Category: New Posts

DqO686iWwAAiksY.jpg

CARAVAN SWELLS TO 14,000…




CARAVAN SWELLS TO 14,000...

(Second column, 1st story, link)


Related stories:
How it became so big and why it continues to grow…
What happens when they arrive?
Mostly unarmed Guard troops on border…
Illegal families set record for year…

Advertise here





Source link

2362.jpg

PET SHOP BOY: 'Where's the art, the poetry in all this?'


On a street in east London lies the Pet Shop Boys’ studio; a pile of rubbish is dumped outside. One room is full of synthesizers; the other has mid-century modern furniture and art by Scott King depicting tower blocks amid Technicolor waves. Here, Neil Tennant is talking about Brexit. “I think everything comes down to social media really, and social media promotes emotional illogicality in all its forms: racism, prejudice and of course nationalism.”

He warms to his theme. “Any multinational empire is going to have an irritating bureaucracy – it’s just a fact. Why is it better for that to be a lot of supposed nation states? When I was at North London Poly in the early 70s, I wrote a defence of the Austro-Hungarian empire. I still think I was right. Stability is very easy to find boring, but afterwards you can appreciate it. I like Joseph Roth, who was a Jewish writer who wrote The Radetzky March, and in his books he sees the Habsburg monarchy as the defenders of all the minorities, including the Jewish minority …”

Listening to this well-read and confidently expressed view, it might seem surprising to think that Tennant has devoted his life to writing not academic papers or newspaper columns but pop songs – but the proof is a slim volume on the table. Titled One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem, the book’s minimal white jacket encases his life’s work: songs about sex and politics, love and despair, a whole panorama of British life. “Really quite often, a publisher says, ‘Let’s get Neil Tennant to write his autobiography’ and it’s quite nice that they do,” its author muses. “I’m not convinced my life’s been interesting enough. This is my autobiography.”

One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem collects the Pet Shop Boys songs Tennant thought looked best written down (so no Heart, Love etc or Shopping), with his introductory essay and commentary. There are the words to huge hits such as It’s a Sin; and obscure b-sides such as The Ghost of Myself, in which Tennant remembers living with a girlfriend in the late 70s, before he came to terms with being gay. He has written songs his whole life, first as a teenage hippy in his native Newcastle, then as a Pet Shop Boy. “I remember as a boy hearing Strawberry Fields Forever and also reading John Lennon’s explanation that he wanted it to be like a conversation, and that had a very powerful impact on me,” he says. “And I remember reading an interview with Frank Sinatra where he said you should phrase lyrics like a conversation. I’ve always tried to do that. Someone who you might not think of as the world’s best lyricist is Madonna, but she always gets the emphasis on the right syllable.”

Neil Tennant (right) and Chris Lowe in 1986, the year before It’s a Sin kicked off the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘imperial period’. Photograph: Mike Prior/Getty Images



Neil Tennant (right) and Chris Lowe in 1986, the year before It’s a Sin kicked off the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘imperial period’. Photograph: Mike Prior/Getty Images

He met Chris Lowe, then an architecture student, in an electrical shop on London’s King’s Road in 1981, a year before he started as news editor on the pop magazine Smash Hits. He and Lowe wanted Pet Shop Boys songs to have the raw excitement of the electro, hi-NRG and hip-hop coming out of New York, a city then as scary as it was inspiring: “Every time you left New York in the early 80s you thought, ‘Wow, survived another trip’.” Their lyrics, however, were distinctly English: sometimes direct, even banal (“I always thought banality was a particular talent”), but more often funny and perceptive, with a far wider perspective than most pop songs.

On one level their first No 1 hit West End Girls was about the seedy glamour of a night out in London, but Tennant also slid in a reference to Edmund Wilson’s To the Finland Station, a history of socialism from the French revolution to Lenin’s arrival in St Petersburg. As if slightly embarrassed by this erudition – the Pet Shop Boys were always militantly pop (modern, glamorous, artificial) as opposed to rock (raw, traditional, authentic) – they never used to print their lyrics on their album sleeves. “We probably had some ideological point about it that we lost interest in,” says Tennant. “I wonder if we thought it was rock or something. You see that whole thing went away … because rock lost.” He hoots with laughter.

Tennant’s sharpest lyrics still resonate today. When the Conservative party conference unveiled its slogan Opportunity last month, wits immediately tweeted: “I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks/Let’s make lots of money” – the chorus to their song Opportunities, which satirised the Tory zeal for enterprise. “That was a classic early Thatcherite notion,” Tennant says, adding that it was the puckish Lowe who came up with the line “Let’s make lots of money”.

In 1987, It’s a Sin, a disco blockbuster about Catholic guilt, got to No 1 in 11 countries and kicked off what he famously called Pet Shop Boys’ “imperial period”, the stage where a group can do no wrong. Though Tennant’s commentary in the book makes the subject matter of some songs more explicit, the Pet Shop Boys’ sexuality was somewhat coded at the time – obvious to those in the know (they posed in full leather gear on the cover of Smash Hits) but destined to go over the head of most teen pop fans. So was the sin in question homosexuality? “I think it just meant sex,” says Tennant. “When you’re an adolescent boy at a Catholic school you’re taught that sex, apart from reasons of procreation, is a sin. Going out and getting pissed with your friends is a sin.”

Then there was Rent, recently the subject of a tweeted inquiry by Pet Shop Boys fan Cardi B as to what the words are about. “We were trying to write provocative lyrics,” Tennant says. “You’d hear someone in a gay club say, ‘Oh, he’s rent’. It’s nostalgie de la boue, nostalgia of the gutter. We both like the pathos of streetlife.” Rather than a rent boy however, Tennant imagines the subject of the song to be the mistress of a powerful politician, kept in an apartment on New York’s Upper East Side. “I never know quite what it’s about, really. But I always quite like that in pop songs.”

Pet Shop Boys on stage at the Montreux rock festival in 1986. Photograph: David Redfern/Redferns



Pet Shop Boys on stage at the Montreux rock festival in 1986. Photograph: David Redfern/Redferns

Some of Pet Shop Boys’ most moving songs were Tennant’s response to the Aids crisis. “When I decided I was gay was pretty much when Aids came in, so you were paranoid,” he says. Then, “this friend of mine from Newcastle, my closest friend in some ways, suddenly goes down with HIV. And that was when Suburbia was in the top 10.” Tennant spent a good deal of his imperial period in the Aids ward of St Mary’s Hospital in London, “watching [my] friend waste away”. Christopher Dowell, who died in 1989, is commemorated in three songs including Being Boring, a devastatingly sad memorial to their friendship.

It’s something he thinks about still. “I had a very strong group of friends as an adolescent, many of whom I still know – we’ve got a new song which looks back at that,” Tennant says. “It was a very intense part of my life and it sort of ended with the Aids crisis, with so many friends who died, so I will probably never get over that. I don’t mean in a traumatised way, just that it’s always there in my history. It’s part of who I am.”

Tennant finally came out to Attitude magazine in 1994. Does he wish, like Olly Alexander and Troye Sivan today, he had written unabashedly gay songs filled with male pronouns? “In the 80s and the 90s, for that matter, it was such a big deal, being gay,” he says. (In 1987, a British Social Attitudes poll found that 75% of the general public thought homosexuality was “always” or “mostly” wrong; the following year the Thatcher government brought in section 28, which prevented it being “promoted” in schools.) “You knew your audience had a lot of women or girls in it, so you wanted to include everyone. I still sort of think that when I’m writing, to be honest. Also I don’t write about my life in the direct way that most, if not all, artists do nowadays. Sometimes I think, ‘Where’s the art, where’s the poetry in all of this?’ Lily Allen can write these amazingly and actually quite funny direct slag-offs of people and stuff like that. That’s just not who I am, I’m afraid. It isn’t anything to do with pronouns, it’s to do with poetry really.” He laughs.

It’s also the reason why, for all the Pet Shop Boys songs commenting on society and politics (including three about Tony Blair), they have never written a direct protest song. “I wouldn’t write a song called Second Referendum Now, even though I think there should be one,” Tennant says. “We have written a song called Give Stupidity a Chance which is a satire. It’s close to a protest song, but it’s also funny.” Pop music’s strength, he believes, lies not in making a party political point but in summing up the atmosphere of the time – as the Specials managed with Ghost Town. “When that came out in the middle of the Toxteth riots era, everything about it was a political statement, but it wasn’t putting forward a political programme.”

What about just writing a straightforward love song? Tennant is surprised when I suggest that they have become more infrequent on Pet Shop Boys albums. “Maybe there’s been less to write about, I’m afraid.” He pauses, slightly embarrassed. “Not totally. Actually on das neu album is a major love song.”

Would he ever avoid writing about anything too intimate? “Sex or something? No, one has to think of the person that’s the subject, so you’ve got to bear their feelings in mind.” He says he has the “slightly cold and dispassionate” ability to be having an argument with a lover and realise that an accusation like “You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk” will make a good title for a song.

He has never had writer’s block, never considered stopping writing. The closest Pet Shop Boys have ever come to splitting up was in 1999, when the concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith went bankrupt while they were on tour. “We were playing to half-empty arenas, losing a fortune. It came to a head one night at Sheffield Arena. I said to Chris, ‘Why don’t we just pack it in?’ And Chris didn’t answer. So we started talking about something else.” Their forthcoming album will be their 15th, not counting live and compilation albums, and will include a song inspired by the refugee crisis, and another about Berlin, the city where they go to write and – occasionally on a Sunday afternoon – to dance at Berghain, the legendary techno club.

Tennant became famous at 31; he’s now 64. The single poem in the book contemplates his mortality; three songs were inspired by funerals. “People fall away, you know,” he says. “This year we’ve had quite a few friends, all of them quite a bit younger than me, die.” I ask about the death of George Michael, a pop peer nine years Tennant’s junior. “I felt sad and almost angry because it seemed like such a waste. He was so young and also I think he was on a path it would have been possible to reverse. But he was very stubborn, George.”

He adds that while they didn’t know each other well, their relationship spanned three decades. “I first met him in 1982. I interviewed him and Andrew [Ridgley] for Smash Hits and then the last time we saw him it was exactly 30 year later, at the Olympic closing ceremony. We were in these Portakabin-y dressing rooms and the person next to us is playing music unbelievably loudly. I said to our tour manager: ‘Can you go and ask him to turn that down, please?’ And suddenly the door flings open and George, who we hadn’t seen since he’d been in jail, comes in and says: ‘Did you just tell me to turn my music down?’ I said: ‘Yes, I did.’ And he says: ‘Give me a hug.’ And then he went back to his dressing room, put his stereo on and played West End Girls – loudly.”

The front door opens. It’s Lowe. “You know there’s all this rubbish outside? You’re going to have to phone the council.”

“I’m going to, actually,” says Tennant.

“It’s turning into a public … tip!” says Lowe, aghast.

“Actually, a fire risk!”

“Rats, the whole lot!”

It’s time to go. “He’s good at talking, isn’t he,” says Lowe, “especially about himself! Did you ask him about Brexit?”

One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem by Neil Tennant (Faber, £14.99) is published on 1 November. To order a copy for £12.89, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99.



Source link

stolen-colon_1539976751393.JPG_59529079_ver1.0_1280_720.jpg

Thieves steal giant infatable colon from hospital…


The inflatable colon pictured here was stolen from a pickup truck in Kansas City. Authorities are asking the public for help in locating the colon. (Photo Courtesy KU Cancer Center)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) – An inflatable colon has been stolen from the University of Kansas Cancer Center. 

The colon, valued at $4,000, was stolen from a pickup truck that was parked in Brookside, Kansas City.

“Colorectal cancer screening is the most powerful weapon we have against colorectal cancer,” John Ashcraft, DO, surgical oncologist at The University of Kansas Cancer Center said.  Ashcraft is also co-leader of the cancer prevention and survivorship research program.  “Colon cancer is a tough subject for many to talk about and the giant, 150 pound, ten foot long inflatable colon is a great conversation starter.”

The Cancer Coalition owns the inflatable colon. The organization hosts walk and run events for a campaign called “Get Your Rear In Gear.”

The organization ships the inflatable colon across the country for the events. The colon was on its way the a 5K which was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. at Swope Park when it was stolen. 

Authorities ask the public to call Kansas City Police with any information regarding the stolen colon. 

“).insertAfter(e[c]);break}}}else{if(d>0){$(“”).insertAfter(e[d-1])}}(function(){var l={pid:476,sid:683831,playerContainerId:”lkqd-ad-476-683831-outstream-incontent-1536142668″,playerId:””,playerWidth:””,playerHeight:””,execution:”outstream”,placement:”incontent”,playInitiation:”auto”,controls:true,volume:0,pageUrl:””,trackImp:””,trackClick:””,custom1:””,custom2:””,custom3:””,pubMacros:””,dfp:false,lkqdId:new Date().getTime().toString()+Math.round(Math.random()*1000000000).toString()};var k;var o=””;var m={slot:document.getElementById(l.playerContainerId),videoSlot:document.getElementById(l.playerId),videoSlotCanAutoPlay:true,lkqdSettings:l};function j(){k.subscribe(function(){k.startAd()},”AdLoaded”)}var n=document.createElement(“iframe”);n.id=l.lkqdId;n.name=l.lkqdId;n.style.display=”none”;var i=function(){vpaidLoader=n.contentWindow.document.createElement(“script”);vpaidLoader.src=”https://ad.lkqd.net/vpaid/formats.js?pid=476&sid=683831″;vpaidLoader.onload=function(){k=n.contentWindow.getVPAIDAd();j();k.handshakeVersion(“2.0″);k.initAd(l.playerWidth,l.playerHeight,”normal”,600,o,m)};n.contentWindow.document.body.appendChild(vpaidLoader)};n.onload=i;n.onerror=i;document.documentElement.appendChild(n)})()}});/*]]>*/



Source link

lyft.jpg

SNAP: LYFT Driver Suffers Mental Breakdown…


WOODLAND (CBS13) — A Woodland woman is speaking out about a Lyft ride that ended with police put her driver in handcuffs. The frightening moments played out as she was on her way to pick up her husband from the hospital.

Christie Gomez had only used Lyft a couple times before that fateful ride, but she instantly knew this ride wasn’t right.

lyft from down under Lyft Driver Has Mental Breakdown On Ride, Placed On Psychiatric Hold By Police

“Honestly it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever went through in my life,” Gomez said. “The real first sign was once we got on the freeway he literally started crying, but it was crying and then laughing at the same time.”

She ordered the ride from her home in Woodland to pick up her husband at the Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento, a 25-mile trip. Her driver began driving erratically and then removed his hands from the wheel, covered his eyes with his hands, and told Gomez to direct him on the road.

READ: Mega Millions Winning Numbers For $1 Billion Announced

“(He was saying) ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t go through like this anymore.’” Gomez said.

Fearing the worst, she reached out to her mom and husband, texting them that she was scared.

Eventually, Gomez convinced the driver to pull over in a Natomas Shopping Center, saying she had to go to the bathroom. As soon as she got out of the car, Gomez ran into a nearby Starbucks.

Sacramento Police arrived and found the driver locked in a gas station bathroom. Officers said he was acting erratically, covering himself in soap and trying to bite him.

ALSO: Sacramento Couple Visits With Woman They Saved From Burning Car

The driver was taken into custody and put on a mental health hold.

Lyft issued a statement Friday saying, “We have deactivated the driver’s account as we collect more details and have been in contact with the passenger affected.”

Gomez said she thought she’d be safe, now she’s saying it was a mistake she won’t make again. She also received a full refund from the ride-share app for her trip.



Source link

331776101_1_4.jpg

Saudis Shocked by Official Flip-Flop on Khashoggi…




Saudis Shocked by Official Flip-Flop on Khashoggi...

(Third column, 2nd story, link)


Related stories:
‘Don’t know where’ body is…
Khashoggi criticizes Saudi prince in newly released interview…
Scandal Jolts Heir to Throne…
Likely to survive…
The Troll Army and TWITTER Insider…

Advertise here





Source link

KSAZ-cpb-border-video-101918_1539990416796.jpg_6239682_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

Big numbers of illegals arriving at AZ border…


PHOENIX (AP) – Large groups of Central American migrants continue to surrender to Border Patrol agents in Arizona with the arrival of one recent group numbering 108 captured in dramatic video images, authorities said Friday.

The agency said camera operators monitoring movement Thursday afternoon along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Yuma area captured images of a large number of people being dropped over the border wall east of the San Luis Port of Entry.

It said the smugglers never crossed the border while they helped migrants over the wall in four places. The group was comprised of 100 Guatemalans and eight Hondurans. They included 52 children, nine of them 5 years and younger.

The mass crossing occurred while another drama was being played out much farther south as a caravan of several thousand Central American migrants traveled northbound, prompting President Donald Trump to warn Mexico to stop them from reaching the U.S. border.

Arizona Border Patrol agents for weeks have been overwhelmed by the arrival of large numbers of Central American migrants traveling in families.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona earlier this month began releasing hundreds of people to await court dates, saying it didn’t have the capacity to hold an “incredibly high volume” of migrant families showing up at the border.

“Coordinated smuggling of large numbers of Central Americans is taking place daily here,” Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik said in a written statement.

Before the arrival of the latest group, authorities said that collectively more than 1,400 migrants had been left by smugglers in the broiling desert – or in one case in a drenching thunderstorm – in remote areas by Arizona’s border with Mexico since Aug. 20. One group was as large as 275 people.

Unlike Texas, where people turn themselves in on the banks of the Rio Grande, the smugglers near Arizona have been dumping groups of migrant families near Yuma, or farther to the east on a remote dirt road running along the southern limit of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the Lukeville Port of Entry.

While Mexican men traveling without relatives once made up the bulk of the migrants, Guatemalans and other Central Americans traveling in families or as unaccompanied minors are now the norm.



Source link

101-bday.jpg

'Oldest Working Man In Texas' Turns 101…


DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Considered the oldest man still working in Texas, Chester Hollingsworth celebrated his 101st birthday today.

“Today is my birthday. October the 18th 1917,” he said with a smile.

The World War II veteran, Dallas entrepreneur and beloved friend and family man received a special birthday message from his company.

Hollingsworth helped start what’s now known as the Dallas Flooring Warehouse. He tried retiring twice before, but kept coming back and now spends two days a week working there.

101 bday Oldest Working Man In Texas Turns 101, Still Drinks 2 Dr. Peppers A Day

Chester Hollingsworth is a World War II veteran, Dallas entrepreneur and beloved friend and family man. (photo credit: CBS 11 News)

“I just like to be with people. I don’t mind working,” said Hollingsworth affectionately.

Born and raised on a farm near Greenville, Hollingsworth helped his family raise cotton.

“We had a Model T Ford, and it was a terrible way to get around.”

As a young man Hollingsworth went on to sign up for the Navy a day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He eventually wound up out west.

“About a month later I got a notice in the mail with a train ticket to go to San Diego, California.”

Hollingsworth has had a storied life… no doubt, and he said the secret for him is a simple one.

“Dr. Pepper,” he laughed.

That’s right, Hollingsworth drinks a Dr. Pepper twice a day.

But perhaps the real key for a long and healthy life and career is one he shared with all those at his birthday party.

“If you can get a job, where you love your job and love to go to work that’s what you want.”



Source link

rawImage.jpg

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake shakes Texas, Oklahoma panhandles…


Updated


AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — An earthquake has shaken parts of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 4.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 8:04 a.m. Saturday about 9 miles (15 kilometers) north-northeast of Amarillo. The temblor was recorded at a depth of 3 miles (5 kilometers).


There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Geologists say damage isn’t likely in quakes of magnitude 4.0.

Thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in Oklahoma in recent years, with many linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. Scientists have also linked earthquakes in Kansas, Texas and other states to wastewater injection.

Oklahoma regulators have directed several oil and gas producers in the state to close injection wells and reduce volumes in others.




‘);
window._taboola = window._taboola || [];
_taboola.push({
mode: ‘thumbnails-a’,
container: taboolaBATContainerLabel,
placement: taboolaBATPlacementLabel,
target_type: ‘mix’
});



Source link

Alamy-Live-Peoples-Vote-march-London-UK-PX94M3-0.jpg

Mass rally in London for new Brexit vote…


The crowds stretched so far back that plenty of people never even made it to the rally.

Masses overflowed through the streets of London for more than a mile, from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square, as an estimated 670,000 protesters took their demand for a fresh Brexit referendum right to Theresa May’s doorstep.

They came from every corner of the UK, in what is believed to be the largest demonstration since the Iraq War march in 2003, when more than a million people turned out in the capital to oppose the conflict.

Amid the swathes of EU flags and banners, there was also a growing sense that campaigners, MPs and activists were realising, perhaps for the first time, that this was a battle that could be won.

“We were the few, and now we are the many,” Tory MP Anna Soubry told the crowds crammed into Parliament Square.

“We are winning the argument and we are winning the argument most importantly against those who voted Leave.”

She said: “We will not walk away. We will take responsibility and sort out this mess with a people’s vote.”

Speaking to The Independent beforehand, she said many Tory MPs were privately supportive of a second referendum amid bitter divisions in the party.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said the sheer scale of the event showed that “confidence is growing” in the fight for a fresh vote.

To huge cheers, London mayor Sadiq Khan said the march marked a “historic moment in our democracy”.

He told protestors: “We’ve heard some complain that a public vote would be undemocratic and unpatriotic. But the opposite is true.

“There’s nothing more democratic – nothing more British – than trusting the people to have the final say on our future.”

MPs from across the political spectrum addressed the rally, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Labour’s Chuka Umunna and Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who drew huge cheers when she compared Brexit to a botched operation.

Christian Broughton, editor of The Independent, told the crowds: “Theresa May says that the Final Say referendum will be a politicians’ vote, not a people’s vote, but we can all remember what some politicians told us in 2016.

“We, the people, can all now see what’s really coming. And from where I’m standing it looks like a people’s vote to me.”

He revealed that The Independent’s petition for a Final Say had achieved more than 940,000 signatures, adding: “We have to keep on showing up and signing up.”

People did show up in their thousands for the march, which was extremely cheerful, except for a handful of Ukip protestors who screamed “Losers” at passers-by from outside Downing Street.

An army of students, college pupils and young activists led the march in a sign of the impact of the Brexit vote on the younger generation, some 1.4 million of whom have become eligible to vote since the referendum.

Femi Oluwole, from the youth group Our Future Our Choice, told The Independent: “What we are trying to do is bring people together, as nobody has any confidence in what the government is doing.”

He said young people were going to be hit hardest by Brexit, both economically and in the opportunities to live and work abroad.

Among the crowds was Piero Passet, a 71-year-old restaurant owner from Turin, said he was marching because he was concerned for the future of the younger generation.

He said: “I’ve lived in London for 49 years but I am more concerned about my children and my grandchildren.

“I still have my Italian passport but I don’t want to be stuck at Gatwick airport in long queues.”

Mr Passet said he was already struggling to recruit staff, as many eastern European and Spanish workers no longer felt welcome in the UK.

Ruby Savins, 13, had travelled from Brighton with her parents Nick and Celia.

She said: “I’ve come because of my future. I think Brexit is wrong and I think we should stop it altogether. 

“We all think that it is wrong and we think we should remain together.”

Jo Law, 31, and her partner Phuong La, 23, came to protest about how Brexit was creating a toxic atmosphere.

Ms Law, from south London, said: “I’m here because of my girlfriend. Trying to get a visa for her is just impossible.

“It’s all about immigration.”

Corinna Lewis, a 37-year-old German student, had travelled from her home in Canterbury to show her support for a Final Say vote, as she was not eligible to vote during the 2016 referendum.

She said: “I’ve been in England for 10 years but I couldn’t vote. I don’t think that’s fair.


Editor of The Independent Christian Broughton speaks at the People’s Vote march in London

“I think there are lots of people who are absolutely engaged but were excluded from the vote.” 

Also among the crowds was Lord Of The Rings actor Andy Serkis, who described it as “one of the most, if not the most important march of a generation”.

Other famous faces included Sir Bob Geldof, TV presenter Richard Bacon, Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden, comedian Jenny Eclair and Holby City actors Catherine Russell and Hugh Quarshie.

Ahead of the march, a Downing Street spokeswoman told The Independent that people had a right to speak out, but that the prime minister had made clear her position in regards to a new referendum.

While the protestors gathered, Ms May visited an exhibition in her constituency, entitled Maidenhead And Me, featuring work by local artists.


The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here



Source link

King asserts authority…


DUBAI (Reuters) – So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.

World leaders were demanding an explanation and concern was growing in parts of the royal court that the king’s son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to whom he has delegated vast powers, was struggling to contain the fallout, the sources said.

During Prince Khaled’s visit, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance. The king subsequently ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to open an inquiry based on its findings.

“The selection of Khaled, a senior royal with high status, is telling as he is the king’s personal adviser, his right hand man and has had very strong ties and a friendship with (Turkish President) Erdogan,” said a Saudi source with links to government circles.

Since the meeting between Prince Khaled and Erdogan, King Salman has been “asserting himself” in managing the affair, according to a different source, a Saudi businessman who lives abroad but is close to royal circles.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to Reuters questions about the king’s involvement in helping to supervise the crisis. A spokesman for Prince Khaled referred Reuters to government representatives in Riyadh.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and leading critic of Prince Mohammed, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say they believe the Saudi journalist was murdered there and his body removed, allegations which Saudi Arabia has strongly denied.

Initially the king, who has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to his son, commonly known as MbS, was unaware of the extent of the crisis, according to two of the sources with knowledge of the Saudi royal court. That was partly because MbS aides had been directing the king to glowing news about the country on Saudi TV channels, the sources said.

That changed as the crisis grew.

“Even if MbS wanted to keep this away from the king he couldn’t because the story about Khashoggi’s disappearance was on all the Arab and Saudi TV channels watched by the king,” one of the five sources said.

“The king started asking aides and MbS about it. MbS had to tell him and asked him to intervene when Khashoggi’s case became a global crisis,” this source said.

Since he acceded to the throne in January 2015, the king has given MbS, his favorite son, increasing authority to run Saudi Arabia. But the king’s latest intervention reflects growing disquiet among some members of the royal court about MbS’s fitness to govern, the five sources said.

MbS, 33, has implemented a series of high-profile social and economic reforms since his father’s accession, including ending a ban on women driving and opening cinemas in the conservative kingdom.

But he has also marginalized senior members of the royal family and consolidated control over Saudi’s security and intelligence agencies.

His reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, a purge of top royals and businessmen on corruption charges, and a costly war in Yemen.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has further tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, deepening questions among Western allies and some Saudis about his leadership.

“Even if he is his favorite son, the king needs to have a comprehensive view for his survival and the survival of the royal family,” said a fourth Saudi source with links to the royal court.

“In the end it will snowball on all of them.”

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

MISCALCULATION

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. But the sources familiar with the royal court said the reaction from the United States, an ally for decades, had contributed to the king’s intervention.

“When the situation got out of control and there was an uproar in the United States, MbS informed his father that there was a problem and that they have to face it,” another source with knowledge of the royal court said.

The crown prince and his aides had initially thought the crisis would pass but they “miscalculated its repercussions”, this source said.

Turkish officials have made clear they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, and two Turkish sources have told Reuters police have audio recordings to back up that assertion.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican close to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday accused MbS of ordering Khashoggi’s murder and called him a “wrecking ball” who is jeopardizing relations with the United States. He did not say what evidence he was basing the allegation on.

Trump said on Thursday he presumed Khashoggi was dead but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened. Asked what would be the consequences for Saudi Arabia, Trump said: “Well, it’ll have to be very severe. I mean, it’s bad, bad stuff. But we’ll see what happens.”

Trump has previously said “rogue killers” may have been responsible and has ruled out cancelling arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars. On Tuesday, Trump said he had spoken with MbS and that the crown prince told him he did not know what had happened in the consulate where Khashoggi went missing.

The case poses a dilemma for the United States, as well as Britain and other Western nations. Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter, spends lavishly on Western arms and is an ally in efforts to contain the influence of Iran.

But in a sign of the damage, a succession of international banking and business chiefs, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Chairman Bill Ford, have pulled out of a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia this month.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday also abandoned plans to attend, as did Britain’s trade minister and the French and Dutch finance ministers, putting the event in question.

Saudi officials have said they plan to move forward with the conference, scheduled for Oct. 23-25, despite the wave of cancellations.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is seen during a meeting with U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. March 27, 2018. To match Insight SAUDI-POLITICS/KING REUTERS/Amir Levy/File Photo

Neither JP Morgan nor Ford would elaborate on the reasons for the decision not to attend and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi were a factor.

Lagarde had previously said she was “horrified” by media reports about Khashoggi’s disappearance. An IMF spokesperson did not give a reason for her deferring her trip to the Middle East.

TAKING CONTROL

Before the king’s intervention, Saudi authorities had been striking a defiant tone, threatening on Sunday to retaliate with greater action against the U.S. and others if sanctions are imposed over Khashoggi’s disappearance. A Saudi-owned media outlet warned the result would be disruption in Saudi oil production and a sharp rise in world oil prices.

“Reaction and threats to the possible sanctions of the last 24 hours were still (coming) from the crown prince,” the businessman close to royal circles said on Monday. “The king is now holding the file personally … and the tone is very different.”

The king has spoken directly with Erdogan and Trump in recent days. Both the king and his son met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited Riyadh on Tuesday.

King Salman, 82, spent decades as part of the inner circle of the Al Saud dynasty, which long ruled by consensus. In four decades as governor of Riyadh, he earned a reputation as a royal enforcer who punished princes who were out of line.

Whether he is willing or able to resume that role in this crisis remains unclear, palace insiders say. One source with links to the royal court said the king was “captivated” by MbS and ultimately would protect him.

Still, there is precedent for the king’s intervention.

He stepped in this year to shelve the planned listing of national oil company Saudi Aramco, the brainchild of MbS and a cornerstone of his economic reforms, three sources with ties to government insiders told Reuters in August. Saudi officials have said the government remains committed to the plans.

And when MbS gave the impression last year that Riyadh endorsed the Trump administration’s still nebulous Middle East peace plan, including U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the king made a public correction, reaffirming Riyadh’s commitment to the Arab and Muslim identity of the city.

Despite these rare instances of pushback, several of the sources close to the royal family said that King Salman had grown increasingly detached from decisions taken by MbS.

“He has been living in an artificially-created bubble,” said one of the sources. Lately, though, the king’s advisers have grown frustrated and begun warning him of the risks of leaving the crown prince’s power unchecked.

“The people around him are starting to tell him to wake up to what’s happening,” the source said.

Reporting by Reuters correspondents; Editing by Nick Tattersall

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



Source link