Police officers in major safety crackdown as distracted driver 'fails to react' to police

Police officers even reported how one driver failed to react to their patrol car after using their phone for ten seconds while behind the wheel. The officers reported that the driver was so distracted that he “failed to react to us” in a series of stops on the road.

The statement from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), posted last Thursday said: “Over the last two days we’ve had to deal with far too many drivers for in vehicle distractions, ranging from the usual phone to reading papers.

“Today we sat alongside a driver on the phone for 10 seconds with our blues & two’s on & he was that distracted he failed to react to us.”

In a following post, the CMPG urged drivers to give the road their “full attention” at all times.

They warned failing to do this could lead to “devastating” consequences and road safety concerns.

READ MORE: Sat nav may lead to ‘significant restrictions’ in road vision 

Social media users and fellow motorists praised the police for their actions but revealed how common distracted driving was on the road.

One road user said: “On my commute before lockdown, on the M6 and M42 I used to see loads either phone to their ear or looking down blatantly watching something on their phone.”

Another social media user added: “As a motorcycle rider, it never ceases to amaze how distracted people are. Car slowing down driving erratically, driver Texting.”

In a shocking discovery, one road user even revealed they once saw a driver “reading a hardback book” in slow-moving traffic.

Some distractions could even lead to careless driving or driving without due care and attention charges.

This is when driving falls below the expectation of a competent driver and does not show consideration to other road users.

In some cases where drivers may be putting themselves or other road users lives at risk, the police may issue dangerous driving charges.

This can see fines of up to £5,000 and nine penalty points issued to offenders as well as a temporary driving ban.



China crackdown: US to make HUGE weapons deal with Taiwan as WW3 fears soar

Earlier this year, China lashed out at the US after the Trump administration sent health secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan to discuss a tighter relationship as well as health matters. China’s foreign secretary Zhao Lijian sharply criticised the meeting, stating: “We once again warn the US that China is firmly opposed to the US and Taiwan engaging in official exchanges under any pretext.

“On issues involving China’s core interests, some people in the United States must not have any illusions and wishful thinking. Those who play with fire will get burnt.”

Despite the warning, CNN claims the Trump administration will likely confirm a large weapons deal with Taiwan.

Sources inside the US government told the broadcaster the deal is thought to be worth $600 million.

In return, Taiwan will receive a number of MQ-9B Reaper drones, as well as the support and equipment necessary to operate them.

The State Department declined to officially confirm the deal, since it has not been “formally notified to Congress.”

It will not be the first time the US has sent weapons to Taiwan. Under Donald Trump’s leadership, seven arms sales to the nation have valued over $13 billion.

READ: South China Sea: Taiwan holds emergency meeting on China’s ‘provocative’ military drill

However, Taiwan has expressed its intention to remain independent. The country’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, said in her election speech at the start of the year: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of “one country, two systems” to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle.”

In January, she said in an interview with the BBC: “We don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state. We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan.”

In addition to the diplomatic unease, Taiwan’s military has reported multiple instances in which it has had to warn off Chinese forces.

In August, Taiwan’s air force allegedly had to escort away Chinese fighter jets which had crossed what is known as the ‘median line’ boundary between the two countries in the Taiwan Strait.

More recently, Taiwanese ministers held a meeting after China conducted air and naval exercises in Taiwan-claimed territory.

The country’s defence ministry called the drills a “severe provocation”.

This weekend, the US is expected to send Keith Krach, the government’s Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, to Taiwan.

The US State Department said Mr Krach would attend the memorial service for Taiwan’s former president Lee Teng-hui on Saturday.



China crackdown: US to make HUGE weapons deal with Taiwan as WW3 fears soar

Earlier this year, China lashed out at the US after the Trump administration sent health secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan to discuss a tighter relationship as well as health matters. China’s foreign secretary Zhao Lijian sharply criticised the meeting, stating: “We once again warn the US that China is firmly opposed to the US and Taiwan engaging in official exchanges under any pretext.

“On issues involving China’s core interests, some people in the United States must not have any illusions and wishful thinking. Those who play with fire will get burnt.”

Despite the warning, CNN claims the Trump administration will likely confirm a large weapons deal with Taiwan.

Sources inside the US government told the broadcaster the deal is thought to be worth $600 million.

In return, Taiwan will receive a number of MQ-9B Reaper drones, as well as the support and equipment necessary to operate them.

The State Department declined to officially confirm the deal, since it has not been “formally notified to Congress.”

It will not be the first time the US has sent weapons to Taiwan. Under Donald Trump’s leadership, seven arms sales to the nation have valued over $13 billion.

READ: South China Sea: Taiwan holds emergency meeting on China’s ‘provocative’ military drill

However, Taiwan has expressed its intention to remain independent. The country’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, said in her election speech at the start of the year: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of “one country, two systems” to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle.”

In January, she said in an interview with the BBC: “We don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state. We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan.”

In addition to the diplomatic unease, Taiwan’s military has reported multiple instances in which it has had to warn off Chinese forces.

In August, Taiwan’s air force allegedly had to escort away Chinese fighter jets which had crossed what is known as the ‘median line’ boundary between the two countries in the Taiwan Strait.

More recently, Taiwanese ministers held a meeting after China conducted air and naval exercises in Taiwan-claimed territory.

The country’s defence ministry called the drills a “severe provocation”.

This weekend, the US is expected to send Keith Krach, the government’s Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, to Taiwan.

The US State Department said Mr Krach would attend the memorial service for Taiwan’s former president Lee Teng-hui on Saturday.



Extinction Rebellion CRACKDOWN: Police make 680 arrests in battle against chaotic protests

Since the period of protest began on September 1, police have arrested 680 people. The arrests were for a number of different offences, including obstructing the highway, criminal damage and breaching the conditions set under Section 14 of the Public Order Act (1986).

Commander Jane Connors, the Gold Commander for London said it was important to clampdown on protests during a “public health crisis”. 

She warned the number of arrests was “likely to rise”. 

She said: “Undoubtedly, Extinction Rebellion’s latest protests have been a significant challenge for officers, especially as we remain in a public health crisis. I would like to thank them for their outstanding professionalism in policing the events over the past two weeks.

“At the beginning of this period of protests we warned demonstrators that if they failed to comply with conditions in place that they may be liable to arrest.

“The public have a right to protest, but they do not have a right to cause disruption to the communities and businesses across London. That is why we took swift action to make a number of arrests.

“This has been a large policing operation and we will continue to investigate those who we suspect to have committed offences, so the number of arrests is likely to rise.”

Protests are due to finish today.

Earlier this week, Home Secretary Priti Patel said that she refused to allow the “guerrilla tactics” and “anarchy” of the climate protesters on the streets of the UK.

Last week, protesters blockaded printing presses which left some newsagents’ shelves empty and also blocked a number of roads and bridges in Westminster.

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Coronavirus crackdown: Groups limited to SIX people under new rules – Boris forced to act

Reimposing lockdown measures that had been eased this summer, the Prime Minister will give the police powers to break up parties in homes, pubs and outdoors. His move to reduce the limit on social gatherings currently set at 30 will cover all gatherings held anywhere in England. It follows a sharp rise in coronavirus cases this week. Official figures showed a further 2,420 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday after two days of nearly 3,000. The death toll from the disease rose by 30 today.

People caught flouting the social-distancing law will face fines starting at £100 and doubling for each subsequent offence to a maximum of £3,200.

At a news conference tomorrow, the Prime Minister is expected to say: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.

“It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.”

Ministers agreed the move with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance at a Cabinet meeting.

It came after the Prime Minister held a conference call with senior police last week where officers expressed their desire for rules on social contact to be simplified.

Coming into effect on Monday, the rules will apply across England, to all ages, to gatherings indoors and outdoors, in private homes, public outdoor spaces and all venues including pubs and restaurants.

Lockdown rules: Gatherings like this will now be banned after the infection rise

Lockdown rules: Gatherings like this will now be banned after the infection rise (Image: GETTY)

Some legal exemptions will be possible including where a household support bubble is larger than six or where gatherings are for work or education purposes.

Further exemptions will also apply weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

A massive media blitz is to be launched today to warn of the need to continue observing Government coronavirus guidelines.

Under the slogan “Hands – Space – Face”, the campaign will urge people to continue to wash their hands, cover their face when necessary and socially distance to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.

Adverts will carry on the message on television, radio, in the press and on social media.

At the Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson told ministers to be “extremely vigilant” about the spread of the virus and warned the public – and younger people in particular – against complacency.

And in a sign of willingness to reintroduce lockdown measures to curb a second wave, the Government last night forced restaurants and pubs in Bolton, Lancashire to offer takeaway services only.

Boris Johnson will make the announcement to media tomorrow

Boris Johnson will make the announcement to media tomorrow (Image: GETTY)

Just because we have come through one peak, it does not mean we cannot see another one coming towards our shores

Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock pleaded with younger people including students to “stick with it” and not flout social distancing following concerns a surge in infections among the young put older citizens lives at risk.

“This must be a moment of clarity for us all. This is not over. 

“Just because we have come through one peak, it does not mean we cannot see another one coming towards our shores,” the Health Secretary told MPs today.

He added: “We have seen a concerning rise in the number of positive cases, particularly among younger people. 

READ MORE: London lockdown – Will London go into lockdown again?

“These figures serve as a salutary reminder that this virus is still very much with us and remains a threat, so it is critical that we maintain our collective commitment to controlling this disease.”

Mr Hancock said evidence from France and Spain showed initial surges in cases among the young spread to the rest of the community.

“We have seen all across the world how a rise in cases, initially among younger people, then spreads, leading to hospitalisations and fatalities,” he told MPs.

“But together we can tackle it, so long as we remember that, in a pandemic, our actions today have consequences tomorrow for the people we love, for our communities, and for our country. 

“Each and every citizen has a responsibility to follow social distancing and help to stop a second peak.”

Mr Hancock announced draconian lockdown measures were being reintroduced in Bolton by the Government and local council.

“The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s; we know that from contact tracing,” he said.

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Matt Hancock announced new measures in Bolton today

Matt Hancock announced new measures in Bolton today (Image: GETTY)

Hospitality businesses in the town will be restricted to takeaway only and venues will have to close by 10pm.

“We will urgently introduce further measures that put the current guidance—that people cannot socialise outside their household—into law,” he said.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “Crucially, we all have a part to play. Young people do not just spread the virus to each other. They spread the virus to their parents and their grandparents. 

“They spread it to those they come into contact with and others who they love. 

“I know that social distancing can be hard and that it will be extra tough for students who are starting university, but I ask them please to stick with it and to play their part in getting this virus under control.”

He added: “This virus feeds on complacency, and although time has passed since the peak in the spring, the threat posed by the virus has not gone away. 

“Now, with winter on the horizon, we must all redouble our efforts and get this virus on the back foot.”

Ministers were briefed on the infection figures by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

Mr Johnson warned ministers that other countries had seen an increase in infections followed later by a rise in hospitalisations.

It was “vital” to prevent young people from infecting people from older generations who could become seriously ill, the Prime Minister said.

As part of the publicity campaign, a new video is being released to show exactly how coronavirus spreads indoors. 

Through a scientifically based reconstruction of everyday scenarios the film shows how the interactions between people, surfaces and the air spreads the virus. 

The film also reflects how coronavirus spreads through droplets that come out of our nose and mouth. 

Prof Whitty said: “As we approach winter and inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to keep following this important advice to control the spread of the virus.

“‘Hands. Face. Space’ emphasises important elements of the guidance we want everybody to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.

Bolton has seen a rise in coronavirus infections

Bolton has seen a rise in coronavirus infections (Image: GETTY)

“Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus.”

Professor Catherine Noakes, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) who specialises in airborne infections, said: “Coronavirus is emitted in tiny droplets when we breathe, talk, laugh or cough. 

“Other people can be exposed to these when they are close to someone with the virus or they are in a poorly ventilated room for a long time.

“Wearing a face covering prevents most of these droplets from being released into the air, and can also reduce the number of droplets that you are exposed to. 

“That is why wearing a face covering serves as a vital first line of defence against catching and spreading the virus, along with regular and thorough handwashing with soap and water and maintaining a safe distance wherever possible.”



Extinction Rebellion facing massive crackdown after demo chaos – ‘Not your normal protest'

Over the weekend, Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked roads leading to and from printing presses in Hertsfordshire and Merseyside, delaying the delivery of millions of newspapers to UK shops. Protesters specifically targeted the Newsprinters presses, which print papers such as The Sun and The Times – both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

In addition, copies of The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and some Guardian issues were also delayed.

Now, the government is seeking to reclassify Extinction Rebellion and toughen restrictions on where protesters can legally hold demonstrations, The Telegraph claims.

A government source told the paper: “It’s clear they’re not your normal protest group, so you have to look at them in a different way.”

It is not clear how the government would reclassify Extinction Rebellion or what this would mean for the group.

However, it is understood ministers are looking at granting police new powers to prevent protesters from disrupting “tenets of democracy” such as parliament votes and press distribution.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

“It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’ access to news in this way.”

Extinction Rebellion responded via one of its Twitter accounts.

READ: Extinction Rebellion sparks chaos at Westminster as activists BLOCK Parliament entrance

The Extinction Rebellion protests – dubbed the “We Want to Live” demonstrations – are due to be held until September 14 having started on the 1st.

The central action will involve activists sitting in the road outside of Parliament to “maintain a constant presence” until minister pass The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE).

In January this year, it was claimed counter-terrorism police had included Extinction Rebellion in a list of extremist ideologies.

Police then recalled this decision and said the group was not extremist, according to the Guardian.

The CEE bill was tabled last Wednesday. It will aim to ensure the UK meets its responsibilities under the UN 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

This will mean sharply cutting the UK’s carbon emissions in order to keep global temperatures within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, according to Green World.



Car parking crackdown: New changes ‘put a stop’ to unfair private parking fines

Car parking services will need to offer a maximum cap for parking fines and a 10 minute grace period before fines can be issued. New proposals also include a requirement for firms to clearly display prices and terms and conditions before tickets are purchased.

“They will put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms using aggressive tactics and handing out unfair parking tickets with no right to appeal.

“While also boosting our high streets by making it easier for people to park near their local shops without being unfairly fined.

“Our proposals will restore common sense to the way parking fines are issued, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties.”

The new tiered approach would see a cap of between £40 and £80 for less serious offences and a higher £120 fine for serious cases.

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This can include drivers who wrongly park in disabled bays or shockingly block ambulance parking zones.

A crackdown will also be issued to ensure parking firms are not using tough language to intimate motorists into paying fines straight away.

Car parking services are also required to clearly display contact details and information on how to appeal an unfair charge.

Fresh measures also include a new single Appeals Service and Appeals Charter for motorists to use if they are unfairly fined.

The service will allow motorists to appeal a charge and see costs reduced or cancelled under some circumstances.

These include motorists who have a legitimate reason for overstaying their parking ticket such as their vehicle breaking down.

There will also be some allowance for those who make a genuine error such as keying in a number plate incorrectly.

The government warns that the new Code and Enforcement Framework set out by the consultation will be mandatory for firms to follow.

Any parking services which break the rules could be barred from using DVLA data which would make them unable to pursue motorists for the charges.

The consultation on the new framework will run until 12 October with any changes to legislation set to be made after this date.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said: “We want to get people back onto the high street to shop local and support small businesses, and these proposals mean motorists will be able to do so without having to worry about being landed with an unjust ticket and no way to appeal.

“These measures will drive up standards in the parking industry by clamping down on rogue operators and offering a safety net so that responsible motorists who make an innocent mistake are not penalised unfairly for doing so.”



Putin crackdown: Opposition activist savagely beaten in Russia – 'my face is broken'

Yegor Zhukov, 22, is a blogger and presenter on the radio station Echo of Moscow. The activist suffered from “concussion” and a “traumatic brain injury” after being beaten.

His press secretary, Stas Toporkov, said: “At the moment, Yegor is being examined at the 67th hospital.

“The diagnosis has not yet been determined. Preliminary: concussion and traumatic brain injury.”

On Sunday evening, unknown attackers beat Mr Zhukov hear his house and were reportedly hiding on scooters.

In a statement Mr Zhukov wrote: “I have not suffered property damage, but my face is broken, I feel very bad.”

The police are considering starting a case under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to Interfax.

This is the second time the opposition blogger has been attacked.

In July, two people tried to attack Mr Zhukov near the entrance of his home.

He managed to hide from the attackers and did not receive any serious injuries.

READ MORE: Russia threat: UK security chief issues warning over new Kremlin plots

In late 2019, Mr Zhukov was convicted in Moscow for “inciting extremism” in political blogs he posted years ago.

But he received a suspended sentence of three years.

In a social media message, the young activist called for a society “filled with responsible and loving people”.

Mr Zhukov was a leading figure in the 2019 mass opposition protests.

He was arrested for directing street protests but the charge was dropped for lack of evidence.

In 2019, Mr Zhukov told the Russian court that “the only traditional value that the current Russian state truly honours and strengthens is autocracy.”

He added: “Autocracy that tries to break the life of anyone who sincerely wishes the best for their homeland, who doesn’t hesitate to love and take responsibility.

“I look ahead beyond the horizon of the years, and I see a Russia filled with responsible and loving people.

“This will be a truly happy place. Let everyone imagine this kind of Russia.

“And let this image drive you and your activities in the same way that it drives me.”



Putin crackdown: Opposition activist savagely beaten in Russia – 'my face is broken'

Yegor Zhukov, 22, is a blogger and presenter on the radio station Echo of Moscow. The activist suffered from “concussion” and a “traumatic brain injury” after being beaten.

His press secretary, Stas Toporkov, said: “At the moment, Yegor is being examined at the 67th hospital.

“The diagnosis has not yet been determined. Preliminary: concussion and traumatic brain injury.”

On Sunday evening, unknown attackers beat Mr Zhukov hear his house and were reportedly hiding on scooters.

In a statement Mr Zhukov wrote: “I have not suffered property damage, but my face is broken, I feel very bad.”

The police are considering starting a case under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to Interfax.

This is the second time the opposition blogger has been attacked.

In July, two people tried to attack Mr Zhukov near the entrance of his home.

He managed to hide from the attackers and did not receive any serious injuries.

READ MORE: Russia threat: UK security chief issues warning over new Kremlin plots

In late 2019, Mr Zhukov was convicted in Moscow for “inciting extremism” in political blogs he posted years ago.

But he received a suspended sentence of three years.

In a social media message, the young activist called for a society “filled with responsible and loving people”.

Mr Zhukov was a leading figure in the 2019 mass opposition protests.

He was arrested for directing street protests but the charge was dropped for lack of evidence.

In 2019, Mr Zhukov told the Russian court that “the only traditional value that the current Russian state truly honours and strengthens is autocracy.”

He added: “Autocracy that tries to break the life of anyone who sincerely wishes the best for their homeland, who doesn’t hesitate to love and take responsibility.

“I look ahead beyond the horizon of the years, and I see a Russia filled with responsible and loving people.

“This will be a truly happy place. Let everyone imagine this kind of Russia.

“And let this image drive you and your activities in the same way that it drives me.”



China fury: Beijing prosecutes thousands of people for COVID-19 crimes in major crackdown

China’s state prosecutor’s office said the crimes involved concealing travel history, which caused high risks of transmitting the virus. The crimes also included selling faulty medical equipment and assaulting other people over public health arguments.

One of the cases included a shopper who had beaten another customer to death for not wearing a face covering in the supermarket.

In China, wearing a face mask is mandatory in supermarkets, cinemas and on public transport.

Another case involved a person who ran over medical workers with a car.

One person was arrested for stabbing a health inspector with a knife when they were monitoring their temperature.

Violence towards medical staff members from furious family members is reportedly common in China.

Some Chinese people have also been accused of embezzling money collected from charity fundraisers aimed to help COVID-19 patients.

A Statement from the Supreme People’s Procurator read: “As of July, 5,797 people were arrested and 6,755 were prosecuted, in efforts to maintain medical, market-oriented and social order.”

The news comes as China reported nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

READ MORE: China war preparation: Aerial shots capture glimpse of new airship

China has a total number of 85,022 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

The COVID-19 death toll has reached 4,634.

But in terms of coronavirus figures, China is not the worst in the world compared to other countries such as Brazil.

Brazil has the second largest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the US, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The country has recorded a total of 3,804,803 COVID-19 cases.

It has also registered 119,504 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the outbreak.

The governor of the country’s state of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, has been suspended from office for 180 days by the Superior Court of Justice.

He allegedly committed fraud when purchasing medical supplies and services to fight the pandemic.

Mr Witzel’s lawyers were surprised by the court’s decision and are waiting for documents which detail the accusations.

According to the persecutors, the governor’s scheme was using aid organisations hired to fight diseases to embezzle money for politicians.