‘We don’t take orders!’ Leave voters react to Emmanuel Macron’s demand to ‘pay up’

The French president has said the UK should cough up the money even if there is a no deal Brexit and has claimed that the leaders of the other EU countries will echo his demands. The £39 billion was negotiated as part of Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement, which was rejected three times by MPs at Westminster. Many commentators said the French leader should ensure his own country was in order before criticising other countries and one claimed: “He can ‘order’ all he likes but Brits don’t take orders.”

This comes as the Gilets Jaunes protesters have caused chaos for months in France as they have protested against Macron’s policies.

Social media users took to Twitter to blast Macron, A Aztec said: “I hope Johnson will stand up to Macron with a yellow jacket.”

Geoffrey Myers said: “This pocket Napoleon is unable to order his own people about and surely on his way out. Boris Johnson will be firm, polite and resolute.”

Another account said: “Emmanuel Macron should get his own house in order before telling others what to do. All the French riots continuing and his popularity so low. Who does he think he is.”

And another said: “Who is going to make us? Not Macron that’s for sure.”

OldDom said: “I hope Johnson doesn’t pay it.

“Theresa May was happy to oblige. What utter shambles her administration was for three years.”

Suzy said: “Emmanuel Macron needs to sort the civi unrest out on the streets of his capital city.”

Sam Thompson said: “We pay contributions until 31st October and not a penny more; EU like UK will require emergency budget to re-evaluate income and expenditure… we don’t keep giving them money so they can continue distributing it among themselves.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to lead the UK out of the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.

Mr Johnson is having lunch with Mr Macron today, August 22nd, and before this he warned the UK’s leader that Brexit could turn the UK into a vassal state of the US.

Mr Macron has made it clear that renegotiating the EU withdrawal agreement was “not an option”.

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The French president said: “The British are attached to being a great power, a member of the security council.

“The point can’t be to exit Europe and say ‘we’ll be stronger’, before in the end, becoming the junior partner of the United States, which are acting more and more hegemonically.

“Can the cost for Britain of a hard Brexit – because Britain will be the main victim – be offset by the United States of America? No.

And even if it were a strategic choice it would be at the cost of a historic vassalisation of Britain. I don’t think this is what Boris Johnson wants. I don’t think it is what the British people want. I don’t think it’s the will of the British people … to become the junior partner of the US.”

The Institute for Government think tank says refusing to pay could lead to a legal challenge.

It says: “The EU might seek redress through the International Court of Justice or the Permanent Court of Arbitration, both located in The Hague.”

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World War 3: How Russia was TWO minutes from launching nuclear attack on US

On January 25, 1995, four years after the official collapse of the USSR, the US and Russia plunged into a second temporary Cold War. A team of Norwegian and US scientists launched the Black Brank X11 four-stage rocket from the Andoya Space Centre in Norway. The purpose of the mission was to send scientific equipment to study the Northern Lights, flying on a trajectory that stretched from North Dakota to Moscow.

The rocket eventually reached an altitude of 903 miles, resembling a US Navy submarine-launched Trident missile, putting Russian nuclear forces on high alert of an attack.

As the rocket gained speed, it was detected by the Olenegorsk early-warning radar station in Murmansk Oblast, Russia.

After stage separation, the rocket launch appeared to the Russians to resemble Multiple Reentry Vehicles, as scientists did not realise the launching rocket was heading to sea.

Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President at the time, ordered for the Cheget – the Russian nuclear briefcase – to be brought to his office and requested the nuclear codes necessary.

Yeltsin activated his nuclear keys and Russian submarine commanders were ordered to go into a state of combat readiness.

Tracking the trajectory took eight of the 10 minutes allotted to the process of deciding whether to launch a nuclear response to an impending attack.

Thankfully, with just two minutes to spare, observers were able to determine that the mission was heading away from Russian airspace and was not a threat. 

The rocket fell to Earth as planned, near the islands of Spitsbergen, 24 minutes after launch.

However, the incident should have never occurred.

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The Norwegian and American scientists had notified thirty countries, including Russia, of their intention to launch a high-altitude scientific experiment.

Despite this, the message had not been passed on to radar technicians.

Following the incident, notification and disclosure protocols were re-evaluated and redesigned.

However, the blunder, which would have left Moscow red-faced, was not the first.

Last week it was revealed how an unexploded nuclear weapon is hiding beneath Japanese water, thanks to the US Navy.

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On December 5, 1965, just three years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, A United States Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft fell off the side of aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga while sailing through the Philippine Sea.

The pilot, Lieutenant Douglas M Webster, the plane, and the B43 nuclear bomb on board all fell into the water, 68 miles from the coast of Kikai Island, Japan.

However, it was not until 1989 that the Pentagon admitted the loss of a one-megaton hydrogen bomb. 

William M. Arkin of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies claimed in 1989: “For 24 years, the US Navy has covered up the most politically sensitive accident that has ever taken place.

“The Navy kept the true details of this accident a secret not only because it demonstrates their disregard for the treaty stipulations of foreign governments but because of the questions it raises about nuclear weapons aboard ships in Vietnam.”

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Jeffrey Epstein: Who is Ghislaine Maxwell who allegedly recruited underage girls?

Jeffrey Epstein, who was facing trial for sex trafficking charges, died on Saturday, August 10, in his jail cell. As speculation surrounding Epstein continue to mount, questions are now also being asked over what involvement Ghislaine Maxwell may have had. Ms Maxwell has never been charged with any crimes and previously denied any accusations of wrongdoing.

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell, has been accused of recruiting underage girls for Epstein.

Born in France, Ms Maxwell is the youngest of nine children, and is known to have had a close relationship with her father, who named his yacht after her – the Lady Ghislaine.

She was educated at leading independent school Marlborough College, before attending Balliol College, Oxford.

 

Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, accused Ms Maxwell of recruiting her at the age of 15 as a masseuse to the American financier.

She claimed Ghislaine had trained her to be a masseuse for Epstein and taught her how to “please him”.

The allegation emerged last week in documents from a 2015 defamation case, which were recently unsealed by a US judge.

In the unsealed documents, she said: “My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy. Ghislaine told me from her mouth to do these things.”

Ms Maxwell has strongly denied the allegations.

In a deposition, she said: “It’s borne out of years of feeling the pressure of this entire lie that she has perpetrated.”

She added Virginia’s story is “100 per cent false”.

Following Epstein’s apparent suicide, US Attorney General Bill Barr warned the case surrounding Epstein and any associates will continue.

He said: “Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein.

“Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”

Confusion has arisen over where Ms Maxwell currently is, after she was snapped at a burger restaurant this week.

The Daily Mail previously reported Ms Maxwell had been living with 43-year-old boyfriend, Scott Borgerson, in an secluded oceanfront property in Massachusetts.

However, today’s issue of the New York Post features a picture of Ms Maxwell at a fast food joint in Los Angeles.

According to Business Insider, people have been flocking to the In-N-Out joint, some taking photos at the table where she sat.

It is understood the picture of Ghislaine in LA is the first time she has been pictured since 2016.

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BBC staff given 20% payrise – despite plans to axe free licences for pensioners

A massive 889 employees received salary bumps between 10 percent and 20 percent last year, just months before pensioners were told that their free telly viewing was ending.

Another 256 were given more than 20 percent, in a move labelled “sickening” by age campaigners.

Costing licence fee payers a massive £7.9million, the average salary bump was a staggering £6,980.

In a blow to pensioners, this would have been enough to give free TV licences to 51,000 of them.

She added: “It’s sickening that they would consider giving these rises at a time when they are claiming they don’t have the money to fund over-75s’ licences.”

The Beeb has repeatedly claimed restricting talent and staff pay would not make enough money to cover all of those aged over 75 with free licences.

A BBC spokesman said: “While there are strict rules around any pay increases, it’s only right that when people are promoted or take on extra responsibilities it’s reflected in their salary.

“Just as at any organisation, there will be a number of cases where people are promoted to a significantly more senior or prominent role.” 

  • BBC

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Russia nuclear leak: What happened? Five dead after mysterious explosion

Nuclear engine tests by Russian energy firm Rosatom at a site in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk on August 8 resulted in an explosion which caused the deaths of five scientists. The casualties, split across the Russian ministry of defence and independent contractors, were allegedly working on a nuclear engine for a ballistic missile promised by Vladimir Putin. Two workers at the site – located in the White Sea – were cast overboard and into the water, prompting searches. Radiation levels also spiked in the Russian city of Severodvinsk to 20 times above the background average.

The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed last week’s explosion took place on Thursday, August 8.

One account of the incident tells scientists were working on an “isotope power source for a liquid-fuelled rocket engine” when it exploded.

The engine was to be installed in a Burevestnik cruise missile, promised by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with “unlimited range”.

In the aftermath, Russian officials announced they had decided to close the White Sea to civilian traffic for a month, raising concerns radioactive matter may have spilt into the water.

Two workers were cast into the sea when the explosion happened, and searches later found their bodies.

The lives of the three people injured in the explosion are no longer in danger, according to Valentin Kostyukov, director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre.

Mr Kostyukov said the scientists lost in the explosion were “national heroes”.

He said: “The tragedy happened, the explosion took the lives of five our friends, and three more are hospitalised.”

“The death of our employees is the bitter loss for our institute and for the state corporation Rosatom.

“The testers involved in this are of course the national heroes and we always believed that they are the elite of the federal nuclear centre.”

According to Mr Kostyukov, preparations for the task in the White Sea had been ongoing for a year before the incident.

He continued: “But sadly the situation developed in a non-standard way and now a state commission is work to investigate the reasons.”

The director said the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre would work closely with the state commission to find out what went wrong.

Alexei Likhachev, director of the Rosatom corporation, said continuing work on the weapons would be a fitting “tribute” to the dead employees.

He said: “Our further work on new weapons that we will certainly complete will be the best tribute to them.

“We will fulfil the Motherland’s orders and fully protect its security.”

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Bionic eyes to be fitted with ‘predator vision’ in blindness cure

The advanced artificial intelligence has hit the news recently, with a Russian student developing his own set of robotic eyes.

Evgeny Nekrasov, 21, developed a technological system to send images to his brain, giving him partial sight.

With bionic eyes in their infancy, future models could become much more advanced.

Creators of the first bionic eye implant, Second Sight Medical Products, are planning to equip future models with technology seen in the Terminator films.

“They could have this object recognition software tell them in their ear, iPhone or coffee cup”

Creator

One aspect of this would see users given thermal vision, allowing them to differentiate between temperatures.

Second Sight CEO Will McGuire told Engadget: “It would be good for them to have that as kind of a mode perhaps, in which they could switch to thermal imaging.

“And they can identify where people are in the room, day or night, more easily.

“They could maybe identify the hot part of a stove or cup of coffee, things like that.”

As well as this, the device could recognise familiar faces and objected.

Mr Maguire added: “They could have this object recognition software tell them in their ear, iPhone or coffee cup.”

Their new system would be implanted directly into a patient’s brain.

This would require an overnight hospital stay and a three to four week recovery before it could be used.

The user would then be equipped with a pair of glasses connected to the implant, which would submit 60 electrodes.

Second Sight’s senior director, implant and R&D Nik Talbot said: “It’s done over and over for each electrode – we really have to train them not to move their eyes, which is the natural response when you see the light.

“As they move their eyes, the brain is expecting to see something different, where in fact, they’re not going to see anything different because they’re talking in everything through camera..

“So they have to be taught to keep their eyes looking forward, the same as the camera.”

  • Artificial Intelligence

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India vs Pakistan war: Article 370 meaning – how one law could ends decades of peace

Historically, since the partition of British India in 1947 and the subsequent creation of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts, military stand-offs interspersed with periods of harmony and peace. The main cause of all the major conflicts has been the same: the Kashmir issue. Recently, in the latest move in the Indo-Pakstani war, the Indian government decided to revoke Article 370. But what does Article 370 mean and how would it impact the relations between the two countries?

Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent.

It has been a source of dispute between India and Pakistan since the dominions were created in 1947.

Both countries claim the country as its own with India ruling the territory of Jammu and Kashmir (which includes the divisions Jammu, Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh) which Pakistan governs the territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

There is also land which is ruled by China, specifically the territories of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.

For years, India and Pakistan have administered their own sections of territory, separated by what is called the Line of Control.

They have fought wars and clashed repeatedly over the region and now tensions have escalated once again after India decided to revoke Article 370.

On the Indian side, there is a long-running separatist insurgency, which has led to thousands of deaths over three decades.

India accuses Pakistan of supporting insurgents, however, Pakistan denies this – saying it only provides moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris who want self-determination.

What is Article 370?

According to the Indian constitution Article 370 is the law which provides special status to the region of Jammu and Kashmir, allowing it to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.

This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir state’s residents live under a separate set of laws to Indian states – including laws related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights.

The state was also permitted to establish its own laws regarding permanent residency and property ownership, and it had barred Indian citizens from outside the state from settling there.

On Monday, August 5, India’s President Ram Nath Kovind issued a constitutional order revoking the 1954 order.

The resolutions were passed in both Houses of Parliament and President Kovind then issued an order on Tuesday declaring all the clauses of Article 370 were inoperative.

Revoking Article 370 unilaterally strips the state of Jammu and Kashmir of all political autonomy – instead India plans to turn it into a union territory which will give the central government greater control of its affairs.

The move was foreshadowed by a series of strategic moves by the Indian government in Kashmir in the days leading up the overturning of Article 370 such as sending 35,000 additional trooped into the region, closing Hindu pilgrimage sites and ordering non-residents to leave the state.

On Sunday night, phone and internet communications were cut off and and two former chief ministers were placed under house arrest.

India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah cited security concerns as the reason for action, saying it was made to tackle “prevailing internal security fuelled by cross-border terrorism.”

Why is Pakistan now threatening war with India?

Pakistan announced plans to expel India’s top diplomat and suspend trade with its neighbour this week deepening a row between the countries over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

India and Pakistan are both nuclear-armed states.

Over the year, they have fought several wars over Kashmir, most recently clashing over a series of aerial attacks above the territory in February.

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan warned that India’s revocation of Article 370, to strip Kashmir of its special status, could lead to war between the two countries and the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the restive Himalayan region.

Addressing a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Khan spoke of violence perpetrated by others such as a suicide attack in February which killed at least 40 Indian security forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility for this incident but India blamed Pakistan, and Islamabad denied any responsibility.

Mr Khan said: “They will attempt to place the blame on us again.

“They may strike us again, and we will strike back. … Who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world.”

He added: “I fear they may initiate ethnic cleansing in Kashmir to wipe out the local population.”

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EU DIVIDED: Brussels sends Italy warning over migrant rescue law

Migrant arrivals to Italy have all but dried up since the populist government took power last year, clamping down on illegal immigration and tightening the country’s asylum rules. The Commission will “analyse” the new legislation in order to “verify whether it is compatible with European law,” a spokesperson for the bloc’s executive said shortly after the decree was approved by senators in a major victory for Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and his far-right League party. The decree drafted by Mr Salvini, who also serves as deputy prime minister, hardens sanctions on humanitarian ships that seek to bring migrants rescued in the Mediterranean to Italy instead of taking them back to Libya, the main jumping off point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe. 

The new law hikes maximum fines for ships that enter Italian waters without authorisation to €1 million (£920,000) from €50,000 (£46,000) previously. 

Under the law, boat captains who ignore orders to stay away face arrest, while their vessels could be confiscated by naval authorities. 

The Italian Senate, the country’s upper house, approved the law on Monday with 160 votes in favour and 57 against. The bill must now be ratified by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. 

“The security decree, with more powers to police forces, more border checks and more men to arrest Mafiosi, is law,” Mr Salvini tweeted. “I thank you, Italians, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.” 

Mr Salvini has repeatedly locked horns with humanitarian groups that rescue migrants off the coast of Libya, preventing them from docking until other EU states agree to take in most of them.  

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, also expressed its “concern” about the new law on Tuesday, saying it could “hinder or prevent rescue activities at sea”. 

“Imposing financial or other penalties on shipmasters could deter or impede sea rescue activities by private vessels at a time when European states have largely withdrawn from rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean,” the UNHCR said in a statement. 

“NGOs play an invaluable role in saving the lives of refugees and migrants attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Europe,” it continued. 

The UNHCR also warned Italy against redirecting rescue boats back to Libya given the north African state’s “extremely volatile security situation”. 

“Widespread reports of human rights violations and the routine use of arbitrary detention for people disembarked back to Libya underline the fact that it is not a viable place of safety.” 

Migrant arrivals to Italy have dropped dramatically under Mr Salvini, whose tough immigration laws have helped cut new arrivals to around 1,100 so far in 2019, down some 90 percent on 2018 levels and 98 percent on the same period in 2017. 

Mr Salvini has repeatedly argued that the presence of humanitarian ships in the Mediterranean encourages smugglers to launch unseaworthy boats packed with migrants from northern Africa. 

Last month, the UNHCR said the number of confirmed migrant deaths on the Libya to Europe sea route was 164 since the start of the year, fewer than in previous years. 

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Brits warned Majorca will ‘smell all over’ as bin men stage walkout

The strike will begin on August 22, when many Brits are still flocking over with the expectation of a relaxing sunshine break.

Union leader Miguel Pardo insisted bin men did not want to damage tourism, but threatened the revolting smell of rubbish would consume the entire island within days, Diario de Mallorca reported.

“We are prepared to strike although we hope we don’t have to,” he said.

“We hope the government and town halls want to adopt a new agreement.

Union leaders warned any strike is likely to be indefinite, with the walkout continuing until bosses agree to sit down and discuss a collective regional agreement unifying wages and conditions for around 3,000 workers.

They are thought to be seeking wage rises which would see drivers getting around €1,300 (£1,197) a month and the rubbish collectors a minimum of €1,000 (£921) a month.

Mr Pardo sounded a strike warning last month when he said rubbish collectors made it clear they planned a walkout but wanted to give bosses a “last chance” to accept negotiations.

Around 2.3 million Brits holiday on Majorca every year, around a quarter of the total number of tourists the island receives.

Hotel chambermaids on the neighbouring island of Ibiza are set to strike later this month over claims their health is suffering because of “slave labour” conditions.

Around 8,000 of the women — known in Spain as “Kellys” — will walk out on August 24 and 25.

Travellers took to social media to show how Ibiza Airport had turned into a “disgusting” rubbish dump during a cleaners’ strike there just over two years ago.

Videos showed piles of trash in public areas, including old food and nappies strewn across the floor.

Additional reporting by Natalie Penza

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New albino monkey species with rare white pigmentation discovered in Amazon

Ecologists have spotted an entirely new species of marmoset living in remote areas of the Amazon.

The newly discovered Mico munduruku stands apart from other Amazonian marmosets with their uniquely white tail.

Typically, Amazonian marmosets’ are black.

They wrote down the geographic coordinates as well as the time and habitat type of each white-tailed marmoset sighting.

The researchers also collected five specimens to be studied under a permit issued by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation.

The majority of museum specimens of Amazonian marmosets were gathered by naturalists and professional collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This means specimens available to study have been sourced from a select few locations, while biological samples are all but absent from tissue collections, the article authors say.

It also means that it is not unlikely that there are more species or subspecies of marmoset living in the Amazon waiting to be discovered.

The marmosets’ markings and pigmentation were the first characteristics distinguishing them from others in their genus.

Aside from having a white tail, the newly discovered monkeys displayed a beige-yellowish back, white hands, white feet, and white forearms with a beige-yellowish patch on their elbow.

Costa-Araújo and his team explain their DNA show they are closely related but separate from other known Amazonian marmosets.

The marmoset sightings suggest Mico munduruku (“mico” – Latin for “flash” – is a genus containing certain marmosets; “munduruku” are indigenous people living in the Amazon River basin) can be found in a 55,000-square-kilometer.

But this is an area facing mass deforestation thanks to illegal logging and agricultural expansion.

Plans to build four new hydroelectric plants pose another threat to the only recently discovered animal.

“Thus, just as we have discovered this species, we already need to be concerned about its survival,” the scientists said.

The “threats will only increase as hydroelectric plants and complementary infrastructure schemes such as roads and transmission lines come to completion, inducing more intense settlement and forest reduction in the region.”

The study authors say more research is “urgently needed” so as to be able to identify the species’ range, population size, and population density, and thus, figure out Mico munduruku’s conservation status as well as ways to mitigate environmental threats.

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