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Tag Archive: Government of the United Kingdom


Gibson inquiry concludes UK government and intelligence agencies had been involved in so-called rendition operations
Andrew Tyrie

Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP: ‘It is deeply shocking that Britain facilitated kidnap and torture’. Photograph: Felix Clay

Former government ministers and intelligence chiefs face a series of disturbing questions over the UK’s involvement in the abduction and torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11, an official inquiry has concluded.

In a damning report that swept aside years of denials, the Gibson inquiry concluded that the British government and its intelligence agencies had been involved in so-called rendition operations, in which detainees were kidnapped and flown around the globe, and had interrogated detainees who they knew were being mistreated.

MI6 officers were informed that they were under no obligation to report breaches of the Geneva conventions; intelligence officers appear to have taken advantage of the abuse of detainees; and Jack Straw, as foreign secretary, had suggested that the law might be amended to allow suspects to be rendered to the UK.

After examining about 20,000 documents which outlined allegations involving around 200 detainees, the chair of the inquiry, Sir Peter Gibson, and his team raised 27 questions that they said would need to be answered if the full truth about the way in which Britain waged its so-called war on terror was to be established – and the heads of MI5 and MI6 were told they have a month to respond.

The questions include:

• Did UK intelligence officers turn a blind eye to “specific, inappropriate techniques or threats” used by others and use this to their advantage in interrogations?

• If so, was there “a deliberate or agreed policy” between UK officers and overseas intelligence officers?

• Did the government and its agencies become “inappropriately involved in some renditions”?

• Was there a willingness, “at least at some levels within the agencies, to condone, encourage or take advantage of a rendition operation”?

The report also questions whether MI5 and MI6 provided the intelligence and security committee (ISC) with accurate, complete information about the mistreatment of detainees in the past, “or sometimes whether they were notified at all”.

However, the answers will be provided not to Gibson, but to the ISC, the secretive Westminster cross-party body that is supposed to provide oversight of the agencies. After promising for more than three years that an independent judge-led inquiry would examine the many allegations that the intelligence agencies face, the government announced on Thursday that it was handing the investigation over to the ISC.

That decision was immediately condemned by human rights groups who said that instead of drawing a line under the episode, the government was exposing itself to the allegation that it was engaging in a cover-up.

As a result of the decision to hand over to the ISC, it remains unclear whether any of the answers to Gibson’s 27 questions will ever be made public. The committee’s hearings are almost always behind closed doors, and its reports are censored before publication, in consultation with the agencies upon which it reports.

“It is deeply shocking that Britain facilitated kidnap and torture,” Andrew Tyrie, a Tory backbencher and chairman of the Treasury select committee, told MPs. “The decision to abandon this judge-led inquiry will come to be seen as a mistake.”

Tyrie said that an investigation by the ISC will never command public confidence, a criticism that was echoed by human rights groups. Amnesty International said: “Handing the investigation over to the ISC raises the prospect that much of the truth may remain buried.” Human Rights Watch said: “The ISC has neither the independence nor the transparency to carry out such an important task.”

Cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke told MPs that the inquiry’s report paints a picture of government and intelligence agencies struggling to adapt to the new realities faced in the wake of 9/11 and said it was a matter of “sincere regret” if “mistakes and failures were made”.

“It is now clear that our agencies and their staff were in some respects not prepared for the extreme demands suddenly placed upon them,” he said.

 

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NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files

A threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the files leaked by Edward Snowden led to a symbolic act at the Guardian’s offices in London

The remains of the hard disc and Macbook that held information leaked by Edward Snowden to the Guardian and was destroyed at the behest of the UK government. The remains of a computer that held files leaked by Edward Snowden to the Guardian and destroyed at the behest of the UK government. Photograph: Roger Tooth


Guardian editors on Tuesday revealed why and how the newspaper destroyed computer hard drives containing copies of some of the secret files leaked by Edward Snowden.

The decision was taken after a threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the extent of American and British government surveillance revealed by the documents.

It resulted in one of the stranger episodes in the history of digital-age journalism. On Saturday 20 July, in a deserted basement of the Guardian‘s King’s Cross offices, a senior editor and a Guardian computer expert used angle grinders and other tools to pulverise the hard drives and memory chips on which the encrypted files had been stored.

As they worked they were watched by technicians from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who took notes and photographs, but who left empty-handed.

The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, had earlier informed government officials that other copies of the files existed outside the country and that the Guardian was neither the sole recipient nor steward of the files leaked by Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. But the government insisted that the material be either destroyed or surrendered.

Twelve days after the destruction of the files the Guardian reported on US funding of GCHQ eavesdropping operations and published a portrait of working life in the British agency’s huge “doughnut” building in Cheltenham. Guardian US, based and edited in New York, has also continued to report on evidence of NSA co-operation with US telecommunications corporations to maximise the collection of data on internet and phone users around the world.

The British government has attempted to step up its pressure on journalists, with the detention in Heathrow on Sunday of David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, who has led the Guardian’s US reporting on the files.

Miranda was detained for nine hours under a section of legislation enacted in 2000 aimed at terrorists. The use of this measure – which applies only to airports and ports – meant the normal protection for suspects in the UK, including journalists,  did not apply.

The initial UK attempts to stop reporting on the files came two weeks after the publication of the first story based on Snowden’s leaks, about a secret US court order obliging the communications corporation Verizon to hand over data on its customers’ phone usage. This was followed by a story detailing how GCHQ was making use of data collected by the NSA‘s internet monitoring programme, Prism.

Days later the paper published another story revealing how UK intelligence spied on British allies at two London summits.

Shortly afterwards two senior British officials arrived at the Guardian’s offices to see Rusbridger and his deputy, Paul Johnson. They were cordial but made it clear they came on high authority to demand the immediate surrender of all the Snowden files in the Guardian’s possession.

They argued that the material was stolen and that a newspaper had no business holding on to it. The Official Secrets Act was mentioned but not threatened. At this stage officials emphasised they preferred a low-key route rather than go to court.

The Guardian editors argued that there was a substantial public interest in the hitherto unknown scale of government surveillance and the collaboration with technology and telecoms companies, particularly given the apparent weakness of parliamentary and judicial oversight.

There was no written threat of any legal moves.

After three weeks which saw the publication of several more articles on both sides of the Atlantic about GCHQ and NSA internet and phone surveillance, British government officials got back in touch and took a sterner approach.

“You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back,” one of them said.

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British government forces the Guardian to destroy Snowden files

RTAmerica RTAmerica

Published on Aug 20, 2013

The British government has given the Guardian newspaper an ultimatum: delete all data on Edward Snowden’s leaks or risk getting shut down. A few months ago, Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald revealed the NSA’s massive surveillance program through the media outlet and now many see the government’s move as retaliation for the leaks. Alan Rusbridger, editor for the Guardian, justified why they chose to comply with the government’s request, and Josh Levy, Internet campaign director for Free Press, joins us with his take on the British government’s request.

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Guardian editor on Miranda detention: ‘Terror and journalism being aligned’

Published time: August 21, 2013 03:02
Edited time: August 21, 2013 08:54

>Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.(Reuters / Andrew Winning)

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.(Reuters / Andrew Winning)

The UK government created a “lawless bit of Britain” under the terror act which suspends all checks and balances, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said in an interview, adding that the paper is financing David Miranda’s lawsuit against the Home Office.

Rusbridger called ports and airport transit lounges a “stateless bit of Britain,” where a government can use the word “terror” to “suspend all the normal rules.”

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The comment was made in reference to UK authorities detaining and questioning David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for nine hours in London’s Heathrow airport on Sunday under Schedule 7 of the UK’s anti-terrorism law.

Miranda told the BBC in an interview that he felt threatened during his 9-hour detention and as if “he were naked in front of a crowd.”

Greewald’s partner said that he was “forced to give passwords” to email and social media accounts to his interrogators. Authorities allegedly threatened him with prison if he did not comply.

Inside Britain, journalists and anyone else carrying material have more opportunities to stand their ground. “You can go before a judge, you can argue about public interest and the public interest of that work,” Rusbridger said.

 David Miranda (L) -- the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, a US journalist with Britain's Guardian newspaper who worked with intelligence leaker Edward Snowden to expose US mass surveillance programmes -- is pictured at Rio de Janeiro's Tom Jobim international airport upon his arrival on August 19, 2013.(AFP Photo / Marcelo Piu)

David Miranda (L) — the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, a US journalist with Britain’s Guardian newspaper who worked with intelligence leaker Edward Snowden to expose US mass surveillance programmes — is pictured at Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim international airport upon his arrival on August 19, 2013.(AFP Photo / Marcelo Piu)

“The disturbing thing about the way they treated Miranda was the use of this terror act, and there is a little noticed section there, Schedule 7, which effectively suspends all the normal checks and balances that you would have if you were arrested in the Heathrow car park,” he added.

Rusbridger believes there are “confusions in law” when it comes to where you are when you’re in a transit lounge and “whose laws you apply to.”

The UK created this “lawless bit of Britain” over a decade ago, according to the editor. It is a place “where anybody can be questioned for up to nine hours without access to a solicitor and where all your belongings can be confiscated and there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.

Financing Miranda’s lawsuit

Rusbridger revealed that the Guardian is funding Miranda’s legal actions as he seeks a judicial review of the legal basis for his detention and assurances that the property seized from him by police will not be examined.

“The Guardian is supporting that action and we are supporting that in terms of financing it, because David Miranda was acting on behalf of Glenn Greenwald at the time that he was detained. I think it’s a good thing to challenge that law and see exactly why terror and journalism are being aligned in this disturbing way.”

U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald (L) walks with his partner David Miranda in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport August 19, 2013. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald (L) walks with his partner David Miranda in Rio de Janeiro’s International Airport August 19, 2013. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

 

“Miranda wasn’t really on assignment, he is Glenn Greenwald’s partner and Glenn Greenwald is a very busy man and he assists Glenn in his journalistic work. And he was acting as a messenger or intermediary in a way that is difficult for Glenn at the moment because he’s got a lot of work to be doing in Brazil and I think he’s also a bit nervous about traveling at the moment.”

‘Snowden data destruction won’t harm our reporting’ – Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger

RussiaToday RussiaToday

Published on Aug 20, 2013

The British government’s attempts to stem the tide of articles on mass surveillance have gone beyond intimidating the journalist behind the publications. Just a day after Glenn Greenwald’s partner was detained at Heathrow airport, The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, came forward describing how the authorities pressured the newspaper to destroy documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Mr. Rusbridger has explained why he gave in to pressure from government agents, and destroyed hard-drives carrying information obtained from Edward Snowden.

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GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits

GCHQ composite

Documents uncovered by the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, reveal surveillance of G20 delegates’ emails and BlackBerrys. Photograph: Guardian

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.

There have often been rumours of this kind of espionage at international conferences, but it is highly unusual for hard evidence to confirm it and spell out the detail. The evidence is contained in documents – classified as top secret – which were uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by the Guardian. They reveal that during G20 meetings in April and September 2009 GCHQ used what one document calls “ground-breaking intelligence capabilities” to intercept the communications of visiting delegations.

This included:

•  Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates’ use of computers;

• Penetrating the security on delegates’ BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

• Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;

• Targeting the Turkish finance minister and possibly 15 others in his party;

•  Receiving reports from an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow.

The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government of the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, and that intelligence, including briefings for visiting delegates, was passed to British ministers.

A briefing paper dated 20 January 2009 records advice given by GCHQ officials to their director, Sir Iain Lobban, who was planning to meet the then foreign secretary, David Miliband. The officials summarised Brown’s aims for the meeting of G20 heads of state due to begin on 2 April, which was attempting to deal with the economic aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis. The briefing paper added: “The GCHQ intent is to ensure that intelligence relevant to HMG’s desired outcomes for its presidency of the G20 reaches customers at the right time and in a form which allows them to make full use of it.” Two documents explicitly refer to the intelligence product being passed to “ministers”.

GCHQ ragout 1

One of the GCHQ documents. Photograph: Guardian

According to the material seen by the Guardian, GCHQ generated this product by attacking both the computers and the telephones of delegates.

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A police forensics officer investigates a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013. REUTERS-Stefan Wermuth

LONDON | Thu May 23, 2013 3:10am EDT

(Reuters) – A British soldier was hacked to death by two men shouting Islamic slogans in a south London street, in what Prime Minister David Cameron said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

A dramatic clip filmed by an onlooker just minutes after the killing showed a man with hands covered in blood, brandishing a bloodied meat cleaver and a knife.

“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day,” the black man in his 20s or 30s, wearing a wool jacket and jeans and speaking with a local accent, shouted in the footage obtained by Britain’s ITV news channel.

“This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

The attack was the first apparent Islamist killing in London since suicide bombers struck transport in July 2005. The capital was shocked by the bizarre scene of a killer covered in gore, declaring his motive to onlookers.

Police shot the two suspects while trying to arrest them, and the wounded men were taken into custody. No information was immediately released about the identity of the suspects, but two sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters authorities were investigating a possible link to Nigeria.

“I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you,” the videotaped man said before crossing the street and speaking casually to the other attacker.

Cameron chairs an emergency national security meeting on Thursday after cutting short a visit to France to return to London.

“The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident,” Cameron said before cutting short talks with French President Francois Hollande to return home.

“We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them,” he said.

The attack happened on the edge of London’s sprawling Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, a south London working class district which has long-standing historic links to the military.

In signs of a backlash after the attack, more than 100 angry supporters of the English Defence League, a far-right street protest group, took to the streets, some wearing balaclavas and carrying England’s red and white flag. They were contained by riot police.

Separately, two men were arrested in connection with separate attacks on mosques outside London. No one was hurt.

HELP FOR HEROES

The authorities did not immediately confirm the identity of the slain man, but a source told Reuters the man may have been a member of the military. The British government normally withholds the identities of slain servicemembers until their families are informed.

 

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Last-ditch lobbying to sway vote in Brussels to halt use of killer nerve agents

Beekeepers report higher loss rates In bee population

Bees are vital for pollination, and scientific studies have linked pesticides to huge losses in their numbers. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Europe is on the brink of a landmark ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides, which have increasingly been linked to serious declines in bee numbers. Despite intense secret lobbying by British ministers and chemical companies against the ban, revealed in documents obtained by the Observer, a vote in Brussels on Monday is expected to lead to the suspension of the nerve agents.

Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed on disease, loss of habitat and, increasingly, the near ubiquitous use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

The prospect of a ban has prompted a fierce behind-the-scenes campaign. In a letter released to the Observer under freedom of information rules, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, told the chemicals company Syngenta last week that he was “extremely disappointed” by the European commission‘s proposed ban. He said that “the UK has been very active” in opposing it and “our efforts will continue and intensify in the coming days”.

Publicly, ministers have expressed concern for bees, with David Cameron saying: “If we do not look after our bee populations, very serious consequences will follow.”

The chemical companies, which make billions from the products, have also lobbied hard, with Syngenta even threatening to sue individual European Union officials involved in publishing a report that found the pesticides posed an unacceptable risk to bees, according to documents seen by the Observer. The report, from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), led the commission to propose a two-year ban on three neonicotinoids. “EFSA has provided a strong, substantive and scientific case for the suspension,” a commission spokesman said.

A series of high-profile scientific studies has linked neonicotinoids to huge losses in the number of queens produced and big increases in “disappeared” bees – those that fail to return from foraging trips. Pesticide manufacturers and UK ministers have argued that the science is inconclusive and that a ban would harm food production, but conservationists say harm stemming from dying pollinators is even greater.

“It’s a landmark vote,” said Joan Walley MP, chairwoman of parliament’s green watchdog, the environmental audit committee, whose recent report on pollinators condemned the government’s “extraordinary complacency”. Walley said: “You have to have scientific evidence, but you also have to have the precautionary principle – that’s the heart of this debate.”

A ban has been supported by petitions signed by millions of people and Paterson has received 80,000 emails, an influx that he described as a “cyber-attack“. “The impact of neonicotinoids on the massive demise of our bees is clear, yet Paterson seems unable to escape the haze of sloppy science and lobbying by powerful pesticide giants,” said Iain Keith of the campaign group Avaaz. “Seventy per cent of British people want these poisons banned. Paterson must reconsider or send the bees to chemical Armageddon.” Andrew Pendleton of Friends of the Earth said a ban would be “a historic moment in the fight to save our bees”.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “As the proposal currently stands we could not support an outright ban. We have always been clear that a healthy bee population is our top priority, that’s why decisions need to be taken using the best possible scientific evidence and we want to work with the commission to achieve this. Any action taken must be proportionate and not have any unforeseen knock-on effects.”

“This plan is motivated by a quite understandable desire to save the beleaguered bee and concern about a serious decline in other important pollinator species,” said the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport, “but it is based on a misreading of the currently available evidence.” He said the EC plan was a serious “mistake”.

Julian Little, a spokesman for Bayer Cropscience, said: “Call me an optimist, but I still believe the commission will see sense. There is so much field evidence to demonstrate safe use [and] an increasing number of member states who reject the apparent drive towards museum agriculture in the European Union.” However, Bulgaria is the only nation known to have changed its voting intention and it will reverse its opposition.

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Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe

EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides

A bee collects pollen from a sunflower in Utrecht

A bee collects pollen from a sunflower in Utrecht, the Netherlands. EU states have voted in favour of a proposal to restrict the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

Europe will enforce the world’s first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.

The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production.

Although the vote by the 27 EU member states on whether to suspend the insect nerve agents was supported by 15 nations, but did not reach the required majority under voting rules. The hung vote hands the final decision to the European commission, which will implement the ban.

Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, said: “Our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the EFSA, [so] the European commission will go ahead with its plan in coming weeks.”

Friends of the Earth‘s head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: “This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators.”

The UK, which abstained in a previous vote, was heavily criticised for switching to a “no” vote on Monday.

Joan Walley MP, chair of parliament’s green watchdog, the environmental audit committee, whose investigation had backed a ban and accused ministers of “extraordinary complacency”, said the vote was a real step in the right direction, but added: “A full Commons debate where ministers can be held to account is more pressing than ever.”

Greenpeace‘s chief scientist, Doug Parr, said: “By not supporting the ban, environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has exposed the UK government as being in the pocket of big chemical companies and the industrial farming lobby.”

On Sunday, the Observer revealed the intense secret lobbying by Paterson and Syngenta.

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Published on Feb 6, 2013

The UK government is said to be considering the use of special ‘black boxes’ – to record people’s internet activities – all in the name of national security. But the plans have got privacy advocates up in arms. Emma Carr, the deputy director of Big Brother Watch organisation, says the proposal must be further studied before being applied.

RT.com
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:22 CST

© Reuters / Darren Staples

Under the UK government’s austerity program millions of low income households are facing a hike in their council tax bills of up to 333% a year. New changes are to be introduced this April, while Scotland and Wales chose not to implement the cuts.

The UK benefits system is about to undergo it’s most radical restructuring since the introduction of the welfare state after the Second World War and many families will be pushed further into poverty, a new report by the Resolution Foundation think tank reveals.

The biggest shakeup will be in Council Tax, a tax paid by households to local councils, which is not decided by income. Currently people on low paid jobs or the unemployed can apply for Council Tax Benefit (CTB), effectively exempting them from paying the tax.

All other means tested benefits will be streamlined into one national system, which will be called Universal Credit (UC), a move welcomed by the report’s authors.

CTB is a national scheme and provides assistance to nearly 6 million low income families in the UK; but as of the 1st April 2013 CTB will cease to exist.
Instead a new system will be introduced called Council Tax Support Schemes. Those who require assistance with their council tax bill will have to apply to whichever of the 326 local authorities they live in, who will make their own independent decision on whether to grant support.

However, central government has introduced a 10% cut in its subsidy budget – which local authorities would use to help people with their council tax – which effectively confronts local authorities with a choice. Either introduce less generous schemes, thereby forcing low income families to pay more council tax, or find savings elsewhere.

But council tax payers in Scotland and Wales will not be affected because their devolved governments will cover the 10% shortfall in funding from central government.

The CTB reform is expected to annually save £480 million, of which £410 million would come from England.

 

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Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy
Paul Craig Roberts

Those concerned about “The New World Order” speak as if the United States is coming under the control of an outside conspiratorial force. In fact, it is the US that is the New World Order. That is what the American unipolar world, about which China, Russia, and Iran complain, is all about.

Washington has demonstrated that it has no respect for its own laws and Constitution, much less any respect for international law and the law and sovereignty of other countries. All that counts is Washington’s will as the pursuit of hegemony moves Washington closer to becoming a world dictator.

The examples are so numerous someone should compile them into a book. During the Reagan administration the long established bank secrecy laws of Switzerland had to bend to Washington’s will. The Clinton administration attacked Serbia, murdered civilians and sent Serbia’s president to be tried as a war criminal for defending his country. The US government engages in widespread spying on Europeans’ emails and telephone calls that is unrelated to terrorism. Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington won’t permit the British government to honor his grant of political asylum. Washington refuses to comply with a writ of habeas corpus from a British count to turn over Yunus Rahmatullah whose detention a British Court of Appeals has ruled to be unlawful. Washington imposes sanctions on other countries and enforces them by cutting sovereign nations that do not comply out of the international payments system.

Last week the Obama regime warned the British government that it was a violation of US interests for the UK to pull out of the European Union or reduce its ties to the EU in any way.

In other words, the sovereignty of Great Britain is not a choice to be made by the British government or people. The decision is made by Washington in keeping with Washington’s interest.

 

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TEHRAN, Dec. 25 (MNA) – Bahraini Foreign Minister has recently insulted Iranian people with a discourse governing the Al Khalifa regime officials far from diplomatic norms and conventions.Separation of Bahrain in 1971 brings the question to the fore that what international legal bases allowed British colonial power to separate Bahrain from motherland Iran.

According to official map registered by UN headquarters, Bahrain was an integral part of mainland Iran. At that time unfortunately, Iran’s weak and failed monarch distanced from the public and accepted Bahrain’s independence and separation to save his crown, making a large scar on hearts of Iranians forever.

At that time in 1970, British government arranged the scene in order to separate Bahrain, then 14th province of Iran. The colonialist Britain, disturbed by the spread of Shiism in southern coasts of the Persian Gulf, devised the great conspiracy of separation of Bahrain from its motherland, Iran. Then, the British government installed Bedouins and desert-dwellers from Al Khalifa tribe on Bahrain as governors, with the aid from Saudi influence.

A 15-per cent minority, later to form Al Khalifa regime, immigrated Bahrain to change its demographic features, and to bring about gradual decrease in Bahrain’s original settlers.

The original settlers were not allowed to properly give their voices to the referendum held illegally by the British government.

The majority of those participants in the referendum received money from the Britain and came from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

U Thant, then the UN Secretary General, voiced his objection to the British excessive intervention in Bahrain internal affairs, but he was intimidated by UK and US.

 

UK PM criticized for secret trial plan

 

Press TV

Campaigners have criticized David Cameron for defending plans for secret trials.

Campaigners for civil liberties have criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for defending the Tory-led government’s controversial plans for secret trials.

Legal action charity Reprieve condemned the scheme to extend the use of secret hearings in courts, saying it was aimed at covering up Britain’s role in torture.

Cameron claimed in the Commons on Tuesday that it “will always be a judge that decides” whether to make a trial secret.

Being questioned by members of the parliamentary liaison committee, the Prime Minister tried to argue that the scheme would stop “undeserved” compensation going to “unsavory” characters.

But lawyers and campaigners warn that such controversial proposals would put the British government above the law.

The coalition government’s controversial changes to Britain’s legal system, which are contained in the Justice and Security Bill, would allow more civil court cases to be held in secret, and would deprive defendants and their lawyers from hearing arguments made against them by the UK intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6.

Reprieve executive director Clare Algar said, “The origins of this bill clearly lie in a desire to avoid government embarrassment.”

BGH/SSM/HE