The EU carbon market, serving its purpose at last? – VoxEurop (English)

Without a high enough carbon price, surplus emissions permits will remain high and the European carbon market will remain broken.

Coinciding with the end of COP25 in Madrid, the forthcoming European Council on 12 and 13 December could raise the long-term climate ambitions of the European Union. Already, 25 of the 28 member states have declared themselves in favour of a 2050 goal for greenhouse-gas neutrality – where greenhouse gas emissions are entirely offset by absorption of atmospheric CO2 (mainly by forests and soils). Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic made their agreement conditional on more help from Europe to decarbonise their energy infrastructure. In the medium term,  the target remains the one set in 2014: a 40% reduction in emissions in 2030 (compared to 1990).

An inefficient carbon market

The main tool of European climate policy is the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), i.e. the carbon market. If it is to achieve its medium- and long-term objectives, a review of the EU ETS is needed. Today, it remains ineffective, despite the measures put in place to improve it.

Created in 2005, the ETS mechanism imposes a decreasing emissions cap each year on some 11 000 large industrial installations responsible for 45% of the Union’s CO2 emissions: coal and gas power plants, cement plants, steel plants, etc. Since 2012, airlines are also subject to this tax, but only for intra-European flights. For the period 2012-2020, the reduction of the cap has been set by member states at 1.74% per year, in line with the overall target path (a 20% reduction in EU emissions in 2020 compared to 1990).

If a company emits less CO2 than its cap, it accumulates quotas that it may sell on the market. In the event, this condition was not really necessary, since the companies decreased their emissions faster than the cap imposed on them – due in part to policies promoting renewables and energy efficiency. The 2020 objective was thus achieved in 2017. For the period 2020-30, the cap is to be reduced by 2.2% per year. But this level is still insufficient to achieve the proposed EU target of carbon neutrality in 2050, says the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) in its latest annual review.

The cap imposed on companies is implemented by way of emissions permits, or quotas. One quota represents the right to emit one tonne of CO2. Companies must return as many allowances to the authority each year as they have emitted tonnes of CO2 (or the equivalent for other greenhouse gases). If a company emits less than its cap, it accumulates permits that it may resell on the market. If it emits more, it must buy additional permits in order to comply.

A glut of quotas

However, since emissions turned out to be well below the number of permits allocated to all reporting companies, the system ended up accumulating a lot of unused permits. By 2018, there were estimated to be 1650 million of them, the equivalent of one year’s emissions. It is this accumulation of surplus permits that explains the drop in prices on the quota market to 2018. The problem is that when it is cheap to buy CO2 emissions rights, companies have no incentive to invest in order to reduce their emissions.

Since 2018, CO2 prices have recovered and analysts anticipate a further increase in the short term. Several measures implemented since 2013 have helped reduce excessive quota allocations. First, Europe no longer recognises international carbon credits, a mechanism that was put in place under the now-defunct Kyoto Protocol. When a European company launched low-carbon projects in the global south, it could put them to its credit. This possibility contributed significantly to the inflation in unused quotas.

Secondly, the allocation of carbon credits, hitherto mainly free of charge, began to be done by auction for industries not subject to international competition, namely electricity production (with exemptions for Central European countries). Finally, a mechanism to remove part of the surplus quotas from the market, known as the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), has been put in place and is operational since 2019.

However, these efforts remain very insufficient. They have helped generate a CO2 price which allows an efficient gas-fired power plant to be competitive with an inefficient coal-fired power plant. But the price is not high enough to shut down all coal plants and even less to discourage all use of fossil fuels by heavy industry.


Accelerating the end of fossil energy

The recent increase in the price of CO2 permits and the expansion of allocations by auction has at least had the advantage of increasing the revenues that can be used for the energy transition. Member states are required to allocate at least half of their auction revenues to spending on climate and energy. These revenues increased from € 5.5 billion in 2017 to € 14.2 billion in 2018.

However, in the absence of a European carbon tax – which would require unanimity among member states – the main challenge of the carbon market remains that of generating a CO2 price capable of accelerating the end of fossil energy, in line with the polluter-pays principle. The measures introduced so far have only reduced the surplus quotas on the market, not eliminated them.

In the future, this situation could even worsen under the effect of other energy-climate policies. Indeed, the Union has set itself a target of a 32% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2030, as well as a 32.5% reduction in that consumption compared to a “business as usual” scenario. In addition, about ten member states have already adopted a plan to get out of coal.

If these policies are implemented without, at the same time, a downward revision to the emission ceilings for the period 2020-2030, the market will remain permanently in surplus with low prices. This is an argument for a measure unilaterally introduced by the UK in 2011: the introduction of a floor price for CO2, with a regular annual increase of the floor.

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How are the Russian raiders doing this?

One curious case about the real estate in Moscow, London and Dubai and the liquidated trading company

A few weeks ago an article came out in Russia. Its title sounds unclear: ‘The perdimonocle’s effect. The raiders among us’. The ‘perdimonocle’ is a Russian version of the French phrase ‘perdu monocle’ which means ‘to drop a monocle’. Old actors in a theatre used to do it to demonstate amazedness. In Russian ‘perdimonocle’ has almost the same meaning but sounds also very funny for a native speakers.

The article made some noise among the Russian readers. This story is about illegal takeovers – very sensitive subject in the local context. But the trace of heroes goes far beyond Russia: they’re found in London, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates. So we think it could be interesting to our readers too – how are the Russian raiders doing this?

One little question about the legacy

On May 13, 2013, the Russian businessman Dmitry Timinsky accidentally died in Dubai. He had an old mother Galina and a blood brother Sergey. But also it was a wife – Tambov-born Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova. Dmitry didn’t live with his wife for a long time and even communicate with her. Their marriage became a formality in a short time – she just continued to live in Timinsky’s flat in Moscow. But after Dmitry’s death in the prime of life she claimed for his property. And it’s not about the flat in Moscow, where she wasn’t even registered. It’s about a luxury realty in Dubai, England, Moscow and premium autos. Few millions of dollars is at stake.

To win the prize a poor widow should do just one thing – get rid of claims for property from Dmitry’s mother Galina and blood brother Sergey. And Natalya found ‘real pros’ for this case – Alexander Boksha and Alexander Zolochevsky.

Profession: raider

Boksha and Zolochevsky are not Dmitry Timinsky’s relatives. They prefer to introduce themselves as lawyers, but they’re not. We may say they’re professional raiders.

Once it was a group of companies named ‘ROSBUILDING’ in Russia. Few years ago ‘ROSBUILDING’ was involved in dozens of scandals tied to illegal takeovers of property. Boksha and Zolochevsky were its employees.

You can’t find a lot of information about Alexander Boksha in the Internet. He made use of new right to be forgotten. But everything couldn’t be hidden – for example, a takeover of horticultural storehouse ‘Perovskoye’ in 2013. The scandal was juicy. As reported by ‘Noviye Bedomosti’ Boksha controlled this operation in the behood of Azerbaijanian businessman Yakov Yakubov. ‘Scandaly Ru’ also mention Boksha in the drama of ‘Perovskoye’. Zolochevsky also made an appearance in this dirty game. ‘Nasha Versiya’ mentions him just as Boksha. Obviously the union of Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova with Boksha and Zolochevsky isn’t a coincidence.

Search who is to profit by it

What if Natalya and Dmitry’s brother and mother could agree among themselves? Because Galina and Sergey are ready to the compromise solution. After all she they are relatives with Natalya and could possibly find common language. Might find before the violent incident, which made an accommodation totally impossible.

The unknows slaughtered Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova in 2014. The criminal case was open into undentified persons. The unknows urged Natalya to stop fight for property. Just after this Boksha and Zolochevsky took Natalya under their protection and isolated her from relatives and friends of Dmitry Timinsky.

Is fecit cui prodes – said the wise Romans. Search who is to profit by it.

In this case it is obvious that everyone is loosing because of the conflict: both Sergey and Galina Timinsky and Natalya herself. Only Boksha and Zolochevsky don’t lose anything.

Under pressure

In September 2018 Sergey Timinsky was unexpectedly arrested by police in Dubai and passed a few days in a police holding cell without an opportunity to contact to the Consul of the Russian Federation.

It was about the letter. This letter was delivered to poor widow in Dubai by the Syrian Al Ali Mokhavia. As the Syrian said this letter was from one Sergey and carried threats against Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova.

Timinsky told the arabian investigator about the conflict because of his brother’s legacy. Sergey’s words were enough for the investigator to admit that the situation with letter was incited and Sergey has no attention to it. He was set free.

When Sergey came back to Russia he wrote an application to the Russian relevant authorities. He asked them to get tough with Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova, Alexander Boksha and Alexander Zolochevsky. Timinsky is sure that the provocation in Dubai continues the pressure on him and his collegues. He writes: ‘I might add that formerly there were threats from N.A. Timinskaya and A.V. Boksha toward my collegues, for example, E.V. Rukavishnikova’. At the same time Sergey’s lawyers had also taken care that police of Dubai will investigate the incident and punish guilty persons.

What are the raiders up to?

All the realty and cars the deceased Dmitry Timinsky had bought with money received from investors. In his sphere it wasn’t to difficult to find investors – Timinsky was a financial director in the Russian trading company ‘Forteks’.

The thing is that the trading company ‘Forteks’ went into liquidation as bankrupt. There were few other ‘Fortekses’ on the Russian market, but Dmitry Timinsky had totally nothing to do with them. But the widow, Boksha and Zolochevsky are going to take his legacy completely and Timinsky’s depths mean nothing to them! And may be it’s not the end. It seems that they are going to make a prize of one of the eponymous company ‘Forteks’. The title and Dmitry Timinsky’s contacts with its employees may help them in this operation.

Mentioned Elena Rukavishnikova is a financial director at the company ‘Forteks’ and she was a general director at the liquidated trading company ‘Forteks’. Boksha and Zolochevsky had found her in 2016, informed her that they are going after the company ‘Forteks’, where she works now, and demanded from Rukavishnikova documents and private information about the company. She was quite surprised when they insisted that the deceased Timinsky was not a financial director, but an owner of the trading company ‘Forteks’. The raiders don’t care that it isn’t true.

According to Rukavishnikova at their first meeting Boksha declared: ‘We have enough money to war. Y.M. Yakubov — is a rich man and can wain for a long time. We have a very big network at the limbs of the law and criminal circles’.

Elena Rukavishnikova came in for a lot of trouble – there were threats, aggressive signs of chasing, and finally her personal car was burned near her home. In September 2018 a criminal case was brought for the fact of arson. The suspects – an organised group of persons ruled (according to Rukavishnikova) by Alexander Boksha.

In the course of investigative actions photo and video documentation of the covert surveillance of Elena Rukavishnikova and Sergey Timinsky and the information about Elena’s car movements the day before it was burned were found at Boksha and Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova places.

The similar trace we find in Orenburg: to the one A.G. Pasadze came the same Alexander Boksha with friends. Pasadze was a founder of liquidated few years ago limited liability company ‘Nikson’ was co-founder of the trading company ‘Forteks’.

With help from local rogue cops Boksha ‘convienced’ A.G. Pasadze to sell him 100% of the liquidated company. Then he made Pasadze to bring suit before the Arbitral Tribunal to refound ‘Nikson’. She refused signed documents just after Boskha left and asked for protection from the law enforcement officials. We read in her announcement:

‘I am aking to protect myself from these people and stop this police lawlessness. Otherwise I will have to kill myself ’cause it’s the only way out I see from this situation’.

After all Boksha’s plan failed that time.

The way the spider works

The author of the article came into a conclusion: there is something in common in such cases as Natalya Timinskaya-Kolesnikova’s beating or letter that she received in Dubai. It’s someone’s writing here. Both incidents – irrational and violent.

Why possibly Sergey would have a profit by threatening Natalya in Dubai?  It would be easier to give Natalya that letter in the capital of Russia, ’cause they both live in one district. People who prepared it had known how it will work in United Arab Emirates. They knew that the Russian law enforcements won’t take such letter serious. When Rukavishnikova and Pasadze filed a reports against Boksha they had only an answer: ‘No body, no charge’. On the other hand national security environment in OAE is very scrupulous in such questions. It was a reliance on an oppressive feeling that anyone would have while taking under arrest in a foreign country.

And what about various threats to Pasadze and Rukavishnikova? Put yourself on the place of these women. Could you live through such pressing? What did Pasadze feel If the only way out that she saw was a suicide?

Remember the web that spider are making. One little web is not scary. But the whole system brings death to the victim. We see something in common around the relatives of Dmitry Timinsky and his collegues. Nothing deadly is happening. But may be the victims will get tired from pressing and start to make mistakes? Or just give up.

But may be the raiders haven’t much time left. And may be it will be soon possible to understand why some employees in security agencies were so ‘unwary’. Because the investigation against the raiders and their fellows is ongoing. And soon will come the times when the network in law enforcements won’t help.




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Tags: Dmitry Timinsky, ROSBUILDING, The perdimonocle’s effect

Category: A Frontpage, Russia

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5 rockets hit airbase housing U.S. troops in Iraq

Five rockets hit an airbase that houses U.S. troops in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, the Iraqi military said on Tuesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The rockets struck the Ain al-Asad airbase, where hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed, but caused no casualties, the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

It gave no further details, but adding that more information would be released later.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence paid an unannounced visit to the airbase on Nov. 23 to meet with the U.S. troops.

Pence’s visit came at a time when Iraq witnessed anti-government protests demanding comprehensive reform of the political system and early elections.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State (IS) militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.

The troops are part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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Bereft family sues employer after asleep at wheel fatality

The family of a young man who died in a road collision that happened as he drove back to Dublin in the early hours after working in Sligo has sued his employer for nervous shock.

It is claimed 19-year old Bijan Melrose must have fallen asleep at the wheel as he travelled back to Dublin after operating a photo booth and taking pictures at an event for his employer Shoot Booths Ltd.

Gerald Tynan SC, for the family, told the High Court the Garda evidence will be that there was no explanation for the crash other than that the student and part-time worker must have fallen asleep.

It was the family’s case that Mr Melrose should not have been allowed to drive the van back from Sligo to Dublin, he said.

Ian and Masoumeh Melrose, and the deceased’s three sisters, Nielufar, Raanah and Sorayya, all of Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Dublin, have each sued Shoot Booths Ltd, with offices at Mine Hill Business Centre, Ballycorus, Dublin, as a result of the crash which happened about 2am on October 18th, 2014, at Newtownforbes, Co Longford.

Mr Melrose had driven to Sligo earlier in the day and had worked at a function where he operated a photo booth.

At about midnight, he began the journey back to Dublin.

It is claimed Mr Melrose was required to work an excessively long shift which included a long drive in the dark at its conclusion.

It is also claimed he was required to drive back to Dublin from Sligo when it was inappropriate and dangerous to do so.

There was, it is further claimed, failure to provide him with accommodation so he could rest before returning on the long night drive and failure to allow Mr Melrose sufficient rest before requiring him to undertake a night-time drive in excess of three hours.

Claims denied

The claims are denied and it is also pleaded there was contributory negligence on the part of Mr Melrose.

Opening the case, Mr Tynan said the van Mr Melrose was driving left the road, smashed into several trees and came back across the road.

Another motorist who had been overtaken by Mr Melrose earlier had reported there was no speed involved on Mr Melrose’s part.

The family’s case was that Mr Melrose should not have been allowed drive the vehicle back to Dublin, he said.

The family are devastated and heartbroken by Mr Melrose’s death and have suffered appalling nervous shock, said counsel.

“They got a knock on the door at 4am to say this young man had been killed. It was horrific; they have suffered tremendously. It will never be over for them,” he said.

The case continues before Mr Justice Kevin Cross on Wednesday.

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Man City XI vs Burnley: Confirmed lineups and full team news at Turf Moor

Burnley lineup: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Lennon, Cork, Hendrick, Drinkwater, McNeil, Wood

Subs: Lowton, Barnes, Brady, Gibson, Rodriguez, Hart, Vydra

Man City lineup: Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Jose Angelino, Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling

Subs: Bravo, Stones, Mendy, Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Foden, Garcia

Referee: Jonathan Moss

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Amazon joins supercomputer race with new ‘quantum computing‘ service

Amazon has joined the supercomputer race with a new ‘quantum computing‘ service that it hopes will help solve complex tasks in minutes or seconds. Stock image
Amazon has joined the supercomputer race with a new ‘quantum computing‘ service that it hopes will help solve complex tasks in minutes or seconds. Stock image

Adrian Weckler

Amazon has joined the supercomputer race with a new ‘quantum computing‘ service that it hopes will help solve complex tasks in minutes or seconds.

The service, Amazon Braket, will see the the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) enter into competition with Google, IBM and Microsoft to seize control over what could be a breakthrough in computer technology in the near future.

Quantum computing promises to speed up today’s tasks by hundreds of times.

In October, Google said that it had used a quantum computer to solve in minutes a complex problem that would take today’s most powerful supercomputer thousands of years to crack.

As such, the technology is not only of interest to big companies, but also to governments and defence-related entities in the field of cybersecurity.

Amazon is promising to make powerful quantum computing services available over the web, compared to rivals’ focus on installing hardware. To do this, it is hooking up with partners such as D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti, companies that will do the heavy lifting on the hardware end with services then channeled through to AWS customers.

“Amazon Braket is a fully managed AWS service, with security & encryption baked in at each level,” said AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr, announcing the service at the company’s annual ‘Re:Invent’ conference.

“This new service is designed to let you get some hands-on experience with qubits and quantum circuits. You can build and test your circuits in a simulated environment and then run them on an actual quantum computer.”

For decades, computer scientists have sought to harness quantum physics, laws governing the behavior of particles that are smaller than atoms and can simultaneously exist in different states.

Quantum bits, or qubits, can be set to one and zero at the same time, unlike today’s computer bits that are either ones or zeros. This superposition property multiplies exponentially as qubits become entangled with each other, meaning the more qubits connected, the vastly more powerful a quantum computer becomes.

But there is a catch: Quantum researchers need to cool qubits to about absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius or -460 degrees Fahrenheit) to limit vibration – or “noise” – that causes errors in calculations.

“If you have been in IT for any length of time, you know that Moore’s Law has brought us to the point where it possible to manufacture memory chips that store 2 tebibytes on a thumb drive,” said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr.

“The physical and chemical processes that make this possible are amazing, and well worth studying. Unfortunately, these processes do not apply directly to the manufacture of devices that contain qubits.

The largest quantum computers contain about 50 qubits. These computers are built on several different technologies, but seem to have two attributes in common. They are scarce and they must be run in carefully controlled physical environments.”

The US and Chinese governments have led in the burgeoning quantum technology field, pledging billions of dollars in funding to corporate and state researchers to fast-track quantum development and mitigate possible issues, including the tech’s expected ability to break digital encryption.

“Today’s implementations of public key cryptography are secure because factoring large integers is computationally intensive,” said Barr.

“Depending on key length, the time to factor — and therefore break — keys ranges from months to forever.

However, when a quantum computer with enough qubits is available, factoring large integers will become instant and trivial.”

Online Editors

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UN warns climate crisis close to ‘point of no return’ as climate conference begins – Channel 4 News

The climate crisis could soon reach the point of no return, the United Nations chief António Guterres has warned,  describing the global response so far as ‘utterly inadequate’.

Delegates from almost 200 countries are in Madrid for the two week UN climate conference –   intended to set out the next phase of action to tackle global warming. And the sense of urgency could not be more critical.

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Dwayne Johnson was hesistant to get married to beau Lauren Hashian

The Rock with ducks is everything we needed
(Picture: WSJ; SplashNews)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson opened up about his hesitancy of getting married again after his divorce ‘did a number’ on him.

The Jumanji: The Next Level star revealed he was very cautious after his divorce from Dany Garcia in 2008, but married his love Lauren Hashian earlier this year after 12 years together.

Dwayne, 47, spilled to WSJ Magazine: ‘My divorce did a number on me. I wasn’t fearful of getting married again, there was just some hesitancy.

‘But Lauren was incredibly patient: “I love you, you love me, we have this amazing life together — no presh.”’

Lauren and The Rock finally got married in August this year in Hawaii.

They share children Jasmine, three, and Tiana Gia, one, together, while Dwayne has an older daughter Simone, 18, from his marriage to Dany.

Speaking on meeting his beau, he said: ‘Within 30 seconds, I thought, “Wow, this girl’s stunning.”

The Rock married Lauren in August (Picture: Steve Granitz/WireImage)
The cutest flower girl of all time (Picture: @therock/Instagram)

‘At the time, I was going through my breakup with Dany and [Lauren] was just coming off a big breakup, too.

‘Ironically, when you’re not looking for something, the power of the universe kind of takes over.’

On 19 August, The Rock revealed he tied the knot with Lauren with a carousel of two photos of them looking stunning from their wedding.

They both wore all-white and we were incredibly envious of the Hawaiian sunset and ocean behind them.

What a place to have a wedding.

He captioned the photo: ‘We do. August 18th, 2019. Hawaii. Pōmaikaʻi (blessed) @laurenhashianofficial.’

The star even thanked his daughter Jasmine for being the best flower girl she could be.

More: Dwayne Johnson

He wrote on 3 September: ‘Wedding day flower girl is a big responsibility and one that Jazzy took very serious.

‘In the few minutes before the ceremony we took to practice, I quickly realized she was determined to not gently lay the flowers, but rather intensely throw the flowers with ruthless aggression ~ and a wicked smile.

‘Hell. Yeah. That’s my daughter!’

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MORE: Dwayne Johnson and Danny DeVito crash wedding reception as they promote Jumanji: The Next Level

MORE: WWE’s Ricochet would love to follow Dwayne Johnson into Hollywood: ‘But I’m absolutely horrible at acting!’

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Brexit News: BBC comic Nish Kumar booed off stage after Remainer rant at charity lunch | UK | News

Nish Kumar was invited to attend the Lord’s Taverners Christmas lunch to perform a stand up set to raise money for vulnerable children. However, the comedian, most famous for starring on the BBC Mash Report, used the opportunity to make a number of derogatory remarks about Brexit.  The stand up set caused outrage among those present, with Mr Kumar – dubbed “undoubtedly the UK’s hottest comedian” – facing backlash from the audience.

Guests at the Lord’s Taverners Christmas charity lunch booed and heckled the comedian for his distasteful jokes. 

Tension in the room then rose even further when Mr Kumar chose to confront those who disagreed with him on the UK’s future outside of the EU.

Mr Kumar labelled those who did not share his opinion as “thick”, causing to anger in the room to boil over.

The BBC comic described it as “the rowdiest gig I’ve ever done” as hecklers shouted “don’t do politics”.

The Mash Report star was even forced to leave the stage after someone threw a bread roll at him.

JUST IN: Donald Trump SLAMS Corbyn’s NHS lies ‘We want nothing to do with it!’

Describing the outrage in the room, Mike Fitchett, 68, told The Mail Online: “This man, who is supposed to be a comedian, gets up and delivers what could only be described as a political speech.

“He should have just left the stage but he refused to do so. This was not at all what our organisation is about.

“These were extreme, far-left political views and we are a charity.

“It was all very offensive and I shall be writing to our chief executive to make my feelings clear.”

Following the disastrous stand-up routine, Mr Kumar attempted to make light of the situation, tweeting: “In my defence, it was only one bread roll and it missed me.”

This is not the first time the BBC star has courted controversy.

Earlier this year the comedian described the “architects” of Brexit as “a cocktail of lying racists and buffoons”.

He added: “I don’t think even someone as cynical as me could have predicted how deeply stupid these people are.”

Mr Kumar was also forced to apologise last year when he invited Steve Topple onto the Mash Report.

Steve Topple has faced criticism for social media posts which have ben accused of being anti-Semitic.

At the time, Mr Kumar said: “We f***ed up – no question. Apologies. Will be more judicious in future.”

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Real Madrid blocked Cristiano Ronaldo from winning Ballon d’Or last year, claims Juventus star’s team-mate Chiellini – The Sun

REAL MADRID blocked Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or last year, believes Giorgio Chiellini.

The Portugal star, 34, moved from the Bernabeu to Juventus in the summer of 2018 in a £99million move.

 Giogio Chiellini reckons Real Madrid blocked Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d'Or last year as Luka Modric picked up the gong


Giogio Chiellini reckons Real Madrid blocked Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or last year as Luka Modric picked up the gongCredit: REUTERS

But he was well beaten in the race for the Ballon d’Or as Luka Modric romped to victory, ending the decade-long duopoly between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

This year, Messi edged out Virgil van Dijk to win his record sixth crown with Ronaldo down in third.

But Cristiano’s Juventus team-mate Chiellini reckons Los Blancos are to blame for his failure to land the 2018 prize.

He said: “It’s okay that Messi has won the Ballon d’Or this year. The real theft was last year.

“Real Madrid decided that Cristiano should not win the Ballon d’Or. It was really strange.”

Ronaldo did win a third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid last year thanks to the 3-1 final victory over Liverpool.

But they finished third in La Liga, a whopping 17 points behind winners Barcelona while Ronaldo’s Portugal were dumped out of the World Cup by Uruguay in the Round of 16.

This year, Ronaldo won Serie A with Juventus and the inaugural Nations League with Portugal but was not expected to win the Ballon d’Or.

Messi got 686 votes, Van Dijk received 679 but Ronaldo was way behind on 476.

The ex-Manchester United winger decided not to attend the gala in Paris and instead stayed in Italy to pick up the award for the Best Player in Serie A.

Van Dijk had a cheeky jibe at Ronaldo for his lack of appearance but was blasted by Piers Morgan and Ronaldo’s sister among others for his joke.

One journalist, meanwhile, continued his incredible voting pattern by backing Trent Alexander-Arnold for the gong.

Sri Lankan Hafiz Marikar’s top five for 2019 were the Liverpool right-back followed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Antoine Griezmann, Robert Lewandowski and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

In previous years he has opted for the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Eden Hazard as he continues to snub Messi.


 Chiellini was full of support for his club team-mate as both players were recognised at the Serie A awards


Chiellini was full of support for his club team-mate as both players were recognised at the Serie A awardsCredit: AFP or licensors
 Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or crown last night to move ahead of Ronaldo


Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or crown last night to move ahead of RonaldoCredit: AFP or licensors
Lionel Messi says that winning the Ballon d’Or award for a record sixth time is unimaginable

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