Fact check: Mayor Sadiq Khan thinks London is ‘one of the safest’ cities in the world

Sadiq Khan can be forgiven for his bias in calling the capital “the best city in the world,” but also calling it “one of the safest” while homicide rates spike comes across as either tone-deaf or outright untrue.

Khan took to Twitter with a promotional video aimed at reducing knife crime amongst young Londoners and the accompanying message:

“London is the best city in the world, full of opportunity, and one of the safest. But too many of our young people are being senselessly lost to knife crime. Share our video today and help us carry a new message.”

READ MORE: ‘People forget how to reason with each other’ – Activist reacts to 22% rise in knife crime (VIDEO)

Whether London really is “the best city in the world” is in the eye of the beholder – and, in this case, the beholder is the mayor, after all. As for his claim that London is “one of the safest” cities… it’s not even in the top 10.

A 2017 report by The Economist ranked the safety of 60 cities around the world based on several factors, including personal security, digital security, health security, and infrastructure security. London came in at number 20 in the world’s overall safe cities index, being beaten by cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona.

In fact, London is becoming an increasingly unsafe city, with a spike in crime and over 50 homicides so far this year. In February and March, it overtook New York’s murder rate.

READ MORE: Government’s plan to stem violent crime fails to mention Tory police cuts

A 2018 report released by Numbeo, which claims to be “the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide,” complies reviews from nearly half a million netizens to rank cities in terms of consumer prices, perceived crime rates and quality of healthcare. Again, London was ranked 20th in the safety index of cities around the world.

Commenters on Twitter were neither convinced nor amused by either the mayor’s pronouncement or the accompanying video clip. The video’s bottom line, delivered by teenagers, is: “London needs me alive, so I don’t carry a knife.”

Some commenters regaled Khan with harrowing tales experienced in the supposedly safe city, others accused him of spreading propaganda, while others bluntly called on the mayor to resign.

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RT UK News

Iran plane crash: Check keeps going for omitted Aseman Air carriers plane

Search and rescue teams are continuing to search for an Iranian plane that crashed in bad weather on Sunday.

Officials told state media that the wreckage had been found, but an aviation spokesman said he could not confirm this.

The Aseman Airlines passenger plane came down in the Zagros mountains on Sunday, and all 66 people on board are feared to have been killed.

Hundreds of mountaineers with dogs and drones are trying to reach the site.

The searchers face bad weather conditions. Due to fog and strong winds, helicopters that were deployed for the search at dawn on Monday have had to be grounded, a Red Crescent official told local media.

And on Sunday, teams had to stop work altogether due to winds and snow.

The ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop was travelling from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj.

Flight EP3704 left Tehran at 04:30 GMT on Sunday, and crashed about an hour later in the Mount Dena area, about 22km (14 miles) from its destination.

On Monday officials from the region told news channels rescuers had reached the site.

But both channels – IRINN and English-language Press TV – said they could not confirm the reports independently, and a civil aviation spokesman told Reuters news agency the reports could not be confirmed.

‘Grief and sorrow’

The crashed plane was 25 years old, Iran’s civil aviation organisation said.

Sixty passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants and the pilot and co-pilot were on board.

Following the crash, the airline initially said that all on board had died, but later on Sunday said that it could not confirm this as no-one had reached the site.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed sympathy for all involved, saying in a statement that the incident brought “great grief and sorrow”.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the accident “saddened the hearts”.

Iran has suffered several aviation accidents in recent years and has an ageing aircraft fleet.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of international sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

Those sanctions have been mostly lifted under a 2015 deal between Iran and the US alongside several other powers.

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BBC News – World

New check looks for alligators are divided up on when clowns preference funny|Humor

image for New survey finds alligators are split on whether clowns taste funny
Ah, bite me!

The long held belief that alligators avoid eating clowns because “they taste funny” has been challenged by a new poll.

Of the thousand man-eating alligators that participated in the survey 58% stated that they really didn’t care if a human was a clown or as one reptile put it “some regular sack of treats skinny dipping in a marsh.”

The poll even found that 13% of the scaly beasts actually would seek out a clown if the opportunity presented itself.

Florida Alligator, Toothy McBitesenheimer gave us some insight for his personal preference for clowns.

“I can’t get enough of those noses!” the enthusiastic animal exclaimed. “Usually we just wolf down things whole, but that squeaky nose is so chewy it makes eating clowns a lot more fun, I think.”

Other alligators disagreed. Snagly O’Dundeechops, an Australian crocodile said, “I try to avoid them creepy blokes if they come around. I get why they don’t seem very popular with their mates.”

Some even sighted health risks for avoiding the divisive reptile snack.

“I had a friend that choked to death on one of those ridiculous shoes,” Rocko Sneakattack said. “Even if you get past those awful death traps you still have all that crazy billowing clothing to get around. Those weird neck ruffles are no picnic to swallow, I can tell you.”

Ralph Smith, a South American Kaiman from the Amazon said that he doesn’t mind most of the inconvenience tied to eating clowns, but there is one aspect of the experience that he cannot abide.

“That chalky aftertaste,” he said. “Some gators can’t stand getting that white stuff all over their jaws, but to me, that’s like a human complaining about having orange stuff on their fingers after eating some cheetohs. But that clown make-up… I’m telling you even if I could get my claws on some mountain dew I doubt it could wash that nasty taste out of my mouth!”

As the poll suggests, if the opportunity presents itself most alligators will eat you if they get the chance, clown or not as Coldskin O’growleran so succinctly explains.

“Yeah, some of that stuff sucks to get stuck in your craw, but there ain’t nothing there that a good death roll isn’t going to take care of.”

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Police Kick Off Program to Warrantlessly Test Saliva to Check for ‘Drugged Driving’

saliva

Michigan State Police have begun a year-long pilot program, being held in five Michigan counties, to warrantlessly test the saliva of drivers suspected of drugged driving.

“The five-county pilot program will be used to help determine accuracy and reliability of the tests,” Gov. Snyder said in June after signing the bill into law, as MLive reported.

Residents of these five unlucky counties will be forced to act as guinea pigs by the state, in what is sure to be an exercise in trampling on civil and constitutional rights of individuals.

The program calls for Drug Recognition Experts (DRE officers), a designation given to cops who earn a designation certifying them to visually recognize if a person is under the influence of a controlled substance, to administer the tests.

“Saliva analysis will only be administered by a DRE, [Banner] said, and will be given along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used. DREs employed by state, county and municipal agencies could also be involved,” according to MLive.

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The imposition of a pilot program to warrantlessly test the saliva of drivers is a clear advancement of a dystopian police state-like agenda that infringes on citizens’ rights without hesitation — under the guise of keeping the public safe.

According to a report by MLive:

The Alere DDS2 oral fluid test instrument will be used to measure for the presence of drugs in drivers’ saliva, Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. The device will record results based on threshold limits set by the manufacturer and test for six substances: amphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates.

Banner said it should be noted that threshold levels for saliva are different than that of blood.

Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), officers with advanced training in the assessment of alcohol and drug impairment, will carry the devices, MSP said. DREs only will administer an oral fluid test under the pilot program, Banner said.

The drug test will take place roadside, like alcohol preliminary breath test (PBT).

Refusing the oral fluid swab test, a preliminary test, will result in a civil infraction, just like an alcohol PBT, Banner said.

DREs will continue to take blood draws as part of standard procedure in addition to saliva tests, Banner said.

Naturally, no one wants an impaired person to get behind the wheel and potentially harm innocent people. However, there are already programs in place to prevent this. Warrantlessly testing saliva is another power grab by the police state to roll out inaccurate science that jeopardizes innocent people’s lives.

Attorney Neil Rockind, founder of Southfield-based criminal defense law firm Rockind Law, told MLive he opposes the law and called the proposed testing “bad science.”

“The criminal justice system wants to take science and turn it into a fast, easy utility,” he said.

“Science is neither fast nor easy.”

Rockind says the program sets a “dangerous precedent” for Michigan.

“A pilot program is a test program and, in this case, treats people as guinea pigs to be studied,” Rockind said.

“People are not guinea pigs. No citizen should be the subject of a test program when their liberty and way of life are on the line.”

Rockind himself was certified in DRE training and believes the process is fundamentally flawed.

“What works in a lab doesn’t work in court,” he said.

Several studies have found that impairment caused by THC can’t accurately be tested by blood.

In fact, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November last year the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — in the blood does not necessarily indicate impairment.

Additionally, the lack of a requirement that law enforcement secure a warrant to test a bodily fluid is extremely troubling and should raise a red flag for all civil libertarians.

The arbitrary nature of the entire process will almost certainly lend itself to profiling and harassment of certain targeted groups and individuals – based upon unfounded “science”.

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