Lamborghini Squadra Corse recently teased its newest track weapon on social media. After giving us a taste of the glorious Essenza SCV12 track car, Lamborghini’s racing division is currently working on its next racing car. But this time, the Italian supercar maker is channeling some vintage vibes in the same manner as McLaren’s Elva and Ferrari’s Monza SP1 and SP2. … Continue reading
(Rice University) A computational tool created at Rice University may help pharmaceutical companies expand their ability to investigate the safety of drugs.
Keir Starmer has called for council chiefs and mayors in England to be urgently given new powers over both local lockdowns and NHS Test and Trace.Amid a growing revolt among local leaders at fresh restrictions imposed by the Tory government, the Labour leader told HuffPost UK that it was now time for them to be “put in the driver’s seat” in the battle against coronavirus.Starmer said that health secretary Matt Hancock should share decision making with council leaders and metro Mayors, offer cash packages for businesses locked down and end the confusing public health messages.In an exclusive interview, he also demanded a radical overhaul of NHS Test and Trace to prevent it from damaging the reputation of the NHS itself, with local public health teams leading the service rather than Tory peer Dido Harding or private firms like Serco and Deloitte.On Thursday, Hancock unveiled a new ban on different households mixing in pubs or homes in Liverpool City region, Warrington, Teesside and Hartlepool from Saturday.Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said he would “defy the government and we do not accept these measures”, and he was backed up by Hartlepool council leader Shane Moore.Some 57 different areas of the UK, making up a third of the population, are now under tougher restrictions than the rest of the country.Starmer said: “The message to the government is: involve local local leaders, whether it’s council leaders or mayors, much more intensely, and much earlier. Because what’s going on is sometimes consultation, sometimes not.“There’s a massive frustration if you talk to the mayors in Manchester or Liverpool, they’ve not been properly brought into the process and listened to. The same in the northeast with the leader of Newcastle Council, a sense that the decision is being made centrally in London, when they should be in the room as part of the process.“And this isn’t just about another layer of bureaucracy, bringing someone else in. These are people who know their communities. And not only do they know their communities, they’re in very regular contact with the police, with the hospitals and their community groups, and they can put messages across their communities. So they need to be in the driver’s seat, much more central to the process.”He added: “The other part of this is that there’s a huge mismatch now between local restrictions and economic support. So instead of saying, here’s the package of restrictions, here’s the support that goes with it, the second bit isn’t there. Local leaders are a mess of tearing their hair out about what’s going to happen to jobs and businesses on their own patch.“It should be shared decision making. I don’t think local mayors and leaders should have a veto. I don’t think they should make decisions on their own. But they should be a proper part of the process.”On Thursday, NHS Test and Trace again posted worsening contact rates for those who have been close to people who tested positive for Covid.Just 64.3% of contacts were reached in cases handled either online or by private sector outsourced call centres. But the figure was 97.6% for cases handled by council-run local health protection teams.In one of his biggest breaks with government policy since he became leader, Starmer called for the first time for a complete overhaul of the system and that he agreed with Manchester metro Mayor Andy Burnham that it had to now be “locally led”.Labour wants the English system to resemble that in Wales, where the Welsh government meets with council chiefs, shares evidence on cases and positivity rates and where test and trace is not run as a “privatised enterprise”.“I completely understand the concerns that the NHS brand is being associated with test and trace when in fact, it’s been parcelled out, often with contracts to Serco and other companies,” Starmer said.“What the government should have done is to put it locally, months and months ago. Local authority leaders were saying to the government ’they should let us lead on test, trace and isolate.“‘We can do it, we can do it locally, we know our communities, and we’re up for the responsibility’. The government nearly went down that track and did start bringing them in a bit, but still insists on putting the big contracts elsewhere. Big mistake. Compare that with Germany, where they have done it from the local up and you’ve got a much better system.”Asked if that meant the end of a role for firms like Serco and Deloitte, Starmer said: “It should be locally led. I’m not going to say that you should be no involvement of others, but nobody could look at the test, trace and isolate arrangements and think that they’re working, let alone effective, let alone world class.“In a Zoom summit with Labour council chiefs, Starmer was later told by Burnham that the government had just a couple of weeks to give local leaders to put “contact tracing in hands of local authorities” or face a winter of rising ill-health and joblessness.Burnham said “local restrictions must have local support”, adding that “local control of test and trace” was essential. “This is a tough time for any government but to have made mistakes and keep on making them, that is arrogant,” he said.He pointed out that northern areas had been ignored when the “London-centric” decision was made to lift the national lockdown this summer.“We were in a different position and yet they lifted it. From our point of view we’ve never been in a position to keep cases low, they were too high and then we were already in a difficult position, then people were being encouraged to eat out to help out and god knows what.”Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes added that NHS Test and Trace, which this week announced it was replacing an NHS official with a former head of Sainsbury’s, was “privatised and centralised”.Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed agreed that the system now needed “to be local by default” because “the centralised Serco system hasn’t worked”.Welsh government health minister Vaughan Gething said that because its test and trace service was focused on the public sector, it was achieving a high level of contacts, with 91% of cases reached and 83% of their close contacts.Related...
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Back in the last week, Realme introduced the Realme Narzo 20 series in India. This new mid-range smartphone lineup brings three devices to the table ...
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Priti Patel has vowed to engineer a “cultural shift” towards a more “compassionate” Home Office as the government details how it will implement recommendations from the Windrush Lessons Learned review.On Wednesday, the home secretary reiterated that “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation” led to the worst political scandal in modern history, pledging to right the wrongs of the past. Her department has now organised the review’s 30 recommendations into five themes to “help ensure the sweeping reforms to culture, policies, systems and working practices reach across the entire department”. These include plans to diversify the Home Office workforce, improve historical understanding of legislation for staff, and appoint a Migrants’ Commissioner.Patel – fresh from proposing to ship destitute asylum seekers to a remote island – has said she is leading an “unprecedented programme of change” to make the Home Office “fit for the future”.In June, the government confirmed that it will accept the recommendations of the review of the Windrush scandal in full. But campaigners argue that the government’s plan, purportedly based upon Wendy Williams’ recommendations, has been “wilfully misinterpreted” by the Home Office “in an attempt to continue with the precise policies and practices they were criticised for”.Here are five things missing from Wednesday’s plan.1) Recognition That The Hostile Environment Is Alive And Kicking The Home Office reiterated its pledge to review the hostile environment policy, as recommended in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, while saying it will adopt more of a “compassionate approach”.“We will ensure we put people first, and that our work takes proper account of the complexity of citizens’ lives, so that we make the right decisions,” the document stated.It also said it will develop training for all staff so they are “focused on people” and not cases – while every member of staff will have to take part in training on the “history of migration and race in this country”.There’s a further pledge to improve UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) customer contact, service, performance and assurance. Many who access this service bitterly complain about its inefficiency.Yet there’s no recognition of the fact UK residents are to this day subject to harsh immigration laws, the government continues to delay publishing an investigation into allegations of bullying against Patel, and that as recently as August she deployed the navy against vulnerable migrants crossing the Channel.Responding to the Home Office’s announcement, Michael Braithwaite, Windrush survivor and campaigner, said: “The compensation scheme has paid out a paltry amount, but in any case no amount of money can make up for what the Windrush generation suffered.“Survivors will not rest until the hostile environment policies that destroyed their lives are scrapped. We won’t let the government get off scot free on Windrush.”2) Explanation Of How It Will Solve The Problems With CompensationThe Home Office has committed to continuing the Windrush Compensation Scheme until 2023.However, there’s explanation of how they’re going to reach people faster and more effectively when so few have yet been paid out.MPs recently heard that the majority of claimants who have applied to the scheme have still not received a payment.Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft told the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it has “got off to a slow start” – just £2m has been offered to people out of a total of £250m to be paid through the scheme.Yet Wednesday’s plan said only that the government would “do all we can to proactively identify people who do not have the documentation to evidence their lawful status and to promote the compensation scheme” and “continue to carry out extensive engagement activity”, “continue to work with the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group” and “continue to work with the National Audit Office” – none of which suggests a new approach.There was no acknowledgement of the difficulties it has faced in reaching people, including people from non-Caribbean Commonwealth countries, or in paying them.3) A Plan To Repair Broken TrustThis fundamental lack of trust between Black communities and the government will undoubtedly create obstacles for the Home Office in undertaking the fifth recommendation: to “be more proactive in identifying those affected” by the Windrush scandal.It is thought that this prompted Tottenham MP David Lammy to encourage victims of the scandal to apply to the scheme in a recent Facebook post. No details as to how the Home Office will go about repairing this relationship has been specified, other than “a series of events to allow members of the Windrush generation and their wider community to share their experiences”. Campaigners are calling for “action, not a bag of mouth”, as the saying goes.4) Literally Any Mention Of RacismWilliams’ review stopped short of describing the Home Office as institutionally racist, instead stating that “institutional ignorance” caused the scandal.“While I am unable to make a definitive finding of institutional racism within the department,” she said at the time, “I have serious concerns that these failings demonstrate an institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation within the department, which are consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism.”The words “racist” and “racism” appeared 44 times in her review.Yet neither word was mentioned a single time in the entirety of the government’s plan, nor was the word “race” in the context of discrimination and bigotry save for a relatively minor promise to review successful tribunals at which race discrimination was found to have taken place.5) What Will Staff Be Taught?The Home Office has committed to implementing a staff learning programme on UK history with the aim to have a training programme by June 2021 for Home Office staff on “the history of the UK and its relationship with the rest of the world, including Britain’s colonial history”.But critics could be forgiven for scepticism about the eventual content of such a training programme given that the prime minister himself urged Britain to “stop apologising” for its history last month.Staff training will also improve guidance on the burden and standard of proof. This comes after HuffPost UK reported that the Home Office was forcing Windrush victims to prove their case “beyond reasonable doubt” before being given compensation – the same level of proof required to convict defendants in criminal courts across the UK.Meanwhile, campaigners argue that the government has yet to take thorough accountability for the scandal, while the action plan lacks detail into how they will rectify this issues.Satbir Singh, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Two years on from the Windrush scandal and it appears the home secretary is still doing woefully little to right the wrongs that led to it. Her plan wilfully misinterprets the Windrush review’s recommendations, while the Home Office continues to engage in a campaign of unbridled hostility against anybody who struggles to evidence their immigration status.“Priti Patel’s statement speaks of regret and building a more ‘compassionate’ Home Office, while committing to no specific actions which would actually prevent an injustice like Windrush from happening again. Her claims of striving for ‘equality and fairness’ are made all the more laughable when just yesterday it emerged she had considered shipping vulnerable asylum seekers to an island 4,000 miles away.“It’s high time the home secretary learned the lessons of Windrush, listened to the evidence, and tackled the root causes of the Windrush scandal – namely scrapping the hostile environment and committing to real, comprehensive reform of the Home Office.”Sonya Sceats, chief executive of charity Freedom from Torture, said: “We welcome the home secretary’s attempt to right some of the terrible wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation, and many elements of this implementation plan are laudable.“The extraordinary battle fought by the Windrush community has shone a spotlight into the darkest corners of Home Office culture and practice that have also ruined the lives of asylum seekers and many other groups of marginalised migrants.“Yet despite the home secretary’s promises to build a more ‘compassionate’ Home Office, the hostile environment still exists and compensation is not getting to those who need it.“Justice for the Windrush generation will not be fully served until the hostile environment is scrapped and the virulent anti-migrant politics that drove its creation is rooted out once and for all.”In response to the publication, Wendy Williams, author of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, who made the recommendations, said the department had a “duty” to those affected by the scandal to deliver on its commitments, adding: “It must now act swiftly to open itself up to greater external scrutiny and to implement wide-ranging cultural change.”She said the plan set out by the department was “comprehensive and ambitious in many respects” but warned some plans, like the appointment of a Migrants’ Commissioner, require “greater clarity and pace if the department is to be successful in its aim to rebuild public trust”.Williams will return to the Home Office in 12 months to review progress.The full set of recommendations can be read here.
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At least seven million people will need to download the new NHS Test and Trace Covid app for it to start reducing the spread of the virus, according to government estimates.The new smartphone app was finally launched on Thursday, after months of setbacks, to allow users to find out quickly if they have been within close proximity of anyone with coronavirus and whether they need to get a test.It will also allow the public in England and Wales to scan for QR codes in specific locations such as pubs and restaurants, to make it easier if they need to be traced following any outbreaks.Developers of the app are working on the assumptions in Oxford University research which suggests that a minimum of 15% take-up is needed in a population in order to have any “meaningful impact” on the reproduction or ‘R’ number of the virus.With 49 million people over the age of 16 eligible to use the app in England and Wales, that means roughly seven million users will be required in order to affect the spread of the disease.The ‘R’ has risen above 1 in recent weeks, meaning the virus is now spreading rather than shrinking. Latest estimates are that cases are doubling every seven days. Other similar apps in Germany and elsewhere have seen take-up rates of between 10% and 30% and the UK’s pilot schemes in Newham and the Isle Of Wight have seen results within that range.However, earlier this year an Oxford University team had estimated that 56% of the general population must use an app to halt the outbreak - equivalent to 80% of all existing smartphone owners.The launch of the new technology will be accompanied by a primetime TV advert on Thursday night, with the slogan “Protect your loved ones. Get the app”.Most shops and restaurants will be required by law to display the official NHS QR codes in their premises. So far, more than 160,000 businesses have already downloaded the codes to help customers “check in” through their phones.The app’s contact tracing feature works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time users spend near other app users, and measures the distance between them.Anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes less than two metres from someone else who later tests positive for Covid will then be alerted - even if they don’t know each other.The app will then advise on 10 or 14-day self-isolation and allow users to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get their test results. Once a user is told to self-isolate, a timer feature will help count down the days left in quarantine and give access to relevant advice.New cash payments to the low paid are designed to remove fears the public may have about losing wages from self-isolation.In a bid to protect personal data, the app does not hold names, addresses or dates of birth, and only requires the first half of a user’s postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.The app will be available in nine languages initially: English, Welsh, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Romanian, Arabic and Turkish.The app uses an Apple and Google-developed system, using Bluetooth to keep an anonymous log of people a user has been close to.The UK’s major network operators - including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile - have agreed to “zero-rate” data charges incurred by all in-app activity, meaning they will not be charged for using it.Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus. With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology.“Today’s launch marks an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer and I urge everyone who can to download and use the app to protect themselves and their loved ones.”Dido Harding, the head of NHS Test and Trace, added: “The features of this app, including QR code check-in at venues, work alongside our traditional contact tracing service and will help us to reach more people quickly in their communities to prevent further spread of the virus.”Insiders said that the trials in east London and the Isle of Wight showed that word-of-mouth recommendation was a powerful driver in take-up of the technology.Related...
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People in Louisville, Kentucky, cried out upon hearing there would be no murder charges for the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor — and then they marched. Early Wednesday afternoon, a Kentucky judge read out the charges in the Taylor case: Det. Brett Hankison, one of three officers involved, was charged with “wanton endangerment” — notably, for shots fired into neighbouring apartments, not Taylor’s. None of the three was charged with murder. As people who were gathered in Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park heard the announcement, some cried out “what the hell” and one woman burst into tears, saying, “They murdered her.” Dozens began marching in the downtown streets, with the crowd soon growing to hundreds. Some chanted: “If we didn’t get it, burn it down.”Within hours of demonstrations starting, videos showed police arresting protesters. Police also appeared to be firing munitions at protesters, which one reporter at the scene described as “pepper balls.”In March, Louisville police executed a warrant at the apartment of 26-year-old Taylor, who was Black, where she and her boyfriend were asleep. The warrant was for a narcotics investigation not involving Taylor or her boyfriend. Three officers, who were white, fired more than 20 gunshots, several of which hit Taylor, killing her. Her boyfriend, who said he didn’t hear police announce their presence before breaking into the apartment, shot one of the officers once in the leg. On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron spoke about the indictment, saying the other two officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were “justified in their use of force.”Taylor’s family attorney Ben Crump called the lack of charges “outrageous and offensive,” adding that Hankison’s charge “should have been ruled wanton murder.”“It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of colour by white police officers,” he said in a statement.Now women leading the crowd in #breonataylor march that started in downtown louisville. pic.twitter.com/Gmoe8lwFrA— Shay McAlister (@ShayMcAlisterTV) September 23, 2020Reactions in Downtown Louisville after the grand jury announced charges against just one of three officers involved in killing Breonna Taylor. pic.twitter.com/pNvNEphIjE— Charlie Gile (@CharlieGileNBC) September 23, 2020Huge crowd on the move in Louisville right now, several hundred taking to the streets in the wake of the Kentucky Attorney General’s announcement in the Breonna Taylor case #BreonnaTaylor#Louisvillepic.twitter.com/69W0HtrpoS— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 23, 2020Fists raised, #Louisville protesters take Kentucky St and Hancock St intersection following #BreonnaTaylor announcement. pic.twitter.com/HIrurV0PJe— Rae Hodge (@RaeHodge) September 23, 2020Two of the officers, Mattingly and Cosgrove, were placed on paid administrative leave, and Hankison was fired more than three months after the killing, following widespread protests. On Tuesday, Louisville’s mayor declared a state of emergency and blocked off part of downtown, and on Wednesday set a curfew and called in the National Guard, in anticipation of the announcement and the public unrest that was expected to follow. After another Black person, George Floyd, was killed by police in Minneapolis in May, protests spread nationwide against racism and police violence. Many activists swiftly called for renewed attention on Taylor’s death, noting Black women often don’t get the same level of public outrage as men. People have been protesting in Louisville for months calling for justice for Taylor, including murder charges for the officers involved.Related...
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In October, OnePlus will do what fans expect from it – it will introduce the OnePlus 8T. The question remained behind the exact date of ...
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Ellen DeGeneres said she “takes responsibility for what happens at my show” as she addressed the reports of a toxic work environment on her US talk show live on air.The presenter discussed the claims with viewers as The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned for a new series on Monday, vowing to “start a new chapter”. She has previously apologised to staff after an internal review found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.Addressing a virtual audience in the studio and those watching at home, Ellen said in her opening monologue: “If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome.”After joking she had had a “great, super terrific” summer, Ellen continued: “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected.“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.“We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future, we have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”Of the claims she is not who she appears to be on TV, Ellen went on: “I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things...“Being known as the ‘be kind lady’ is a tricky position to be in,” she said, describing herself as a “work in progress”. Claims of an alleged toxic work culture on the daytime talk show were made in a Buzzfeed News investigation earlier this year. The outlet spoke to former employees who made allegations of racism, unfair dismissal, intimidation and an overall toxic environment, perpetuated by the show’s senior producers.Ellen added: “My intention is always to be the best person I can be and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that.“If that is ever the case I have let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person.”Three of the show’s producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, “parted ways” with the show last month, according to CNN. Ellen also apologised to staff in an email, saying: “As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”READ MORE:
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