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"The Crown"


The Crown is a historical drama web television series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, written by Peter Morgan, and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for Netflix.

The first season was released on Netflix on November 4, 2016. It is now into it’s third season on Netflix. The first season opened with Elizabeth and Philip being given the news at Hilltops Hotel in Kenya of the death of her father George VI.

The Crown was praised for its acting, directing, writing, cinematography, production values, and relatively accurate historical account of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It has been voted one of the most outstanding dramas  ever shown and received 26 Emmy nominations.

The Royal website where further information about H.M. Queen Elizabeth II can be found at the following address:

https://www.royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen

Here is a soundtrack from Series 1 of “The Crown” by Rupert Gregson Williams:

To view the first series please click on the Crown below:

The Crown - Season 1 Netflix Productions

Praise for Muslim Woman who tackled Anti-Semite!


a group of people posing for the camera: Asma Shuweikh stepped in to confront the man. Pic: Chris Atkins

Source: Sky News.

The  Jewish man who was targeted with an anti-Semitic rant on the Tube has thanked a Muslim woman who confronted his abuser. In a statement, the victim said he feared the situation could have escalated to “physical violence” if the woman had not stepped in.

The man was travelling with his wife and young children on a London Underground train on 22 November when a man began hurling abuse at the family.

“My wife and I were sitting on the Tube travelling from Hendon Central to Covent Garden minding our own business, discussing with our children our plans for the day,” he said, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

“A man boarded the train after I did. As soon as he got on he came over and asked me if we were Jews.

“He shouted at me that the Jews started the slave trade and threatened that I, my wife and children were going to be his slaves and suffer various other ailments.”

The victim said the man also claimed Jews were “from the synagogue of Satan”.

Footage from the incident, which was filmed by another passenger, shows the man reading a Bible passage and leaning towards the victim’s young son.

A male passenger and a Muslim woman both confronted the man, who then directed further abuse at them.

The victim said the footage from the incident only showed a “short clip of a 15 to 20-minute ordeal”.

He commended the actions of the male passenger and said he would like to meet the Muslim woman, Asma Shuweikh, to thank her.

“We are certain that without her intervention and distraction, [the man] would have continued his abuse which could have escalated to physical violence,” he said.

Describing his thoughts during the incident, the victim said: “The only thing I could think about was the safety of my children and the best thing to do at that time was to restrain myself and try to get my children to ignore the situation.

“My wife and I tried to constantly reassure the children and distract them so they would not sense how anxious we actually were.

“We tried to remain calm and ignore the abuse, hoping this would keep our three young children calm.”

He said the incident left his children “deeply worried and confused” and he now had “mixed feelings about society”.

“On the one hand my wife, my children and I were subject to vile abuse in a full Tube carriage, however I am grateful for those who stood up for me.”

‘Hero’ Muslim says she’d defend Jewish children from Tube abuse again https://t.co/pi1h9gYCJi

— M.W.M. (@MWM38736168) November 24, 2019

Ms Shuweikh earlier told Sky News she feared the situation would have become “very violent” if no one had intervened.

“It was really not nice to see that as a mother… [The children] did actually get quite scared,” she said.

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

12 Angry Men


Click to view above

Journey to Space


Virgin is now seriously nearer to making the reality of commercial space flight. It’s taken them time to get the dream of taking passengers 6 miles away from  earth at propulsion rates of 25,000 miles per hour in their rocket – once out there it will be quiet up in space, our nearest planet is the moon at 384,400 km – which takes 27  days to reach from earth.  A. C. Clarke predicted we might build space stations in space to one day go further – these stations would be there to traverse the distance he predicted at a possible flight to one of our further planets in our Solar system; Saturn, which would take 7 years and is  1.67 billion km away. Dreams they are – but the dream of realistic space flight one day for everyone is slowly getting nearer.

Pause, Reflect, Remember.


The Royal British Legion sometimes called The British Legion is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. This video is produced to celebrate Remembrance Sunday 2019 by the British Army

UN Award for Senegalese Female Police Officer


Major-Diouf-UN-Woman-Police-CiceroLounge

A Senegalese police officer serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has beenawarded special recognition for her outstanding service to the Congolese community and national police.

Major Seynabou Diouf was announced the 2019 UN Female Police Officer of the year on Friday.

She currently leads a task force that helps prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse as part of the UN Mission in the DRC(MONUSCO), in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

“It is a deep honour to receive the UN Female Police Officer of the Year award. It means a lot to me”, she saidin response to the news, adding that sexual abuse prevention is a priority for herself and her team, and said she believed the hard work is paying off.

Major Seynabou Diouf, of the Senegal National Police, leads a task force that helps to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse with the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in Goma, North Kivu.

She also manages the UN Police Women’s Network, which connects female officers for mentoring, training, professional development and mutual support.

In choosing Major Diouf, out of 30 nominees from eight missions, the selection committee commended her exemplary service as having a direct and positive impact.

Senegal is the largest contributor of police to UN peace operations, whose nearly 10,000 officers help to enhance international peace and security by supporting Member States in conflict, post-conflict and other crisis situations. It is also among the top five contributors of female police officers.

While more than 1,400 female police officers currently serve in UN peace operations, by 2028, the Organization is aiming to bring the level among individual officers who are women up to 30 per cent, and 20 per cent more among formed police units.

The award will be presented at a ceremony on 5 November at UN Headquarters in New York during the 14th UN Police Week, when heads of UN police components and police experts from 14 peacekeeping operations, special political missions and regional offices, will discuss topics related to performance, conduct and discipline strengthening and sustaining peace through human rights.

Source UN.

Ban on Further UK Fracking


Friends of the Earth have won a ban on any further fracking in the UK.

Today the UK Government announced that a moratorium on fracking in England, which means that no new fracking can take place anywhere in the country. Friends of the Earth have campaigned for over 8 years for a ban on fracking in the UK

Lancashire and Yorkshire are two areas that campaigned against fracking rigs,  legal threats and earthquakes.

Friends of the Earth started campaigning back in 2011  against the emerging fracking industry, because the last thing the UK needed was a new source of fossil fuels to burn.

Jamie, Climate Campaigner said of the victory

“We know that the fight against the fossil fuel industry must continue. But now it’s time to celebrate – make sure you do because this news is huge.”

Some might argue that the government has only ‘halted’ plans for further fracking projects, and Friends of the Earth will remain campaigning for a total ban. Also, cynics might argue that this news from UK Government comes at a good time with an election due in December, as the Government will not agree to any future fracking “until compelling new evidence is provided” proving fracking is safe.

To support Friends of the Earth click -=here=-

The Monster Crash!


From Joe’s site on YouTube – the ‘Monster Crash’ .

This says everything about the need for #Brexit & the #NoDeal – and the avoidance of stricter European Laws relating to taxation. The odious Donald Trump’s endorsement of the loathsome Boris and Farage is more purification before the ending of the union of European ends on 1st January 2020.

Thanks to Joe.com for this great video !

ISIS quickly replaces dead leader with former Saddam loyalist, say sources — intelNews.org


Barely a day after the United States announced the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the militant Sunni group has replaced him with an Iraqi former military officer, according to sources.

ISIS quickly replaces dead leader with former Saddam loyalist, say sources — intelNews.org

Kevlar Liquid Armour


Liquid Armour is a material under research by defense institutions and universities around the world including the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Some of the earliest research in this area was performed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Delaware in 2003.

Typically, it consists of Kevlar that is soaked in one of two fluids – either a shear thickening fluid or a magnetorheological fluid. Both these fluids show the behavior of a Non-Newtonian fluid, behaving like a liquid under low or normal pressure and solid under higher pressure or applied fields. The shear thickening fluid is normally made with polyethylene glycol and the solid part is made of nano-particles of silica. This liquid is soaked into all the layers of a Kevlar vest. The magnetorheological fluid consists of magnetic (typically iron) particles in a carrier fluid such as oil. They respond to magnetic fields by increasing in viscosity dramatically, almost acting like a solid

BAE Systems has been researching a similar Kevlar vest with a fluid between layers of polymer. BAE acquired the US research company Armor Holdings, who were doing research based on suspensions of silica particles.]

Fluids used for this purpose are non-Newtonian. Shear thickening fluids (or STF), which are the same as dilatants, are one type of non-Newtonian fluid. Magnetorheological fluids (or MRF) are another type of non-Newtonian fluid that also belong to a class of fluids known as smart fluids.

Vietnam – Suicide & Combat Rate


The average age of the Vietnam Soldier was 19 years.

More US Veterans have died following the Vietnam war from the post-traumatic stress disorder leading to suicide than those who died in combat.

THERE ARE MORE THAN 58,000 NAMES OF AMERICAN DEAD ON THE MEMORIAL WALL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THE TOTAL COSTS IN LIFE IS STILL BEING COUNTED.

THE PEOPLE    
  American Veterans Vietnamese People
In Country 2.5 million est. 1970 pop. 41 million
In Combat 1.5 million unknown
Killed in Action 58,000+ 2.5 million
Wounded 300,000+* 4 million
Missing in Action 2,000+ 250,000
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 1.5 million+ unknown
Suicides 100,000+ unknown
Homeless 150,000 nightly unknown
Boat People 0 1 million (Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia)
Lost at Sea 0 500,000
Disabled Street People unknown 3 million
New Agent Orange Deformities unknown 35,000/year
Peacetime Deaths Due to Unexploded Bombs & Mines 0 50,000+ (Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia)
Maimed by Bombs and Mines (1975-98) 0 67,000
Re-education Camps 0 400,000 in 100 camps
* includes U.S: 74,000 quadriplegics and multiple amputees    
THE VIETNAMESE LAND    
Total Herbicides Used   19.4 million gallons
Agent Orange Sprayed   11.7 million gallons
Mangrove Forest Destroyed   60%
Forest & Jungle Destroyed   18%
Cultivated Land Destroyed   8%
U.S. BOMBING    
8 billion+ pounds (4 times more than WWII total; equal to 600 Hiroshima-size bombs)    
23 million bomb craters    
2,257 U.S. aircraft lost    
Over 4,000 of total 5,778 villages bombed, 150 completely destroyed    
     
DESTROYED    
10 million cubic meters of dikes    
815 hydroelectric works    
1,100 lake embankments    
8 forestry    
48 agricultural research centres with 6,000 agricultural machines and 46,000 water buffalo    
400 factories    
18 power stations    
13,000 boats    
15,100 bridges    
2,923 high schools and universities    
350 hospitals    
1,500 maternity hospitals    
484 churches    
465 pagodas    
240,540 thatched huts    
     
TOTAL COST TO THE UNITED STATES:    
$925 Billion    

CASUALTIES OF THE VIETNAM WAR

By Edward Tick, Utne magazine

The European Union Economy – Facts and figures.


Facts and figures on the EU’s position in global markets

The EU is in prime position when it comes to global trade. The openness of Its trade regime has meant that the EU is the biggest player on the global trading scene and remains a good region to do business with. 

The EU has achieved a strong position by acting together with one voice on the global stage, rather than with separate trade strategies.  

The EU is an attractive market to do business with 

  • It has 500 million consumers looking for quality goods 
  • It is the world’s largest single market with transparent rules and regulations 
  • It has a secure legal investment framework that is amongst the most open in the world 
  • It is the most open market to developing countries in the world 

Europe has become deeply integrated into global markets. Thanks to the ease of modern transport and communications, it is now easier to produce, buy and sell goods around the world which gives European companies of every size the potential to trade outside Europe. 

Workers often deliver their services across different countries within a multinational or by specific service contracts. 

As investors thrive in a stable, sound and predictable environment, they are looking for investment barriers to be dismantled and investments to be protected. 

  • Every day, Europe exports hundreds of millions of euros worth of goods and imports hundreds of millions more.  
  • Europe is the world’s largest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and is itself the biggest export market for around 80 countries.  
  • Together, the European Union’s members account for 16% of world imports and exports. 
  • The EU is the largest economy in the world. Although growth is projected to be slow, the EU remains the largest economy in the world with a GDP per head of €25 000 for its 500 million consumers.  
  • The EU is the world’s largest trading block. The EU is the world’s largest trader of manufactured goods and services.  
  • The EU ranks first in both inbound and outbound international investments  
  • The EU is the top trading partner for 80 countries. By comparison the US is the top trading partner for a little over 20 countries. 
  • The EU is the most open to developing countries. Fuels excluded, the EU imports more from developing countries than the USA, Canada, Japan and China put together. 

The EU benefits from being one of the most open economies in the world and remains committed to free trade.  

  • The average applied tariff for goods imported into the EU is very low. More than 70% of imports enter the EU at zero or reduced tariffs.  
  • The EU’s services markets are highly open and It have arguably the most open investment regime in the world.  
  • The EU has not reacted to the crisis by closing markets. HoItver some the EU’s trading partners have not been so restrained as the EU has highlighted in the Trade and Investment Barriers Report.  
  • In fact the EU has retained its capacity to conclude and implement trade agreements. The recent Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and with Singapore are examples of this and the EU has an ambitious agenda of trade agreements in the pipeline.  

STATE IMPERFECT 2019


Recent figures have shown that Homelessness has risen by a third between 2016-2019; and has doubled in London.

Around 4,751 people were estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night in England in 2017 = this Is of increase of 169% since 2010.

30% of children are classed as living in poverty in the UK in 2018.

According to DWP figures, 20 million people were claiming benefits in the last quarter of 2018. 66% of those are over state pension age and 34% of working age.

4.2 Million people claimed Housing Benefit in the last quarter of 2018.

Around 6,180 households had mortgage possession claims made against them in August 2019, an increase of 39% in three months. It’s estimated that in the UK property is repossessed every 90 minutes.

The number of landlord possession orders in the first quarter of 2019 was 23,694 and this resulted in 8,326 repossessions of property.

1 in 7 people in the UK are self-employed, but they earn on average 40% less than company employees. The rise in the cost of living and housing has left lf with worrying levels of debt.

Self-employed people have 36% more debt than those in employment.

The number of homeless Black and Asian families has increased by 20%

From 2010 to 2018 the number of homeless people in temporary housing rose by 61%, due to high rents, cuts to welfare and lack of affordable housing

The average total debt per UK household debt including mortgage debt in 2019 was £59,319. The Average household debt was £15,400 on Jan 2019. Couples with two children on average owe over £19,000 of personal debt. The total cost of families with debt is over £4 billion.

In 2017, UK households saw their annual outgoings surpass their income for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The average credit card debt per household in July 2019 was £2,609
26 years and 7 months is the time to pay off the average credit card debt making only the minimum payment per month

A third of all landlords have had tenants experienced rent arrears in the last year, in total, they’re owed a total of £900 million.

1 in 3 landlords worries their tenants will struggle with payments in the next year.

In the UK people owed nearly £1.6 trillion at the end of June 2018, up from £1.55tn a year ago.

Every day in the UK over 300 Eviction Orders are granted to Landlords.

The total amount owed to both large and small businesses in 2015 was £31.3 Billion

Debt in the farming industry UK risen by a billion over last year – 20% face major financial problems in total debt in the farming industry amounted to 17.5 billion

Around 16 million people in the UK rent their homes and 1 in 4 of them have debt problems

55% of those in rented accommodation have less than £1000 in savings

Tenants are now twice as likely to be in debt as those that own their own homes

In 2015, two-thirds of landlords with tenants claiming housing benefit experienced rent arrears.

More than three million people in the UK are living in a rented property without the landlord’s permission. 3/4 of those have been in the property for more than six months.

Research shows that only one in five requests to sublet is permitted to do so by their landlord. Nearly half of those who sublet their property do so without their landlord’s consent.

Over 40,000 CCJ’s were issued to businesses in England and Wales during the first four months of 2016 the average value exceeding £3,500 with small businesses hardest hit.

The total value of County Court Judgements against businesses in the first half of 2016 was £149 Million

Changes in Universal Credit rules for self-employed people could put them at a significant financial disadvantage. The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) is likely to affect many people, particularly those whose income changes month-to-month, meaning some will lose hundreds of pounds in benefit assistance compared to those directly employed with identical annual earnings.

In April 2018 439,000 people were paid less than the hourly minimum wage they are entitled to, 369,000 were workers aged 25 and over paid less than the National Living Wage (NLW): this equates to 23% of those paid at or below the rate. This is an increase of around 30,000 on the previous year’s level of underpayment of the NLW, or a 2 percentage point rise in the share of workers entitled to the rate. 135,000 people were paid below £7.20 per hour (the 2016 introductory NLW rate). (Report Here)

Source: Cicero Lounge
(Statistical source: COI; Office for National Statistics,
National Audit Office, C.P.A.G., Stepchange, Inst. of Housing, Shelter, U.N., Brinkworth Productions, DBCL, & Gov.UK)

CPAG Report : Families and Food in Hard Times – “Living Hand to Mouth”


Child Poverty Action Group

LIVING HAND TO MOUTH NOW FREE TO ACCESS

Thanks to funding from UCL Innovation and Enterprise’s Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund, supported by HEIF, Living Hand to Mouth is written by Rebecca O’Connell, Abigail Knight and Julia Brannen from the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education.

Living Hand to Mouth reports on the UK findings of the Families and Food in Hard Times study, highlighting the experiences and voices of children and families in low-income households. Based on the first-hand accounts of 51 children, the book shines a spotlight on what children say about food and how they manage their everyday lives around food. It provides vital evidence about children’s lived experiences of poverty and identifies the causes of their insufficient resources including low and fluctuating wages, inadequate benefits and high living costs.

You can download the full book here

Queen’s Speech 2019


Cicero's

Today at 11.15 am saw the Queen open the session of Parliament for the 65th time.

State Opening of Parliament takes places today.

The Queen’s Speech, which outlines the government’s priorities, will contain 22 bills, relating to Brexit, crime prevention and immigration among other subjects.

The Speech prepared and written by the UK Government outlined the following on it’s opening. She said the government’s new economic plan will be underpinned by a new fiscal strategy. The speech announced measures to strengthen the NHS and plans to reform adult social care. She said her government is committed to addressing violent crime by introducing new sentencing laws. There will also be measures to improve the handling of foreign national offenders.

There will be measures to improve prison safety and to help victims.

Public sector bodies will be under a duty to address serious violence.

There will also be laws to help the…

View original post 19 more words

The funeral of Shay Bradley


Shay Bradley, grandfather and father of four from Dublin; passed away last week after a tough three-year battle with cancer. but the 63 year old’s dying wish was to prank his family and friends through a pre=recording where he was pretending to have been buried alive.

His daughter, who recorded the message “from beyond the grave” for those mourners as part of the ‘funeral prank’ admitted that her brother and father had kept it a secret for one whole year before his death.

.The graveside pre-recorded message which sounded like it was coming from inside the coffin had some mourners at first a little shocked but many realising his funeral prank all started to laugh at it.

In the message, Shay can be heard saying: “Hello? It’s dark in here. Let me out. I can hear you all! I’m in the box.”

His daughter Andrea said her father would have “loved” the reaction.

She said: “My dad was absolutely crazy. That would have been his ideal reaction from the trick. He was always a prankster and joking with everyone, he was a real jovial character.”

Andrea, daughter of Shay Bradley

Queen’s Speech 2019


Today at 11.15 am saw the Queen open the session of Parliament for the 65th time.

State Opening of Parliament takes places today.

The Queen’s Speech, which outlines the government’s priorities, will contain 22 bills, relating to Brexit, crime prevention and immigration among other subjects.

The Speech prepared and written by the UK Government outlined the following on it’s opening. She said the government’s new economic plan will be underpinned by a new fiscal strategy. The speech announced measures to strengthen the NHS and plans to reform adult social care. She said her government is committed to addressing violent crime by introducing new sentencing laws. There will also be measures to improve the handling of foreign national offenders.

There will be measures to improve prison safety and to help victims.

Public sector bodies will be under a duty to address serious violence.

There will also be laws to help the victims of domestic abuse and to minimise the impact of divorce.

Details of the speech can be found here

Ecuador protests: Anti-government demonstrations continue


From Global News
“Thousands of Indigenous peoples and workers converged on Ecuador’s capital on Wednesday as anti-government protests and clashes prompted the president to move his besieged administration out of Quito. The South American country of 17 million appeared to be at a dangerous impasse, paralyzed by a lack of public transport and blockaded roads that were taking a toll on an already vulnerable economy. ”

Harry, Meghan and Archie Meet Rev. Desmond Tutu


Ali G at Harvard


A big shout to the Harvard Massive.

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