Government Abandons Contact Tracing App 

  • The UK government has officially abandoned a centralised coronavirus contact-tracing app after spending three months and millions of pounds on technology that experts had repeatedly warned would not work.
  • Matt Hancock said the NHS would switch to an alternative, designed by Apple and Google, which is still not ready but officials have suggested a late release in autumn or winter. 
  • Silkie Carlo, the director of the privacy charity Big Brother Watch, said: “This just shows what a mess the centralised data-hungry approach was. The government was wrong to waste precious time and millions of pounds of public money on a design that everyone warned was going to fail, and now we’re back at square one.”

Facebook Remove Trump Advert Depicting Nazi Imagery 

  • Facebook has removed adverts for US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that featured a symbol used in Nazi concentration camps.
  • The company said the offending ad contained an inverted red triangle similar to that used by the Nazis to label political prisoners.
  • Mr Trump’s campaign team said they were aimed at the far-left activist group Antifa (anti-fascists), which it said uses the symbol.
  • Facebook’s Head of Security Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said “we don’t allow symbols that represent hateful organisations or hateful ideologies unless they are put up with context or condemnation.” He added; “That’s what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used we would take the same actions.”

Inquiry Finds Sport Used as Cover to Groom and Exploit Children 

  • The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published research which found that, in many cases, sports coaches and instructors have exploited children’s vulnerabilities using the physical contact that sport enables in order to groom and abuse them.
  • Of the 3,939 survivors of sexual abuse who came forward to the Truth Project, as part of the inquiry, 64 described child sexual abuse that took place in a sporting environment. Fifty-eight (91%) of those 64 participants reported being sexually abused by a sporting coach or volunteer in a sports organisation.
  • Dr Sophia King, principal researcher at the inquiry added: “It’s clear that not having anyone to disclose to was a significant obstacle to children reporting abuse, as were feelings of shame, guilt and a fear of not being believed.”

Countries Failing to Stop Violence Against children 

  • A new report published today by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNESCO and others has found that each year half of the world’s children, (appro, 1 billion) are affected by physical, sexual or psychological violence, suffering injuries, disabilities and death
  • The report – Global Status Report on Preventing Violence Against Children 2020 – found that although nearly all countries (88%) have key laws in place to protect children against violence, less than half of countries (47%) said these were being strongly enforced.
  • “Violence against children has always been pervasive, and now things could be getting much worse,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Lockdowns, school closures and movement restrictions have left far too many children stuck with their abusers, without the safe space that school would normally offer.

Research Concludes Epidemic Threatens Gender Equality

  • Researchers at the University of Sussex have concluded that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to derail women’s careers and take UK society back to a 1950s style of living. 
  • The research found that the proportion of mothers responsible for 90 to 100% of childcare increased from 27% to 45% during the lockdown. 
  • In addition, 70% of women reported being completely or mostly responsible for homeschooling.
  • Alison Lacey, a doctoral researcher at the university’s school of psychology, said “society has regressed to a 1950s way of living, which will have serious consequences. We hear about women waking at 5 am, working until 9 am, then taking on childcare and home learning and doing more work in the evening.”

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