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A kiss is not just a kiss

3 August 2005

Kissing someone's hand is the ultimate respect anyone can show in Iran. But when you kiss a higher authority it only means you have total obidence toward that person.

The obedient presidentُ

That said, "the endorsment ceremony of Mr. Ahmadinejad", the new president of Islamic Republic, can be summarized in one picture: A president who kisses the hands of the Supreme leader. This means Khamanei and his followers, mostly from Revolutionary Guards, have consolidated the entire power structure of Iran.

The whole struggle of the reformists has always beento avoid this kiss. Never a kiss has been more meaningful.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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