Labour pledges to electrify UK bus fleet

Labour pledges to electrify UK bus fleet

Labour plans to make the entire UK bus fleet electric by 2030 with a £4bn investment, if it wins the general election.

This would reduce bus emissions by more than 70%, cutting air pollution and helping to tackle climate change, the party said.

But Conservatives claim the plans are part of "Labour’s war on the motorist".

More than 3,000 bus routes have been cut or reduced over the past decade, campaigners said in October .

Labour said its plans would boost British manufacturing and help "revitalise our high streets and rebuild local communities".

There are 35,000 buses in the UK, but only 700 are electric, and mostly in London, Labour said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The Westminster bubble doesn’t care about buses but cuts to bus routes leave so many people isolated, stuck at home and unable to make vital trips out.

"Away from London, many people have approached me in this election to talk about their local bus route closing down."

Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary, added: "The Tories’ manifesto didn’t pledge a penny to reverse a decade of cuts to local bus services." CONFUSED? Our simple election guide CONFUSED? Our simple election guide

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Labour would give local authorities the power to create council-owned bus companies, and provide free bus travel to under-25s in areas that bring bus services under local ownership, it said.

The £4bn investment over 10 years will be drawn from Vehicle Excise Duty – formerly known as road tax – with Department for Transport money directed away from road building.

The pricing is based on the cost of buying new electric buses, and reimbursing bus owners for phasing out fossil fuel vehicles before the normal end of road life.

While bus services are devolved, Labour said it would make money available across the UK. ‘Labour raid’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Labour’s war on the motorist continues apace.

"Labour won’t be able to deliver a modern bus network because they would raid the roads budget and scrap vital new roads and upgrades to fund their fantasy giveaways."

The Conservatives have pledged to "help local authorities to partner with bus companies to create new superbus networks" and make £50m available "to develop the first all-electric bus town or city".

Road campaigners said in October that bus service funding has been slashed over a decade.

Local authority funding for bus services fell by more than 40% over that time, while central government funding fell by 19%, the Campaign for Better Transport said in October.

However, the Department for Transport said at the time it supported local bus services with a £250m annual grant to keep fares lower.

Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary Wera Hobhouse said on Friday: "The steady degradation of bus services by the Conservatives across the UK is a disgrace.

"The Liberal Democrats would spend £4.8bn on restoring bus routes over the next five years.

"We would also spend £970m on funding electric buses and coaches, reducing emissions and ensuring our transport system plays its part in tackling the climate emergency."

NHS e-health systems ‘risk patient safety’

NHS e-health systems 'risk patient safety'

Hospitals across England are using 21 separate electronic systems to record patient health care – risking patient safety, researchers suggest.

A team at Imperial College say the systems cannot "talk" to each other, making cross-referencing difficult and potentially leading to "errors".

Of 121 million patient interactions, there were 11 million where information from a previous visit was inaccessible.

The NHS said it was working to ensure different systems could work together.

The electronic medical records (EMRs) system was launched in 2002 with the aim of allowing clinicians easy access to all the information on a patient, even if they had previously been treated elsewhere.

But it has been plagued with delays and operational problems ever since. ‘Minimal coordination’

The team from London’s Imperial College’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) looked at data from 152 acute hospital trusts in England, focusing on the use of EMRs on the ward.

Around a quarter were still using paper records.

Half of trusts using EMRs were using one of three systems: researchers say at least these three should be able to share information.

Ten per cent were using multiple systems within the same hospital.

Writing in the journal BMJ Open, the researchers say: "We have shown that millions of patients transition between different acute NHS hospitals each year.

"These hospitals use several different health record systems and there is minimal coordination of health record systems between the hospitals that most commonly share the care of patients."

Dr Leigh Warren, who worked on the research, said: "Patients expect their health records to be shared seamlessly between hospitals and healthcare settings that they move between.

"They cannot understand why, in the NHS, this is not the case."

"Yet hospitals and GPs often don’t have the right information about the right patient in the right place at the right time.

"This can lead to errors and accidents that can threaten patients’ lives."

Lord Ara Darzi, lead author and co-director of the IGHI, said: "It is vital that policy-makers act with urgency to unify fragmented systems and promote better data-sharing in areas where it is needed most – or risk the safety of patients."

A spokesperson for NHSX, which looks after digital services in the NHS, said: "NHSX is setting standards, so hospital and general practioner IT systems talk to each other and quickly share information, like X-ray results, to improve patient care.

General election 2019: Who is paying for the election?

General election 2019: Who is paying for the election?

Cider, steam locomotives and Thailand: some of the more unusual things that unite major party donors Russian oligarchs. A fashion magnate turned cider maker. A theatre impresario. An online gambling entrepreneur. The wife of a Syrian-born arms trade fixer.

These are some of the big donors pouring hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of pounds into the political parties, and they are an intriguing bunch. Their largesse pays for the increasingly important online messaging, the battle buses, the rallies, stunts and all the paraphernalia of a 21st Century election campaign.

All the parties hoover up smaller donations from supporters of more modest means, but these big donations from the mega-wealthy can transform the parties’ striking power.

Why do they do it? Some reach into their wallets out of genuine support and conviction. But others may do it hoping for influence and access, and there’s genuine concern around public policy being shaped behind the scenes by special interests which can splash the cash.

Donations of more than £7,500 have to be registered with the watchdog body, the Electoral Commission. There were £20.3 million of these large donations in the first three weeks of the campaign, and the Conservatives reaped the biggest share. Here’s a look at some of the biggest sums and some of the most interesting names to crop up in the Electoral Commission’s list. Conservatives

Bahamas-based theatre impresario, John E Gore , who made his money from blockbuster musicals, including Wicked and Hamilton. He says he’s donating to the Conservatives as a British citizen concerned about the rise of extremism. His donation during the election adds to the £1.8m he’s given over the previous two years.

A co-founder of Hargeaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s largest financial services companies, Peter Hargreaves is estimated to be worth £3.3bn. He was a major supporter of the Leave.EU campaign during the EU referendum, donating £3.2m. He predicted the Brexit vote would be "the biggest stimulus to get our butts in gear that we have ever had….It will be like Dunkirk again."

Notable others: Lubov Chernukhin, £200,000: The wife of Vladimir Chernukhin, a former Russian deputy finance minister who became chairman of a state-owned bank. After a falling-out with President Vladimir Putin, he was dismissed, and the couple moved to Britain. Lubov is now a British citizen and she has donated more than £450,000 to the Conservatives in the past year. She once successfully bid £160,000 at a Tory fundraiser to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson, and £30,000 to have dinner with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Churchill War Rooms, in Whitehall. Asked about the match some years later, in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning , Mr Johnson defended it, warning against creating a "miasma of suspicion" against all Russians.

Ann Rosemary Said, £200,000: The wife of Wafic Said, a Syrian-born billionaire arms deal fixer who helped broker Britain’s biggest arms sale – the controversial al-Yamamah deal with Saudi Arabia – signed by Margaret Thatcher in 1985. Mrs Said also donated £10,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign. Before 2000, Mr Said had himself donated to the Conservative Party, but this was before the law was changed so that only people on the UK electoral register were allowed to give to political parties.

Lakshmi and Usha Mittal, £75,000 each: Once the third richest man in the world, Lakshmi is married to Usha Mittal. He is the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company, owning 38% of its shares. He is also a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs and owns 11% of Queens Park Rangers football club. Mr Mittal gave £10,000 to Boris Johnson’s Conservative leadership campaign. He had previously given £125,000 to Labour, when the party was in government under Tony Blair.

Aquind Ltd, £50,000: Led by Ukrainian-born British businessman Alexander Temerko, Aquind is a company proposing to build a cross-Channel electricity interconnector to bring energy generated in the EU to Britain. Mr Temerko was an official in the Russian Defence Ministry in the 1990s and later a senior executive and director at the Russian oil and gas company, Yukos. He became a UK citizen in 2011 and is a major Conservative donor, having given more than £1.3m to the party. In November 2019, he called for the Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference in British politics , to be published.


The biggest single donation of the election, cementing Unite’s position as Labour’s banker – they gave Labour £3.5m for the 2015 election and £4.4m in the months up to the vote in 2017. The union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, is a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and has played a key role in preventing Labour from swinging behind a second referendum or a Remain position.

Unite has also made a number of smaller donations, in the tens of thousands, which have come from the regions and possibly from individual fundraising initiatives. The more Corbyn-sceptic union, the GMB, gave £250,000 (it gave £1m in 2015, when Ed Miliband was Labour leader),

Notable others: Ecotricity, £35,000: The green electricity company led by former New Age traveller turned eco-entrepreneur, Dale Vince.

Harold Immanuel, £10,000: A long-standing Labour member, who stood against Labour in the Brent East by-election of 2003 in protest at the Labour government’s Iraq policy and against "creeping privatisation" in the NHS.

Brexit Party

Previously a Conservative donor, Christopher Harborne is a little-known figure even in Brexiteer circles, keeping a much lower public profile than previous backers of Nigel Farage, like the insurance tycoon Arron Banks. He gave three separate donations of £1m each to the Brexit Party earlier this year, and also gifted a coffee machine to their HQ.

His donation for the election campaign, which amounts to more than 90% of the Brexit Party’s total funding, would have given them the financial firepower to compete with the established parties, had they decided to campaign in Conservative seats. It looks likely that the Brexit Party will end this campaign with much of the money unspent, providing a war-chest for future operations.

Two of Mr Harborne’s businesses – AML Global and Sherriff Group – are linked to private aircraft and aviation. Mr Harborne has British nationality, but lives most of the time in Thailand.

Notable others: Jeremy Hosking, £250,000: Another former Conservative donor who became a major Brexit backer, he gave £1.7m to the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 referendum. He is the main financial force behind the new political-cultural magazine The Critic. He is also Britain’s biggest owner of vintage steam engines and is a shareholder of Crystal Palace FC.

Lib Dems

Owns 31.2% of Gamesys, the company that runs the "soft gaming" website, which specialises in bingo, instant-win games and casino tables. In 2009/10, the company made £21m profit. Noel Hayden has a stake worth £60m.

Notable others: Davide Serra, £60,000: The Italian-born founder and CEO of Algebris Investments, a global asset management company that manages $11.3bn of assets. Strongly anti-Brexit, he argues it was "mis-sold" to the general public and will leave the younger population "screwed". He describes himself as "a good Catholic boy" who voted Labour in 2017.

Green Party

Founder of the fashion chain Superdry, and a maker of organic cider. Julian Dunkerton donated £1m to the People’s Vote campaign for a second EU referendum in 2018. He has also donated £35,000 to Plaid Cymru and £30,000 to the Liberal Democrats.

Week in Pictures: 29 November – 6 December 2019

Week in Pictures: 29 November - 6 December 2019

A selection of news photographs taken around the world this week. Actor Hugh Grant canvassing with Luciana Berger, Liberal Democrat candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, on the General Election campaign trail. US President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the press at the South Lawn of the White House on a rainy day in Washington DC, before boarding Marine One. A protester holds a smoke torch during a demonstration against planned pension reforms in Marseille, France. Unions from a broad range of professions, including transport workers, doctors and teachers, are staging a general strike over French President Emmanuel Macron’s planned reforms. Floral tributes are left for Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who were killed in the terrorist attack in Fishmongers’ Hall at the north end of London Bridge on 29 November. Workers assemble mobile phones at Uganda’s first mobile phone factory, which has been operating in Namanve, near Kampala, since August 2019. The Duchess of Cambridge exits the "elf workshop" during a visit to Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire. Louisa Hawton, of Australia, works out with her trainer at Gleason’s Gym in New York. Hawton will take on Los Angeles native Lorraine Villalobos in a rematch for the Women’s Interim WBC Straw-weight Championship. A young Iraqi protester is blanket-tossed into the air by fellow demonstrators as anti-government rallies continue in Tahrir Square in the capital Baghdad. Prime Minister Boris Johnson changes a wheel on a Formula One car during a visit to Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn joins canteen staff to help serve school dinners to staff and students at Bilton High School in Rugby, while on the General Election campaign trail. All photographs belong to the copyright holders as marked.

LGBT youth camp in Gros Morne earns human rights award for co-founder

LGBT youth camp in Gros Morne earns human rights award for co-founder

Jessie Lawrence, this year’s winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Award, says Camp Ohana is open to everyone, not exclusively youth who identify as LGBT. (Camp Ohana/Facebook) A high-school student and advocate for LGBT youth has won the 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Award.

Jessie Lawrence is the cofounder and director of Camp Ohana, a four-day summer camp with a focus on LGBT youth inclusion and engagement. She helped run the first camp in 2018, and is expecting to lead the third iteration next summer.

"It kind of came out of the blue. The person who nominated me just told me, ‘Hey, check your email,’" she told CBC Radio’s Newfoundland Morning.

"I was over the moon. It was very nice to see." For winning, Lawrence was presented a work by Newfoundland visual artist Toby Rabinowitz. (NLHumanRights/Twitter) The Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador called Camp Ohana "innovative." Lawrence says she thought of the idea just before her 15th birthday, wanting to import a concept she saw elsewhere in Canada to her community.

"It was me and a couple of friends, and we wanted to create the resources that we wish we had had when we were coming out," she said.

"At our camp there’s no wait times for mental health professionals, there’s no hatred. It is purely a space of love and positivity, and kindness and education.… I think that’s just a magical experience."

Lawrence says they’ve already seen some of the impact that their camp has had on participants — whether it be campers planning for their return as soon as the 2019 camp was over, or seeing campers thrive after summer’s over.

"We’ve seen it a couple of times where youth who have attended our camp have taken the resources that they’ve gotten from Camp Ohana and brought them back to their schools," Lawrence said.

"[They] either started [gay-straight alliances] or strengthened the GSAs that already existed within their school." Camp Ohana is a four-day summer camp with a focus on LGBT youth engagement. The camp took place at the Killdevil campground in Gros Morne in 2019. (Camp Ohana/Facebook) The Human Rights Commission also said it was recognizing Lawrence’s participation in the francophone community in the province. Lawrence is the vice-president of a youth french group.

Camp Ohana is aimed at youth between 14 and 18 years old. Lawrence, currently in Grade 12, says the team behind the camp is looking at ways to expand.

She said they are examining methods to increase the number of places available for campers.

And while Camp Ohana is focused on LGBT inclusion, everyone can attend.

"We always say if you are a kind human, you are welcome."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Right-wing pastor claims gay people can’t be judges because they can’t be ‘fair or objective’

Right-wing pastor claims gay people can’t be judges because they can’t be ‘fair or objective’

A right-wing pastor has objected in the strongest terms to US president Donald Trump’s decision to nominate an openly gay attorney as a court of appeals judge.

Trump has nominated openly gay conservative Patrick Bumatay to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Unsurprisingly, Bumatay’s nomination has riled up some fellow conservatives, and some have hit out at the president for nominating an openly gay man to the court.

One of these critics is pastor EW Jackson who heavily criticised Trump for nominating Bumatay on his radio show this week.

“I’m convinced that these folks, because that’s their agenda, they can’t be fair and objective because they’ve got an agenda that is preeminent in their lives, and in their minds, and in their hearts, and in their behaviour, and in their activity,” Jackson said on his radio show The Awakening this week.

“How this nomination got by president Trump, I do not know,” he continued. Gay nominee for appeals court is ‘bad, bad news,’ according to EW Jackson.

“This guy is a complete and a total activist who has an agenda to further the cause of normalising and legalising, in the civil sense, homosexuality in our country. We don’t need that kind of person as an appeals court judge.

“This guy is bad, bad news. He is a homosexual activist… and he brings this into his legal practice,” Jackson continued.

“Folks, we don’t need judges who have an ideological agenda to use the bench to transform the culture into something they think it should be, contrary to everything we’ve ever stood for. This guy is bad, bad news. He is a homosexual activist… and he brings this into his legal practice.

“His nomination needs to be quashed, and it is my hope that it will either be withdrawn or it will be defeated by a vote in the United States Senate.”

“There is a tremendous opportunity there for judicial tyranny when people take that job because they’ve got some agenda other than the implementation of the law and the Constitution in a fair and objective way.” The pastor also recently hit out at Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg.

This is not the first time EW Jackson has made anti-LGBT+ comments. In September, he made headlines when he said that “normal people” find homosexuality “disgusting” during a bizarre rant about Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigeig.

The Christian minister and twice-failed senate hopeful said that he loathes Buttigieg, but not because of his sexuality—though he does find that “thoroughly disgusting.”

“Of all the candidates, the one that I find the most loathsome, frankly, is Pete Buttigieg,” Jackson said.

“It is not because he is homosexual, although that frankly is not something that would recommend him.

“It is not because he stood up onstage and gave a big wet smacking kiss to his male homosexual husband-lover-whatever-he’s-supposed-to-be when he announced his candidacy.”

PrEP activists accuse pharmaceutical company Gilead of intentionally delaying HIV medication

PrEP activists accuse pharmaceutical company Gilead of intentionally delaying HIV medication

PrEP, sometimes known by the brand name Truvada, can stop new HIV transmissions. (Getty) PrEP activists in the United States have accused pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences of intentionally delaying development of a treatment for the virus.

The PrEP4All Collaboration claimed yesterday (December 5) that Gilead Sciences deliberately put off developing a drug called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) which is used to treat HIV. It is also used in Descovy, one of two approved PrEP drugs.

This week, PrEP4All filed an emergency petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) challenging Gilead Sciences’ request to extend its patent monopoly on the drug. They claim that the company – which makes PrEP pill Truvada – intentionally put off developing TAF for almost a decade because they thought it was safer than other HIV medications.

The group claims that Gilead Sciences’ then-chief operating officer John Milligan admitted in 2011 at an investor’s conference that it had paused development on TAF. He allegedly claimed that it would be safer than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), an ingredient in Gilead’s PrEP drug Truvada.

PrEP4All claims that Milligan admitted to pausing development of TAF so Gilead could maximise its profits on TDF.

The advocacy organisation is arguing that, if it weren’t for the alleged decade-long delay, Gilead Sciences would have no claim to a patent extension on the drug. Therefore, they are calling for the company’s patent extension to be denied. If the US Patent and Trademark Office rules in favour of PrEP activists, a generic version of TAF could come onto the market as soon as 2022.

Gilead reportedly made more than $9 billion last year alone from TAF. If the company is awarded the patent extension it is seeking, it will stand to make billions more in the coming years. PrEP advocacy group claims that Gilead Sciences ‘intentionally’ delayed developing HIV drug TAF.

In its petition, PrEP4All alleges that Gilead didn’t disclose details of the supposed “intentional” TAF delay to the PTO.

The group alleges that Gilead was developing TAF as far back as 2001 but discontinued its work on the drug in 2004. They later resumed development of TAF in 2010, and the first TAF containing drug was not approved until 2015 – 14 years after development began.

“The Trump administration should be reprimanding Gilead for intentionally delaying the development of a drug it thought was safer, not rewarding it with more than $30 billion worth of patent term extension,” said James Krellenstein, co-founder of PrEP4All.

“If the Trump administration is serious about lowering drug prices and ending the HIV epidemic, it must stop Gilead’s attempt to extend its ability to price gouge the American people by delaying the development and introduction of drugs it now claims are safer.”

Senator Bernie Sanders also hit out at Gilead in a statement.

“It is an absolute disgrace that in America, a greedy drug company like Gilead can deprive hundreds of thousands of Americans of lifesaving HIV medicine to extract more profit, then lie about it, and then have the audacity to ask the U.S. government to award it with a longer monopoly to reap tens of billions more in profits,” Sanders said.

“I applaud these grassroots activists who are opposing an obscene giveaway for corporate criminality. The US Patent and Trademark Office must not reward Gilead for its illegal and immoral behaviour.”

In a statement provided to PinkNews , a Gilead spokesperson denied claims that they intentionally delayed development of TAF.

“With regard to the petition, we strongly believe it lacks merit and is in conflict with the PTE statute,” the statement said.

“For more than three decades, Gilead has been committed to developing and improving upon therapies that address unmet needs for people living with HIV. Ongoing collaboration with, and input from, the medical and advocacy communities have always played a key role in helping inform our development programs and decisions.

“Patient safety is of foremost importance to us and any implication that Gilead delayed the development of a drug known to be safer than TDF is false.” US government announced new HIV preventative programme earlier this week.

News of the PrEP4All’s emergency petition comes just days after the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a new programme, called ‘Ready, Set, PrEP,’ which will provide free HIV-preventing medication to 200,000 uninsured people.

As part of the ‘Ready, Set, PrEP’ scheme, the drug will be made available at no cost to at-risk people without insurance coverage from CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid pharmacies.

The US government’s plans come just weeks after they lodged a patent infringement lawsuit against Gilead Sciences and accused the company of “wilfully and deliberatively” infringing its own patents on PrEP.

“As a result of such infringement, Gilead has profited from research funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and reaped billions from PrEP through the sale of Truvada and Descovy [ a newly-approved PrEP drug ],” the government said in a statement.

Scientist claims homophobic Israel Folau’s settlement could actually be good for at-risk LGBT children

Scientist claims homophobic Israel Folau’s settlement could actually be good for at-risk LGBT children

Israel Folau speaks to media following a conciliation meeting with Rugby Australia at Fair Work Commission on June 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty) A leading behavioural scientist has suggested that Rugby Australia’s settlement with disgraced homophobe Israel Folau could actually be a victory for LGBT+ youths and children.

Folau was sacked in April after warning gay people on social media that “hell awaits” them. He has since doubled down on his anti-LGBT beliefs, claiming that bushfires devastating Australia are “God’s judgment” for same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday he reached an undisclosed settlement with Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs, bringing to an end his $14 million wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Rugby Australia were obliged to publicly apologise to Folau for “harm caused” to his career.

Many were appalled that Folau was seemingly vindicated for his homophobic views, but Monash University researcher Erik Denison believes the outcome may have been a blessing in disguise for LGBT+ people.

He told AAP that Rugby Australia’s decision to resolve the matter before trial was necessary to “stop the misinformed armchair commentary from people who clearly don’t understand that children’s lives are at stake”.

Denison has conducted nearly 20 studies in 42 different sports on the impacts of homophobic language on children, proving a clear link between homophobic language and the high rates of suicide and self-harm among LGBT+ youth.

He says there is no doubt in his mind that Rugby Australia’s decision to settle “will have saved the lives of kids, in terms of long-term benefits”. Israel Folau departs his conciliation meeting with Rugby Australia at Fair Work Commission on June 28, 2019 in Sydney. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty) “Having this drawn out would have continued and enhanced the harm done to these kids, with all of the negative sentiments that have been directed towards the community and particularly people who are struggling with their sexuality,” he explained.

“It’s been really, really, really, really frustrating for us that this has been framed so effectively as a workplace rules versus religious freedom thing, when there’s so many people working in the trenches to try and save the lives of kids impacted by discrimination in sport.”

Denison added that although it may look as though Folau had landed on his feet, the settlement was not a complete victory for him.

“They didn’t apologise for terminating his contract and they didn’t reinstate him. That would be a vindication,” he said. “What they did was issue a statement that was pragmatic, and was necessary to end this, and I think most Australians would view the statements that way.”

New Bernie Sanders aide has alleged history of homophobic, racist and antisemitic slurs

New Bernie Sanders aide has alleged history of homophobic, racist and antisemitic slurs

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) While peddling a presidential campaign that promotes equality above all, a new hire of the Bernie Sanders team has an alleged history of antisemitic and anti-LGBT slurs.

Darius Gordon announced on Wednesday that he has joined the Sanders campaign team as deputy director of constituency organising.

But a number of tweets buried deep in his social media were unearthed by The Washington Beacon , showing a barrage of barbed comments such as calling high school students “f***s”.

Gordon took to Twitter to announce his new role with the Sanders campaign team, noting that he was “humbled and motivated”. Array of alleged homophobic and misogynistic tweets unearthed from Bernie Sanders aide.

However, while many friends and followers sought to congratulate him, alleged tweets quickly emerged from his past.

In 2011, Gordon, from Washington DC, reportedly tweeted: “I got a black man’s body, white man’s power, Jew man money, and an Asian man life-span.”

He also called fans of the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers “fags” as well as Thomas Jefferson Junior high school students. Does the Sanders campaign vet any of their campaign staffers?

Great piece by @JoeSchoffstall

— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) December 5, 2019 The outlet claimed that, once reporters reached out for comment to Gordon, he hastily removed them.

Many of the tweets allegedly used antisemitic terms, such as “Jew money”. I don’t think these tweets from Sanders’s Deputy Director of Constituency Organizing are going to help the Sanders campaign pick up Asian Americans or female voters.

— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) December 6, 2019

“Working hard so one day I can make that Jew money,” he wrote.

The campaigner also appears to have used several racist and misogynistic slurs. “F*** Asian people looking a like,” he wrote in 2012.

“White women with blonde hair all look the same!”

Another tweet read: “Got a sign on my d**k that say: ‘Dark b*****s only’.”

“Now I like Jennifer Hudson, but it’s that other fat b**** I don’t like,” he tweeted in 2011.

PinkNews has contacted both Gordon and the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign team for comment.

Pantene advert highlights how hard it can be for LGBT people to go home at Christmas

Pantene advert highlights how hard it can be for LGBT people to go home at Christmas

A trans woman preparing to visit her family for the holidays (Pantene) Haircare brand Pantene has partnered with GLAAD in a new Christmas advert that highlights how hard it can be for LGBT+ people to return home for the holidays.

The powerful ad begins with the words: “While 137 million Americans will travel home this holiday season, 44 percent of LGBT+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves.”

It features the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and shows video vignettes of choir members mustering the courage to travel back to their families for the festive period. The ad is accompanied by a full video series of the individuals explaining what their homecomings mean for them.

It includes a trans woman, Crystal, who changes her hair, clothing and makeup in preparation for the trip. “To be able to express myself openly, and genuinely – it’s freeing,” she said. “I could finally look in the mirror and say, ‘that’s me.’”

Another trans woman, Miliana, shares her happiness in finally getting her father’s acceptance after five years of struggling with her new identity.

And a trans man, Steven, is shown bringing his boyfriend home for a first holiday with the family . “To have someone so loving to bring home is a really special thing,” he said. “Inclusion is at the heart of Pantene’s mission to celebrate the beauty of all transformations and of all people,” said Ilaria Resta, vice-president of Procter & Gamble.

“Hearing these LGBTQ individuals speak about the trials and triumphs of going home for the holidays – as well as their irrepressible desire to be their true selves – will inspire others in the community and remind us all what true beauty is about.”

Alongside the advert and video series Pantene has pledged to make a $100,000 donation to Family Equality , a charity which fights for members of the LGBT+ community to have the right and the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family.