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Bradley Manning jailed for 35 years

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35 YEARS’ imprisonment faces former Tasker Milward pupil Bradley Manning, following his conviction of offences related to the provision of confidential military and diplomatic material to the Wikileaks website. He has also been dishonourably discharged from the US Army.

Passing the sentence Judge Colonel Denise Lind said that credit would be given to Manning for the three and a half years for the time spent on remand awaiting trial and remitted a further period of 112 days due to the harsh conditions in which he had originally been kept.

Prosecutors had sought a significantly longer sentence for Manning, who was cleared of offences that could potentially have led to the death penalty being passed on him.

Speaking after sentencing, Manning’s lawyer David Coombs said that he would be asking US President Barack Obama for a pardon for his client. ‘The time to end Brad’s suffering is now.’ Mr Coombs told the press after the hearing.

According to his lawyer Pte Manning said ‘The decisions I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world we live in,’

Reading his client’s statement Mr Coombs went on, ‘When I chose to disclose classified information… I did so out of love for our country and a sense of duty for others. If you deny my request for a pardon I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.’

The sentence came after ten weeks of hearings and legal argument. Following his conviction, the Court had heard of Manning’s troubled psychiatric history. Expert witness Captain David Moulton USN testified that Pte Manning felt abandoned by friends and family and that his personal relationship was ‘in a rough patch’.

According to evidence presented by the defence, Private Manning’s military supervisors ignored warning signs about his mental condition, including an incident when he tried to grab a gun during a counselling session.

Defence attorney David Coombs argued in Court that his client’s erratic behaviour in the period leading up to the leak of the documents was evidence that Private Manning was unfit for overseas service in Iraq.

Mr Coombs said that his client would be eligible for release in about seven years’ time.

Bradley Manning’s sentence will be subject to automatic review and may be reduced as part of that process.

It is thought Private Manning will serve his time at Fort Leavenworth, a military installation in Kansas.

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Health

Give someone “the best gift” this Christmas by giving blood in West Wales

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A MOTHER who needed in-the-womb blood transfusions during her pregnancy and a man who depends on regular, lifesaving blood donations are encouraging communities across Wales to give “the best gift” this Christmas by donating blood.

The Welsh Blood Service is preparing to face Winter pressures on its services and is hoping their new Christmas campaign, “the best gift” will raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and the lifesaving difference it makes.

Last December over 900 donations of blood and blood products were needed across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to provide care to patients at Prince Philip, Withybush, Bronglais and Glangwili hospital. 

These donations play a vital role by supporting a range of treatments from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth.

Blood donations were needed during both pregnancies for mother of two, Shelley Parry. After her own life was saved during her first pregnancy, Shelley received several more blood transfusions directly into her womb to keep her youngest daughter alive.

Shelley explains: “Receiving blood is truly the best gift we have ever received. We’re forever indebted as a family to those who have taken the time to donate. Without the generosity of blood donors, quite simply, we wouldn’t be parents. Thanks to their selfless act, we can look forward to Christmas together as a family.

“It only takes one hour of your time to donate, if you can, please consider donating.”

Giggs and his daughter

Also supporting the campaign is blood recipient Giggs Kanias. Since birth, Giggs has received over 1,000 blood transfusions as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder. Thanks to blood donors, Giggs is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family.

Giggs said: “I am so thankful to the incredible people who give blood. When I’m in hospital, I stare at the bags of blood being transfused into me and always wonder, who is the person that has helped me?

“I know the difference these people have made to my life and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their generosity, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be a dad, or have had the opportunity to see my daughter grow up. Receiving blood is truly the best gift anyone could ever receive.”

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “For patients like Giggs, receiving blood will be the best gift they receive this Christmas. It truly is the best gift you can give.

“Blood products have a short shelf life and is needed by hospitals 365 days a year, including Christmas day, to help support patients in need, which is why we can’t stop collecting.”

The Welsh Blood Service provides lifesaving blood products to 20 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies.

Alan continues: “It is critical the service prepares. We need to build up blood stocks ahead of a potentially challenging winter, where seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 may exacerbate the usual winter pressures faced by the NHS.

“We are reaching out to communities across Wales to ask them to make a lifesaving blood donation and give “the best gift” this festive season.”

Do something amazing this Christmas. Give someone the best gift. Give blood. If you are aged 17 or over, book to give blood at: www.wbs.wales/Xmas21 or call 0800 252 266 today.

Appointments are available in Pembrokeshire on 7 December and January 6 and 20 in Tenby, 16 December and 27 January in Crymych, 20 December and 17 January in Haverfordwest, 10 January in Letterston Village Hall and 21 January in Milford Haven. 

Appointments are available in Carmarthenshire on 10 December in Pontyberum, 29 December and 13 January in Carmarthen, 28 January in Kidwelly Community Hall, 23 and 24 December and 4, 12 and 25 January in Parc Y Scarlets and 31 January in Llandeilo.

Appointments are available in Ceredigion on 14 December in Newcastle Emlyn, 14 January in Aberaeron and 18 January in Lampeter.

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Children are invited to join the festive fun with the Language Charter’s Virtual Welsh Advent Calendar

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Day 1 of the Advent Calendar

SEREN a Sbarc are inviting children in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to join the celebration of Christmas with a host of activities through the medium of Welsh.

Daily surprises will be shared on the Shwmae Pembrokeshire Facebook page and Ceredigion Cardi Iaith Facebook page from 1 until 25 December 2021.

A wide range of Welsh language activities will be hiding behind the calendar doors – for example the Cyw Christmas Story and Decorations with Elin Haf Jones a presenter from Ceredigion, a clogging session, poetry and much more.

The virtual advent calendar has been created by Language Charter Leaders in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Visit www.facebook.com/shwmae (Pembrokeshire) and www.facebook.com/cardiiaith (Ceredigion) to be part of the excitement and remember to share your pictures and videos to spread the festive fun!

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Entertainment

Côr Dyfed to perform Messiah

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Côr Dyfed

A PERFORMANCE of possibly the greatest of all choral works, Handel’s Messiah, is something to look forward to, especially after the hiatus caused by Covid.

This immensely popular work will be sung by Côr Dyfed Choir in St Davids Cathedral on Saturday December 11th at 7pm.

Acting Music Director Luke Spencer will conduct the choir, with four renowned soloists:

Ros Evans, soprano

Ralph Thomas Williams, countertenor

Peter Wilman, tenor

Stephen Hamnett, bass

With the acclaimed British Sinfonietta accompanying, this opportunity to begin celebrating Christmas in spectacular surroundings promises to be a very special occasion.

Tickets: Front Nave £22, Rear Nave £18, Side Aisles £12 unreserved (Under 16 free)

Available online at www.dyfedchoir.co.uk

Telephone Ticket Source 0333 666 3366* or 01348 840312* (Mon – Sat 10am – 1pm)

*All telephone and online ticket purchases subject to a booking fee

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