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UK PM’s plan to push back refugee boats

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The UK has vowed to forge ahead with refugee boat pushbacks in the English Channel – despite warnings it would lead to more drownings

Ticker’s UK correspondent Simon Anderson

Just last week – 27 migrants died trying to cross the English Channel after the their boat capsized, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says distinctions will be made between legal and Illegal migrants

Boris Johnson doubled down on the plan to push back refugee boats coming across the English Channel – even as the proposals face multiple legal challenges.

New laws would make it illegal “facilitate the entry of Asylum seekers” by bringing them on shore – even if not done for payment or criminal gain. In effect, making the act of rescuing someone illegal.

However, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has bowed to public pressure and has tabled an amendment to protect the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and other charities from prosecution.

Footage taken several weeks ago has emerged purporting to show a lifeboat launch being prevented by a protester shouting anti-immigrant slogans

Recently a witness named only as Zoe called a radio station to say she saw fishermen preventing the lifeboat from leaving to attend a rescue.

However, local fishermen in the area told a local newspaper that the incident was being blown out of proportion.

One of them told a local newspaper they were throwing undersized fish back into the water when the lifeboat crew yelled at them to move – which the fishermen thought was rude and an argument broke out.

The same fishermen also said that the anti-immigrant chants were being shouted by a single passerby, unconnected to the group of fishermen.

The RNLI has become a bit of a polarised symbol in political discussions about asylum seekers crossing the channel.

Some anti-immigrant spokespeople, including Nigel Farage have labelled the lifeboat service ‘taxi service’ for migrants in the past

In response, the RNLI says it rescues anyone in distress at sea without judgement.

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Guilty verdict for far-right militia founder in Capitol attack

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A guilty verdict has been reached for the founder of a far-right militia group for his involvement in the Capitol attack

A Federal Jury has found the founder of far-right American group Oath Keepers guilty of seditious conspiracy during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In a major victory for the U.S. Justice Department, Stewart Rhodes, alongside two members of his militia group are the first to face rare charges in connection with the January 6 violence.

The Government insists the group took part in stopping the transfer of power following Trump’s defeat.

Seditious conspiracy refers to two or more people conspiring to “overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force” the U.S. government.

Rhodes lawyers are planning to appeal the conviction but the charges carry a potential jail time of up to 20 years.

The Oath Keepers claim to defend the Constitution of the United States.

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Landmark same-sex marriage protection bill

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In a landmark bipartisan vote, the U-S Senate has passed Federal legislation to protect same sex marriage & Interracial marriage

Dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act, the same-sex bill will now be approved by the House as soon as this week.

After approval from the House the legislation will head to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill is in response to concerns the Supreme Court could overturn the 2015 decision to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide.

“Today the long but inexorable march towards greater equality advances forward…

By passing this bill, the Senate is sending a message that every American needs to hear: no matter who you are or who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law.”

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader
 

The bill needed 60 votes to pass and ended with a vote of 61 to 36.

Hundreds of thousands of same-sex and interracial couples are breathing a sigh of relief today in the United States.

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Scott Morrison censured by the House of Representatives

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Scott Morrison becomes the first current or former prime minister to be censured

The Australian Government has censured former prime minister Scott Morrison over a string of secret ministries he swore himself into.

The motion notes Morrison undermined responsible government after he failed to inform parliament of these secret portfolios he took on.

Of course, this follows the release of a report by former High Court Judge Virginia Bell.

She found it was “unnecessary” for Morrison to appoint himself as the minister for finance and health.

The coalition did not support the motion.

Of course, Morrison remains in the parliament as the member for Cook.

We’ve also heard from current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who says the opposition just doesn’t get it.

“He owes an apology to the Australian people for the undermining of democracy, and that’s why this motion should be supported by every member of this House.”

Liberal MP Bridget Archer says she was obligated to support Labor’s censure.

“I am a Liberal. I believe in Liberal values. And our statement of values says this,” Archer said.

“‘We believe in the rule of law. Under it, there is freedom for the nation and for all men and women. Democracy depends upon self-discipline, obedience to the law and the honest administration of the law.

It’s not the first time Bridget Archer has done this.

Last year, she crossed the floor over the proposed anti-corruption commission.

The last time an MP was formally censured in federal parliament was in 2018.

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