Britain is facing a severe shortage of CO2, a vital component in meat production, industry leaders are warning.
The gas is used to slaughter farm animals by making them lose consciousness. It is also used to package meat products to extend shelf life.
The shortage faced in the UK – attributed to high gas prices – could potentially “cancel Christmas,” the head of a major poultry manufacturer said.
The shortage is caused by the closure of two fertilizer plants in the UK – which produce CO2 as a byproduct – crippled by an energy shortage and high gas prices hitting the UK, the Guardian reported.
The energy shortages compounded by labor issues, partly linked to Brexit and the lack of foreign workers, could spiral into the festive period, said the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, a major turkey company
“There are less than 100 days left until Christmas and Bernard Matthews and my other poultry businesses are working harder than ever before to try and recruit people to maintain food supplies,” Ranjit Singh Boparan told Sky News.
“The supply of Bernard Matthews turkeys this Christmas was already compromised as I need to find 1,000 extra workers to process supplies. Now with no CO2 supply, Christmas will be canceled.
“Without CO2, the bottom line is there is less throughout and with our sector is already compromised with lack of labor, this potentially tips us over the edge,” said Boparan.
Ian Wright, the chief executive of the UK Food and Drink Federation, warned that without rapid government intervention on the price of gas, the impact would be felt in two weeks, the BBC reported.
“And of course, that’s concerning because we’re beginning to get into the pre-Christmas supply period when warehouses begin to pick up, build up their stocks, ready for the push to Christmas a few weeks later,” said Wright.
A Defra spokesperson said to The Guardian: “We are aware of the issues faced by some businesses and are working closely with industry to provide support and advice. We have had extensive meetings with representatives from the meat production and processing sectors, and we are continuing those conversations over the weekend.
“The UK benefits from having access to highly diverse sources of gas supply to ensure households, businesses and heavy industry get the energy they need at a fair price.”
A former homeland security official said the Republican Party is like a “Tinder for terrorists,” where radicals around the country can “swipe right and match with an extremist politician who amplifies their views.”
Miles Taylor, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, commented on MSNBC on Saturday to discuss the “Justice for J6” rally.
Miles Taylor said he found the “spike in support for political violence” across the country to be “disturbing.”
“This is a rally being held to free the insurrectionists. And let me be clear, these are not political prisoners. These are criminals. Some of whom are responsible for the death and injury of police officers.”
The right-wing rally, organized in support of more than 600 people arrested for the Capitol riot, was ultimately sparsely attended.
However, in the days leading up to the event, Donald Trump spoke out in support of the Capitol rioters, calling them “political prisoners.”
Taylor, a self-proclaimed Republican, criticized his party for excusing the Capitol rioters and repeating the widely disproved claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Donald Trump and his allies have filed dozens of lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results, but all of them failed.
“The Republican Party, my party, in many cases has continued to promote the Big Lie, but worse, has offered and vocalized support for these criminals,” Taylor said.
Miles Taylor said the Republican Party had to ask itself whether it wanted to continue being the party of Abraham Lincoln and founding ideals.
“Today, I think we look more like a Tinder for terrorists where radicals around the country can swipe right and match with an extremist politician who amplifies their views, and then when they get into trouble and commit crime tries to go bail them out from prison,” Taylor said.
“So if you ask me right now, we look a little bit less like the party of Lincoln and more like a Tinder for terrorists.”
Maria Butina, the Russian agent convicted and jailed for trying to infiltrate political organizations in the United States, has been elected to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament in Russia, this week.
The 32-year-old won the seat for President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party as a candidate in the rural region of Kirov Oblast.
It is the latest chapter in a political thriller of a life for the young Russian. She has played the role of the girlfriend to powerful men on the US Right and grabbed the headlines when she was arrested for spying. She was imprisoned before being deported to her homeland to a hero’s welcome.
The Russian agent arrived in the US in the guise of a guns-rights activist and focussed on the leadership of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to meet high-profile Republican politicians and set up a “back-channel” of communications with the Kremlin, according to reports.
But Butina was arrested in July 2018 in Washington DC and accused by federal prosecutors of infiltrating powerful political circles at the direction of Russian officials.
‘I have one weakness as a woman – I really like smart men’
Insider can reveal that Butina has not severed all her connections with the US. She has received large sums of money in the last year from Patrick Byrne, 59, the former CEO of online furniture retailer Overstock.com and Donald Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist.
When asked about the monetary gifts, Byrne told Insider, in an email: “I made a gift to Maria out of a desire to let her land on her feet and restart her life in Russia.”
Around this time, Butina also began a romantic relationship with Byrne.
Butina said of Byrne, according to The New York Post: “I have one weakness as a woman – I really like smart men. That’s my biggest weakness, and that I guess gets me in trouble all the time.”
Byrne later said he continued his relationship with Butina at the direction of the FBI. Butina once claimed that he tried to poison her in order to interrogate her while under the influence.
Despite the apparent betrayal, a video made by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team revealed that Byrne gifted Butina tens of millions of Russian rubles in the last year, according to her asset disclosures.
Recalling their unique relationship, Byrne told Insider the money he recently sent her was to make amends: “Because I felt badly for Maria, for the role I had played in helping the FBI set her up, and in the way I had misused her in my own designs.”
But, he added, the couple will never be reunited.
“Maria and I know that we will never meet again, but it seemed like the right thing to do. When I performed this act of generosity I made sure it was done with full legality and notification to the proper authorities.”
Last month Russia’s Communist Party called on election officials to reject Butina’s candidacy on the grounds that she is the recipient of “foreign funding,” specifically referring to Byrne’s gifts.
Insider could not reach Butina for comment.
Butina was photographed with top GOP politicians at NRA events
Butina’s foray into politics began in 2011, when she founded a Russian gun-rights group called Right to Bear Arms, and started working as a special assistant for former senator and current Central Bank official Alexander Torshin.
Butina and Torshin formed close relationships with the NRA, regularly flying to the US to attend conferences and being named “life members” by the organization.
In 2014 and 2015 Butina was photographed with senior Republican politicians at NRA events, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
She also met Donald Trump Jr. at an NRA convention and asked Donald Trump a question about relations with Russia at an event.
In 2016 she moved to the US on a student visa, at which point the FBI supposedly started monitoring her and eventually snared her as a spy.
After serving her jail sentence, Butina returned to Moscow and took a job at the Russian state-funded television channel RT.
In April 2021 Butina filmed a segment in which she visited Alexei Navalny in prison to report on the “exemplary” jail conditions and to counter the opposition leader’s protests that he was being poorly treated.
At the time Navalny was on a hunger strike after being denied medical treatment.
This weekend’s parliamentary elections in Russia have been widely described as lacking transparency and fairness after the Kremlin cracked down on political opposition and limited press freedom.
Alexei Navalny had encouraged voters to vote tactically in order to beat United Russia candidates, as part of a movement called “smart voting.”
It remains to be seen what kind of politician the reinvented Butina will be, and what this next chapter will hold.
In a recent campaign video Butina said she delt indebted to her country and her people after “everyone from the President to residents in the depths of Russia fought for my release.”
“I will be very glad to be useful to the Kirov region,” she said.
The fire did not reach the main part of the house, although flames also damaged a fence and a tree, Yarbough added.
It is unclear who is currently living in the California mansion, valued at more than $10 million according to county records cited in The Daily Beast.
But neighbors are now demanding answers on whether the property, one of many homes in the area owned by Page, is being used unlawfully as an office for Google workers.
One neighbor told Palo Alto Online that the home is only ever used in the daytime as what appears to be an office space for a small group of tech workers.
Another neighbor told The Daily Beast that the Google co-founder bought the home as a guest house.
Public records confirm that the property is owned by an LLC that has shared two addresses with Page’s family foundation, the Daily Beast reported.
Page owns multiple homes in the area and likes to guards his privacy. His current whereabouts are a mystery, although Insider previously reported that he spent most of the coronavirus lockdown in a remote part of Fiji.
The women held signs with messages including, “elimination of women = elimination of human beings.”
On Thursday, women who worked at the women’s ministry were locked out, Reuters reported.
The next day, the signage was changed to the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice.”
Although there is little information about the new ministry, it is expected to enforce strict religious doctrines.
The chief of the morality police in Kandahar told The Observer that new rules include women only being allowed to leave home if accompanied by a male guardian, compulsory prayer, and stipulations on beard length for men.
Women in Afghanistan have been fearful of the future after the militant group took control of the country last month.
During the Taliban’s previous rule in the 1990s, severe restrictions were placed on women’s lives. Although the group has promised to be less severe, they have already begun limiting women’s freedom.
The new virtue and vice ministry is an indication of the kind of strict Islamic society the Taliban wants to shape.
Although the group includes a call to respect women in the department’s guidelines, they also stipulate that women should not have contact with any men outside of immediate family and should not leave the house without a guardian or a hijab.
The Kandahar morality police chief told The Observer that Afghans would be encouraged to call in and report on their neighbors if they break the rules.
Leaders of the new department are likely aware of how it is perceived internationally, The Observer said. When they handed out an English language list of new cabinet appointments earlier this month, the vice and virtue ministry was the only one not translated.
But a Trump-loving preacher at a Texas megachurch has decreed that there is “no credible religious argument” for turning down a shot, the Associated Press said.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, a pastor at the 12,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, told the news agency that he and his staff are neither “offering” exemption letters nor “encouraging” members of their congregation to seek out religious exemptions from coronavirus vaccine mandates.
“Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products that used the same cell line if they are sincere in their objection,” said Jeffress in an email.
The AP reported that leaders of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said Thursday that, aside from medical reasons, “there is no exemption in the Orthodox Church for Her faithful from any vaccination for religious reasons.”
Similarly, the news agency reported that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York have also said that they are not in support of exemption letters, according to the AP.
But not all churches share the same view. The AP said that some Catholic bishops, including those at The Colorado Catholic Conference, have made it easier to object to the vaccine on religious grounds by posting online templates for a letter that priests can sign.
One pastor in Tulsa has even said that he will sign a religious exemption letter if people donate to his church, The Washington Post reported.
According to a senior fellow for religious freedom at the Freedom Forum in Washington, religious exemptions are likely to be at the center of fierce legal battles in the coming months.
“As vaccine mandates continue to expand in schools and workplaces, there is bound to be more litigation on the issue of religious exemptions – especially in cases where no exemptions (except medical) are allowed,” said Charles Haynes in an email to The Washington Post.
Leaving a job, especially in a time of a labor shortage, can cause tensions between yourself and your former employer.
Rian Keogh from South Dublin, Ireland, was chasing his final paycheque from his bar job. He had been employed by Alfies, a bar and restaurant in the Irish capital, for two months when he decided to quit.
When he finally got paid – it was in a bucket full of coins.
The “father” of Iran’s nuclear weapons program was at the top of Israel’s hit list for 14 years. On November 27 2020, after a failed attempt to kill him a decade earlier, the Mossad finally managed to assassinate Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Their weapon of choice? A remote-controlled machine gun that required no on-site operatives and utilized advanced artificial intelligence technology, according to a report by The New York Times.
The deadly weapon was a special model of a Belgian-made FN MAG machine gun, which was attached to an advanced robotic apparatus, The New York Times reported.
It weighed about a ton and was controlled by Mossad operatives outside of Iran, thus ensuring the safety of Israeli agents, intelligence officials told the media outlet.
In order to get the weapon into the country, The Times said, it was smuggled into Iran piece by piece and was secretly assembled in time for the hit.
The Mossad had been following Fakhrizadeh since 2007, The Times reported, and the Israeli national intelligence agency reportedly set in motion plans to assassinate him in late 2019 after discussions with former President Donald Trump and high-ranking US officials.
Fakhrizadeh was a top target because Israeli intelligence officials said he was leading Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
Israeli had considered a variety of methods to assassinate Fakhrizadeh, according to The Times, and the Mossad had weighed up detonating a bomb near his armed convoy, forcing him to halt, and attacking him with snipers. The plan was shelved.
Instead, the remote-controlled machine gun idea was floated. The New York Times reported that the computerized weapon was attached to an abandoned-looking pickup truck, which was fixed with cameras and explosives. It was positioned at a major junction on Fakhrizadeh’s route to his country home by Iranian agents working with the Mossad,
Once Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle arrived at the junction, in November 2020, Mossad operatives outside of Iran used the cameras to positively identify their target and unleashed a hail of bullets from the remote-controlled machine gun.
He got out of his car, The New York Times said, and was hit with three more bullets that “tore into his spine.” Reportedly, his bodyguards looked confused as they could not see an obvious assailant.
The kill took less than 60 seconds and only injured Fakhrizadeh, the paper reported.
The explosives on the pickup truck were supposed to damage the machine gun beyond repair but, instead, remained largely intact.
As a consequence, The Times said, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were able to correctly assess that a remote-controlled machine gun “equipped with an intelligent satellite system” using artificial intelligence had carried out the attack.
The migrants were part of a wave of Haitians heading north, many of whom arrived in South America after the 2010 earthquake, the paper reported.
Many have embarked on dangerous journeys to reach the United States, trekking through jungles and dodging criminal gangs, the paper said.
After the events of this summer, the Biden administration curtailed deportation flights to Haiti, according to the paper.
The decision to now deport the migrants reflects a change in approach, as the government struggles to cope with record numbers of migrants.
Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for allowing hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants to cross the border into the United States, The Times said.
Democrats counter the claims.
“We have reiterated that our borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey,” Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary for public affairs for the Department of Homeland Security, said, according to The New York Times.
Since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, thousands of women in the UK have been saying that their periods have been disrupted, say experts.
More than 30,000 women said their menstrual cycle being somewhat altered after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, reported Sky News.
The UK’s Yellow Card scheme, where people can voluntarily report their side effects to any medication – including vaccinations – has shown that many women have seen a disruption in their periods.
Dr. Victoria Male, a reproductive immunologist from Imperial College London, wrote in the British Medical Journal that while these changes are safe and short-lived, has stated that an investigation as to why this happens is crucial.
Dr. Male states that periods can be heavier or delayed because of an immune response, and poses no danger to one’s body.
“Robust research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the overall success of the vaccination program. One important lesson is that the effects of medical interventions on menstruation should not be an afterthought in future research,” wrote Dr. Male.
Writing in The Telegraph, Caroline Criado-Perez, author of Invisible Women, said: “As with most clinical studies, the Covid-19 vaccine trials did not investigate menstrual cycle effects – in fact, in many trials women are wholesale excluded because of potential menstrual cycle effects.”
There is no reason to be significantly concerned about menstrual changes and long-term impacts, writes Dr. Male, as the vast majority of those reporting the post-vaccine alterations state that normality ensues quickly.