New documentary about British Singer Amy Winehouse Released

London, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) The documentary Amy Winehouse back to black: The Real Behind The Modern Classic about the renowned British singer is available from Friday in this capital in several formats under the Eagle Rock Films label.

The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital, and deals with the process of making the album Back to Black, considered the most successful of the career of the artist, who died at the age of 27 in 2011.

The audiovisual includes unpublished photos of Winehouse and new interviews with people who worked with the artist during the production of the album, including the producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, and the participating musicians.

The entire process of creation and recording, exclusive interviews with its main producers, Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, never published images of manuscripts and essays, and the complete concert of Riverside Studios in 2008, are also part of the documentary.

Back to Black came into circulation in 2006 and was an international success for Winehouse, reporting important awards including five Grammys.

The album was the second and last of her short artistic career, tinged by continuous scandals associated with drug and alcohol consumption, addictions that finally ended her life.

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Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s parting shot at Donald Trump and Brexit

Carol Ann Duffy has used her final collection as poet laureate to skewer the politicians who led the UK into Brexit, and Donald Trump.

In a poem titled The Ex-Ministers, she names no names but writes: "We are nothing to them now; lemmings going over the white cliffs of Dover."

Swearing In, dedicated to inventive insults about the US president, calls him "thatch-fraud" and "news-maggot".

Duffy's official role ends in 2019. Her new collection is titled Sincerity.

At its launch at the Manchester Literature Festival on Thursday, she said the political poems were inspired by the "evil twins of Brexit and Trump".

'Buttock-faced smarm'

In The Ex-Ministers, she writes about politicians who do lucrative commercial deals around the world after leaving office.

Another poem, titled A Formal Complaint, is a rage against a breed of "gatekeepers" and "fake patriots".

It includes the line: "They do not mean us well, these patriots, with their buttock-faced smarm."

In one poem, Gorilla, she recounts her encounter with a gorilla in a zoo, ending with the line: "With a day's more evolution, it could even be President."

Swearing In consists of four verses of insults about Mr Trump - including "twitter-rat", "tan-faker" and "bigot-merchant" - and ends with the line: "Mandrake Mymmerkin, welcome to the White House."

"Mandrake Mymmerkin" comes from William Dunbar's 16th Century poem The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy. Mandrake means an unpleasant and unwanted root or thing, and a mymmerkin is a small person.

'Constant, dutiful Queen'

Duffy has been poet laureate since 2009 and has written about topical events as part of her role, but she has rarely done so in such an overtly political way.

In 2016 and 17, she worked with the National Theatre on a show titled My Country, taking stock of Britain after the Brexit vote.

Her new collection also includes a poem called Britannia, comparing the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire with the 1966 Aberfan disaster, when a slag heap engulfed a Welsh village, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

"I should not connect the two, but I do," she writes.

While politicians come in for Duffy's ire, she maintains respect for the Queen.

The final line of Britannia reads: "The constant, dutiful Queen" - a reference to the fact the monarch's reign has spanned the two tragedies, and she visited both sites soon after each.

Sincerity, which will be published on 1 November, also pays homage to figures including Queen Victoria, William Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte.

Much of the collection tackles themes of passing time and ageing, such as the death of parents, childhood memories and children growing up and leaving home.

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Ecuador gets UN praise for ‘freedom of expression’ as Assange remains gagged in embassy limbo

A UN official praised Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno for his treatment of journalists despite the fact that the leader is said to be preparing to hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange to the governments persecuting him.

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye commended Ecuador and Moreno for supposedly promoting freedom of speech – the same Moreno that recently cut off communications to fugitive whistleblower Julian Assange and has been mulling handing him over to the UK and the US to be tried as a spy.

Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, was granted political asylum by Moreno’s predecessor Rafael Correa in 2012 and became an Ecuadorian citizen in December 2017. In order to hand Assange over, Moreno would have to strip him of that citizenship first, as Ecuador’s extradition treaty with the UK precludes turning over its own citizens.

 
Moreno’s government invited Kaye to meet Ecuadorian authorities, journalists, academics, and civil society groups during a recent visit. The UN official was briefed on “ongoing legal and policy changes” instituted by Moreno, who has taken a hard right turn from the government of his predecessor Correa, most notably in resuming military cooperation with the US.

Kaye’s fulsome praise for the Moreno government rang especially hollow where he discussed whistleblowing and the internet: “He also urged strong promotion for independent journalism and the safety of journalists […] including by developing strong whistleblower protections for both public officials and private employees; and several steps to improve the rights people in Ecuador enjoy online.”

Assange is famous for developing WikiLeaks as a secure, anonymous platform for whistleblowers. His supporters were outraged when Moreno revoked his internet access earlier this year, leaving him completely cut off from the outside world. Moreno has maintained that he will respect Assange’s asylum as long as the journalist doesn’t engage in “political activity,” but he remains incommunicado despite this promise.

By inviting Kaye to visit Ecuador, Moreno may hope to preempt some of the international outrage that would result from sending an Ecuadorian citizen off to possibly spend decades in prison for doing journalistic work. Assange, after all, merely published information that he was given by whistleblowers, as journalists have for hundreds of years. Such acts are protected by US and UK law. But since some of that information concerned the shady conduct of American diplomats, military, and spies, Washington treats Assange as an enemy of the state. And once the UK has custody of Assange, it is assumed he will be transferred to the US.

Assange's last video before communications cut at Ecuadorian Embassy in London (FULL)

Assange is not the only Ecuadorian who Moreno has betrayed. Correa himself, who gave Moreno his blessing as his successor, was forced to flee to Belgium earlier this year after what he claims was a politically motivated prosecution for the alleged 2012 kidnapping of a political opponent. Correa turned on his protege after Moreno proposed a constitutional referendum that would have barred Correa from running for office again, and Moreno – whom he now calls a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” – has since overturned many of his predecessor’s reforms.

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Assange's Defense Attorney Denounces Risks to Client's Health

Assange's lawyer stressed the Wiki founder's wavering health which the Ecuadorean embassy is failing to properly moderate.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange’s health is at risk after being held without medical attention in the Ecuadorean Embassy in the UK since 2012, defense attorney Jennifer Robinson said Saturday.

RELATED: Julian Assange Forced To Name Replacement at WikiLeaks

"We are very concerned about his health: he has been locked up in the embassy for more than six years, without proper access to medical care," said Robinson during an interview with the Catalan publication, Nacio Digital.

The lawyer stressed her client’s wavering health, which, she said, the embassy is unable to properly moderate due to lack of proper medical equipment and facilities.

"The Embassy is not equipped for prolonged detention to provide a reasonable environment...the prolonged uncertainty of indefinite detention deeply affects the psychological and physical trauma above and beyond the expected stressors of incarceration," the Australian lawyer said.

Robinson also showed concern over the “very serious” threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States for trial, “If Assange faces a trial in the US, he can not benefit from the first amendment of the Constitution, which refers to freedom of the press.

“We can not forget that he is only an editor who published material of public interest,” Robinson said.

The defense lawyer also explained the recent change in Ecuador’s administration has only served to complicate the case, which she described as a 180-degree change in political position between President Rafael Correa to his predecessor, the incumbent President Lenin Moreno, particularly in regards to bilateral relations with the United States.

On March 28, just days after hosting a delegation of the United States Southern Command (Southcom), Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno decided to cut his guest’s communications with the outside world, denying him access to the internet and banning visitors who are not part of his legal team.

Julian Assange was granted political asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK in 2012. Assange faced extradition to Sweden, from England, over allegations he sexually assaulted two women, which he categorically denied.

Although the judicial process for the alleged sexual crimes in Sweden was lifted, he fears that if he is given to British authorities he could face prison for skipping bail and face extradition to the United States, where he would be tried for espionage and could be sentenced to death for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Skripal poisoning: No info in records about decorated colonel Chepiga, says Kremlin

Russian records have neither information about a Colonel Anatoly Chepiga nor about such a person being awarded the highest national merit, said a Kremlin spokesman. A report by Bellingcat said the man is a Skripal case suspect.

Bellingcat is a controvercial UK-based group which is connected to projects financed by NATO and known mostly for compiling various public data to back various accusations against Russia.

The group this week said they conclusively identified Ruslan Bosharov, one of the two men accused in Britain of poisoning former double agent Sergei Skripal in March, as Anatoly Chepiga, a commando colonel, who has the merit of ‘Hero of Russia’ among his decorations. According to the Kremlin, there are no records of a person with that name receiving the award.

“We have checked. I have no information about a man with that name being awarded,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

The merit is usually awarded during a ceremony by the President of Russia. Bellingcat argued that Vladimir Putin must know Chepiga personally and that implied that his vouching for Boshirov and his fellow suspect Aleksandr Petrov was done in bad faith. Putin made public assurances that the two men were civilians and had nothing to do with any criminal activity.

 
  Composition of photos of an Anatoly Chepiga and Ruslan Boshirov by Bellingcat.

 

Speaking about the case on Friday, Peskov said Russia was tired of the unending media speculations about the case and was calling on Britain to cooperate with Russia on the investigation through proper channels.

“All those speculations about who resembles whom. You know, we have a dozen of Stalins and 15 Lenins running around the Red Square, and each of them looks a lot like the original,” he said.

Bellingcat’s identification relies on what it called a resemblance between an old photo of Chepiga and a younger Borshirov. The group used the strategy to pinpoint Chepiga by creating a profile of a would-be assassin and finding a person in Russia to fit it.

From the start of the investigation Britain insisted that the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in March was a state-ordered chemical weapons attack by Russia. London claimed it had evidence which identified Boshirov and Petrov as agents of Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, but would not disclose it to the public.

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Jeremy Corbyn Promises to ‘Recognize Palestinian State as Soon as We Take Office’

"In order to help make the two-state settlement a reality we will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office," Corbyn said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received a long standing ovation Wednesday after pledging to officially recognize a Palestinian state once he takes office as prime minister.

RELATED: UK's Labour Party Passes Motion to Ban Arms Sales to Israel

"In order to help make the two-state settlement a reality we will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office," Corbyn said.

Labour party supporters waved Palestinian flags as the announcement was well received by the audience at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.

@ShrewsLabour Standing ovation in the hall for recognition of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution ??✊?

Corbyn announcement, however, wouldn't come as a shock to many close followers of Labour party policy. In June, during a visit to Jordan, Corbyn said: "I think there has to be a recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to their own state which we as a Labour Party said we would recognize in government as a full state as part of the United Nations."

Today’s comments make it clear to many the policy is a priority for labor and would be enacted shortly after Corbyn takes office if elected.

Corbyn comments come after delegates of the Labour Party voted Tuesday to ban arms sales to Israel over its abuses against the Palestinians. A policy, which could also be translated into official government policy if the party is elected.

The unprecedented resolution noted that “the majority of Palestinian people were forcibly displaced from their homes” during the Nakba and condemned the “aggressive attempt to rewrite history and erase the victims of the 1948 war.”

It called for an “independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators,” an “immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza,” and “a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel.”

The motion also highlighted that amongst those killed during the Palestinian protests of recent months are paramedics, journalists, women and children, while than half of the injured were hit with live fire by snipers as they approached the border with Israel.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Chair Hugh Lanning said: “We have witnessed extraordinary scenes of solidarity today and the Labour Party has done the right thing by recognizing the longstanding injustice of Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

PSC handed out more than a thousand Palestinian flags at the conference. In remarkable scenes, many hundreds of delegates stood and waved their flags inside the conference hall when the motion was debated and chants of “Free Palestine!” were clearly heard.

PSC director Ben Jamal said: “This incredible show of support and this historic motion demonstrate the strength of feeling at the grassroots of the party. Labour members want to show real solidarity with Palestinians

The issue was in the top four of all issues discussed Tuesday in Liverpool. The vote to debate Palestine was fourth after housing, school systems, and justice for the Windrush generation. It gained more votes than the issues of Brexit, and the National Health System (NHS).

During the debate on Palestine, the party deliberated on U.K. arms sales to Israel, voting to end them until an independent investigation into the killing of more than 180 protesters in Gaza since Mar. 30 can be carried out.

Though conference votes are not binding on leaders, Jeremy Corbyn, a supporter of the Palestinian cause, has promised to recognize Palestine as a state if his party comes to power. 

The anti-Semitism charges against Corbyn were rejected by him, his supporters, and Palestinians citing Israel's attempt to shut down any criticism of its policies and abuse against Palestinians and its occupation of their land. 

But not all Palestinians are overjoyed with the new policies. Some are critical of the U.K.’s stand on the Oslo agreement which supports the creation of two states. For U.K.-based Palestinian author and academic, Ghada Karmi said during a Palestine Solidarity meeting that Labour cannot go on supporting a “defunct idea”. She also asked the party to stop being apologetic about Israel’s atrocities and to confront Israel and call out its actions against Palestinians.

According to Hazem Jamjoum, a Palestinian-American academic, the British empire helped create the state of Israel; hence, it has a greater responsibility to support Palestine. He also warned that Israel’s impunity regarding apartheid, racist laws and ethnonationalism is creating precedents all over the globe, which is witnessing an increasing identity-based nationalism in many countries.

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About 50 Tory MPs met to discuss how & when they could oust PM May – media

Around 50 Tory hardline Brexit supporters have met to discuss how and when they could force Theresa May to stand down as British PM, media reported citing sources.

Representatives from the European Research Group (ERG) discussed “how best you game the leadership election rules,” a source said as cited by the BBC. 

One of those who reportedly attended the meeting said that “everyone I know says she [May] has to go," “she’s a disaster,” and "this can’t go on."

 
FILE PHOTO Pro-Brexit protesters block the gates of Downing Street during a demonstration in London © Peter Nicholls 

 

The report about Brexiteers discussing the UK leadership challenge was also issued by the Press Association news agency.

Earlier in September Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister, warned May that pressing ahead with her Chequers plan could see up to 80 Tory MPs voting against it, risking a “catastrophic split” in the party. “If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid,” he said

The PM managed to secure the controversial Brexit plan, which is also known as the Chequers deal, at a marathon session of talks with her Cabinet in July. The strategy, which defines the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit, divided both politicians and the public.

READ MORE:‘Detonator handed to Brussels’: Boris Johnson calls May’s Brexit plan ‘suicide vest’

Opinion polls from July show that British voters overwhelmingly disapprove of May’s handling of Brexit. Instead, they would rather pin their hopes on a man who was only recently seen as a “liability” – Boris Johnson, who recently lashed out at May, saying that the Brexit plan is “a suicide vest” wrapped around the British constitution, and the detonator has been handed to Brussels.

The Brexit talks left the Tory government in dire straits. The government saw a string of ministerial resignations which involved not only Johnson but also the now former Brexit secretary, David Davis. After that, Conservative MP Philip Davies submitted a letter of no-confidence in Theresa May to the chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, Graham Brady. For a no-confidence vote to be triggered, 48 letters from Conservative MPs need to be submitted.

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More Than 370 Arrested During Carnival in London (+Photos)

London, Aug 28 (Prensa Latina) At least 370 people were arrested for assault and possession of knives during the Notting Hill carnival in the centre of this capital, the Metropolitan Police said today.

'Law enforcement officers seized 36 knives during the celebration, which became a smokescreen for crime in the city,' Commander Dave Musker said Tuesday.

According to Musker, about 30 security personnel were injured while conducting the operations, although the number of detainees may increase.

In 2016, during the 50th anniversary of these carnivals, more than 450 arrests were made, 45 policemen were injured and 16 stabbings were committed, which is considered one of the deadliest.

Analysts insist that two years ago, former Deputy Victoria Borwick led a popular request to move the festival to a less populous place where people could be controlled, but the proposal did not materialize.

According to reports, the homicide rate in the UK has increased by approximately 40 per cent in the last three years, not including deaths caused by terrorist attacks.

At the end of 2017 statistics revealed a 13 per cent increase in crime compared to the previous year, mainly in this capital.

The Independent recently revealed that fatal stabbings occur every three days in London from gang fights.

The Notting Hill carnival is one of the most famous in the world, along with those of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but unlike the latter, it has become a battleground for criminals and gang members.

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