UK Foreign Secretary Didn't Know What The Customs Union Was. Boris Johnson, the former UK…
U.S. And NATO Weapons End Up In The Hands Of Neo-Nazis.
Following urgent requests for arms from the Ukrainian government, at least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine.
Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms the U.S. and its NATO allies.
As corporate media and Reddit forums spin out a rose-coloured view of the Ukrainian military’s performance, some 20,000 foreign fighters from 52 countries have signed up to join the newly-formed “International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine.”
Many are now fleeing back across the Polish border, filled with fear in the face of heavy casualties.
All of this builds on $billions in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.
( Alexander Rubinstein, 20.03.2022 ) .. thealtworld.com
UK Government’s Green Homes Scheme Spent Over £50million Of Taxpayers’ Money Just On Administration.
A money-saving scheme to make homes greener racked up administration costs of £1,000 per household that benefited.
The flagship green homes grant scheme was rushed, caused frustration for homeowners and installers and had lower benefits in cutting carbon and creating jobs than it could have done, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.
The programme was launched in September 2020 as a six-month “green” pandemic recovery measure, and closed in March 2021 having been extended and then curtailed again in the face of problems with its delivery.
Some £1.5billion was made available for vouchers worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for those on low incomes, to pay for fitting measures such as insulation and low-carbon heating in homes.
It was hoped it would help 600,000 households save up to £600 on their bills, support 82,500 jobs over six months and cut climate pollution from homes.
But the NAO report into the troubled scheme said Business Department analysis shows it will have only helped an estimated 47,500 homes get greener and cosier, and supported 5,600 jobs over 12 months.
Some £314million of taxpayers’ money will have been spent on the scheme once all work is fully completed, of which £50.5million is on programme management and administration – more than £1,000 per home upgraded.
The NAO said the Government had failed to learn from previous attempts to deliver home energy efficiency schemes.
( Emma Munbodh, 08.09.2021 ) .. mirror.co.uk
Snipers Triggered A “Democratic Revolution” That Overthrew The Elected Ukrainian President.
The orthodox American political-media narrative blames “Putin’s Russia” alone for the new US-Russian Cold War.
Maintaining this (at most) partial truth involves various mainstream media malpractices, among them lack of historical context; reporting based on unverified “facts” and selective sources; editorial bias; and the excluding, even slurring, of proponents of alternative explanatory narratives as “Kremlin apologists” and carriers of “Russian propaganda.”
Not even many Americans who follow international news know the following, for example:
That the snipers who killed scores of protestors and policemen on Kiev’s Maidan Square in February 2014, thereby triggering a “democratic revolution” that overthrew the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and brought to power a virulent anti-Russian, pro-American regime.
It was neither democratic nor a revolution, but a violent coup unfolding in the streets with high-level support — were sent not by Yanukovych, as is still widely reported, but instead almost certainly by the neofascist organisation Right Sector and its co-conspirators.
That the pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa shortly later in 2014 reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War II has been all but deleted from the American mainstream narrative even though it remains a painful and revelatory experience for many Ukrainians
That the Azov Battalion of some 3,000 well-armed fighters, which has played a major combat role in the Ukrainian civil war and now is an official component of Kiev’s armed forces, is avowedly “partially” pro-Nazi, as evidenced by its regalia, slogans, and programmatic statements, and well-documented as such by several international monitoring organisations.
Congressional legislation recently banned Azov from receiving any U.S. military aid.
That stormtroop-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other “impure” citizens are widespread throughout Kiev-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s.
And that the police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neofascist acts or to prosecute them.
On the contrary, Kiev has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorialising Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honour, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more.
Or that Israel’s official annual report on anti-Semitism around the world in 2017 concluded that such incidents had doubled in Ukraine and the number “surpassed the tally for all the incidents reported throughout the entire region combined.”
By the region, the report meant the total in all of Eastern Europe and all former territories of the Soviet Union.
Americans cannot be faulted for not knowing these facts.
They are very rarely reported and still less debated in the mainstream media, whether in newspapers or on television.
To learn about them, Americans would have to turn to alternative media and to their independent writers, which rarely affect mainstream accounts of the new Cold War.
( Stephen F. Cohen, 02.05.2018 ) .. thenation.com
Former UK Conservative Minister Found To Have Raped His Wife.
A family court judge concluded Andrew Griffiths, 51, pressurised Kate Griffiths, MP for Burton-upon-Trent, into engaging in sexual activity.
Mr Griffiths, a former MP for the Staffordshire town, used “coercive and controlling behaviour”.
In July 2018 he resigned after it was reported he sent “depraved” messages to two women constituents.
The ex-MP denied allegations made by Ms Griffiths and “adamantly denied” rape.
Judge Elizabeth Williscroft had been overseeing a dispute between Mr and Ms Griffiths, who are now divorced, at a private family court hearing in Derby.
Ms Griffiths, 51, made a series of allegations against Mr Griffiths and asked Judge Williscroft to make findings of fact.
The judge made findings in favour of Ms Griffiths but decided that they should not be made public, in order to protect the child at the centre of the family court proceedings.
A High Court judge, however, ruled that Judge Williscroft’s findings should be revealed, after it was argued by the Press Association and Tortoise Media they were in the public interest.
Ms Griffiths had backed the move, which Mr Griffiths was against, and agreed to be named in media reports, even though victims of sexual abuse have a legal right to anonymity.
( BBC News, 10.12.2021 ) .. bbc.co.uk
Ukraine’s Far-Right Azov Regiment.
A Ukrainian far-right military regiment is back in the headlines.
Russian President Vladimir Putin referenced the presence of such units within the Ukrainian military as one of the reasons for launching his so-called “special military operation to de-militarise and de-Nazify Ukraine”.
Ukraine’s national guard tweeted a video showing Azov fighters coating their bullets in pig fat to be used allegedly against Muslim Chechens – allies of Russia – deployed in their country.
Azov is a far-right all-volunteer infantry military unit whose members – estimated at 900 – are ultra-nationalists and accused of harbouring neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology.
The unit was initially formed as a volunteer group in May 2014 out of the ultra-nationalist Patriot of Ukraine gang, and the neo-Nazi Social National Assembly group (SNA).
Both groups engaged in xenophobic and neo-Nazi ideals and physically assaulted migrants, the Roma community and people opposing their views.
As a battalion, the group fought on the front lines against pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, the eastern region of Ukraine.
Just before launching the invasion, Putin recognised the independence of two rebel-held regions from Donbas.
A few months after recapturing the strategic port city of Mariupol from the Russian-backed separatists, the unit was officially integrated into the National Guard of Ukraine on November 12, 2014, and exacted high praise from then-President Petro Poroshenko.“These are our best warriors, our best volunteers” he said at an awards ceremony in 2014.
Azov has also been involved in training civilians through military exercises in the run-up to Russia’s invasion.
The unit was led by Andriy Biletsky, who served as the the leader of both the Patriot of Ukraine (founded in 2005) and the SNA (founded in 2008).
The SNA is known to have carried out attacks on minority groups in Ukraine.
In 2010, Biletsky said Ukraine’s national purpose was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade – against Semite-led Untermenschen (inferior races)”.
Biletsky was elected to parliament in 2014.
He left Azov as elected officials cannot be in the military or police force.
He remained an MP until 2019.
The 42-year-old is nicknamed Bely Vozd – or White Ruler – by his supporters.
He established the far-right National Corps party in October 2016, whose core base is veterans of Azov.
The unit received backing from Ukraine’s interior minister in 2014, as the government had recognised its own military was too weak to fight off the pro-Russian separatists and relied on paramilitary volunteer forces.
These forces were privately funded by oligarchs – the most known being Igor Kolomoisky, an energy magnate billionaire and then-governor of the Dnipropetrovska region.
In 2015, Andriy Diachenko, the spokesperson for the regiment at the time said that 10 to 20% of Azov’s recruits were Nazis.
The unit has denied it adheres to Nazi ideology as a whole, but Nazi symbols such as the swastika and SS regalia are rife on the uniforms and bodies of Azov members.
In January 2018, Azov rolled out its street patrol unit called National Druzhyna to “restore” order in the capital, Kyiv.
Instead, the unit carried out pogroms against the Roma community and attacked members of the LGBTQ community.
“Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces,” a correspondent for the US-based magazine, the Nation, wrote in 2019.
A 2016 report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHA) has accused the Azov regiment of violating international humanitarian law.
The report detailed incidents over a period from November 2015 to February 2016 where Azov had embedded their weapons and forces in used civilian buildings, and displaced residents after looting civilian properties.
The report also accused the battalion of raping and torturing detainees in the Donbas region.
( Aljazeera, 01.03.2022 ) .. aljazeera.com
A Rogue UK Prime Minister.
To his supporters, he is the Prime Minister who “got Brexit done”, made the “tough calls” on Covid (despite over 170,000 deaths) and is “levelling up” the UK.
But to his critics, the fact the PM is spending the anniversary embroiled in Partygate is the perfect metaphor for his scandal-hit premiership.
When he took power on 24 July 2019, he pledged to “unite” Brits, vowing to “work flat out to give this country the leadership it deserves.”
Since then we have had rows over donors, the Downing Street flat, MPs’ conduct, the PM’s use of facts and of course, Partygate.
There have also been more than 40 U-turns, and countless controversial policies from forcing asylum seekers to Rwanda to refusing free school meals for kids.
Leading historian Peter Hennessy said the PM has “broken the law, misled Parliament, and has in effect shredded the Ministerial Code”, telling the BBC: “The Queen’s First Minister is now beyond doubt a rogue Prime Minister, unworthy of her, her Parliament, her people and her Kingdom.”
It may be hard to believe, but despite all that news, the PM has still not even been in office as long as Gordon Brown.
( Dan Bloom, 18.04.2022 ) .. mirror.co.uk
The U.S. Left Behind $7.12 Billion In Military Equipment In Afghanistan.
According to a U.S. Department of Defence report obtained by CNN on 27 April, the U.S. left behind $7.12billion in military equipment in Afghanistan after their withdrawal from the country last year.
The abandoned arsenal includes aircraft, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and communications hardware that had been given to the former U.S-backed government, the report said, adding that the U.S. does not intend to “retrieve or destroy” any of the equipment.
The report also states that this was the remainder of a total $18.6billion worth of equipment given by the U.S. to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces between 2005 and 2021, most of which requires “specialised maintenance that Defence of Defence contractors previously provided in the form of technical knowledge and support.”
According to a report by the U.S. government oversight authority, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, most of the aircraft given to the former Afghan government, amounting to $923.3million, will not be functional without the presence of U.S-funded contractors.
In addition to the aircraft, the U.S. left behind over 40,000 military vehicles and 300,000 weapons upon their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In September of last year, the Taliban discovered two large weapon stockpiles left hidden by U.S. forces in the towns of Mazer-e-Sharif and Herat.
The caches contained hundreds of thousands of bullets, weapons, missiles and spare helicopter parts, and were allegedly left in the country as part of a contingency plan in case U.S. troops were redeployed to the country, according to a report by British media.
( The Cradle, 28.04.2022 ) .. thecradle.co
Ukraine Is Witnessing An Unprecedented Cash Windfall.
Which country is plagued by corruption at the grassroots level, so much so that taking and handing out bribes is crucial to human existence?
This is the same country that the Biden administration has given several billion dollars since March this year (2022).
Separately, this country is getting billions of dollars from other countries as well.
This country is Ukraine – currently being ravaged by war, but not compromising one bit when it comes to keeping corruption going.
Corruption is ingrained in Ukrainian society.
The top echelons of Ukraine’s government are infested by corruption and crookery, while the common public too is forced to engage in such practices to benefit from the country’s flourishing shadow economy.
The West is giving Ukraine several billion dollars.
In March 2022, the U.S. Congress authorised $13.6billion in aid to the Eastern European country.
This aid was supposed to go toward strengthening Ukraine’s security and economy, food assistance, healthcare, and emergency assistance to refugees, as well as weapons.
Now, the Biden administration has decided to ‘help’ Ukraine with another $40billion, at a time when living costs in the United States have soared, inflation is skyrocketing and there is an essential supply constraint across the country.
Added with the billions of dollars being given to Ukraine by other countries in the West, it would not be an overstatement to say that Kyiv is witnessing an unprecedented cash windfall.
Yet, just as is the fate of Western weapons in Ukraine – which get destroyed by Russia upon arrival, so is the luck of Western cash in the country – it evaporates into thin air as soon as it enters Ukraine.
According to the Centre for Research on Globalisation, much of the $53.7billion that the United States plans to give Ukraine will be stolen in corruption schemes orchestrated by Ukraine’s military, oligarchs, and government officials.
On a side note, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s net worth is about $30million.
He and his inner circle also have their own network of offshore companies.
These have in the past been used to buy expensive properties in London.
The documents also show that just before he was elected, he gifted his stake in a key offshore company, the British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp., to his business partner, who would go on to be appointed as Zelenksy’s top presidential aide.
( Sanbeer Singh Ranhotra, 23.05.2022 ) .. tfiglobalnews.com
Home Raided By Police Over Multi-million Pound PPE Fraud Probe.
The London home of UK Tory peer Michelle Mone has been raided as part of a police fraud probe into multi-million pound PPE deals relating to a company she has been linked to.
The National Crime Agency is investigating deals by PPE Medpro, a company set up by a business associate of Baroness Mone.
Her £11million London home, owned by an offshore company linked to her husband’s Isle of Man business, is one of a string of properties raided by NCA officers.
It is understood a special unit within the NCA have been looking into the allegations for a year.
PPE Medpro won more than £200million in Covid contracts from the Department for Health in 2020 after Baroness Mone referred the firm to the Cabinet Office via the so-called “VIP lane”.
( Nick Sommerlad and Tom Pettifor, 29.04.2022 ) .. mirror.co.uk
UK Government Admits It Used Hazardous White Phosphorus In Kenya.
The UK Government has admitted that its soldiers used dangerous white phosphorus mortar rounds during training in Kenya when conditions permitted their use.
White phosphorus is extremely toxic to humans.
It can also be quite unstable.
It ignites instantly when it comes into contact with oxygen.
Its primary function in weaponry is to burn fast and bright.
Once ignited, white phosphorus is extremely difficult to extinguish.
It is often used in incendiary munitions by militaries worldwide.
Experts say these weapons are illegal under international humanitarian law and other international laws and treaties.
According to an internal army study, live mortar firing occurred in regions “frequented by farmers, villagers, and nomadic tribes-people”.
The British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk) has been accused of murder, rape, sexual assaults, environmental damage, sexual exploitation of Kenyan women, and deaths caused by the negligent handling of unexploded ordnance.
Some 1,496 residents of the Lolldaiga community in Laikipia have sued Batuk for starting a fire that destroyed more than 10,000 acres at the conservancy.
Other than environmental damage, the surrounding community claims the disaster triggered a human-wildlife crisis, forcing animals searching for water and pasture to invade their farms.
The fire, which emitted smoke containing dangerous chemicals, has caused adverse health effects such as serious eye-sight problems and miscarriages in humans and farm animals.
Some of the community members close to the ranch have since been forced to abandon their homes due to the howling hot winds.
In 2015, a 13-year-old Kenyan boy, Lisoka Lesasuyan, lost both arms and an eye when he picked up an unexploded mortar fuse.
The type of fuse was withdrawn from British army service in 2019 after it was found to contain the poisonous and explosive substance Tetryl.
( Amina Wako, 29.04.2022 ) .. nation.africa
World Crude Oil Production Is Falling Behind Needed Levels.
Media outlets tend to make it sound as if all our economic problems are temporary problems, related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In fact, world crude oil production has been falling behind needed levels since 2019.
This problem, by itself, encourages the world economy to contract in unexpected ways, including in the form of economic lockdowns and aggression between countries.
This crude oil shortfall seems likely to become greater in the years ahead, pushing the world economy toward conflict and the elimination of inefficient players.
Crude oil production is of particular importance because this form of oil is especially useful.
With refining, it can operate tractors used to cultivate crops, and it can operate trucks to bring food to stores to sell.
With refining, it can be used to make jet fuel.
It can also be refined to make fuel for earth moving equipment used in road building.
In recent years, it has become common to publish “all liquids” amounts, which include liquid fuels such as ethanol and natural gas liquids.
These fuels have uses when energy density is not important, but they do not operate the heavy machinery needed to maintain today’s economy.
( Tyler Durden, 01.05.2022 ) .. zerohedge.com