Spy poisoning: Russia ‘underestimates UK allies’ – Nato

Spy poisoning: Russia 'underestimates UK allies' - Nato

Jens Stoltenberg said Nato has a "dual track approach" to Russia Russia has underestimated the "resolve and unity" of the UK’s allies, the head of Nato has said after the nerve agent attack on an ex-spy and his daughter.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Nato was undergoing its biggest strengthening of collective defence since the end of the Cold War.

The UK believes Russia is behind the poisoning , although Moscow denies this.

Meanwhile, investigators say 131 people may have been exposed to the chemical used in the attack in Salisbury. ‘UK is not alone’

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill in hospital, after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city on 4 March. Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in a critical condition in hospital The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable".

Mrs May has said the UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats as part of a "full an robust" response – prompting Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will "certainly" expel British diplomats […]

The Waugh Zone Friday March 16, 2018

The Waugh Zone Friday March 16, 2018


In case you missed it, Jeremy Corbyn launched his general election campaign last year with these words: “I don’t play by the rules”. So no one should be surprised that in his response to the Salisbury poisoning , the Labour leader has defied the usual convention of cross-party solidarity on such occasions.

Some MPs, Labour included, still adhere to the idea of “Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition”. That ‘loyalty’ of the Opposition is not of course to the Government of the day, but to Queen and country. And despite the obvious worries of many of his backbenchers, Corbyn clearly thinks he’s doing his duty in being loyal to what he sees as ‘due process’ and public scepticism about politicians’ use of intelligence. It won’t convince his critics, but he actually believes he’s very much playing by the rules – international rules on chemical weapons verification – in insisting on evidence to prove links to Russia and the nerve agent.

Corbyn’s Guardian article at least proved that his spokesman Seumas Milne was not misrepresenting his views in that infamous huddle with us hacks on Wednesday in the Commons. He really does believe that the Iraqi WMD blunders are […]

The Chase’s Anne Hegerty Leaves Paris Lees Shocked With ‘You Used To Be A Boy’ Comment

The Chase’s Anne Hegerty Leaves Paris Lees Shocked With ‘You Used To Be A Boy’ Comment

‘The Chase’ star Anne Hegerty caused a stir during an appearance on ‘The Wright Stuff’ yesterday (15 March), when she commented that journalist and transgender activist Paris Lees “used to be a boy”.

Anne and Paris were both appearing on the show to discuss the big headlines of the day, which included the ongoing debate around the gender pay gap.

During the panel discussion, Anne noted that she was already “on record” as saying she was not “terribly bothered” about the disparity between men and women’s pay, insisting that leadership roles existed for women, should they want to go after them. Paris Lees and Anne Hegerty Paris commented on what she felt was an “old boys’ club at the top” in the corporate world, to which Anne insisted she was “not really” convinced that such a thing existed.

When Paris then said she’d “have to disagree”, Anne left the studio stunned when she responded: “Okie doke. Well, you used to be a boy, you’d know that.”

The remark left a brief moment of uncomfortable silence hanging in the studio, at which point presenter Matthew Wright , without commenting on it, attempted to move the conversation along.

Paris has since said she was “shocked” by […]

Brazil mourns lesbian activist assassinated in drive-by shooting

Brazil mourns lesbian activist assassinated in drive-by shooting

Marielle Franco was killed in a drive-by shooting in Brazil. | Photo: Facebook One of Rio de Janeiro’s most admired political activists was gunned down in violent drive-by shooting as Brazil reels from her shocking murder.

Marielle Franco, 38, was shot on Wednesday night as she returned home after attending promoting empowerment for black women when she was killed.

A car pulled up beside her and shot nine bullets killer Franco, her driver and injuring her press secretary.

The AP reported she was shot three times in the head.

Franco was a lesbian, black city councillor who spoke out for disenfranchised communities, especially for Rio’s most poor people in the favelas (slums). She was @MarielleFranco : a black, LGBT woman raised in one of Rio’s poorest favelas, became a human rights activist, joined the socialist PSOL party, was elected in 2016 with a massive vote to Rio City Council. A hideous loss, & the possibility of assassination is real & chilling https://t.co/D0Mkt7S4Jz — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 15, 2018 She was also a passionate LGBTI advocate and had tried to start a lesbian visibility day.

Franco was a very vocal critic of Rio’s police violence and was very opposed to the federal military intervention […]

INTERVIEW-Belly dancer dons beard to protest LGBT abuse in Egypt

INTERVIEW-Belly dancer dons beard to protest LGBT abuse in Egypt

From major disaster, conflicts and under-reported stories, we shine a light on the world’s humanitarian hotspots

By Emma Batha

LONDON, March 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – On a chilly March night, Shrouk El-Attar is preparing for a belly dancing show at a London club by pulling on a shimmering blue skirt, fixing a sparkly bra – and sticking on a beard.

The act, called "Dancing Queer", is a protest against the persecution of gay, lesbian and transgender people in El-Attar’s native Egypt where they risk violence, arrest and jail.

But the vivacious electrical engineering student wears many hats. Hours before the show – which she has performed around the country – El-Attar donned a suit and tie to speak at Britain’s parliament about issues faced by refugees.

The 25-year-old, who is completing her masters at Cardiff University in Wales, has helped many asylum seekers access higher education in Britain – something she is passionate about after spending several "heartbreaking" years unable to study. Her efforts were recognised at the weekend when the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR named her its Young Woman of the Year for her "inspirational leadership" with the award presented by "Game of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie.Growing up in the coastal […]

Death threats sent to Sacramento LGBT Center

Death threats sent to Sacramento LGBT Center


A hate crime investigation is underway after the Sacramento LGBT Community Center received two letters in the mail Wednesday threatening to kill gay people in the community.

A center staff member first opened and read the letters before showing them to Executive Director David Heitstuman, who quickly called police.

“My initial response was just serious concern over the safety and wellbeing of everyone here at the center and everyone in our community,” Heitstuman said.

One letter read, “I will destroy or murdered (sic) every [expletive] or [expletive], lesbian, transexuals (sic), transgenders (sic) in Sacramento.”

The letter went onto read, “Your homosexuals (sic) ways plague society with twisted ideas like turning god (sic) plan of marriage of two normal people (men & women) into a freakshow.”After analyzing the two letters, investigators said they have evidence linking them.The LGBT Community Center has increased its security measure since receiving the letters.“We truly hope that they catch these people," Heitstuman said. "Because it’s this sort of behavior and this sort of speech and writing letters or making threats against anyone is not welcome in our community.”

This London bar is getting its own Glee Club

This London bar is getting its own Glee Club

East London bar the Queen of Hoxton is known for hosting bizarre events, but their latest is nothing short of a triumph.

Starting from April 9, aspiring singers can bowl up to the bar on Monday nights and belt like Whitney or trill like Mariah at Glee Club! (That’s the event’s actual name).

The weekly communal sing-a-long will be led by musical girl about town, Sara Templeman who is behind the Queen of Hoxton’s Musical Bingo, Rockaoke and Sounds Familiar Music Quiz events. The club will proudly transport all of the hit TV show’s fabulousness to east London.

“This is Glee Club for EVERYONE & ANYONE! Expect bangers from Britney to Journey ♥,” they tease. Glee Club will encourage members (who can drop in and out week-on-week if they like as there’s no commitment needed) to practice singing a capella each week, and every week will have a different theme. “Super fun” (read: probably super silly) warm ups, dance moves and dancing all not only encouraged, but practically insisted upon.

Meanwhile, the original creator of Glee Ryan Murphy has said he wants to create opportunities for transgender actors with new upcoming drama ‘Pose’.

The show was announced last year and features a whole load […]

The Wonder Down Under: 7 Things To Learn About The Vagina

The Wonder Down Under: 7 Things To Learn About The Vagina

Ellen Støkken Dahl and Nina Brochmann, were both studying medicine in Oslo, Norway, when they they wrote ‘The Wonder Down Under: A User’s Guide to the Vagina’ – since translated into 33 languages and a massive best seller. So what inspired these first-time authors in their their mission to teach women (and men) about female genitalia? And what is it that they really want you to know?

We don’t like the word vagina, but we had no other option but to use it. “The vagina is only a muscular tube where you have penetrative sex, give birth and have periods. But it’s not really the site of female sexuality,” explains Nina. “There is so much else going on in the genitals that it is so reductive to always talk about it as the vagina. ”

Using ‘vulva’ also brings problems – talking about the external female organs means you neglect the vagina and the inner genitals. Ideally, you’d use “female genitals”, but the pair found Brits don’t like – or use – the term. That’s why you’ll read it as ‘vagina’ on the front of the English language translation of their book. “You need to use words people understand and […]

Adapt or die: How to cope when the bots take your job

Adapt or die: How to cope when the bots take your job

Will smart virtual assistants take our jobs or make them more fulfilling? Reports that robots, automation and artificial intelligence are going to put millions of us out of work may sound troubling, but should we believe them? That largely depends on whether we’re technology optimists or pessimists. In our Future of Work series we look at how jobs might change in the future.

The Snewing family lived in 62 Falkner Street, Liverpool, for more than four decades. They were saddlers working in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. And while the horse-drawn economy dominated, they enjoyed a brisk trade.

But then, as the BBC2 series A House Through Time relates , along came the motor car.

Rival saddlery businesses saw the lie of the land and turned to making leather footballs, handbags and luggage instead. The Snewings sadly carried on regardless and eventually went out of business.

That, in a nutshell, is the challenge we face when new technologies come along. Adapt or die.

But it is the pace of technological change that is unprecedented in the modern era and which poses the greatest challenge for jobs. Ford’s Model-T motorcar symbolised the death-knell for the horse-drawn economy Saddlers didn’t disappear completely as engines […]

Are ‘cryonic technicians’ the key to immortality?

Are 'cryonic technicians' the key to immortality?

Technology is changing the way we work and the jobs we do. Will artificial intelligence and robots relieve us of humdrum tasks, making our working lives easier, or will they take our jobs away altogether? As part of a new series called the Future of Work, we look at the cryonics technician – who tries to help their clients cheat death.

Are you open minded about the future? Do you have a medical background and can you complete tasks under time pressure?

Are you comfortable working in the presence of a dead body?

This is not the job description for a Victorian grave snatcher.

Instead, it’s the ideal attributes of a cryonics technician; someone who preserves the bodies of the recently deceased in the hope they will one day be revived. What are the ethics of cryonic preservation?

Cryonics: The people who believe in a chance to come back Terminally ill teen won historic ruling to preserve body Advocates describe it as an "ambulance to the future". They say that as medical science develops, these technicians could become a common sight in our hospitals, purporting to offer believers a second chance at life.However, most highly doubt it will work. Buying […]