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Messages - Munchkin

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10257911/GP-surgery-manager-won-294-000-sacked-falling-pregnant-awarded-20k.html

GP surgery manager who won £294,000 after she was sacked for falling pregnant and was called a 'mother hen' is awarded another £20,000 to cover cost of her missed bonus

    Naomi Hefford, manager at a GPs, sued employers for pregnancy discrimination
    Mrs Hefford stumbled on practice partners secretly hatching a plan to axe her
    She was originally awarded £294,000 after tribunal ruled they victimised her
    Now she has got an extra £20,000 after arguing she missed pay and bonus

By Dan Sales For Mailonline

Published: 12:22, 30 November 2021 | Updated: 12:31, 30 November 2021

A GP practice manager who won £294,000 in a discrimination claim after they sacked her for falling pregnant has got an extra £20,000 over a missed bonus.  Distraught Naomi Hefford stumbled on the partners secretly hatching a plan to axe her and discussing what 'excuse' they could get away with three days after she told them she was going to have a baby.  An employment tribunal heard the GPs then launched a bogus misconduct investigation into her and fired her by email when she was in hospital shortly before she gave birth to her daughter.  Mrs Hefford successfully sued the doctors for pregnancy discrimination and was awarded £294,000 in compensation earlier this year.  She has now won an extra £20,000 after arguing to the panel that she was entitled to a greater payout to take into account a higher weekly pay and the bonus payment that she would have received had she not been fired.  A hearing in East London was told that the practice manager began work at Queensway Surgery, Southend, Essex, in November 2017 following an interview with partners Dr Michael Jack, Dr Ajith Sivaprasad, Dr Jamil Sorouji, Dr Olanike Aderonmu and Dr Sajid Azeem.  During the application process Mrs Hefford said she was asked whether she had children or was planning to have them. Although Dr Jack denied this, the tribunal concluded that he had childbearing 'in his mind'.  A year later she informed them that she was pregnant and that she had been deemed 'high risk'.  Three days later the practice manager was left in tears when she overheard Dr Sivaprasad, Dr Azeem and Dr Aderonmu declaring they needed to 'focus on sacking her' and calling her a 'mother hen'.  The tribunal judgements states: 'Her recollection was that the words were these: 'We need to focus now. We need to focus on sacking her and then steadying the ship because that's going to take up an awful lot of time'.  (She) also explained that she had heard the female voice saying that 'If we are going to do this what will be our excuse?'.  It was that point (she) says she became very upset and ran away because she was scared that the people in the room were going to hear her.  She added that after the comment made by the female voice (Dr Aderonmu) she also heard the phrase 'mother hen' and it was after these words that she left the vicinity.'

Mrs Hefford who had a habit of using her phone to record meetings so she could accurately write up minutes later realised the conversation had been accidentally taped.  The hearing was told that by January 2019 the GPs had decided to sack her and launched an investigation into her conduct, claiming she had been rude in her 'abrasive' emails to staff, undermined colleagues and that feedback had 'no effect' on her.  They then abruptly invited her to a 'heavy-handed' meeting without notice.  Mrs Hefford later complained of pregnancy discrimination to HR advisors, who ruled against her, and she was dismissed for gross misconduct in June while she was in hospital.  Tribunal judges concluded that the misconduct allegations were exaggerated and that the real reason she had been sacked by the doctors was because she was pregnant.  The panel's judgement continued: 'The principal reason for (her) dismissal was her pregnancy. We have found that the concerns about the (her) conduct were trivial up to the date on which she announced her pregnancy.  Thereafter, a meeting took place which discussed her potential dismissal. The process from then on which ultimately led to her dismissal was connected to her pregnancy  This was the catalyst that started the chain of events.'

Mrs Hefford won her claims against the doctors of unfair dismissal, pregnancy discrimination, victimisation and breach of contract.  The tribunal originally awarded her £294,372.72 in compensation but this has now been increased to £313,672.36.

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Fun Stuff / Cat
« on: November 03, 2021, 05:00:09 PM »
It's not a cat it's...

a small, four-legged, fur-bearing extortionist.

a wildlife control expert impersonator.

an un-programmable animal.

a four footed allergen.

a hair relocation expert.

a treat-seeking missile.

a lap-warmer with a built-in buzzer.

3
Fun Stuff / Parking
« on: November 03, 2021, 04:57:39 PM »
An elderly lady was stopped to pull into a parking space when a young man in his new red Mercedes went around her and parked in the space she was waiting for.  The little old lady was so upset that she went up to the man and said, "I was going to park there!"

The man said, "That's what you can do when you're young and quick.”

This really upset the lady even more, so she got in her car and backed it up and then she stomped on the gas and plowed right into his Mercedes.  The young man ran back to his car and asked, "What did you do that for?"

The little old lady smiled and told him, "That's what you can do when you're old and rich!"

4
After everything I have read and heard on documentaries I still believe he is guilty.

5
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10084335/DAN-WOOTTON-targeting-Jesy-Nelson-using-wokery-bully-vulnerable-woman.html

DAN WOOTTON: The Mean Girls beating up Jesy for wearing too much fake tan may be using wokery to bully a vulnerable woman but they are doing so much worse than that

By Dan Wootton for MailOnline

Published: 16:06, 12 October 2021 | Updated: 16:08, 12 October 2021

Two years ago, when Jesy Nelson first revealed she had tried to kill herself after being subjected to relentless trolling about the way she looked, there was an outpouring of social media love.  The Be Kind brigade was out in full voice, championing the vulnerable singer - then a member of the world’s most successful girl group Little Mix - for being open about her insecurities and telling anyone who would listen they should stop commenting on her appearance.  Funny then that it’s those hypocrites who have this week started relentlessly taunting the very same Jesy for so-called ‘blackfishing’.  You see, now that she’s a solo artist having left the band, Jesy is in the line of fire for upsetting the woke mob, as I like to refer to them.  They claim that, as a white British woman, Jesy’s fake tanned skin, hip hop-inspired fashion and braided hairstyle somehow makes her racist.  The ‘blackfishing’ term was originally created in 2018 and used to describe someone pretending to be black on social media for personal or financial gain.  What the hell?

Since when was being tanned racist. If that’s the case we might as well cancel the whole cast of TOWIE today.  I’m partial to a touch of the St Tropez during winter myself and it’s certainly nothing to do with imitating another culture, but rather making it look like I’ve had at least a few minutes of sun in the past month.  On a more serious note, many young women with serious hang ups about their body, as Jesy has openly spoken about, have a condition called ‘tanorexia’, a compulsion to darken their skin that is similar to the behaviour connected to an eating disorder like anorexia.  Jesy, for her part, has insisted she would never ‘intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous’.

As for fashion, are we seriously saying that what we choose to wear or how we style our hair should somehow be dictated by the colour of our skin?

How utterly ridiculous and counterproductive, given the increasing cultural influence that Africa and Asia are in particular having on globalised pop culture.  And the influence black American music has had on pop and rock and roll since its earliest days.  Generations of white performers have taken inspiration from black music, and paid it generous credit.  These days Elvis would never have been allowed through the doors of Sun Records in Memphis without being accused of ‘cultural appropriation’.  And Mick Jagger would have been cancelled the minute he started belting out R’nB classics in the pubs of Dartford.  Surely, anyone sane can agree this is a route we don’t want to take as a society.  It’s very interesting to me that no one is accusing Eminem of ‘blackfishing’ despite the fact he’s a white gangster rapper who wears baggy jeans.   Either way, this scandal has turned what should have been a hugely significant moment of celebration for Jesy the release of her first solo single called Boyz with the top US rapper Nicki Minaj into something deeply disturbing. Overnight she has, yet again, become one of the most trolled women in the world.  And who’s concerned about Jesy’s mental health now?

Sadly, feeling the need to justify herself, Jesy has said in a livestream with Minaj today that her darker skin tone in the Boyz video was down to spending time in Antigua before the shoot.  And she added: ‘I personally want to say that my intention was never, ever to offend people of colour with this video and my song because, like I said, growing up as a young girl, this is the music that I listened to.’

On her hairstyle, she added: ‘I genuinely didn't think I was doing anything wrong, because I've got naturally curly hair.’

Nothing excuses the toxic bile being aimed at Jesy Nelson by the keyboard warriors, especially Little Mix fans who just a few months ago idolised her.  For the record, I am neither Team Little Mix or Team Jesy I love them both equally and have such a soft spot for the ladies.  I was the first journalist to ever interview the group in the canteen of ITV in 2011, when they were so terrified about what they were doing they were all physically shaking.  And then 12 months later, I presented them with their first ever gong (Best Girl Band in the dearly departed DW Awards hardly a Brit or Grammy!) where they teared up and declared they now felt like ‘sisters’.  And I felt like a proud distant relative watching the powerful quartet go from terrified schoolgirls to accomplished businesswoman, bossing it in the music industry, and even daring to sack their boss Simon Cowell (not something many X Factor alum get away with).  I have huge respect that, unlike their boy band contemporaries One Direction, the girls didn’t want to rip each other’s hair out at every opportunity.  Sure, there were the usual tensions of any band. But Little Mix stayed united for a decade with a mutual respect of their differences and not one member feeling like they were the standout star.  That’s why it’s so disappointing to see Jesy’s former bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock accused of encouraging the mob to join the pile on against her ‘sister’ this week.  In a message leaked by NoHun, Leigh-Anne allegedly encouraged the TikTok star to produce a negative post about Jesy, writing: ‘Do a video about her being a black fish.  She blocked us. Cut us off. Horrible person.’

And today a source close to Leigh-Anne has appeared to brief The Sun that she warned Jesy about cultural appropriation and ‘blackfishing’ in the past, saying: ‘Leigh-Anne had a conversation with Jesy, trying to explain why she was upset and why it could be offensive.  She felt she had to address it while making her racism documentary, but it apparently fell on deaf ears. For Jesy to now claim that it has never been mentioned to her before is really rude.’

Having been in a band with Jesy for years, I’m sure Leigh-Anne knows as well as I do that she is the opposite of a racist and that her style choices were guided by deep insecurities about her body.  Perhaps it’s best left to controversial tweeter Nicki Minaj to sum up the situation in rap slang, writing in reference to Leigh-Anne: ‘JeLeigh btchs actin real messy. if you know someone has been suicidal from bullying in the past, why try to get a bunch of ppl to bully them again about smthng else, on an even bigger scale? Shame on you that’s rlly sad. You don’t know what ppl can deal with.’

And as Jesy told Minaj in their livestream today: ‘It's just hard for me because I was in a group with two women of colour for nine years and it was never brought up to me up until the last music video I did with them.’

‘Blackfishing’ feels to me like a made-up concept designed for woke people to work each other up and take offence at something completely unnecessarily.  It’s this type of toxic cancel culture I am determined to rally against.  And when it’s turned into an online campaign against one individual who has already spoken openly about the near-deadly psychological impact on her of vile internet trolls that’s when you know it’s gone too far.  The people obsessed with black-fishing, cultural appropriation and the growth industry of offence-taking aren’t helping achieve racial equality.  Wittingly or not, they are driving us all further apart.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/david-lammy-says-labour-must-25084523?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=politics_briefing_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

David Lammy says Labour must do more to remove barriers black men face in politics

The Shadow Justice Secretary is the only black man in Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet

By Aletha Adu

    17:30, 27 Sep 2021

David Lammy believes the Labour party has been "too slow" to recognise the barriers black men face in attempting to run for Parliament.  The Labour MP for Tottenham said positive discrimination may be needed to stop black men being held back.  Speaking at a Labour Conference fringe event in Brighton, Mr Lammy said: "There are so many barriers to entry and when we’re talking about black men the barriers to entry are huge.  And the party has been slow to pick that up and understand that and we need to do considerably more.  I do think we have to do a serious analysis about those barriers and removing those barriers as that does mean a degree of positive discrimination if you are to bring people forward.”

Mr Lammy is one of three black male Labour MPs and is the only black man in Keir Starmer's shadow cabinet.  The Shadow Justice Secretary has previously expressed how anxious he was when joining Parliament because of his race.  He previously said: "I was very conscious that I was never anonymous in the Palace of Westminster.  I felt very self-conscious, I think."

It comes after internal rows over equalities with Sir Keir Starmer saying Rosie Duffield was wrong to say “only women have a cervix”.  Asked about the row, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “I just think that this issue has just become so divisive and toxic, and it pits people against each other both groups who have faced discrimination in society women and trans women.  I just find this debate incredibly unhelpful and unproductive, to be totally honest.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/heartbroken-family-pay-tribute-boy-24968020?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_morning_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

Heartbroken family in 'shock' after boy, 16, stabbed to death on first day of college

Rhamero West, known to many as Mero and described as being a 'beautiful soul', had started a catering course at college on the day he was brutally stabbed to death

By Mike Bedigan & Sam Truelove News reporter

20:45, 12 Sep 2021Updated20:47, 12 Sep 2021

The heartbroken family of a young boy who was brutally stabbed to death on his first day of college have paid tribute to the teenager, describing him as "a beautiful soul."  Rhamero West, known to many as Mero, was found with multiple stab injuries on Norton Street in Old Trafford shortly before 6pm on Thursday.  He was rushed to hospital but tragically died of his injuries a short time later.  According to the boy's family, Rhamero started a catering course at college on the day he was fatally attacked.  On Sunday, Rhamero's family appealed for justice for their "beautiful son, Mero", describing their "total shock" and devastation.  "Our son's life was taken away from him on Thursday, September 9, 2021, on the day he started his first day at college studying catering," they said in a statement. 

"We are in total shock and want justice for our beautiful son Mero. His life was taken too soon at the age of 16, turning 17 on September 20.  We are all devastated and are now left with an empty hole in our hearts. Mero was a beautiful soul and got on with everyone who he met.  He will be sadly missed, lots of love son, we will love you forever - mum, dad, Remi and not forgetting your nephew Caerus. We will make sure he will never forget you.  Each and everyone in the family right now wishes you were still here. Sleep tight baby boy till we meet again. We love you forever."

Before the knife attack, it's believed Rhamero was with friends in a blue BMW that was being chased by another vehicle.  During the high-speed pursuit a pedestrian was hit by a car in Cross Street, though their injuries were not believed to be serious.  The BMW then crashed in Upper Chorlton Road.  Rhamero tried to flee the scene but he was caught by two males who attacked him.  A police cordon was set up where Rhamero was found and in two other areas of Moss Side where officers are attempting to establish where the car chase began.  Detectives from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are continuing with their investigations into the incident and have urged anyone with information to come forward.  So far, no arrests have been made.  Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson, from GMP's Major Incident Team, said: "Our thoughts are with Rhamero's family and we have specialist officers supporting his mum, dad and brother through this extremely distressing time.  A number of detectives have been working to piece together the sequence of events and find those responsible.  At this stage, we understand that Rhamero was attacked by two males and we're working hard to identify them but would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.  Since the attack, we've already followed up a number of lines of enquiry and we're carefully examining CCTV and forensics.  There will be people who know who was involved in this attack on a young teenager and we would ask them to come forward  even the smallest bit of information may prove vital in our investigation.  A family have lost their young son and they are deserving of answers."

Anyone with information can report it online or by using GMP's LiveChat service at www.gmp.police.uk.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/girl-7-stabbed-neck-dad-24957106?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=hopeful_daily_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

Girl, 7, stabbed in neck by her dad meets police officers who saved her life

Officers PC Ryan Legge and PC Ahmet Mavitunali were able to reach her as she lay unconscious after smashing down doors in the building to find her

By Ella Doyle & Shiler Mahmoudi

16:33, 10 Sep 2021Updated17:37, 10 Sep 2021

A seven-year-old girl has been reunited with the police officers who saved her life after she was attacked by her father last year.  Noura, seven, from North West London, was stabbed in the neck and chest on the 22 May 2020 in Larch Road, Brent, MyLondon reports.  She was found unconscious after the police received a call that an incident may have occurred.  Officers PC Ryan Legge and PC Ahmet Mavitunali were able to reach her after knocking down a number of doors in the building to find her.  She was suffering from major stab wounds to her neck and chest and was six-years-old at the time.  PC Mavitunali and PC Legge performed emergency first aid on Noura and she was rushed to hospital in critical condition.  Her father was found with self-inflicted stab wounds in a serious condition.  Despite fears that she would suffer from severe brain damage, she survived and is said to be doing 'really well'.  She remained in recovery in hospital for three months before she could return home.  Sarah Leach, North West BCU Commander, said: “I am immensely proud of Ahmet and Ryan, whose actions at the scene were crucial in helping Noura in this sad and shocking case.  This was a violent assault on a young girl by a person who should have been looking after her. It is quite right that both officers be recognised for their quick thinking under what must have been extremely distressing circumstances.   They, along with Noura, should be commended for their bravery and resilience.  It is really special that Noura and the officers are able to meet at this event, and it will I’m sure be an emotional moment for all.”

Noura’s father has been charged with attempted murder and has been jailed for 22 years.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9992455/Shamima-Begum-begs-forgiveness-claims-didnt-know-ISIS-death-cult.html

'If you knew what I did you'd have done the same': Sajid Javid defends decision to strip Shamima Begum of her British citizenship as she makes fresh plea for forgiveness and says she ‘didn’t know’ ISIS was a ‘death cult’

    Begum left Britain to join ISIS in 2015 with two friends and is fighting to get her British citizenship back
    Her image change including western dress, dyed hair and painted nails is not a publicity stunt, she claims
    But she claims that she was 'groomed and taken advantage of and manipulated into' travelling to Syria
    She said: 'No one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done and all I can say is I'm sorry'
    In a message for the PM: 'You are clearly struggling with extremism in your country. I could help you'

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter and Katie Feehan For Mailonline

Published: 08:01, 15 September 2021 | Updated: 13:38, 15 September 2021

Sajid Javid today scoffed at Shamima Begum's claims she was only a 'wife and mother' while a servant of the cruel ISIS 'death cult' in Syria and defended his decision to take away her right to be British, declaring: 'If you know what I knew you would have made exactly the same decision'.

Begum donned western clothing for a tone deaf interview with Good Morning Britain from a Syrian refugee camp where she begged the UK for forgiveness and claimed she was a victim not a terrorist or a criminal.  The 22-year-old is banned from the UK after marrying a jihadi with spy agencies denying her claims she was just a Raqqa housewife and instead believe she was a member of the terror group's feared 'morality police' and was even seen stitching suicide bombers into explosive vests and carrying a Kalashnikov.  Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who revoked her British citizenship in 2019 on national security grounds when he was Home Secretary, hinted that Begum was lying about just being a 'mother and wife' when in Syria.  He said today: 'I won't go into details of the case, but what I will say is that you certainly haven't seen what I saw.'

He added: 'If you did know what I knew, because you are sensible, responsible people, you would have made exactly the same decision of that I have no doubt.'   

Today, wearing a Nike baseball cap and a low-cut vest top instead of a niqab, Begum said she is a victim of grooming by extremists, would now 'rather die' than rejoin ISIS and admitted she was wrong to say the Manchester Arena attack was 'justified' because of airstrikes that have killed civilians in Syria.  She also said she had no idea ISIS was a 'death cult' when she joined.  She told Good Morning Britain: 'No one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done and all I can say is I'm sorry and just give me a second chance', but she added she was 'groomed and taken advantage of and manipulated into' travelling to Syria. Denying she is a criminal, she said: 'The only crime I think I committed was being dumb enough to come to ISIS'.

The east London schoolgirl who dumped her veil a year ago and now straightens her dyed hair, paints her nails and wears make-up, fled her home in 2015 to join the so-called Islamic State terror group in Syria with two friends both now believed to be dead. She denies her image change is a publicity stunt.  In an extraordinary interview Begum, who is deemed a danger to the country if she was able to return, declared:

*  Begum said she came to Syria expecting simply to get married, have children and 'live a pure, Islamic life'.
*  That she could help the Prime Minister in 'your fight against terrorism because you clearly don't know what you're doing';
*  She wants to face a terror trial in the UK but refuses to go to Banglandesh, where her father lives, because she fears she will receive the death penalty;
*  Begum said she the decision to stop wearing the hijab was one she took for herself and denied that the move was a publicity stunt;
*  When asked what she would tell Sajid Javid, who was Home Secretary when Begum's British citizenship was revoked, Begum said: 'I understand why he took my citizenship away, that it's his job to think about the interest of the UK before anything else';     

Begum also made a jaw-dropping offer to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wants her kept out of Britain, she said: 'You are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in your country. I could very much help you with that because you clearly don't know what you're doing'.

She added: 'I want them (the British public) to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them.'

She has begged to be brought back to the UK to face a terror trial. Asked why she won't go to Bangladesh, she said: 'How can a country like the UK, who does not believe in the death penalty, how can they expect me to go to a country where I will be killed?'

She said: 'I made a mistake at a very young age. I know it's very hard for the British people to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of Isis and lost loved ones because of Isis, but I also have lived in fear of Isis and I also lost loved ones because of Isis, so I can sympathise with them in that way. I know it is very hard for them to forgive me but I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here, if I ever offended anyone by the things I said.'

Amid claims of her innocence, her classmates in London have previously said that Begum wore an ISIS badge on her blazer in an attempt to recruit class members to join the terror group alongside her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana. She previously described with chilling nonchalance how she 'wasn't fazed' by the sight of a severed head. Begum also declared how she had a 'good time' with Isis, and justified the terror group's bombing of Manchester Arena.  There are also claims that intelligence officials briefed Boris Johnson that she had been witnessed handling suicide vests and sewing them on to jihadis, as well as caring for injured terrorists in Raqqa hospitals.  In a direct plea to Boris Johnson, before asking to meet Sajid Javid face to face because he revoked her British citizenship when he was Home Secretary, she said: 'You are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in your country and I want to help with that telling you my own experience what they say and how they persuade people to come to places like Syria and I could very much help you with that because you clearly don't know what you're doing in the fight against terrorism and I want to help'

Begum said she came to Syria expecting simply to get married, have children and 'live a pure, Islamic life', adding: 'The reason I came to Syria was not for violent reasons.'

She added: 'At the time I did not know it (so-called Islamic State) was a death cult, I thought it was an Islamic community I was joining.  I was being fed a lot of information on the internet by people.'

She said she thought she was 'groomed and taken advantage of and manipulated into' travelling to Syria.   Begum has also never been open about what she did for the group, but it has been claims she worked caring for injured jihadis in the terror group's former stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria.  She married Dutch jihadi Yago Riedijk and had three children, all of whom died.  Begum, who frequently swept the hair from her face with hands decorated with pink-coloured nail varnish, denied being directly involved in terrorist preparations.  She told Good Morning Britain: 'I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims, because I know I did nothing in IS but be a mother and a wife.  These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government do not have anything on me.  There is no evidence because nothing ever happened.'

She added: 'I would rather die than go back to IS.'

Begum said she regretted her actions and apologised for the comments she previously made about the Manchester Arena bombing.  She said: 'I do not believe that one evil justifies another evil. I don't think that women and children should be killed for other people's motives and for other people's agendas.'

Begum said she did not know that women and children were hurt in Manchester.  'I did not know about the Manchester bombing when I was asked. I did not know that people were killed, I did not know that women and children were hurt because of it.'

Begum said it was 'not justifiable to kill innocent people in the name of religion'.

She also apologised to anyone who has been affected by Isis and the terror group's actions.  She said: 'I'm in a different camp, obviously. I have friends now. I have a security shield now around me with my friends and I feel more confident in myself.  I obviously don't have my son anymore so I only have to think about my safety so if I do get attacked for taking my hijab off, it's on me.  While I'm in this camp, I'm trying to change myself. I'm trying to better myself, because I can.'

In an apology to the public, she said: 'Of course I am completely sorry for anyone that has been affected by Isis.  In no way do I agree with what they did, I don't, I'm not trying to justify what they did, it's not justifiable to kill innocent people in the name of religion.'

Asked for a message to Boris Johnson, Begum said that she could help the Prime Minister in 'your fight against terrorism because you clearly don't know what you're doing'.  She told Good Morning Britain: 'I want to say that you are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in your country. And I want to help with that with giving my own experience from with these extremists and what they say and how they persuade people to do what they do and to come to places like Syria.  I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism, because you clearly don't know what you're doing.'

Begum added that while she believes the only crime she committed was being 'dumb enough' to come to Isis, she still deserves a fair trial.  She said: 'Honestly, the only crime I think I committed was being dumb enough to come to Isis, and even that can be refuted because I was 15 when I came, and you can't, you know, judge a 15-year-old for making a mistake which he or she very quickly regretted making.  If you really think I did do this, why don't you bring me back and put me on trial, and hear my side of the story.  If you if you honestly believe that, don't you think I just have to go to jail for it.  The fact that you think I should rather rot here, instead of face trial the democracy that you live in, says that everyone deserves a fair trial.'

Begum said she the decision to stop wearing the hijab was one she took for herself and denied that the move was a publicity stunt.  She said: 'I have not been wearing hijab for maybe more than a year now. I took it off for myself, because I felt very constricted in the hijab, I felt like I was not myself.  And I feel like it makes me happy, to not wear the hijab. I'm not doing for anyone but myself.  I've had many opportunities to let people take pictures of me without my hijab on, but I did not.'

Begum said 'no-one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done'.

She told Good Morning Britain said: 'I know there are some people no matter what I say or what I do, they will not believe that I have changed, believe that I want to help.  But for those who have even a drop of mercy and compassion and empathy in their hearts, I tell you from the bottom of my heart that I regret every, every decision I've made since I stepped into Syria and I will live with it for the rest of my life.  You may forget about it one day but I will take it to my grave, this feeling of regret and this feeling of disgust at myself.  No one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done and all I can say is I'm sorry and just give me a second chance.'

When asked what she would tell Sajid Javid, who was Home Secretary when Begum's British citizenship was revoked, Begum said: 'I understand why he took my citizenship away, that it's his job to think about the interest of the UK before anything else.  What he saw on the media was not the true me. If he were to meet me himself, I'm pretty sure he would change his mind about my citizenship.'

Begum said she was groomed and taken advantage of, believing she would be entering an 'Islamic paradise'.  She said: 'People that I was speaking to online they just, they created this image for me over paradise, an Islamic paradise.  They pressured me very hard into coming. They made me feel bad for wanting to stay in the UK, for wanting to stay with my family who weren't even practising at the time. And they took advantage of me because they knew that I was young.'

Speaking to her closest associates in March, the Mail revealed how she spends her days watching Good Morning Britain on ITV in her tent, playing charades or dancing to the music of Shakira downloaded from the internet with her fellow Western campmates.  She is also fond of Zumba classes and watching films: the Spider-Man and Men In Black franchises are particular favourites.  Ms Begum insists she has changed.  She isn't 'that' person any more: 'I would say to people in the UK, give me a second chance because I was still young when I left,' she pleaded in an emotive interview for a new documentary in the spring.  Her rejection of Islamic clothing is evidence, for some, at least, that she has renounced her past.  Others believe her transformation is part of a ploy to win sympathy while her lawyers challenge the decision to strip her of her British citizenship.  In February, the UK's Supreme Court ruled on national security grounds that she cannot return to Britain to pursue an appeal against the decision.  Either way, her striking new image has turned the global spotlight on to Shamima Begum and her life at al-Roj. She is among a 50-strong British contingent of women and children at the encampment, which houses around 800 families in total.  The authorities at al-Roj the Kurdish-led and Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have banned black clothing, the colour of Isis, and black face veils.  A number of woman, like Ms Begum, have voluntarily given up Islamic dress entirely. Ms Begum mixes with a small circle of European and American friends.  U.S.-born Hoda Muthana, 26, once a high-profile Isis agitator, is a member of her close-knit social group, so too is Canadian Kimberly Polman, a mother of three adult children in her late 40s; all three were Isis brides.  Miss Begum was married off to a Dutch jihadi with whom she had three children in quick succession, all of whom died of disease or malnutrition before she arrived at al-Roj.  Her husband is thought to be held in a Kurdish-run prison in Syria, and the pair haven't been in contact since 2019.   Syrian journalist Khabat Abbas , who has visited Ms Begum many times, and has been inside her tent, which has a satellite TV and basic cooking facilities, said: 'She is very happy here.' 

She adds that Ms Begum seems undimmed by the latest setback in her case that has left her stranded, for the foreseeable future, at any rate, in legal limbo.  In the documentary, The Return: Life After Isis, which has followed her and the other women over the past two years, Ms Begum is filmed in her tent; in the background is a couch with cushions, one of which has 'love' stitched into it and another is in the shape of a heart.  The women often hold parties in their living quarters.  Music was haram prohibited under the strict interpretation of the Koran.  'They are always socialising together,' Khabat says. 'They have even invited me to spend the night with them.'

One typical party is featured in the documentary, which shows a tent lit up with fairy lights and the women eating pastries.  In another scene, they engage in a 'group hug' and a voice can be heard saying: 'I don't know what I'd do without you guys.'

The camp has numerous shops run by ordinary refugees who are allowed to enter and leave at will selling second-hand European clothes, make-up and jewellery, as well as vegetables, groceries, chocolate, crisps and other basic provisions.  The documentary makers show Ms Begum's group queuing up at a money exchange 'hole in the wall' window for hawala an ancient system based on trust between brokers that leaves no paper trail.  This is a method often used by those in such camps to receive funds from family based in other countries.  Families can be prosecuted for sending money to relatives under anti-terror legislation.  In The Return: Life After Isis, she is seen writing to her younger self and then reading the letter out aloud.  'I know you think this is the only option you have to hold on to your religion and escape the problems in your life, but you have your entire life ahead of you to complete your religion and mend broken relationships between everyone in the family,' she says, addressing the camera.  'Think about Mum and how much it would hurt her to know that her little baby left her and didn't give her a hug and a kiss, knowing that she'll probably never see her again.  Think about the education you're about to throw away. You worked so hard to get where you are now. Don't just walk away from it all for something I know you're not even certain about.'

Sky will be screening the 90-minute film on Sky Documentaries and Now TV in the summer.  Shamima is heard speaking for the first time about what drove her to desert her country, her home, and her family, and join Isis with two school friends from East London, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, both now presumed dead.  'I felt like I was an outsider in my community,' she says.

'So I just wanted to be part of something. My friend started practising [Islam] and they helped me come into the religion as well and it then turned into wanting to come to Syria, wanting to help the Syrians.'

She was subsequently groomed by online radicals.  Two months later just two months is all it took she and her friends were on a plane from Gatwick bound for the Middle East.  In interviews after she was discovered in 2019 at al-Hol the camp where she was based previously, also in north-east Syria she continued to espouse the barbaric ideology of Isis.  A clip of one of those inflammatory interviews, where she failed to condemn the Manchester Arena atrocity after being asked about the child victims by a Manchester journalist, is played to Ms Begum during the documentary.  It is a chilling reminder of why she remains such a divisive and controversial figure. Ms Begum responds to being shown the footage by saying she 'had no choice but to say certain things' to reporters because 'she lived in fear' that women at al-Hol would kill her if she didn't.

ISIS bride Begum on claims she aided terrorists, the decision to revoke her citizenship and being a victim herself

On claims she sewed jihadis into suicide vests

'I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims, because I know I did nothing in IS (so-called Islamic State) but be a mother and a wife.  These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government do not have anything on me. There is no evidence because nothing ever happened.'

On asking for forgiveness

'I know it's very hard for the British people to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of IS and lost loved ones because of IS, but I also have lived in fear of IS and I also lost loved ones because of IS, so I can sympathise with them in that way.  I know it is very hard for them to forgive me but I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here, if I ever offended anyone by the things I said.'

Message for the PM

'I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don't know what you're doing'.

She added: 'I want them (the British public) to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them.'

On why she went to Syria 

Begum said she came to Syria expecting simply to get married, have children and 'live a pure, Islamic life'.  'The reason I came to Syria was not for violent reasons.' She added: 'At the time I did not know it (so-called Islamic State) was a death cult, I thought it was an Islamic community I was joining.  I was being fed a lot of information on the internet by people.' 

On justifying  the Manchester Arena bombing

She said: 'I do not believe that one evil justifies another evil. I don't think that women and children should be killed for other people's motives and for other people's agendas.  I did not know about the Manchester bombing when I was asked. I did not know that people were killed, I did not know that women and children were hurt because of it.'

Begum said it was 'not justifiable to kill innocent people in the name of religion'.

On whether she is a criminal or a terrorist

She said: 'Honestly, the only crime I think I committed was being dumb enough to come to Isis, and even that can be refuted because I was 15 when I came, and you can't, you know, judge a 15-year-old for making a mistake which he or she very quickly regretted making.  If you really think I did do this, why don't you bring me back and put me on trial, and hear my side of the story.  If you if you honestly believe that, don't you think I just have to go to jail for it.  The fact that you think I should rather rot here, instead of face trial the democracy that you live in, says that everyone deserves a fair trial.'

On her new western look

Begum said she the decision to stop wearing the hijab was one she took for herself and denied that the move was a publicity stunt.  She said: 'I have not been wearing hijab for maybe more than a year now. I took it off for myself, because I felt very constricted in the hijab, I felt like I was not myself.  And I feel like it makes me happy, to not wear the hijab. I'm not doing for anyone but myself.  I've had many opportunities to let people take pictures of me without my hijab on, but I did not.'

On the decision to revoke her citizenship

When asked what she would tell Sajid Javid, who was Home Secretary when Begum's British citizenship was revoked, Begum said: 'I understand why he took my citizenship away, that it's his job to think about the interest of the UK before anything else.  What he saw on the media was not the true me. If he were to meet me himself, I'm pretty sure he would change his mind about my citizenship.'

Begum said she was groomed and taken advantage of, believing she would be entering an 'Islamic paradise'.  She said: 'People that I was speaking to online they just, they created this image for me over paradise, an Islamic paradise.  They pressured me very hard into coming. They made me feel bad for wanting to stay in the UK, for wanting to stay with my family who weren't even practising at the time. And they took advantage of me because they knew that I was young.'

'Is she going on Love Island?' Shamima Begum shows off her highlights, manicure, Nike cap and tank top from refugee camp - as GMB viewers say she 'looks like she's had a spa day'

Shamima Begum has been through a 'major glow up' that puts her on a level with the contestants of Love Island, according to reaction on social media.  The British-born Isis bride, 22, donned a full face of makeup and fresh manicure for her interview with Good Morning Britain today.  And viewers were quick to take to Twitter to praise Begum's westernised appearance, with one suggesting she should apply to be on next year's series of the popular dating show Love Island.  Begum opted for a casual look for her television appearance, wearing a vest top, black jeans and trainers, with a Nike cap covering her freshly dyed auburn tresses.  Her appearance was a far cry from the full burkha and no-makeup look worn for previous interviews and viewers were quick to point out the Syrian refugee camp where Begum is living must have a stylist.  She has denied her image change is a publicity stunt and GMB viewers celebrated Begum's new look online following the interview.  One said: 'Shamima Begum has had a major glow up. I bet she’s on Love Island next year.'

Another added: 'Shamima Begum on GMB wearing a Nike baseball cap from their newest line. They got an outlet store in the prison camp?'

10
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9980101/Taliban-BEHEAD-Afghan-soldier-chilling-video-celebrate-holding-severed-head-victim.html

Taliban BEHEAD Afghan soldier in chilling video then celebrate as they sing while holding severed head of the victim by his hair

    A video of Taliban fighters beheading an Afghan soldier has emerged online
    The group can be seen chanting praise to the Taliban leader in the chilling clip
    Proceed to celebrate and sing while holding victim's severed head by his hair

By Lydia Catling For Mailonline

Published: 11:12, 11 September 2021 | Updated: 13:54, 11 September 2021

Taliban fighters beheaded an Afghan soldier before singing as they held the severed head of the victim aloft by his hair, then shared chilling footage of the execution in a chat forum.  The video, obtained by the Washington Examiner, was reportedly shared on a private Taliban chat room but it is not clear when it was recorded.  In the 30-second clip, the group of Taliban fighters can be heard chanting 'Mujahideen' as they parade the man's head around.  Six of the men were holding rifles and another was clutching on to two bloodied knives.  It is believed the man on the ground was an Afghan solider due to the colour of his dark green uniform similar to that given to the national army by the US.  The man carrying the knives puts them in the air as they continue to chant Mujahideen an Arabic term which refers to Muslims who fight on behalf of the faith or the Muslim community.  They then start shouting praise for the Taliban's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada.  The video ends with the group stating they must shoot the Afghan soldiers because 'he has to look shot'.

The footage has emerged just days after Taliban militants executed the brother of one of the Afghan resistance fighters' leaders.  The man was the brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan vice president who became one of the leaders of anti-Taliban opposition forces in the Panjshir valley.  The news that Saleh's brother Rohullah Azizi was killed came days after Taliban forces took control of the provincial centre of Panjshir, the last province holding out against them after the took control of the rest of Afghanistan last month.  'They executed my uncle,' Ebadullah Saleh told Reuters in a text. 'They killed him yesterday and would not let us bury him. They kept saying his body should rot.'

The Urdu language account of the Taliban information service Alemarah said that 'according to reports' Rohullah Saleh was killed during fighting in Panjshir.  Saleh, a former head of the National Directorate of Security, the intelligence service of the Western-backed government that collapsed last month, is at large though his exact location remains unclear.  The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, which groups opposition forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, has pledged to continue opposing the Taliban even after the fall of Panjshir's provincial capital Bazarak.  The news of Rohullah Saleh's execution comes after the UN warned the Taliban have started carrying out 'reprisal killings'.  The UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said there had been 'credible allegations' of targeted killings 'despite the many statements granting general amnesties'.

She added Afghan security officials and people who worked for the previous administration were at risk.  The Taliban have been at pains to present a reformed image since sweeping to power on August 15, pledging a more moderate brand of rule.  But videos and footage from inside Afghanistan have told a different story, showing the militants beating and whipping people on the streets as reports emerged of targeted killings and fighters going door-to-door searching for blue US passports.  Earlier, a second charter flight carrying foreigners out of Afghanistan left Kabul airport the latest sign Kabul Airport is close to resuming commercial operations after the chaotic US-led evacuation ended on August 30.  Just over 100 foreigners, including 13 Brits, left Kabul yesterday on a charter flight.  The White House has praised the Taliban for being 'businesslike and professional' in allowing the flight to leave.  It comes as unconfirmed reports in the capital suggested the Taliban may hold a ceremony to swear in the new government on Saturday the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that triggered the end of their first stint in power.  As news of a resumption in evacuation flights spread, some people gathered at the airport gates, pleading with Taliban guards to get in.  'If I can't go just kill me!' said one woman, among a group of women and children each carrying backpacks.

Many Afghans in the capital are fearful of a repeat of the hardline Islamist group's brutal and repressive rule from 1996-2001.  The Taliban have already begun to segregate men and women students and medical staff, suggested women will be banned from playing sports, and unveiled an all-male government drawn exclusively from loyalist ranks.  More than 100 passengers were on the Qatar Airways flight that landed in Doha on Thursday evening, 10 days after a mammoth, chaotic airlift of more than 120,000 people came to a dramatic close with the US pullout.  In the days that followed the Taliban's blitz, the airport had become a tragic symbol of desperation among Afghans terrified of the militants' return to power - with thousands of people crowding around its gates daily, and some even clinging to jets as they took off.  More than 100 people were killed, including 13 US troops, in a suicide attack on August 26 near the airport that was claimed by the Islamic State group's local chapter.  Qatar has said it worked with Turkey to swiftly resume operations at Kabul's airport to allow the flow of people and aid.  The Taliban have repeatedly claimed they would not seek revenge against those who worked with the previous regime and all Afghans would be granted free passage out of the country when commercial flights resume.  However, they have shown clear signs that they will not tolerate opposition.  Earlier this week, armed Taliban militants dispersed hundreds of protesters, sometimes by firing shots into the air, in cities across Afghanistan, including Kabul, Faizabad in the northeast and Herat in the west, where two people were shot dead.  They also moved to snuff out any further civil unrest, saying protests would need prior authorisation from the justice ministry and no demonstrations were allowed 'for the time being'.

11
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/mar/02/adoption-is-like-couples-therapy-what-we-learned-as-hosts-some-families

‘Adoption is like couples therapy’: what we learned as hosts of an LGBT+ family podcast

From transparency with your children to gay parenting shame, the hosts of Some Families, the first podcast series to support queer parenting, share the key issues they have adddressed

Lotte Jeffs: ‘There should be no shame’

The adoption process is the equivalent of intensive couples therapy

I knew very little about the process of adoption until I started hosting Some Families with Stu, who shared his experience of adopting two children and then, a year later, a third. We have spoken to a number of other LGBTQ+ adopters on the show and the thing that I’ve learned most is that you have to really know yourselves. Throughout the journey, you are forced to answer the kinds of questions that other families never have to consider from asserting your preferences on the age and ethnic background of a potential child, to how willing you are to take in a child with health issues or disabilities. A lot of what Stu described sounded like intensive couples therapy. Such self-analysis would be beneficial for anyone intending to start a family.

Gay people make better parents

This may sound a bit sensationalist but it’s true. We spoke to Prof Susan Golombok, who has studied the effects of coming from an LGBTQ+ family since the 1970s, and she told us that, compared on aggregate with straight families, there was better communication and emotional intelligence in families with same-sex or transgender parents. This comes down to the fact that if you aren’t in a straight couple you will have had to have been very sure you wanted to start a family, given the emotional and financial investment. Sadly, as one of our guests, Chris Sweeney (host of Homosapiens), put it, it takes more than “a lasagne and a bottle of wine” for LGBTQ+ people to make a baby.

We’ve come a long way from the 1970s

Something else I learned from Prof Golombok was how awful it was for lesbian parents in the 70s, 80s and even 90s, who separated from a male partner to be with a woman, only to have their children taken from them after divorce proceedings. Courts at that time believed it was detrimental for children to be brought up by gay parents. In one US case she told us about, the courts ruled it would be better for a child to live with his father a convicted murderer than with his mother, who was in a happy and loving relationship with a woman. It is so important to remember our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, who fought and struggled so that we can enjoy the protection and relative ease of being a queer family today.

Communication and honesty is key

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot as my own daughter grows into a very smart and sassy toddler is how and when to talk to her about how her Mummy and Mama brought her into the world. It’s a subject Stu and I ask many of our guests’ advice on, and, overwhelmingly, what they tell us is to be open and honest from the get-go. Children are happiest and most well-balanced if they don’t ever remember being “told” something as though it was a secret that has now been revealed, but rather that they grow up with conversations about their donor, or their surrogate their birth mother or biological family being part of their everyday lives from the earliest of ages. There should be no shame, no hushed conversations. We had a great chat with adoptive mums Didi and Priscilla this season, who told us their five-year-old daughter outs them at every occasion to Amazon delivery people, shop assistants. She’s so proud of her mums, she wants to tell the world! Stories like that are heartwarming.
Stu Oakley: ‘Prejudice and ignorance still exist’

The existence of gay parenting shame

My son loves to wear dresses, which is something I’ve found surprisingly difficult to deal with. I’ve struggled to find why I’ve had such a strong emotional reaction to this harmless, and totally normal desire, especially as a queer parent. Discussing it on the show with Lotte and other guests, I have come to realise that the cause of this upset is likely to be the deep-rooted shame that often weighs the LGBTQ+ community down. “Am I pushing my own gay “agenda” on him?” is my constant concern, but who cares?

I am so proud of him and the fact he is constantly exploring his gender. My fear of what other people think took a hold of my parenting and held me back from allowing him to express himself the way he should. I was in danger of enabling a vicious circle of shame, but meeting our guests, with the support of Lotte has helped me come to my queer senses.

Educating oneself on parenting from across the queer community

In our pilot recording, I began to ask Lotte a question: “So, during the surrogacy process ...” but she stopped me.

“Donor conception via IUI [intrauterine insemination] not surrogacy.”

Ten minutes later, I dropped the S-word again and by the third time Lotte was not happy, and quite rightly so. I came to this podcast knowing little outside my own gay adoption bubble and it has been incredible to educate myself on the whole fertility journey that Lotte and our other lesbian guests have been on. We are a queer community and, regardless of how you created your family, it is important to learn about the journey we all go on to support and understand one another. I think this is also a reason why the podcast resonates for so many cis-het parents, who are curious and want to educate themselves on what it means to become a queer parent.
It's not just about having gay parents: why we wrote our kids' book about queer families

The next generation are our future

Hearing how proud and supportive children from LGBTQ+ families are has been a wonderful part of Some Families. Trans-parent Zoey from series one had the most incredible support from her young children, who witnessed their father transition into their Mama Zo, and recognised that their parent was much happier post-transition. Mike, who grew up with two mums, was so happy to be part of a queer family. And a teenage daughter of two mums told us she had never felt any different. Lotte and I have taken great solace in talking to some fabulous families whose children’s high emotional intelligence gives us comfort in our own parenting and hopefully points to a sign of a more inclusive and supportive generation to come. Children thrive on the confidence of their parents, regardless of their identity.

Sadly, ignorance still exists

We have heard so many wonderful and positive stories from parents across the queer spectrum. However, it is clear that widespread prejudice and general ignorance still exist and we should never be complacent. While some people’s intent might be good, there is still a lot of education to be done and LGBTQ+ families are still very much in the minority with almost no representation in popular media and culture. One listener told Lotte and me about a nurse, who constantly referred to her wife as “dad” and another guest told us how her daughter was “uninvited” to a party when they learned she had lesbian parents. The fear of being grilled at passport control when travelling, the worry about that first day at the school gate and the wicked parenting whispers, feeling alienated by “mummy” groups, heteronormative language, and the unnecessarily awkward conversations at hospitals are all very real occurrences for queer parents. I have been pulled up for referring to myself as a “gay” dad by the LGBTQ+ community before, but it is important to bring queer parenting to the table and ensure we make parenting a safe space for anyone.

12
For a change Prince Harry is actually saying the right things.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9899591/Prince-Harry-says-Afghan-war-veterans-bound-shared-experience.html

War vet Prince Harry says fellow Afghan veterans should 'reach out to each other and offer support' but adds nothing about Joe Biden's chaotic withdrawl

    Prince Harry has said he and other Afghanistan War veterans are 'bound by a shared experience'
    The Duke of Sussex spent 10 years in the British Army and performed two frontline tours of Afghanistan
    He said scenes from Kabul 'resonate' as he urges former soldiers to 'offer support for one another'

By Jack Wright For Mailonline

Published: 00:08, 17 August 2021 | Updated: 07:28, 17 August 2021

Prince Harry issued a statement last night saying he and other Afghanistan War veterans should 'reach out to each other and offer support' and described the scenes from Kabul as ones that 'resonate' in a message to his charity for wounded veterans.  The Duke of Sussex, who spent 10 years in the British Army and performed two frontline tours of Afghanistan as a air controller with the Blues and Royals on the frontline in Helmand province, and as an Apache attack helicopter pilot during the two-decade Western intervention.  But in his statement from the Invictus Games Foundation he did not offer any views on Joe Biden's decision to abandon the Afghans he fought alongside, or the chaotic execution of the withdrawal that saw the Taliban re-take the country in days following 20 years of war.  Last year, he and Meghan were accused of wading into the US election when they urged voters to 'reject hate speech' in a message that was widely interpreted as an attack on Donald Trump and tacit support for Joe Biden's campaign.   Harry has known President Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, for several years, and both have been publicly supportive of the duke's Invictus Games. Harry and Meghan were praised by White House press secretary Jen Psaki after their 'courageous' bombshell Oprah interview.  When asked if the US President had any reaction to the chat, Ms Psaki said: 'For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage and that's certainly something the president believes.'

Amid scenes of frightened Afghans trying to flee a return to brutal Islamist theocracy after the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul, Harry and senior figures from the Games said: 'What's happening in Afghanistan resonates across the international Invictus community.  Many of the participating nations and competitors in the Invictus Games family are bound by a shared experience of serving in Afghanistan over the past two decades, and for several years, we have competed alongside Invictus Games Team Afghanistan.  We encourage everybody across the Invictus network and the wider military community to reach out to each other and offer support for one another.'

Kabul airport will reopen on Tuesday, US officials have vowed, as extra security is drafted in to manage the evacuation of thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans trying to escape Taliban rule amid mounting fears that Islamic State could commit a terror atrocity in the country.  The President defended the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, two decades after NATO forces invaded the country and toppled the Taliban regime following the September 11, 2001 attacks, as he blamed Donald Trump and the Afghan security services for the anarchy engulfing the country.  Speaking from the White House, Biden who had returned from his 'vacation' at Camp David told the American nation that the Taliban's astonishing sweep to power and seizure of the capital city Kabul this month had happened 'more quickly' than he had anticipated.  His address came as Americans woke up to images of terrified Afghans plummeting from the engines of an airborne US Air Force C-17 jet above Hamid Karzai International Airport, as hundreds of other desperate locals attempted to escape the theocratic rule of the Taliban.  The airport was forced to close and evacuation flights halted after at least eight people were killed, including two shot dead by US troops, three run over by taxiing planes and the three who fell hundreds of feet.  But in a push to secure the airport, Britain and the US deployed another 200 and 1,000 soldiers respectively on Monday. The deployments take the totals to around 900 and 6,000 respectively, with many troops expected to be on patrols to help keeping the capital's airport safe.  It is understood there are growing Anglo-US concerns that Islamists could exploit security lapses at the airport with suicide bombings with the risk of an attack by the Khorasan Province wing of Islamic State great enough for it to be discussed at Monday's emergency Cobra meeting in Downing Street.  The issue has also been raised in Ministry of Defence planning meetings, the Telegraph reported.  Speaking about the clashes at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday, one defence source told the paper: 'If you are in the Pentagon or the MoD you are looking at the scenes and thinking: 'That is a tragic loss of life, but what if that was an IS-KP suicide bomber?''

Three stowaways fell hundreds of feet to their deaths after climbing onto the fuselage of a departing US Air Force C-17 plane as it took off from at Hamid Karzai International Airport, while hundreds of other desperate people tried to cling onto planes as they taxied down the runway.  Senior US military officials said troops shot and killed two armed Afghans among those trying to get onto the jet while US citizens were evacuated in two separate incidents. A further three people were caught under plane wheels amid scenes of anarchy as the country slips into Taliban control.  A Pentagon official said that US troops had come under fire at the airfield and grounded all flights while soldiers cleared the airfield with Apache helicopters and fired 'warning shots' to disperse the crowds. Flights resumed after 90 minutes but were suspended again after a security breach on the civilian side of the airport, a Pentagon spokesperson said.  Thousands of terrified people descended on Hamid Karzai International Airport as the US, Britain and other Western countries evacuate their citizens and diplomats on military aircraft following the Taliban's seizure of the capital city Kabul and much of Afghanistan this week.  Video posted on Twitter shows hundreds of people running alongside a C-17 crammed with 800 people eight times its usual capacity with many clambering on to the front and rear wheels, while others climbed airbridges hoping to force their way on to planes waiting at the departure gates.  The clip then shows three people falling to their deaths from hundreds of feet in the air, with images posted online later appearing to show residents collecting bodies from a rooftop in Kabul.  The C-17 can carry 171,000 pounds of cargo but its interior is designed to carry fewer than 150 soldiers. It is unclear who exactly was on board and how many Americans remain on the ground. However, a flight-tracker showed the jet was flown to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.  The first of three German evacuation planes en route to Afghanistan diverted to the Uzbek capital Tashkent after it could not land at Kabul airport, a German general said on Monday.  The A400M transport plane circled for more than an hour over Kabul before changing its destination, Lieutenant General Markus Laubenthal told public broadcaster ZDF. A foreign ministry spokesperson said earlier in Berlin that no evacuation flights were leaving Kabul because people were blocking the runway.  A Pentagon spokesperson said 3,000 soldiers would be on the ground at the airport by Tuesday to help with the evacuation efforts, with a further 3,000 troops arriving later this week.  However, the shambolic scenes further humiliated the US and its NATO powers, with much of the Anglo-US media and political class branding the withdrawal the 'biggest foreign policy disaster' since Suez.  US media said the 'debacle of the US defeat and chaotic retreat in Afghanistan' was a 'political disaster' and slammed the President's 'failure to orchestrate an urgent and orderly exit'.  A New York Post editorial even said his claims that he 'inherited' Trump's withdrawal plans were a 'lie' and branded the crisis situation 'as humiliating an end as the rooftop scramble in Saigon in 1975'. 

The head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, Armin Laschet, called it the 'biggest NATO debacle' since the founding of the alliance, while MPs accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a 'shameful' silence and questioned if he did enough to discourage President Biden from withdrawing US troops.  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was 'concerned' by accounts of human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return to the darkest days' of the 1990s when the Taliban came to power after the Civil War and imposed a brutal theocracy.  Afghanistan's representative to the UN Security Ghulam Isaczai told a meeting of the five powers the US, Britain, China, Russia and France on Monday that 'there are already reports of target killings and looting in the city'.  'Kabul residents are reported that the Taliban have already started house-to-house searches in some neighbourhoods, registering names and looking for people in their target list,' he added.   

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has also come under fire from critics and political rivals for hightailing out of the country as the Taliban stormed the Presidential Palace on Sunday night.  The Russian Embassy claimed that he had fled in a helicopter full of cash. His whereabouts remain unknown.

FALL OF KABUL: A TIMELINE OF THE TALIBAN'S FAST ADVANCE AFTER 40 YEARS OF CONFLICT

Feb. 29, 2020 Trump negotiates deal with the Taliban setting U.S. withdrawal date for May 1, 2021

Nov. 17, 2020 Pentagon announces it will reduce troop levels to 2500 in Afghanistan

Jan. 15, 2020 Inspector general reveals 'hubris and mendacity' of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan

Feb 3. 2021 Afghan Study Group report warns against withdrawing  'irresponsibly'

March Military command makes last-ditch effort to talk Biden out of withdrawal

April 14 Biden announces withdrawal will be completed by Sept. 11

May 4 - Taliban fighters launch a major offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand province. They also attack in at least six other provinces

May 11 - The Taliban capture Nerkh district just outside the capital Kabul as violence intensifies across the country

June 7 - Senior government officials say more than 150 Afghan soldiers are killed in 24 hours as fighting worsens. They add that fighting is raging in 26 of the country's 34 provinces

June 22 - Taliban fighters launch a series of attacks in the north of the country, far from their traditional strongholds in the south. The UN envoy for Afghanistan says they have taken more than 50 of 370 districts

July 2 - The U.S. evacuates Bagram Airfield in the middle of the night

July 5 - The Taliban say they could present a written peace proposal to the Afghan government as soon as August

July 21 - Taliban insurgents control about a half of the country's districts, according to the senior U.S. general, underlining the scale and speed of their advance

July 25 - The United States vows to continue to support Afghan troops "in the coming weeks" with intensified airstrikes to help them counter Taliban attacks

July 26 - The United Nations says nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest number for those months since records started in 2009

Aug. 6 - Zaranj in the south of the country becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years. Many more are to follow in the ensuing days, including the prized city of Kunduz in the north

Aug. 13 - Pentagon insists Kabul is not under imminent threat

Aug. 14 - The Taliban take the major northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province just 70 km (40 miles) south of Kabul. The United States sends more troops to help evacuate its civilians from Kabul as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is consulting with local and international partners on next steps

Aug. 15 - The Taliban take the key eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, effectively surrounding Kabul

Taliban insurgents enter Kabul, an interior ministry official says, as the United States evacuate diplomats from its embassy by helicopter

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I agree with you and people need to be responsible when using guns.  A lady on the same estate as me had two cats that disappeared 3 months apart and both were shot dead  >:(

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9855415/Islamist-hate-preacher-Anjem-Choudary-kicked-Instagram.html

Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary is kicked off Instagram days after he was banned from Twitter and Facebook

    Anjem Choudary was jailed for inviting support for Islamic State group in 2016
    He left Belmarsh prison on licence in 2018 and public speaking ban was lifted
    The 54-year-old hate preacher set up a series of pages on social media platforms
    But Twitter and Facebook 'permanently suspended' his pages within days
    Now Instagram account in Choudary's name has been banned under 'Dangerous Individuals' policy

By William Cole For Mailonline

Published: 11:12, 3 August 2021 | Updated: 12:04, 3 August 2021

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has had his Instagram account suspended just days after he was also booted off Twitter and Facebook.  The 54-year-old joined the social networking site as anjemchoudary1967 and began posting on Monday.  But within hours, Instagram's parent company Facebook moved to take the account down for violating its policies.  It comes days after Choudary's accounts on Facebook and Twitter were 'permanently suspended for violating the rules' of its violent organisations policy.  The firebrand preacher began setting up online profiles two weeks ago after legal conditions that prevented him from speaking publicly expired on July 18.  He had been the subject of legal restrictions since he was released from prison in October 2018 following a five-and-a-half-year stretch for inviting support for Islamic State.  But after they became void, Choudary joined a number of social networks. He also began sending essays promoting Shariah Law to a network of Whatsapp contacts, where he promoted his Instagram account.

'Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) I am now on instagram, feel free to follow me for updates on anjemchoudary1967,' he texted the group.

While active, his Instagram account showed a picture of him in glasses and another snap read: 'I bear witness that there is no Ilah (God/diety) except Allah (God Almighty).  And I bear witness that Muhammad is his Slave and Messenger.'

In a 'press release' dated July 31, and titled 'The Call For Shariah Is Just being A Muslim', he said: 'It is essential today to question all of our beliefs and to ensure that they have a firm basis because decisions we make based upon our beliefs not only shape our own lives but also impact upon others.  As a Muslim my firm belief in Allah and in the finality of the Messenger Muhammad comes with it the acceptance of all the tenets of Islam encompassed in the Shari'ah.  Sadly, due to the fact that not only are Muslims a minority in this country but also the fact that the majority of Muslims have had a secular education and have been indoctrinated with concepts which are an anathema to Islam and Muslims like, democracy freedom and liberalism, it is true that the majority of Muslims not only do not know what the Shari'ah or Islam is in terms of ruling and the economy etc* but they have also wholeheartedly adopted secularism and democracy instead.  This has led many to unfortunately leave the fold of Islam and among them are also a vocal few who not only have abandoned Islam but have become propagandists for secularism and democracy!'

He went on to say that Muslims who reject Shariah law are effectively saying they do not want to obey Allah.  'For those who believe they can isolate Britain or France or America and contend that Muslims should only call for the Shari'ah in "Muslim countries" this is also erroneous after all the whole planet Earth belongs to God and his law should, indeed must, be implemented everywhere,' he added.

'The vitriol that I have faced over the years for calling for Islam/the Shari'ah in Britain and indeed everywhere in the world therefore is not surprising.  'So this is merely a reminder to myself and fellow Muslims and a lesson to non Muslims and those who believe in secular democracy, that the call for the Shari'ah should not come as a surprise to anyone especially practising enlightened knowledgeable Muslims.  And it certainly is not radical, extreme or any or any other negative label you might wish to use. Is it just being Muslim on Gods Earth.'

In another post, he called for awareness over the 'plight' of Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, who has 'languished' in Lebanon's notorious Roumiah Prison since April 2014.  He was sentenced to six years there with hard labour after being convicted of founding a Lebanese affiliate of the Al-Qaeda linked Syrian terrorist group the Al-Nusra Front as well as building a training camp for terrorist fighters.  Choudary claimed to be speaking on behalf of Bakri Muhammad's family.  A spokeswoman for Instagram said: 'This account was removed from our platform for violating our Dangerous Individuals & Organisations policies.  Under these rules, we ban organisations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or engage in organised hate or violence.'

Anjem Choudary: Preacher of hate

For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has mostly been sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State.  Despite severe restrictions on his movements he’s electronically tagged and effectively gagged he’s since been spotted out and about as late as 11pm.  And just weeks ago the north London resident had his ban on public speaking lifted.  The ban on his accounts by big social media companies will be a set-back to him reaching his following, but he has other ways to spread his message such as sending essays promoting Shariah Law to a network of Whatsapp contacts.  Yet many might think it deeply offensive that this disgraced Islamist, who co-founded the British jihadist network al-Muhajiroun and has been an avowed supporter of terrorism here and abroad, is once again walking the streets of the capital.  Security experts have told the Mail that Choudary’s very presence in public is providing succour to followers of his despicable ideology.  Choudary is now back living with his wife Rubana Akhtar, 43, and their five children. Akhtar has been investigated for promoting extremism, but enquiries were dropped in September 2019. Their household, of course, ticks along thanks to generous benefit payments.  There is concern that Choudary’s new visibility is reigniting interest in his banned jihadist network al-Muhajiroun (which means the Emigrants).  In recent years this deadly group has been disrupted by arrests and anti-terrorism laws, but there are fears it is now reconstituting itself, splintering into smaller cells meeting in secret.  Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles, who has spent years monitoring Islamist and Far-Right groups, warns that even while depleted, al-Muhajiroun remains ‘Britain’s most prolific and dangerous extremist group’.

All of this however is a world away from Choudary’s previous incarnation as a fun-loving student at Southampton University. Then he was known as ‘Andy’ and was a smoking and beer-swigging womaniser.  He became radicalised after meeting the Syrian cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed at a mosque in Woolwich, South-East London. He was Bakri’s lieutenant, helping to found al-Muhajiroun in 1996.  The group gained worldwide prominence in 2002 when it advertised ‘The Magnificent 19’, a conference convened to celebrate the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and honour those who carried them out.  Choudary would eventually succeed Bakri as leader when the latter quit Britain for Lebanon in the wake of the London bombings of July 7, 2005, which killed 56 people. (The leader of the 7/7 attacks, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was linked to al-Muhajiroun.) Bakri now languishes in prison in Lebanon following his arrest in 2010.  Banned in 2006, al-Muhajiroun has over the years simply mutated, adopting new names to keep one step ahead of the authorities.  According to American academic Michael Kenney, author of The Islamic State In Britain, it has adopted 181 separate identities in the UK and abroad.  Having avoided arrest for years despite his overt sympathy for extremism and his terrorist links, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2016 for swearing an oath of allegiance to Islamic State. It was the culmination of a police inquiry that involved 20 years of material, 333 electronic devices and 12 terabytes of data.  Professor Kenney, who believes hardcore supporters of Choudary can be counted in dozens, says: ‘He doesn’t want to go back to prison. These people are very careful when they are on licence. But it will be interesting to see what will happen in the summer of 2021 [when the licence expires].’

More than 25,000 people in the UK are thought to be radicalised, of whom 3,000 to 4,000 are being watched. Returnee jihadists add hugely to this burden.

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Welcome to New Members / Re: Welcome
« on: August 03, 2021, 12:05:58 PM »
Welcome cocopops  :cheerleader:

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