UK Foreign Secretary Didn't Know What The Customs Union Was. Boris Johnson, the former UK…
UK Education Secretary Has A Multi-Million Pound Property Empire.
While many worry about paying for their shopping, a mega-rich top Tory’s family have bought a second supermarket.
The wife of Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi now owns two superstores as part of their £100million property empire.
Last September she bought a £6.3million plot which includes a giant Co-op and car park in St Neot’s, Cambridgeshire.
It was purchased through Zahawi and Zahawi Ltd, a company controlled by Mr Zahawi’s wife.
Mr Zahawi was a director and founder but stood down in 2018 upon joining the Government.
Another company controlled by Mrs Zahawi owns land worth £18million containing an Asda megastore in Brierley Hill, West Midlands.
Its value has risen £1.25million since it was bought four years ago.
In the past six years, the couple’s companies have spent over £80million on commercial properties.
They also own five residences worth £17million – three in London, one in Warwickshire and one in Dubai.
Questions have been raised about Mr Zahawi’s declaration of interests.
Last year, it emerged one of his wife’s firms bought a £3.5million industrial estate by the Eurotunnel train station in Ashford, Kent, mortgage-free, days before the Government secured the trade deal with the EU in December 2020.
In the list of ministers’ interests, Mr Zahawi declares his wife “is director of several limited companies, including Zahawi & Zahawi Ltd, which own commercial and retail property”.
( Andy Buckwell, June 11, 2022 ) .. mirror.co.uk
Ukraine Human Rights Report 2015 – 2016.
Report By The Office Of The United Nations High Commissioner On The Human Rights Situation In Ukraine From 16 November 2015 to 15 February 2016:
During the reporting period, despite a reduction in hostilities, the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine continued to significantly affect people residing in the conflict zone and all their human rights.
The Government of Ukraine continued to not have effective control over considerable parts of the border with the Russian Federation (in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions).
The Government has registered 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), who have fled their homes as a result of the conflict.
Between 800,000 and 1 million IDPs are living in territories controlled by the Government, where some continue to face discrimination in accessing public services.
According to government sources in neighbouring and European Union countries, over one million Ukrainians are seeking asylum or protection abroad, with the majority going to the Russian Federation and Belarus.
According to the State Border Service, some 8,000 to 15,000 civilians cross the contact line on a daily basis, passing through six checkpoints in each transport corridor.
Three checkpoints are operated by the Government, and three by the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ , with a stretch of no-man’s land in between.
The Office Of The United Nations High Commissioner On Human Rights (OHCHR) documented allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and torture and ill-treatment, perpetrated with impunity by Ukrainian law enforcement officials, mainly by elements of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
OHCHR documented extensive use of civilian buildings and locations by the Ukrainian military and the Azov regiment, and looting of civilian property, leading to displacement.
During the reporting period, OHCHR documented a pattern of cases of SBU detaining and allegedly torturing the female relatives of men suspected of membership or affiliation with the Russian-speaking Ukrainian armed groups.
OHCHR received alarming reports on poor detention conditions and ill-treatment of pre-trial detainees throughout Ukraine.
OHCHR remains concerned about the lack of systematic investigations into allegations of torture committed by Ukrainian security forces and law enforcement.
In Our Madness, We Cannot Imagine The Fears Of Iranians.
Our endless fury with the mad ayatollahs – our economic sanctions, our and Israel’s executions of Iran’s scientists, our constant chatter of invasion – are intended to stop Tehran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon that might finally level the Middle East’s playing field with Israel, whom we helped to develop a large nuclear arsenal decades ago.
Iran must be stopped so it cannot destroy Israel and then us.
Our fears of the Iranian nuclear threat are paramount.
We must strike, directly or through proxies, against its allies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Gaza.
Our entire Middle East policy must be fashioned around the effort to prevent Iran from ever gaining the bomb.
In our madness, we cannot imagine the fears of Iranians, their realistic sense that we pose a much graver threat to them than they could ever pose to us.
In the circumstances, to Iranians, a nuclear weapon might surely look like a very wise insurance policy – a deterrence – against our boundless self-righteousness.
( Jonathan Cook, June 10, 2022 ) .. mintpressnews.com
The U.S. And Its Puppets In The UK Have Been Provoking Russia For Years.
Back in December 2021, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Oleksii Reznikov was warning that “not provoking Russia—that strategy does not and will not work,” claiming that Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 because NATO hadn’t let it join.
In fact, Georgia began that war by attacking South Ossetia, driving tens of thousands of Russian-speaking residents there to flee across the border into Russia, creating an unprecedented refugee crisis for that country.
These details, however, rarely trouble Western politicians or journalists.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a press conference following a phone call with Biden, calling on the U.S. and Britain to tone down their rhetoric about an invasion.
But did Washington and London heed Zelensky’s pleas?
They didn’t even acknowledge them.
We know, of course, that what really worries the Russians is what the U.S. and NATO have been doing ever since the demise of the Soviet Union.
They have been moving Western troops and armaments into one eastern European country after another until now that troops and even offensive missiles are aimed at Russia from places right along that country’s borders.
Biden has ordered the deployment of 3,000 extra troops to Europe (where the U.S. already has tens of thousands of troops, and NATO has forward bases in Poland and all three of the Baltic states).
All of this is in violation of promises made by the U.S. at the end of the Cold War that NATO would not make any moves to the east.
Among the troops Biden is sending are 1,000 to Romania, where the U.S. has offensive cruise missiles pointing at Russia.
Controls on U.S. placement of such offensive weapons were lifted in 2019 when the Trump administration unilaterally cancelled the INF Missile Treaty with Russia.
Adding to the provocative announcement by Biden regarding 3,000 new troops, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged “land, sea, and air” forces would be sent to eastern Europe to see off the Russian menace.
( Ben Chacko and John Wojcik, 03.02.2022 ) .. peoplesworld.org
UK Government Accused Of Playing Fast And Loose With Public Finances.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused of wasting £11billion of taxpayer cash by paying too much interest servicing the Government’s debt.
The Chancellor was accused of failing to insure against interest rate rises on £900billion of government reserves.
The losses were highlighted by think tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).
They are said to exceed the amount the Tories accused Gordon Brown of losing when he sold some UK gold at rock-bottom prices.
NIESR director Professor Jagjit Chadha told the Financial Times Mr Sunak’s actions had left the country with “an enormous bill and heavy continuing exposure to interest rate risk”.
Labour said the losses were “astronomical” and accused the Government of “playing fast and loose” with the public finances.
( Dan Bloom, June 10, 2022 ) .. mirror.co.uk
Russia Accused Of Preventing Grain Leaving Ukraine.
As for shipping out Ukrainian grain, we are not preventing this.
There are several ways to export grain.
The first one. You can ship it out via the Ukraine-controlled ports, primarily in the Black Sea – Odessa and nearby ports.
We did not mine the approaches to the port – Ukraine did this.
I have already said to all our colleagues many times – let them de-mine the ports and let the vessels loaded with grain leave.
We will guarantee their peaceful passage to international waters without any problems.
There are no problems at all. Go ahead.
They must clear the mines and raise the ships they sunk on purpose in the Black Sea to make it difficult to enter the ports to the south of Ukraine.
We are ready to do this, we will not use the de-mining process to initiate an attack from the sea.
I have already said this. This is the first point.
The second. There is another opportunity – the ports in the Sea of Azov – Berdyansk and Mariupol – are under our control, and we are ready to ensure a problem-free exit from these ports, including for exported Ukrainian grain. Go ahead, please.
We are already working on the de-mining process.
We are completing this work – at one time, Ukrainian troops laid three layers of mines.
This process is coming to an end.
We will create the necessary logistics.
This is not a problem, we will do this. This is the second point.
The third. It is possible to move grain from Ukraine via the Danube and through Romania.
Fourth. It is also possible through Hungary.
And fifth, it is also possible to do this via Poland.
Yes, there are some technical problems because the tracks are of different gauges and the wheel bogies must be changed.
But this only takes a few hours, that is all.
Finally, the easiest way is to transport grain via Belarus.
This is the easiest and the cheapest way because from there it can be instantly shipped to the Baltic ports and further on to any place in the world.
But they would have to lift the sanctions from Belarus.
This is not our problem though.
At any rate, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko puts it like this: if someone wants to resolve the problem of exporting Ukrainian grain, if this problem exists at all, please use the simplest way – through Belarus. No one will stop you.
So, the problem of shipping grain out of Ukraine does not really exist.
( Vladimir Putin, June 3, 2022 ) .. en.kremlin.ru
A Law For Jewish Settlers And Another For Palestinians.
Let us consider developments in Israel, as its “historic,” year-old government – which included for the very first time a party representing a section of Israel’s minority of Palestinian citizens – teeters on the brink of collapse.
Crisis struck, as everyone knew it would sooner or later, because the Israeli parliament had to vote on a major issue relating to the occupation: renewing a temporary law that for decades has regularly extended Israel’s legal system outside its territory, applying it to Jewish settlers living on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.
That law lies at the heart of an Israeli political system that the world’s leading human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad, now belatedly admit has always constituted apartheid.
The law ensures that Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law receive rights different from, and far superior to, those of the Palestinians that are ruled over by Israel’s occupying military authorities.
The law enshrines the principle of Jim Crow-style inequality, creating two different systems of law in the West Bank: one for Jewish settlers and another for Palestinians.
But it does more.
Those superior rights, and their enforcement by Israel’s army, have for decades allowed Jewish settlers to rampage against Palestinian rural communities with absolute impunity and steal their land – to the point that Palestinians are now confined to tiny, choked slivers of their own homeland.
In international law, that process is called “forcible transfer,” or what we would think of as ethnic cleansing.
It’s a major reason that the settlements are a war crime – a fact that the International Criminal Court in the Hague is finding it very hard to ignore.
Israel’s leading politicians and generals would all be tried for war crimes if we lived in a fair, and sane, world.
( Jonathan Cook, June 10, 2022 ) .. mintpressnews.com
Wanted By The Kiev Government, Neo-Nazi Paramilitaries, And The SBU.
Anatoly Shariy has lived in exile since 2012, having fled during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych and received political asylum in the EU.
His opposition to the 2014 Maidan coup d’etat grew his profile and made him a target of Petro Poroshenko, who came to power in its wake.
The neo-Nazi movements he had exposed in prior years had gained serious political power and intensified their aggression against him.
Shariy, meanwhile, had sought protection elsewhere and relocated to Spain, where he has continued to grow into one of the most popular critics of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
However, his predicament has hardly improved.
In 2019, Alexander Zoloytkhin, a former soldier of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, published the address and photos of the house where Shariy, his wife Olga Shariy and young child live, as well as photos of Olga’s car.
Ukrainian neo-Nazis demonstrated outside his house and he received numerous death threats.
Today, he is a top target of the Kiev government, neo-Nazi paramilitaries, and the SBU.
Shariy began his career in journalism in 2005, first writing for women’s magazines, and then conducting investigations into Ukrainian oligarchs, organized crime, and neo-Nazi networks.
He became a well-known critic of the 2014 U.S.-orchestrated Maidan coup d’etat, using his YouTube channel video blog, Facebook and Twitter to amass an enormous online following, becoming one of the country’s most popular journalists despite living outside its borders for a decade.
In 2019, months ahead of the presidential election, Shariy founded a centre-right Libertarian political party, naming it after himself: The Party of Shariy.
Appealing to young professionals and small and medium business owners, Shariy’s online popularity transformed him into an important player in building a coalition.
Shariy actively supported Zelensky during the campaign, attacking the incumbent Poroshenko.
“I thought Zelensky was determined to follow up on his election promises. I helped him to become the president. It’s true me and my team did anything for him to get the post.” said Shariy.
But Zelensky’s carefully-crafted campaign image of a political outsider dedicated to stamping out rampant corruption turned out to be a farce.
Zelensky cut deals with oligarchs and stacked his cabinet with the same figures he spent his campaign criticising.
He spurned the coalition-building efforts that typify Ukraine’s multi-party parliamentary democracy, preferring to cut backroom deals for votes.
He even sided with his former bitter rival Poroshenko’s own party in Odessa’s 2020 municipal elections.
Zelensky betrayed his campaign promises of reform and meaningful progress in the Donbass stalemate, leading to a rapid decline in popular support.
This left a niche open which was quickly filled by the Party of Shariy.
As Shariy gained political capital and was even considered a possible contender for the presidency in a future election, the war of words between him and Zelensky turned into a bitter rivalry.
Zelensky lashed out at Shariy, accusing him of “trying to increase your rating at the expense of my rating, the rating of the president.”
Ukrainian journalist Yuri Tkachev, who was recently arrested by the SBU, commented that Shariy’s party is much stronger than the polls indicate.
“It is strange to think that the government would spend so much energy on an insignificant opposition party. All this makes us think that their ratings are higher than they are trying to show us,” Tkachev said.
In February 2021, the SBU charged Shariy with treason, accusing him of “spreading Russian propaganda,” and summoned him to an interrogation by the SBU.
After he declined to appear, he was put on the national wanted list.
( Dan Cohen, 14.04.2022 ) .. mintpressnews.com
Sleaze, Scandal And Rule-Breaking Has Spread Through The Tory Government.
UK PM Boris Johnson’s ministers have been branded a “hall of shame” after members of his top team were accused of breaking the ministerial code 29 times under his leadership.
Research by the Sunday Mirror found dozens of cases where some ministers had apparently broken rules – from failing to declare outside earnings to dodgy lobbying.
PM Johnson has long been accused of refusing to discipline his ministers over rule breaking.
And earlier this month he was accused of watering down the code to allow ministers to get away with minor breaches of the code without resigning.
And he blocked moves to allow Lord Geidt, his ethics advisor, to launch his own investigations into the behaviour of ministers.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson is presiding over a hall of shame in Downing Street. This catalogue of sleaze and scandal shows the rot and rule-breaking that has spread through this Tory Government from the very top. His motley crew of disgraced Ministers are heaping yet more shame on our country each and every day they cling to office. The Prime Minister is now trying to rig the rules and lower the bar so he and his cronies can escape punishment for their wrongdoing just by pretending to be sorry.”
( Mikey Smith, June 12, 2022 ) .. mirror.co.uk
Until Recently Western Media Worried That Neo-Nazis Were Growing In Power.
The Russians could never be responding to a threat – real or imagined – that we might pose by expanding our military presence right up to Russia’s borders.
The Russians could never see our NATO military alliance as primarily aggressive rather than defensive, as we claim, even though somewhere in a small, dark mental recess where things that make us uncomfortable are shoved we know that Western armies have launched a series of direct wars of aggression against countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and via proxies in Syria, Yemen, Iran and Venezuela.
The Russians could never genuinely fear neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine – groups that until recently Western media worried were growing in power – even after those neo-Nazis were integrated into the Ukrainian military and led what amounts to a civil war against ethnic Russian communities in the country’s east.
In our view, when Putin spoke of the need to de-Nazify Ukraine, he was not amplifying Russians’ justifiable fears of Nazism on their doorstep, given their history, or the threat those groups genuinely pose to ethnic Russian communities nearby.
No, he was simply proving that he and the likely majority of Russians who think like he does are insane.
More than that, his hyperbole gave us permission to bring our covert arming of these neo-Nazi groups out into the light.
Now we embrace these neo-Nazis, as we do the rest of Ukraine, and send them advanced weaponry – many billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry.
And while we do this, we self-righteously berate Putin for being a madman and for his disinformation.
He is demented or a liar for viewing us as a existential threat to Russia, while we are entirely justified in viewing him as an existential threat to Western civilisation.
( Jonathan Cook, June 10, 2022 ) .. mintpressnews.com
The UK stands with Ukraine in this fight and is taking a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country from unprovoked invasion.
( UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, June 5, 2022 )