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Panel of experts at Bolton University to reveal truth behind Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories

They’re tackling misinformation around the vaccines

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Keir Starmer / Flickr

A panel of experts at the University of Bolton are busting myths around the coronavirus vaccine that have been circulating online.

The university is working with a number of specialists to encourage people to get their jabs by finding the truth behind some of the claims about the vaccine.

The panel includes Dr Abhishek Kumar, a consultant interventional cardiologist who will chair the online seminar ‘Know the truth! Understand the advice, have the vaccine, protect yourself and your loved ones’, alongside other experts and community leaders.

Dr Kumar has explained that some on the Muslim community are concerned animal produce is found in the vaccine meaning it is not halal.

But the doctor encourages everyone to get the vaccine, explaining that this is simply not true.

He said: “There are these online conspiracy theories and people ask how do you know the vaccine is safe. People say it has microchips in it, that it contains animal products or that it can turn you sterile.

“Overall I think in the UK population about 15 million people have been vaccinated but there are concerning reports from different parts of the country that particularly in the BAME community there’s been a reluctance in vaccine uptake.

“In Bradford they’ve had similar issues. There have been reports from different parts of the country and the government did come out advice and various communications to try and dispel the myths and reassure people.”

Keir Starmer / Flickr

He added: “I and my colleagues with whom I work see the vaccination as a way out to the future.

“Everybody’s been suffering, people on the frontline, behind the scenes, people cooped up inside their house and children in particular. They can’t go to school, play or mix with their friends.

“This has had significant affects on the mental and physical wellbeing in general of most people. So we ought to move together in a direction where we try and help each other as a society so that we can come out of this series of lockdowns and that vaccine is the only way we have at the moment.

“There are no animal products in this vaccine, it’s safe to use, it’s efficient and it’s effective.”

Keir Starmer / Flickr

The panel includes Prof Sanjay Arya, medical director at Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Teaching Hospital; Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Lowey, Bolton’s director of public health, and Prof John Lumley, founding dean for the School of Medicine at the University of Bolton.

Professor George E Holmes, president and vice chancellor at the university, said: “We are delighted to host this fascinating and extremely important webinar.

“As a university that values all the diverse communities we serve, it is so important that the facts are presented to help people understand why getting the vaccination is so crucial. I would like to thank the eminent panel for agreeing to take part.”

The webinar will take place on February 17th at 3pm and is open to everyone. Register here

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Sue Gray report set to be ‘published in full next week’ as partygate investigation ends

The police announced the end of their investigation today

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The long-awaited Sue Gray report into Downing Street misconduct during the Covid pandemic is due to be published in full next week as the police’s investigation concludes.

The report – which investigated a series of alleged breaches of Covid lockdown in 10 Downing Street and Whitehall – was completed in January, but the publication of the full document was delayed at the request of the Metropolitan Police as they completed their own investigation.

But today, the police announced their inquiry into Downing Street lockdown breaches has come to an end, meaning Gray’s report could be published as soon as next week.

A source close to Gray and her team said she now intends to publish her report ‘as soon as possible’, adding that it could come as early as next week, according to The Independent.

The shortened version of Gray’s report noted that there was a ‘serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government, but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time’.

Gray also stated that because the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is ‘difficult to justify’.

Stand-out points from the report include:

  • There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times.
  • The excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time.
  • The use of the garden at No 10 Downing Street should be primarily for the Prime Minister and the private residents of No 10 and No 11 Downing Street.
  • The leadership structures are fragmented and complicated and this has sometimes led to the blurring of lines of accountability.
  • Some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviours they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so.

Flickr / Number 10

The police’s investigation resulted in a total of 126 fines, known as Fixed Penalty Notices, being issued for events across eight different dates.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were both fined for their involvement in parties and events held during the lockdowns.

Twenty-eight people have been issued with more than one fine, the force added.

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Full judicial review into inquest of Yousef Makki granted by judge

JUST IN

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Justice for Yousef Makki / Facebook

A judge has granted permission for a full judicial review into the inquest of Burnage schoolboy Yousef Makki.

The family of the seventeen-year-old – who died after being stabbed by friend Joshua Molnar in Hale Barnes in 2019 – called for a review to overturn the coroner’s verdict on his death, which failed to conclude whether he had died either unlawfully or accidentally.

An application was made to High Court by a QC acting for Yousef’s father, Ghaleb Makki and, today (May 18th), at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, the review was granted.

Yousef’s father said of the decision: “There’s still a long way to go, but it’s a small step in the right direction.”

Matthew Stanbury, representing the Makki family, claimed the coroner’s ruling was ‘inevitable’ due to the failure to analyse and ‘grapple’ with central issues in the case. 

Mr. Stanbury said: “Today is a significant step forward and we are optimistic about getting a fresh inquest.”

Yousef died after being fatally stabbed in the heart by Joshua following an argument on the evening of March 2nd 2019.

The former public school student had met Joshua at Manchester Grammar School, where he had won a bursary to attend.

Joshua, who comes from a wealthy family in Hale, later admitted to stabbing Makki with a knife he had bought online ‘with ease’ during a school break time.

Justice for Yousef Makki / Facebook

However, a jury acquitted Joshua, now twenty, of murder and manslaughter later that year, with him instead been handed a sixteen-month detention and training order after admitting possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene.

He says he acted in self-defence, alleging Yousef pushed and punched him and called him ‘p*ssy’.

Following November’s inquest, Senior South Manchester Coroner Alison Mutch recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: “Yousef died from complications of a stab wound to chest.

“The precise circumstances in which he was wounded cannot, on balance of probabilities, be ascertained.”

The family’s formal application argued the coroner’s ruling was ‘unreasonable’ as it ‘failed to address or make findings on central matters in the case such as to enable her to reach a conclusion – on the balance of probabilities – as to the lawfulness of the killing’.

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Teenage girl rushed to hospital after being ‘badly’ bitten on face by dog

The teenage girl was allegedly helping an elderly man get his dog back into its harness

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Google Maps & GMP

Police are appealing for information after a teenage girl was ‘badly’ bitten on the face by a dog in a Trafford park.

The incident happened in Navigation Park in Altrincham last night (May 17th) at around 9pm, when the victim, aged seventeen, attempted to put the dog’s harness back on.

While she was doing this, the dog allegedly bit her on the face and cheek, causing ‘substantial’ injuries.

She then had to go to the hospital for treatment.

Google Maps

In a post on the GMP Trafford South Facebook page, police implored for witnesses to come forward with more information about the incident and the man and dog involved.

The statement reads: “On the evening of 17th May 2022, at around 2100hrs, there has been an incident in Navigation Park, Altrincham involving a male who was in company with a dog and a 17-year-old female who has been badly bitten by the dog present. 

“The male has been described as a white male, approximately 70 years old, around 5ft 9, unstable on his feet, wearing a long brown leather jacket, with a bobble hat and a walking stick.”

The police went on to describe the dog as a ‘mostly white dog, similar to a Labrador however crossed with another breed with a small amount of ginger fur on its back’.

It was also noted that the dog was ‘quite skinny’ and wore a red harness.

The statement continued: “The female had been helping the owner put the dog’s harness on when the dog has bitten the female to the face, causing a substantial injury to her mouth and her cheek, requiring her to have to attend hospital for treatment.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information on the incident have been urged to get in touch with the police via 101 or Live Chat in reference to Log 3423- 17/05/22.

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