It has been a heartbreaking legal battle that has captured international attention and drawn offers of support from Donald Trump and the Pope. Now, the parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard have ended their legal battle over treatment for their son. Their lawyer said that recent scans had confirmed that damage to Charlie’s muscle and tissue was irreversible and said “it is now too late to treat Charlie”. The couple felt that continuing their fight would cause Charlie pain. Great Ormond Street Hospital will now give the parents some precious final hours with their son before withdrawing the ventilator that keeps him alive. Here is everything you need to know about the case. Who is Charlie Gard? Charlie is a 10-month old patient in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London. On August 4, 2016, he was born a “perfectly healthy” baby at full term and at a “healthy weight”. After about a month, however, Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, noticed that he was less able to lift his head and support himself than other babies of a similar age. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Credit: PA Doctors discovered he had a rare inherited disease – infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS). The condition causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. In October, after he had became lethargic and his breathing shallow, he was transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Why was there a legal fight? Charlie’s parents wanted to take him to see specialists in the USA, who had offered an experimental therapy called nucleoside. A crowdfunding page was set up in January to help finance the therapy. Ribbons and hearts tied to trees outside Great Ormond Street Hospital in London by well wishers backing a campaign to allow terminally ill baby Charlie Gard to be treated in America Credit: PA But doctors at GOSH concluded that the experimental treatment, which is not designed to be curative, would not improve Charlie’s quality of life. When parents do not agree about a child’s future treatment, it is standard legal process to ask the courts to make a decision. This is what happened in Charlie’s case. What were the stages of the legal battle? March 3: Great Ormond Street bosses asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that life support treatment should stop. The judge was told that Charlie could only breathe through a ventilator and was fed through a tube. April 11: Mr Justice Francis said doctors could stop providing life-support treatment after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London He concluded that life-support treatment should end and said a move to a palliative care regime would be in Charlie’s best interests. Connie Yates leaves the Supreme Court after a panel of three Supreme Court justices on dismissed the couple’s latest challenge Credit: PA May 3: Charlie’s parents then asked Court of Appeal judges to consider the case. May 23: After analysing the case, three Court of Appeal judges dismissed the couple’s appeal two days later. June 8: Charlie’s parents then lost their fight in the Supreme Court. Charlie’s mother broke down in tears and screamed as justices announced their decision and was led from the court by lawyers. Chris Gard leaves the Supreme Court after it ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street Hospital Credit: PA June 20: Judges in the European Court of Human Rights started to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie’s parents make written submissions. A European Court of Human Rights spokeswoman said the case would get “priority”. “In light of the exceptional circumstances of this case, the court has already accorded it priority and will treat the application with the utmost urgency,” she added. Supporters outside the Supreme Court Credit: PA June 27: On Tuesday, European court judges refused to intervene. A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman said the European Court decision marked “the end” of a “difficult process”. She said there would be “no rush” to change Charlie’s care and said there would be “careful planning and discussion”. July 10: Charlie’s parents return to the High Court and ask Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of the case. Mr Justice Francis gives them less than 48 hours to prove an experimental treatment works. July 24: Charlie’s parents withdraw their request to change the original court order. The baby will have his life support switched off in the next few days. Why was the case back in court? Charlie inherited the faulty RRM2B gene from his parents, affecting the cells responsible for energy production and respiration and leaving him unable to move or breathe without a ventilator. GOSH describes experimental nucleoside therapies as “unjustified” and the treatment is not a cure. The hospital’s decision to go back into the courtroom came after two international healthcare facilities and their researchers contacted them to say they have “fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment”. Charlie’s parents have now decided to end their legal battle. Grant Armstrong, the parents lawyer, told the court: “for Charlie it is too late.” What did Charlie’s parents argue? Richard Gordon QC, who led Charlie’s parents’ legal team, had told Court of Appeal judges that the case raised “very serious legal issues”. Mum of Charlie Gard says five doctors support her 01:33 “They wish to exhaust all possible options,” Mr Gordon said in a written outline of Charlie’s parents’ case. “They don’t want to look back and think ‘what if?’. This court should not stand in the way of their only remaining hope.” Mr Gordon suggested that Charlie might be being unlawfully detained and denied his right to liberty. He said judges should not interfere with parents’ exercise of parental rights. Lawyers, who represented Charlie’s parents for free, said Mr Justice Francis had not given enough weight to Charlie’s human right to life. They said there was no risk the proposed therapy in the US would cause Charlie “significant harm”. However, Miss Yates and Mr Gard have now acknowledged that the therapy could not help their son get better. Their lawyer, Grant Armstrong, told the court that the delay in offering treatment to Charlie had meant he had no prospect of getting better. Mr Armstrong said damage to Charlie’s muscle and tissue was irreversible. “The parents’ worst fears have been confirmed,” he said “It is now too late to treat Charlie.” Ethics professor: If Charlie Gard was my child I would let him die peacefully 01:22 What did GOSH argue? Katie Gollop QC, who led Great Ormond Street’s legal team, suggested that further treatment would leave Charlie in a “condition of existence”. She said therapy proposed in the USA was “experimental” and would not help Charlie. “There is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect,” she told appeal judges. “The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.” She added: “It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue.” A banner hung on railings outside Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London Credit: PA Ms Gollop said nobody knew whether Charlie was in pain. “Nobody knows because it is so very difficult because of the ravages of Charlie’s condition,” she said. “He cannot see, he cannot hear, he cannot make a noise, he cannot move.” Interventions from Trump and the Vatican While Ms Yates and Mr Gard said they have been boosted by support from US President Donald Trump and the Vatican, a leading expert has described interventions from high-profile figures as “unhelpful”. Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said in an open letter that Charlie’s situation is “heartbreaking” for his parents, and “difficult” for others including medical staff, but added that even well-meaning interventions from outsiders can be unhelpful. If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017 The interest of the Pope and Mr Trump in Charlie’s case has “saved his life so far”, his mother has said. Ms Yates told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on July 10: “Yeah, they have saved his life so far. It turned it into an international issue. “There are a lot of people that are outraged by what is going on. We have got new evidence now so I hope the judge changes his mind.” Timeline | Charlie Gard case She said that “sometimes parents are right in what they think” and it is not simply that they do not want to switch off life support. She said the family had seven specialist doctors – two from the US, two from Italy, one from England and two from Spain - supporting them. She added: “We expect that structural damage is irreversible, but I have yet to see something which tells me my son has irreversible structural brain damage.” The parents have now acknowledged that the therapy they were seeking could not help their son get better. Their lawyer said the couple felt that continuing their fight would cause Charlie pain.
Two men, including one who has 25 wives and 146 children, were convicted of polygamy on Monday in a landmark ruling that upheld Canada’s longstanding ban on the practice. Winston Blackmore and James Marion Oler, who has five wives, face up to five years in prison after being found guilty in the first real test of the country’s polygamy law, enacted 127 years ago. Three special prosecutors had been appointed over the past two decades to consider bringing charges against the pair, but they backed down over concerns that the law prohibiting polygamy violated Canadians’ constitutional right to religious freedom. Those fears were assuaged in 2011 when British Columbia province’s Supreme Court ruled in a reference case that the inherent harms of polygamy justified putting limits on religious freedoms, clearing the way for charges to be filed against Blackmore and Oler three years later. Mr Blackmore speaks to reporters after a Canadian court found the former leader of a breakaway religious sect guilty of practicing polygamy Credit: Reuters Judge Sheri Ann Donegan of the British Columbia Supreme Court noted in her ruling that the main defendant, Blackmore, did not deny his polygamy. “His adherence to the practices and beliefs of the FLDS is not in dispute,” she said. Blackmore spoke briefly to reporters outside the courthouse in Cranbrook after the verdict, saying that he was living his religion and that it was very important to him and his family. Oler left without speaking to reporters. Blackmore’s lawyer, Blair Suffredine, had told the court during the trial that he would launch a constitutional challenge of Canada’s polygamy laws if his client was found guilty. James Oler leaves the court house after a Canadian judge found the former member of a breakaway religious sect guilty of practicing polygamy, in Cranbrook Credit: Reuters The two men are senior figures in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamist religious sect that broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. The sect has been based for nearly 60 years in the remote, mountainous region of British Columbia near the US border where the community grows, raises or hunts its own food and runs a barter economy. The Canadian group is part of the same sect led by jailed US polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. The mainstream Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abandoned polygamy in 1890. At the 12-day trial earlier this year, witnesses included mainstream Mormon experts, law enforcement officials who worked on the investigation and Jane Blackmore, a former wife of Winston Blackmore who left the Canadian community in 2003. Justice Sheri Ann Donegan praised Jane Blackmore as a highly credible and reliable witness. “She was a careful witness,” Donegan said. “There was nothing contrived or rehearsed in her answers. She was impartial.” Much of the evidence in the trial came from marriage and personal records seized by law enforcement at a church compound in Texas in 2008. Donegan disagreed with assertions by Blackmore and his lawyer that the records should be given little or no weight, saying she found them reliable. Donegan said Winston Blackmore’s adherence to the practices and beliefs of the religious group were never in dispute, nothing that he did not deny his marriages to police in 2009. Blackmore even made two corrections to a detailed list of his alleged wives, she said. “He spoke openly about his practice of polygamy,” Donegan said. “Mr. Blackmore confirmed that all of his marriages were celestial marriages in accordance with FLDS rules and practices.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is growing increasingly disillusioned with President Donald Trump and could leave his administration before the end of the year, according to two sources who spoke to CNN. Mr Tillerson has found himself undermined by the president, who openly contradicts him and appears disinterested in the work of Mr Tillerson’s team of career diplomats at the state department. Friends of Mr Tillerson’s had previously believed he would ride out the rollercoaster at Foggy Bottom – home of the state department. But CNN on Monday reported that the friends had noticed “a change in tone,” and thought that he could well be planning on leaving Washington. Rex Tillerson at the state department on June 9 “His frustration is hardly a secret and it has spilled out publicly at times,” CNN reported. “But friends sense a change of late. “Two sources who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity over the weekend said they would not be surprised if there was a ‘Rexit’ from Foggy Bottom sooner that that.” The 65-year-old Texan has made no secret of his struggle with the role. Reluctant in front of the camera, in his first interview he said he had only taken the job because his wife thought it was a good idea. The president has made his life harder by blocking a number of people Mr Tillerson wished to appoint, including stopping the hiring of Elliott Abrams as Mr Tillerson’s second in command, because Mr Abrams was critical of Mr Trump and his policy positions during the 2016 campaign. The state department is described as a hollowed-out and demoralised institution under Mr Tillerson, who has failed to convince his boss that diplomacy is something to be prized. Mr Tillerson reportedly got involved in a heated argument about staffing, in which Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, reportedly called Mr Tillerson “unprofessional”. During his tirade, inside the office of chief of staff Reince Priebus, Mr Tillerson reportedly quarreled with the director of presidential personnel, Johnny DeStefano, and made clear he didn’t want the White House to “have any role in staffing.” Mr Tillerson has also been undermined on policy. Rex Tillerson with his Saudi counterpart He advocated remaining neutral during the Gulf dispute with Qatar, saying: “We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar. There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade.” Hours later, Mr Trump went against his position and openly backed Saudi Arabia. “The nation of Qatar, unfortunately has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,” said Mr Trump. “And in the wake of that conference, nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behaviour.” Mr Tillerson unsuccessfully argued against Mr Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate change agreement, and when asked whether he still wishes the US was part of the deal, he replied: “My views haven’t changed.” In June The New York Times spoke to three ambassadors – two in Europe, one in Asia – who said they were so muddled by the lack of leadership from the state department that they had taken to referring their inquiries to the national security council instead. Were Mr Tillerson to resign, he would be far from the shortest-tenured secretary of state. Elihu Washburne only served 11 days under Ulysses Grant, before being made ambassador to France. Profile | Rex Tillerson
Parents have expressed anger at a politically charged speech that Donald Trump delivered to tens of thousands of Boy Scouts on Monday. The President was also reminded on social media of the organisation’s values, with many claiming Mr Trump had shown noticeably anti-Boy Scout behaviour. With his White House embroiled in investigations surrounding his campaign’s ties with Russia, Mr Trump flew to West Virginia to a field full of 40,000 chanting and cheering Boy Scouts, telling them he was happy to leave Washington behind. “Who the hell wants to speak about politics?” Mr Trump said, telling the boys at the National Scout Jamboree he wanted to talk about how to achieve their dreams. Donald Trump gestures as former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, watch at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree Credit: AP But politics proved too hard for Trump to resist on a day he spent pleading for Republican senators to vote to advance his long-promised health care overhaul and watching his son-in-law Jared Kushner being grilled on Capitol Hill about contacts with Russia. “Tonight we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that,” he told the teenaged boys, sitting state by state in brightly coloured t-shirts. “You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians and I see the swamp and it’s not a good place,” said Mr Trump. Scouts and their leaders listen to President Donald Trump Credit: AP “In fact, today I said we ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to the word ‘cesspool’ or perhaps to the word ‘sewer.’ It’s not good. I see what’s going on and believe me, I’d much rather be with you, that I can tell you,” Mr Trump said. He told the boys that the media were dishonest and would not show the size of their jamboree on television. “Fake media, fake media,” Mr Trump said, drawing a chorus of boos and cheers. The most sustained round of cheers and jeers came when Mr Trump mentioned his predecessor President Barack Obama, who had declined invitations to speak to the scout gathering while he was in office. “By the way, just a question: did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?” Mr Trump said. #2017Jambo- Remember your duty. Honor your history. Take care of the people God puts into your life – and LOVE & CHERISH your country! pic.twitter.com/DnNYxGJm4I— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017 Mr Trump said he has 10 former Boy Scouts serving in his cabinet and White House, and brought a few on stage as examples of Boy Scout leadership in action, including Tom Price, his health secretary. “Hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare,” Mr Trump said, referring to Obama’s signature health care legislation, as the boys booed. “He better get them, otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired!’” he said, borrowing the catch phrase from his reality television show, “The Apprentice.” The political-style rally drew widespread criticism on social media, particularly from parents. My son is saying the same. We were involved with boy scouts for years. I would never want to be associated with organization now.— Kate (@Mamaofthreebear) July 25, 2017 Politics do not belong in the jamboree. Citizenship does. I’m the charter organization rep for my son’s Troop. Will be contacting district— Ann ���� (@GeekTalk51) July 25, 2017 Especially appalled as I’m in a scouting family that includes two Eagle Scouts and my son aspires to be one. Disappointing, @boyscouts .— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) July 24, 2017 Right & left in agreement that Trump hijacked Boy Scouts for political rally. As a former Senior Patrol Leader, no @boyscouts for my son. https://t.co/ICtfKnxSOr— Nathan Newman (@nathansnewman) July 25, 2017 You have made me ill, @boyscouts! Do I now have to worry my son will be indoctrinated into a Trump youth org when he attends a BSA event??!— Leila Rice (@Leila_A_Rice) July 25, 2017 Mr Trump also provoked a backlash on Twitter after he himself started to cite Scout values. “Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans. As the Scout Law says: ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal’ — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that,” he told the crowd. A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent https://t.co/vDTTjiKfRw— Ronnie Ellis (@cnhifrankfort) July 25, 2017 Donald Trump is speaking to the Boy Scouts. Has a President ever been in deeper contradiction with Scout values? pic.twitter.com/UYfdi39nH9— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) July 24, 2017 As an Eagle Scout, I can’t imagine a worse role model for young men who less embodies scouting’s values than President Trump. https://t.co/uTcUdlknCz— Morgan Bolt (@MBoltAuthor) July 24, 2017 Although Mr Obama did not attend the jamboree during his two terms, he addressed a 100th anniversary event in 2010 by video. Pete Souza, the former White House photographer, also pointed out that Mr Obama had personally met scouts, adding that the former president did not boast to them about “his electoral college victory”. I can assure you, POTUS was not telling this Cub Scout and the Boy Scouts who followed about his electoral college victory. A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jul 24, 2017 at 5:10pm PDT
A survivor of a horror truck journey in which 10 migrants suffocated to death has told how travelers took turns breathing through a tiny hole in a desperate bid to stay alive, US investigators said on Monday. As charges were filed against the driver w…
Google parent Alphabet on Monday saw shares slide as the market reacted to a massive fine by the European Commission and word that success in mobile, cloud and YouTube is coming with higher costs. Alphabet reported a quarterly profit of $3.5 billion, …
A Boy Scout is, apparently, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. That’s according to the Scout values that many are citing in contrast with President Trump’s speech at Monday’s Boy Scouts of America 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The president, who wasn’t a Boy Scout, turned the event into one of his political rallies after he said he wasn’t going to talk about politics. SEE ALSO: Girl Scouts will march in the Inaugural Parade, disappointing some of their biggest fans He went from “who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” to taking on health care, winning the electoral college, draining the swamp, fake news, New York cocktail parties, and the sexual proclivities of old rich men for good measure. Trump, to kids at Scout jamboree: “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” https://t.co/Rz5Tko7WW8 — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 24, 2017 Trump himself started to cite Scout values after he reverted to rally mode and sounded like he was on the campaign trail. “Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans. As the Scout Law says: ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal’ — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that,” he told the crowd. The crowd finished the list of values for him. Many took to Twitter to call out Trump for his noticeably anti-Boy Scout behavior, starting with the whole saying one thing and then doing another thing. A Scout is:Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent https://t.co/vDTTjiKfRw — Ronnie Ellis (@cnhifrankfort) July 25, 2017 Trump—who was NOT a boy scout—gets @Boyscouts to boo Obama, who was a boy scout. 45 is teaching kids ‘great’ values. https://t.co/2QklslW5mc — Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) July 25, 2017 Donald Trump is speaking to the Boy Scouts. Has a President ever been in deeper contradiction with Scout values? pic.twitter.com/UYfdi39nH9 — Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) July 24, 2017 Pretty sure #trump isn’t trustworthy, helpful, courteous, kind, thrifty, brave, clean OR reverent. #BoyScouts — Stephen Walt (@stephenWalt) July 25, 2017 As an Eagle Scout, I can’t imagine a worse role model for young men who less embodies scouting’s values than President Trump. https://t.co/uTcUdlknCz — Morgan Bolt (@MBoltAuthor) July 24, 2017 A Scout is….”HEALTHY, brave, clean and reverent.” #BoyscoutJamboree https://t.co/gTrZIs87rC — PETER MAER (@petermaer) July 25, 2017 Trump now has the Boy Scouts booing Hillary Clinton. “She didn’t work hard” in Wisconsin and Michigan. — Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) July 24, 2017 As part of one devastating Twitter thread, one longtime Boy Scout called out Trump for making his national appearance about himself, politicizing the Scouts, and — the kicker — once borrowing $7 from his charity to pay his son’s Boy Scout registration fee. And yet, Trump saw fit to turn the largest gathering of Boy Scouts into a political gathering, as if they had come together only to see him. — Ted Genoways (@TedGenoways) July 25, 2017 Former White House photographer Pete Souza, who can always be counted on in such situations, got in on the Boy Scout-Trump shade with a photo of Barack Obama with a Cub Scout. The caption is too real: “I can assure you, POTUS was not telling this Cub Scout and the Boy Scouts who followed about his electoral college victory.” I can assure you, POTUS was not telling this Cub Scout and the Boy Scouts who followed about his electoral college victory. A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jul 24, 2017 at 5:10pm PDT The Boy Scouts organization, for its part, said it invited Trump because he’s the president, not because of his politics. What it got was politics. And — though those in attendance cheered and chanted — a whole lot of anger from former Scouts. WATCH: Is this the new fidget spinner?