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The cruel instrument of placing sanctions on a land

often it’s the innocent who suffer

Sanctions against Iraq

The sanctions against Iraq were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Ba’athist Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq‘s invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 22, 2003 (after Saddam Hussein‘s being forced from power),[1] and persisted in part, including reparations to Kuwait, through the present.[2][3][4] The original stated purposes of the sanctions were to compel Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, to pay reparations, and to disclose and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction.

Initially, the UN Security Council imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iraq by adopting and enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 661.[5] After the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, those sanctions were extended and elaborated on, including linkage to removal of weapons of mass destruction, by Resolution 687.[6][7] The sanctions banned all trade and financial resources except for medicine and “in humanitarian circumstances” foodstuffs, the import of which into Iraq was tightly regulated.[5]

The effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq have been disputed.[8][9][10][11] Whereas it was widely believed that the sanctions caused a major rise in child mortality, research following the 2003 invasion of Iraq has shown that commonly cited data were doctored by the Saddam Hussein regime and that “there was no major rise in child mortality in Iraq after 1990 and during the period of the sanctions”.[12]

Goals

Administration

Effects on the Iraqi people during sanctions

High rates of malnutrition, lack of medical supplies, and diseases from lack of clean water were reported during sanctions.[28] In 2001, the chairman of the Iraqi Medical Association’s scientific committee sent a plea to the BMJ to help it raise awareness of the disastrous effects the sanctions were having on the Iraqi healthcare system.[29]

The modern Iraqi economy had been highly dependent on oil exports; in 1989, the oil sector comprised 61% of the GNP. A drawback of this dependence was the narrowing of the economic base, with the agricultural sector rapidly declining in the 1970s. Some claim that, as a result, the post-1990 sanctions had a particularly devastating effect on Iraq’s economy and food security levels of the population.[30]

Shortly after the sanctions were imposed, the Iraqi government developed a system of free food rations consisting of 1000 calories per person/day or 40% of the daily requirements, on which an estimated 60% of the population relied for a vital part of their sustenance. With the introduction of the Oil-for-Food Programme in 1997, this situation gradually improved. In May 2000 a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) survey noted that almost half the children under 5 years suffered from diarrhoea, in a country where the population is marked by its youth, with 45% being under 14 years of age in 2000. Power shortages, lack of spare parts and insufficient technical know-how lead to the breakdown of many modern facilities.[30] The per capita income in Iraq dropped from $3510 in 1989 to $450 in 1996, heavily influenced by the rapid devaluation of the Iraqi dinar.[30]

FILE – Iraqis run from the area as a British Warrior fighting vehicle burns in Basra, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad Monday Sept. 19 2005. The head of Britain’s Iraq War inquiry, retired civil servant John Chilcot, released a damning report Wednesday, July 6, 2016, on a conflict he said was mounted on flawed intelligence and executed with “wholly inadequate” planning. The 2.6-million-word report is an exhaustive verdict on a divisive conflict that — by the time British combat forces left in 2009 — had killed 179 British troops, almost 4,500 American personnel and more than 100,000 Iraqis. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Iraq had been one of the few countries in the Middle East that invested in women’s education. But this situation changed from the late eighties on with increasing militarisation and a declining economic situation. Consequently, the economic hardships and war casualties in the last decades have increased the number of women-headed households and working women.[30]

Thomas Nagy argued in September 2001 issue of The Progressive magazine that United States’ government intelligence and actions in the previous ten years demonstrates that the United States government had acted to intentionally destroy Iraq’s water supply.[31] Michael Rubin criticized Nagy for “selective” use of sources and argued that “the documentary evidence eviscerates Nagy’s conclusions”:

The oil-for-food program has already spent more than $1 billion in water and sanitation projects in Iraq. Baghdad estimates that providing adequate sanitation and water resources would cost an additional $328 million. However, such an allocation is more than possible given the billions of dollars in oil revenue Baghdad receives each year under sanctions, and the additional $1 billion dollars per year it receives from transport of smuggled oil on the Syrian pipeline alone. Indeed, if Saddam Hussein’s government has managed to spend more than $2 billion for new presidential palaces since the end of the Persian Gulf War, and offer to donate nearly $1 billion to support the Palestinian intifada, there is no reason to blame sanctions for any degradation in water and sanitation systems.[10]

Denis Halliday was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq as of 1 September 1997, at the Assistant Secretary-General level. In October 1998 he resigned after a 34-year career with the UN in order to have the freedom to criticise the sanctions regime, saying “I don’t want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide[32] However, Sophie Boukhari, a UNESCO Courier journalist, reports that “some legal experts are skeptical about or even against using such terminology” and quotes Mario Bettati for the view that “People who talk like that don’t know anything about law. The embargo has certainly affected the Iraqi people badly, but that’s not at all a crime against humanity or genocide.”[33]

Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, subsequently also resigned in protest, calling the effects of the sanctions a “true human tragedy”.[34] Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, followed them.[35]

Estimates of deaths due to sanctionsEdit

Estimates of excess deaths during the sanctions vary widely, use different methodologies and cover different time-frames.[8][36][37] The figure of 500,000 child deaths was for a long period widely cited, but recent research has shown that that figure was the result of survey data manipulated by the Saddam Hussein regime.[12][38] A 1995 Lancet estimate put the number of child deaths at 567,000,[39] but when one of the authors of the study followed up on it a year later, “many of the deaths were not confirmed in the reinterviews. Moreover, it emerged that some miscarriages and stillbirths had been wrongly classified as child deaths in 1995.”[12][40] A 1999 UNICEF report found that 500,000 children died as a result of sanctions,[41] but comprehensive surveys after 2003 failed to find such child mortality rates.[12] A 2017 study in the British Medical Journal described “the rigging of the 1999 Unicef survey” as “an especially masterful fraud”.[12] The three comprehensive surveys conducted since 2003 all found that the child mortality rate in the period 1995-2000 was approximately 40 per 1000, which means that there was no major rise in child mortality in Iraq after sanctions were implemented.[12]

Oil for Food

Lifting of sanctions

Controversies

Culpability

Scholar Ramon Das, in the Human Rights Research Journal of the New Zealand Center for Public Law, examined each of the “most widely accepted ethical frameworks” in the context of violations of Iraqi human rights under the sanctions, finding that “primary responsibility rests with the UNSC [United Nations Security Council]” under these frameworks, including rights-utilitarianism, moral Kantianism, and consequentialism.[45][46]

Many academics, American and UN officials, and Iraqi citizens contend that this ignores the overriding control of Saddam Hussein and the corrupt contractors who maintained it, as well as the consequences of allowing Hussein to continue his policies with no deterrence and unlimited capacity.[47] During its last decade, the regime of Saddam Hussein cut public health funding by 90 percent, contributing to a substantial deterioration in health care.[48]

Controversy about regional differences

Some commentators blame Saddam Hussein for the excess deaths during this period. For example, Rubin argued that the Kurdish and the Iraqi governments handled Oil For Food aid differently, and that therefore the Iraqi government policy, rather than the sanctions themselves, should be held responsible for any negative effects.[49][10] Likewise, David Cortright claimed: “The tens of thousands of excess deaths in the south-center, compared to the similarly sanctioned but UN-administered north, are the result of Baghdad’s failure to accept and properly manage the UN humanitarian relief effort.”[24] In the run-up to the Iraq War, some[50] disputed the idea that excess mortality exceeded 500,000, because the Iraqi government had interfered with objective collection of statistics (independent experts were barred).[51]

Other Western observers, such as Matt Welch and Anthony Arnove, argue that the differences in results noted by authors such as Rubin (above) may have been because the sanctions were not the same in the two parts of Iraq, due to several regional differences: in the per capita money,[52] in war damage to infrastructure and in the relative ease with which smugglers evaded sanctions through the porous Northern borders.[53] This argument was debunked by several UN-sponsored studies taken after the overthrow of Saddam’s regime, which revealed that the previous childhood mortality figures for South/Central Iraq were inflated by more than a factor of two and that the childhood mortality rate in those regions was even lower than the rate in northern Iraq.[9]

Arguments about the sanctions and the Iraq War

Protesters in Washington DC against sanctions and invasion of Iraq, 2002 or 2003

Some persons, such as Walter Russell Mead, accepted a large estimate of casualties due to sanctions,[54] but argued that invading Iraq was better than continuing the sanctions regime, since “Each year of containment is a new Gulf War.”[55][56][57] Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in his testimony to the Chilcot Inquiry, also argued that ending sanctions was one benefit of the war. Citing recent studies disproving any increase in childhood mortality in Iraq under the sanctions regime, Michael Spagat declared “this claim should now take up its rightful place in the historical record next to Iraq’s mythical weapons of mass destruction.”[9]

There were also arguments saying the sanctions had not been as effective as people had thought, due to reports of companies not following trade sanctions on Iraq during this time. One of those countries being France as shown in The Guardian,[58] Washington Times [59] according to Bill Gertz, and New York Times [60] articles that they had been trading Iraq weapons, supplies and nuclear technology leading up to and some argue after the sanctions helping support the Iraq government. So overall the sanctions didn’t help in the way it was intended or at least were not successful.

Albright interview

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) appeared on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it.” Albright wrote later that Saddam Hussein, not the sanctions, was to blame. She criticized Stahl’s segment as “amount[ing] to Iraqi propaganda”; said that her question was a loaded question;[61][62] wrote “I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean”;[63] and regretted coming “across as cold-blooded and cruel”.[64] The segment won an Emmy Award.[9][65] Albright’s “non-denial” was taken by sanctions opponents as confirmation of a high number of sanctions related casualties.[52][61]

Iraqi government reaction to sanctionsEdit

There is evidence that the Iraqi government did not fully cooperate with the sanctions. For example, Hussein’s son-in-law is heard speaking of concealing information from UN inspectors on audiotapes released in 2006. “I go back to the question of whether we should reveal everything or continue to be silent. Sir, since the meeting has taken this direction, I would say it is in our interest not to reveal.” [66][67] Hussein may have considered the many governments’ displeasure with him, but particularly that of two veto-wielding UNSC members, the United States and United Kingdom (both of which took the hardest lines on Iraq), as a no-win situation and disincentive to cooperation in the process.[68]

It has been alleged that UNSCOM had been infiltrated by British and American spies for purposes other than determining if Iraq possessed WMDs.[69][70] Former inspector Scott Ritter was a prominent source of these charges.[citation needed] Former UNSCOM chief inspector David Kay said “the longer it continued, the more the intelligence agencies would, often for very legitimate reasons, decide that they had to use the access they got through cooperation with UNSCOM to carry out their missions”.[71][72]

Renewed pressure in 2002 led to the entry of UNMOVIC, which eventually received some degree of cooperation; before it could complete its work, the United States required it to leave Iraq to avoid its impending 2003 invasion of Iraq.

See also

Footnotes

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India in a big mess (over the virus) state people familiar with their situation

BBC News

Covid: India’s ‘unbelievable’ situation as rates rise

20 April 2021






went to India to visit a person who had suffered a heart attack

A man who recently arrived back in the UK from India said the situation in the country is “unbelievable”.

Davinder Prasad, 70, is self-isolating in Coventry after returning from Delhi, where he had been visiting his sister after she had a heart attack.

More than 200,000 cases have been reported daily in the country, and it has been added to the UK’s “red list” of banned countries.

But the reported rates are “just the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Prasad said.

He arrived home six days ago, after travelling to India in February to he was allowed to travel to India on compassionate grounds.

When he first arrived he said “people were living a normal life”.

“Nobody was following any social distancing, nobody bothered about wearing face masks, life was going on as normal,” he said.

‘Terrible, terrible situation’

He said he “cannot believe” how the situation has changed since he returned home.

“India is a huge country of 1.3 billion people – safe distancing is out of the question,” he said.

“This new strain is affecting the younger people in the country now, that’s the worrying part.”

Image caption,Migrant workers returned to their villages after Delhi announced a week-long lockdown

Delhi, the capital, announced a week-long lockdown after a record spike in cases.

From 04:00 BST on Friday, most people who have travelled from India in the last 10 days will be refused entry to the UK.

The president of Coventry Mercia Lions Club, who is now self-isolating at home, said people were fleeing the country ahead of the travel ban.

“Ever since Delhi imposed lockdown [there has been] an exodus of migrant workers which is making matters worse.

“It’s a terrible, terrible situation and I don’t know how it is going to unfold in the coming days. It’s one of the biggest crises India has ever seen,” he said.

Students hoping for a return to the UK from India are also affected by the travel ban.

Rohish Mirje, 23, had a flight booked to the UK on 4 May to complete his master’s degree at the University of Warwick.

He had returned home to Sangli in Maharashtra from Coventry at Christmas and after paying more than £30,000 in tuition and accommodation fees, he said he is now faced with having to pay £1,700 to quarantine in the UK.

Image caption,Rohish Mirje has spent £30,000 to study for a master’s degree at Warwick Manufacturing Group

“I would urge the UK to give us a discount or exemption on this, or even make a strict rule that we quarantine in hostels or accommodation, ” he said.

“This is affecting thousands of students in India and we are not coming for tourism, we are here for education.

“When I heard about the travel ban it was like all the dreams were scattering, it’s been a difficult time for us,” he added.

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Alleged Saudi role in September 11 attacks

“As more and more intelligence came in we realized that it looked like an inside job”

Alleged Saudi role in September 11 attacks

The alleged Saudi role in the September 11 attacks is the idea that the Saudi Arabian government was connected to the September 11 attacks in the United States. The final 28 pages of the December 2002 report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, which were initially classified, were released on July 15, 2016 and provide details.

NationalityNumber
Saudi Arabia15
United Arab Emirates2
Egypt1
Lebanon1

The 28 pages state that some of the September 11 hijackers received financial support from individuals connected to the Saudi GovernmentFBI sources believed that at least two of those individuals were officers in the General Intelligence Presidency, the primary intelligence agency of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Intelligence Community believed that individuals associated with the Saudi Government had ties to al-Qaeda.

Although 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens,[1] the Saudi government had long had broad immunity from September 11 tragedy lawsuits in the United States, before a U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York judge allowed a suit against the government in March 2018.[2]

1999 preparation

Evidence submitted in a lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government revealed that it had funded flights to research security weaknesses. Specifically, the suit alleges the Saudi Arabian government funded two individuals who asked flight attendants technical questions and tried to enter the cockpit of a domestic flight in the US, which caused the flight to make an emergency landing and the individuals to be interrogated by the FBI. They were later released.[3]

File 17

In July 2016, the U.S. government released a document, compiled by Dana Lesemann and Michael Jacobson,[citation needed] known as “File 17”, which contains a list naming three dozen people, including Fahad al-Thumairy, Omar al-Bayoumi, Osama Bassnan, and Mohdhar Abdullah, which connects Saudi Arabia to the hijackers. According to the former Democratic US Senator Bob Graham, “Much of the information upon which File 17 was written was based on what’s in the 28 pages.”[4]

Aftermath

The Saudi government has long denied any connection.[5] Relatives of victims have tried to use the courts to hold Saudi royals, banks, or charities responsible, but these efforts have been thwarted partly by a 1976 law giving foreign governments immunity.[6] According to Gawdat Bahgat, a professor of political science, following the 11 September attacks the so-called “Saudi policy of promoting terrorism and funding hatred” faced strong criticism by several “influential policy-makers and think-tanks in Washington“.[7]

The US government has actively collaborated with the Saudis in suppressing the revelation of evidence of the Saudi government’s responsibility for the attacks, denying FOIA requests and supplying inside information to the lawyers representing the Saudis involved. Graham characterises the strategy as not a ‘cover up’ but “aggressive deception”.[8]

According to the New York Post in 2017, the Saudi government was accused of performing a “dry run” by paying two Saudi nationals, al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi, “living undercover in the US as students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington,” two years before the attacks. Based on the FBI documents, Qudhaeein and Shalawi were in fact members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents” in the United States. The documents also claimed that they were “trained in Afghanistan with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives that participated in the attacks.”[3] In November 1999, they boarded an America West flight to Washington, reportedly paid for by the Saudi Embassy. During the flights they tried to access the cockpit several times, in order to “test out flight deck security before 9/11.”[3] The pilots made an emergency landing in Ohio since they were “so spooked by the Saudi passengers and their aggressive behavior.”[3]

JASTA

Operation Encore

The 28 Pages

FBI names Saudi diplomat

References

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“……0ur intelligence knew that Saddam did not have the capability to pull something like this off…. not without a whole lot of inside help “

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“Russia wants to have bridges and good relations in Europe. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh”

Putin warns West of harsh response if it crosses Russia’s “red lines”…

      1 Vote

Reuters . Wed, April 21, 2021, 12:16 AM
By Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrew Osborn


MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to cross Russia’s “red lines”, saying Moscow would respond swiftly and harshly to any provocations in a way that would force those behind them to regret their actions.

Putin made his comments at a time when relations with the United States and Europe are under acute strain over Ukraine and the health of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“We want good relations…and really don’t want to burn bridges,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address to both houses of parliament.

“But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh.”

Russia would determine where its red line lay in each specific case, he said.

His comments came at the climax of a 78-minute speech dominated by Russia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic hardship.

Recent weeks have seen an intensification of confrontation between Russia and Western countries which say Moscow is massing tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine.

ROLLING PROTESTS

Last week, Washington tightened sanctions on Russia over accusations of computer hacking and election interference, and the Czech Republic accused Moscow of a role in explosions at an arms depot in 2014. Both expelled Russian diplomats. Russia denied wrongdoing and responded with tit-for-tat expulsions.

Putin made no mention of Navalny, the jailed opposition politician three weeks into a hunger strike, whose supporters, even as Putin spoke, were beginning a series of rolling protests across the country.

Two of Navalny’s closest allies were arrested on Wednesday, their lawyers said. Lyubov Sobol, one of the faces of Navalny’s popular YouTube channel, and Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, were both detained in Moscow.

“As usual, they think that if they isolate the ‘leaders’, there won’t be any protest,” said Leonid Volkov, a close Navalny associate. “Of course that’s wrong.”

Another Navalny aide, Ruslan Shaveddinov, tweeted: “Right now across the whole of Russia they are detaining potential protesters. This is repression. This cannot be accepted. We need to fight this darkness.”

Navalny, Russia’s leading opposition politician, is gravely ill in prison following his decision to launch a hunger strike in protest against what he calls inadequate medical treatment for leg and back pain. His team have urged people across the vast country to take to the streets on Wednesday.

The government has said the planned gatherings are illegal. Previous pro-Navalny rallies have been dispersed by force, with thousands of arrests.

(Additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Tom Balmforth, Polina Ivanova Writing by Mark Trevelyan Editing by Peter Graff)

Kremlin, on possible new Cold War, says: we always hope for best but prepare for worst…

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Russian FM says relations with West have ‘hit the bottom’…

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Navalny supporters seek to drown out Putin speech with mass protests…

21 Abriil 2021

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Tottenham sack The Special One

Jose Mourinho sacked: Tottenham and manager left to count the cost of their failed gamble

The special one departs from god’s chosen people

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Tottenham, with the club on course to finish a second season outside the top four and this week’s Carabao Cup final their only hope of silverware. It was an unlikely marriage and, despite a few fleeting moments, has been costly for manager and club alike.

By Peter Smith & Edward Woodward

Comment and Analysis by b-smart

  21:12, UK, Monday 19 April 2021

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Tottenham
Image:Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Tottenham

Daniel Levy and Jose Mourinho rolled the dice with the Portuguese’s appointment as Tottenham manager. Seventeen months on, the gamble has emphatically failed to pay off for either side, with the manager stunningly sacked on Monday morning.

‘We’ve taken a big hit “says Spurs frustrated at lack of results now Deli is a psycho, Kane burnt out and Son injured (all the time).’We only wanted to be like that red club in N17’ . Jose laughed and grinned as he made his way back to Setubal. Que Será, Será he hummed to himself climbing aboard the Portuguese plane to applause,trouser pockets bulging, he hoped Portuguese officials would turn a blind eye after landing .

joe-sey (as Jamie Redknapp likes to call him (unwilling of unable to pronounce the Spanish “H”) cut a forlorn figure up early the next day after his ‘termination’ passed through the airport but still had the prescence-of-mind to send a few cv’s off Preston North End,Charlton Athletic and Bilbao (that ought to do it,he thought)

The shock was not in his departure but in the timing of it, coming just days before the club’s Carabao Cup final with Manchester City at Wembley.

After all, Mourinho was brought to the club to turn Tottenham into silverware winners – but with Spurs on course to finish outside of the top four for the second season in a row, criticised for the negativity of their football, and with uncertainty surrounding the futures of numerous key players, Levy dramatically pulled the plug on the project.

“Its not my fault! I’m not responsible for a team that refuses to listen!” but even as Hose said it there were hollow echoes of Paul Pogba and John Terry as Mourhino cut another notch on his walking stick.I could manage a baby in his pushchair he exclaimed a bit too excited!! Calm down man,there will be other chances .

It is a strikingly swift move from the Spurs chairman, given the fact that in November 2019 he took the big decision to trade Spurs’ historical style and panache for a more ruthless edge under Mourinho, a manager he’d been targeting for a long time. The objective was to turn Mauricio Pochettino’s too-nice nearly-men into battle-ready winners.

But it was a calculated risk from Mourinho’s side, too. After the damage caused by his Manchester United tenure, he staked his reputation rebuild on a Spurs squad he first described as “very, very good” – but knowing he would not have the transformative spending power he had previously had at former clubs.Advertisementhttps://db046d6b3107d90176699ac81d45431e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

At the end of it all, Levy is facing Spurs supporters rebelling over two fruitless campaigns, in which only fleeting moments of individual brilliance lit up a risk-adverse, anti-ambition approach to the game. Still no major silverware and now no flair.

Throw in the scornful reaction of the club’s supporters to Spurs signing up for the European Super League and Levy’s popularity has plummeted.

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Mourinho, meanwhile, is stepping into an uncertain future, certainly in terms of the Premier League.

In the wake of his Manchester United exit, he made interesting comments about how the experience had led him to change his approach, to look only internally among his coaching staff for the mistakes they had made and not use outside issues as an excuse.

But in recent weeks he had returned to the tactless tactics of pointing the finger of blame in each direction but his own while his shortcomings over the past two seasons have been clear to see.

Which club will now be willing to pay his hefty wages on the back of the recent failures, the falling win percentage, and the litter of divisions and negativity he leaves in his wake?

Mourinho has fought bitterly to defend his reputation – but his status as a top-level modern-day coach is diminishing.

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It is not cynical to say the failure of these gambles could easily be foreseen. Certainly, few Spurs supporters would argue they didn’t see this coming.

But perhaps the frustration is that, despite their underlying concerns, the majority of the fanbase – and neutrals alike – were swept up in the hype and excitement about Mourinho’s arrival at Tottenham and the feeling that this unlikely partnership could pay off.

The encouraging early signs added to that sensation. Harry Kane scored seven goals in his first 10 games under Mourinho, a rejuvenated Dele Alli bagged four in four. Perhaps, indeed, Mourinho’s tougher streak is what Spurs’ players had been missing all along?Image:The partnership of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son was a shining light during the Jose Mourinho era

But results soon started to stutter, with injuries to Kane and Heung-min Son damaging blows. And then the facade of Mourinho’s early positivity about the tools at his disposal began to fade. After Spurs’ Champions League exit to RB Leipzig, he openly wished the rest of the season away.

“If I could move immediately to the first of July, I would,” he said. A brutal reality? Perhaps. An inspirational, encouraging message for the rest of the squad to step up and seize their chance? Certainly not. And from there a negative slant on proceedings began to bubble below the surface.

The subsequent run of results only added to this gloom. There were defeats to Chelsea and Wolves, and a FA Cup exit at home to Norwich. Spurs did manage a point at Burnley but their last competitive action came in Leipzig, where a 4-0 aggregate rout was confirmed.

Lockdown brought a chance to refresh and with key players back fit Spurs eventually finished the season strongly, winning five and losing just one of their nine games after the restart.

Gareth Bale’s sensational summer arrival then added to the re-found optimism – and a reminder that Levy has stumped up cash in the transfer market to back Mourinho.

While the returning hero was sidelined for much of the first half of the season, Spurs were fuelled by Kane and Son’s record-breaking link-up play, as a counter-attack style synonymous with their manager delivered remarkable results at the start of this campaign.

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There was the thrill of the comeback win at Southampton and the emphatic 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford, and in November 2,000 Spurs supporters were present to watch their side win the north London derby with just 30 per cent of possession.

It was a new style for these fans to watch but Spurs were top of the league. The Special One was back. Or so it seemed for that brief period.

Instead, when the fine margins fell against Spurs at Anfield in mid-December, it began a period of realisation that Spurs’ reliance on Kane and Son was too heavy and that, behind them, this defence was not strong enough to allow opposition sides so much of the ball week in, week out.

A favourable Carabao Cup draw paved the way to Wembley but elsewhere Spurs’ season began to fall apart.

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Five defeats in six Premier League games in January and February turned Tottenham from title contenders to a side trailing badly in the top-four race.

Five wins in a row against weak opposition had Mourinho bragging about the 100 goals his ‘negative’ team had scored this season but the abysmal collapse in the second leg of their Europa League tie with Dinamo Zagreb was one of the lowest moments in the club’s recent history.

It completed a nightmare week after out-of-form Arsenal had avenged their derby defeat. Erik Lamela’s Rabona goal in that game could have been one of the all-time great Spurs goals but instead his subsequent sending off capped a capitulation.

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Surrendering points from winning positions became the damaging and defining trait of Mourinho’s tenure.

It summed up the approach: for Kane and Son to grasp rare attacking moments and then rely on a fragile, ever-changing personnel in defence to hold out against increasing pressure.

The eight defensive-minded players on the pitch against Everton in Mourinho’s final game in charge epitomised it.

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The style was negative, the mentality around it was negative, and the response whenever it failed was negative – from pundits and the team’s own manager alike.

That bitter off-field mood would have been an atmosphere familiar to many involved at Manchester United, as Paul Pogba’s remarkable recent interview with Sky Sports revealed.In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Paul Pogba delivers a scathing verdict on Jose Mourinho’s man-management

At Spurs, Mourinho fell out with Tanguy Ndombele last season but while that midfielder had responded positively, the manager’s treatment of Dele Alli this term has had the opposite impact.

There were also his comments about Eric Dier’s ‘crisis of confidence’ which raised eyebrows and led to the manager backtracking after the player rejected that view.No manager, no problem?Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Tottenham manager as they bid to win their first major trophy since 2008. They face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, but you could land yourself £5,000 for free by simply predicting what

There were no apologies after a 2-2 draw at Newcastle, though, when Mourinho blamed his players for their mistakes, their lack of “profile, vision, balance, which belongs to the top players”, and even the white hairs on his head.

“They come with things I’m not used to seeing in football matches at this level,” he said, in a remark which would surely have not gone down well in the Spurs dressing room.

I have to be honest and say I saw things on the pitch, not in terms of attitude but in terms of profile, vision, balance, which belongs to the top players, I didn’t see in every position.Jose Mourinho after Spurs’ draw at Newcastle

Mourinho was attempting to distance himself from the quality he was now working with. It was a reaction as transparent as his distraction techniques after the 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United earlier this month, when his post-match comments were mocked even by the son of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But dangerously, the results and direction of the club were also in danger of alienating crown jewel Kane, who passed up the chance to commit his long-term future to Spurs when asked about his next steps during last month’s international break.

Mourinho’s treatment of another player of the highest quality also contributed to his downfall.

Bale’s headline-grabbing return to the club last summer, on loan from Real Madrid, came with caveats. The Welshman was carrying an injury and had been starved of first-team football for much of the previous campaign. But his quality is not in doubt.

While the failure to maximise this expensive investment is shared between Mourinho, Spurs, and Bale himself, there was a sense the manager never trusted the forward.Image:Gareth Bale has not started for Spurs since last month’s north London derby

A run of six goals in six games in February and March, when Bale was finally deemed fit, seemed to signal a long-awaited return to form, but a poor performance against Arsenal would be his last start under Mourinho.

Bale wasn’t seen on the pitch again after he revealed on international duty his return to Spurs had been driven by a desire to be fit to play for Wales at this summer’s Euros. The club’s supporters could feel understandably annoyed by those comments but it is hard to escape the sense this once romantic return could have been far sweeter if managed differently.

Bale could still be a Spurs hero if he strikes a winning blow against Man City this weekend, though. And who knows, perhaps the team can still close that gap on the top four to salvage their season.

The odds are against them but sometimes unlikely things can be achieved in football. However, for Levy and Mourinho, their gamble to match-up at Spurs has proven to be a costly mistake.Win £250,000 on Wednesday!Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Wednesday’s Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 6pm.

© 2021 Ski

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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– US says Russian build-up on Ukraine border is bigger than in 2014

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210419-us-says-russian-build-up-on-ukraine-border-is-bigger-than-in-2014

Ukraine fears that the Kremlin, widely regarded as the military and political godfather of pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Donbass (Ukrainian tank drills pictured there on April 18, 2021), is looking for a pretext to attack .

Moscow’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine is even bigger than in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, describing the deployment as “very seriously concerning.”

While the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell cited a figure of 150,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian border, before his own services scaled that figure back without explanation to 100,000, US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby declined to name a specific figure.

“It is the largest buildup we’ve seen certainly since 2014, which resulted in the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Kirby told a news conference. “It is certainly bigger than the last one in 2014.”

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The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales

The New Republic

Ellen Handler SpitzDecember 28, 2015

The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales

What can explain the recent explosion of interest in classic folk stories?

HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES

How can we parse our curious fascination with fairy tales, which persists while the times change and we change with them? The years between 2010 and 2015 have witnessed a spate of significant new books, including—over two centuries after the fact—the very first translation into English of the Grimm brothers’ original edition of fairy and folk tales, their 1812 Kinder- und Haus-Märchen, a collection far more terse, simple of language, and brutish than later editions, especially the 1857 edition most English readers have previously known. Jack Zipes, its eminent translator, additionally produced in 2015 a volume of new scholarship on their impact and afterlife: Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of Grimm’s Folk and Fairy Tales. The previous year, Marina Warner, too, brought forth Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale, in the pages of which breathless readers are swept away as if on a magic carpet and rewarded with intellectual adventures compressed into the tight Oxford series format.

To Warner, who has spent a lifetime pondering them, fairytales are “stories that try to find the truth and give us glimpses of greater things” and, she claims, “this is the principle that underlies their growing presence in writing, art, cinema, dance, song.” Truth in fairy tales matters also to Italo Calvino, another great lover of them, who, as Warner notes, deems them more honest than verismo because they own up to their fictitiousness. Yet others love fairy tales for the apparently opposite reason: novelist A.S. Byatt praises the “untrue” nature of fairy tale, by which I take her to mean its obvious magic, sorcery, and spells, its speaking cats (as in Puss in Boots) and its wish-granting fish (The Fisherman and his Wife), its avenging pigeons and enchanted trees (Cinderella), and its impossible plot twists resolved by uncanny metamorphoses that provide eerie yet satisfying “returns” to something both deeply known and unknown (The Frog King; The Frog Prince; The Summer and the Winter Garden, which is the Grimm brothers’ 1812 version of Beauty and the Beast).  All that seems clear. But in that case, wherein precisely lies fairy tale truth?

Zipes might argue that its truth stems from an engagement with its conditions of origin. As he has persuasively shown, both in his most recent book and in many previous ones, the tales reflect the cultures from which they sprang. When primogeniture held sway, for example, the tales gave rise to heroic roles for youngest sons, thereby compensating them in fancy for their poverty and for the devaluation they suffered in daily life. Similarly, under the terms of arranged marriage, fearful girls were soothed by monsters or slimy beasts who transformed at stories’ ends into loving princes and who thereby elevated young brides class-wise as well as gentling any anxieties fueled in them by their gendered destiny. This, in other words, is “truth” as a form of resistance to convention, a reversal of expectations: truth as social protest and as dreams come true.Be the most
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Yet the core of fairy tales seems to reach deeper—well beyond the delights and shocks caused by improbable events and beyond the tough substrate of socio-political opposition in pre-modern Europe—towards a species of raw, non-contingent honesty and authenticity. It is through the sharply-focused lenses of psychology, particularly those of child development, and with many a debt to Marina Warner’s incomparable erudition and insight, that we can parse some whys and wherefores of our irresistible draw into these enchanted realms. 


Phillip Pullman, notable for His Dark Materials trilogy is not alone in believing that fairy tales bear no psychological heft and therefore call for no psychological discussion. “There is no psychology in a fairy tale,” he avers: “The characters have little inner life; their motives are clear and obvious.” And he goes on: “One might almost say that the characters in a fairy tale are not actually conscious.” Novelist A. S. Byatt apparently agrees, for she states that fairy tales “don’t analyse feelings.” Of course, this is superficially right. We are not privy to the inner worlds of Hans, Cinderella, or Little Conrad in the story of The Goose Girl. Indeed most fairy tale characters go unnamed; they perform no Shakespearean soliloquies; they do not ruminate aloud. Rather, they reveal their thoughts in action. But since when is action exempt from psychological scrutiny? And are there not fairy tale characters who do, on occasion, both wish and dream?

A postcard showing the golden goose from the fairy tale by the brothers Grimm.HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES

Scholars, moreover, when pressed to consider the problem of motivation in fairy tales, tend to invoke fate, chance, inevitability and magic. Not psychology. They claim that tellers, hearers, and readers of the tales accept without question the sufficiency of fate, chance, inevitability or magic. Quite true. Yet, we must ask why. What inclines tellers, hearers, and readers to accept fate or magic as causal? What is it about fairy tale and the human psyche that enables this unquestioning acquiescence in a realm of discourse that defies ordinary modes of understanding and common sense? Even if there were nothing else to probe, there is this. And, indubitably, this is a psychological question.

Marina Warner touches on the matter in her chapter “The Worlds of Faery,” where she reminds us of the moment in theatrical versions of the modern fairy tale Peter Pan, when Tinkerbell is dying of the poison Captain Hook had intended for Peter, and audience members are asked to clap hands to save her if we believe in fairies. Children have no trouble with this, but adults clap sheepishly, if at all, while telling themselves they are doing so for the sake of the children. But the audience’s reactions go much deeper, and Warner strikes home when she claims the motivation for “these untrue stories” is “a need to move beyond the limits of reality.” This is a verity explored psychoanalytically by the notable French analyst Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel in 1984, when she writes, “Man has always endeavored to go beyond the narrow limits of his condition” (after which, however, she heads off in a different direction).Fairy tale carries us back to this primordial kind of attention, the attention we gave the world when everything was “for the first time.”

The acceptance of magic and fatedness in wonder tales can be fruitfully considered, I propose, from a child developmental perspective. If we take that point of view, we can understand that our vulnerability or susceptibility stems from a persistence in the mind of a receptivity we had when all the world was new. Fairy tale carries us back to this primordial kind of attention, the attention we gave the world when everything was “for the first time.” In earliest childhood, noticing and remarking matters most. Have you watched a small child gaze around, letting her eye be caught by this and that? Have you asked her to tell you about her day? The narrative will be disjunctive, lacking formal reason, yet filled with all that truly matters: filled what was seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled, felt. The “why?” comes later. And of course such a way of perceiving is full of surprise: both unexpected delight and terror. Here is how a typical tale proceeds: Something happens. Then something else. Another occurrence. And another. And yet again another. But the nature and order of these events defy logic. Connections seem arbitrary if they exist at all and contiguous in a purely temporal register, with one experience simply following another.Be the most
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Let’s take the Grimms’ Tale 42, in which a poor man with many children dreams he must ask the first person he sees to be their godfather. He does so, and the stranger gives him a bottle of water, which he says will cure a moribund individual if Death stands at the person’s head but not if Death stands at the person’s feet. The king’s child falls ill. Death stands at the child’s head; the poor man cures him. The king’s child falls ill again, and it goes the same way. The third time, Death stands at the foot of the bed; now the child dies. The poor man goes to tell the godfather. On the way, he notices a shovel and a broom quarreling. Next, he encounters a pile of dead fingers that also talk. Then, a pile of speaking skulls. Finally, he comes upon some fish who are frying themselves in a pan. Each group tells him to climb higher so as to find the godfather. The poor man does so and finally peeps through a keyhole, where he sees the godfather with a pair of long horns. The godfather hides under a blanket and, after interpreting the other visions, denies that he has horns: “Now, that’s just not true,” he says, and the story is over!

Vivian Gussin Paley, a distinguished MacArthur prize-winning writer on young children’s story creation and on their impromptu performances of their own stories, and Selma Fraiberg, beloved author of The Magic Years, a classic book on child psychology, would, I feel certain, detect in this tale the form of narration plotted by children who spring for vivid imagery with no concern for binding logic. Faerie employs a primordial mode of narration.

Little Red Riding Hood hides from the wolf in the forest.HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES

Let’s make an anachronistic thought experiment and imagine Aristotle, in his unsurpassed treatise on poetics, analyzing the plot of Tale 42. Indubitably, he would characterize it as “post hoc,” rather than “propter hoc,” its events tumbling pell-mell, its paucity of causal logic, and the story ending up so far from where it begins. Trusting in reason and seeking to understand the elements of a refined, well-crafted plot, Aristotle would scarcely approve of this mode, or possibly he would treat it as comical, which, in part it is.

Turning the clock back even further than fourth century BCE Athens, again for just a moment, let’s consider Genesis. Genesis, like fairy tale, is paratactic: it strings events together by conjunctions absent the subordinate clauses that perform causality. Like faerie, Genesis yields minimal, non-elaborated stories. Its characters are never described in detail (we learn only that Leah had weak eyes), and we are no more privy to Adam’s feelings when Eve offers him the forbidden fruit than we are to the poor man-in-Tale-42’s feelings when he comes upon the blanketed godfather.

When characters are so scantly depicted, what makes us care about what happens to them? In the case of Hansel and Gretel, we do not even know how old they are meant to be, and every artist who has illustrated the tale has freely chosen their ages. How do these lacks affect our interest? Could it be in part that the lacunae prime our attention by giving us puzzles and riddles we feel drawn to solve?An educated adult will listen with a gnawing deep-down feeling that the story merits attention and bears a species of uncanny truth.

I propose that, when confronted with texts of this kind, whether scriptural, mythical, or faerie, we are hooked not only by what is given, the positive imagery, but by the very gaps—“the negative spaces”—as we might say in visual arts. In this manner, the tales take on a projective valence, rather like a species of narrative inkblots. Meaning-making occurs through ongoing, evolving negotiations that are historically bound but highly idiosyncratic. For young children, the key word becomes “why?” plus its variants. Why is the king’s child sick? Why does Death stand at the foot of the bed? Who is Death? What happened to all the poor man’s own children? Why doesn’t he have a name? Why does the godfather have horns, and why does he say he doesn’t? A very young child will listen wide-eyed, an older child will pose questions, and an educated adult will feel impelled to criticize but with a gnawing deep-down feeling that the story merits attention and bears a species of uncanny truth. More anon concerning the uncanny.

Warner documents the process of meaning-making over time vis-à-vis fairy tales in her chapters “In the Dock” and “Double Vision.” She traces a plethora of feminist re-readings and ideological exposés that probe the stories for their patriarchal biases and subject them to ironic re-visionings and critiques. Especially poignant is her citing of Eva Figes’s 2003 description of reading fairy tales to her granddaughter. Because Figes’s own grandmother perished in the Nazi camps, she cannot bear the horrible fate of Red Riding Hood’s grandmother and avoids that story altogether. Cradling the little girl with her arm as she reads other tales, she points out details in the illustrations and takes care to allay incipient fears by explaining that witches do not really exist and, regarding Snow White, that women do not die today when babies are born, even though they did so once long ago. But of course, witches do exist and mothers do die in childbirth, even today, and what signifies here is the differential projection of Figes’s own life story into her rendition. Another nana would tell it differently. And in that case it would, and it would not, be the same story.


Marina Warner’s previous book, her masterful, monumental Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights, contains an interlude of special delight to psychoanalysts, for she describes there the figured oriental carpet that covered Freud’s analytic couch in Vienna. Conjuring it, she proceeds to link it with the ornamented tasseled flying carpets of antique Araby and suggests that an analysand who reclines supine on Freud’s carpeted couch with eyes closed is primed thereby to lift off into realms of unconscious fantasy. In just this manner, I wish to hint at links between psychoanalysis and fairy tale in the twinning of inward mental journeys and the ways these stories have of spiriting us off to fascinating, hitherto uncharted realms, which were there all the time, somehow.

The seven dwarves find Snow White asleep in their bedroom.HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES

In Once Upon a Time, Warner includes “On the Couch,” a chapter in which she acknowledges the relevance of psychoanalysis for fairy tales but reveals a certain ambivalence by adding a flippant subtitle, borrowed from Angela Carter: “House-Training the Id.” The chapter begins with a measured appreciation of Bruno Bettelheim’s iconic study, The Uses of Enchantment (1976), in which, in my view, Bettelheim dons hand-blown German antique spectacles, seedy and wavy, that permit vision but impel distortion. He uses them to read a chosen set of European fairy tales, including Little Red Riding HoodSleeping Beauty, and so on, for their sexual and developmental themes, sometimes in a ham-handed way, for subtlety is not his forte. Yet, Warner’s assessment of his work seems wise, fair-minded, and charitable, for Bettelheim became notorious rather quickly for his alleged reductionism, and he has been mercilessly satirized for exemplifying the excesses of psychoanalytic zealotry. Generously and tactfully, Warner realizes there is much of value to be gleaned from his book.

A point Bettelheim overlooked is that fairy tales can be regarded as psychologically interesting in form as well as in content.  Their mode of narration, the structure of the stories, matters as much as the imaginary psychic lives of specific characters.  A key concept here is Freud’s notion of the uncanny, by which he meant the way in which familiar objects and events and people can suddenly seem strange and vice versa. This is of course part of the strategy at play in Tale 42. Selma Fraiberg, previously mentioned, has gracefully shown how the first few years of life are inevitably “uncanny” for children, a topic noted and often brilliantly exploited by the finest children’s book authors and illustrators.  An example would be Russell Hoban and Garth Williams, Bedtime for Frances, where the title character, a little girl badger, in the dark at night, sees her bathrobe thrown over a chair and thinks it a giant that has come to “get” her. The uncanny has connections, moreover, with the absurd and with notions of epistemological uncertainty. We accept the irrational elements of faerie and its enchantments in the same way we acknowledge that parts of our minds are unconscious—unknown and unknowable to us—and yet very much there, extant, real, true, significant.

If, by the term “psychological,” we mean relevance for mental life in its entwined cognitive and affective functioning, we are right to invoke it here, for fairy tales speak directly and indirectly to the psyche. They stimulate rainbows of feeling, insatiable curiosity, and inexhaustible searches for meaning. Psychology, moreover, pace Bettelheim, Pullman, and others concerns more than the so-called imaginary inner lives of characters; it concerns the experience of listeners and readers. Year after year, we still need to know what will happen to Cinderella and Rapunzel, to Jack, to the man who needed a godfather, and to the unnamed youngest daughter who asked her father for a rose. Beyond glittering imagery of silver and golden-haired princesses, roses, shiny keys, and iron caskets, thorns, and fry-pans, we are pulled by our deep yearning for, and terror of, that which defies understanding. Beyond sense and beyond justice and morality, the fairy tales beckon us and we sit on the edge of our chairs waiting to find out what lies ahead—even when we have heard the tale a dozen times before. 

Lead image: A postcard showing the princess from the fairy tale ‘The Frog Prince’ by the brothers Grimm.

Ellen Handler Spitz writes on the arts and psychology and on children’s aesthetic lives; she is the author of eight books and has written reviews for The New Republic and The New York Times. She is Honors College Professor at the University of Maryland.Read More: BooksCultureFairy Tales

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3D guns

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“I Shoot a Bunch of 3D Printed Guns – Do My Hands Survive?”

Tyler Durden's PhotoBY TYLER DURDENFRIDAY, APR 16, 2021 – 11:20 PM

A decentralized network of 3D printed gun advocates is mobilizing online and quickly revolutionizing gun designs, sharing blueprints, advice, and building a community. There’s no easy way the federal government can halt this movement as President Biden, not too long ago, declared war on “ghost guns.” 

YouTuber Sean with “The 3D Print General” attended “Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin” on April 10-11 in Texas. The first day involved top experts and practitioners that gave the audience actionable steps on how to print 3D guns at home. The second day, readers should be excited for this, was when Sean attended “shooting rad guns” day. 

The event was held at Onion Creek Gun Club, located in Austin, Texas. Sean shot various 3D-printed weapons, such as the FGC-9, which stands for “f**k gun control 9 mm.” As we’ve noted, the FGC-9 can be printed entirely at home for the cost of $350, including the printer’s cost. 

In the video “I Shoot a Bunch of 3D Printed Guns – Do My Hands Survive?” Sean test-fired an array of 3D-printed guns. In the last decade, the printing technology behind these weapons without serial numbers has drastically improved that it’s rare a gun explodes in someone’s hand as the early models did. Sean proves it; not one of these guns he fired at the range exploded in his hand. In fact, some of the weapons appeared to be high-tech or even futuristic. 

Without further adieu, here’s Sean test firing 3D printed weapons. 

When it comes to the Biden administration waging war on ghost guns  – well – good luck, what are they going to do – ban printers?85,376305

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Sadly this retail chain somehow managed to get ‘offside’ (I guess it’s easily done when the group becomes complacent and sits on its laurels’) now a restructuring awaits the hundred year old family business

Shoe Zone shares plummet as the retailer says it may have to axe 90 shops if the Government resumes ‘antiquated’ business rates next April

By Jane Denton For Thisismoney12:11 28 Oct 2020, updated 12:15 28 Oct 2020

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  • Suspension of business rates ‘significant benefit’ to Shoe Zone, boss says 
  • But, standard ‘antiquated’ business rates system set to resume in April 2021 

Shoe Zone shares have plummeted over 20 per cent today after the group’s boss admitted he may have to close swathes of stores if crippling business rates are not reduced.

Alistair Smith, the chief executive of Shoe Zone, has warned that 90 of the retailer’s 460 shops look set to be closed before April 2022 if the Government does not alter business rates.   

Smith, who has warned of closures in the past, said the Government’s decision to suspend business rates during the Covid-19 crisis had provided a ‘significant benefit’ to the business and helped save high street stores.

He added: ‘However, the Government has announced the reintroduction of the antiquated business rates system in April 2021 and to make matters worse has delayed the revaluation.

‘The consequence to Shoe Zone will be the closure of up to 45 stores prior to April 2021 and the potential closure of a further 45 stores in the 12 months following the reintroduction.’

He said a 2015 decision by the Government to delay a revaluation of rates by two years cost his business £2.5million.

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Smith said: ‘Never has the rating system been more unfair. Our rates as a proportion of rent have increased from 26.4% in 2009 to 54.3% in 2019 and forecast to be close to 60% in 2021.

‘This is unsustainable for most high street retailers and closures will continue unabated until the Government makes substantial changes.’

The company ended its financial year this month with 460 stores, after closing 40 but opening 10 others over the year. New openings are now on hold until conditions improve.

Tough times: Shoe Zone expects to report an annual loss of up to £12m this year

Soaring online sales were not enough to plug the gap left by a plunge in in-store sales.  

Overall trading levels were around 20 per cent lower year-on-year since reopening in June, while digital trading had roughly doubled.

Shoe Zone said revenues slumped by over £39million to £122.6million in the financial year which ended earlier this month.ADVERTISEMENT

The group’s shops were closed between 23 March, when lockdown started, to 15 June, but even since then sales remain down on a year ago.

Shoe Zone now expects to report a pre-tax loss of between £10million to £12million for the year.

It will not pay a dividend as the company focuses on paying back its debts instead.

Smith added: ‘Shoe Zone has ended an incredibly challenging year with a robust plan and sufficient funding in place to ensure the future survival of the business.

‘The exceptional growth in digital sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the flexibility of our operating model, and follows the decision to create an autonomous digital department in 2019.’

Shares in AIM-listed Shoe Zone have fallen sharply today and are currently down 20.41 per cent or 9.28 points to 36.22p. A year ago the company’s share price stood at 132.50p. 

The retail sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, with huge numbers of workers losing their jobs and shoppers shunning high-streets and moving to online browsing. ADVERTISEMENT

Today, fashion chain Next warned that it could lose up to £60million in lost sales if England, Northern Ireland and Scotland follow Wales and impose a two-week circuit breaker lockdown. 

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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Shoe Zone poised to shut 90 stores amid ‘antiquated’ business rates

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Russia Presents Evidence Against US, UK and Israel As Being the Actual 9/11 Terrorist

The ‘official’ 9/11 Commission Report stands as the most fabricated document ever produced by US tax dollars.  Not only did the investigation avoid every serious inquiry about how two steel frame building came down after being dustified in NYC, it also subverted every initiative to ferret out the truth.

That’s all about to change.


It appears that Russia has been conducting systematic data dumps on 9/11, the release of which represents more factual information on the attacks than any US Government source.  

In the wake of the Anglo-American coup d’état conducted by the CIA and MI6 in Kiev, it appears that Russia has no more patience for Western interference.  Especially when nations are destabilized on Russia’s borders do the stakes in this highly consequential geopolitical chess match go up.


Since Vladimir Putin has no intention of starting World War 3, he can only respond to US-EU meddling by using asymmetric warfare on the internet.

 WERE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PERPETRATED THE 9/11 DESTRUCTION, EVERYTHING WOULD CHANGE IN A HEARTBEAT.

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Does Biden Want to Provoke Russia into A Rash Military Action?

[New post] Does Biden Want to Provoke Russia into A Rash Military Action, “Leading” the World to the Brink of Nuclear War?

New post on Counter Information

Does Biden Want to Provoke Russia into A Rash Military Action,the World to the Brink of Nuclear War?by Jaime C.The Crisis in Ukraine and the Nord Stream II Gas PipelineBy Mark H. GaffneyGlobal Research, April 15, 2021

Scarcely three months into his presidency, Joe Biden is “leading” the world to the brink of nuclear war over Ukraine. In February, Biden insisted that the US would never accept the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Even though 95% of Crimeans voted in 2014 to return to Russia,

Biden continues to describe the annexation as “aggression” and an “invasion.” Democratic referendums apparently are irrelevant if Washington disapproves of the outcome. Nor did the Russians invade. At the time, Russian troops were already present in Crimea by an earlier agreement with the previous elected Ukrainian government. This kind of distorted history has become standard in what passes for journalism in the West on any issue involving Russia. 

Recently, president Biden had the impertinence to describe Vladimir Putin as a “killer.” I say impertinence because in 2002 Senator Biden himself was the most vocal promoter in the US Senate of the 2003 Iraq War that killed at least a million Iraqis. As Putin put it, “it takes one to know one.”And when Putin responded to Biden’s “killer” comment by wishing the US president good health and offering to meet with him to discuss world events, Biden brusquely dismissed the offer, saying he was “quite busy.” Well informed people probably gagged at the remark, given Biden’s scaled back work schedule and his visibly worsening mental impairment.Ukrainian president Zelensky withdrew from the Minsk peace process. And then days later, Zelensky essentially declared war on Russia by issuing a decree stating that, if necessary, Crimea will be liberated from Russian control through military action.Zelensky also called on the West to expedite Ukraine’s entry into NATO.

Should this occur, it would obligate a NATO military response in the event of war. Following his plea, there were a series of emergency meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels.Since 2014, at least 14,000 Russians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Over seven years, the Ukrainian army has been shelling and terrorizing the Russian towns and communities that lie east of the line of control. The western press has hardly covered any of this violence. When it does, Russia is typically blamed.As I write, a military buildup is underway in the region. Russian and Ukrainian forces are massing on both sides of the border. The other day, Kremlin officials described the situation along the front line as “unstable” and “terrifying.” Yet, Biden and his advisers appear determined to throw gas on the fire. Days ago, Biden ordered two US destroyers into the Black Sea where a Russian naval buildup is also underway. The US ships were to pass through the Bosporus on April 14-15. It is certainly true that the Black Sea is an international waterway.

The US Navy has the right to sail there. But given all that has transpired, is it really wise to risk a nuclear showdown with Russia over a regional dispute that surely cannot be vital to US national interests. US officials have never explained why liberating Crimea and eastern Ukraine should be important to Americans.So, why is Biden engaging in brinksmanship? The reason is simple, though it is never mentioned in the western press. Biden and his advisers hope to provoke Russia into a rash military action. They intend to score a propaganda coup by branding Putin as the aggressor. This will enable them to ratchet up enormous political pressure on Germany to cancel the Nordstream II gas pipeline, which is 95% complete. The pipeline starts in northern Russia near St. Petersburg and runs beneath the Baltic Sea to Germany.

When finished, the capacious pipeline will provide Germany (and Europe) with abundant cheap natural gas. But Biden’s team views the pipeline as an existential threat to US hegemony in Europe. And it seems they are prepared to take the world to the nuclear brink to prevail on the issue.Biden’s Ukrainian “Putin Push” Could Lead to World War IIIOver the years, the US has already expended enormous political capital to force a halt to the Nordstream project. Western intelligence agencies have gone to elaborate lengths, cooking up one scam after another, to increase pressure on the German government.Some examples are the alleged 2018 poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, allegedly by Russia, and the more recent case of dissident Alexei Navalny who was also allegedly targeted with the same Russian-made nerve agent used on the Skripals, known as Novichok.Despite the sensational charges, media storm, and hyped expulsion of Russian diplomats, both stories have since unraveled.

Western intelligence agencies failed to explain how the Skripals and Navalny managed to survive Novichok’s extreme toxicity. The substance is so lethal that even the first responders and doctors who came in contact with the alleged victims should also have died. Does anyone believe that the Russians are so incompetent they failed repeatedly to assassinate their alleged victims using their own nerve agent? The smear campaigns may have worked on Americans, but they failed where it matters most, in Germany. The US wants to supply Germany with liquified natural gas from North America delivered by tankers at a much higher price. This would make Germany permanently dependent on more expensive US natural gas, while Nordstream II would liberate Germany from US political controls and influence. The problem for Washington is that the German government has not budged.

A recent poll shows why. Despite all of the attempts to discredit Putin, 67% of Germans still support completion of the Nordstream II project. Typically well informed, the German people understand that the pipeline is vital to their country and to Europe. It’s a safe bet they also see through the CIA’s transparent propaganda.It is noteworthy that the US-backed 2014 coup that toppled the previous government in Kiev occurred immediately after then-Ukrainian president Yanukovitch had rejected an economic package offered by the European Union (also backed by the US), and instead signed onto a deal with Russia that was much more favorable to Ukraine.

The timing was significant. It was at this point that Washington gave the green light for the coup. After which, the US moved into Ukraine with its own economic “reforms.” Monsanto, for example, ever eager to increase its market share, began buying up large tracts of fertile Ukrainian farmland for the purpose of exporting its GMO poisons into the region.After failing to block the pipeline using every covert scheme in the CIA and State Department playbook, the Biden team has now upped the stakes. Evidently they are prepared to risk World War III to maintain Germany’s current status as a US vassal. 

Controlling Germany is one of the keys to controlling Europe.With regard to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, entry into the NATO alliance is a lengthy process. A number of conditions must first be met and, given that Ukraine is an economic basket case, it is unlikely any of this has occurred. For this reason, Zelensky’s plea for expedited membership may not be feasible. Furthermore, Ukraine’s gloomy economic situation is about to worsen because one of its main sources of revenue is about to disappear.Because the Nordstream II pipeline passes far to the north and bypasses Ukraine, the country stands to lose $billions in royalty fees it presently collects for Russian gas delivered to Europe across its territory. This is surely why Ukrainian officials have joined with Americans in calling for cancellation of the project.

At the time of his election in 2019, Ukraine president Zelensky promised to end the civil war and make peace with Russia. But the issues have turned out to be so intractable that positions on both sides have since hardened. Russia has no intention of ever surrendering its only warm water port in Crimea, nor will the eastern provinces ever submit to control by Kiev. Putin has begun passing out Russian passports to residents in Luhansk and Donets, and this suggests Moscow could be contemplating the next step, namely, political absorption of both provinces back into Russia.Given that Biden’s team is doing everything in their power to make a bad situation worse, Putin faces the biggest challenge of his political career. For many years, Putin has been such a model of restraint vis a vis the West, that many Russians feel he has been too accommodating, especially in the face of continued US hostility and warmongering. Not that Russians are spoiling for a fight. My research indicates otherwise.

The Russian people have no appetite for war. They understand the horrors of war far more acutely than do Americans. After all, thirty million of their countrymen perished in the debacle with Nazi Germany. Although I believe Putin long since ceased caring what Americans think of him, he knows if he oversteps he risks antagonizing the Germans who could still decide to cancel Nordstream II. So, Putin must tread carefully. But if Ukraine forces the issue, the Russian military is prepared to act.Assuming the pipeline is completed, I predict it will permanently change Germany’s relationship with the US and with Russia. In that case, the European balance of power will shift eastward. Russia and Germany are natural trading partners. Increased commerce between the two countries will insure the peace in Europe well into the future. Continuing US attempts to block the emergence of this important trade relationship is a testament to failed US leadership dating back many years.

*Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.Mark’s latest book is Deep History and the Ages of Man (2020) which is available at Amazon.com. Mark can be reached for comment at markhgaffney@earthlink.netFeatured image is from Asia TimesRelated ArticlesWhy Joe Biden Will Continue the US War on Nord Stream 2 till the Bitter End26 February 2021Russia Asserts Sovereignty over Crimea11 December 2015US Under Joe Biden Will Pursue Policy of “Countering” and “Encircling” Russia20 November 2020The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Mark H. Gaffney, Global Research, 2021https://www.globalresearch.ca/crisis-ukraine-nordstream-ii-gas-pipeline/5742772Jaime C. | April 15, 2021 at 7:56 pm | Tags: EuropeNATORusophobiaRussiaUSAWar Agenda | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p1qf1R-zAHComment   See all comments   LikeUnsubscribe to no longer receive posts from Counter Information.
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Kiev claims Russia threatening to annihilate them

Russia ‘threatening Ukraine with destruction’, Kyiv says

The foreign minister’s comments come as his counterparts from the Baltic nations visit Kyiv in a show of solidarity.

Fears are mounting over an imminent escalation in the long-simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled pro-Russian separatists since 2014 [File: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

15 Apr 2021

Ukraine’s foreign minister has accused Russia of flagrantly threatening Ukraine with destruction as fears continue to rise over a possible escalation of hostilities in the country’s conflict-stricken east.

Fighting has intensified in recent weeks in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists since April 2014 after the rebels seized a swath of territory there.

Meanwhile, Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops as well as tanks and artillery near the shared border in the region. Moscow has also mobilised troops in the annexed Black Sea region of Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in March 2014.KEEP READINGRussia seeking to ‘provoke’ Ukraine conflict, Germany saysNATO warns Russia over forces near UkraineRussia’s Ukraine manoeuvres are a response, not a provocationIs Russia moving towards war with Ukraine?

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the Kremlin’s “aggravation of the security situation” and accused Russian pundits and officials of “openly threatening Ukraine with war and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood”.

“Moscow’s actions and statements [are] aimed at escalating military tensions and undermining diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” he said.

Kuleba also warned Moscow against initiating any incursion into Ukraine, stating any intensification of the escalation in the Donbas region, of which Donetsk and Lugansk are a part, would have “very painful” consequences for Russia.

“The red line of Ukraine is the state border. If Russia crosses the red line, then it will have to suffer,” he said. “The world is on the side of Ukraine and international law.”

Baltic nations rally around Ukraine

Kuleba’s warning came as the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia arrived in Ukraine on Thursday morning in a show of solidarity in the face of the Russian military buildup.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that “Ukraine will never be on its own”.

“We stand with you, we stand in solidarity,” he said.

Russia has previously said its troop movements pose no threat and are merely defensive. It has also stated the military units would remain in position as long as the Kremlin saw fit.

But the buildup has alarmed Ukraine’s allies, prompting calls from NATO for Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a pullback.

On Wednesday, NATO members Germany and the United States urged Moscow to reverse course and de-escalate the situation in the region.

A day earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to end its “unjustified” military buildup.

While Kyiv has welcomed the shows of Western support, they fall short of Ukraine’s desire for full NATO membership – which Moscow opposes.

Moscow blames NATO, US

Moscow has refused to change tack, and this week blamed NATO and the US for turning Ukraine into a “powder keg” with increasing arms supplies to the country.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied interfering in Donbas, but Ukraine and several Western countries have said separatist forces in the region have been armed, led, funded and aided by Russia.

On Tuesday, in the first public description of the military buildup, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had moved two army and three paratrooper units to its western border as part of a large snap drill meant to test combat readiness and respond to what he called threatening military action by NATO.https://fdbbfc6d9c3e748d289203fe1200e1e3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Shoigu said on state television that the three-week exercise was due to wrap up in the next two weeks.

He also claimed NATO was deploying 40,000 troops and 15,000 pieces of military equipment near Russia’s borders, mainly in the Black Sea and the Baltic regions. NATO denies having made such plans.

Russia has previously accused NATO of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea, which came after an uprising that toppled former Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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6 year old German shepherd police dog tragically killed by train whilst chasing burglars

Chester and District Standard

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1 hr ago

Tributes paid to ‘determined’ police dog killed on duty

By Press Association 2021

PD Jet

PD Jet

Tributes have been paid to a police dog who was killed on duty while chasing burglars.

PD Jet, a six-year-old German shepherd, was hit by a train on Wednesday morning while pursuing suspects linked to a commercial burglary in Yate, south Gloucestershire.

Avon and Somerset Police said Jet went on to an obscured section of railway line and was struck by a train.

The burglary suspects remain at large and inquiries to locate them are continuing.

Jet joined the force from Devon and Cornwall Police in September last year and has had located wanted and vulnerable people.

Chief Inspector Jason Shears said: “We are incredibly sad at the loss of PD Jet.

“Jet was a determined and focused police dog who loved working in the many important roles our dogs perform in, all of which help to keep our communities safe.

“Jet and his handler had a very special bond which was cemented by the months of hard work and training carried out.

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An unprecedented mobilisation of the Russian armed forces is taking place. This is no drill no hoax and No exercise but a full mobilization

Russia and Ukraine ‘on doorstep of war with half a million troops on move’

Vladimir Putin has ordered the biggest troop movement for nearly 50 years, since the height of the Cold War, and is said to be ready to go to war with the USA

ByWill StewartDave BurkeNews reporter

  • 11:21, 14 APR 2021
  • UPDATED11:35, 14 APR 2021

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.451.0_en.html#goog_499452093 RUSSIA AND UKRAINE WAR: ‘HALF A MILLION TROOPS ON MOVE’ WITH COUNTRY FACING ‘WIPE OUT BLITZKRIEG’

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Vladimir Putin may have ordered up to half a million troops to the Ukrainian border as fears of war in Europe rise.

A veteran analyst today warned that the country is on the “doorstep of war” thanks to “total mobilisation” on a level not seen for nearly 50 years, at the height of the Cold War.

Russia is ready to go to war with the US if it intervenes, it is claimed – in spite of Joe Biden’s call for calm.

Today Russian navy began drills in the Black Sea in a show of strength ahead of the arrival of two US warships in the region.

Videos released today seem to show heavy armaments on the move in Krasnodar region and naval vessels on the Don River.

Russia is known to be switching landing ships and other crafts from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea for the first time since the end of the Soviet era.Sponsored Link by TaboolaAre you ready for Desert Order?Desert Order

Chilling new footage today also showed Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on manoeuvres – while Ukraine also conducted naval exercises off Crimea.138216277808MOST READ1Prince William and Harry speak on phone as Kate acts as ‘peacekeeper’ between brothers2How to tell if a call centre operator can hear everything you’re saying while on hold3Coronavirus symptoms: Eight signs that show you may have already had Covid

Russia's Black Sea fleet is on the move, new footage shows
Russia’s Black Sea fleet is on the move, new footage shows (Image: RIA Novosti)
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Yesterday Joe Biden called for a summit with Putin in a neutral country – but Russia has vowed decisive action if new Western sanctions follow.

This comes as a veteran independent Russian defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer has claimed Putin may have ordered the movement of “more than half a million” troops involving forces from the Pacific to the Baltic.

Asked on Ekho Moscow radio if Russia was “on the doorstep of war”, he replied: “Practically, we are.”

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He said: “An unprecedented mobilisation of the Russian armed forces is taking place.

“All the armed forces. This has not happened either since 1973, or since 1962. Total mobilisation. All armed forces .

Russian defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said the country is “on the doorstep of war” (Image: Warsaw Security Forum)
Russian troops carrying out exercises in Crimea as tensions heighten (Image: Sergei Malgavko/TASS)
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“The exact number of people participating is not officially indicated. Apparently more than half a million.”

He stressed that the movements of troops take place during the day in order to show that Russia is “fully mobilised” and “in full combat readiness”.

He said: “Because if we start something with Ukraine, the Americans said that they would support it, then we are ready to go to war with America at any moment.”https://edff30b699bde03a5280c91f7a71aeb8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html138212091369DON’T MISSUS warships heading to Black Sea warned to turn away ‘for their own good’Prince William and Harry speak on phone as Kate acts as ‘peacekeeper’ between brothersPiers Morgan flees London and returns to his massive country house with pool

He claimed Russian was “preparing a deep operation for the total defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by means of a strike, containment at the Donbass front itself and a powerful blow through Kharkiv from Voronezh, Bryansk, and Belgorod, cutting off and encircling the Ukrainian grouping in Donbass.

“And a counter strike from the Crimea. Plus a landing to ‘free’ Mykolaiv and Odessa from Ukraine.”

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin faces calls to step back from the brink of war (Image: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
Russian tanks on the move as an expert said 'half a million' troops are being deployed
Russian tanks on the move as an expert said ‘half a million’ troops are being deployed (Image: @tiimoooshka; TikTok)

He stressed: “This does not mean that it will necessarily begin. But the preparation is serious.”

Such an attack would be possible between now and September, he forecast.

“In order for the West not to interfere and leave it to Ukraine to be devoured, we must show that we are ready for an all-out war.”

Felgenhauer alleged: “Putin says that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, and should live in one state. Ein volk, ein Reich.

“And that the Ukrainian nation-state and the Ukrainian nation is a disgusting chimera invented by the Austro-Hungarians.”

A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces fires in an attempt to shoot down an alleged unmanned aerial vehicle
A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces fires in an attempt to shoot down an alleged unmanned aerial vehicle (Image: REUTERS)

The current troop movements show “a fundamental difference from the routine of recent years”, he told independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

“The Russian defence ministry had begun an unprecedented general mobilisation throughout the country from Chukotka (close to Alaska) to Kaliningrad (between Poland and Lithuania) and the advance of troops to the borders of Ukraine under the pretext of a ‘combat readiness check’.”

Felgenhauer – who has worked as a defence analyst and expert for the Russian media for three decades – said: “All this looks as if the Russian General Staff is gathering forces and means for a possible ‘deep’ strategic operation.

“A powerful tank wedge of the right flank, striking to the southwest through Kharkiv, cuts through weak Ukrainian defences, breaking through places where no-one has fought with anyone since 1943.

Military drills in the Murmansk region of Russia
Military drills in the Murmansk region of Russia (Image: TV Zvezda)

“Somewhere on the Left Bank, in the lower reaches of the Dnieper River, the oncoming southern wedge from the Crimea joins the northern one.

“ Powerful airborne assault forces bring an additional element of chaos to the Ukrainian command and control system.

“The main Russian-speaking cities of south and east (Ukraine) will be occupied in the course of a victorious and fleeting blitzkrieg.

“The rest of Ukraine will be denied access to the sea.

“As it was recently announced, the end of Ukraine as a state will come.”

Ukraine gained its independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the two nations have had a hostile relationship for three decades.

Russia has been regularly accused of colluding with Ukrainian separatists in the east, and Ukrainian officials have frequently claimed Moscow is intent on splitting the country in half.

Large swathes of the Donbas conflict region in eastern Ukraine has a large population of Russian speakers, with a large proportion holding Russian passports.

Putin has vocally pledged to protect Russian citizens in other countries, offer a possible pretext to incursions into Ukraine.

Experts believe Russia intends to mount a full invasion of Ukraine
Experts believe Russia intends to mount a full invasion of Ukraine (Image: TV Zvezda)

In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea, a move that drew international condemnation and further demonstrated Putin’s intention to expand his borders into former Soviet countries.

An estimated 14,000 people have died in the conflict

Russia said its naval exercises involved “a detachment of ships of the Black Sea Fleet” conducting artillery firing as part of a combat readiness check.

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“War with USA inevitable” says Russia

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Russian State media claims war with US ‘Inevitable’ as tensions on Ukraine border rise UNILAD17:28The Kremlin’s strategy to undermine Britain The Spectator15:17Ukroboronprom ready to double production of weapons due to escalation from Russia Interfax-Ukraine16:53Russia and Ukraine ‘on doorstep of war with half a million troops on move’ Mirror.co.uk11:31EU may impose sanctions on Poroshenko and Biden, – European media 112 Ukraine International15:44Ukraine’s military intel says Russia to amass 110,000 soldiers at Ukraine border by Apr 20 UNIAN17:36

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Did the Reich dream really end at Nuremberg?

Nazi Holocaust was so successful for the German dictators and participating affiliates that their madcap ways didn’t stop at the end of WW II. These dictators were part of the NWO, New World Order, and UN, United Nations, affiliates with a long history and some name changes. These people took high positions worldwide, from water municipalities to nuclear power plants and heads of powerful companies and government departments.

From the decision making positions their age old dream of a genocide on a global basis was in the making. H.A.A.R.P. TTA’S, CHEMTRAILS, FLUORIDE, GMO’S MAKING HUMANS INTO DIFFERENT DNA, RNA, SPECIES TO ENSLAVE AND BATTER.

(extracted from a prominent local book distribution)

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Denmark will end travel restrictions

Editor’s pick 
  Danish government to propose ending Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated persons The government wants to allow Danes and foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to be allowed to travel in and out of the country without being subject to quarantine
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Incessant Military build up (in Ukraine) from the Russian Federation could spark a regrettable major war on the European continent

Ukraine crisis is ‘one step from war’: Russian state media ramps up rhetoric as former US ambassador to Moscow warns Putin could spark large-scale conflict in Europe as he tests Joe Biden by massing troops on border

By Will Stewart In Moscow and Chris Pleasance for MailOnline09:58 12 Apr 2021, updated 17:24 12 Apr 2021

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  • Russia is ‘one step away’ from war with Ukraine, a report on state TV has warned
  • Anchor Dmitry Kiselyov told audiences on Sunday that Ukraine is a ‘Nazi’ state that may have to be ‘de-Nazified’ by force
  • Meanwhile Michael McFaul, America’s former ambassador to Moscow, warned Russia could invade Ukraine on the pretext of protecting Russian speakers  
  • He said the Russian military buildup, now thought to stand at 80,000 troops alongside tanks and artillery, is designed as a ‘test’ for Joe Biden 

Russia is ‘one step from war’ with Ukraine, state TV has warned in the latest bout of sabre-rattling between Moscow and Kiev that has jangled nerves across Europe.

Dmitry Kiselyov, a Russian news anchor who has been called a ‘Putin propagandist’ in the past, issued the warning during a primetime broadcast in Russia on Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT

He branded Ukraine a ‘Nazi’ state, saying that Russia may be forced to ‘de-Nazify’ it buy force – a process he said would bring about its ‘economic and military collapse’.

Russia is now thought to have massed more than 80,000 troops along Ukraine’s eastern border, including tanks, artillery pieces, armoured transports and support vehicles – raising fears of an invasion.

Ukrainian presidential spokesman Iuliia Mendel said today that 40,000 troops are now stationed in Crimea with another 40,000 near the Donbass region where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting government forces for years.   

Meanwhile Michael McFaul, who was America’s man in Moscow between 2012 and 2014 when Putin annexed Crimea, warned that Putin could invade Ukraine and bring war to Europe in a ‘worst-case scenario’. https://secured.dailymail.co.uk/embed/gamp-video/9461199/video-2396138.html#amp=1

Russian artillery moves to the border
Russian armoured vehicles move to the border
There are now more than 80,000 Russian troops along the border, the Ukrainian president’s office has said, with 40,000 in Crimea and 40,000 along the rest of the border
Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Moscow, said the build-up – which is being carriedo out in full view of cameras (above ) – is ‘definitely’ designed to test Joe Biden

Russian artillery piecesRussian support vehicles

He said the current posturing in eastern Europe could easily spill over into all-out conflict if Russia decides to attack on the pretext of ‘liberating’ Russian-speakers in the east of the country who it considers citizens.

‘If that happened the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian army would respond, I have no doubt that they would, and then you would have a war in Europe between two very formidable armies,’ he said.

In the meantime, Russia has resorted to attacking Ukrainian President Zelensky over the airwaves with state media painting him as the aggressor.

A news report on Russia’s Channel One likened Zelensky – a former actor – to Napoleon after digging up images of him playing the part in an old TV drama.

The Ukrainian leader was dreaming of ‘Napoleonic ambitions’ by hoping NATO would come to his aid against Russia, the report said.ADVERTISEMENT

But it was clear Zelensky was not evaluating himself ‘sensibly’. Portraying Napoleon on screen ‘is not the same as doing it,’ the report added.

Another report labelled the ex-TV comedian Zelensky a ‘commander-in-chief comic’, a ‘president of war’ who was ‘inciting’ conflict.

Viewers were told that Ukraine with NATO support, rather than Russia, was building up military firepower close to Donetsk and Luhansk, which are controlled by pro-Moscow rebels following a civil war in 2014 that has led to more than 14,000 deaths.

‘Never before has there been so much Nato military hardware in Ukraine,’ claimed the report.

It also highlighted alleged arrivals of US transport planes and Pentagon-leased cargo vessels in strategic Ukrainian port Odessa.

These claims could not be immediately corroborated.   

Videos have also shown tanks, mobile artillery, howitzers, armoured personnel carriers and support vehicles being ferried to the front – many of which are being massed at a camp near the city of Voronezh, around 115 miles from the border. 

Mendel added that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has requested talks with Putin over the troop buildup, but has not yet received a response.

Zelenskiy will this week travel to Paris to discuss the rising tensions with European allies. 

Asked by BBC Radio 4 how concerned world leaders should be by the situation in Ukraine, Mr McFaul responded simply: ‘Very.’ Ukraine has begun pumping out its own images of military preparations, including troops practicing with an anti-tank launcherUkrainian troops practice with anti-tank missiles and grenade launchers as the government warns of the risk of Russian invasionA Russian ‘peacekeeping’ vehicle is seen on the move in Transnistria, in Moldova, along Ukraine’s western flank

While US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened ‘consequences and costs’ if Russia moves into Ukraine, Mr McFaul said his threat does not go far enough.

He called on the White House should be explicit in spelling out what its retaliation would be if Russia attacked, in the hopes of changing the calculation Putin makes before giving the order.ADVERTISEMENT

‘Sanctions almost never change Putin’s behaviour post-facto, but they might change his calculations before he decides to make a move,’ he said. 

He added that the G7 should also put out a statement condemning Russia’s actions instead of forcing America to take its stand alone. 

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Invited to speculate on why Putin is now making an issue out of a conflict that has been smouldering in eastern Ukraine for the past five years, Mr McFaul pointed to ‘tough’ things that Biden has said about the Russian president since taking office.

Back in March, Biden called Putin ‘a killer’ while threatening to retaliate against Russian attempts to interfere in the 2020 election.

The remark caused fury in Moscow, as Putin’s spokesman called it ‘unprecedented’ and said it is clear that Biden ‘does not want to improve relations with us, and we will continue to proceed from this’.

Observers have also pointed to pressure mounting on Putin from within Russia as a reason for him to ratchet up simmering tensions.

The president is facing slumping popularity in the polls, repeated leaks to the media about his closely-guarded private life, and serious opposition in the form of Alexei Navalny – the now-jailed critic who sparked mass protests back in January. 

Andrea Kendall-Taylor, of the Center for a New American Security, told Foreign Policy magazine that ‘it feels like Putin is drumming up the besieged Russia narrative’.

Amid the tensions, Russian media warned on Monday that the country is ‘one step away from war’ as anchors branded Ukraine a ‘Nazi’ state and played footage of weapons being moved to the border. PutinZelenskyJoe Biden raised tensions with Moscow by branding Putin a ‘killer’, with experts saying the troop movements are designed to ‘test’ the US president

Moscow also unveiled a new video of its latest weaponry marking Day of the Air Defence Forces.

More footage showed the first recent Russian military massing on Ukraine’s western flank, with movements in Transnistria, a no-man’s land controlled by Moscow that borders Moldova.

Some carried ‘peacekeeper’ signs, normal for Moscow forces in the breakaway territory. It was not immediately clear where the forces were heading.

Troops and equipment have also been on the move in annexed Crimea, along with the Russian regions of Pskov, Ryazan, Rostov-on-Don, and elsewhere. 

Images also emerged from Ukraine of forces doing drills with the Korsar (Corsar) light portable anti tank missile system.

And reports say US military reconnaissance planes P-8A Poseidon and Lockheed EP-3E Orion have been spotted over the Black Sea close to Crimea during the weekend. 

It comes after Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, warned last week of the threat of a ‘second Srebrenica’ against Russian speakers in Ukraine – referencing a massacre of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

Deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitry Kozak warned that, if Russia finds reason to intervene in the conflict, then it would be the ‘beginning of the end’ for Ukraine.

Military action would be ‘not a shot in the leg, but in the face’, he added.

Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatist movements in Donbass has already ramped up as tensions increase, Kiev says.

On Sunday, fighting saw one Ukrainian soldier killed and another wounded by artillery fire.ADVERTISEMENT

Ukraine says 27 soldiers have now been killed in the region this year, more than half the number who died in all of 2020. 

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Putin could spark war in Europe by invading Ukraine, ex-US ambassador warns

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Lockdown about to end for London

SUN APR 11, 2021 / 4:26 AM EDT

After dire year England’s shops hope for end-of-lockdown shopping spree

James Davey

FILE PHOTO: A man walks a dog in front of a closed retail unit ahead of next week’s planned reopening, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in St Albans, Britain, April 9

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a boarded up retail unit in Preston, Britain, March 9, 2021.REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE/FILE PHOTO

LONDON (Reuters) – After more than three months of enforced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential stores in England reopen their doors on Monday, hoping that the escape from lockdown will fuel a trading boom.

Industry lobby group, the British Retail Consortium, estimates UK stores have lost 27 billion pounds ($37 billion) in sales over three lockdowns, while 67,000 retail jobs were shed in 2020 alone.

Some 17,532 chain store outlets vanished from high streets, shopping centres and retail parks across the UK last year, according to data compiled by researcher the Local Data Company for accountancy firm PwC.

But with more than half of the UK’s adult population having received at least one of the vaccine’s two doses, analysts do not think shoppers will hold back.

Market researcher Kantar is forecasting that consumers will spend 3.9 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) on the high street in the first week of reopening.

“There was definitely a bounce at the end of the lockdown last year (in June), I would be surprised if the same thing didn’t happen again,” Simon Wolfson, CEO of fashion retailer Next, told Reuters.

Many shopping areas will look very different from their pre-pandemic state. A raft of chains, including fashion retailers Topshop, Topman, Burton, Oasis and Laura Ashley, which had been fixtures for decades, will not be there – high profile casualties of a crisis that has hammered the sector.

Eight John Lewis department stores will not reopen and Debenhams stores will only reopen to hold final closing sales.

England’s non-essential stores have been closed since Jan. 4 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a third lockdown to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Non-essential retail will also reopen in Wales on Monday, though Scotland’s shops will have to wait until at least April 26. Northern Ireland does not have a date yet.

PENT-UP DEMAND

Getting shoppers spending again is key to Britain’s recovery after official data last month showed that 2020 was the worst year for its economy in more than three centuries.

Analysts reckon the customer bounce-back could be more pronounced than the one last June.

“Lockdowns clearly improve the average family P&L, and many will be thinking that they won’t be going on an overseas holiday this year. Shoppers have money to spend, and most people haven’t shopped fashion for nearly two years,” said analysts at Peel Hunt.

Roger Whiteside, CEO of baker Greggs, reckons the sector will benefit from pent-up demand.

While Greggs stores were allowed to trade through the latest lockdown, he is hoping for a boost to high street footfall from the relaxation in restrictions.

“There’ll be queues outside the shops that people can’t access easily online, so Primark’s a good example,” he said.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks a dog in front of a closed retail unit ahead of next week’s planned reopening

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a boarded up retail unit in Preston, Britain, March 9, 2021.REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE/FILE PHOTO

To help the sector cope with the challenge of social distancing regulations, which are scheduled to remain in place until June 21, the government is allowing extended opening hours. It said last month that shops can open until 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

($1 = 0.7294 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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An American Rhine-Meadows Camp Guard Speaks Out.

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https://ww2gravestone.com/an-american-rhine-meadows-camp-guard-speaks-out/

Rheinwiesenlager (German: [ˈʁaɪnˌviːzn̩ˌlaːɡɐ]Rhine meadow camps) were a group of 19 camps built in the Allied-occupied part of Germany by the U.S. Army to hold captured German soldiers at the close of the Second World War. Officially named Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures (PWTE), they held between one and almost two million surrendered Wehrmacht personnel from April until September 1945.

Rheinwiesenlager
Rhine meadow camps
Part of Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures (PWTE)
West Germany
A U.S. soldier at Camp Remagen guarding thousands of German soldiers captured in the Ruhr area on 25 April 1945.

following is an excerpt from the testimony of a former soldier and guard at the Rhine-Meadows camps, Martin Brech . The Rheinwiesenlager or Rhine meadow camps, were a group of 19 camps built in the Allied occupied part of Germany by the U.S. Army to hold captured German soldiers at the close of the Second World War.

“In October 1944, at age eighteen, I was drafted into the U.S. army. Largely because of the “Battle of the Bulge,” my training was cut short, my furlough was halved, and I was sent overseas immediately. Upon arrival in Le Havre, France, we were quickly loaded into box cars and shipped to the front. When we got there, I was suffering increasingly severe symptoms of mononucleosis, and was sent to a hospital in Belgium. Since mononucleosis was then known as the “kissing disease,” I mailed a letter of thanks to my girlfriend.

By the time I left the hospital, the outfit I had trained with in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was deep inside Germany, so, despite my protests, I 18 years old, was placed in a “repo depot” (replacement depot). I lost interest in the units to which I was assigned, and don’t recall all of them: non-combat units were ridiculed at that time. My separation qualification record states I was mostly with Company C, 14th Infantry Regiment, nickname “Golden Dragons” , during my seventeen-month stay in Germany, but I remember being transferred to other outfits also.

In late March or early April 1945, I was sent to guard a POW camp near Andernach along the Rhine. I had four years of high school German, so I was able to talk to the prisoners, although this was forbidden. Gradually, however, I was used as an interpreter and asked to ferret out members of the S.S. (I found none.)

In Andernach about 50,000 prisoners of all ages were held in an open field surrounded by barbed wire. The women were kept in a separate enclosure that I did not see until later. The men I guarded had no shelter and no blankets. Many had no coats. They slept in the mud, wet and cold, with inadequate slit trenches for excrement. It was a cold, wet spring, and their misery from exposure alone was evident.

Even more shocking was to see the prisoners throwing grass and weeds into a tin can containing a thin soup. They told me they did this to help ease their hunger pains. Quickly they grew emaciated. Dysentery raged, and soon they were sleeping in their own excrement, too weak and crowded to reach the slit trenches. Many were begging for food, sickening and dying before our eyes. We had ample food and supplies, but did nothing to help them, including no medical assistance. 

Outraged, I protested to my officers and was met with hostility or bland indifference. When pressed, they explained they were under strict orders from “higher up.” No officer would dare do this to 50,000 men if he felt that it was “out of line,” leaving him open to charges. Realizing my protests were useless, I asked a friend working in the kitchen if he could slip me some extra food for the prisoners. He too said they were under strict orders to severely ration the prisoners’ food, and that these orders came from “higher up.” But he said they had more food than they knew what to do with, and would sneak me some.

When I threw this food over the barbed wire to the prisoners, I was caught and threatened with imprisonment. I repeated the “offense,” and one officer angrily threatened to shoot me. I assumed this was a bluff until I encountered a captain on a hill above the Rhine shooting down at a group of German civilian women with his .45 caliber pistol. When I asked, “Why?,” he mumbled, “Target practice,” and fired until his pistol was empty. I saw the women running for cover, but, at that distance, couldn’t tell if any had been hit .

This is when I realized I was dealing with cold-blooded killers filled with moralistic hatred. They considered the Germans subhuman and worthy of extermination; another expression of the downward spiral of racism. Articles in the G.I. newspaper, Stars and Stripes, played up the German concentration camps, complete with photos of emaciated bodies. This amplified our self-righteous cruelty, and made it easier to imitate behavior we were supposed to oppose. Also, I think, soldiers not exposed to combat were trying to prove how tough they were by taking it out on the prisoners and civilians.”

Most estimates of German deaths in these camps range from 3,000 to 10,000.  Many of these died from starvation, dehydration and exposure to the weather elements because no structures were built inside the prison compounds.

END

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Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower, who was following MH17 in real time? Where is he now?

Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower claims Ukraine military shot down MH17 | Guyana Community Discussion Forums

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Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower claims Ukraine military shot down MH17

FMFormer Member

And then there’s the curiouser and curiouser story of Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower, who was following MH17 in real time. For some Carlos is legit – not a cipher; for others, he’s never even worked in Ukraine. Anyway he tweeted like mad. His account – not accidentally – has been shut down, and he has disappeared; his friends are now desperately looking for him. I managed to read all his tweets in Spanish when the account was still online – and now copies and an English translation are available.

These are some of his crucial tweets:

“The B777 was escorted by 2 Ukrainian fighter jets minutes before disappearing from radar (5.48 pm)”
“If the Kiev authorities want to admit the truth 2 fighter jets were flying very close a few minutes before the incident but did not shoot down the airliner (5.54)”
“As soon as the Malaysia Airlines B777 disappeared the Kiev military authority informed us of the shooting down. How did they know? (6.00)”
“Everything has been recorded on radar. For those that don’t believe it, it was taken down by Kiev; we know that here (in traffic control) and the military air traffic control know it too (7.14)”
“The Ministry of the Interior did know that there were fighter aircraft in the area, but the Ministry of Defense didn’t. (7.15)”
“The military confirm that it was Ukraine, but it is not known where the order came from. (7.31)”

Carlos’s assessment (a partial compilation of his tweets is collected here http://slavyangrad.wordpress.c…ot-down-boeing-mh17/ ): the missile was fired by the Ukraine military under orders of the Ministry of Interior – NOT the Ministry of Defense. Security matters at the Ministry of the Interior happen to be under Andriy Parubiy, who was closely working alongside US neo-cons and Banderastan neo-nazis on Maidan.

Assuming Carlos is legit, the assessment makes sense. The Ukrainian military are divided between Chocolate king President Petro Poroshenko – who would like a d?tente with Russia essentially to advance his shady business interests – and Saint Yulia Timoshenko, who’s on the record advocating genocide of ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. US neo-cons and US “military advisers” on the ground are proverbially hedging their bets, supporting both the Poroshenko and Timoshenko factions.

So who profits?
The key question remains, of course, cui bono? Only the terminally brain dead believe shooting a passenger jet benefits the federalists in Eastern Ukraine, not to mention the Kremlin.

As for Kiev, they’d have the means, the motive and the window of opportunity to pull it off – especially after Kiev’s militias have been effectively routed, and were in retreat, in the Donbass; and this after Kiev remained dead set on attacking and bombing the population of Eastern Ukraine even from above. No wonder the federalists had to defend themselves.

And then there’s the suspicious timing. The MH17 tragedy happened two days after the BRICS announced an antidote to the IMF and the World Bank, bypassing the US dollar. And just as Israel “cautiously” advances its new invasion/slow motion ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Malaysia, by the way, is the seat of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which has found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity.

Washington, of course, does profit. What the Empire of Chaos gets in this case is a ceasefire (so the disorganized, battered Kiev militias may be resupplied); the branding of Eastern Ukrainians as de facto “terrorists” (as Kiev, Dick Cheney-style, always wanted); and unlimited mud thrown over Russia and Putin in particular until Kingdom Come. Not bad for a few minutes’ work. As for NATO, that’s Christmas in July.

From now on, it all depends on Russian intelligence. They have been surveying/tracking everything that happens in Ukraine 24/7. In the next 72 hours, after poring over a lot of tracking data, using telemetry, radar and satellite tracking, they will know which type of missile was launched, where from, and even produce communications from the battery that launched it. And they will have access to forensic evidence.

Unlike Washington – who already knows everything, with no evidence whatsoever (remember 9/11?) – Moscow will take its time to know the basic journalistic facts of what, where, and who, and engage on proving the truth and/or disproving Washington’s spin.

The historical record shows Washington simply won’t release data if it points to a missile coming from its Kiev vassals. The data may even point to a bomb planted on MH17, or mechanical failure – although that’s unlikely. If this was a terrible mistake by the Novorossiya rebels, Moscow will have to reluctantly admit it. If Kiev did it, the revelation will be instantaneous. Anyway we already know the hysterical Western response, no matter what; Russia is to blame.

Putin is more than correct when he stressed this tragedy would not have happened if Poroshenko had agreed to extend a cease-fire, as Merkel, Hollande and Putin tried to convince him in late June. At a minimum, Kiev is already guilty because they are responsible for safe passage of flights in the airspace they – theoretically – control.

But all that is already forgotten in the fog of war, tragedy and hype. As for Washington’s hysterical claims of credibility, I leave you with just one number: Iran Air 655.7/22/149:24 AMOriginal Post

Replies sorted oldest to newestFMFormer Member

Dummy NORADcovers the space completely with satellite and radar. A controller cannot know what happened and other controllers not see the same thing  so you are talking crap. FMFormer Member

I didn’t know Ukraine was so advanced…FMFormer MemberOriginally Posted by Lucas:

I didn’t know Ukraine was so advanced…

You do not know a lot. Else you would know of what I speak.FMFormer Member

The MH17 was shot by a missile from a Ukrainian fighter plane…very likely one of the pilots was a CIA advisorBack To Top

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Russia ready for ‘worst case scenarios’

Russia ready for ‘worst scenarios’ in relations with US

President Putin in favor of building good relations despite Washington’s hostility, says Kremlin spokesperson

Elena Teslova   |08.04.2021Russia ready for 'worst scenarios' in relations with US

MOSCOW

Russia on Thursday said it wants good relations with the US but remains ready for “the worst scenarios.”

Despite all the unfriendly moves by Washington, President Vladimir Putin would prefer “building good relations” between the two countries, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters in the capital Moscow.

“In general, despite all the harsh statements and hostile expressions from Washington, President Putin remains a consistent supporter of building good relations with the US, at least in those areas that are beneficial to us,” he said.

“In the development of our bilateral relations, we are always ready to go as far as our partners are ready to go.”

His comments came amid American media reports that President Joe Biden’s administration has completed a review of “Russia’s misdeeds,” including alleged meddling in the 2020 elections and cyberattacks.

Washington will soon announce new sanctions against Moscow, which may include, among other measures, personal sanctions and expulsion of diplomats, according to the reports.

Peskov stressed that Russia does not pose “a threat to anyone,” including the US, but the unpredictability of Washington’s actions has pushed Moscow to be ready for worst-case scenarios.

“We have never been and are not a threat to anyone. But, of course, we will never allow anyone, including the US, to threaten us, dictate something to us, and infringe on our interests,” he asserted.

“The hostility and unpredictability of the actions of the American side, in general, obliges us to be prepared for the worst scenarios. When you have a fairly aggressive, unpredictable interlocutor, you are always in a mobilized state.”

Separately, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Washington’s policy on Russia is a “dead end.”

“The absolutely dead-end US line toward Russia does not bring any result in terms of the goals that were announced when the sanctions were imposed,” he said at a news conference in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.

“This situation has been repeated many times. These actions convince us only of one thing; that we must rely on ourselves because neither the US nor its allies are reliable partners.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS)

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How the Pandemic Laid Bare the Cruelty of Capitalism

[New post] , by Kenn Orphan



How the Pandemic Laid Bare the Cruelty of Capitalism, by Kenn Orphanby dandelionsalad
Dandelion Salad Halifax, Nova Scotia April 9, 2021

One thing this pandemic has demonstrated in stark terms is class struggle. Those people deemed essential, though often applauded in public, have been treated as expendable. In truth, they were always treated this way. But this last year has made this struggle visible […]Read more of this postdandelionsalad |

April 9, 2021 at 2:23 pm | Tags: AmazonClass WarfareCOVID-19Kenn Orphan | Categories: CapitalismCorporations Really SuckLaborPolitics | URL: https://wp.me/p5qmX-WK0Comment   See all comments
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Turkey demands an Apology

Turkey demands apology after Draghi calls Erdogan a dictator…

      1 Vote

NICOLE WINFIELD and SUZAN FRASER
AP . Fri, April 9, 2021, 2:59 PM
ROME (AP) — Turkey demanded an apology Friday from Italy’s premier for having called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “dictator,” a comment that added fuel to a dispute over a perceived seating snub involving a top European Union official.

The comment also deepened an EU-Turkey rift at a time when the two sides had hoped for a rapprochement.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi made the uncharacteristically undiplomatic comment Thursday at the end of an hour-long news conference devoted to Italy’s coronavirus pandemic response. He was asked his reaction to Erdogan’s treatment of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was left without a chair during a Tuesday meeting in Ankara.

Draghi said Erdogan’s behavior was inappropriate and that he was sorry for the “humiliation” von der Leyen had suffered.

“It’s that with these — let’s call them what they are — dictators, who, however one needs … one must be frank in expressing differences of views, opinions, behavior, of visions of society … but also be ready to collaborate, more to cooperate, to collaborate to ensure the interests of one’s country.”

Turkey summoned Italy’s ambassador to protest, and a presidential spokesman demanded that Draghi retract his words.

“We strongly condemn this rhetoric, which has no place in diplomacy. If Mario Draghi is looking for a dictator, he should look no further than Italy’s history,” Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said Friday.

As of Friday evening, Draghi had not apologized publicly or issued a retraction.

Turkey has strongly rejected the allegation that von der Leyen was snubbed and insisted it followed the EU’s own protocols in making the seating arrangements. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel traveled to Ankara for talks on Turkey-EU relations. Only two chairs were set out in front of the EU and Turkish flags for the three leaders.

Von der Leyen watched as the men took the chairs, expressing her astonishment with an “ehm” sound and a gesture of disappointment. She was later seated on a large beige sofa, away from Michel and Erdogan.

Michel, for his part, issued a muted mea culpa for his failure to protest the seating arrangement, and said if he could do it again, he would have made sure it showed “respect for everyone.”

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Michel also said he feared that if he had actively objected, “months of political and diplomatic efforts” to forge better relations with Turkey would have been lost.

The visit was supposed to have marked a new phase of relations between the EU and Turkey after months of wrangling over everything from women’s rights to drilling for gas in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The meeting was supposed to center on improved cooperation on migration and trade, while the EU raised some human rights and rule of law issues, including about Erdogan’s decision to pull Turkey out of a key European convention aimed at combating violence against women. All were supposed to seize on a recent conciliatory tone from Erdogan and pave the way for an EU summit in June to cement improved bilateral relations.

Daniel Holtgen, spokesperson for the Council of Europe’s secretary general, said both the incident over the seating arrangement and the timing were “very unfortunate,” given Turkey’s withdrawal from the Council’s Istanbul Convention on combating domestic violence.

Turkish Deputy President Fuat Oktay defended Erdogan, saying the Turkish leader had opposed “all kinds of fascism and tutelage” and “won every election with the highest respect of his people.”

“I invite Draghi to apologize,” he said.

Draghi’s remarks found support across the political spectrum in Italy. Democratic Party lawmaker Lia Quartapelle tweeted that “Draghi said it like it is,” and right-wing firebrand Matteo Salvini expressed “solidarity and esteem” for Draghi’s assessment.

“The intimidation and discrimination by the dictator Turk Erdogan are inacceptable,” said Salvini, who has long demanded that Turkey be kept out of the European Union.

A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel was asked Friday about the seating spat and Draghi’s comment. The spokeswoman said Germany had no comment on either.


AP correspondent Raf Casert contributed from Brussels. Fraser reported from Ankara.Advertisementshttps://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.htmlREPORT THIS AD

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Something odd is going on in the US economy

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“There Are Absolutely No Job Seekers”: How Trillions In Stimulus Sparked A Historic Job Market Crisis

Tyler Durden's PhotoBY TYLER DURDENFRIDAY, APR 09, 2021 – 05:44 AM

Something odd is going on in the US economy.

On one hand, in the aftermath of the covid pandemic there are millions and millions of former workers who have lost their jobs and are unable to return as their job may not even exist today (while their skills atrophy and they become increasingly unemployable with every day they are unemployed). Addressing this, on Thursday Fed Chair Powell spoke at an IMF panel saying that over nine million Americans remains out of work, while a quick look at the latest BLS data shows that there are over 100 million Americans who are out of the labor force (of whom just 6.85MM want a job currently, and a record 94 million don’t want a job).

At the same time, as we pointed out last night, JPMorgan and many others have noted that when one looks at the recent JOLTS data, which showed a near record number of job openings, a clear trend is emerging: there is a big labor shortage in the US, one which could (finally) lead to higher wages in the US.

While JPMorgan did not dwell on what may be causing this unprecedented schism within the economy – after all, for normalcy to return, people must not only be employed but must want to be employed – it did suggest that the “robust” government stimulus may be keeping workers on the sidelines, a more detailed analysis from Bloomberg confirms the nightmare scenario: the trillions in Biden stimulus are now incentivizing potential workers not to seek gainful employment, but to sit back and collect the next stimmy check for doing absolutely nothing in what is becoming the world’s greatest “under the radar” experiment in Universal Basic Income.

Consider the following striking anecdotes:

  • Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, Melissa Anderson laid off all three full-time employees of her jewelry-making company, Silver Chest Creations in Burkesville, Ky. She tried to rehire one of them in September and another in January as business recovered, but they refused to come back, she says. “They’re not looking for work.”
  • Sierra Pacific Industries, which manufactures doors, windows, and millwork, is so desperate to fill openings that it’s offering hiring bonuses of up to $1,500 at its factories in California, Washington, and Wisconsin. In rural Northern California, the Red Bluff Job Training Center is trying to lure young people with extra-large pizzas in the hope that some who stop by can be persuaded to fill out a job application. “We’re trying to get inside their head and help them find employment. Businesses would be so eager to train them,” says Kathy Garcia, the business services and marketing manager. “There are absolutely no job seekers.”

These are not one-off cases: these real-life events, revealed by Bloomberg, expose the striking statistical reality in the US: on April 1 the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) reported that in March a record-high percentage of small businesses surveyed said they had jobs they couldn’t fill: 42%, vs. an average since 1974 of 22%.

Even more amazing: a stunning 91% of respondents said they had few or no qualified applicants for job openings in the past three months, tied for the third highest since that question was added to the NFIB survey in 1993.

One of our favorite labor market metrics, the so-called “take this job and shove it” indicator- or the “Quits” rate from the JOLTS survey – is the latest confirmation of how empowered workers feel: in March the number of people quitting jobs hit 2.3% of overall employment in January, just a tenth of a percentage point below the record going back to 2001.

But what is most striking is the context on these figures: recall that just one year ago, the unemployment rate was a depression-era 14.8%. And while it has since dropped to 6%, it remains well above the 3.5% rate of February 2020, before the pandemic. So judging from the jobless rate – which the Federal Reserve tracks closely – there’s still plenty of slack in the labor market.

But that’s not how employers and job counselors see it. There will be even less slack in coming months as the economy strengthens. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg is that the jobless rate will fall to 4.5% in the second quarter of 2022.

* * *

What’s behind this unprecedented revulsion to work – which paradoxically comes at a time when the Fed still sees record slack in the economy as the primary reason behind avoiding tightening financial conditions for years to come?

To be sure, Covid is part of the problem. Fear of it the disease has kept some would-be workers home, especially in customer-facing businesses. And with schools closed by Covid, some parents are turning down work to care for children, says Holly Wade, executive director of the NFIB Research Center. Also, she says, the small businesses in the NFIB survey may have trouble competing for workers with the likes of Amazon.com, whose worldwide employment grew 63% last year, to 1.3 million. But fear of covid is irrelevant if one has no money and must put food on the table. When the alternative is starvation, one will do anything – even brave the Wu-Flu.

But the real reason behind America’s sudden distaste to step away from one’s computer, go out and look for a job, is that it is already getting a weekly stimmy from the Biden admin, which has pivoted the pandemic emergency into a platform for what is rapidly becoming an unprecedented experiment in Universal Basic Income.

As Bloomberg writes, it is becoming increasingly the case that “generous unemployment benefits discourage people from seeking work.” Anderson, the jewelry maker, says her ex-employees told her they preferred to stay unemployed—even though you’re not supposed to collect jobless benefits if you’re turning down work. But it’s not like anyone will check.

The American Rescue Plan that Congress approved last month provides an extra $300 a week in jobless benefits through Sept. 6. “There still will be some people who say, ‘I’m glad to take my $300 to $400 a week and stay home, rather than go out and work and earn $500 a week,’” BTIG LLC analyst Peter Saleh, who covers the restaurant industry, told Bloomberg in March.

Others are convinced that they will never get hired, so they don’t even try: as Bloomberg notes, some would-be workers may have lost their gumption. “I’m worried that after all this time that’s gone by, it’s going to be very hard for a lot of people to come back full time. It’s just asking an energy level that people haven’t had in a while,” says Garcia, the job counselor in California. She says a full-time job “used to be the gold standard,” but now employers are parceling out the work into part-time jobs to lure applicants.”

And that’s why there are now 100+ million people not in the labor force.

Of course, while liberals could have never possibly imagined such an outcome, conservatives were warning from day one that if you hand out free money, the desire to work will vaporize and that’s precisely what we have seen. But while one can point to the disintegration in the US labor market as a way to “own the libs”, the transformation in the job market is far more serious and is about to become a full-blown crisis because it is now keeping an entire generation away from the work force – the most important generation.

According to Bloomberg, alienation from work is most common among the young. A Pew Research Center survey in October found that 53% of those ages 18 to 29 who are working remotely because of Covid said it was difficult for them to feel motivated to perform their duties. Only 20% of those 50 and older said the same.

On the social network Reddit, which skews young, a forum called r/antiwork has 264,000 members. It’s filled with comments such as: “You’re telling me I have to enslave myself to all these applications for hours on end, competing with my fellow man and woman, giving up my dignity just for a chance to enslave myself further so I don’t literally die? I’m not having it.” One Redditor posted a video of a home computer’s mouse that’s connected to a swiveling fan so it slides back and forth, making it appear the person is working.

To be sure, there is a “chicken or egg” component (with a solid dollop of socialism thrown in for good measure): since many of the jobs that employers can’t fill are low-paying, there are few spoiled GenZ and Millennial applicants for entry level pay (they would much rather collect 6 figures off the bat), while the high-paying ones generally require skills… skills that most young Americans don’t have simply because they refuse to “subject” themselves to entry-level jobs that will build up the skills they need to be better paid.

And so, a historic crisis emerges, one where the government is actively subsidizing the minimum-wage sedentary snowflake lifestyle (while indoctrinating the young generation in liberal propaganda), which prevents those same workers from getting real jobs and developing real skills they will need to make real money. 

In short, a toxic feedback loop created by the government which – in its hope of becoming ever bigger – it has no intention of ever breaking. Meanwhile, an entire lost generation of workers is emerging.

There is, of course, one way to short-circuit this feedback loop – much higher wages, which is precisely what the Fed is hoping will be the outcome. As Bloomberg observes, “employers would have an easier time filling job openings if they raised pay or got less picky about qualifications.”

Re’gine Johnson, 26, of Chicago said she interviewed with 40 companies before she landed a job, even after completing a three-month General Assembly boot camp in user interface design. “They’re thinking, ‘Do we really want to invest in somebody that’s so junior, do we have the time to teach them something they may not know?’” she says. She’s thriving now at Neon One LLC, the software company that hired her and provided on-the-job training.

Most others won’t have the patience that Neon One demonstrated. And for those hoping that employers will hike wages to attract entry-level talent, we have a question – they didn’t do it for the past decade, why will they do it now. Well, this is where the government comes in again, with its mandatory minimum wage hikes, which however end up killing far more jobs than they create as most small and medium businesses simply don’t have the margin capacity to hike base pay by 10%, 20% or more and keep operating as is. Instead, they have no choice but to lay other workers off, leading to a net increase in unemployment.

In any case, now that Universal Basic Income courtesy of Helicopter Money is the sad new reality, employers will have no choie but to adjust to a world in which workers are harder to get. In Cleveland, manufacturers are striving to change the outdated impression that their jobs are dirty, boring, or dangerous because recruitment shortfalls are forcing them to turn away orders, says Ethan Karp, president and CEO of Magnet, a nonprofit consultancy. “It’s their No. 1 problem,” he says.

And so, once again, we have a vivid demonstration of how anything the government touches – or subsidizes – escalates to a full-blown crisis, or simply turns to shit…156,2301,476

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L.A. hip-hop ‘star’ who battled with law enforcement and addictions dead at 50

Apr. 09, 2021
DMX, gravel-voiced hip-hop star who battled law and addiction, dies at 50
Rapper DMX, who rose to fame with the 1998 blockbuster debut “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot” and an unmistakable raspy growl, has died after a reported drug overdose at age 50.

The artist, born Earl Simmons, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s album charts with his first five albums. Those works solidified his reputation as an intense performer who moved boldly among party and sex-themed music and songs that brashly chronicled inner demons, abusive upbringing and struggles with faith.
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Just clear the f*****g ball away man

Granit Xhaka’s explicit seven-word message to Arsenal teammates after Slavia Prague slip-up

Arsenal fans will have been furious to see their team concede a late equaliser in the Europa League on Thursday night, and Granit Xhaka’s reaction might just have summed up their feelingsfootballlondon

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Xhaka, Holding And Cedric’s Heated Debate

London – Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was left furious with his defence after Thursday night’s draw with Slavia Prague.

The Gunners thought they were heading for a quarter-final first-leg win over Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium after Nicolas Pepe scored as late as the 86th minute.

But Mikel Arteta‘s men blew it in stoppage time when Tomas Holes scored three minutes into added time to secure a draw for the Czech side and a potentially pivotal away goal.

The late goal is another bitter blow for the Gunners after the disastrous showing in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League on the weekend.Arsenal Vs Slavia Prague – Match In Pictures

And that is, perhaps, why tensions were so high, particularly in the case of midfielder Xhaka, who lost his cool after seeing Slavia find their equaliser.

As pointed out by Goal’s Charles Watts, Xhaka was furious with his teammates after the full-time whistle, screaming “Just clear the f*****g ball away man.”

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Germany urges Russia to reduce troop presence!

Germany urges Russia to reduce troop presence near Ukraine

2h ago

File photo taken in 2019 of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed concerns as tensions increase between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Angela Merkel has called on the Kremlin to unwind its recent military buildup near eastern Ukraine, the chancellor’s office announced in a statement released Thursday. 

Recent clashes between pro-Russia separatists and government forces have sparked fears of an escalation in the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.

During a phone call, Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed other topics, as well, including the imprisonment of the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Rising tensions in eastern Donbass

What did the Kremlin say? 

Following the call, the Kremlin also released a statement saying the two leaders had “expressed concerns over the escalation of tensions in the southeast of Ukraine.”

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CDU, Christian Democratic Union

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“Vladimir Putin drew attention to the provocative actions of Kyiv, which has recently been purposefully exacerbating the situation on the front line,” according to the statement.

The deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, Dmitry Kozak, was quoted by the TASS agency on Thursday as saying that any major military hostilities could mean “the beginning of the end of Ukraine.” He argued that Russia would be forced to defend its citizens in eastern Ukraine. 

Ukraine’s president visited troops in Donbass Thursday after a flare-up in the conflict

What is the situation in Donbass? 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was headed to Donbass on Thursday. He said he was “going to the locations of the escalation,” adding that “Ukraine needs peace and will do everything for this.”

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of escalating tensions between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists. On March 26 alone, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recorded hundreds of ceasefire violations.

President Zelenskiy also visited troops in more advanced positions

Ukraine’s government has repeatedly called on Russia to pull its troops away from the border, with the Kremlin responding that internal troop movements are a domestic issue and arguing that it is entitled to protect Russian-speaking citizens in Donbass if the shaky ceasefire does not hold.

The European Union, NATO and the US have recently condemned the Russian military buildup on the border. 

The conflict has killed at least 14,000 people since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, according to Ukraine’s government. 

Eastern Ukraine: Systematic torture in prison

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Great Britain offering it’s full support as Ukraine winds up dangerous Giant


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Ukraine

EU and UK pledge backing to Ukraine after Russian military buildup

Boris Johnson and European envoy say Kyiv has their ‘unwavering support’, while Moscow denies threatening behaviourAndrew Roth in Moscow and agenciesMon 5 Apr 2021 20.59 EDT

The European Union and UK have pledged “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s government amid concerns of a military escalation in the east of the country or a possible new offensive against the Nato ally after recent Russian troop movements.

Ukraine has accused Russia of massing thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders as well as on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014. Online researchers have identified troops being transferred to Ukraine’s borders from western and central Russia, including artillery from as far away as Siberia.

Late on Monday, Boris Johnson’s office said the prime minister had “significant concerns” about Russian activity in the Crimea and on the Ukrainian border, and “reaffirmed his unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In a tweet after the call, Zelensky thanked Johnson for his support against a “serious challenge to the security of Nato members” and said the Ukraine was “not alone” and was “supported by the G7 nations”.

Earlier, the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said he was “following with severe concern the Russian military activity surrounding Ukraine”. After a phone call with the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, he also pledged “unwavering EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

The Russian government has denied it is planning a military attack but has not denied the troop movements. The country’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, on Monday said Russia was doing “what it considers necessary” and would “ignore signals” of concern from the United States and other western countries.

Moscow’s aims are unclear. While it regularly holds military exercises in the region, the Russian military deployments “appear out of cycle for such exercises, and are not regular troop rotations”, Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the CNA corporation, noted late last week. He wrote that Moscow’s goal may be to intimidate Ukraine and put pressure on its western allies to back political concessions in order for Russia to freeze the conflict in the country’s south-east.

Moscow may also have been putting the Biden administration on notice that it remains a formidable power willing to project its power abroad. That signal appears to have been received. US European command raised its threat level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis, the highest level, last week.

On Monday, Ryabkov hinted at what Moscow’s aims may be, saying that the United States should apply greater effort to enforce the Minsk agreements, a 2015 roadmap out of the conflict that many in Kyiv believe is disadvantageous and was forced to sign during a Russian-backed offensive.

Borrell said he would hold further talks on the issue with Kyiv’s top diplomat and foreign ministers from the EU’s 27 nations at a meeting later this month.

Online researchers have collected video and pictures, some of it uploaded to the service TikTok, showing Russian troops and armour being transferred across Russia to the Ukrainian border and into Crimea. They included pictures of train carriages carrying tanks, rocket artillery launches, and trains carrying contract troops to the border region.US warns Nord Stream pipeline is ‘Russian geopolitical project’

Reports of a buildup have swirled amid an escalation of armed clashes along the front line between Ukraine’s forces and Russian-backed separatists.

The long-simmering conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014, according to the UN.

Western leaders including Joe Biden have said they are standing by Ukraine.Topics

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“Boris’s Burrow” tunnel to Northern ireland

‘Boris’s Burrow tunnel’ to Northern Ireland could get green light

The tunnel – which would be the same length as the one to France – could help unblock Brexit tensions

ByChristopher Hope, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT13 February 2021 • 9:30pm

An under-sea tunnel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland could get the green light as early next month and help unblock trade which has been hit by Brexit tensions by creating the first ever fixed link between all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Any new connection – possibly dubbed “Boris’s burrow” – would also delight unionists in Northern Ireland who have been outraged at the way the Government has allowed the European Union to impose new checks on ferry cargo heading to the Province.

A study by Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, will say whether a link between Stranraer in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland is workable. It would be the same length as the tunnel under the Channel between England and France.

The UK Government has already privately threatened to increase friction on goods entering the EU unless Brussels backs down.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is now considering an alternate “mutual enforcement” plan which would restore the border to the island of Ireland, and require the UK and EU to apply checks at the same level as each other, The Telegraph has learned.

The hope is that this would remove friction altogether while respecting the border between the UK and EU, although UK officials concede that the chances of the Northern Ireland Protocol being renegotiated are slim.  

Sir Peter is due to publish his interim report within weeks. He has already had his final meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss findings, which could recommend the Government commissions a formal feasibility study of the project.

The undersea tunnel has already won the enthusiastic private backing of both Boris Johnson, who first proposed a fixed link across the Irish Sea in 2018, and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.

In an interview with Chopper’s Politics podcast, Mr Jack said he favoured a tunnel because “a bridge would be closed for probably 100 days a year with the weather in the Irish Sea” while also dealing with dumped munitions under water.Advertisement

He said: “My strong inclination would be that he thinks it should be a tunnel because he and I have had conversations about the weather patterns in the Irish Sea and Beaufort’s Dyke, and there’s a munitions deposit there.”

Mr Jack and Mr Johnson are understood to be “very enthusiastic” about a feasibility study into a fixed link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The news will delight Tory and Democratic Unionist Party MPs who have been angered at the way the European Union has been frustrating the free flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland since the UK left the Brexit transition period.

On Saturday night DUP MP Sammy Wilson, whose seat East Antrim would host the Northern Ireland end of the tunnel, said: “This kind of project would at least give people in Northern Ireland the belief that the Government was prepared to put in infrastructure and spend money to make sure that we are physically connected.

“The important thing is to make sure that we are economically and constitutionally connected – that is far more important than a physical connection. But nevertheless symbolically it would be very important to hear this message.”Advertisement

Listen to Chopper’s Politics, The Telegraph’s weekly political podcast presented by Christopher Hope, on the audio player above, on Apple PodcastsSpotify or your preferred podcast app.Related Topics

 1075The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.Show comments

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Opening scene of Gotti (movie) with Armand Assante – click the link!

https://www.google.com/search?q=opening+scene+of+gotti+with+Armand+assante&oq=opening+scene+of+gotti+with+Armand+assante&aqs=chrome..69i57.35867j0j9&client=ms-android-motorola-rev2&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:a0e02903,vid:AFNaeyw4-VM,st:0

Reputed Gambino family crime boss John Gotti leans back during a break in testimony in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, Jan. 23, 1990. Gotti and a co-defendant are charged with conspiracy and assault in connection with a shooting of a carpenter’s union leader. (AP Photo/Daniel Sheehan)
Featured

Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike” — The Economic Collapse

A new war in Ukraine would be bad for the entire globe, but we might just get one anyway.  Once the Biden administration took control of the White House, they decided to wage a campaign of maximum pressure against Russia, and Ukraine is one of the key tools that they are using.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr […]

Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike” — The Economic Collapse — Truth2Freedom’s Blog
Featured

Hospital Medical Director: Sickness in NHS staff after Covid Vaccination is “Unprecedented”

The Daily Expose | April 4, 2021 The Medical Director of a hospital in the United Kingdom has bravely spoken out against the failure to report the reality of morbidity caused by the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out across the United Kingdom to NHS staff. Dr P..

Hospital Medical Director: Sickness in NHS staff after Covid Vaccination is “Unprecedented”

Dr Polyakova, who is the Medical Director of a hospital in Kent has said that the “levels of sickness after vaccination is unprecedented” among NHS staff, confirming that some are even suffering neurological symptoms which is having a “huge impact on the health service functioning”.

The doctor, who progressed into medical management of the hospital over the past three years says that she is struggling with the “failure to report” adverse reactions to the Covid vaccines among NHS staff, and clarified that the young and healthy are missing from work for weeks after receiving a dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca experimental vaccine.

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Investigation Finds ‘Clear’ Link Between COVID Vaccine and Blood Clots in Brain

Investigation Finds ‘Clear’ Link Between COVID Vaccine and Blood Clots in Brain

By Erin Coates
Published April 6, 2021 at 10:04amShare

A link between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and rare blood clots in the brain has been discovered, but officials have yet to identify a possible cause, according to a senior European Medicines Agency official.

“In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear that there is an association (of the brain blood clots) with the vaccine,” Mario Cavaleri, chair of the EMA vaccine evaluation team, said, according to Reuters.

“However, we still do not know what causes this reaction.”

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The EMA clarified in a statement that the vaccine review was ongoing and the agency expects to announce its findings this week.

“At present the review has not identified any specific risk factors, such as age, gender or a previous medical history of clotting disorders, for these very rare events,” the statement read.

TRENDING: Trump Describes Resurrection as ‘Glorious,’ Thanks God for ‘Gift of Eternal Life’ Given Through Christ

“A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and further analysis is continuing.”

The investigation is looking into 44 reports of a rare blood clot in the brain known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis; 9.2 million people in the European Economic Area have received the vaccine, Reuters reported.

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The agency and the World Health Organization maintain that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh the risks.

However, France, Germany and the Netherlands have already suspended the use of the vaccine as the investigation continues.Have you received the coronavirus vaccine?Yes No Completing this poll entitles you to The Western Journal news updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Netherlands’ medical authority reported that it found blood clots in women between the ages of 25 and 65, according to CNN.

Germany reported that nine of its 31 patients who had developed CVST died, and 29 cases were found in women between the ages of 20 and 63.

Norway reported three deaths among people who developed blood clots and hemorrhaging after receiving the vaccine

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LAPD have words with man living out of a car,2 hours later he harms somebody….

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A young talent killed, a neighborhood fed up, and a critical moment in L.A.’s homelessness crisis

A woman kneels in front of flowers placed outside a home's front gate

By KEVIN RECTORJACLYN COSGROVEAPRIL 4, 2021 UPDATED 7:37 PM PT

During a somber memorial in a Beverly Hills park Friday night, Albert Donnay beamed through tears as friends, fellow musicians and co-workers remembered his 31-year-old son, Gabriel “Gabe” Donnay.

Gabe was whip smart, incredibly talented and deeply compassionate, they said — including toward those with mental health issues, which he struggled with himself.

“He was exactly the type of person that L.A. needs,” said Bo Jacobson, a close friend.

“He loved L.A. so much and he loved so many people,” said his girlfriend, Liza Herzog.

A family photo of a mother and her two adult sons in front of a Christmas tree

The memorial was several nights after Gabriel Donnay’s killing in his own backyard in nearby Beverly Grove, where he was stabbed by an intruder who police said was living out of his car and who neighbors had reported was hopping fences before the attack. Now, with the help of a loudspeaker balanced atop a park grill, Albert Donnay begged those gathered around him to use his son’s memory to force change.

“Gabe would challenge us to find some way to move the world ahead from this,” Donnay said. “We are not the first or the last to lose our child to senseless violence, but it won’t stop unless we figure out a way to do it.”

On Saturday night, another crowd — some of Gabriel Donnay’s friends again, but also dozens of neighbors — gathered in front of the home where the attack occurred, in the 6600 block of Maryland Drive. They lighted candles and placed flowers near the front gate, then listened as Craig Brill, 54, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1996 and had interacted with the suspect before the attack, spoke up about the neighborhood’s fears and frustrations.

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Brill said homeless encampments had grown out of control in the area during the pandemic, with people suffering from mental illness living in squalor and regularly burglarizing nearby properties. This new status quo, he said, was inhumane to the homeless people and unfair to the neighbors — and now, in the eyes of many neighbors, had led to a young man’s killing.

“It’s a tragedy that we lost Gabriel, and it’s also a tragedy that a man with mental illness was allowed to roam our streets as a danger to himself and to the community,” Brill said. “I hope as we all gather and we get to know each other better as neighbors, we can come together and try to organize and get our city to do something. What’s happening, around the city, is we’ve become one massive skid row.”

Others in the crowd nodded. Danae Weinberg, 68, held a sign that read, “My neighbor should not have died…. I want my neighborhood back!!!” She later placed the sign on the front gate of City Councilman Paul Koretz’s nearby home as Brill screamed for Koretz to come out.

Koretz did not emerge, but in a letter to constituents he said he is working “very aggressively” with city agencies to “bring homeless residents of the nearby encampment into housing.”

Some in Beverly Grove said they didn’t want to demonize the unhoused people living in their neighborhood or those with mental health issues. They argue city leaders are not doing enough to help those in need of services and treatment, whether it is housing or mental health services.

At a time of intense frustration around L.A.’s homelessness and mental illness crisis, in the wake of the controversial clearing of encampments along Echo Park Lake, and amid emerging conversations about how best to handle poverty and homelessness as the city begins to pull out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Donnay’s killing has become a particularly emotional tinderbox.

Those who loved Donnay and lived near him don’t all agree on the path forward, but they all agree that something has to change after his life was stolen so violently — particularly given such a startling series of events preceding the attack.

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His family members said they want to know why Los Angeles police officers released the suspect, 32-year-old Enoch Conners, after being called to the neighborhood less than two hours before Donnay was killed, for reports that a man was trespassing in neighborhood yards.

“Whoever made that determination that he wasn’t a threat certainly wasn’t right,” said younger brother Theo Donnay.

A ‘curious mind’

There was a moment years ago when Gabriel Donnay’s mother, Yvonne Ottaviano, a physician in Baltimore, talked to him about his future — no doubt bright for the University of Pennsylvania neuroscience major — and suggested he enter an M.D.-PhD program.

“He pretended to kind of go along with that for a while, but then he said, ‘Mom, I don’t really want to be a scientist,’” Ottaviano recalled last week. “‘I would only be discovering things that already exist. I want to do music, because music doesn’t exist until you create it.’”

Donnay’s love of music was overpowering, family, friends and co-workers said. But he was never just one note, and as he grew into adulthood and moved to Los Angeles, he — true to form — found a way to pursue music while also excelling in a science career.

By day, he directed data science for System1, a digital marketing company where his boss called him a “shining light” at the company’s Venice office.

A large cohort of co-workers who attended the Friday memorial recalled him as a generous colleague and brilliant mind who helped the start-up grow.

By night, Donnay created music — including, with some success, with band Satchmode — as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was just as comfortable with classical pieces on the keyboard as he was with tough pop guitar riffs.

He had a sweet voice, perfect for riding the bass lines of the band’s songs, which were pitched on Spotify as “bringing heartbreak to the dance floor.”

Adam Boukis, his longtime bandmate, said Donnay was a creative marvel.

“It was just such an amazing thing to be able to work with Gabe creatively,” Boukis said. “I still think about the melodies he would write all the time, and I’m just in awe of how good they were and how many he wrote and how easily they came out of him.”

Friends from high school in Baltimore and college in Philadelphia all said he was a connector, one of those people who constantly pulled newcomers to L.A. into the fold and made his friends theirs too.

Ottaviano said her son had struggled with depression growing up and into his adult years, and he had come out of it “deeply compassionate” for others with mental illness, including those experiencing homelessness. Even in her grief, she said she wanted to have compassion too. And she wondered: What would her son, with his endlessly “curious mind,” make of his own killing?

A senseless crime

On Monday afternoon, police said, Donnay was at home when he was fatally stabbed by Conners, who was later found in a guesthouse in an adjacent backyard, dead after what police said were self-inflicted knife wounds.

Police had spoken to Conners not long before the attack. Det. Sean Kinchla of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau homicide unit said officers had been called to the area for a report of a trespasser but had not witnessed Conners trespassing and did not have a resident willing to make a citizen’s arrest — meaning they had no grounds for detaining him.

“The officers have their hands tied. There’s only so much they can do,” Kinchla said. “On one hand, you’ve got to try to help out the person making the call, but on the other hand, the person that is the subject of the call also has rights.”

Conners’ family could not be reached for comment. Kinchla said police have video capturing the attack and confirming that Conners was the assailant. Police said he appeared to be living out of his car.

Brill said that he also had run into Conners in the neighborhood before the attack and that Conners had asked him for directions to a sporting goods store where a large homeless encampment has grown in recent months.

He later walked off as Brill offered him help with his car, which appeared to be broken down in the area, Brill said.

“That must have been when he started jumping everybody’s walls,” he said.

Ottaviano said the family only found out the next day that her son had been killed, after his roommate was released from a long police interview. She said she asked the roommate for every detail of what happened, which he provided.

Donnay had been working in a studio at the rear of the house, having left the back door to the house unlocked so he could come and go, when he came back inside, walked upstairs to his room, realized it was in disarray and then saw Conners there with a knife, his mother said.

“Gabe said, ‘Get out!’ and he started running down the stairs and he was being chased and chased into the backyard,” where he was stabbed repeatedly, Ottaviano said. “Gabe was yelling, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’”

The roommate heard the commotion, rushed out and screamed, “Get out of here!” Ottaviano said.

Conners fled, and the roommate cradled her son until he died, his mother said.

Moving forward

At Saturday’s vigil, friends and neighbors clustered in small groups outside the home as a private security guard from the company Post Alarm stood by.

Danielle Peters, 41, grew up in Beverly Grove and has lived in the neighborhood all her life. She said she had already been working to sign neighbors up for the armed private security service when Donnay was killed. Since his killing, interest has increased — and the more neighbors who sign on, the more security patrols there will be.

For most of her life, Peters said, she felt safe in the neighborhood, but lately, she doesn’t go out after dark. She doesn’t know if private security is the answer, but said that she believes the LAPD is too understaffed and that homeless people aren’t getting enough support for the neighborhood to continue without the private watch.

“The majority of people understand there’s a broken system, and you can’t fix one part without fixing all the parts,” she said.

Rolando Calip, 44, stood with his wife and his 3-year-old twin daughters. He said his initial instinct after hearing about Donnay’s killing was to simply get out — to accept the neighborhood would continue going downhill from the “impossible problem” of poverty and crime, and to move his family elsewhere. But after thinking about it some more, after a year indoors and behind masks because of the pandemic, he said he came to a different conclusion.

“I want to know my neighbors more,” he said. “It’s not to hole up and isolate and build up walls. It’s to open up.”

That was always Donnay’s way, too, his friends and family said.

“I hope that we can all just reflect on what an incredible person we have lost, and just keep loving each other and being as open as possible, because that’s how Gabe was,” said Herzog, his girlfriend.

Charlie Dunn said he always admired his friend’s “intellectual genius” and “razor-sharp wit,” but “the thing that I really thought made him a tremendous person was the strength of his character, his moral strength.”

Jacobson said Donnay thought deeply about the plight of L.A.’s homeless population, especially those with untreated mental illness, and cared about finding a solution: “Gabe was so compassionate about that, and felt strongly about that.”

At one point during the memorial, Albert Donnay played a recording over the speaker. It was Gabe from 20 years ago, age 11, singing in his boyish voice a song he’d written himself about missing a departed loved one.

“I still remember you, the way you laughed, the way you cried,” the boy sang. “I hope you know I’m crying, too.”

Times staff writer Lila Seidman contributed to this report.


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Kevin Rector

Kevin Rector is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Police Department. He started with The Times in 2020. He previously worked at the Baltimore Sun for eight years, where he was a police and investigative reporter and part of a team that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. He is from Maryland.

Jaclyn Cosgrove

Jaclyn Cosgrove is the L.A. County government reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Her coverage focuses primarily on human services, including mental health, child welfare, homelessness, criminal justice reform and indigent care. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Okla., and graduated from Oklahoma State University. Send her tips privately on Signal at (213) 222-6625.

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Donbass ethnicity

Ukrainian servicemen of the Donbass volunteer battalion take part in clean-up operations in a village in the Lysychansk district of the Lugansk region, controlled by pro-Russian separatists on January 28, 2015. Ukraine’s president appealed to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Washington threatened tougher measures should Moscow fail to rein in separatist fighters mounting a new offensive in the east of the ex-Soviet republic. AFP PHO
All that leaves the Ukrainians to partition and administer the white area above or we will have a giant Serbo-Croat type situation on our hands
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Russia’s covid 19 death toll edging towards half million!


RUSupport The Moscow Times!CONTRIBUTE TODAY

Russia’s Excess Death Toll Hits 422K

The country was recording more than 1,000 extra fatalities a day during February, official statistics show.

April 3, 2021

Russia has one of the highest excess death tolls in the world.AP / TASS

Russia recorded almost 30,000 excess deaths during February, the country’s statistics agency announced Friday — a figure which takes Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic above 422,000.

Excess deaths are calculated by comparing fatalities during the pandemic with mortality rates in the same months of previous years. It is seen by demographers as the most reliable indicator of the human toll of the coronavirus.

At more than 422,000 between the start of the pandemic and the end of February — the latest such data is available — Russia has recorded one of the highest excess death tolls in the world, including after adjusting for population size.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/upB0g/3/

The federal statistics service (Rosstat) said Covid-19 was the main cause of death in 16,576 fatalities during February. It added that the virus was present but not deemed the main cause of death in another 7,793 deaths. That counting practice has drawn criticism and controversy — running against World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for how to count coronavirus-related deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, Rosstat has recorded 149,000 Covid-19 fatalities, and another 77,000 where the virus was present in a patient when they died. 

Those numbers differ dramatically from the daily figures published by the country’s coronavirus task force, whose tally of virus deaths passed 100,000 on Saturday — meaning Russia’s excess death toll is more than four times higher. In many European countries, official Covid-19 fatalities account for more than 90% of excess deaths throughout the pandemic.

The Rosstat data also pointed to an easing of the pandemic during the start of the year. Excess fatalities in February were the lowest in six months. Deaths came in 20.5% higher than during the same month last year — down from monthly increases of more than 50% in November and December, after a second wave of the coronavirus hit Russia’s ill-prepared regional healthcare systems and the country rejected a second nationwide lockdown, citing the need to protect the economy and a nascent vaccination drive using the homemade Sputnik V jab.NEWSRussia Has One of the World’s Highest Excess Death Rates. Why Aren’t Russians Angrier?READ MORE

Russia has removed almost all coronavirus restrictions as its vaccination drive ramps up. But the jab campaign has been beset by logistical difficulties and a sceptical public, with the latest figures showing around 6% of Russians have been immunized against the coronavirus. 

Officials have also begun to talk about the possibility of a third wave hitting Russia soon. A model developed by analysts at state-controlled Sberbank predicts daily case numbers will rise by more than a third over the next two weeks.

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We might be at war with Russia in just one month analyst predicts

‘This crisis has the potential to escalate into a pan-European or world war’: Russian military analyst claims Moscow’s build-up of troops and tanks on the Ukranian border could turn hot within as little as four weeks

By Will Stewart for MailOnline16:58 03 Apr 2021, updated 18:45 03 Apr 2021

  • 5.5kshares

 2.8k comments

  • Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer warned events could see ‘war in a month’
  • Footage shows dozens of Russian tanks deployed to disputed Donbass region
  • Felgenhauer said it requires a ‘psychoanalyst’ to determine Russia’s intentions

A European or even World War could be triggered in four in Ukraine after Russia dispatched 4,000 to the disputed border with its neighbour, warns an independent Russian military analyst.     

It comes as social media footage footage shows suspected large scale Russian military movements in regions close to rebel-held eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea.ADVERTISEMENThttps://035daa36f3a38775bb35301dc81c61a3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

With tension sharply rising, analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, 69, said it now requires a ‘psychoanalyst’ to determine Russia’s intentions in Ukraine but warned events could see ‘war in a month’.https://www.oo-syringe.com/prod/AMP/minute-media-player.html?content_type=specific&content_id=01ev70mdf0ek75pyv5%2301esryb7r7vba1k4sj

The West has expressed alarm about Moscow’s movement of troops and forces, and Felgenhauer says they are right to be concerned as unverified new footage appears to show military movements in Russia’s Voronezh, Rostov and Krasnodar regions, along with key railway routes.

‘The crisis has the potential to escalate into a pan-European war, if not even a world one,’ Felgenhauer warned starkly in an interview with Rosbalt news outlet in Russia.

‘But for now, potential. Will it happen or not? Let’s wait and see. In the West, they don’t know what to do about it.’ https://secured.dailymail.co.uk/embed/gamp-video/9433075/video-2390512.html#amp=1

A European or even World War could be triggered in four in Ukraine after Russia dispatched 4,000 to the disputed border with its neighbour, warns an independent Russian military analyst. Pictured: Military machinery being moved by suspected Russian troops
Infantry fighting vehicles on their way to the front
Infantry fighting vehicles on their way to the front
Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer

Russia yesterday vowed to ‘take extra measures’ if Nato sends forces to Ukraine after the Kremlin dispatched 4,000 troops to the disputed border with its neighbour.

‘No doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia’s borders. Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He insisted, however, that Russia was ‘not threatening’ Ukraine, despite an earlier statement which warned a war in Donbass would ‘destroy’ its neighbour.    

Footage has emerged showing shows dozens of military helicopters close to the frontier, and the movement of tanks and other military vehicles by train.

The United States pledged its ‘unwavering’ support to Ukraine on Thursday as defense officials said they were aware of thousands of troops newly-deployed to the separatist Donbass territory, which is controlled by pro-Moscow factions. ADVERTISEMENThttps://035daa36f3a38775bb35301dc81c61a3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Asked why Russia may be pushing for a conflict now, Felgenhauer replied: ‘Address this question to a psychoanalyst. Do I need to explain?

‘The facts are there, everything is already happening.’Tanks being moved by trainTanks being moved by train

He claimed all the conditions could be in place by early May when Russian will hold a major Red Square parade to mark the anniversary of victory in World War Two, and he suspected a ‘decision has been made already’.

Felgenhauer said factors pushing Russia towards seizing land from Ukraine were ‘the closure of pro-Russian TV channels in Ukraine, the threat of arrest and trial of Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchyuk, the arrest of Alexei Navalny, [and] President Biden calling Putin a murderer’.

‘The threats are growing, and rapidly. Much is not discussed in the media, but we are seeing very bad signs,’ he added.

In the third week of March, three large Russian Baltic Fleet landing ships passed south through the English Channel, accompanied by a corvette, he said.

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‘There will be ten such combat units in total, plus small airborne troops,’ he said. ‘You can collect up to two divisions, taking into account the air force.’

Russia could be planning a ‘Normandy-style landing’ between Odessa and Mykolaiv, he claimed.

Putin has huge forces in occupied east Ukraine – which fell under his sway in 2014, and in Crimea which was occupied.Vladimir PutinJoe Biden

‘Obviously, a major operation is being prepared, and other forces will be brought in as well,’ he said.

‘Everyone is talking about a possible tank invasion from Belgorod through Kharkiv in the direction of Zaporizhia in order to surround Ukrainian forces on the left bank of the Donbass.’ADVERTISEMENThttps://035daa36f3a38775bb35301dc81c61a3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Putin might ‘cut off Ukraine from the sea, create [a new rebel state of] Novorossiya, for example’ or he could make a move then pause and start dictating terms to the West, Felgenhauer added.

Or Russia could seek to extend his control devouring Ukraine as far as Transnistria, a landlocked, Moscow-controlled no man’s land ‘unofficial state’ with its own KGB secret service, he claimed. 

Felgenhauer predicted that the West’s expected reactions to such moves were ‘unclear’.

‘Some [in the West] say that the Russians should not be provoked, and military intervention is too risky.

‘Others, on the contrary, are in favour of unification (of Russia and Ukraine) and open confrontation, because then it will be possible to bargain with Russia.’ 

Ukraine alleges Russia has 32,700 troops in Crimea, and commands 28,000 separatist servicemen in rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

‘Despite significant enemy forces, the Ukrainian army is prepared for all potential scenarios,’ said Ruslan Khomchak, the Ukrainian commander-in-chief.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended the troop movement towards border areas.

The Russian Federation moves troops within its own territory at its own discretion,’ he said.The Kremlin said Thursday Ukraine and the West should not ‘worry’ about Russian troop movements on the Ukrainian border (pictured, a tank of pro-Russian militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic)

‘This shouldn’t concern anyone, as such actions do not endanger anyone.’

He claimed: ‘As you know, intense activity of the armies of NATO member states and other organisations, as well as particular states etc, is being observed on the perimeter of Russian borders.

‘We need to stay on guard.’ 

A NATO official said that the Western allies have ‘concerns’ over Russian ‘large scale military activities around Ukraine’.

An American expert on Russia, Michael Kofman said that while there was ‘no strong evidence that an attack is imminent’ it was clear ‘something is up outside of regular exercises or normal troop rotation’.

He warned: ‘Russian intentions are unclear.’ 

Ukraine, Western countries and NATO accuse Russia of sending troops and heavy weapons to prop up its proxies in Donbass who seized a swathe of eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Russia says it only provides political and humanitarian support to separatist fighters in what it casts as an internal conflict.

Ukrainian military intelligence accused Russia of engineering provocations to create a pretext to send additional Russian military units to Donbass.ADVERTISEMENThttps://035daa36f3a38775bb35301dc81c61a3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

‘In addition, an attempt to advance Russian occupation forces deep into Ukraine is not ruled out,’ it said.

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Russian military analyst warns European or world war possible in month as tensions rise in Ukraine

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Domestic violence

Jane Monckton Smith: ‘Domestic abuse isn’t a row. It’s when one person has become a threat to another’

The author and professor of public protection on the red flags of coercive control and how courts should change to give abuse victims an equal voiceAndrew AnthonySun 21 Feb 2021 08.00 EST

Jane Monckton Smith is a criminologist specialising in domestic homicide. A former police officer, she is professor of public protection at the University of Gloucestershire, and is recognised for her groundbreaking work on coercive control and stalking. In her new book, In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder, she lays out the eight stages of a domestic homicide timeline that flag up the potential for the coercively controlling to kill.https://2c236a8872ec1c011180a46d0995751b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

What is the empirical basis for your eight-stage homicide timeline?
The empirical basis is the data we collected for a research project. It looks at domestic abuse through the model of coercive control. The Home Office did a review of domestic abuse in 2012 and said that coercive control is the best lens through which to view it. The traditional lens has been the “crime of passion”, and from my work that doesn’t fit. As a homicide researcher I have used or seen used temporal sequencing in other forms of homicide, and nobody had done it really with domestic abuse.

Is the so-called “crime of passion” argument still used in court? And is it ever effective?
Yes, if you define the crime of passion as a spontaneous response to some kind of trigger, confrontation or challenge: you act spontaneously and you grab the nearest weapon and things turn out in a way that nobody could have predicted. That’s what I would call the crime of passion. And that’s how things are very often argued in court, because if you can argue for crime of passion you will probably reduce your charge from murder to manslaughter. It gets used a lot. It’s due to the way that we have understood domestic abuse as an anger management problem – it’s spontaneous, when somebody’s been drinking or after an argument. But that is not how coercive control works at all.https://2c236a8872ec1c011180a46d0995751b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Stage one is a history of control. How can women establish this, and what should the courts do about recognising it as evidence?
We already accept that a history of control or domestic abuse is predictive of more abuse because we’ve got the domestic violence disclosure scheme. If we didn’t think history had any importance we wouldn’t have that. But we do, so the police can tell a victim: “Look, your partner has got a history.” But I think in the eight stages, if the very first stage is somebody with a history, we’re saying they’re a type. And people don’t like that and don’t want to think that. They prefer to think it’s more spontaneous.

So should the starting point of any relationship be to establish previous history?
I think it should be. The clues are very often there in what the person says about themselves and maybe more importantly what other people say about them. If I was going into a relationship and someone said to me “my crazy ex-girlfriend”, I would automatically think: “Here we go, that is a big red flag.” This is a risk assessment. I’m not trying to convict anyone of domestic abuse. I’m asking, are you the type? And if I think you’re the type, my radar will be more finely tuned to other behaviours I have to look out for. Risk assessment isn’t a precise science. We assess domestic abusers as husbands, boyfriends, lovers. We don’t think of them as psychopaths, narcissists, killers

You refer to stage two as the “commitment whirlwind”. Many romantic tropes like “love at first sight” underpin this idea. How can we distinguish love from danger?
What I would say is, did you have stage one first? When people think they’re in love, they’re totally happy for things to go really fast, and some of those relationships will be OK. But I would say the relationship won’t just be pushed along at a speed but also with all of these possessive things going on like pronounced jealousy. These things can happen in a normal relationship but if you’ve got someone with a history of control who is then going very fast, you’ve got loads of flags.

You question the effectiveness of the adversarial system in courts because it places the victim in opposition to the offender. What is the alternative?
No system is devoid of problems. But we know we’ve got an adversarial system so we need to be able to circumvent some of the problems it raises. If lawyers and judges had more knowledge about how domestic abuse works that would then become part of the adversarial arguments. I also think courts need to recognise the power dynamic. You’ve got someone who’s willing and happy to have arguments and the victim will do anything to avoid arguing with this person. We don’t even give them equal status. The victim doesn’t have a dedicated advocate and the offender does. Recognise those power dynamics and the way they’re used by controlling people.

People often wonder why the abused don’t leave their abusers. You’ve had personal experience from your daughter’s relationship with a controlling narcissist. Was she scared to leave him or did she hold on to a belief that he would come good?
She was very frightened, and for good reason, but she had also had all of her choices taken away as well. A lot of women who talk about this will say I recognised that this was about control and I thought that if I made them feel very stable within the relationship that need for control would disappear. But of course it doesn’t. No amount of love or stability will take away those control issues. For some people it’s definitely a bit of the good times are really good, I just want to make the good times longer and longer, overlaid with a very real fear of what will happen – that the bad person will come back with a vengeance if they tried to leave. Because that’s the main trigger point.

What should people do if they have a friend or a relation involved with a controlling and possibly abusive partner?
What you think you would do is go in all guns blazing, get everyone to see sense, remove your daughter from the relationship and then it’s all over. And that’s not what happens. From my own experience and research, it’s dangerous to just remove the person from the relationship. Very often they’re not going to want to go, for lots of reasons, fear being one of them. So you have to create an environment where it’s safe to leave. And that is hard because what you want to do is go round there and sort it out.Lawyers seek justice for women jailed for killing abusive partners

As a former police officer, what would you like to see the police do about domestic control and violence?
From a very broad perspective I’d like to see domestic abuse given more status. I think we need to stop seeing it as an argument between people and start seeing it as a dangerous situation in which somebody has become a threat to somebody else. We tend to assess domestic abusers as husbands, boyfriends, lovers. We don’t think of them as psychopaths, narcissists, killers. We need to make that leap.

You mention that many murders go unrecognised. Do you have any idea what kind of percentage of domestic murders in the UK that amounts to?
We could double it certainly. If you start bringing in suicides, you could probably multiply it by five, six or seven times. If we’ve got a serial killer they’re given a huge amount of forensic attention, as are terrorists. Why not domestic killers? Why have we still got that really low status? Police officers are not rushing into the domestic abuse department. It’s not got that cachet. And yet that’s where they are most likely to come across killers.

• In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder by Jane Monckton Smith is published by Bloomsbury on 4 March (£20). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may applyTopics

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It’s hard to know precisely what Vladimir Putin is up to but the gathering of 25,000 Russian troops so close to Ukrainian border cannot be ignored.

Russia using old Putin tactic to justify military presence near the Ukrainian border

Moscow has continued to deny it ever sent troops into Ukraine despite overwhelming evidence during the seven-year conflict.

By Alistair Bunkall, Defence and security correspondent @AliBunkallSKY

  Friday 2 April 2021 22:09, UK

Image:Russian President Vladimir Putin is using a familiar tactic. Pic: AP

It’s hard to know precisely what Vladimir Putin is up to but the gathering of 25,000 Russian troops so close to Ukrainian border cannot be ignored.

US Europe Command has escalated its posture to “potential imminent crisis”, the highest level, and USAF surveillance flights have tracked up and down Russia‘s border over the past 48 hours.

President Joe Biden‘s call and statement of solidarity to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday followed similar calls to their counterparts by the US defence secretary and the secretary of state earlier in the week.https://d-37915895323281501787.ampproject.net/2103240330002/frame.html

NATO ambassadors convened for an emergency session on Thursday and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted that he is “gravely concerned”.

In response, Mr Putin‘s press secretary Dmitry Peskov threatened NATO if it sends help to Ukraine.Advertisementhttps://c69104825667dcc751c7bf823bc047c5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

“There is no doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia’s borders. Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security,” he told journalists.

This all sounds ominously familiar – it’s an old Putin tactic to justify military action by claiming Russian interests are at risk.

More from Russia

Moscow continues to deny it ever sent troops into eastern Ukraine despite overwhelming evidence of Russian troops and weapons in the seven-year conflict.

Far from being a frozen conflict, as many assume it is, people continue to be killed including four Ukrainian soldiers during the past week.

Image:Military personnel outside an airbase in Voronezh region, Russia

In recent months the Kremlin has also rejected calls to revise the Minsk accords and shown no willingness to revise the Normandy Group of French, German, Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

But most worrying of all has been the Kremlin’s strategy of handing out Russian passports to residents of eastern Ukraine.

By making hundreds of thousands of these people Russian citizens, the Russian president is not only reducing the chance of the region returning to Kiev’s control, but he is turning the people into his responsibility.

And so if he can create a situation where “Russians” are “threatened” he has his justification to send troops in.

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This “New world order” might have it’s roots in Nazis?

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World War II Today

World War II Today

Hitler’s ‘New World Order’

I do not want to miss pointing out what I pointed out on 3rd of September [1940] in the German Reichstag, that if Jewry were to plunge the world into war, the role of Jewry would be finished in Europe. They may laugh about it today, as they laughed before about my prophecies. The coming months and years will prove that I prophesied rightly in this case too.

Adolf Hitler making a speech later in 1941

Hitler’s annual speech at the Sports Palace in Berlin was the usual rambling affair. He continued to portray Britain as the principal enemy as he sought to disguise his intentions towards Russia. However the speech is particularly notable because he concluded with one of his most explicit references to the action he intended to take against the Jews. With the benefit of hindsight the threat to ‘finish’ ‘Jewry in Europe’ seems very clear. It was very clear to many in the Nazi Party who wanted to ratchet up the level of violence against the Jews. But for many people around the world what he was really proposing was just too appalling to be credible:

We go into the new year with a fighting force armed as never before in our German history. The number of our divisions on land has been enormously increased. Pay has been increased, the gigantic unique experience of war among the leaders and the file has been put to use. The equipment has been improved-our enemies will see how it has been improved (applause and commotion). In the spring our U-boat war will begin at sea, and they will notice that we have not been sleeping (shouts and cheers). And the Air Force will play its part and the entire armed forces will force the decision by hook or by crook. Our production has increased enormously in all spheres. What others are planning we have achieved.

The German people follows its leadership with determination, confident in its armed forces and ready to bear what fate demands. The year 1941 will be, I am convinced, the historical year of a great European New Order. The program could not be anything else than the opening up of the world for all, the breaking down of individual privileges, the breaking of the tyranny of certain peoples, and better still, of their financial autocrats.

Finally this year will help to assure the basis for understanding between the peoples, and thereby, for their reconciliation. I do not want to miss pointing out what I pointed out on 3rd of September [1940] in the German Reichstag, that if Jewry were to plunge the world into war, the role of Jewry would be finished in Europe. They may laugh about it today, as they laughed before about my prophecies. The coming months and years will prove that I prophesied rightly in this case too. But we can see already how our racial peoples which are today still hostile to us will one day recognize the greater inner enemy, and that they too will then enter with us into a great common front. The front of Aryan mankind against Jewish-International exploitation and destruction of nations.

Read the whole speech at the Jewish Virtual Library.AuthorEditorPosted onCategories1941TagsHitler

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