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The UK’s Deepening Military Relationship With Israel.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence has bought £46million worth of military equipment from Israeli arms firm Elbit since 2018.
Two British soldiers are attached to the U.S. “security coordinator” based at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
Britain has 10 troops in Israel able to offer military training and “defence engagement”.
The UK provides aid to Palestinian Authority to “deal with threats to Israel”.
The Welsh coastline may seem a puzzling location for an Israeli arms firm to attempt something of an image makeover.
Yet that is where the Haifa-based Elbit Systems has recently been showcasing its drones.
The test flights have been undertaken in cooperation with Britain’s rescue services.
HM Coastguard claims its objective is to explore how new technology can “potentially save lives” and protect against the “worst effects of pollution”.
Yet Elbit’s publicity about its Hermes 900 drone omits the fact that it was first deployed during Israel’s major attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014.
Elbit representatives were closely involved in the offensive by maintaining the aircraft and overseeing their use, the Israel Air Force has acknowledged.
Elbit’s technology facilitated the killings of civilians at that time.
The operators of an earlier version of the drone – the Hermes 450 – helped identify a target on July 16, 2014 believed to be militants from Hamas, which opposes Israel’s occupation.
But it was four Palestinian children playing on a beach who were killed when the Israeli military fired a missile towards them.
Elbit Systems UK has established a considerable presence in Britain over the past 16 years.
A map published on its website indicates it now has nine production sites or offices in Britain.
( David Cronin, 08.10.2020 )  ..

UN Representative Exposed For Fabricating A Claim Against Russia.
UN Special Representative Pramila Patten has been exposed for fabricating her claim that Russia was supplying its troops with Viagra as a part of its “military strategy” in the Ukraine conflict.
The widely publicised lie was recycled from baseless NATO propaganda deployed during its 2011 Libyan regime change war.
In a November 10, 2022 call with Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, better known by their aliases Vovan and Lexus, UN Envoy on Sexual Violence Pramila Patten admitted that there was no evidence to back up her widely publicised claims from October 2022 that the Russian government was using Viagra-fuelled mass rape as a weapon of war.
During the call, Vovan and Lexus pressed Patten on whether she had any proof of her incendiary allegation.
Clearly flustered, Patten responded:  “No, no, no. And I don’t — like I said, it’s not my role to go and investigate. I sit in New York, in an office in New York, and I have an advocacy — and I have an advocacy mandate. My role is not to investigate. The investigation is going on by the Human Rights Monitoring Team and the International Commission of Inquiry. In their reports so far, there’s nothing about Viagra.”
Patten told the pranksters that the claim was relayed to her “from survivors and service providers” and “in the presence of” high-ranking Ukrainian officials while she was in Kiev in early May 2022.
( Alexander Rubinstein, 13.11.2022 )  ..

Rupert Murdoch Paid More Than £11,000 For Boris Johnson To Visit Him In The U.S.
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch paid more than £11,000 for Boris Johnson to visit him in the U.S. last month (October 2022).
Mr Johnson and two staff members were flown to Montana on 11 and 12 October – with internal U.S. flights, accommodation and hospitality paid for by Mr Murdoch.
The pair held a private meeting.
Mr Johnson was paid £276,000 for a speech five weeks after leaving Downing Street.
On 14 October 2022 – a few days after visiting Mr Murdoch – Mr Johnson spoke to the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Colorado Springs.
He gave a 30-minute speech and a 45-minute “fireside chat” at the event.
The former PM worked for eight-and-a-half hours, meaning he was paid an hourly rate of more than £32,400.
Mr Johnson and two members of staff also received free transport and accommodation.
Mr Johnson’s visit to Mr Murdoch – who reportedly bought a ranch in Montana last December – came just over a week before Liz Truss resigned as UK prime minister.
Her resignation sparked a leadership race which saw Mr Johnson win support to run, before dramatically withdrawing from the contest.
It is not the first time Mr Johnson and Mr Murdoch have met.
The pair held several meetings while Mr Johnson was prime minister –
according to Cabinet Office records – and also met when Mr Johnson was Mayor of London.
( Francesca Gillett, 17.11.2022 )  ..

Has The UK Prime Minister Been Transparent With His Finances?
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, reportedly the richest MP in Parliament, will be a boon for the financial lobby, tax justice campaigners have warned.
Experts say Sunak has not been transparent with his finances and that his hedge fund background raises questions about his commitment to fighting tax avoidance.
His profile has risen sharply since he became chancellor in early 2020, just weeks before the first lockdown began.
But critics say a slick public marketing campaign has disguised a man with an ultra-privileged background, who is a committed Thatcherite ideologue.
In media profiles, Sunak’s allies describe him as “immaculate”, “calm” and “organised”, qualities befitting of a former Winchester head of college.
None volunteer that he is empathetic or compassionate.
When given examples of people who are experiencing hardship in Parliament or press interviews, as he was on ‘Good Morning Britain’ last year, Sunak listed policies in response, but offered no consolations.
Last year, Sunak was heavily criticised for axing a £20-a-week increase to Universal Credit that had helped some of the poorest families through the pandemic.
More than 200,000 would have been pushed into poverty as a result of the cut, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Just weeks before the cut was confirmed in July, Sunak requested planning permission to build a private swimming pool, gym and tennis court at the Grade II-listed Yorkshire manor that Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, purchased for £1.5million in 2015.
After several MPs from his own party spoke out against the Universal Credit cut, Sunak increased in-work benefits in his Autumn Budget – but not by enough to offset the cut.
The Sunaks’ Georgian mansion is not the only property they own.
There is also the £7million, five-bedroom house in Kensington, west London, a flat, also in Kensington, that the couple reportedly keep “just for visiting relatives”; and an apartment in Santa Monica, California.
Sunak had a stint working at hedge funds in London.
He was a partner at the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) where he is believed to have made millions of pounds from a campaign that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.
Sir Chris Hohn, the fund’s founder paid himself a record £343million in the first year of the pandemic.
TCI is ultimately owned by a company registered in the Cayman Islands, according to its accounts.
Sunak then left to co-found his own firm Theleme, which had an initial fund of £536million – and is also registered in the Cayman Islands.
An estimated £357.62billion a year is lost in cross-border tax abuse by multi-national companies and by individuals hiding assets in havens like the Cayman Islands, according to the Tax Justice Network
( Adam Bychawski, 25.10.2022 )  ..

The People In The Donbas Region Didn’t Choose War, They Responded To It.
Smeared, stigmatized, and lied about in Western media propaganda, the mostly Russian-speaking people of the Donbas region in Ukraine were being slaughtered by the thousands in a brutal war of “ethnic cleansing” launched against them by the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv, which the U.S. installed after the CIA overthrew Ukraine’s legally elected president in a 2014 coup.
Although the Donbas people had been pleading for Russian military aid to defend them against the increasingly murderous military assaults by the Ukraine government forces, which killed more than 14,000 of their people, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to intervene.
Instead, he tried to broker a peace agreement between the warring parties.
But the U.S. and the UK secretly colluded to sabotage peace negotiations, persuading president Zelenksy to ignore the Minsk 2 peace agreement that the Ukraine government had previously signed, and which had been countersigned by Russia, France and Germany.
Realising that the U.S. and its NATO allies would never permit peace negotiations to succeed, Putin finally sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. 2022.
Russian troops went in to support and reinforce the outnumbered and outgunned Donbas Special Forces who had been defending their land against attacks by the Kyiv government for nearly eight years.
Ukrainian nationalists openly declare they view Russians as sub-human.
School books teach this warped ideology.
Videos show the extent of this mentality: Teaching children not only to also hate Russians and see them as not humans, but also brainwashing them to believe killing Donbas residents is acceptable.
The Ukrainian government itself funds neo-Nazi-run indoctrination camps for youths.
While many in the West think that this conflict started in February 2022, those following events since 2014 are aware that, following the Maidan coup and Odessa massacre, and the rise of fascism in Ukraine against the Ukrainian people, the Donbas republics wanted to distance themselves from Ukraine’s Nazis and fascism.
The sacrifices which the people of the Donbas republics have endured, particularly those fighting to protect their families and loved ones, have been and continue to be immense.
Just as the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army were maligned, so too have Donbas forces been maligned by Western media, though both are defending their homelands from terrorist forces trained and funded by the West.
Terrorists given the freedom to commit endless atrocities against Donbas civilians.
These defenders, many living in dank trench conditions didn’t choose war, they responded to it, to protect their loved ones and their future.
In spite of more than eight years of being warred upon by Ukraine, they retain their humanity.
( Eva Bartlett, 19.11.2022 )  ..

The Senior Judge In Assange’s Case Refused To Declare Any Conflicts Of Interest.
The senior judge overseeing the extradition proceedings of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange received financial benefits from two partner organisations of the British Foreign Office before her appointment.
Lady Emma Arbuthnot was appointed Chief Magistrate in Westminster on the advice of a Conservative government minister with whom she had attended a secretive meeting organised by one of these Foreign Office partner organisations two years before.
Liz Truss, then Justice Secretary, “advised” the Queen to appoint Lady Arbuthnot in October 2016.
Two years before, Truss and Lady Arbuthnot both attended an off-the-record two-day meeting in Bilbao, Spain.
The expenses were covered by an organisation called Tertulias, chaired by Lady Arbuthnot’s husband, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former Conservative defence minister with extensive links to the British military and intelligence community exposed by WikiLeaks.
The Foreign Office has long taken a strong anti-Assange position, rejecting UN findings in his favour, refusing to recognise the political asylum given to him by Ecuador, and even labelling Assange a “miserable little worm”.
Lady Arbuthnot personally presided over Assange’s case as judge from late 2017 until mid-2019, delivering two controversial rulings.
Although she is no longer personally hearing the Assange extradition proceedings, she remains responsible for supporting and guiding the junior judges in her jurisdiction.
Lady Arbuthnot has refused to declare any conflicts of interest in the case.
The new revelations follow previous investigations by Declassified showing that Lady Arbuthnot received gifts and hospitality in relation to her husband from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks.
( Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis, 21.02.2020 )  ..  declassifieduk.or

Ukraine President’s Villa In Italy Allegedly Rented To Russians.
Ukraine President Zelensky’s villa in Tuscany is said to have been rented to Russians.
According to the Italian newspaper Il Tirreno, Russian tourists rented Zelenski’s villa in the Tuscan seaside resort of Forte dei Marmi for the summer.
According to the newspaper, Zelensky’s villa was rented by some Russians from London in August.
The Russians are said to have paid 50,000 euros to rent the luxury property with 15 rooms and a pool.
A Russian also published photos from the garden of the house.
A local real estate agency is said to have first negotiated with a group of Korean tourists.
However, the deal did not go through.
Instead, Russians have become the tenants of the holiday home.
Link:  ( 02.09.2022 )

The UK Is Funding And Supporting Rebel Groups In Syria.
A controversial Whitehall body — the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund — has used large amounts of money from the British aid budget to support the opposition in Syria.
The UK has funded 13 projects worth £215million supporting Syrian rebels and their operations in territory taken from the Assad regime, in past five years alone.
The British government refuses to say which opposition groups it aids in Syria.
Some aid projects have involved ‘coordinating with armed groups’ and help them ‘manage better the territory they control’.
The UK government has spent at least £350million promoting opposition forces and projects in rebel-held areas in Syria.
Whitehall’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), through which the projects have been funded since being set up in 2015, does not provide full details of its programmes.
The CSSF projects are especially contentious given the UK government’s refusal to say which rebel groups it aids in Syria.
Many of the forces fighting the Assad regime are Islamist extremists.
The British government gives contradictory funding information to parliament and the CSSF is notoriously opaque, for example redacting the names of many contractors carrying out the projects.
UK funding to Syrian rebel groups began soon after the uprising against Assad in early 2011.
The aid projects have coincided with a British covert programme to overthrow the Syrian regime undertaken with its allies in the U.S., the Gulf states and Turkey, from where some of the CSSF projects have been run.
The figure of £350million is an underestimate since it does not include activities financed from the UK’s so-called “black budget”, including intelligence operations.
( Mark Curtis, 20.07.2021 )  ..

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