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