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Britain is turbo-charging no-deal Brexit preparations – Raab

Dominic Raab arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is turbo-charging its no-deal Brexit preparations and will be ready to leave the European Union with or without a deal on Oct. 31, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday. Raab, an avowed Brexiteer, said the “undemocratic” Irish backstop had to go from the Withdrawal Agreement. “We want a good deal with EU partners and friends but that must involve the abolition of the undemocratic backstop,” Raab told the BBC. “What the prime minister has instructed and the cabinet has accepted is a turbo-charging of those preparations.” Ministers said on Sunday the government assumed the EU will not renegotiate the Brexit deal that it agreed with former prime minister Theresa May but which is opposed by her successor Boris Johnson, and was ramping up preparations to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without an agreement. Conservative lawmaker Oliver Letwin, who is opposed to leaving the EU without a transition agreement, told BBC radio that lawmakers would seek to stop a no-deal Brexit but that it was not clear whether parliament could prevent such a scenario. “I am accepting that we may well not be able to (stop a no-deal Brexit),” he said. “Nobody can tell whether we will be able to get aRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] RT [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

This is a scandal you need to be following – it...

By Charlotte Lomas, news correspondent Little did I know a story I first began covering four years ago would become a health scandal which experts have described as "bigger than Thalidomide". The use of vaginal mesh has gone on to be discussed in parliament by then prime minister Theresa May as she ordered a review into its safety. For those of you reading this and thinking this story is all about vaginas, you are deeply mistaken. Yes, this is a disaster that primarily impacts women, mainly those who have suffered common complications after childbirth, such as urinary incontinence or prolapse. But it affects us all and we should be following developments closely. 'When you know the truth, it's almost more traumatising' At the heart of this story lies accusations of poor regulation, lack of clinical trials, corruption, cover-ups and conflicts of interest; allegations that there is no long-term data to properly assess a surgery carried out on more than 100,000 women in England since 2008; insufficient data, despite the procedure being offered to women since the late 1990s. Advertisement Then there's the legal action taking place across the world. More than 100,000 people are suing in America alone. :: Vaginal mesh 'disaster' could be 'worse than Thalidomide', experts warn More from Vaginal Mesh Earlier this year, the US regulator, the FDA, halted the sale and distribution of all mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse citing safety concerns. A period of high vigilance restriction regarding vaginal mesh is currently in place in England until certain criteria is met and the independent review led by Baroness Cumberlege makes its conclusions. Yet the latest guidance from the UK health watchdog, NICE, is that mesh will be offered as one option to women once the suspension is lifted. The guidance does, however, say surgery should only be provided once alternatives have failed and after women have been counselled properly about the risks and possible complications. This is advice that was claimed to have been missing previously. Vaginal mesh guidelines ignore 'thousands' of women The reason why vaginal mesh is making headlines and coming under scrutiny is down, in large part, to the relentless fight of campaigners. These are women wRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Tests on vaginal mesh plastic ‘way less’ thorough than on washing...

By Charlotte Lomas, news correspondent Testing on the plastic material used in vaginal mesh implants "is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine", a world expert has told Sky News. The use of vaginal mesh to treat incontinence is currently suspended in the UK, pending the results of an independent safety review after thousands of women reported devastating complications. Chartered chemist Dr Chris DeArmitt has been arguing the material used in the mesh is not safe and his expertise has been called upon during court action against vaginal mesh manufacturers. Image: Dr Chris DeArmitt has been called as an expert in court actions His testimony that the polypropylene plastic should not be used inside the body has helped 9,000 women settle out of court. Dr DeArmitt, who is a consultant to the top technology firms in America, told Sky News: "I see an absolute disregard for proper testing. Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine. It's shocking. I've never seen anything like it in my career." Advertisement He believes the material is rejected by the body and the mesh degrades once inside the person, although manufacturers say the material is safe. He said: "There are two main reasons why any plastics material expert will tell you just obviously that this is a bad material and I have never heard anyone who disagrees with me. More from Vaginal Mesh Image: Vaginal mesh is made from polypropylene plastic "Firstly, it's oxidatively unstable which means, like an apple, it's attacked by air so it's not going to last long enough in the body. That's knockout criteria right there because it's just going to fail, go brittle and fall into pieces. "Secondly, it's not bio-compatible. So when it is put into the body, all of your body tries to react. It's like having a splinter, your body says 'hey there's a foreign body in here let's get this out' and it fights this using different mechanisms, which leads to inflammation and pain." Polypropylene mesh has been commonly used to treat incontinence and prolapse in women for decades and is used in hernia repair. While the surgery can be successful, it can also cause life-changing complications including chronic pain. People will react differently to mesh as no immune system is the same and there is a notable lack of long-term studies looking into the problem. In February 2018, the government announced an independent review into vaginal mesh implants and in July that year the surgery was suspended and a high vigilance period imposed. This development came after the chair of the review, Baroness Cumberlege, had met patient groups and heard their personal accounts. Dr Vincent Argent, a consultant gynaecologist, is one medical expert who has provided evidence to the Cumberlege review. :: Vaginal mesh campaigner Chrissy Brajcic dies from sepsis after four-year battle He said he warned the medical watchdog NICE about the risks of mesh when it was first introduced in the late 1990s but was ignored. Dr Argent said: "If it was introduced now I don't think it would get a licence. The problem with mesh is the physio chemical changes that it undergoes, which happen over many years, as it has emerged now. This could have been predicted from studies way back in the 1960s and 70s which showed that polypropylene is inherently unstable. "My opinion is it shouldn't be used in routine clinical practice untiRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Speech: Theresa May’s final speech as Prime Minister: 24 July 2019

I am about to go to Buckingham Palace to tender my resignation to Her Majesty the Queen and to advise her to ask Boris Johnson to form a new administration. I repeat my warm congratulations to Boris on winning the Conservative leadership election. I wish him and the Government he will lead every good fortune in the months and years ahead. Their successes will be our countrys successes, and I hope that they will be many. Their achievements will build on the work of nearly a decade of Conservative or Conservative-led government. During that time our economy has been restored, our public services reformed, and our values defended on the world stage. Of course, much remains to be done – the immediate priority being to complete our exit from the European Union in a way that works for the whole United Kingdom. With success in that task can come a new beginning for our country – a national renewal that can move us beyond the current impasse into the bright future the British people deserve. To serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the greatest honour. The heavy responsibilities are outweighed by the huge potential to serve your country. But you achieve nothing alone. And as I leave Downing Street, my final words are of sincere thanks. To my colleagues in Government and Parliament. To everyone in the building behind me and across the Civil Service. To the men and women of our armed forces and security services. And to the public servants in our schools, our NHS, our police and the other emergency services. All are inspired by the noble wish to serve their country in the national interest. I also want to thank the British people. Everyone who loves our great country, who works hard for their family and wants their children and grand-children to enjoy greater opportunity than they did. Thank you for putting your faith in me and giRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] gov uk [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Murder trial jury sent home early over ‘extreme heat’ as UK...

By Emily Mee, news reporter A jury deliberating over a murder case have been sent home early due to "extreme heat". It comes as Britain swelters – with temperatures expected to rise to up to 37C (98.6F) by the end of the week. This could surpass the current daytime heat record for July, which is currently 36.7C (98.1F). And the country could endure its highest-ever night-time temperature on Thursday night. Image: Many Britons have been sunning themselves in the hot weather Forecasters say there is a 40% chance the record of 23.9C (75F) – set in Brighton in August 1990 – could be broken. Jurors are considering verdicts against a church warden and a magician accused of murdering a university lecturer and plotting to kill a retired headmistress. Advertisement Their deliberations were cut short when they complained of unbearable conditions in the room by sending a note to the trial judge, Mr Justice Sweeney. The jury said they had the windows open and were using a fan but were unable to concentrate in the "extreme heat". More from Buckinghamshire Mr Justice Sweeney said he would allow the panel to be sent home early and continue their deliberations on Wednesday morning. He said: "It is clearly not appropriate for you to continue to deliberate in the conditions you describe and therefore I am inviting you to stop deliberating for the day." Other cases being held at Oxford Crown Court have been called off due to a broken air conditioning system. Benjamin Field, 28, and Martyn Smith, 32, both deny murdering Peter Farquhar, 69, and conspiring to murder Ann Moore-Martin, 83. Image: Peter Farquhar, left, was defrauded by Ben Field, right Field, a church warden, said he pretended to be in love with university lecturer Mr Farquhar, who was said to be torn about his sexuality because of his religion. The suspect and the victim had been living together in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, and had taken part in a commitment ceremony. Field admitted he had lied about loving the academiRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Man slashed with machete in ‘homophobic’ attack

By Emily Mee, news reporter A man has been slashed with a machete in a suspected homophobic attack in London. The victim was taken to hospital after being assaulted on Surrey Quays Road in Southwark. Police said he was found with a leg injury after his attacker was believed to have fled on a motorbike. The incident happened at about 3pm this afternoon in southeast London. A police spokeswoman said: "Police are dealing with a suspected homophobic attack in Southwark. Advertisement "It was reported a man had been attacked with a machete." She added: "At this time police believe there may be a homophobic motive for the attack." More from London A Stonewall report from 2017 revealed one in five LGBT people had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation or gender identity over the course of a year. The analysis – based on a YouGov poll of over 5,000 people – also found four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes went unreported. A Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Children dying because ‘second-rate’ screening misses rare conditions

By Helen-Ann Smith, news reporter Children in the UK are dying because not enough rare genetic conditions are being screened for at birth, according to a new report. Genetic Alliance UK has called the country's screening programme "second rate". The NHS conducts just nine tests on newborn babies, compared with 43 in Italy and 57 in the US. The tests in question normally happen when a baby is about five days old, with a heel prick blood spot test screening for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. This can mean children grow up with undetected rare conditions, delaying potentially life-saving interventions. Image: Alex was a healthy baby, but problems emerged when he was seven years old Sara Hunt's eldest son Alex was a healthy baby, but at the age of seven he started having problems with his eyesight, hearing and balance. Advertisement He was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a genetic degenerative brain condition. He battled the disease for 12 years but died in 2012. She said: "If he been diagnosed earlier, for example at birth, he could have had treatment with a bone marrow transplant. His outlook would have been totally different." More from UK Image: Sara Hunt's son Alex died of a genetic degenerative brain condition Alex's younger brother Aiden was tested when he was still a baby, and was also found to be a carrier. Ms Hunt added: "Aiden was a year old when Alex was diagnosed – as he was gaining skills, Alex was losing skills, so that was tricky. "We found out that he had the same diagnosis, but we had greater hope for him because it could be monitored. Once they saw signs developing, he could have a transplant. "When he was seven years old these signs started to happen, he had a successful bone marrow transplant. He's now 19 at university living a lovely life, one that I wish Alex had." Image: Alex suffered from ALD for 12 years and died in 2012 The report found that at least 13 additional conditions could be identified using samples already taken. Extending screening programmes would not only save lives but give parents access to information to help them with future reproductive planning, the report added. Jayne Spink, the chief executive of Genetic Alliance UK, said: "The pace of adoption of new bloodspot screening programmes in the UK has Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Boris Johnson set to enter Number 10 as UK’s next PM...

By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent Boris Johnson is preparing for power as he awaits the widely expected confirmation that he has defeated Jeremy Hunt in the battle to become the UK's next prime minister. As the overwhelming favourite to be crowned Conservative Party leader, Mr Johnson is poised to unveil an ambitious domestic policy agenda looking beyond Brexit in his victory speech. Last night, Boris Johnson was plotting with his inner circle as Theresa May held a farewell party for ministers and Conservative MPs in 10 Downing Street. Theresa May: The highs and lows This is what is expected to happen in the coming days: The result will be announced at Westminster's QE2 conference centre at 11.40am today following an overnight count. Watch decision live on Sky News from 11.30am The winner – almost certainly Mr Johnson – will then make a victory speech Theresa May will take part in her final Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday She will then head to Buckingham Palace to offer her resignation to the Queen Her Majesty will meet the new Tory leader and invite him to form a new government Traditionally, the new PM will make a statement in Downing Street before stepping into Number 10 Appointments to the cabinet and ministerial team are expected on Thursday, and the reshuffle could continue into Friday Next prime minister faces a flurry of crises Voting among the Tories' 165,000 eligible members closed at 5pm on Monday. Advertisement The declaration of the result marks the finale of a month-long battle between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, which has included a TV debate, 16 hustings across the UK, interviews, campaign visits and photo opportunities. Welcoming Mr Johnson's expected victory, leading supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News: "I think Boris will be good for the country because he'll deliver on his promise to leave EU and he'll do that by 31 October. More from Politics "He'll be good for the Conservative Party as he has the electoral stardust that makes him attractive and a unifying figure across the country." Ultimately, it has been Mr Johnson's pledge to leave the EU by Halloween "do or die" that has given him the edge over Mr Hunt, in a leadership contest dominated by Brexit. Boris Johnson blimp at anti-Brexit protest Jonathan Isaby, editor of Brexit Central, told Sky News: "The Tory grassroots have been looking for someone who believes in Brexit and also someone who is deeply optimistic about Brexit. "Optimism is something people have been desperately crying out for." But in his victory speech, Mr Johnson is expected to look beyond Brexit and unveil a domestic policy agenda including social care, school funding and boosting business in the regions. Allies of the former foreign secretary claim he will emphasise "unity" and the need to bring the Conservative Party and the country back together after the divisions of Brexit. But he faces the threat of a collision course with parliament over a no-deal Brexit. Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

How to survive this week’s record night-time temperatures

By Russell Hope, news reporter The UK is set for potentially record-breaking night-time temperatures this week as a heatwave caused by hot air from Africa sweeps in. Here are 10 tips for keeping cool at night as the mercury soars. Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Egypt ‘dismayed’ after BA cancels Cairo flights for seven days

By Tania Snuggs, news reporter Egypt's aviation minister has expressed his dismay over British Airways' decision to suspend flights to and from Cairo for a week. BA had suddenly announced on Saturday that it would temporarily stop serving the Egyptian capital's airport as a "security precaution". Aviation minister Younis al Masry met British ambassador Geoffrey Adams on Sunday, and "expressed his displeasure at British Airways taking a decision unilaterally concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the competent Egyptian authorities". A statement went on to say that Mr Adams had apologised for not informing them before the decision was made – and cited him as saying the move was not related to the security measures at Egyptian airports. The British embassy in Cairo could not immediately be reached for comment. Advertisement Image: British Airways, aside from Egypt Air, is the only firm to fly directly to Cairo from the UK British Airways, aside from Egypt Air, is the only operator that flies directly to Cairo from the UK. Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, briefly followed suit in suspending flights to Cairo, but their services resumed on Sunday. More from World Air France, Emirates and Etihad Airways have continued to operate flights as usual. Image: Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, resumed flights on Sunday On Saturday, BA said: "We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment. "The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so." A spokeswoman refused to give any further details about the decision and said: "We never discuss matters of security. "We are rebooking customers who wish to travel this week on flights with alternative airlines. "Customers who no longer wish to travel will be offered a refund." It is understood BA made the Department for Transport aware of its decision before it made the announcement. A government spokesman said: "We are aware that British Airways is notifying passengers that it has decided to suspend flights to Cairo temporarily." BA's cancellations left passengers at Heathrow frustrated – and those stranded in Cairo confused and concerned. Khalid Keshta told Sky News it was having "a big impact" on his job and bRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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