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To Stop #ISIS, #Britain Is Set to Stop Free Speech

The proposed is meant to silence or force into exile anyone advocating violent jihad in the UK or waging it outside..

British Home Secretary, Theresa MayBritish Home Secretary, Theresa May

Nico Hines, The Daily Beast.

LONDON — Britain has had enough: the government will announce radical plans to end centuries of free speech on Wednesday in an unprecedented terror crackdown that would force Internet companies to monitor users; restrict the movement of suspects and ban extremist speakers from public forums.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said the security services had foiled 40 plots to kill thousands of people in the last ten years, including the attempted assassination of an ambassador, plans to blow up the stock exchange, plots to bring down several flights and gun attacks that might have resembled the assault on a Nairobi shopping mall  last year.

After years of bitter feuding within the government, the Prime Minister’s patience finally has snapped. The voice of a British ISIS terrorist calling on “brothers” in Western countries to commit domestic atrocities has helped to convince senior officials that concerns about civil liberties and freedom of speech can no longer be allowed to interfere with security operations.

If the measures are passed by Parliament, a raft of institutions will be forced to attempt to prevent radicalization actively for the first time. Universities, prisons, schools and local councils will be legally required to monitor those in their care and try to interdict extremist speakers and would-be terror recruiters.

Throughout its 800-year history, Cambridge University has guarded jealously its absolute right to free speech. After an investigation into extremists on British university campuses last year, a spokeswoman defiantly told me: ”There’s complete freedom for students to invite who they want.”

That freedom would be ended by Conservative government proposals, which will require speakers to be vetted by the university. Government ministers would have the power to overrule the university and obtain court orders to stop speakers addressing students if they felt there was a risk of radicalization.

Human rights groups said the measures were “draconian” and counter-productive. “Politicians resort to high talk and rushed legislation in an attempt to look tough in the face of terrorism,” said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty. “Another chilling recipe for injustice and resentment by closing down the open society you seek to promote.”

A former government security advisor told The Daily Beast that senior Conservative Party figures had been split over the level of intervention and severity of the curbs on freedom of speech. Ultimately, as this source put it, those who wish to “drain the swamp” defeated those who would wait for the “crocodiles to reach the boat.”

May, the tough Home Secretary who is favorite to succeed David Cameron as party leader, said there was now no alternative but to tackle potential terrorists before they acted. ”This legislation is important, the substance is right, the time is right and the way in which it has been developed is right,” she said. ”It is not a knee-jerk response to a sudden perceived threat. It is a properly considered, thought-through set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger.”

”We are engaged in a struggle that is fought on many fronts and in many forms,” said May. “It is a struggle that will go on for many years. And the threat we face right now is perhaps greater than it ever has been—we must have the powers we need to defend ourselves.”

As well as restricting freedom of speech, the sweeping new powers would also curtail the free movement of suspected terrorists, who could be stopped from leaving the country, or from returning to the country or even forced to live in in a sort of internal exile away from their associates.

Police and Border Force officers will be granted new powers to seize passports and tickets from British citizens at ports and airports if they believe they are traveling to engage in terror-related activities. British citizens would also be barred from returning to the country if the authorities suspect they have been involved in terrorism abroad, effectively leaving them stateless.

Suspected jihadis who have been allowed to return to Britain are likely to be the subject of toughened monitoring measures, which can force them to move to another part of the country, live at a specified address, and even ban them from using the Internet.

The Daily Beast.

#Cameron Announces Plans to Remove British #Passports from Suspected #Terrorists

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined further draconian “anti-terror” legislation.

Under the guise of cracking down on British “jihadists” fighting in Syria and elsewhere, the Conservative-led coalition government is to strip British citizens of their right to leave and return to the UK. This includes under-18-year-olds.

Cameron made his announcement in Australia on the eve of the G20 summit of world leaders. Outlining plans for another “counter-terrorism bill”, he promised to give police new powers “at ports to seize passports, to stop suspects travelling and to stop British nationals returning to the UK unless they do so on our terms.”

Presently, only the home secretary—using the royal prerogative—can prevent British citizens from travelling. Twenty-five people have had their passports confiscated since April 2013.

The new legislation will enable police to seize passports at ports for up to 30 days, if a senior officer has “reasonable suspicion” to believe travel is for terror-related activities. The same person’s passport can be seized multiple times.

New rules will be put in place requiring airlines to provide details of passenger lists or be banned from landing in the UK. Currently, some 10 percent of airline arrivals from Europe to the UK do not post passenger lists in real time, including most German airlines.

Home Secretary Theresa May will have the power to cancel passports and impose a “temporary exclusion” order for two years, to prevent a citizen returning to Britain if there is “reasonable suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity”. The order could be extended at the end of that period.

Any return to the UK will be dependent on the individual first being vetted overseas by the security services and agreeing to an escort home by UK authorities. They will have to agree that they could face prosecution on return, and will be placed on a terrorism prevention and investigation measure (TPIM), subject to strict bail-like conditions that include police monitoring and a “deradicalisation” course.

Anyone attempting to return in secret will face five years imprisonment.

Cameron outlined the measures in a 20-minute speech to the Canberra parliament in which he praised the shared values of “freedom” and “democracy” as the “bedrock” of British and Australian society.

His assertion was framed as part of increasing imperialist provocations against Russia and China, who were the target of much of the discussions at the G20.

Cameron claimed that it was necessary to stand against an “incipient creeping threat to our values” from “those who say that we will be outcompeted and outgunned by countries that believe there is a shortcut to success, a new model of authoritarian capitalism that is unencumbered by the values and restrictions we impose on ourselves. In particular, an approach that is free from the accountability of real democracy and the rule of law.”

In fact, it is the British and Australian governments that are dispensing with democracy and the “rule of law”. The fact that Cameron chose to outline the measures in Canberra, not Westminster, is indicative of this approach. The legislation has been approved behind closed doors between the Conservative leader and his Liberal Democrat coalition partners and is expected to become law in January.

The plans to effectively strip selected Britons of their citizenship are an unprecedented breach of international laws, to which the UK is a signatory, which prevents a person from being made stateless. By deeming the exclusion order as “temporary” the government claims suspects will not be stateless as they will still have the right to return, although on grounds dictated by UK authorities.

Human rights organisations have described such assertions as bogus as it will mean individuals being without travel documents for an extended period. Shami Chakrabarti, for Liberty, a human rights advocacy organization, said, “Dumping suspect citizens like toxic waste, abdicating your responsibilities to the international community, is a very strange way of promoting the rule of law.”

The Islamic “counter-extremism” think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, said the planned bill was a breach of international citizenship laws. “We should not develop legislation that assumes individuals are guilty until proven innocent,” a spokesperson said.

The government claims the moves are necessary to deal with 500 Britons thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the bloody civil wars. Some 23 Britons are estimated to have died in the fighting, with an average age of 23.5 years.

In his speech, Cameron denied that the rise of Islamic extremism had anything to do with western foreign policy. Yet the fact remains that British actions in the Middle East, and the indiscriminate targeting of Muslim’s in the UK under current “anti-terror” measures, have indeed fuelled Islamic extremism. Moreover, just one year ago, the British government—along with the US—was casting the opposition to Syria’s Bashar Assad as a legitimate popular uprising that must be supported by all means, including with western military intervention.

The western powers were covertly helping arm the Syrian opposition and by extension, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Britain’s supposed allies in the “war on terror” include Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the major financial and political backers for ISIS.

The fact that the British government is not proposing any measures against ISIS’ backers in the Gulf States makes clear that the proposed legislation has nothing to do with the fight against terrorism. Once again, the threat of “jihadism” is being used to severely curtail democratic rights.

Claiming that the problem is an “extremist narrative” that must be “rooted out,” Cameron outlined new measures to further erode free speech by censoring anything deemed to be “extremist material.”

“We must ban extremist preachers from our country, we must root out extremism from our schools, universities and prisons,” he said.

“We must not allow the Internet to be an ungoverned space,” he went on, citing plans for the UK’s major Internet service providers (ISPs) to “strengthen” filters blocking material deemed to be “extremist.” This includes adding a “public reporting button.” BT and Sky have confirmed that they are working with the government to this end.

The Metropolitan Police have established a Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, to remove “terror” related material. According to reports, it has removed 34,000 items considered to fall into this category in the last year.

Last month, May pledged that the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election will include a commitment to introduce “extremism disruption orders.”

Current legislation only enabled action against “extremists” advocating violence, May said. The proposed disruption orders would apply to anyone deemed to “spread hate” based on grounds of gender, race or religion, but who is not in breach of existing laws.

The orders would also apply to those undertaking “harmful activities” for the “purpose of overthrowing democracy.”

They would enable police to apply for a court order restricting the activities of anyone deemed involved in “harmful activities”, the definition of which includes the risk of “harassment, alarm or distress” or which constitutes a “threat to the functioning of democracy.”

May said that “extremism” covered those who consider “a woman’s intellect as ‘deficient’,” and who denounce “people on the basis of their religious beliefs.”

According to the Guardian, a successful order would include a ban on appearing on TV, radio, or a public forum and publishing on the Internet. It would impose “a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web, social media or in print. Taking part in public protests or speaking at any public event would also be banned.”

Centre for Research on Globalization

Global Research.

#Ukraine: Corruption still prevails, Stop stealing!

Kyiv Post
As the national currency continues its drop this week and the Defense Ministry orders troops to get ready for a Russian invasion, Ukrainians are wondering how they will survive this crisis.

Ukraine is asking for more aid from the West, and rightfully so. But many of the nation’s top officials are to blame for the multiple crises with their business as usual behavior. In other words, it looks like some of them are continuing to steal from their own people and benefit financially from their official positions of power.

One case in point is the purchase of coal from South Africa. Ukraine’s own coal production dropped by a whopping 96 percent year-on-year, according to official data. On top of that, Russian gas supplies have been stopped for months, leaving millions exposed to the risk of freezing for lack of energy sources.

The Cabinet decided to compensate the shortage by importing coal from South Africa, and that’s where the scams started. An obscure British firm was selected as a supplier, beating much more prominent companies in what was supposed to be an open tender. The price of the coal is too high for its quality, and the whole scam is being investigated by the prosecutor’s office. Members of the Cabinet of Ministers are involved as witnesses and possible suspects.

This is not an isolated example of suspected corruption among top officials. Corruption watchdog and news portal Nashi Groshi pumps out dozens of examples every day, from land privatization schemes by a top minister to companies with alleged ties to another former top official for winning a Hr 294 million tender for completing phony contracts in cleaning up a chemical disaster area in Kalush.

Social networks openly discuss how many millions a former prosecutor made in bribes, while other ministers are referred to by the business community as “the most corrupt in the history of this ministry.”

Of course, Ukraine’s distrusted and dysfunctional judicial system all but guarantees that the public will never learn whether these cases are unfounded smears or examples of large-scale corruption that should be punished with high fines and heavy prison sentences. The only way for the nation to get out of the economic mess is to take the corruption fight seriously. Only baby steps have been made in this direction when an anti-corruption investigation bureau, Ukraine’s equivalent of the FBI, was created with limited powers. It needs to be strengthened and start working. A few convicted top officials, after transparent investigations and fair court proceedings, will eventually start the nation on the path of rule of law — and the economy will be better for it.

Kyiv Post.

Prince Harry Heading to Middle East Amid Rumors He Might Fight #ISIS in Iraq

Prince Harry attends the WellChild awards at the London Hilton on September 22, 2014 in London, England.Prince Harry attends the WellChild awards at the London Hilton on September 22, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images).

Jack Phillips for The Epoch Times.

Prince Harry, who is a UK Army Air Corps helicopter pilot, might head to the Middle East to fight members of the Islamic State, or ISIS, according to a report this week.

The UK government may approve the deployment of eight Apache helicopters after they’ve been withdrawn from Afghanistan. As a result, Prince Harry could be considered for duty.

A report from The Express says that Harry is slated to receive a promotion from captain to major in 2015, and it claims he wants to return to active service.

Harry did a tour of duty in Afghanistan in a secret deployment with the Household Cavalry in 2008 before it was leaked. He returned to Afghanistan a while later for four months.

A source close to the prince said that he cherished his time serving in Afghanistan.

“He was shaken to pieces by what he witnessed and it wouldn’t be going too far to say he went out a boy and came home a man. In many ways it is his identity and his raison d’etre. He’s a career soldier first and foremost,” a source in the military told the paper.

“He wouldn’t hesitate to return to a war zone. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t. If the circumstances are right then he will.”

Earlier this week, a source with the British defense agency told the paper that the idea of deploying Apache helicopters to Iraq and Syria–the ISIS stronghold–is being floated around.

The source said, “What is more certain is that Apaches will protect British teams being sent to instruct Kurdish fighters and Syrian moderates at camps in Jordan and Erbil. We will be looking for pilots with operational experience and Harry has a lot to offer.”

Meanwhile, other sites said Harry will represent the royal family during a tour around the Middle East later in November.

He’ll visit Oman as a guest of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. Later, he’ll go to Abu Dhabi to take part in the Sentebale Polo Cup at Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, according to E! News.

The Epoch Times.

Hung parliament following the 2015 general election ‘would hurt economy’ | #UK #HungParliament #economy

Item Club warns growth and business investment may be squeezed as businesses are nervous over political uncertainty.

The Item Club predicts that business investment growth will slow sharply next year, from 9% in 2014 to 5.8% in 2015.The Item Club predicts that business investment growth will slow sharply next year, from 9% in 2014 to 5.8% in 2015. Photograph: Paul Rapson/Alamy

Graeme Wearden reporting,

Britain’s economy could suffer a “huge uncertainty shock” if next year’s general election delivers a hung parliament, a leading economic forecaster warns.

The prospect of no clear winner when Britain heads to the polling booths in May is already pushing down next year’s growth and business investment predictions, according to the EY Item Club’s autumn forecast. It also cites the weakening eurozone economy and geopolitical tensions, including the Ukraine crisis, as threats that are making businesses nervous.

The Item Club predicts that business investment growth will slow sharply next year, from 9% in 2014 to 5.8% in 2015. That will hamper economic growth, tipped to fall from 3.1% this year to 2.4% in 2015.

The warning comes as new economic data are due that will probably show the British recovery slowed down between July and September.

Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, believes that, with polls showing next year’s election is hard to call, the uncertainty and nervousness in the financial markets around the election will be much greater than in 2010.

“This makes it very difficult for anyone engaged in business planning to manage a company through this uncertainty,” he said. “I don’t think we would have had this conversation in 1997. The gulf between the parties this time is enormous.”

Businesses are also worried by the prospect of a referendum over Britain’s membership of the European Union, Spencer said.

“The comparative advantage we offer foreign investors is dependent on the fact we are a haven of political stability, and our proximity to Europe. If both of those are brought into question, what happens to the likes of Nissan and Toyota, or financial services firms in the City?”

Spencer pointed out that Germany’s industrial productivity and exports had fallen sharply in August, as the Ukraine crisis and eurozone fears had risen. “A huge uncertainty shock is really hammering Germany’s economy now,” he said, illustrating the dangers facing Britain. “It is a very good example of what can happen if businesses get clutched by this sort of risk.”

The UK economy is also a long way from regaining its full potential following the financial crisis, he added.

The EY Item Club, which uses the Treasury’s model of the UK economy, flagged up that exporters are suffering from the stalling European recovery and the fall in the value of the euro.

HM Treasury agreed that the eurozone area, Britain’s largest trade partner, is a “growing risk”, saying: “We have to recognise that the UK is not immune to these problems, which is why we will continue working through the plan that is building a resilient economy.”

Data due on Friday will show how the UK economy performed in the third quarter of 2014. Economists predict that GDP increased by 0.7% in the quarter, a slowdown compared with 0.9% between April and June.

Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said there was a risk that growth could be weaker, given “limited industrial production and the very real possibility that construction output contracted”.

The retail industry is also struggling. Footfall across UK high streets, out of town retail parks and shopping centres around the UK was down by 0.9% year-on-year in September, according to figures from Springboard, after a 1.1% fall in August.

The Guardian.


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