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UK’s Labour Party reinstates Jeremy Corbyn after suspension | United Kingdom

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The former Labour leader was suspended last month for his comments regarding an anti-Semitism report.

The United Kingdom’s main opposition Labour Party has re-admitted former leader Jeremy Corbyn after he was suspended for downplaying a report that detailed serious failings in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.

Tuesday’s decision to reinstate Corbyn following his October suspension was made by a meeting of the Disputes Panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee, according to reports.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in October it had found evidence of failure to adequately train people investigating alleged anti-Semitism, political interference in the processing of complaints and harassment of individuals.

After the news of his re-admittance into the party broke, Corbyn took to Twitter to thank “party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity”.

“Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging conservative government,” he added.

The Jewish Labour Movement criticised Corbyn’s statement, alleging it was “insincere and wholly inadequate”.

Current Labour leader Keir Starmer, in a Twitter post, implied that Corbyn’s reinstatement was “another painful day” for the Jewish community.

“I know the hurt that has been caused and the trauma people felt,” said Starmer, who was elected party leader in April and is seeking to turn around Labour’s fortunes after four successive general election defeats since 2010.

“I know we have a long way to go, but I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people,” he added.

 

The EHRC report found that the party was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act during Corbyn’s term from 2015 till earlier this year.

Corbyn, who has represented the Labour Party in Parliament since 1983, had reacted to the report by saying the scale of Labour’s anti-Semitism problem had been overstated by the media and his political opponents, and that his attempts to deal with the issue had been blocked by “obstructive party bureaucracy”.

In the aftermath of the EHRC report, Labour officials have urged members to stand united against anti-Semitism, appealing against a renewal of a “civil war” within the party following Corbyn’s suspension last month.

Starmer, whose viewpoint is considered more centrist compared with left-wing Corbyn, has called the EHRC report a “day of shame” for Labour, as he promised to implement its recommendations in full.

However, he said last month he did not want “a split in the Labour Party” over his predecessor’s suspension.



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Chinese cities using anal swabs to screen COVID infections | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Study shows virus traces in faecal samples could remain detectable for a longer time and provide more accurate test results.

Some Chinese cities are using samples taken from the anus to detect potential COVID-19 infections as China steps up screening to make sure no potential carrier of the new coronavirus is missed ahead of next month’s the Lunar New Year holidays when tens of millions of people usually travel home to their families.

China has been battling new pockets of the disease that have appeared in the north and northeast with strict lockdowns and mass testing in a bid to stamp out the outbreaks.

Justifying the decision to take anal swabs, a city official in Weinan in northern Shaanxi province said a 52-year-old man with symptoms including coughing initially tested negative for COVID-19. He was then tested via an anal swab.

The man, who was confined to a centralised facility for medical observation as a close contact of another COVID-19 patient earlier this month, was then confirmed to have the virus, the official told a news conference.

Anal swabs require inserting a cotton swab three to five centimetres (1.2 to two inches) into the anus and gently rotating it.

In a video posted online by state-backed newspaper Global Times, Zhang Wenhong of Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, said that such swabs could be useful in helping minimise the risk of a relapse after recovery.

“There may be traces of the coronavirus detected in the abdominal cavity faeces and intestine,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the report.

Last week, a Beijing city official said that anal swabs were taken from more than 1,000 teachers, staffers and students at a primary school in the city after an infection had been found there. Nose and throat swabs and serum samples were also collected for testing.

Additional tests using anal swabs can pick up infections that other tests miss, as virus traces in faecal samples or anal swabs could remain detectable for a longer time than in samples taken from upper respiratory tract, Dr Li Tongzeng, a respiratory and infectious disease specialist in Beijing city, told state TV last week.

Li added that such samples were only necessarily for key groups such as those under quarantine.

‘Low harm, extreme humiliation’

Stool tests may be more effective than respiratory tests in identifying COVID-19 infections in children and infants since they carry a higher viral load in their stool than adults, researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) found in a paper published last year.

Users of China’s Weibo, its Twitter-like social media platform, reacted to the method with a mix of mirth and horror.

“So lucky I returned to China earlier,” one user wrote.

“Low harm, but extreme humiliation,” another said, using a laughing emoticon.

Others who had undergone the procedure chimed in with dark humour.

“I’ve done two anal swabs, every time I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards – I was so scared the nurse would forget to use a new swab,” one Weibo user joked.



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