The Palestinians are again fighting for their lives, refusing to live in the prison known…
The UK Government Are Complicit In The Killing Of Children In Yemen.
The UK government’s claim that it is safe to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen is already in question after evidence has emerged of children being killed in a series of airstrikes shortly before and after the decision was taken.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced on July 7, 2022, that she would begin licensing new arms exports to Saudi Arabia a year after a London court ordered the government to stop and examine whether there was a pattern of British weapons being used in violations of international humanitarian law.
Evidence shows that Yemeni children were killed in airstrikes a few days before and after this announcement was made, suggesting the Saudi-led coalition is responsible for a pattern of civilian killings.
British aid organisation Save the Children also issued a statement about the airstrikes.
The charity’s Yemen director, Xavier Joubert, said: “It is truly appalling to hear accounts of lifeless children being dragged out of the rubble.”
( Phil Miller, 15.07.2022 ) .. declassified.org
He Owns Half The Bureaucrats In Brussels.
I know George Soros very well, he is my opponent.
He believes in none of the things we do.
He has an army at his service, money, NGO’s, universities, research institutions and he owns half the bureaucrats in Brussels.
He uses this army to force his will on his opponents, like us Hungarians.
He thinks that values dear to all of us led to the horrors of the 20th Century, but the case is exactly the opposite.
Our values save us from repeating history’s mistakes.
The horrors of Nazism and communism happened because some Western states in continental Europe abandoned their Christian values, and today’s progressives are planning to do the same.
( Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, 04.08.2022 )
Boris Johnson’s £1.7 Billion Business Hub Is A Ghost Town.
It was billed by Boris Johnson as a dazzling “beacon for Asian investors” – a £1.7billion complex of waterside offices that would become “London’s third great business area” after the City and Canary Wharf.
As Mayor of London in 2013, he promised it would be a dynamic “city within a city”, humming 24 hours a day, with Asian companies lured here by tax breaks working on Beijing time and breathing new life into a long-derelict stretch of east London’s Royal Docks.
Almost a decade since Johnson signed the deal with the Chinese developer ABP (Advanced Business Parks) to build his dockside fantasy, the area is a ghost town.
About 10% of the project has been realised – a row of pristine office blocks marooned in a sea of tarmac and overgrown scrubland, with no tenants in sight.
Last week, after years of uncertainty and missed deadlines, the Greater London Authority finally kicked the developer off the project, citing lack of progress on the scheme, leaving the future of the 14 hectare (35 acre) site up in the air.
Visiting the place today feels like walking through a computer generated image of a correctional facility.
It has the air of a bleak open-air prison for white collar criminals sentenced to purgatory in a haunted business park.
An endless grid of identical windows extends down either side of Mandarin Street, the district’s central thoroughfare, punctuating the relentless 200 metre long facades of grey brickwork.
The project was conceived at the heady pinnacle of Sino-British relations, described as the dawn of a “golden era” when the deal was toasted at a lavish ceremony at Mansion House in 2015 by the then prime minister David Cameron and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Chinese money was flooding into London at a rate of knots, funding Thames-side towers that offered “a brand new level of luxury”, with five-star room service and en-suite karaoke parlours.
Some of those projects have since ground to a halt as a result of the collapse of the Chinese property market, along with Brexit and the pandemic.
Construction work at the Royal Albert Dock stopped in 2019.
( Oliver Wainwright, 20.07.2022 ) .. theguardian.com
New UK Prime Minister Endorses U.S. Think Tanks Opposing Climate Laws.
Lobbying by U.S. think tanks endorsed by Liz Truss made it impossible for Barack Obama to pass climate laws, and the UK should be concerned about their links to the next British prime minister, a former U.S. government adviser has warned.
The foreign secretary, whose appointment as Conservative Party leader was confirmed today and who will formally become PM tomorrow, held secretive meetings with think tanks pushing for the UK to adopt a hardline free market agenda while on a visit to the U.S. as a treasury minister in 2018 to drum up interest for a UK-U.S. trade deal.
Jonathan Phillips, who advised the US House of Representatives’ climate committee, said: “One of the reasons that the politics around climate change in the U.S. is different to the UK right now is because of this powerful force of right-wing think tanks funded by fossil fuel interests. You should be concerned if the tactics used by those groups are applied in the UK, because they have polarised the issue of climate change to the point that there is zero space for political debate, negotiation and compromise from the Republican Party.”
Asked if it was concerning that Britain’s next prime minister could be someone so close to these groups, he said: “Join the dots.”
( Adam Bychawski, 05.09.2022 ) .. opendemocracy.net
Ukrainian Armed Forces Are Using Schools And Hospitals As Military Bases.
Ukrainian forces have endangered civilians during the war with Russia by establishing bases in residential areas, including in schools and hospitals, Amnesty International says.
In the report , Amnesty International said a team of researchers had “found evidence of Ukrainian forces launching strikes from within populated residential areas, as well as basing themselves in civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages” in three regions of the country between April and July.
Amnesty International’s investigation documented instances of Ukrainian forces setting up “de facto military bases” in five hospitals and in 22 of the 29 schools its team visited throughout the eastern Donbas, northeastern Kharkiv and southern Mykolaiv regions.
“Such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets. The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure,” Amnesty said, adding that Russian forces had attacked many of the schools found to have been used by Kyiv’s troops.
It said that “viable alternatives” had been available such as military bases or densely wooded areas nearby, which would not have endangered civilians.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary general, said.
Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.
A separate report last month by Human Rights Watch identified three occasions in which Ukrainian forces were based among residential homes.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, said: “We’re talking about it all the time, calling the actions of Ukraine’s armed forces the tactics of using the civilian population as a human shield.”
( Al Jazeera, 04.08.2022 ) .. aljazeera.com
British Prime Minister And Cabinet Ministers Have Been Funded By Israel.
More than a third of the British cabinet, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has made overseas trips funded by the Israeli government or affiliated lobby groups.
Of the 23 cabinet ministers, eight have been funded to visit Israel or Washington DC while members of parliament, to the tune of at least £14,000.
Johnson went on a five-day trip to Israel in November 2004, three years after he first entered parliament.
It was jointly funded by the Israeli government and Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a powerful Westminster lobby group which does not disclose its funders but has claimed 80% of Conservative MPs are members.
Johnson did not declare the trip in his parliamentary register of interests until four years later, in 2008, and did not disclose the cost of the trip, which may be a breach of parliamentary standards.
Former chancellor George Osborne, who was also on the trip, registered it two weeks after returning.
The only public record of the visit is an article in the Spectator magazine Johnson authored soon after, in which he refers to his “affable minder from the Israeli foreign office”.
In 2012, CFI organised a “battle bus” to take Johnson on a tour of north London as part of his London mayoral election campaign.
As mayor, in 2015, Johnson visited Israel again, saying on the trip there is “something Churchillian about the country” due to its “feats of outrageous derring-do”.
Two years later, now foreign secretary, Johnson referred to the “miracle of Israel” at a Conservative Friends of Israel event.
Five other ministers in the cabinet – Alok Sharma, Kwasi Kwarteng, Robert Jenrick, Oliver Dowden and Amanda Milling – took paid-for trips to Israel from 2011 to 2016.
Kwarteng and Milling visited the year after they first entered parliament, while Dowden went before he became an MP.
A further two cabinet ministers, Michael Gove and Priti Patel, were funded to visit Washington DC to attend conferences put on by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the premier Israel lobby group in the U.S.
The UK Conservative government has been criticised for its backing of Israel’s bombing of schools, medical facilities, media organisations and residential towers in Gaza.
While the UK government repeatedly condemned the Palestinian group Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, it did not condemn Israel for launching hundreds of airstrikes on Gaza, an occupied territory.
The UK government has so far refused to halt its arms exports to Israel and significant cooperation with the country’s military, which has deepened in recent years.
( Matt Kennard, 22.05.2021 ) .. declassified.org
UK Politicians Profit From Energy Crisis.
Investments in energy companies have bagged UK politicians the equivalent of £705,000 since January 2022 – even as rising energy bills threaten to push millions more into poverty this winter.
It comes as BP is the latest to announce a windfall from the energy crisis, reporting that its profits in the last quarter have trebled compared to last year.
Thirty peers – 21 of them belonging to the Conservative Party – have seen their shareholdings in oil and gas companies soar in value.
Seven peers have shareholdings in BP and stand to make the equivalent of tens of thousands of pounds on their investments as stock prices have risen sharply since January.
The company has also promised to pay out higher cash dividends.
Last week, Shell announced earnings of nearly £10billion for the three-month period from April to June – almost double what it earned in the same period last year.
The 23 peers who own shares in the oil giant will have seen the combined value of their investments increase by at least £640,000 in the last six months alone.
Ruth London, co-director of campaign group Fuel Poverty Action, said: “Individuals who are already grotesquely wealthy stand to gain financially, at the cost of UK residents’ standard of living, and at the cost of the climate and everything we hold dear.”
Peers are required to declare any shareholdings worth more than £50,000 in the official register of Lords’ interests.
But they do not have to specify the exact number of shares they own, meaning the true value of their energy crisis boost could be much higher than the figures in this article.
( Adam Bychawski, 02.08.2022 ) .. opendemocracy.net
We Have No Idea Where The Billions Sent To Ukraine Have Gone.
Last month, Ukraine’s parliamentarians voted to give themselves a 70% salary increase.
Filings indicate the raise was enabled and encouraged by the billions of dollars and euros of aid that have poured in from the U.S. and Europe.
Ivan has been a soldier since 2014.
Currently, he’s stationed in the Donbas region, where he is tasked with using small, consumer-grade drones to spot Russian positions for artillery targeting.
“We, the Ukrainian soldiers, have nothing,” said Ivan. “The things the soldiers have been given to use in the war came directly from volunteers. The aid that goes to our government will never reach us.”
“There are so many problems on the frontline now,” he said. “We don’t have an internet connection, which makes our work basically impossible. We have to drive to get a connection on mobile devices. Can you imagine?”
“If you tried to explain the situation Ukrainian soldiers are facing to an American soldier, they would think you were insane,” said Ivan. “Imagine telling an American soldier that we are using our personal cars in the war, and we’re also responsible for paying for repairs and fuel. We’re buying our own body armour and helmets. We don’t have observation tools or cameras, so soldiers have to pop their heads out to see what’s coming, which means at any moment, a rocket or tank can tear their heads off.”
On August 4th, 2022, Amnesty International published a study revealing that since the start of the war in February, Ukrainian forces have endangered civilians by establishing bases in schools and hospitals and operating weapons systems in civilian areas, which is a violation of international law.
Ukrainian soldiers and foreign volunteers have confirmed that Ukrainian armed forces maintain a heavy presence in civilian areas.
A former U.S. serviceman who goes by the moniker “Benjamin Velcro” was a volunteer fighter for the International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ official unit for foreign volunteers.
He spent five months in various parts of Ukraine, and says that soldiers being stationed in civilian areas was a common occurrence.
He said: “Whenever I hear that Russia bombed a school, I just kinda shrug, because I garrisoned inside a school. That’s a fact. The school didn’t have kids in it, so it’s not like they were endangering children. So all it takes is for Ukraine to say, ‘Ah! They hit a school!’ And that cumulates into an easy media narrative on their part.”
“The weapons are stolen, the humanitarian aid is stolen, and we have no idea where the billions sent to this country have gone,” a Ukrainian complained to The Grayzone.
( Lindsey Snell and Cory Popp, 18.08.2022 ) .. thegrayzone.com
Home Secretary Accused Of Breaching The Ministerial Code After Lobbying.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has been accused of a ‘glaring and flagrant’ breach of the Ministerial Code after she lobbied a fellow minister, Michael Gove, on behalf of a healthcare firm trying to seal a £20million deal for PPE.
It comes just months after Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed Ms Patel to keep her job despite an earlier finding that she broke the code by bullying staff.
Ms Patel lobbied Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove in April 2020 over a £20million contract for surgical masks for Pharmaceuticals Direct Ltd (PDL) after an approach from her former adviser Samir Jassal.
Her efforts failed after Health Secretary Matt Hancock decided the masks were not suitable for the NHS.
Weeks later the firm was awarded a no-bid, no-competition deal worth £102.6million to supply a better type of mask.
The Home Secretary made no declaration about Mr Jassal’s approach, or mention his links to PDL.
Mr Jassal, a two-time parliamentary candidate and Tory councillor in Kent, played a key role in negotiating the more lucrative deal, with the masks priced at almost twice the Government’s ‘benchmark’ rate.
( David Rose, 16.05.2021 ) .. dailymail.co.uk
UK PM Boris Johnson Urged Ukrainian President To Halt Peace Talks.
Russian and Ukrainian officials tentatively agreed on a potential peace deal during negotiations in April 2022.
The terms of that settlement would have been for Russia to withdraw to the positions it held before launching the invasion on February 24, 2022.
In exchange, Ukraine would “promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.”
The tentative deal was the result of in-person peace talks Russian and Ukrainian officials held in Istanbul at the end of March, 2022.
Virtual talks resumed after the meeting in Istanbul, but the two sides ultimately failed to reach a deal.
A major factor in the failed negotiated settlement was pressure from the West.
According to a report from Ukrainska Pravda, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stop negotiating with Russia when he visited Kyiv on April 9, 2022.
According to the report, Johnson told Zelensky that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, Kyiv’s Western backers are not.
The report said that Russia was ready for a meeting between Putin and Zelensky on the potential peace deal, but it became less likely after Johnson’s visit.
Johnson appeared to confirm the Ukrainska Pravda report when he told French President Emmanuel Macron in May 2022 that he “urged” Ukraine not to negotiate during his visit to Kyiv.
( Dave DeCamp, 01.09.2022 ) .. scheerpost.com
Ukraine Military Are Attacking Residential Areas With Missiles Containing ‘Petal’ Mines.
On Saturday, July 30, 2022, just after 9pm, thunderous explosions rocked central Donetsk.
Shortly after, there were announcements that air defence had shot down Ukrainian-fired missiles containing ‘petal‘ mines.
Given that over 300 of these explosives are packed into each of the Ukrainian-fired rockets, central Donetsk could literally become a minefield if they successfully landed.
Social media and Telegram warnings urged residents to stay inside and wait for Emergency Services to clear the streets and sidewalks – which they began doing during the night.
But come daylight, untold numbers of these tiny devices still remained.
More warnings were issued to stay at home – better to be late for work than lose a leg.
Residents that absolutely have to go out are advised to keep their eyes down to watch where they step, avoid grassy areas, and walk extremely carefully.
While Ukraine has been using these mines on Donbass for many months, in recent days, they have intensely bombarded neighbourhoods with them.
Initially targeted were the hard-hit districts of Kievskiy in the north, Kirovsky in the southwest, and Kuibyshevkiy in the west.
But as of Saturday night, Ukraine hammered central Donetsk with them.
And now, walking in the city centre is a nightmare, one I had to endure to document how widespread these mines are here: in central streets and walkways, near apartments, in parks.
( Eva K. Bartlett, 07.08.2022 ) .. ingaza.wordpress.com
Ukraine Military Continue To Attack Civilians In East Ukraine With Internationally-Banned Weapons.
Ukraine continues to fire internationally-banned anti-personnel mines on civilian areas of Donetsk and other cities in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), in violation of international law and of the mine ban convention Ukraine signed in 1999 and ratified in 2005.
Since July 27, 2022, Ukraine has been firing rockets containing cluster munitions filled with banned PFM-1 “Petal” (or “Butterfly”) anti-personnel mines all over Donetsk and surrounding areas.
Each rocket contains over 300 of the mines.
Already by August 3, 2022, the DPR’s Ministry of Emergency Situations noted that Ukraine had fired several thousand of the prohibited mines on Donetsk.
As of August 15, 44 civilians, including two children, have suffered gruesome injuries.
Another mine victim died in hospital.
Some days ago, such mines grotesquely maimed a 15 year old boy in Donetsk.
Younger children don’t know that the mines aren’t toys, and elderly often simply don’t see them, or likewise don’t understand the danger, as was the case with an elderly lady with dementia who, on August 8, 2022, lost a foot as a result of stepping on a mine while she was going to work in her garden plot.
( Eva Bartlett, 23.08.2022 ) .. covertactionmagazine.com