Donald Trump says US could re-enter Paris climate deal6 days ago
In ITV interview US president also says he would take tougher stand on Brexit than Theresa May
Brain experimentations on primates are crucial, tell eminent scientists27 days ago
Two nobel laureates among 400 scientists who sign letter rejecting claims that use of primates is no longer medically useful
More than 400 scientists including two Nobel laureates have signed a letter stating that brain experimentations on primates is vital to medical advances, in response to claims that they are cruel and no longer useful.
Last week, Sir David Attenborough and the primatologist Dame Jane Goodall called for an aim to the use of non-human primates in certain neuroscience experiments, telling medical progress in this area could now be made without the use of monkeys.
In a letter to the Guardian, scientists including the Nobel laureates Sir John Gurdon and Sir John Walker, repudiated this claim, arguing that primate research was still critical for developing therapies for dementia and other debilitating illnesses.
Neurodegenerative illness are a major and growing scourge of our ageing population, Walker told the Guardian. If we are to find ways for prevention and remedy, continued experimental access to primates under carefully controlled conditions is essential.
The latest round in the long-running debate on animal research was triggered by a research paper, which concluded that there was no longer any need for experimentations on primates involving movement restraint or fluid deprivation.
The review, by the campaign group Cruelty Free International( formerly the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection ), suggested the need for such experimentations had been superseded by modern brain imaging techniques, such as MRI, and by the ability to attain records from patients brains during surgery.
Speaking in support of the findings, Attenborough told the Independent: The recognition that apes, surely, and to an extent other primates, are so akin to ourselves, and can suffer so much, as we are capable of, has transformed our attitude, or should have transformed our posture, to using them for our own benefit.
Goodall, who has examined wild chimpanzees in Tanzania over fives decades, told: To restrict these primate relatives of ours to laboratory enclosures and subject them to experiments that are often distressing and painful is, in my opinion, morally wrong.
However, scientists conveyed their concern that the importance of primate research had been played down.
Sir Colin Blakemore, an eminent neuroscientist and signatory of the Guardian letter, told: In the past year alone, research on monkeys has helped efforts to create new inoculations and treatments for Ebola, Zika and Aids, to develop new cholesterol-reducing narcotics to prevent heart disease, and to design prosthetic devices for seriously disabled people. Somehow, we need to balance moral responsibility to human being against moral obligations to animals.
Roger Lemon, emeritus professor at University College London, said the CFI review appeared to place animal welfare above that of patients. The newspaper suggests that all the work done in primates could be done in seriously ill patients. It suggests that they dont have that much respect for ill people.
Research on primates accounts for less than 0.1% of all animal research in the UK and this figure has been following a downward tendency for the past few decades. In 2015, 3,612 procedures were carried out on primates, out of 4,142, 631 total procedures on all species( figures are given by procedure rather than by animal ).
The US National Institutes of Health announced last year that it would end the use of chimpanzees in medical research. Research on great apes( chimps, gorillas and orangutans) has been banned in the UK since the 1980 s, but other primates, such as marmosets and macaques continue to be used in neuroscience experimentations, including in the development of new drugs.
For instance, scientists at Kings College London estimate that around 80% of all drugs for the therapy of Parkinsons were originally tested at the marmoset laboratory there. But some research carried out on primates relates to more basic questions about the organisation of the brain, for instance, how memory or the visual system works.
Vicky Robinson, the chief executive of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research( NC3Rs) said that both sides of the debate had been disingenuous about the value of the work.
One over-exaggerates the state of the available alternatives and the other generalises the medical benefits that research use these animals has delivered, she told. It is time for a great deal more transparency from both sides. Anything else undermines the social sciences as well as downplaying the animal welfare concerns associated with such experiments.
Dr Katy Taylor, the director of science at Cruelty Free International, told: The employ of non-human primates in neuroscience experimentations is a hugely controversial area of research with profound ethical and moral fears. An increasing number within the scientific community topic the morality and value of subjecting monkeys to such substantial high levels of suffering suffering that can involves invasive brain surgery, water deprivation, physical coercion and physical restraint.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
‘ We didn’t recognise that he was dangerous ‘: our parent killed our mother and sister28 days ago
Last summer, Lance Hart shot dead his wife, daughter and himself, four days after the family had left him. His sons talk candidly about life before and after
On a warm summer day last July, Claire Hart and her 19 -year-old daughter Charlotte went for an early morning swim at their local leisure centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire. It was a trip-up they made often, just a short drive from their home in the village of Moulton. Claires son Ryan had recently bought his mother a swimming pass as a present.
At 9am on 19 July, mom and daughter left the pond and built their route back across the car park to their blue Toyota Aygo. As they approached the car, a human crawled out from underneath it: Claires husband and Charlottes father, Lance Hart, whom the pair had left five days earlier. Now he held up a single-barrel shotgun and shooting Claire three times. He then reloaded the gun and shot his daughter, before turning the gun on himself.
Alex Marchant, a administrator at the sports centre, ran outside where reference is heard the first bang, guessing it was a vehicle backfiring. In the distance, he saw Lance with the gun in his hand. When he got to the car, he recognised Charlotte lying on the ground. In her final moments, as Merchant cradled her, she told him, It was my father who shot me.
Armed policemen arrived at the scene, where paramedics attempted to resurrect them, but it was too late: Lance was dead, and Claire and Charlotte had fatal injuries; neither could be saved.
In the confusion that followed, police set local schools on lockdown. Residents were advised to stay inside and lock their doorways. Spalding began to trend on Twitter, and people theorized whether there had been a terrorist attack.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Islamic State1 month, 4 days ago
Notorious hate preacher faces up to 10 years in prison after swearing allegiance to Isis, it can now be revealed
Anjem Choudary, one of the most notorious detest evangelists living in Britain, is facing jail after being found guilty of supporting Islamic State.
Having avoided arrest for years despite his apparent pity for extremism and links to some of Britains most notorious terrorists, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey after jurors heard he had sworn an oath of allegiance to Isis.
The 49 -year-old, who has links to one of Lee Rigbys killers, Michael Adebolajo, and the Islamist militant Omar Bakri Muhammad, also exhorted adherents to support Isis in a series of talks broadcast on YouTube.
Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Rahman, 33, told their advocates to heed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader, who is also known as a caliph, and travel to Syria to support Isis or the caliphate, the court heard.
They were convicted in July but details of the trial, including the verdict, could not be reported until now.
Choudary and Rahman face up to 10 years in jail for inviting is supportive of a proscribed organisation. They will be sentenced on 6 September at the Old Bailey.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, said: These men have stayed merely within the law for many years, but there is no one within the counter-terrorism world that has any doubts of the influence that they have had, the abhor the government had spread and the person or persons that they have encouraged to join terrorist organisations.
Over and over again we have ensure people on trial for the most serious offences who have attended lectures or speeches given by these men. The oath of allegiance was a turning point for the police at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they supported Isis.
Haydon said 20 years worth of material was considered in the investigation, with 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data assessed.
It can now also be revealed that Choudary was encouraged to support Isis by a notorious British Isis fighter who fled to Syria while on police bail.
The court heard that shortly after Isis was proscribed as a terror group Choudary was in contact with an individual named as Subject A. It can now be exposed Subject A was Siddartha Dhar known on social media as Abu Rumaysah who was arrested alongside Choudary before he fled to Syria to fight with Isis while on police bail.
Dhar fostered Choudary to express support for Isis on social media. Following on from Dhars encouragement, both defendants constructed their position on the newly proclaimed caliphate clear in the oath of allegiance.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told: The prosecution case is that whichever name is used, the evidence is quite clear: when these defendants were inviting support for an Islamic state or caliphate they were referring to the one declared in Syria and its environs by Ibrahim[ Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi at the end of June 2014.
Terrorist organisations thrive and grow because people support them and that is something that this case is about. Do not confound that with the right of people to follow the religion of their choice or to proclaim support for a caliphate.
Choudary, who has a long history with groups involved in radical Islamist demoes, such as the now-banned al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK, denied he was inviting is supportive of Isis and claimed to be a lecturer in sharia law giving the Islamic perspective.
He began analyzing sharia law under Syrian-born Bakri Muhammad, a Salafi Islamist militant leader who formed al-Muhajiroun with the aim of promoting sharia in the 1990 s, the court heard.
Bakri Muhammad fled to Lebanon in 2005, where he was joined by Choudary for about 10 weeks. Bakri Muhammad was ultimately jailed in Lebanon for terror offences.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
SAS deployed in Libya since start of year, says leaked memo1 month, 13 days ago
King Abdullah of Jordan indicates US was briefed about plans for Jordanian special forces to operate alongside British
SAS forces have been deployed in Libya since the beginning of the year, according to a confidential briefing given to US congressional leaders by the monarch of Jordan.
A leaked memoranda indicates the US lawmakers were personally briefed by King Abdullah in January about plans for Jordans special forces to operate in the country alongside the British.
According to the notes of the session in the week of 11 January, seen by the Guardian, King Abdullah confirmed his countrys own special forces will be imbedded[ sic] with British SAS in Libya.
According to the memoranda, the ruler met with US congressional leaders including John McCain, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Also present was the House of Representatives speaker, Paul Ryan.
King Abdullah said UK special forces required his soldiers assistance when operating on the ground in north Africa, explaining Jordanian jargon is similar to Libyan slang.
The king also highlighted that British forces had helped in building up a mechanised brigade in southern Syria, headed by a local commandant and made up of tribal fighters, to combat Bashar al-Assads army, and that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go over the border to assault al-Shabaab in Somalia.
When contacted, the Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on special forces operations. None of the high-ranking US senators contacted by the Guardian responded to a request for interview.
However, one senate source corroborated US lawmakers met with the monarch in a private meeting in early January but refused to confirm what may or may not have been discussed.
Rupert Cornwell obituary1 month, 15 days ago
Elegantly witty foreign correspondent whose work was proof of the enduring magical of real reporting
Rupert Cornwell, who has died aged 71, was the most gifted of reporters on the foreign scene from Moscow to Washington and many places in between of the past 45 years. Writing for Reuters, the Financial Time and the Independent, he had a distinctive grandeur and ease, marinated with sharp wit. His long pieces were like a classic David Gower innings. As in print, so in life. His dialogue was very funny, very dry and gently subversive.
He was my great friend from student days and companion on the road. After Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read modern Greek, he promptly moved from ad, which he detested, to Reuters. Soon he was on the move, to Paris, Brussels and back to Paris again, where he jumped ship and joined the FT.
At Oxford he seemed somewhat detached. This may have had something to do with the very large darknes of his father, the sometime developer, gambler and convicted bankrupt Ronnie Cornwell better known to wider audiences in fictional form as Rick in several volumes by Ruperts half-brother, David, aka John le Carr. Rupert was the son of Ronnies second matrimony, to the formidable Jeanie Gronow( nee Neal ).
He was mad about sport I recall being dragged to watch Celtic contest the European Cup final with a lifelong passion, and love-hate, for the Arsenal. His occasional athletics writing was top-flight.
It was when he became Rome correspondent for the FT in the 1970 s that things actually took off. This was the heyday of the Mephistophelean eight-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti, the surge of Enrico Berlinguers communists, mafia wars in Palermo and Naples, and exotic soccer scandals. Ruperts reporting technique was a wonder to behold. He used to go into its term of office, slam the door, and build merely two or three telephone call, his fellow FT correspondent James Buxton recollected. Then, an hour or so later out he would come the most amazing, immaculate piece of transcript the subs never needed to touch it.
But this is just ridiculous, he would remark, using a favourite catchphrase. I entail, reporting Italy is just like eating too much chocolate cake. Time to move on. Before moving, he wrote his only volume, Gods Banker( 1983 ), a brisk essay on Roberto Calvi, the rascal financier who was saw hanging under Blackfriars Bridge, London, in June 1982. It dedicated a pacy account of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal that very nearly broke the Vaticans bank.
Ruperts next posting, to Bonn, demonstrated the least happy. He found the place and the story dull, and German the most challenging of all the languages he was to learn he subsequently acquired fluent Russian on the run in a matter of months. His wedding to the Italian interpreter Angela Doria, with whom he had a son, Sean, is broken, though they remained on good terms.
In 1986 he decided to join the newborn Independent as its Moscow correspondent. His writing, portion pin-sharp reporting and proportion sly commentary, has been the epitome of the Independent style. In its pages he became the chronicler of the end of the Soviet empire. Of Mikhail Gorbachev, he wrote: His supreme failing was not to understand that communism could not reform itself. The tragedy of Gorbachev was that he never intended to get rid of communism, but to adapt it to compete with the far richer west. And of the attempt to oust Gorbachev, so moribund had a once ruthless system become, however, that it couldnt even organise a coup.
He loved the sheer quirkiness of the Moscow scene the need to barter paper for secondhand books, the demolition of his elegant Italian suede coat by Moscow dry cleaners, taking a lip reader to a debate in the Duma and matching her account with the official report. He was accompanied by his new spouse, Susan Smith, a correspondent with Reuters, and their son, Stas. His Moscow file brought him foreign correspondent of the year in the What the Papers Say awardings in 1988.
From Moscow he transferred to Washington, where he had two stints as the Independent bureau chief. In between he worked in London as feature novelist and diplomatic correspondent. Among the forgotten gems of this time is the full-page obituary of Diana, Princess of Wales, that he had to pull together in a few hours. It is a masterpiece of social observation, complemented by a mildly subversive undertow. Perhaps she was a manipulator, a strange mixture of the trusting, the calculate and the flaky, but she was forgiven the bulk of her sins, he wrote in a concluding paragraph. Flaky? Golly, If Id written that just a day or two later, I would have been hanged from the nearest lamp-post, he confessed merely a few weeks ago.
In Washington, he regularly skewered the presidents and their dynasties. He disliked the Bush junior years, admired the aloof Obama not least for his writing in Dreams from My Father and writing up Trumpery seemed the call of destiny.
He loved the roaring of the greasepaint and smell of the crowd of athletic above all baseball. Twelve years ago he wrote of the American League Championship contest between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, and the long darknes of the Curse of the Bambino. In 1920 the Sox sold their star batter, Babe Ruth who had won the World Series for them in 1918 to the Yankees. And things ran severely for the Sox thereafter. Attempts to lift the curse spawned this paragraph: They have tried everything to exorcise it. They dredged a lake south of Boston where Ruths favourite piano is said to lie, they leave cans of beer on the gravestone at the Gate of Heaven cemetery 20 miles north of New York, where the famously bibulous slugger is buried.
And of course, there was Trump. In February Rupert choice the chaotic 80 -minute, stream-of-consciousness press conference as the cue to go in to bat for the MSM, the mainstream media. Its a tough chore, maintaining a focus on facts and truth, in the face of a mendacious propaganda barrage from a White House with indisputable authoritarian instincts. Reporting US politics now is about attempting transparency in what is the least transparent administration since Nixons day And the reviled MSM so far has hardly put a foot wrong.
Rupert carried on, acerbic and brilliant, through three years of cancer. In his languid, elegant style there was understated genius. His work is proof of the enduring magic of real reporting in the post-truth age.
A lot of Ruperts quiet feistiness came from and is in favour of his family: his wife, Susan, still pounding the Washington beat for Reuters, brother, David, and sister, the actor Charlotte Cornwell. They and his sons survive him.
Rupert Howard Cornwell, journalist, born 22 February 1946; died 31 March 2017
Read more: www.theguardian.com
‘Shrouded in shame’: the young women on either side of Ireland’s abortion debate1 month, 19 days ago
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key
Rwanda’s new monarch named- a parent of two living on an estate near Manchester1 month, 22 days ago
Emmanuel Bushayija, the nephew of the late exiled King Kigeli, named as king Yuhi VI by Kigelis chief courtier
It is not a typical royal residence but a terraced house on a quiet and somewhat dishevelled housing estate in Sale, Greater Manchester, is now the home of the new king of Rwanda.
Three months after the countrys previous exiled ruler King Kigeli died in relative poverty in the US aged 80, an official edict by his chief courtier has declared his nephew Emmanuel Bushayija a naturalised British citizen as his successor.
The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru hereby informs all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda that in keeping with the ancient custom, it has acclaimed His Royal Highness Prince Emmanuel Bushayija as the successor of his late majesty, the proclamation read.
In a video posted on Facebook, Boniface Benzinge, who describes himself as the deceased kings assistant and best friend, reads a statement over tinny piano music saying that Kigeli had named his brothers son as his successor in 2006 and that he wished the new king long life and success.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Hawking won the world’s respect- and gave disabled people like me hope | Frances Ryan1 month, 24 days ago
Growing up disabled, I had few role models. But this brilliant, witty scientist helped change negative stereotypes, tells Guardian columnist Frances Ryan
As with most of the famous figures whose passing now makes us via a news alert on our phones, I never satisfied Stephen Hawking. In the vastness of the entire world, you could say I was one speck and he was another. And yet I thought of him as a continual presence in my life, who- perhaps paradoxically, in the light of his illness , not to mention of his work on time- would always be there, somehow.
Growing up incapacitated in Britain, I didn’t have many role models. There are hardly any statues of disabled leaders , no great lives with chronic disability documented in the history books. As a child, it’s easy to believe that disabled people have never genuinely existed, and that when they did, it was as cripples to be pitied or onus on society. In Hawking, we had a figure- brilliant, witty, kind- who confounded the negative stereotypes and the low expectations so often forced on those of us with a disability.
He wasn’t without faults( accusations of sexism were notable ). He was also afforded possibilities- from wealth to healthcare to being non-disabled throughout school- that clearly enabled his success, opportunities too few young disabled people, facing cuts to multiple strands of support, enjoy today. But his groundbreaking research, as well as tireless commitment to the NHS and concern over Brexit, established him as someone who, though physically stripped of his voice, should be listened to.
In the hurry to eulogise a figure such as Hawking the risk is that the media coverage either fails to acknowledge his disability- and to dismiss him being a disabled person is as regressive as a white person saying they” don’t see colour”- or falls into condescending cliches and objectification. Within hours of the news of his death transgres, I considered headlines that reflected the( often well-intentioned) negative attitudes that so often plague discussions of disabled people: ones of “inspiration”, ” overcoming disability” and references to “tragedy”. BBC Radio 5 Live asked listeners if Hawking had “inspired” them- a question unlikely to be posed about non-disabled academics. The Daily Mail referred to his” total disability” while at the other aim of the spectrum, John Humphrys use Radio 4′ s tribute segment to ask:” Did the science community cut him a lot of slack because he was so desperately disabled ?”
Even the Guardian’s obituary mentioned how” despite his terrible physical circumstance, he almost always remained positive about life “, as if it was a surprise that a world-renowned scientist with a loving family could ever find happiness. Cartoonists illustrated him in heaven- a place Hawking did not believe existed- standing up, as if ultimately free from his wheelchair( an invention, much like his voice synthesiser, that actually empowered him to engage with society ). Even sentiments such as” He didn’t let his disability define him”- as Marsha de Cordova, darknes disabilities minister( and herself disabled) tweeted– verge on repeating the ingrained notion that disability is an inherently negative thing: a part of identity that, unlike race or sexuality, should be played down.
This is not to say that Hawking’s disability didn’t help shape him. The thought that he had a sharply limited life expectancy- it was originally believed he would die within two years of his motor neurone cancer diagnosis- by all accounts inspired Hawking to enjoy the present, and spurred on his hunger for scientific discovery. But to reduce a world-famous academic’s existence to one of misfortune and pluck respects neither the reality of a disabled life nor the love, success, witticism and fulfilment that clearly marked Hawking’s. It remind you of the countless “inspirational” memes and posters that throughout their own lives featured Hawking’s image- often using his body as inspiration for non-disabled people (” If he can succeed, so are you able !”) or criticising “lesser” disabled people (” The only disability is a bad attitude “). Hawking, like all of us, deserves more than lazy, ableist tropes.
Amid all the tributes to Hawking’s contribution to scientific discovery, I would like to remember what he contributed- perhaps unknowingly- to many disabled people: a sense of pride, encouragement and hope. This was a genius who gained the world’s respect from his wheelchair. Hawking’s achievements alone will not have begun to overrule deep-seated prejudice, but he has played a significant part in changing the misconceptions that still routinely mark too many disabled people’s lives. Hawking’s lesser-known lesson is one I hope others growing up disabled will be left with: we can all reach for the stars.
* Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist
Read more: www.theguardian.com