Pope Francis Approves Same-Sex Civil Unions

Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time since taking the papal position.

The approval came halfway through a feature-length documentary, titled Francesco, which had its premiere at the Rome Film Festival.

The film delves into topics Francis cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by prejudice.

Francis said in one of his sit down interviews for the film that homosexual people have the right to be in a family and that they were the children of God, and he continued that what we have to have is a civil union law, that way they are legally protected.

Francis’s predecessors, including Benedict XVI and John Paul II, denounced same-sex marriage during their papal tenure.

While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis supported civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriage. However, he had never come out publicly in acceptance of civil unions as pope until now.

Director Evgeny Afineevsky had remarkable access to cardinals, the Vatican television archives and the pope himself and he said he negotiated his way in through perseverance, and deliveries of Argentine mate tea and Alfajores cookies that he got to the pope via some well connected Argentines in Rome.

The premiere comes after the Pope applauded a breastfeeding mother as he reverted to going without a coronavirus face mask during the Vatican general audience.

Francis mentioned Switzerland’s Valentina Frey at the beginning of the audience in the Paul VI hall while she breastfed her daughter Charlotte Katharina.

He said the act was an illustration of affection and beauty before continuing his address.

The Pope said that something grabbed his attention while the readers were reciting the Biblical passages and there was the baby over there that was crying.

He said that he was looking at the mother who was nursing the baby and consoling her and he said he was thinking about how God is like this was us. How he often endeavours to console us and nurse us and that it was a beautiful vision when this is happening in the church and we hear the baby crying and we see the mother’s tenderness.

And he thanked her for her witness and said that the tenderness of a mother is a sign of God’s tenderness with us and that we should never silence a baby in the church because this is the voice that attracts God’s tenderness.

There are numerous people out there that will say that God or Jesus doesn’t exist, but then I guess in 2,000 years our predecessors will say that we didn’t exist either, but at least Jesus and God was written about.

However, there have been stories about Harry Potter, princesses locked in towers with long hair and walking bears that sit and eat porridge, but many prominent stories lack the whole validity element.

Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man. Living in the sky and watches everything you do, every minute of every day.

This invisible man has a unique list of ten things he doesn’t want you to do, and if you do any of those ten things, he has a special place, full of fire, smoke, burning, suffering and despair.

And he will send you to live in that special place to suffer, burn, choke, scream and cry forever and ever till the end of time – but he loves you! And he needs money, he always needs money.

We Have Seen Boris Johnson At His Most Incompetent Numerous Times. Here He Was At His Most Malignant

On live television, Andy Burnham had just finished making an impassioned plea for the tiny amount of money that will be needed to spare the poorest and most vulnerable people of Manchester from ruination in the wake of new coronavirus constraints being thrust upon them.

Reporters had asked a few questions, and then, still, on live television, a colleague positioned a smartphone in front of him, containing breaking news.

Not only is help not coming, through pure vindictiveness, the previous, already too low, offer had been withdrawn.

Andy Burnham puffed out his cheeks in horror, and after a short pause to take in what was happening, alighted on the following words and said that this was no way to run a country, is it?

Coronavirus has not left history short on vignettes to encapsulate this Government’s quite shocking ineptitude. But this wasn’t ineptitude, it was sheer nastiness.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, had just been saying that there would be a better possibility of beating the virus if we worked together and that we couldn’t move through the pandemic by grinding communities down – we need to carry the public with us, not destroy their spirit.

They were stirring words. It’s also, of course, a significant testament to Boris Johnson that he’s turned the likes of Andy Burnham, a man who was arguably the least outstanding contender in the 2015 Labour leadership contest, which we may recall was defeated by an obscure backbencher called Jeremy Corbyn, into a great leader.

Crises make some, not all, but some aspects of the job of politicians much easier and it isn’t all that difficult to find the right words for sober times, though it’s certainly beyond the Prime Minister, as is every other aspect bar none.

Andy Burham had explained in stern and clear detail how he was asking only for £65 million, which equates to approximately £23 per person in the Greater Manchester region.

This he said, was the bare minimum and that without it, people would be made homeless.

He’d been offered £60 million, and the negotiations appeared to have broken down over the almost laughably tiny sum of £5 million and then, on live TV, he would learn that Manchester’s MPs were on a video conference call with Matt Hancock, the offer had been unilaterally lowered to £22 million, and tier 3 restrictions were being unilaterally imposed too.

And this grievous handling of these matters by our Government endangers the very unity desperately needed in these times across the country, with everyone now liable to becoming rebels, with most people saying that they can stick their tier 3 and that they’re going with their instincts, just like puppet master Dominic Cummings.

And how much more poop are the people going to take?

The Conservatives have nothing but contempt for having to help the working classes and we should remember their actions when we next visit the ballot box and we should also remember this is the Prime Minister who said he’s finding it difficult living on £150,000 a year but still expects people to live merrily on a minimum wage.

And we have seen Boris Johnson at his most dangerous, and he doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing, although I’m sure nobody else could have done better. Still, they seem to have become extremely vengeful of the people with their imposing settlement figures based on what they need in the middle of a pandemic, but what they’re really doing is bringing about pandemic austerity.

World’s First COVID Human Challenge Trials To Start

Volunteers in London are to be infected with coronavirus early next year, in the world’s first COVID 19 human challenge trials.

The project, first announced in a media outlet last month, was disclosed publicly on Tuesday morning with an initial £33.6 million of government funding.

The aim is to speed up vaccine development by contaminating participants with coronavirus in a secure clinic, a month or so after vaccination, rather than waiting for them to be exposed as they go about their normal lives in the community, as occurs in conventional clinical trials.

Before that, healthy recruits aged 18 to 30 years old will take part in a virus characterisation study at the Royal Free Hospital’s special biocontainment suite to learn how people react to infection.

Starting with a tiny dose of the virus, the scientists will gradually increase the amount given to the volunteers until they reach a level that reliably infects the upper respiratory tract.

Up to 90 people will be involved at this stage, which is expected to last approximately three months.

Andrew Catchpole, scientific director of hVivo, a company specialising in human challenge studies, which will be running the project in partnership with academic partners led by the Imperial College London said that they want to find the lowest dose of the virus that will reproducibly deliver an infection.

hVivo is a spinout from the Queen Mary University of London that was bought earlier this year by Open Orphan, a Dublin based pharmaceutical research company.

Dr Catchpole said the virus used would be a strain circulating in the United Kingdom, to be manufactured at Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Zayed Centre for Research.

When the scientists have determined the most suitable doses to use, they will start to test COVID 19 vaccine candidates selected by the UK vaccines task force, probably beginning in late spring if the characterisation studies go well – the Government has reserved the first three trial slots and will determine which vaccines to test.

Chris Chiu of Imperial, the study’s lead researcher said that human challenge studies can increase their knowledge of COVID 19 in extraordinary ways and accelerate the development of the many possible new COVID 19 treatments and vaccines.

He added that their number one priority is the safety of the volunteers and that his team has been safely conducting human challenge studies with other respiratory viruses for over 10 years and that no study is entirely risk-free but the human challenge programme partners will be working hard to guarantee that they make the risks as low as they conceivably can.

How Failures Of The Obama-Era Stimulus Could Navigate A Biden Administration

The person taking the oath of office on Jan 20 will encounter economic disarray and this will be true whether it’s Joe Biden or Donald Trump, and true whether or not the off and on negotiations over a new round of pandemic relief yield anything.

Given mass failures of small businesses and continuing astronomical numbers of people filing for jobless benefits, the President will encounter a situation uncannily comparable to the situation Joe Biden and President Obama encountered a dozen years before.

If it is Joe Biden who comes to power, along with Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, he will have something rare, the opportunity to look at the lessons of recent yore and have a do-over.

Barack Obama’s first legislative focus, the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, demonstrates what can go awry when the Government spends money on a mass scale to resolve an economic situation.

Mainstream economists believe that the legislation helped stabilise financial markets and start an economic expansion that would last a decade, but it also proved underpowered and politically toxic, with lasting consequences for Barack Obama’s presidency.

It offered fuel for the president’s adversaries to depict him as an extravagant debt spendthrift. Yet it was also insufficient to forge a robust recovery and the unemployment rate the month of the 2010 midterm elections was 9.8 per cent, almost as high as it had been a year earlier.

That combination of a fragile recovery with the perception of profligate spending helped Republicans retake the House of Representatives.

Most voters never agreed with the opinion of economists that the recession would have been more alarming if not for the stimulus bill.

In 2010, for instance, only 35 per cent of Americans in a Pew survey thought that the legislation had helped keep unemployment from getting worse and by distinction, 80 per cent of economists surveyed in 2012 said the legislation had resulted in a lower jobless rate that year.

The lesson, if you’re going to shoot your shot at improving the economy, you’d best go big enough to not just stop it from crumpling, but also to get a boom underway.

The same economic challenges will apply if Donald Trump is re-elected, though the likely policy path would be different.

In negotiations over pandemic relief spending, the administration has embraced help for businesses, including protecting them from virus related legal liability and many Republican senators have fought a new large scale stimulus, despite occasional tweets from the President endorsing it and his allies have argued that the administration’s strategy of deregulation and low taxes will create a robust recovery as public health concerns ebb.

Joe Biden is just a human being like all of us and it’s not fair to expect any more than the best that he can do.

He’s going to have to do a lot just to fix the damage that Donald Trump has done, plus there are tons of laws that need to be strengthened or replaced and the people of America can’t now count on some sort of old boy sense of propriety as a normal.

They have to ground their Government on something more solid now, so someone like Donald Trump can never happen again, at least for the sake of coming generations. So, just remember Donald Trump’s herd mentality, because the more he talks the more people start to believe it.

Wales To Go Into National Two-Week Firebreak COVID Lockdown

The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, has declared that a temporary national lockdown will be imposed in Wales.

The Welsh Government believes a two-week firebreak, from Friday at 6 pm until Monday 9 November is essential to help bring the virus under control.

Approximately 2.3 million people in Wales are already living under local lockdown rules, that’s fifteen of Wales’s 22 counties plus Bangor and Llanelli.

The Labour-led Welsh Government has also prohibited people from crossing into Wales from tier 2 and tier 3 areas in other parts of the United Kingdom, but the Government believes it needs to go further and it asserts that a sharp lockdown now will give it and the NHS in Wales breathing space ahead of a difficult winter.

Everyone in Wales will be required to remain at home and work from home wherever possible and workers in critical jobs and those for whom working from home isn’t feasible are allowed out.

Non-essential shops, tourism and hospitality industries will have to close, except for takeaways, along with community centres, libraries and places of worship, other than for funerals and weddings.

Drakeford said children were the Welsh Government’s top focus and he said childcare would remain open and primary and special schools would reopen as expected after the half term.

He said that secondary schools will reopen after the half term for children in years 7 and 8 and those taking exams, but that other pupils will continue their education from home for an additional week.

All gathering indoors and outdoors will be prohibited with people from other households – there will be an exception for people who live alone, who will be able to continue to join one other household.

Drakeford said the virus was spreading rapidly in every part of Wales and if action was not taken it would continue to accelerate, risking overwhelmingly to the NHS.

He said the firebreak is the shortest that they could make it, but that meant it would have to be intense and deep to have the maximum impact on the virus.

College students will study from home in the week starting 9 November and universities will continue to provide a blend of in-person and online learning.

Drakeford added that in the same way, they were asking everyone to remain at home and that if students have reading weeks or half term they will also need to remain at home in their university accommodation.

But will this not allow students to catch the train home, spend a fortnight carrying on as normal, then bring it back?

Hmm, a fortnight locked in a 12ft by 10ft room with zoom lessons or escape back to mum and dad, zoom lessons and home comforts, I know which I would prefer.

Oh dear, circuit breakers, almost as ridiculous as flattening the curve and masks don’t work from earlier.

Sure take a break, but it won’t stop the virus from spreading and all they’re doing is kicking the can down the road and if masks work, why have cases continued to rise exponentially in both Wales and England since their introduction?

That’s because masks are not 100 per cent effective, although nobody ever claimed they were – they only just mask the virus, pardon the pun.

Masks just reduce the probabilities of you getting coronavirus and that’s only by about 5 per cent, but unfortunately, delaying the spread of COVID into the winter will then overlap with other respiratory emergencies and create another predictable peak in excess winter deaths and this strategy is opposite of flattening the curve.

National Circuit Breaker Would Be Unfair, Voices Michael Gove

A national circuit breaker lockdown was ruled out by the Government after Labour said that several might be needed and each could last longer than three weeks.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, left the door open for a regional variant of the policy, however, by criticising it only for imposing blanket restrictions on places where infection rates were lower.

He said that opposing stringent measures in the name of the economy was an erroneous argument because businesses would suffer if the virus was not brought under control.

We should say no to another lockdown and the figures revealed a 3 per cent increase in infection over seven days. What happened to the doubling of the infection every seven days and how do these figures warrant a national lockdown?

And our supposed experts can make as many crazy and assertive projections as they like because they’ll never be held accountable for any wrongs, and the most peculiar feature of the present situation is the refusal of Ministers to learn from experience.

If a full lockdown of several months didn’t work, either here in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, why does our Government imagine that lesser measures such as the Rule of Six, travel prohibitions, pub curfews or two-week circuit breakers will do any good.

The truth is we have no idea what our Government thinks its doing, and in the absence of answers to these somewhat apparent questions, we have to presume that Ministers have no idea what they’re doing either.

And eventually, there will be riots and Boris Johnson will be disposed, or leave from burnout and disrepute, felt throughout the entire country.

COVID is a revolution engine by people defying Government authority and this has been a disastrous response to a real disease misinterpreted by all.

Measures are not helping the slowing of the disease and if every single person followed to the letter of the law and article of guidance, there would probably still be a raging pandemic.

Furthermore, if natural or vaccine assisted herd immunity isn’t to be a cure-all, then the end game is that this COVID will be with us for an extremely long time – much longer than we first thought and we can’t economically or even healthily afford lockdowns that would accrue over that time.

This virus is going to be about for years and people must start to realise this, and short term measures aren’t going to help.

How many circuit breakers are we supposed to have over the next few years because it’s a good idea? This will cause more businesses to crumple which will mean more unemployment, which will feed us into a deeper recession.

What the Government and others should be doing is looking into endurable ways of diminishing the risk of spreading the virus without the Lame Stream media flogging people in all directions so that they can create issues which they can then report on.

Test and Trace, for example, is null and void now, it’s finished and total garbage and most people don’t even have the app on their phones and many people are doing the opposite of the guidance and the law for the guidance or the law to be useful.

And barely anyone stays two metres away from each other in the street and only two fifths, if that, wear masks in the street, and now, so much of it has become absurd and a mystery.

Whatever way we look at it, COVID is here to stay for a very long time, and there aren’t many viable solutions, and vaccines are interesting because when or if they do come up with one, two fifths or even a third of the population won’t take it.

French Police Raid Homes Of Dozens Of Radical Islamists

Police raided the homes of dozens of radical Islamists in Paris after a Chechen born teenager beheaded a teacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to students.

The operation followed directives from President Macron to crack down on radicals whose doctrines are blamed for provoking Abdullakh Anzorov, 18, to murder Samuel Paty, who taught at a secondary school on the outskirts of Paris.

Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, said that the targets of the raids were not suspected of involvement in the slaying but were known activities and that they had a clear intention of passing a message and that there wouldn’t be a minute’s rest for adversaries of the republic.

It’s simple really if they don’t like the cultural norms of the country they’re living in, then don’t stay and don’t go applying the sort of medieval punishment they found in their own country.

You know the saying, when in Rome and if these people don’t like our ways, then they should leave.

Europe has been infested by all kinds of terrorist minds, but it’s not they’re fault, we let them in – we greeted them with open arms and now we’re paying the price with blood.

It’s terrible what happened, but we must also remember not to tar everyone with the same brush. The problem is, the same brush seems to apply to a common reoccurring theme no matter how compassionate we might want to be and that’s the problem, and the majority of Muslims in France were born there.

And we have to remember that there are millions of Muslims in Europe and few have killed anyone and perhaps we have been too free with our bombs in other people’s countries, although I don’t condone this in any way.

What baffles me is, why was this teacher showing this kind of cartoon to school children?

There’s no problem with people having different beliefs, but that should never spill out onto other people, especially when it comes to slaying another person because of their beliefs, and this teacher could have shown his students some caricature of something else, perhaps President Macron – at least he wouldn’t have become headless.

Of course, this teacher didn’t deserve what he got and showing a cartoon as an educational tool doesn’t justify murder, and sometimes it’s better to keep quiet if you don’t know anything about a subject or topic, although he should have been able to discuss any faith openly and we should be able to caricature without fear of reprisals.

People come from different country’s all the time and settle in very well, however, some refuse to assimilate, and we can’t have people like this living in our country’s if they can’t be bothered to adhere to our laws and criteria.

Tesco launches enormous recruitment drive for Christmas

Supermarket colossus Tesco has launched a recruitment drive for Christmas, with 11,000 vacancies available across the United Kingdom.

The grocer said positions are available in Superstores, Tesco Extra branches and at warehouses, with jobs to start immediately.

The positions came amid hundreds of thousands of redundancies as a result of the pandemic, with the roles likely to provide a lifeline to many people who’ve been forced out of work.

Tesco said it’s looking for checkout staff, shelf stackers and pickers for online deliveries.

The jobs will be in place until January and see you working up to 36 hours a week, but Tesco said that after the seasonal period ends, there will be opportunities for permanent jobs in stores.

Tesco People Director Rachel Bushby said that once the seasonal period comes to an end, Christmas colleagues will be encouraged to apply for any permanent positions available in their stores and that successful candidates will be invited for an interview in store.

Tesco is almost certainly not the only supermarket looking for a helping hand over the festive period.

Last year Sainsbury’s was looking for 11,500 extra staff, while there have always been new jobs up for grabs at the likes of Royal Mail, Next, Boots and more.

Sadly, this is not always the case, as many people apply to Tesco for employment and they don’t even get an interview or a response and it’s extremely unfair and disrespectful not to get a response and they will also lay off people after the New Year like they do every year.

Prince Harry Snub As Charles Removes Collectable Named After Him From Highgrove

Royal fanatics can buy a ‘William’ teddy bear this Christmas from his father’s Highgrove House, but in the past, Highgrove Enterprises has sold three bears with royal names, William, Harry and Louis, but there will be no Harry’s this year.

The £125 alpaca haired bear features a gold embroidered Highgrove logo on its paw and comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity and is billed as an outstanding piece of British heritage and a loyal companion to both adults and children alike.

It joins the Louis bear of which Merry believed made just 150 and it’s expected there will be more bears in forthcoming years with money raised going towards the Prince of Wale’s Charitable Fund.

Last year a limited edition Harry bear that was made from mohair from goats was withdrawn by Highgrove after concerns were raised about animal cruelty and now many people are furious about Harry and Meghan, saying that he made his choice and that he has to live with it, although the withdrawal of the bear had nothing to do with that.

However, Harry and Meghan appear to be enjoying life, although he always looks pretty miserable to me. Perhaps he’s missing some of his old life because it’s extremely difficult to turn your back on your family and friends.

Some of us though are not consumed by hatred the way some people are these days and to be fair, I don’t blame him. He wants to be happy with his wife and baby and I’m sure he’s old enough to make up his own mind, besides there’s been enough suffering in that family already and I don’t think that his father would want to stand in his way whatever his personal views were – anyhow, this is all about a souvenir teddy bear, it’s not like it’s life or death.

The Merry bears are a limited edition and only one is released at a time, it just so happens that it’s William’s turn since there was already a Harry bear not so long ago and the Harry bears weren’t removed because of how anyone feels about the royal situation, they were removed due to the accusations of animal cruelty around the mohair coat.

People should just leave the poor lad alone to live his life in peace and support him in whatever he wants to do. After all, there are enough royals to carry on with appearances and he clearly loves his wife and nobody has the strength or right to change that.

The Merry bears had nothing to do with Harry, but it’s so easy to trigger the gutter press readers and it’s extremely sad, but then I suppose it makes excellent news.

Being of royal blood, especially the queen of hearts, many people loathed him from day one, but then I suppose he doesn’t have to carry the burden of Prince Andrew around with him – only the burden of having a person of colour for a wife, at least they will live a colourful life and Harry knew that he would never have any noteworthy position inside the Royal Family.

He will always be Prince Harry to most people, but it was his choice to make, let’s face it, it’s not like most of the other royals have not been beyond reproach.

Powerful Voices Now Argue For A More Subtle And Less Distressing Way Of Learning To Live With The Virus

The steps now being imposed on large regions of the country would be severe and difficult to endure if we had grounds to believe that they would do any good. The problem is that we have no shred of tangible proof that they will help at all.

The vast illogical web of new rules, increasingly impossible to comprehend or follow, looks worryingly like an exasperated endeavour to penalise us for wanting to live ordinary lives and enjoy ourselves.

Go to the pub if you’re prepared to consume a large unhealthy meal with your drink, but not otherwise.

Go to the gym in Manchester but not in Liverpool.

Wear a mask while you walk to your restaurant table, but not while you sit down.

You can’t socialise in your parent’s social bubble, but you can meet them down the pub.

And by the time you’ve worked it all out and what they mean, the rules will have changed again.

The apparent scientific basis for this is feeble beyond belief, as Sir Keir Starmer pointed out before throwing all reason and logic aside, demanding more severe collective punishments, which would incidentally make even more people unemployed and 19 out of the 20 places already compelled to suffer under these authoritarian regimes, no benefit was observed.

And why should it be? When we were first lured into this new way of life by an appeal to our goodwill and benevolence and we were told that a few weeks of self-restraint would save the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Who could resist such a plea? And millions jovially sacrificed their treasured freedoms for the common good, believing they would soon get them back when the job was done.

The NHS was not overwhelmed, and it’s far from clear that it ever would have been, but the weeks passed, and what happened?

We had a serious case of mission creep and somehow the task had now become one never previously attempted or achieved by any society, the virtual suppression of the virus itself.

We were not free to return to our normal lives – on the contrary, every few days brought a new apparent alarm and a cranky and increasingly petulant Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, did not free us from our bonds.

Restrictions applied on the pretext of safety or security are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and these were of no exception and only after enormous harm had been done to the economy were we permitted to resume something like normal life.

Boris Johnson isn’t giving us any peace of mind. He just mutters out his own rules, and if this virus is as bad as he’s saying, why hasn’t he closed schools et cetera?

Our Government are just trying to control us until they’ve completed their little plan.

And it just makes me wonder if there’s ever going to be a vaccine or is this just money for him and the Government to gain from the pharmaceutical companies?

At the end of the day, we’re all being treated like children and it won’t be long before people start to retaliate back at him.

He can’t keep us all dangling on a string and expect everyone to obey his orders when all he’s telling us is more and more lies – all he wants is control and money and I think we all know now that he couldn’t care less about the British people.

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