GREAT BRITAIN

Jul 23 00:52

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia

The Government was last night accused of double standards over arms sales to Russia after it emerged that officials have approved a massive increase in weaponry to be sold to the country to more than £130m.

MPs warn today that at least 251 export licences for the sale of controlled goods - ranging from sniper rifles to night sights - remain in place despite a call from Prime Minister David Cameron for other countries, in particular France, to halt lucrative arms deals with Moscow.

The increasingly acrimonious war of words between London and Paris over sales of military hardware to Moscow deepened last night when the head of Mr Hollande’s Socialist ruling party called Mr Cameron a “hypocrite”.

Jul 22 17:49

What are You Trying to Hide, Mr Obama?

So far, Putin’s appeal for safe passage for investigators has been wilfully ignored by the Kiev regime, which has if anything stepped up its violence in the region since the air crash. And Western leaders are giving full cover to the Kiev regime by perversely laying the blame on Russia and the self-defense militias in Donetsk, accusing both of obstructing recovery and a crash probe.

To paraphrase Obama: «What is the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors trying to hide?»

Significantly, the Malaysian premier did not make the arrangements through the Kiev regime. He dealt directly with the Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Borodai. The Malaysians disclosed publicly that 282 of the bodies recovered so far were to be transported in refrigerated train carriages to Donetsk and thence to the city of Kharkiv before being flown on to Amsterdam. The flight recorder black boxes were also to be handed over in Donetsk by militia members to an official Malaysian investigative team…

Jul 22 16:11

Millions of pensions to be hit by controversial changes slipped in by the Government just before its summer break

Millions of Britons have been warned their State pension payout will be hit by controversial changes sneaked out by the Government before ministers head off on holiday.

At present, anybody can decide to delay claiming their State pension - and get a bonus worth around 10 per cent a year on their unclaimed State pension.

More than 1.2million pensioners in Britain currently receive a higher State pension because they deferred it, typically for a few years although many delay for a decade.

But Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, has revealed plans to slash this bonus in a move which will hit everybody who reaches State pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

Rather than a bonus worth 10.4 per cent a year of their unclaimed State pension, they will get a bonus worth only 5.8 per cent a year.

Jul 22 14:27

Prison Factories And The Rule Of Fear

There is nothing new about the mass imprisonment of the working class in America and the UK.

An article published in Chamber’s Journal of 1871, condescendingly entitled ‘Our Jail-Birds’, tells of the recurring theme of institutionalisation of the petty criminal:

“Are those some of your clients just come in?”. “Yes,” was the reply; “and the worst of it is they have all been here before. It doesn’t say very much for our reformatory discipline, does it?”. The article stated reoffendment ‘is the universal experience of our jail governors … the same faces are seen again and again, and imprisonment seems to have no deterrent effect whatever, but rather the reverse … for one prisoner reformed, many are corrupted; and it is to be feared that, in the great majority of cases, imprisonment gives an impetus in the downward course of the convict’.

Jul 22 13:53

Slaughter: Israel’s new “self defence

Stuart Littlewood debunks the weasel-worded excuses dished out by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his newly-appointed foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, in defence of Israel’s blitzkrieg in the Gaza Strip.

Jul 22 11:54

UK journalists could be labeled 'terrorists' for attempting to uphold public interest

British journalists who publish politically motivated content could be labeled terrorists if UK authorities deem the material to be a threat to public safety, according to Britain’s counter-terrorism watchdog.

In his annual report published on July 22, the UK's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism LegislationDavid Anderson QC emphasized the UK’s anti-terror laws were simply too broad. His comprehensive review was presented to parliament by Britain’s Home Secretary on Tuesday morning.

Jul 22 11:26

How Britain Profits from the Attack on Gaza

The video emerged on Monday. It appears to show a man searching for his family amid the rubble of Gaza, apparently during a ceasefire. He is shot by a sniper. For a while he lies there, moving awkwardly. Then he is shot again.

Jul 22 11:07

Britain decriminalises online video game, music and movie piracy.

The British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy, scrapping fuller punishment plans after branding them unworkable.

Jul 22 10:28

UK terrorism laws so broad it has begun to 'catch those it never intended to'

UK anti-terrorism laws are so broadly drawn they are in danger of catching journalists, bloggers, and those it was "never intended to cover" the counter-terrorism watchdog has said.

David Anderson QC has called on the Government to revisit its definition of terrorism in his annual report published today as the UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

"Look at the example of journalists and bloggers, who can be considered terrorists if they are seeking to influence the Government and if their words endanger life or create a serious risk to public health or safety," he told the programme.

"Foolish or dangerous journalism is one thing, terrorism is another," he said.

Jul 22 10:27

Cameron's cabinet reshuffle is a sign of weakness

So what was the point of David Cameron’s supposedly dramatic cabinet reshuffle last week? Forget the idea that it was about advancing women over the “pale, male, and stale”.

The “catwalk” of promoted women ministers outside 10 Downing Street was pretty degrading, and the gender balance of the cabinet has only changed marginally.

Jul 22 10:16

UK to 'decriminalize' file-sharing

The British government has decriminalized the act of online video game, music and film piracy, after branding harsher punishment plans as “unworkable.”

Beginning in 2015, internet users who persistently file-share will be sent a series of warning letters explaining that their actions are illegal. However, authorities will take no further action if the user continues downloading the material.

Jul 22 09:47

Grandparents told they owe power company £500m (which also informed them their monthly direct debit would be increasing from £87 to £53m)

A couple were told their monthly electricity payments would be increasing from £87 to £53.5million after a computer error led to a power company sending them a £500million bill.

Grandparents Nigel and Linda Brotherton were told by energy suppliers npower that they had run up the huge bill - and if they did not pay it off their monthly direct debit would rise to £53.5million.

Jul 22 08:39

Serious Fraud Office launches criminal probe into forex manipulation

The Serious Fraud Office has launched a criminal investigation into allegations London bankers rigged key foreign exchange benchmarks for profit, the agency announced today.

Traders found guilty of illegally manipulating the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market could face jail and the banking institutions for which they work could also face prosecution.

Jul 22 08:36

Fracking: blow for hopes of UK shale energy boom as council throws out drilling plans

West Sussex council unanimously rejects Celtique Energie's planning application to explore for shale oil near village of Wisborough Green

"You dispicable Commie lovers!" - Number 9 3/4

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2663075/Putin-plotting-halt-UK...

Jul 22 08:30

Two MPs to sue government over data law 'stitch-up'

Two MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, are to sue the government for introducing "ridiculous" emergency legislation allowing police and security services access to people's phone and internet records.

The MPs from either side of the House of Commons have applied for a judicial review of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Drip).

Jul 21 23:01

UK watchdog warns over police use of Tasers

Britain’s police watchdog has voiced major concerns about the use of Tasers directly to the body of suspects by law enforcement officers who aim to gain compliance.

Jul 21 21:28

Slaughtering the men, women and children you illegally occupy and daily humiliate…It’s the new ‘self defence’

I mean, would a British government be mad enough to illegally occupy its next door neighbours for nearly 50 years, trash their heritage, steal their resources, move settlers into choice locations, cage the natives within the sealed remnants then bomb them all to hell and back for firing garden-shed rockets? Wellyes, I guess a Cameron government might do exactly that if told to… and call it self defence just like their Israeli buddies.

Jul 21 13:01

PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi: ‘Deliberate Massacre’ in Gaza

An emotionally wrought Hanan Ashrawi calls on the world to act immediately in defense of defenseless Palestinian civilians being deliberately massacred in Gaza by Israeli military.

“Look there, there is no human being who cannot be affected by this. Unless you lose the last vestiges of humanity, you cannot allow this to go on. It has to stop,” Ashrawi said of the latest violence in Gaza.

“This morning, it’s nothing short of a massacre, a deliberate massacre. War crimes committed daily. But now there is a deliberate shelling and bombing and destruction of whole areas, of residential areas,” Ashrawi said on “This Week.”

Jul 21 11:57

UK Government Wants Immunity in Torture Case

The government is determined to prevent ministers and officials from being accountable to the courts for colluding in wrongdoing abroad even if it involves torture, three of the country’s most senior judges were warned on Monday.

Jul 21 11:21

Iraq whitewash? Swathes of UK public inquiry findings suppressed

A lack of transparency concerning a UK public inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq has bred heated criticism that its findings may vindicate a brutal war that divided the nation and blackened Tony Blair’s decade-long leadership.

In the aftermath of the eight-year investigation, the inquiry’s concluding report has been delayed as a result of negotiations concerning its content. Of particular concern to the British establishment, are records of a series of meetings and exchanges between then-US President George W. Bush and Blair.

Jul 21 09:44

Naomi Klein: Enough. It’s Time for a Boycott of Israel

It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa

Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause – even among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors in Israel. It calls for “the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions” and draws a clear parallel with the anti-apartheid struggle. “The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves … This international backing must stop.”

Jul 21 09:28

Activists occupy UK government building, demanding arms embargo on Israel

PALESTINE Solidarity activists in London occupied a UK government building yesterday to demand an immediate end to arms sales to Israel.

“By allowing arms exports to Israel to flourish, the UK government is providing material and political support for Israel’s violent oppression and collective punishment of Palestinians, including the current massacre in Gaza.”

“UK companies that export arms to Israel such as BAE Systems and Boeing are profiting directly from Israel’s on-going attacks on Palestinian civilians on Gaza,” the group member said.

“Rather than seeking to whitewash Israeli atrocities,” the campaigner added,”the UK government should listen to the appeals made by Palestinian civil society groups and Amnesty International and impose a military embargo on Israel. How many more people in Gaza have to die before the government will stop arming Israel?”

Jul 21 09:19

Downed Airliner: Fake Audio Tape Shows US-Backed Hit to Frame Russia

Within hours of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashing into a wheat field in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine last Thursday, Western governments and media have gradually stoked a frenzy of accusations that Moscow had a hand in the disaster.

In a devastating twist to emerge over the weekend it now seems that the Malaysian civilian airliner downed over Ukraine was most probably brought down as a result of sabotage by the US-backed Kiev regime.

The purpose of this audacious act of mass murder – in which 298 lives were lost – was carried out with the intention of framing the Russian government. Washington, the chief sponsor of the Kiev regime, must have known about the plot, if not being fully complicit in it.

Jul 21 08:11

‘Drug resistant’ bacteria found in British river

Scientists have found drug resistant super bugs downstream of a sewage treatment plant in the River Sowe near Coventry, media said.

The microbes contain mutated genes that are resistant even to the latest generation of antibiotics, the Independent reports.

The researchers said that sewage treatment plants are acting like giant “mixing vessels” where antibiotic resistance is spreading between microbes, which are then released into the environment.

Jul 21 08:04

Russia Proving Ukraine shot down MH17, not through Propaganda but through irrefutable satellite images of Military jet and missile systems

Russia is now proving that the information released about a Ukrainian military jet was there by MH17 when it went down is correct and the fact that Ukraine had BUK missile systems set up where the plane was shot down.

Here is what I want to know.

What will the U.S., U.K. and Australia demand be done against Ukraine as it is proven they shot down MH17? Will they demand sanctions? Will they demand NATO go in against Ukraine?

Jul 21 07:10

London rally draws tens of thousands to protest Gaza invasion

An estimated 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets of London on Saturday to protest Israel’s invasion of the Gaza strip in the Palestinian occupied territories.

The march was one of a number that took place across the UK. In Glasgow and Aberdeen, Scotland several thousand demonstrated despite heavy rain. Other demonstrations were held in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dublin, Ireland.

Jul 20 21:45

Israel recruits over 100 British teens to join Gaza war

Over 100 British teens have been signed up to fight “shoulder to shoulder” with Israeli forces in brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip, a human rights group warns.

Jul 20 19:22

Twenty Years On: The Shadow Of War Criminal Tony Blair

Ex-Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, notoriously, is a very rich man. He is also an adviser to various Middle Eastern and central Asian dictators, while pursuing a formal Quartet role as “Middle East peace envoy,” a grotesque misnomer in which his support for Israel’s decades-long violent denial of a Palestinian state is half-camouflaged by code words such as “restraint by both sides please.”

Jul 20 10:44

MURDERED BBC presenter Jill Dando tried to expose a paedophile ring involving “big-name” BBC stars

According to the retired BBC worker, the Crimewatch host was told that DJs, stars and corporation staff were involved in organised abuse.

But when she tried to get bosses to investigate the alleged ring and other abuse complaints inside the BBC “no one wanted to know”, the former friend said.

Undeterred, Jill is said to have then raised the claims with senior management in the mid-1990s but no investigation took place.

The TV host was shot dead a few years later on the doorstep of her London home. The 37-year-old’s murder remains unsolved.

Jul 20 10:09

Will Drip law make UK citizens' data more attractive to hackers?

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (Drip) bill that yesterday cleared the House of Lords will make companies holding UK citizens’ communications data far more attractive to criminal hackers, a security expert has warned.

This will likely be a long-term consequence of the law as it will spread the UK’s data across the world, said Dr Adrian Davis, cybercrime expert and European director of (ISC)2, an association of information security professionals.

Davis raised concerns about clause 4 of the bill, which extends the territorial reach of UK surveillance powers by making it clear foreign firms holding UK citizen data can be served with a warrant to hand over information.

Jul 20 08:10

UK's Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy

The UK’s new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (Drip) law that went from announcement to enactment in eight days, is a complete abomination. Everything about the process – and here, process is critical – is an affront to democracy, to the rule of law, to the rights of British and global citizens, and even to the erstwhile ends of national security.

The completely unsatisfactory process involved the announcement last Thursday that the three main party leaders had been working in private towards supporting a bill that wasn’t yet public, followed by a three day fast-track process through the Commons and Lords, an overnight afterthought on human rights compliance, vague and uncoordinated attempts at amendment, and a government reshuffle and countless other matters to distract and detract.

What Drip represents is the absence of true political leadership and an utter failure to engage in an open, mature, public debate about the clash between privacy and security online.

Jul 20 06:30

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Israel Invades Gaza Because it has America’s tacit consent

America must soon shift our role from giving tacit consent to an invasion to becoming an active partner in a new, honest search for peace in the Middle East.

What is the end game? To cast Gazans to the sea, where they will be met by the Israeli Navy? To push Gazans into Egypt? To eject all Palestinians to… where? This is a question relevant not only to Israelis and Palestinians, but to the entire world.

Jul 20 06:26

What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner? — Paul Craig Roberts

Washington’s propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have. One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it. Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.

Jul 20 06:23

Will Russia shoot down West’s lies?

One gets the feeling that Russia has the aim and ability to shoot down these Western lies, and to show up Western politicians and media for what they are: a criminal enterprise of lies and war-making.

They don’t call it the “gutter press” for nothing. But Western so-called news media sunk to new toxic depths over the weekend in their coverage of the Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine – and the death of all 298 people on board.

The trouble is that this time the Western propaganda machine is up against Russia and its own very capable intelligence.

Russia is not only calmly challenging the West to present its so-called “intelligence evidence.” Moscow is now also saying that it has its own incriminating information as to what really happened to the doomed Malaysian flight.

Jul 20 06:18

BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency reserves

Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal to reach $100 billion. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, India will preside as president the first year, and Russia will be the chairman of the representatives. Each country will send either their finance minister or Central Bank chair to the bank’s representative board.

The group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

Jul 20 01:45

Cameron warns of more sanctions on Russia

British Prime Minister David Cameron has raised the prospect of fresh European sanctions against Russia following the crash of a Malaysian plane in east Ukraine.

Jul 19 18:24

British PM Cameron Enabling Wall Street’s Takeover of National Health Service

The U.K.’s cherished public health service is in danger of being sold off to private corporations via a trade deal that would create a single market between the European Union and the United States and open future British governments to massive lawsuits in international courts should they attempt to reverse the decision.

Jul 19 18:24

Tens of thousands march through London: The BBC is silent…

Crowds of tens of thousands gathered in Central London today to protest at the on-going military actions of Israel in the Gaza Strip. Estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000, making this one of the largest demonstrations in recent years in Britain.

Jul 19 08:20

“Big Brother Britannia”: Bouncing Parliament. Surveillance and Police State by Emergency in the UK

You have to give him some credit. The soul of the prison warder who inhabits the public school boy is not always easy to contain. Unrestrained, and lacking sound judgment, he is bound to spring out, however democratic, or liberal, a system can be. Prime Minister David Cameron, on the issue of jamming through bills connected with increased surveillance powers, has just about gotten what he wants. The rule in his playbook here: call anything you don’t want looked at a matter of emergency.

Jul 19 06:00

British Parliament Accuses Israel of War Crimes

British MP: This is not just a war about rockets, but it is a war about illegal settlements and stolen land.

Highlights from a UK parliamentary debate in which British MPs collectively accused Israel of war crimes, disproportionate violence, ruining peace negotiations by building illegal settlements, running the worlds largest outdoor prison, collective punishment,etc. etc.

Jul 19 03:02

US Aims at Blowing EU-Russia Rift with Downed Airliner

When assessing culpability, it is not only significant to ask the criminologist’s question: who benefits? It is also significant to observe how the political and media reaction to events quickly takes on an unmistakably scripted pre-ordained formula. In this case, there is more than a pungent whiff of premeditated action-reaction dialectic going on.

American geopolitical interests are best served by this atrocity, by shocking a laggardly Europe into adopting its aggressive sanctions towards Russia, even though that militates against European economic concerns. Shooting down a civilian airliner would ensure blowing a decisive rift between Europe and Russia.

Jul 18 17:55

PM Cameron’s porn filter adviser fronts court over child indecency rap

David Cameron’s senior adviser on internet porn filters has appeared at crown court accused of child indecency offenses.

Patrick Rock is charged with three counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing indecent images of children.

Jul 18 11:46

British pedophile MP Cyril Smith had powerful friend(s) who halted several investigations into his child abuse

Cyril Smith: Detective claims three probes were stopped

Later Mr Tasker said two senior officers came to his office and told him to hand over "every scrap of paper" on the investigation.

"[They said] we must keep out of Rochdale and we must not speak to anyone about the Cyril Smith inquiry or we'd be in serious trouble," he said.

He believes many other men were involved in the abuse and the Smith investigations were only "scratching the surface".

"It was obvious that someone quite high up, quite powerful, was making sure that Cyril Smith never appeared before a court."

Jul 18 10:08

‘Right to privacy breached’: Rights group vows to take UK govt to court over DRIP law

Emergency legislation on data retention and investigatory powers rushed through the UK parliament breach the right to privacy enshrined in human rights law, claim activists pursuing court action against the British government.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) is taking the UK government to court in an attempt to block the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) bill on the grounds it violates a European Court ruling that blanket data retention is unlawful and violates the right to privacy.

Jul 18 07:28

UK media show weakness for sensationalism & propaganda in wake of MH17 tragedy

There are no words in the English lexicon which can properly summarize the horrors of events yesterday in Eastern Ukraine. Like all right-thinking people around the world I am aghast and I currently have a nauseating tightness in my stomach as I pen this.

Jul 18 06:52

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Whether the tragedy is four boys getting blown apart while playing on a beach in Gaza or nearly 300 killed from a suspected missile strike on a Malaysian Airliner over Ukraine or the thousands upon thousands of other innocent victims slaughtered in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other recent war zones, the underlying lesson is that the havoc encouraged by America’s neocons results in horrendous loss of human life.

The overriding lesson from these tragedies should be that the real villains are people who opt for chaos and war over progress and peace. And, in the case of the Middle East and Ukraine, the greatest purveyors of this unnecessary warfare are America’s neocons.

Jul 18 01:52

UN commissioner criticises decision to fast-track emergency surveillance bill

The UN human rights chief has criticised Britain's rush through parliament this week of the new emergency law on surveillance and data retention.

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said the data retention and investigatory powers bill – known as the Drip bill – will not address key privacy concerns raised by the European court of justice when it struck down the current regime in April and should be the subject of wider public debate.

"To me it's difficult to see how the UK can now justify rushing through wide-reaching emergency legislation which may not fully address the concerns raised by the court, at time when there are proceedings ongoing by the UK's own investigative powers tribunal on these very issues," Pillay said in Geneva on Wednesday.

Jul 18 01:51

Israel Commits War Crimes — Interview with Harry Fear

Abby Martin speaks with journalist and documentarian, Harry Fear, to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza, including the bombing of 4 children on a Gaza beach and the failure of the most recent ceasefire.

Jul 18 01:35

Palestinian Children Have No Iron Dome

One day after a U.S. congressional committee voted to send more U.S. tax dollars to bolster Israel’s Iron Dome shield, four Palestinian boys were killed on an open beach by Israeli shelling from a naval ship offshore.
At the moment, with the Israeli ground invasion under way, the future looks bleak. Have we reached a tipping point? Will the Gaza beach murders be the moment when the world wakes up?

Or as Jon Stewart asks us in the clip above, “has the world gone mad?”

Jul 17 16:44

The UK’s “emergency” DRIP surveillance law is now a done deal

The House of Lords passed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill on Thursday without a vote, and it received royal assent hours later. That means DRIP is law after just a few days’ scrutiny.

A good day to bury bad news.

Jul 17 12:56

Exit Agent William Hague... still making excuses for Israel

Stuart Littlewood says the recently-resigned UK foreign secretary, William Hague, was waving Israel’s flag to the last minute, and holds little hope that Hague’s successor, Philip Hammond, would be any better.

Jul 17 12:26

UK Adds Facial Recognition to Surveillance Arsenal

Nicholas West
Activist Post

The UK is probably the only place that surpasses New York's "Ring of Steel" for bringing a full-spectrum Big Brother surveillance state to reality. As far back as 2006, even the BBC reported that fears of a "surveillance society" already had taken effect as, at the time, there was 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people. It's now 1 for every 11, which is 5.9 million total cameras.

As the pace of facial recognition technology increases, as well as advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, the two are merging to provide police with easier and quicker access to matching all of the images from those millions of cameras, which are now stored in databases.

British police are ready to roll-out the latest technology called NeoFace which claims the ability to positively identify criminals in a matter of seconds. And it's not just Britain that is putting such systems into effect...

Jul 17 11:28

For U.K. youth, disappointment means demonstration

On Monday, I wrote about how a disappointing Obama administration may not necessarily turn post-millennials into archconservatives. While we may have to wait a few years to see whether this prediction is right, the United Kingdom offers a mixed-bag preview for how US youth and, for that matter, anyone bearing the brunt of austerity measures might respond to a grim political and economic situation.

Jul 17 09:41

UK salaries lag inflation despite employment recovery, report shows

Employment in the UK has returned to ‘pre-crash’ levels while wages remain low and their growth behind inflation, according to newly published official figures.

A new report from the Office of National Statistics show that UK employment surged to 73.1% – the highest level recorded since the financial crisis. The report also shows that the number of people claiming job seekers allowance (JSA) has also decreased to 1.04 million, down by 36,300.

Despite the decrease in unemployment, wage growth fell sharply to 0.7% down from 1.7% - amid inflation that surged to 1.9%.

Jul 17 08:58

Why I, as a Muslim, am launching a campaign to ban the burka in Britain

Dr Taj Hargey is the Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation and the Director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford

Supporters of this garment like to pretend that it is a welcome symbol of our society’s multicultural diversity and philosophical tolerance. But such warped thinking is woefully misguided. In reality, the burka is an archaic tribal piece of cloth that is eagerly used by fundamentalist zealots to promote a toxic brand of extremist non-Koranic theology.

Everyone in Britain, including Muslims, should oppose the insidious spread of this vile piece of clothing, which imprisons women, threatens social harmony, fuels distrust, has grave health implications and is a potent security risk.

Contrary to the claims of its advocates, it has nothing to do with Islam but is a cultural fad imported from Saudi Arabia and primitive parts of the Islamic world.

Jul 17 08:28

Failings at care homes owned by Tory donor Ravinder Gidar

An “unbearable smell” and a resident lying naked in a urine-soaked bed were found during recent inspections of care homes run by a company part-owned by a significant Tory donor.

The Care Quality Commission has taken enforcement action, which is reserved for serious or repeated breaches of regulations, in the last year at two of Gold Care’s 23 nursing homes.

Jul 17 08:01

Campaigners call on UK government to end military ties with Israel

Campaigners are calling for the UK to end its military ties with Israel.

The UK has consistently given extensive political and military support to Israel. Earlier this year the Prime Minister, David Cameron, described his support for Israel as "unbreakable".

Jul 17 07:19

Israel Accused Of War Crimes (UK Parliament)

Highlights from a UK parliamentary debate in which MPs variously accused Israel of war crimes, disproportionate violence, ruining peace negotiations by building illegal settlements, running the worlds largest outdoor prison, collective punishment, and attacking water supplies, hospitals, supply centres and all manner of other civilian targets.

Jul 17 04:37

Russia: US sanctions revenge for Ukrainian failure, Moscow may retaliate

Russia considers the latest package of sanctions against it issued by the US as revenge for the failure of Washington’s schemes in Ukraine and blackmail. Moscow reserves the right to retaliate.

“As for sanctions, they usually have a boomerang effect, and without a doubt will force US-Russian relations into a corner,” he explained. “This is a serious blow to our relationship. And it undermines the long term security interests of the US nation and its people.”

Jul 16 18:04

Don't Emulate the United States' Terrible Surveillance Oversight, Britain

The UK government is currently forcing through Parliament a wide-ranging set of changes to that country's digital surveillance and data retention law. The pace of the progression of the new amendments, called the Digital Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (or "DRIP") has been astounding. Introduced without warning last Friday, if not opposed by peers in Britain's House of Lords, it looks like it may become law within the week.

Jul 16 15:00

Cyril Smith: 'evidence of sex abuse' was overruled CPS report shows

Detective told chief constable in 1970 there was prima facie evidence of guilt – but DPP advised against prosecution

Jul 16 14:57

Exit Agent Hague…still making excuses for Israel

Hague messed with our universal jurisdiction laws to provide a safe haven for Israel’s war crimes suspects, notably Tzipi Livni who was largely responsible for the terror that brought death and destruction to Gaza’s civilians in the vicious blitzkrieg known as Operation Cast Lead, in which 1,400 Gazans were slaughtered including 320 children and 109 women, and thousands more horribly maimed. Livni was unrepentant.

Jul 16 13:54

Israel accused of war crimes in UK Parliament

Highlights from a UK parliamentary debate in which MPs variously accused Israel of war crimes, disproportionate violence, ruining peace negotiations by building illegal settlements, running the worlds largest outdoor prison, collective punishment, and attacking water supplies, hospitals, supply centres and all manner of other civilian targets.

Jul 16 13:36

Thousands protest across Britain as Israel continues assault on Gaza

Protests are taking place across Britain this week in opposition to Israel’s bombing of Gaza. At least 215 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in sustained airstrikes that have levelled whole buildings.

Israeli forces have now warned 100,000 people to leave their homes in the beseiged and densely population Gaza strip, as they prepare for even more bombing.

Jul 16 11:55

British Surveillance Agents Create False Internet Information

Every day the boundaries of government manipulation of social media are being redrawn as new revelations come to light on the Internet.

Jul 16 11:15

Privacy concerns? UK police test 'faster-than-ever' facial recognition software

Facial recognition surveillance software being tested by British cops that allows “faster than ever” data searching and tracking of subjects is raising concerns among privacy activists.

NeoFace software analyses dozens of facial features from digital CCTV images or police body cameras and matching them with the 90,000 photos stored on Leicestershire Police's database, which had become the first unit in the UK to test it.

Jul 16 10:22

Now it’s revealed Barbara Castle drew up dossier on VIP paedophiles: File seized by Special Branch 'heavy mob'

Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s, it was claimed yesterday.

Officers citing ‘national security’ confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with senior policemen, headteachers and clergy, it was said.

The dossier was collated by the late Baroness Castle of Blackburn who handed it to Don Hale, the editor of her local newspaper, the Bury Messenger.

Mr Hale claimed a ‘heavy mob’ of Special Branch officers raided his office in 1984 and took away the file, threatening him with prison if he resisted.

And he said that the day before the raid, Liberal MP Cyril Smith – since exposed as a predatory paedophile – had also visited the office, demanding that he bury the story.

It would be the second paedophile dossier to have ‘disappeared’. A year earlier, a file handed to former Home Secretary Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens also went missing.

Jul 16 08:30

UK Police Arrest 660 Suspected Paedophiles

More than 600 suspected paedophiles, including doctors and teachers, have been arrested across Britain after a six-month investigation led by the National Crime Agency.

The agency, dubbed Britain's FBI, announced on Wednesday it had arrested 660 suspected child abusers and taken more than 400 children into care in the first nationwide investigation of its kind.

Jul 16 07:39

The child abuse controversy reinforces what voters already think of sleazy MPs

There is something odd, and revealing, in YouGov's latest poll. We asked a series of questions about the controversies surrounding suggestions that senior politicians in the 1970s and 1980s abused children, and that this was covered up.

Jul 16 07:11

UK police arrest 660 suspected paedophiles National Crime Agency detains suspected child abusers, including doctors and teachers

More than 600 suspected paedophiles, including doctors and teachers, have been arrested across Britain after a six-month investigation led by the National Crime Agency.

The agency, dubbed Britain's FBI, announced on Wednesday it had arrested 660 suspected child abusers and taken more than 400 children into care in the first nationwide investigation of its kind.

Of the 660 arrested, 39 were registered sex offenders but the vast majority of suspected paedophiles were off the police's radar. Those arrested include doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.

Jul 16 04:40

Israel accused of war crimes (UK Parliament) [VIDEO]

Highlights from a UK parliamentary debate in which MPs variously accused Israel of war crimes, disproportionate violence, ruining peace negotiations by building illegal settlements, running the worlds largest outdoor prison, collective punishment, and attacking water supplies, hospitals, supply centres and all manner of other civilian targets.

Jul 16 04:20

Crowds protest BBC 'biased reporting' on Gaza (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Protests against BBC coverage of Israeli military operation against the Palestinian refugee population in the Gaza strip are erupting across the UK, with thousands joining a call for fair, unbiased and contextual reporting of the events on the ground.

London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle saw marches to “protest at the BBC's biased reporting” as well as to gather signatures for an open letter to the BBC Director General. London took the main stage of the protest movement.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign against Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and many other organizations, in the letter to the publicly funded broadcaster, say that the company is “duty-bound to provide balanced reporting without bias.”

Jul 16 03:31

BRICS against Washington consensus

This Russia-China commercial/diplomatic offensive fits the concerted push towards a multipolar world – side by side with political/economic South American leaders.

The headline news is that this Tuesday in Fortaleza, northeast Brazil, the BRICS group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) fights the (Neoliberal) World (Dis)Order via a new development bank and a reserve fund set up to offset financial crises.

Jul 16 03:13

‘Ceasefire’ to refuel Israel criminality

The reality is that the Israeli regime has just given itself carte blanche to step up its genocide against the Palestinians – just as it was threatening to do so. The so-called ceasefire was nothing but a cynical charade to deceive this flagrant reality. Let’s make no mistake. What is happening in Gaza is unmitigated crimes against humanity, an operation of state-sponsored terrorism against an illegally occupied people.

If ever the Israeli military intelligence motto “war by deception” needed exemplified, then it is the current resumption of state-sponsored slaughter in Gaza.

Jul 16 00:36

Scotland Yard detective 'removed over plan to investigate child abuse claims'

A former Scotland Yard detective who won plaudits for his work on cases including the murder of Stephen Lawrence has claimed that he was moved from his post earlier when he revealed plans to investigate politicians over child abuse claims.

Speaking about his inquiries in 1998 into activity alleged to have taken place in Lambeth children's homes in the 1980s, retired detective chief inspector Clive Driscoll said that his work was "all too uncomfortable to a lot of people".

The Metropolitan police has now reportedly asked to discuss the claims with Driscoll, who told BBC Newsnight that he had a list of suspects he wanted to look at, including local and national politicians, adding: "Some of the names were people that were working locally. Some people that were if you like, working nationally, there was quite a mix really because it appeared that it was connected to other boroughs and other movement around the country."

Jul 15 21:21

Britain: “Secret Service Infiltrated Paedophile Group to ‘Blackmail Establishment’”

BRITISH security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges.

Jul 15 16:14

Impact of Bedroom Tax revealed: 59% in arrears and less than 5% in smaller properties

The devastating impact of the Bedroom Tax has been laid bare in a report sneaked out by the Government today.

A study found 59% of those hit by the tax – 300,000 tenants – are in rent arrears.

And only 4.5% of the 570,000 victims of the hated tax have moved to a smaller property.

Jul 15 13:44

Law before equality: Non-UK residents may face ‘discriminatory’ cuts to legal aid

The UK government’s attempt to make residence tests a requirement for those seeking legal aid in Britain has been mitigated by the high court on grounds the proposed policy shift was both illegal and discriminatory.

In a resounding judgement, three British judges unanimously declared the draft legislation unfit for parliamentary enactment. They also upheld an objection that discrimination against non-residents purely for the purpose of sparing state resources was not legitimate logic for introducing this policy.

Jul 15 13:41

UK policy of supporting Syrian rebels against Bashar al-Assad 'stupid'

Britain's policy towards Syria has been "stupid" and it should apologise for supporting rebels who are fighting to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad, and work with him to combat terrorism, the country's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, has said. Mekdad told the Guardian that it was up to David Cameron to stop Britons coming to fight in Syria – an increasing preoccupation for UK authorities in recent months. "We regret that British people are coming here to be killed and to kill Syrians," he said. "But we believe it is the responsibility of the British government to stop such an onslaught."

Jul 15 13:30

The British Establishment … Paedophiles Everywhere

A British newspaper quoted a ‘Buckingham Palace insider’ as saying that Prince Charles ‘was furious that he was never informed about suspicions that Savile was a pervert who preyed on children.’ The ‘insider’ said ‘the Palace have been on to the security services to see why they were not informed’ and the source continued:

The Queen, Philip, Charles and others want to know why no-one picked up a phone to tell them a child abuser was being allowed in royal homes and meeting with senior royals and their families …

What a load of baloney. I’ll tell you why they didn’t pick up the phone -they were already well aware that the royals knew and had done so since paedophile Mountbatten brought Savile into the fold as a child procurer in the 1960s.

Jul 15 12:34

200 tons of Syrian chemicals arrive in UK for destruction

Some 200 tons of toxic chemicals have been delivered to the UK from Syria after the battle torn country agreed to the destruction of its stockpile last year.

Industrial grade chemicals, intended for the production of chemical weapons, are being unloaded from a ship at Marchwood Port in Hampshire before being transported by road to Ellesmere Port in Cheshire for incineration by Veolia Environmental Services.

Jul 15 10:20

War criminal Tony Blair has made a lucrative career from mass murder

Tony Blair has a new job—advising Egypt’s dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

It isn’t particularly shocking that Blair wants to back a brutal military regime. Advising dictators is not a new pastime for Blair.

He has been an adviser to the Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi regimes.

Last year he completed his two-year contract as adviser to Kazakhstan president Ursultan Nazarbayev. Blair was supposed to work towards social and economic reform in the country, but many activists claim that the situation deteriorated during his tenure.

Jul 15 10:01

Tory child abuse inquiry in chaos; Did Margaret Thatcher cover up child abuse?

The government was blasted this week as the judge appointed to lead a child sex abuse inquiry quit less than a week into the job.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss blamed a “widespread perception” she was “not the right person to chair the inquiry”.

This comes amid allegations her late brother Sir Michael Havers tried to stop suspected child abusers being named in the House of Commons in the 1980s.

Jul 15 07:26

Britain could face widespread energy ‘blackouts’ – leading engineer

The UK risks sweeping electricity blackouts unless it increases the state’s capacity to balance infrequent supply from renewable energy sources, a prominent engineer who carried out government-funded research has warned.

While British authorities are under legal obligation to source almost a third of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020, they require immediately deployable gas-fuelled power stations to cater for inevitable lulls in sun and wind energy output.

Jul 15 07:19

Government’s Legal Aid Plans “Unlawful” and “Discriminatory,” Rule Judges

British judges today ruled that a proposed cut to legal aid known as the ‘residence test’ is “unlawful” and “discriminatory.” The measure, which was pushed through the Commons without a debate last Wednesday (9 July), would block anyone not resident in the UK from receiving legal aid. This would mean that people who had been wronged by the UK Government – such as victims of rendition and torture – could be shut out of court, unless they are very wealthy.

Jul 15 07:10

Vladimir Putin Interview with Russian news agency ITAR-TASS on the eve of BRICS summit in Brazil

The forthcoming summit’s theme is Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions. Therefore, we will consider the most urgent issues in global politics and the economy, as well as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia,India,China,South Africa) development.

How can this be achieved in practice?

First of all, to develop cooperation in the UN in every possible way, persistently counteract individual states’ attempts to impose on the international community the policy of displacing unwanted regimes and promoting unilateral solutions to crisis situations. We propose to create a mechanism of regular high?level consultations between our foreign ministries on different regional conflicts to agree, where possible, on common positions and joint efforts to ensure their political and diplomatic settlement.

Jul 15 06:57

Check Mating Washington in its Own Backyard with BRICSIANSE

The United States and its closest allies have attempted to isolate Russia and President Vladimir Putin from the world stage. As a result of Western support for the Ukrainian regime that came to power through violence in Kiev, actions taken by Western powers against Russia have included expelling Russia from the G-8 of capitalist powers, the freezing of the assets of Russian government officials and Russian banks, and imposing travel bands on Russian citizens.

Russia and China appear determined that Ukraine and Georgia will be the «line in the sand» for any further encroachments by George Soros- and CIA-led «R2P» revolutions in the Eurasian space. It is also clear that Putin outsmarted Obama in his own backyard.

Jul 15 06:52

What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow?

West Bank Palestinians DO NOT fire rockets, yet there is no sign of an end to their misery and oppression.

The slaughter of innocents is necessary to stop Gaza rocket-fire. That’s what Israel says. “This isn’t about rockets from Gaza,” says Unite.

Unite the Union “calls on the UK government to demand the Israeli government halt its military action and to make it clear that should it fail to do so then a move for international sanctions will be launched within the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.”

Jul 15 00:45

What is Drip and how, precisely, will it help the government ruin your life? The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill is the most tedious outrage ever, right down to the dreary acronym

But nonetheless, a close, careful examination of the Drip bill's various clauses and sub-clauses reveals alarming consequences for the average Joe, namely these:

? You'll have to shout all your Google searches aloud while you type them.

Under the bill, any citizen conducting a Google search will be required to simultaneously bellow every word they type at the top of their voice, loud enough for the neighbours to hear. Any neighbour who supplies the authorities with information leading to a conviction automatically wins an iPad Air. It's the cheapest, most comprehensive mass surveillance system ever designed.

? Every child born after August 2014 will, at birth, have one of its parents replaced by an undercover police officer.

Jul 15 00:41

GCHQ has tools to manipulate online information, leaked documents show

The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has developed sophisticated tools to manipulate online polls, spam targets with SMS messages, track people by impersonating spammers and monitor social media postings, according to newly-published documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents – which were published on First Look Media with accompanying analysis from Glenn Greenwald – disclose a range of GCHQ "effects" programs aimed at tracking targets, spreading information, and manipulating online debates and statistics.

The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days' debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

Jul 14 18:34

British executive salaries surpass average worker's ‘over 160 times’

As income inequality in the UK continues to rise, executive paychecks are a startling 162 times higher than the salaries of average British workers, according to research conducted by a British think-tank.

This growing disparity in pay is compounded by a recent 15 percent rise in salary for the UK’s top earning managers. A new report published by the High Pay Centre (HPC) has urged the government to take swift and “radical action” to address this widening gap, by demanding that firms cap executive salaries at a set ratio of those earned by their lowest paid staff members.

Jul 14 16:03

Couple aged 84 and 75 are living rough in a bus stop after being evicted by their landlord - because they don't have debit cards and don't use internet banking

It is understood the couple, who have asked not to be named, lost their home because they were unable to pay their rent following changes to how their pensions are paid.

The payments are made electronically into bank accounts, but the couple don't use debit or credit cards and are not familiar with internet banking, so have not been able to access their funds.

As a result they have been homeless while the matter gets resolved.

Jul 14 14:35

What if Hamas dumped all its rockets?

Stuart Littlewood argues that the Israelis’ current umpteenth aggression against the people of Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas’s primitive rockets and everything to do with racial domination and land theft.

Jul 14 10:13

Craig Murray explains how UK child abusers with the right connections have acted with impunity

Hysteria versus Impunity

It is a mystery why the Observer failed to name Lord Greville Janner as the paedophile abusing boys from care homes. The facts of this particular boy’s continued molestation, and the existence of the letters to him from Janner, have been public knowledge for decades. I can only presume that Britain’s appalling libel laws, which function solely to protect the very rich from exposure of their misdeeds, are the reason for the Observer’s reticence. My own view is that the gross suppression of freedom of speech in the UK has been insufficiently considered as a major reason for the impunity which the wealthy and the powerful have enjoyed for so long.

Janner of course was for decades the leading spokesman for Zionism in this country. His response to the last major massacre of Palestinians in Gaza was to visit an Israeli settlement and blame Hamas rocket attacks. It is interesting to contrast Janner’s protection by the media with the case of David Mellor. For decades the media knew that Janner buggered boys from care homes, and did nothing about it. He remained the whole time the chosen spokesman for UK Zionism.

Jul 14 09:51

'It defies belief': Snowden condemns UK’s new surveillance bill

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has denounced the UK’s emergency surveillance bill, criticizing its heightened powers of intrusion along with the distinct lack of public debate it encompassed.

During an exclusive interview in Moscow with the Guardian, the whistleblower suggested it was highly unusual for a state to process legislation so hastily other than at a time of acutely endangered national security.

Jul 14 08:13

Britain Buys Water Cannons; Fears Civil Unrest From Government Workers

he British government has just invested in water cannons because they are fearing the rising tide of civil unrest as austerity is forcing the reduction of state workers and their pensions. I have been warning that unemployment will rise, but this time it is going to flow more so from the state and municipal workers. In the UK, hundreds of thousands have took to the streets to protest against the austerity measures of the government. Prime Minister Cameron has no choice for this is the collapse of socialism. Those who think I am anti-poor or whatever, are missing the point. It is the rising cost of government that is out of control and NO LEVEL of tax increase can reverse this trend.

Jul 14 07:48

Save Gaza Today; Tomorrow May Be Too Late!

As Israel is set for a ground invasion of Gaza, the alarming call of a Holy War is heard from an Israeli commander who tells his soldiers that they are engaged in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God. Jewish extremism has always been concealed, and with it, the dangers. But the threat is very real – and very well understood even by those supporting this growing danger.

World leaders have warned that the conflict could engulf the entire region, but Israel is not heeding their warnings. Perhaps Netanyahu is smug in the knowledge that even if all in the region (and beyond) perish, Israeli Jews, or at least some, will be safe in its Site 911.Site 911, funded by America, due for completion soon.

With the growing extremism in Israeli military, their “holy wars” and nukes, it is not just Gaza that is burning – this is a war on humanity and perhaps even human race. If we do not stop it today, tomorrow may be too late.

Jul 14 07:35

Margaret Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers

Margaret Thatcher personally covered up child abuse allegations made against one of her senior ministers, according to explosive new claims.

The Sunday People reports Tory Prime Minister is said to have held a high-powered meeting with the rising star, who was being tipped for promotion, and told him: “You have to clean up your sexual act.”

It followed an allegation that the minister had sexually abused young boys at the home of one of his political allies in 1982.

However the minister apparently ignored the warnings.

It is claimed that four years later he was spotted by police seeking young boys for sex at Victoria railway station in London.

But no action was taken.

Jul 14 07:26

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Toast with a Pint of Thornbridge Ale and Then Drink Until He Pukes

That up there happened yesterday in London. Similar marches occurred all over Great Britain. It's a strike and protest from anywhere between 500,000 and a million workers (depending on who's counting) in unions for teachers, firefighters, and other civil servants in response to the government's offer of a contract that gave them a 1% raise after wages were frozen in 2010. As huge trade union Unison put it, "The current government offer leaves most workers with pay worth almost 20% less than in 2010. Falling pay also means loss of pension for the rest of your life."

Jul 14 07:06

Butler-Sloss steps down as head of UK child abuse inquiry over conflict of interest accusations

Retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss has stepped down as head of a probe into child sex abuse saying she was "not the right person" for the job.

Downing Street said "it was entirely her decision" and a new chair would be appointed within days.

Lady Butler-Sloss has been under pressure to quit from MPs and victims concerned about her family links.

Her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, was attorney general in the 1980s.

Lady Butler-Sloss said she "did not sufficiently consider" whether her family links would cause difficulties in the inquiry.

Jul 14 07:05

Sainsbury’s £592m pension deficit poses a 'material risk to business’

The retailer is one of six FTSE 100 companies whose disclosed pension liabilities are now larger than its equity market value

Jul 14 07:03

GCHQ tribunal hears civil liberties legal challenge

?Civil liberties groups are making a legal challenge against the alleged use of mass surveillance by UK intelligence services.

The tribunal follows revelations about UK and US surveillance practices by former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. The groups involved intend to challenge the legality of alleged “interception, collection and use of communications” by GCHQ.

Jul 14 05:20

GCHQ data collection safeguards inadequate, tribunal told Human rights groups bring ground-breaking case against government at investigatory powers tribunal

Safeguards surrounding GCHQ's collection of vast quantities of online data are inadequate and do not conform to the law, a tribunal hearing complaints about mass surveillance has been told.

The ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) is the result of revelations by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

It has been brought by Privacy International, Liberty, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of other overseas human rights groups.

Matthew Ryder QC, for Liberty and other human rights groups, told the tribunal: "Our challenge is against the legal framework which we say is inadequate and not in accordance with the law.

Jul 14 05:13

Edward Snowden: rush to pass British surveillance law is extraordinary – video

The NSA whistleblower questions the need for emergency legislation in an exclusive Guardian interview, saying the move mirrors a hastily introduced US law in 2007, and asks whether it would 'really be so costly' to take time to debate the issue

Watch the full interview on Thursday 17 July 2014

Jul 14 05:10

Lady Butler-Sloss stands down from child-abuse inquiry

Hours after the former solicitor general Vera Baird called on Butler-Sloss to stand down because her brother served as attorney general in the 1980s, when reports of child abuse were allegedly not examined properly, the former judge issued a statement announcing that she would withdraw from the post.

Butler-Sloss said she had been honoured to be invited to chair the inquiry. But she added: "It has become apparent over the last few days, however, that there is a widespread perception, particularly among victim and survivor groups, that I am not the right person to chair the inquiry. It has also become clear to me that I did not sufficiently consider whether my background and the fact my brother had been attorney general would cause difficulties."

Jul 14 04:52

Cameron announces 1.1 billion pounds investment in defence equipment

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced 1.1 billion pounds ($1.87 billion) in military spending on Monday aimed at bolstering the country's Special Forces and improving the radar on its Typhoon fighter jets.

The spending will include 800 million pounds in investment in "Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance", the prime minister's office said in a statement.

Jul 14 00:10

An Open Letter to Wall Street Journal from a Palestinian Woman

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Media Relations Specialist Amani Al-Khatahtbeh responds to Bret Stephens’ racist column “Where are the Palestinian Women?” in the Wall Street Journal last week. Stephens makes the assertion that all Palestinian mothers want to raise their sons to be martyrs. In a condescending comparison to Israeli society, he goes on to say that he has “yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers.”

Al-Khatahtbeh responds, “Actually, every Israeli mother is legally obligated by the Israeli government to enter her sons and daughters into an institution that systematically kidnaps and murders. It’s [called] the Israeli Defense Force.”
Read her full response to Stephens in her column, “An Open Letter to Wall Street Journal from a Palestinian Woman” here...

Jul 14 00:07

The Unfolding of Yinon’s “Zionist Plan for the Middle East”: The Crisis in Iraq and the Centrality of the National Interest of Israel

“The Unfolding of Yinon’s ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’: The Crisis in Iraq and the Centrality of the National Interest of Israel,” illustrates how the ethno-sectarian fragmentation and internecine warfare between Shiites and Sunnis is in line with the Yinon plan to enhance Israel’s security and was ignited by the neocon-inspired US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Netanyahu and the neocons currently view Iran as a greater threat in the Middle East than ISIS, and while they advocate US military intervention,they emphasize that such intervention should not empower Iran, notes Stephen Sniegoski.

Jul 13 23:51

Exclusive: Interview with Bashar al-Jaafari

Excerpts from the Exclusive PRESS TV interview with Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations:

There is an awakening in the west he said, but a very shy awakening and people are aware that there is something wrong in the calculations of the American Administration...

You (President Obama) cannot on the one hand pledge Five hundred million dollars to help the so-called "moderate" Syrian opposition and on the other hand two days later state that the coalition is not a reliable political force. This contradiction speaks for itself he stressed.

There is no armed moderate opposition in Syria. Arming terrorists in Syria, is like arming terrorists in Libya, or arming terrorists in Iraq.

Jul 13 18:36

Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill

The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has condemned the new surveillance bill being pushed through the UK's parliament this week, expressing concern about the speed at which it is being done, lack of public debate, fear-mongering and what he described as increased powers of intrusion.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Moscow, Snowden said it was very unusual for a public body to pass an emergency law such as this in circumstances other than a time of total war. "I mean we don't have bombs falling. We don't have U-boats in the harbour."

Suddenly it is a priority, he said, after the government had ignored it for an entire year. "It defies belief."

Jul 13 14:14

New Edward Snowden Video: Rush to pass British surveillance law is extraordinary

The NSA whistleblower questions the need for emergency legislation in an exclusive Guardian interview,

Jul 13 09:15

Fat cat bosses getting fatter: Pay rocketed 15% for top 100, report reveals

Bosses of Britain’s biggest firms saw their pay soar by 15% last year, a report has revealed.

The average FTSE 100 chief executive got a £4.72million pay package – taking two days to earn what a typical worker on £26,500 gets in a year.

The figure, up from £4.1million in 2012, includes pay, pension and long-term bonuses that were cashed in last year.

It came as millions of ordinary Britons endured pay freezes or pitiful wage increases.

Jul 13 08:47

US to build mysterious ‘Site 911? in Israel

The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named “Site 911,” at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv.

What’s the purpose of Site 911? I asked the Pentagon on Tuesday, and the Corps on Wednesday said that only an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman could provide an answer.

That sounds like a secure command center. The purpose of Site 911 is far less clear.

Jul 13 08:41

Exclusive: Interview with Bashar al-Jaafari

Excerpts from the Exclusive PRESS TV interview with Bashar al-Jaafari,Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations:

There is an awakening in the west he said, but a very shy awakening and people are aware that there is something wrong in the calculations of the American Administration…

You (President Obama) cannot on the one hand pledge Five hundred million dollars to help the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition and on the other hand two days later state that the coalition is not a reliable political force. This contradiction speaks for itself he stressed.

There is no armed moderate opposition in Syria. Arming terrorists in Syria, is like arming terrorists in Iraq, or arming terrorists in Libya or Egypt or elsewhere.

Jul 13 07:47

Dark Secrets of Westminster: Challenging British Elite Paedophile ‘Ring of Silence’

It is one of the most heinous and nasty crimes imaginable, yet, it’s been sanctioned and protected at the highest levels of the police, judiciary, corporations and in politics. It is also one of the most effective methods used to control politicians and bureaucrats through institutionalised blackmail and coercion. Children are the first casualty in this seedy game, followed by the public – who suffer from dysfunctional political decision-making done under duress.

Jul 13 06:59

'Npower took £25,000 from our account'

For almost seven years, Mike and Suzanne Walker dutifully paid their energy bills and provided regular meter readings.

The couple, both 65 and semi-retired, had in 2007 asked npower to supply gas and electricity to Langfield Manor, the guesthouse they run in Bude, Cornwall. They were perfect customers. Yet despite paying by direct debit and keeping close tabs on their meters, the couple received a letter from npower last October saying that there was a discrepancy in their bills. Weeks later, the energy giant removed £25,300 from the couple’s business account without warning.

It transpired that npower had, for the seven years, ignored the six-digit electricity reading sent by the Walkers, using only the first five digits to calculate bills.

Jul 13 06:58

Margaret Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers

Margaret Thatcher personally covered up child abuse ­allegations made against one of her senior ministers, according to explosive new claims.

The Sunday People reports Tory Prime Minister is said to have held a high-powered meeting with the rising star, who was being tipped for promotion, and told him: “You have to clean up your sexual act.”

It followed an allegation that the minister had sexually abused young boys at the home of one of his political allies in 1982.

However the minister apparently ignored the warnings.

It is claimed that four years later he was spotted by police seeking young boys for sex at Victoria railway station in London.

But no action was taken.

Jul 13 05:51

Top Tory's devastating attack on our loss of privacy: This data law has nothing to do with catching terrorists - and everything to do with a lust for power

The last time the main parties got together in a closed room, did a deal and told the country there was a need to act urgently, we were on the edge of abandoning 300 years of press freedom.

This time our privacy is under threat. In the name of security, the Government is fast-tracking legislation through Parliament that will allow it to collect huge quantities of our personal data.

We would do well to remember the advice of Ben Franklin: ‘Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

The Government has engineered a ‘theatrical emergency’ – in this case terrorism and hidden paedophile rings – to ram the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill through Parliament without proper debate.

It is an insult to the supremacy of Parliament, to democracy and to the trust of the public.

Jul 13 05:43

I was asked to find underage boys for sex at drink and drug-fuelled Tory party conferences, claims former activist

Senior Tory politicians took part in drink and drug-fuelled sex parties with underage boys during seaside conferences, it was claimed today.

Former activist Anthony Gilberthorpe says he was handed cash and told to ‘fetch entertainment’ - code for young boys – by members of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

But the claims were today rejected as ‘tittle-tattle’ by former Conservative minister David Mellor, who insisted those named were dead and unable to defend themselves.

Jul 13 01:13

Emails shed new light on UK link to CIA 'torture flights' Police given crucial logs about Diego Garcia's role in rendition programme when it was allegedly used as a secret prison

Crucial logs revealing flights to a British overseas territory when it was allegedly used as a secret US prison are in the possession of the police, the Observer has learned.

The revelation has raised concerns about why, despite repeated demands, details of the flights have not been shared with lawyers and MPs, who for years have been investigating the role played by Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian ocean, in the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme.

A Whitehall official was photographed last week carrying documents marked "sensitive" confirming that the logs recording details of planes landing and taking off at the atoll have been handed to detectives. The documents, a series of printed emails and handwritten notes made by the official, reveal internal Foreign Office discussions about the line to take in response to questions about the British territory raised by lawyers and MPs.

Jul 12 14:16

Child abusers in the Home Office: Amid the growing furore over a cover-up of a paedophile ring at the heart of Westminster, an expose of the true extent of the scandal

Perhaps the most chilling contribution to this appalling literary enterprise could, however, be found in its final pages.

There sat a biographical essay by Steven Adrian Smith, a man who had achieved notoriety as the chairman of PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) from 1979 onwards.

Over the course of roughly a dozen pages, Smith told an extraordinary tale.

It described how he had managed, for almost four years, to secretly run the child sex organisation from a small room at the London headquarters of the Home Office, where he worked.

‘PIE did actually have an office in Westminster,’ he gloated, ‘and it was only a smirk away from the desk of the Home Secretary.’

Astonishingly, Smith revealed that, from 1979, he was able not just to gain employment at the Home Office, but also spend most of his (publicly-funded) working day discreetly running PIE affairs from his desk there.

Jul 12 14:07

Butler-Sloss 'kept claims of bishop’s abuse quiet because she did not want the allegations to surface as she "cared about the Church"'

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has helped expose claims paedophiles were operating in Westminster in past decades, renewed his call for her (i.e. Baroness Butler-Sloss) to step down as chairman of the new inquiry.

Her appointment has already come under fire as she is the brother-in-law of Sir Michael Havers, a former Attorney General in the 1980s – when the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

Her comments were reportedly made in 2011 during a meeting at the House of Lords with Phil Johnson, who suffered assaults by a number of clergymen when he was a choirboy in the Church of England Diocese of Chichester.

Jul 12 09:02

Jean-Claude Juncker tells Britain: There is NO hope of limiting immigrants into UK

Jean-Claude Juncker said EU member states could combat abuse of their systems but the basic right of workers to be able to move around the union was fundamental and not up for negotiation.

He was quizzed in the European Parliament by members of the UK Independence Party and its sister eurosceptic parties including from Italy and Sweden as part of his campaign to win MEPs' support as next Commission president.

David Cameron last month tried to block Mr Juncker's nomination for the post by the EU's 28 member governments, arguing the former Luxembourg PM was a politician of the past and a pro-centraliser who could not deliver the reforms Europe needed.

Jul 12 09:00

Diego Garcia: Investigation into Government complicity in CIA programme is 'expedient on grounds of national security', says senior MP

A senior MP has called for a far reaching investigation into the extent of British complicity in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme, following the revelation that flight records from the Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia have been lost.

Andrew Tyrie, a leading campaigner for British accountability on extraordinary rendition, said the admission on Wednesday by the Foreign Office that flight logs for American aircraft using the UK-owned island had been destroyed meant the “full truth” of whether there was British knowledge of the practice may now never be known.

The Conservative MP and chairman of the Commons’ Treasury select committee tabled the question which lead to FCO ministers admitting that flight records for 2002 - the only year in which Washington has admitted extraordinary rendition flights landed in Diego Garcia - had been partially lost due to “water damage”.

Jul 12 08:25

The London 7/7 Bombings: Big Questions Never Asked, Let Alone Answered

When the government’s so-called ‘narrative’ was published in May 2006 researchers immediately spotted glaring errors with the alleged bombers journey into London. Home Secretary John Reid was forced into the House of Commons to announce that the train the police said they caught did not run that morning. Although the official story had it they were ‘clean skins,’ it later transpired MI5 had been following them for years. Those were just two in a series of shameful omissions and embarrassing errors in a police investigation and Home Office narrative with a frighteningly short shelf life.

The London Underground CCTV cameras bristling every few yards on the tube and every bus has several, so why were no CCTV pictures ever produced which showed any of the alleged bombers in or getting onto the bombed trains or bus? Verint Systems, an Israeli firm, won the private CCTV contract five months before the attack but no questions appear to have been asked during their vetting, despite Verint’s group chairman, Kobi Alexander, running off with tens of millions of dollars, wanted by Interpol, the FBI and Wall Street regulators the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Jul 12 07:01

The Mindlessness of a Manifesto

“A liberal world order, like any world order, is something that is imposed, and as much as we in the West might wish it to be imposed by superior virtue, it is generally imposed by superior power” (“Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire: What Our Tired Country Still Owes the World,” Robert Kagan, Brookings Institute. May 26, 2014). This sentence from Kagan’s Neo-Conservative Manifesto reads like so much flotsam in a cesspool of scattered feces. It emanates from a mindless, bloated root chakra that has abandoned all except instinctive self-survival. It is deficient in understanding and wisdom, a mind surviving in an isolated tribe, a being guided only by fear of everlasting victimhood. How does one read this flotsam?

We don’t need to read it, we are witnessing its last throes today in Gaza as the consequences of neo-conservative “superior power” unfurls before the world once again and the desperation of neo-conservative idiocy splashes over the screen for the world to witness.

Jul 12 06:26

CrossTalk: Target-Gaza — Norman Finkelstein

Norman Finkelstein: There’ll be peace and tranquility in the land of Israel when Israel negotiates a settlement of the conflict according to International Law. Everybody is ready for the conflict to end except the lunatics in Tel Aviv.

Regarding Israel’s claim that Hamas was responsible for the abduction and murder of the three Israeli youth, Finkelstein said:The US State Department was asked,do you have any evidence,that Hamas was behind this ?Their response was: “As of now, we don’t have any evidence.”

What’s clear is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has used,exploited,this incident for political purposes… to destroy Hamas, and because he wanted to dismantle the Unity Government. Hamas formed the Unity Government on the terms put forward by the US & the EU, notes Norman Finkelstein.

He also notes:“There have been zero casualties on the Israeli side from the so-called “barrage” of rocket attacks…”

Jul 11 19:39

Hundreds of anti-Israeli demonstrators bring London traffic to a standstill as they scale double-decker bus as they protest outside embassy over Gaza strikes

Hundreds of anti-Israeli demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill in London today after turning out in their droves to call for an end to military strikes on Gaza.

Protesters crowded the streets outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington High Street, west London, and some took it even further by standing on one of the city’s iconic double-decker buses.

Waving placards which read ‘Gaza: End the Siege’ and ‘Freedom for Palestine’, demonstrators chanted and blocked the road as they protested against ‘Israeli aggression’ in the Middle East.

Jul 11 11:38

Watch: Tony Blair – a “peace envoy” or Israeli ambassador? 

Tony Blair is not a Sabbath Goy, he actually works for Israel 24/7.

In this shameless performance on Ynet, Israel’s most popular media outlet, broadcast on 11 July 2014, Blair misses an opportunity to communicate with Israelis and explain to them for the first time the context in which the conflict in Gaza is taking place. Blair obviously prefers not to upset the Israelis.

Bearing in mind the scale of the crimes Blair committed in Iraq on behalf of Israel and the Jewish lobby, his attitude is understandable. Israel is probably the only country that is willing to give him a shelter.
Apparently, in the last seven years, “peace envoy” Blair has visited Gaza only once.

Jul 11 09:31

Westminster 'chumocracy' has protected itself from paedophile revelations, claims Cameron's advisor on child abuse

David Cameron's advisor on child abuse has lashed out at the Westminster 'chumocracy' that has protected itself from allegations of paedophilia.

Tory junior minister Claire Perry said Parliament was full of 'too many people with the same interests and the same out-of-touch sense of entitlement coming together to protect their own'.

Her damning remarks come amid allegations that a paedophile network was operating in Westminster and was being protected by senior politicians.

Jul 11 09:06

Huge public sector strikes hit Britain

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When you choose to live a simpler life, that is austerity. When the government orders you to live a simpler life, that is DICTATORSHIP!

Jul 11 08:10

Tony Blair - a 'Peace Envoy' or an Israeli Ambassador? (must watch)

Tony Blair is not a Sabbath Goy, he actually works for Israel 24/7. In this shameless performance on Ynet (11/7/2014), Israel’s most popular media outlet, Blair misses an opportunity to communicate with Israelis and explain to them for the first time the context in which the conflict is taking place. Blair obviously prefers not to upset the Israelis. Bearing in mind the scale of the crimes Blair committed in Iraq on behalf of Israel and the Jewish Lobby, it is understandable. Israel is probably the only country that is willing to give him a shelter.

Jul 11 05:04

7 things you should know about Diego Garcia and renditions

First the British government denied renditions ever took place through Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean. Then in 2008 it finally admitted the truth. Now, years later, documents relating to a key period have reportedly been accidentally destroyed when they were soaked in water. Here are seven critical points about the affair.
1. Two rendition flights landed on Diego Garcia in 2002, the year covered by the 'lost' documents

The year the drowned documents apparently covered, 2002, is when the UK government admitted that it saw two CIA torture flights land on the island. There is an undeniable stink of the destruction of evidence here. Why, in none of the many prior discussions between MPs and the government about Diego Garcia over the years, was this "water damage" never once mentioned?

Jul 11 05:01

Forcing through the surveillance laws is a further erosion of political trust The secret deal to make law a bill that is in breach of our human rights takes parliament a step further away from the people

In April, when the European court said Britain's data retention laws breached two of our fundamental rights – the right to privacy and the right to protection of personal data – I started to lobby Labour's shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, as to what a possible reform might look like. With surveillance on the agenda like never before following the Guardian's publication of the Edward Snowden revelations, I thought we should draw a line in the sand.

I got no response, so I wrote again in June, this time because security and terrorism chief Charles Farr had for the first time confirmed that GCHQ was conducting the mass surveillance of every British citizen using Google, Facebook and YouTube channels.

In June the Home Office told me that it had no plans to update our data retention regulations in light of the European judgment. Either the Home Office has terrible legal advice, or they were cooking something up behind closed doors. Both should worry us.

Jul 10 21:04

British Government Accused Of 'Cover-up' Over Rendition Files

A director at legal charity Reprieve, which is representing Libyan Abdel Hakim Belhadj who claims he was on a rendition flight through Diego Garcia, has slammed the Foreign Office’s excuse for losing rendition flight records, labelling it a cover-up.

Jul 10 19:29

Get Israel out of the West Bank

So are the people advocating firing rockets in Gaza the same type of ditzy lefties and/or Israeli stooges as the ones in the US Congress ?

To the best of my knowledge, none of the many rockets fired into Israel from Gaza have ever hit a military or police target. Most of them fail, are intercepted, or hit open desert. The few that do hit something hit civilian homes and buildings, doing minimal damage. Casualties inflicted are also few.

What they DO accomplish is to give Israel a minimal pretext which the Israelis greatly exaggerate to “justify” their attacks on Gaza and to solicit funds from the United States.

Jul 10 18:43

F-35 combat jet's UK debut at Fairford Air Tattoo cancelled

The first UK appearance of the combat jet due to be used on Britain's new aircraft carriers has been cancelled.

It was hoped the F-35B Lightning IIs would be at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, Gloucestershire which, starts on Friday.

But last week the entire fleet of F-35's was grounded in the US following an engine fire.

Jul 10 11:31

British public sector workers strike over 'poverty pay'

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers including teachers, council workers and firefighters staged a 24-hour pay strike on Thursday in a stoppage that has prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to pledge a crackdown on union powers.

Jul 10 10:41

Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

The British government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said "smacked of a cover-up", the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were "incomplete due to water damage".

Jul 10 10:16

Experts slam new UK ‘emergency’ snooping law as illegal

As David Cameron secured backing from all three major political parties today to introduce emergency legislation next week that will allow Internet and phone companies to continue keeping of customer metadata, privacy experts have branded the move as illegal.

The new law comes as the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled existing powers were unlawful.

Jul 10 10:02

New disability payments system responsible for deaths in Britain

A new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payments (PIP), brought in by the UK government to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA), has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. In addition, many seriously ill people have been left without a payment months after applying.

Some of those who have applied for PIP are diagnosed with serious degenerative illnesses that are life-threatening and seriously debilitating.

Jul 10 09:48

If the government is monitoring my data, I want to talk it over first

What has the government got to hide? The latest attempt to bring in new surveillance powers, bypassing proper debate and consultation, cannot help but arouse suspicion, in a field where trust is already at a low.

But the message is horribly muddled: the new legislation is apparently in response to a European Court of Justice ruling which found Britain’s current data retention powers illegal, yet Mrs May promises that somehow the status quo will be maintained.

Mike Harris, campaign director for the Don’t Spy On Us coalition of civil liberties group, told me: “The ECJ has said the status quo is illegal, so for Theresa May to claim the government is maintaining the status quo is to say it is maintaining laws that breach human rights. That’s not good enough.”

Harris pointed out that such a muddle would mean any incoming government in 2015 would likely be forced to deal with challenges to the law both at the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

Jul 10 07:38

Jewish Hate of Arabs Proves: Israel Must Undergo Cultural Revolution

Without a revolution based on humanist values, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.

There are no words to describe the horror allegedly done by six Jews to Mohammed Abu Khdeir of Shoafat. Although a gag order bars publication of details of the terrible murder and the identities of its alleged perpetrators, the account of Abu Khdeir’s family — according to which the boy was burned alive — would horrify any mortal. Anyone who is not satisfied with this description, can view the horror movie in which members of Israel’s Border Police are seen brutally beating Tariq Abu Khdeir, the murder victim’s 15-year-old cousin.

Jul 10 07:33

Chomsky, BDS And The Jewish Left Paradigm

The message to the Palestinian Western activists who worked for years to build a dialogue with the Jewish Left is simple and devastating – you went to bed with the wrong people. Trust in the Jewish left killed your resistance and seems to have killed whatever is left of your cause.

The verdict is clear. The occupation is not the problem; it is just a symptom of the problem. The Jewish state is a problem and it is a serious problem. The Jewish Lobby is an even greater problem and it is a global one. And as it seems, even the Jewish Left a la Chomsky is also a grave problem. At the very least it has been an obstacle that prevented the Palestinians from grasping the real context of their struggle.

Jul 10 05:30

Emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records 'to stop terrorists'

Emergency laws will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to hold records of customers’ calls, texts and visits to websites.

The fast-track measures are necessary to defend national security against the terrorist threat from Iraq and Syria, David Cameron said.

The consequences of not acting are “grave”, the Prime Minister said.

The measures are a response to a ruling by the European Court of Justice which struck down regulations that enabled communications companies from retaining data for police use for a year.

Internet and phone companies will soon start deleting it – a move that will have “serious consequences” for police and counter-terror investigations, Downing Street said.

Jul 10 05:13

Emergency powers to be rushed into law to allow MI5 and police to monitor every phone call, text and email

The emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill will be rushed onto the statute book next week, after cross-party talks between Mr Cameron, his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

But critics condemned the 'stitch-up' which will see the laws 'railroaded' through Parliament with little scrutiny.

...

Senior Labour MP Tom Watson condemned the way the laws were being rushed without giving Parliament chance to scrutinise it properly.

‘The government were aware of this European Court of Justice ruling six weeks ago and what we are seeing now is they are railroading through legislation,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘No-one in civic society has got a chance to form a view on this. It’s a stitch-up.

‘It is a secret deal between the three parties and it will go through next week as they have done this deal.’

Jul 10 04:43

'I won't quit', says head of sex abuse inquiry after brother is linked to paedophile cover-up

Baroness Butler-Sloss faced demands to resign hours after appointment

Jul 10 02:52

All cars should have 'Catholic converters': The exam howlers that earn an F in annual competition to find the best gaffes

In future, all cars will be fitted ‘with Catholic converters’, if under-pressure students are to be believed.

The statement, written by a University of Ulster undergraduate in a paper on vehicle emissions, is just one of a string of exam howlers identified by academics during this summer’s marking season.

One topical blooper was entered by Verity Brack, information technology programme director at the University of Sheffield, after a student wrote that Google was ‘one of the two main suppositories of data in the world’.

‘Within these coffeehouses, men from all different parts of the world could interfere with each other’, wrote a student in a paper marked by Andrew Rudd, lecturer in English literature at the University of Exeter.

Jul 10 02:35

UK government to rush through emergency surveillance legislation The move has been prompted by a judicial review claim in the high court that current practice is unlawful

The government will announce that it is rushing through emergency legislation underpinning the state's right to keep personal data held by internet and phone companies.

Labour is expected to accept the bill on the basis that it will simply restore what the government believed to be the law before the European Court of Justice ruled in April that an EU directive on privacy retention had over-reached its powers and amounted to an invasion of privacy.

But, as part of the deal, the opposition has won agreement that ministers will launch a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act passed in 2000. The act is seen as the source of excessive surveillance by the security services.

It is likely that the legislation will be passed through the Commons next week, but the Labour backbench MP Tom Watson said it would be an outrage for such a fundamental potential threat to civil liberties to be announced to the Commons on Thursday when few MPs are likely to be present.

Jul 10 02:33

Emergency surveillance legislation is stitch-up, campaigners say Plan to require telecoms firms and ISPs retain data is result of 'secret deal between party leaders' and has 'no legal basis'

Emergency legislation to allow surveillance of phone calls, text messages and internet usage is a "stitch-up" that is going ahead without proper scrutiny, civil liberties campaigners have said.

The government claims the laws are needed to catch terrorists but the Open Rights Group condemned the plans that would require internet service providers and telecoms companies to retain communications records.

Jim Killock, its executive director, said there was "no legal basis for making internet service providers retain our data so it is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse for getting this law passed".

Ministers say the legislation is necessary because the European court of justice struck down the data retention directive for breaching the rights to privacy and protection of personal data.

Jul 10 02:31

Emergency surveillance law to be brought in with cross-party support

Controversial emergency laws will be introduced into the Commons next Monday to reinforce the powers of security services to require internet and phone companies to keep records of their customers' emails and calls.

The move follows private talks over the past week and the laws will have the support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be a sunset clause and a new board to oversee the functioning of the powers.

Jul 09 22:53

UK Moves to Legalize Mass Surveillance

New bill would reinstate controversial law struck down for invading privacy of citizens.

Jul 09 19:37

Water cannons arrive in London for potential Met deployment

Water cannons have arrived in the UK after being procured by London’s Metropolitan Police for the first time. The three second-hand units were sold to the UK by the German Federal Police, despite a lack of government permission for their use.

London Mayor Boris Johnson spent more than US$370,000 (£218,000) on the water cannons, without waiting for the central government's approval. German police confirmed to the Guardian that the water cannons have now arrived in the UK.

Jul 09 19:33

David Cameron plans to outlaw strike action

David Cameron has announced plans to outlaw strike action in essential services. The announcement comes as as up to two million public sector workers prepare to take part in national strike action.

Jul 09 18:38

Jewish Hate of Arabs Proves: Israel Must Undergo Cultural Revolution

Without a revolution based on humanist values, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.

There are no words to describe the horror allegedly done by six Jews to Mohammed Abu Khdeir of Shoafat. Although a gag order bars publication of details of the terrible murder and the identities of its alleged perpetrators, the account of Abu Khdeir’s family — according to which the boy was burned alive — would horrify any mortal. Anyone who is not satisfied with this description, can view the horror movie in which members of Israel’s Border Police are seen brutally beating Tariq Abu Khdeir, the murder victim’s 15-year-old cousin.

Jul 09 16:44

Statin prescriptions treble in ten years to hit almost 60million: NHS spends £100m handing out pills to seven million Britons

And this is set to rise further after next week, when it is thought that the health watchdog will urge GPs to offer many more patients statins to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

...

But many leading doctors remain sceptical about their benefits and point out that they could lead to type 2 diabetes and debilitating muscle pain.

...

It has also emerged that six of the panel of 12 experts drawing up NICE’s guidelines have financial ties to firms which make statins or similar drugs.

Jul 09 16:36

Ending the “Passionate Attachment” Allies in the Medieval-Modern Struggle

A fairly accurate summary by Harry Clark.

US diplomats, military and intelligence officers, politicians, academics and journalists critical of the US-Israel relationship,in Washington and elsewhere gathered On March 7, 2014 with other critics in Washington, at the Washington DC National Press Club for a “National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Special Relationship.” The event was organized by the Council for the National Interest, If Americans Knew, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. It was a full day of six panels with a total of 25 speakers. Despite the full program moderators kept the event on schedule. The ballroom of the National Press Club was filled, and the event was broadcast live on C-Span. Video of each panel and separate audio for each speaker, and near-complete transcripts, are at the IRMEP program page and the natsummit.org page. The proceedings survey Israel’s influence and its damage to the US.

Jul 09 16:33

Ex-Home Office worker says taxpayer's money was given to paedophile group

A former civil servant has insisted the Home Office did give grants to a paedophile group - and the payments were sanctioned by the police.

Tim Hulbert, who worked in the department’s Voluntary Services Unit which was responsible for distributing cash awards to community groups, said the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) did receive taxpayers’ money from the Home Office.

He added that the grants to PIE were made on the orders of the Special Branch.

Mr Hulbert’s account raises the prospect of the grants being in some way related to police infiltration of PIE, which was affiliated to Liberty, the civil rights group, and ultimately disbanded in 1984.

It also contradicts an official Home Office report, published earlier this week, which said the department had not “directly or indirectly” funded PIE, even though more than £470,000 was given to groups linked to it between 1974 and 1984.

Jul 09 14:45

Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister Rights groups say FCO claim records of flights in and out of Diego Garcia missing due to water damage 'smacks of cover-up'

The government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said "smacked of a cover-up", the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were "incomplete due to water damage".

The claim comes amid media reports in the US that a Senate report due to be published later this year identifies Diego Garcia as a location where the CIA established a secret prison as part of its extraordinary rendition programme. According to one report, classified CIA documents state that the prison was established with the "full cooperation" of the UK government.

Jul 09 12:01

Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

It also comes at a time when MPs are demanding the Home Office urgently provide more information about 114 "missing" files that could have contained information about an alleged child abuse

Jul 09 11:47

Files on UK Government Involvement in CIA Rendition Program "Accidentally Destroyed"

The government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said "smacked of a cover-up", the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were "incomplete due to water damage".

Jul 09 11:27

UK moves to legalize mass surveillance

NEW BILL WOULD REINSTATE CONTROVERSIAL LAW STRUCK DOWN FOR INVADING PRIVACY OF CITIZENS

Jul 09 11:14

Brother of child abuse inquiry judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was accused of 'cover up'

The brother of the judge in charge of the Government’s inquiry into allegations of an establishment paedophile ring refused to prosecute a paedophile diplomat caught exchanging obscene material.

Sir Michael Havers, the late brother of Baroness Butler-Sloss, was accused of a “white-wash” after he backed a decision not to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman.

Jul 09 11:12

Former chair of Paedophile Information Exchange claims he hid material in 'locked cabinets' at the Home Office

A convicted sex offender and former leader of a pro-paedophile campaign group has claimed he stored material at the Home Office.

Steven Adrian Smith worked as an electrical contractor at the offices on Queen Anne’s Gate in Westminster during the 19070s and 1980s.

At the time he was chair of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which was set up in the 1976 and lobbied politicians for the effective abolition of the legal age of consent.

Smith was given an indeterminate jail sentence three years ago for possessing indecent images of children.

Jul 09 11:06

Tories hope child abuse inquiry will divert gaze from top

The Tories hope that the announcement of a panel of inquiry into how allegations of child abuse were handled will get them past the election.

Public bodies will be subject to a sweeping investigation into how they dealt with child abuse allegations.

These include the police, schools, churches, BBC and parliament.

Jul 09 07:31

Britain was Syria's only supplier of three chemicals used to make deadly nerve agent sarin

British companies sold chemicals used to make lethal nerve agent sarin to Syria in the 1980s, ministers will admit today.

In the week that the US has started the process of destroy Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, it has emerged that the UK supplied the country with key elements for making them.

It is a major embarrassment for the British government, after condemning the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime during the bloody three-year civil war.

Jul 09 06:32

Butler-Sloss's child abuse role in doubt as conflict of interest row grows Former high court judge criticised over fact her brother Lord Havers was attorney-general at time of some of controversy

Opposition to the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss as chair of the panel of inquiry into child abuse is growing at Westminster with lawyers and key MPs, including the new chair of the health select committee, urging her to stand aside.

She has been criticised on the basis that her brother, the late Lord Havers, was attorney general at the time some of the controversy over the failure to prosecute child abuse cases may have occurred.

The former high court judge insisted she had been unaware of reports that her brother tried to prevent ex-MP Geoffrey Dickens airing claims about a diplomat in parliament in the 1980s.

**Government appoints a paedophiles SISTER as the high court judge in charge of the Inquiry - OMG!!

Jul 08 19:17

We're paying for Fred the Shred's £500k legal defence: Taxpayers fork out huge sum on disgraced bank boss despite case having not even reached court yet

Taxpayers have forked out almost half a million pounds in legal fees to defend disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin, it emerged last night.

Costs of £400,000 have already been racked up by law firms representing four former directors of the bank against a lawsuit brought by its shareholders – even though the case has still not reached court.

If it does, the final bill will run to millions of pounds.

Mr Goodwin’s legal fees are being paid by the bank, despite the fact he draws a £342,500-a-year pension.

Jul 08 16:35

There may have been establishment cover-up of child abuse claims to 'protect the system', says Lord Tebbit

Ex-Tory party chairman says it was 'more important to protect the system'
Says it was 'spectacularly wrong' because the abuses have 'grown'
Government says 114 secret files on paedophile cases have gone missing

Jul 08 12:21

UK Moves to Legalize Mass Surveillance

The UK government is pushing to pass an emergency law that would allow for storing and tracking the public's phone calls, text messages, and internet use.

The bill, which is set for inter-party reforms later this week and is expected to pass, was created as a response to alleged domestic terrorism threats — although the validity of these threats and the likeliness of an attack are uncertain. Recruitment propaganda and videos of alleged war crimes by British citizens in Syria that surfaced on social media this year have helped fuel speculation and reports of radicalization on the home front. However, former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove said Tuesday that recent fears of extremism in the West have been overblown by governments and media, with most terrorist activity having been refocused into the Middle East.

Jul 08 11:35

1,000 UK workers protest low wages

More than 1,000 workers struck at Argos distribution centres around Britain on Thursday of last week.

The Unite union members are angry at attacks on their terms and conditions.

Jul 08 09:53

Westminster's dirt book: How Government whips covered-up MPs' 'scandals involving small boys' in exchange for loyalty

A senior former Tory MP boasted about how Edward Heath’s government could cover up scandals involving them and ‘small boys’.

Tim Fortescue revealed how the whip’s office, which rules over MPs for the party leadership, would try to ‘get a chap out of trouble’ in return for loyalty. He served as a whip between 1970 and 1973.

Mr Heath himself pioneered the keeping of a ‘dirt book’ about MPs' private lives to turn to his political advantage.

Mr Fortescue's extraordinary comments from a 1995 documentary emerged as Theresa May said political parties would be included in a wide-ranging inquiry into allegations of child abuse in every part of British society.

Jul 08 09:50

Why isn't Labour offering an alternative to Tory austerity?

For four years the Tories have attacked workers’ living standards and devastated public services with cuts and privatisation. They threaten to go even further in the next parliament.

As TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady put it at the Unite union policy conference earlier this month, “They want to finish what Margaret Thatcher started.”

And for trade union leaders such as O’Grady, the way to stop them is to make sure that Labour wins next year’s general election. She argued, “If the Tories win, the consequences will be horrific”.

Jul 08 09:33

Now taxman wants to trawl a YEAR of your bank statements under powers to raid bank accounts goes for unpaid tax

The taxman wants to be given access to 12 months of personal spending under new powers to raid bank accounts for thousands of pounds.

MPs said they were ‘horrified’ by the plans which they claimed would go against the 800-year-old Magna Carta charter.

Bosses from HM Revenue and Customs were savaged by the Treasury select committee for demanding the power to dip into private bank accounts to recoup less than £100million-a-year.

Jul 08 07:40

Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot

Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive "regime change" in another Arab country they accused of spreading terror and threatening the west's oil supplies, by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.

Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-western neighbours, and then to "eliminate" the most influential triumvirate in Damascus.

The plans, frighteningly frank in their discussion, were discovered in the private papers of Duncan Sandys, Mr Macmillan's defence secretary, by Matthew Jones, a reader in international history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Jul 08 07:39

57 Years Ago: U.S. and Britain Approved Use of Islamic Extremists to Topple Syrian Government

BBC reports that – in 1957 – the British and American leaders approved the use of Islamic extremists and false flag attacks to topple the Syrian government:

Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive “regime change” in another Arab country… by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.

Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 [former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom] Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbours, and then to “eliminate” the most influential triumvirate in Damascus.

Jul 08 05:26

Palestinian Boy Burned to Death

The conflict derives from a military occupation in which thugs on the occupiers’ side of the conflict are allowed to increasingly spin out of control, roaming streets and forests to brutalize a captive population whose only weapons are stones and largely ineffective rockets.

The horrific stories of this past week recall a development in the struggle for justice in Life Getty ImagesApril, 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was confined in the Birmingham city jail. King, (right) and several colleagues had been arrested for demonstrating against racial segregation.

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