.

"This is an active shooter situation," said a tweet from the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's office. "If you live in neighborhoods anywhere near Saugus High, PLEASE LOCK DOORS and stay inside. If you see suspect, male dark clothing, in backyards, etc. CALL 911"

Comment: KTLA5 reports at least five victims have been hospitalized:
Around 7:30 a.m., deputies responded to a report of shots fired on the campus, located at 21900 Centurion Way, the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station said in a series of tweets.

At least five victims have been hospitalized, including two in critical condition, according to Henry Mayo Hospital.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department indicated there were six to seven victims, but officials were not sure if all of them had been shot.

The shooter is described as an Asian male wearing black clothing, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva told KTLA that the department has identified the suspect, who appears to be a student. He did not release the student's name.

Authorities are set to serve a search warrant at a home in the area, the sheriff added.

Residents who live anywhere near Saugus High are being told to lock their doors, stay inside and call 911 if they see the suspect. Everyone else is being asked to avoid the area.

Parents will be able to pick up their students at Central Park at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.

KTLA's Nidia Becerra, Anthony Kurzweil and Kristina Bravo contributed to this story.
RT reports:
Police responded to a shooting at Saugus High School, around 40 miles north of Los Angeles, early Thursday morning. Local media reports three casualties, but police have not yet confirmed this number.

Video footage from the scene showed lines of students being evacuated with their hands over their heads, and paramedics wheeling what appeared to be wounded students out on gurneys.

Around 2,440 students are enrolled at Saugus High School, which serves the city of Santa Clarita.