Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 24 May 2020

Jaywick's fight: Community support in one of UK's poorest towns

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While towns and cities across the United Kingdom struggle with the effect of the new coronavirus, one of the poorest places is coping with the pandemic.
Jaywick made international headlines when the United Nations highlighted it as an example of how the British government has failed to deal with poverty.

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee reports from Jaywick in the UK.


Towel Hamlets in east London is one of the UK's poorest boroughs and it has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus.

Staff at the Royal London Hospital, which serves a large South Asian community, are under huge pressure.

Huw Edwards presents the latest BBC News at Ten special report from the hospital, from Clive Myrie, producer Sam Piranty and cameraman David McIlveen.
Some of the most disadvantaged parts of the UK are suffering the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The borough of Newham in east London has recorded the worst mortality rate in England and Wales, according to official figures.

Meanwhile the continent of Africa has yet to suffer the numbers of infections and deaths that have been seen in other parts of the world. The latest figures show just under 3,000 deaths across the whole of Africa from coronavirus.

And while many deaths may have gone unreported and numbers could rise, it's been suggested that much can be learnt from the way African countries prepared for the virus.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reports from Michael Buchanan in east London, and Anne Soy in Kenya.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he does not support invoking a law that would allow President Trump to use the U.S. military for domestic law enforcement amid nationwide protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.

"I've always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is best suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations in support of local law enforcement," Esper said at a news conference Wednesday.

"I say this not only as secretary of Defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," he added. "We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act."

Protests have spread nationwide since last week when Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Some of the protests have turned violent or taken place amid looting.

As of Tuesday, governors in 28 states, as well as the District of Columbia, activated their National Guards to help with crowd control, with the Guard Bureau saying Tuesday that 20,400 soldiers were responding to "civil unrest."

Trump has threatened to deploy active-duty troops to quash protests across the country if governors do not "dominate" the demonstrators.


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The first coronavirus patient arrived at St. John's hospital in Far Rockaway in March. During the peak, the morgue was averaging 17 to 18 bodies a day. Now, there is an uneasy lull and the staff fears a second wave will come.

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