Well-wishers rally around 'world's oldest rebel,' vet Harry Leslie Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Well-wishers including Canada's prime minister are rallying around Harry Leslie Smith, the ailing nonagenarian who bills himself the 'world's oldest rebel,' after he fell and was hospitalised in Canada this week.
TORONTO (Reuters) - Well-wishers including Canada's prime minister are rallying around Harry Leslie Smith, the ailing nonagenarian who bills himself the "world's oldest rebel," after he fell and was hospitalised in Canada this week.
Smith, 95, who rose to fame in 2014 after giving a powerful speech at the UK Labour Party's convention and documented his fight for social justice in a podcast called "Harry's Last Stand," was hospitalized in Belleville, Ontario.
"Harry is in (the emergency department) and not in a good way," his son John tweeted, taking over his father's Twitter account on Tuesday. "He asked me to inform you in case things don’t work out. I will keep you posted."
That prompted thousands of well wishes from Twitter users, under the hashtag #IStandWithHarry, including from Canadian and British politicians and refugee organizations.
"He's stood #WithRefugees since he first saw them with his own eyes during WWII. Now it's our turn to stand with him," the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees tweeted Wednesday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that "we're pulling for you," while UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote "we need him to get well soon ... our movement, needs him."
The outpouring was "humbling," son John Smith told Reuters. Smith has been posting regular updates on his father's Twitter account, @harryslaststand.
Smith survived Britain's post-World War One recession in abject poverty and spent much of his later life campaigning to ensure others did not experience the same, his son said. Besides healthcare and refugee advocacy, Smith has written several books since turning 87.
On Wednesday, Smith was being moved to an intensive care unit with low blood pressure and suspected pneumonia, his son said. "He's in critical condition, but not acute critical condition."
Until his fall, Smith was in the middle of a tour of refugee hotspots around the world. If he recuperates, his son said, the plan is to visit the Canada-U.S. border, where thousands of asylum seekers have been walking across the border to file refugee claims.
"I don't know Harry personally but I feel as if a friend is ill tonight. Harry, you are an inspiration and a light when the world seems dark," Twitter user @Hawkonaridge said.
(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
U.S. home sales fall as tight supply boosts prices | Reuters
France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.