Zu den Grausamkeiten der Massentierhaltung gehört auch, dass die Tiere mit starken Antibiotika vollgepumpt werden. Dadurch entstehen aggressive neue Super-Erreger, die bereits im Jahr 2050 jedes Jahr 10 Millionen Menschen tötenkönnten. Aber wenn wir den Riesenkonzern McDonald’s dazu bringen, den Antibiotika-Einsatz drastisch zu reduzieren, könnte allein das die gesamte Branche zu nachhaltigerer Tierhaltung drängen und die Super-Erreger aufhalten. McDonald’s entscheidet bald… setzen wir den Konzern also jetzt unter Druck, um die nächste Pandemie zu verhindern und Millionen leidender Tiere zu helfen – Jetzt unterzeichnen und teilen!
McDonald’s: Schluss mit Antibiotika-Burgern!
One of the cruelties of factory farming is that the animals are pumped full of strong antibiotics. This creates aggressive new super-pathogens that could kill 10 million people every year by 2050. But if we get the giant McDonald’s company to drastically reduce the use of antibiotics, that alone could push the entire industry towards more sustainable animal husbandry and stop the super-pathogens. McDonald’s will decide soon … so let’s put pressure on the group now to prevent the next pandemic and help millions of suffering animals – sign now and share!
AP . Sun, May 9, 2021, 4:30 AM DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy announced Sunday it seized an arms shipment hidden aboard a vessel in the Arabian Sea, the latest such interdiction by sailors amid the long-running war in Yemen.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey discovered the weapons aboard what the Navy described as a stateless dhow, a traditional Mideast sailing ship, in an operation that began Thursday in the northern reaches of the Arabian Sea.
The weapons seized included Chinese-made, Kalashnikov-style assault rifles, sniper rifles, heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The Navy did not identify where it believed the shipment originated.
However, the assortment of arms aboard the dhows mirrored other shipments interdicted by the U.S. and allied forces in the region that later were described to be heading to Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi-led military coalition for control of the country since 2015.
Yemen is awash with small arms that have been smuggled into poorly controlled ports over years of conflict.
“Why should I vote for you?”. It’s the biggest challenge you get as a politician campaigning for people’s votes. In over 40 years of elections, often as the candidate, I’ve never been at a loss for words.
This year, dozens of activists and Labour voters – and even some of my own colleagues in Parliament – have told me they don’t know what Labour stands for. Where Labour should have been setting out its vision for the country, as we emerge from the pandemic, there was a vacuum.
A guide to today’s talking points, straight to your inbox
You cannot go into an election without any policy programme, without explaining what sort of society you want. You can’t send candidates out there naked without something to advocate. Labour members, activists and candidates were let down.
Labour has to be the party rooted in the communities it seeks to serve, which only comes from community organising. Labour needs to get back to that grassroots campaigning, but instead the party is closing down its Community Organising Unit and making dozens of staff redundant.
With tens of thousands of members leaving in the last year, and many trade unions unwilling to be milked as cash cows while being sidelined, Labour has a financial crisis. The failure to engage and enthuse the party is costing Labour electorally and financially.
My only hope is that lessons are learned. From the official Labour spokespeople co-ordinated onto the media by the Leader’s Office I am not hopeful. Peter Mandelson blaming Jeremy Corbyn for the loss of Hartlepool was also as dishonest as it was desperate. Labour held Hartlepool twice with Jeremy as leader – in 2017 with over 50 per cent of the vote. Thursday’s result showed nearly half of Labour’s 2019 support had walked away, and no one has come back.https://2dc945ff9b958a8c1b44e8f069328712.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
As he reflects over this weekend, Keir Starmer should recall what he said when we ran to become Labour leader last year. In that contest, Keir described the 2017 manifesto as his “foundational document”, issuing 10 pledges that summarised what Labour stands for. It is a depressing fact that 2017 is the only general election this century in which Labour has gained seats.
Keir Starmer promised to unite the party, and unless he does that now and urgently, Labour will continue to flatline. It will require reaching out, listening to voters and colleagues, and widening the pool of advice he receives.
In the mayoral elections, Labour’s mayors have set out their individual policy programmes and I suspect they will be rewarded for it. Andy Burnham in Manchester and Steve Rotheram in Liverpool showed real leadership in fighting for more resources for the North of England during the pandemic and are setting a new municipal agenda including public control of buses. Sadiq Khan has articulated the desire of Londoners for rent controls, quality transport, and evidence-based drugs policies. In West Yorkshire, where Tracy Brabin should become the country’s first woman metro mayor – she has set out her own clear agenda too.
The party nationally has only a slogan: we’re “under new management”. You can’t say that and then fail to spell out what that means in policy terms, to explain to people what sort of society you want to create. That vacuum is the issue that has to be addressed now.
Keir’s got to be given his chance – he shouldn’t be treated like Jeremy was, with constant undermining and coups – but he has to learn the lessons of this terrible campaign: and that is if you stand for nothing, the public won’t fall for anything.
John McDonnell is the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former shadow chancellor
The Prime Minister held a second call with the chief minister of Jersey on Thursday morning during which he restated the UK’s “unequivocal support” for the Channel island and confirmed the ships would remain in place as a precaution.
It came as France responded to the UK intervention by dispatching two of its own naval patrol boats to monitor the flotilla of 60 French fishing boats, which are currently camped around St Helier, Jersey’s main port.
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The French man in a beret, riding a bicycle and carrying onions was actually a fairly common sight all across Great Britain from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. These beret-wearing, onion-laden cyclists arrived in the UK every summer to peddle their wares. … The British soon took to calling them “Onion Johnnies”
One of the French boats deployed to the area belongs to the gendarme military police force, the other is a coast patrol vessel operated by the maritime ministry.
The French authorities confirmed that the vessels were being sent to “guarantee the safety” of people at sea and to accompany the boats as they remained stationed around the port.
In a statement, Downing Street said Mr Johnson had been provided with an update from senator John Le Fondre on the situation on the ground, with the pair agreeing to remain in touch as “the situation develops”. French fishermen gather in a net on their vessel near the port of St Helier CREDIT: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP
Beer glasses have been collected at pubs in Santa Helier and the island Governor declared a state of emergency with a savage embargo of domestick snails and horsemeat.
“The French never learn….” He said
unfurling a banner to Agincourt on a city Square.
However, the presence of HMS Tamar and HMS Severn, two River-class offshore patrol vessels, failed to deter the several dozen French boats, which arrived early on Thursday morning to begin their blockade.
In a sign of mounting political tensions, France’s European affairs minister Clement Beaune also warned that his government would “not be intimidated” by the UK’s show of force.
“Our wish is not to have tensions, but to have a quick and full application of the deal,” he told AFP. “That’s the case for Jersey and that’s the case for the licences we are waiting for in the Hauts-de-France (region).”
Brussels has also waded into the row, with a spokesman for the European Commission claiming that it had told the UK Government that Jersey’s actions appeared to fall foul of the Brexit trade deal signed by the UK and EU last year.
Meanwhile Germany appealed for calm
Fishermen taking part in the protest told The Telegraph they intended to remain put until they had held talks with the Jersey authorities. A delegation from the French flotilla have now entered St Helier to hold talks.
Their actions were dubbed “piratical” by Lord West, the former first sea lord, who told The Telegraph the incident showed the UK needed more naval vessels to police its waters after Brexit.
The scene off the coast of Jersey on Thursday morning was likened to an “invasion” by one Jersey fisherman, who told reporters: “There were probably about 60 boats. There were a few hand-held flares and smoke flares going off and apparently a few maybe bangers and stuff going off from the French.”
Jersey is accused of introducing unilateral restrictions on where and when French boats can fish and for how long, as well as what machinery they can use.
Forty-one boats out of 344 which applied have been granted licences – conditional on proving historical fishing activity in Jersey waters.
France has branded those terms “unacceptable”, while the European Commission said that any restrictions introduced had to be notified in advance and apply to all vessels in Jersey’s territorial waters and not just the EU vessels.
The decision last week also prompted France’s maritime minister, Annick Girardin, to threaten “retaliatory measures”, including cutting off electricity supply to Jersey from France, which supplies 95 per cent of its energy.
The provocation by France was on Wednesday branded “outrageous” and “completely disproportionate” by UK government officials, with The Telegraph also disclosing that ministers are now considering reviewing energy links to France.
However, a spokesman for the European Commission said: “Under the EU-UKTCA, any proposed management conditions have to be notified in advance to the other party, giving them sufficient time to assess and react to the proposed measures.
“Furthermore, any addition of new specific conditions to these fishing authorisations that limit EU fishing activities in UK waters must comply with the objectives and principles set out in the TCA, which are based on clear scientific rationale. Any such conditions must also be non-discriminatory between UK and EU vessels.
“The Commission has clearly indicated to the UK that the provisions of the EU-UKTCA have not been respected. Until the UK authorities provide further justifications on the new conditions, these new conditions should not apply. The Commission remains in close contact with France and the UK on the matter.”
Mr Gorst told the BBC that the UK’s decision to call in Navy vessels was justified, adding that it was important the Government stood up “firmly” to “disproportionate threats” from Paris.
“A minister in Paris threatened over technical issues on fishing licences to cut off Jersey’s electricity. We have to take such threats seriously and respond appropriately,” he added.
“And fishing vessels threatened to blockade the main harbour into the island.
“Again, we have to take that seriously and we’re extremely grateful to the Prime Minister for his full support and, as he said last night, those assets in Jersey waters are as a precautionary measure to monitor what’s happening in our waters and, as I’ve said, so far the protest has been peaceful, as we would expect.”
Meanwhile, Lord West urged France needed “to take a deep breath”, as he accused their behaviour of being more akin to “19th century than 21st century”.
“I think that is aggressive, it’s in our waters, I mean, it’s been put there clearly because of what’s going on in our waters. And the fact that there are two offshore patrol vessels from the Royal Navy, both of which, their job is to look after our territorial seas, and our exclusive economic zone, makes absolute sense bearing in mind, French fishing boats were saying that they were going to blockade a port.
“This is sort of piratical behaviour and so it’s extraordinary.”
After 10 hours at sea, the French fishing flotilla decided to return to the mainland.
But as they approached the Normandy coast, word got out that the talks had come to very little.
The French reacted angrily, saying that the Jersey government gave almost no ground bar a few extra days’ fishing. They vowed to return.
“We will go back, and next time it will be war,” said French crewman “Popeye”.
“It’ll be just like in the Port-en-Bessin,” he said, referring to the site of recent scallop wars with British fishermen.
And to add insult to injury, French navy patrol boats they thought were being dispatched to offer support ended up stopping a couple of French fishing boats to check papers.
“It’s unacceptable. They were supposed to be on our side!,” said Mr Andreani.
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this article are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
There’s a reason you’ve not seen your GP recently – and frankly it’s a scandal
Despite what Matt Hancock may say about the NHS and its ‘advances’, our lives should not be at the mercy of bureaucratsALLISON PEARSON4 May 2021 • 7:12pm
Have you managed to see your GP lately? I mean, actually see them in person, not on a screen, or heard them during a consultation down the phone? Or have you, perhaps, been asked to send the surgery a photo of the tumour on your leg, which is what one reader tells me happened to her 94-year-old mother?
Back in November, Nick Stokes emailed the Planet Normal podcast to protest that the NHS was being turned into the “National Covid Service”, and misinformation was being spread about hospitals being overwhelmed. “If there is a shortage of beds, that happens every single year – it is not due to Covid! I can remember several years of black alerts, ambulances unable to unload etc due to flu cases, but I don’t remember everything else being cancelled or people being told to stay at home.”https://cf-particle-html.eip.telegraph.co.uk/34df3dbd-9bff-4585-9e42-a30cc450a194.html?i=0&ref=www.telegraph.co.uk/columnists/2021/05/04/reason-youvenot-seen-gp-recently-frankly-scandal/&channel=lifestyle&id=34df3dbd-9bff-4585-9e42-a30cc450a194&isapp=false&isregistered=true&issubscribed=true&truncated=false<=false
As the former chair of a major NHS Hospital Trust, Nick knew what he was talking about. In February, he wrote to us again, this time with shocking personal experience of the National Covid Service. “I would never have imagined the nightmare we have now had. Since the summer, my wife Joy has been complaining of leg and bottom pains to our GPs on the phone, only to be fobbed off. The doctors put it down to arthritis. Yet my wife previously had breast cancer 15 years ago, which should have rung alarm bells.Advertisement
“The pains worsened in October, but the receptionist still refused to make a face-to-face appointment, saying we could be given a telephone one but no more.
“Due to Covid, face-to-face was said to be for emergency only. We were told we could self-refer to physio (the surgery wouldn’t do it), yet, when we did, all the physio would do was a phone consultation followed by some exercises. Our GPs ignored our increasingly frantic requests (and letters from physios) for an X-ray or scan. Weeks passed and Joy’s condition continued to worsen until she could not walk unaided. Eventually, her pain became so severe, I demanded painkillers. Only then did the GP book her an X-ray for early January.”
The X-ray revealed that cancer had eaten into Joy’s hip and femur. A major operation followed. Nick was utterly distraught on behalf of his wife of 46 years. “Is it surprising that we are both bitter and traumatised? This, Allison, is the truth of what happens when Covid is all that matters. If I hear Matt Hancock say once more that GP and hospital services are looking after all those who need the NHS, I will scream. If I hear him boasting that GPs can now provide the same service through telephone contact, I will throw something at the TV.Advertisement
“The truth is very different. Our GP actually admitted that he was horrified how my wife had deteriorated when he eventually saw her in person! The cancer that was not diagnosed because our GPs would not see patients face-to-face has spread, not just to Joy’s bones, but into her brain. She is too weak to commence the full cancer treatment. Joy is fearful and frightened while I cannot contemplate life without her. Turning the NHS into the National Covid Service has caused my wife and I endless pain and suffering.”
Joy Stokes’s funeral was last Thursday. She was 69 years old. Nick said it was a struggle to get the numbers down to 30 for a Covid-compliant service “for somebody as popular as Joy”. It is a mark of the woman that her very last visit, when she was clearly dying, was to console a friend in the village whose cancer was also terminal.
Nick has given me permission to share his darling wife’s story with you because he wants those GPs who are still hiding behind their receptionists to know that reserving face-to-face appointments for “emergencies only” can be a death sentence.Advertisement
With pubs and restaurants doing their level best to offer a service outside under an awning in the foul weather, with hairdressers cutting hair wearing PPE, with Covid deaths reported as one on Monday, what possible excuse do GPs still have for not seeing very sick, scared people like Joy Stokes?
Before Covid, around eight out of 10 GP appointments were conducted face to face. At the height of lockdown, in April 2020, that figure reportedly fell to between seven and eight per cent. The widely lamented failure to resume appointments in person has given rise to the suspicion that GPs will never get back to normal. Indeed, Covid is being used as cover for driving though a change in working practices which would be abhorrent to most British people, should they ever be consulted.
One Telegraph reader tells me she recently had a letter from her doctor saying that, henceforth, he would only offer video appointments. Richard, another reader who, after a fortnight, finally managed to get through on the phone, was told by his doctor that she needed to know his blood pressure before she renewed his medication.Advertisement
“Great, at least I get to see her in person!” thought Richard. Not a bit of it. He was frankly astonished to hear the GP suggest that he buy a blood pressure monitor – “You can get one for around £20” – and do the reading himself. No further prescriptions would be issued until Richard told the doctor his blood pressure.
Is this what the future holds? DIY diagnosis which spares GPs the tedium of having to, you know, do their job? Just to be on the safe side, Marjorie, I’d purchase some goggles and a chainsaw for an impromptu, at-home amputation.
How many GPs support these innovations which fly in the face of good medical practice as it has been taught for centuries?
“I listened to Nick’s email about his wife on Planet Normal and I felt embarrassed to be a General Practitioner,” wrote Andrew from Devon. “The failure to see patients face to face has been awful. I hate it! We are trying to assess people, over the phone, with every symptom under the sun e.g. pain, breathlessness, weight loss, depression etc. It’s impossible. I’ve been trying to see patients face to face throughout this whole crisis. I lobby my fellow practice partners about returning our surgery back to normal, but sadly they remain cautious about a waiting room full of people. This is despite over 90 per cent of our patients aged over 50 having been vaccinated! Why are so many so-called ‘educated’ people still scared? I recently had a couple of cases where, were it not for seeing the patient face to face, the patient might no longer be with us. The thought makes me shudder. I desperately want Nick to know that there are GPs out there who have continued with face to face consultations as we know this is all too often the best way.”Advertisement
Others GPs have emailed to tell me about their own Joys, patients whose cancer could have been picked up if only they’d been examined in person. “This afternoon, I saw someone in his forties with Stage 4 lung cancer,” writes Claire, a GP in east London. “Poor guy doesn’t stand a chance.”
Like Andrew, Claire has pleaded with colleagues to go back to normal surgery, seeing all patients face to face, but she’s been told this is “not allowed because we can’t do the social distancing required in our small waiting room”. At the moment, any patients fortunate enough to be seen are given a specific time to come in, well apart from other face-to-face appointments. “Apparently, there are no plans for this to change,” says Claire, “I’m thinking of leaving my job. This is not patient care, I feel like an administrator.”
Who or what is responsible for this insidious, deeply worrying revolution in primary care? One practice manager says that NHS England dictates Standard Operating Procedure and that GPs will be breaking their contract (with regard to patient safety and wellbeing) if they return to the previous pattern of working. Doctors are still expected to see face-to-face those that need it, “but NHS England expect that to be a definite minority”.Advertisement
The guidance says GPs can’t go back to the way things were unless patients in the waiting room can be socially distanced, and most surgeries have small waiting rooms where that isn’t possible. Plus, the consulting room has to be cleaned down after each patient, so they can only see half as many patients as previously.
Honestly, how pathetic! If The Dog and Duck can put up a marquee in the car park to serve drinks, why can’t GPs think creatively and do the same for blood tests? Most women would gladly have half a shandy with their smear test.
Behind these sly manoeuvrings, I fear there are other, financial, concerns at work. A recent report said that demand for GP appointments has soared in the last year, at the same time as thousands of extra GPs promised by the Government have still to materialise.
Back in April, Matt Hancock said that “patients who have got used to online GP and outpatient appointments during the crisis may not want face-to-face appointments when things go back to normal”. The Secretary of State stressed that the NHS “must not lose” the digital “advances” that have been made during the Covid-19 pandemic.Advertisement
Advances for whom, Secretary of State? They’re not advances if you’re a woman called Joy with excruciating pain in your leg who couldn’t get to see a GP who would probably have taken one look at her and referred her for an urgent scan, which would have found her cancer earlier, and enabled her to start life-prolonging treatment.
Here’s the thing, Mr Hancock. Most people still want to see a GP, not send them a photo of their ailment or take their own blood pressure. They don’t care to be part of your cost-cutting, digital healthcare revolution which strips the human touch from the doctor-patient relationship.
Nick Stokes asked me to tell his wife’s story so people would insist on better care from their GP and the Government might change the rules for surgeries “because at least then Joy’s suffering will end in her leaving the world with a positive legacy”. Are you able to see your GP? Are you a GP who wants to see patients but can’t? If so, please let me know. Our lives shouldn’t be at the mercy of bureaucrats who don’t care about the emotional consequences of their rules.Advertisement
SWISS AUTHORITIES ON TUESDAY confirmed that a senior diplomat working at the embassy of Switzerland in Iran had died, after apparently falling from a high-rise building in a leafy northern Tehran suburb. Subsequent reports stated that United States officials had been informed of the incident.
The Swiss diplomat’s death would be of interest to Washington, because the Swiss embassy in the Iranian capital has represented US interests since 1980. A few months earlier, Iran and the US had suspended diplomatic ties following the dramatic events surrounding what came to be known as the Iran hostage crisis. The two countries have yet to re-establish diplomatic ties.
The diplomat, a 51-year-old woman, has not been identified. Reports suggest that she lived in a high-rise building located at Kamranieh, a northern suburb of Tehran, which is known for being one of Iran’s most affluent urban areas. A spokesman for Tehran’s emergency services said the woman’s body was found by a gardener on Tuesday, after police initiated a search for the missing diplomat. On Monday, an employee of the high-rise where the Swiss diplomat lived had contacted the police saying she was missing.
Iranian media reported that the diplomat had been dead for some time before her body was discovered. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that one of its employees at its embassy in Tehran had “died in a fatal incident”. But it did not provide any details. According to Swiss media reports, the cause of the woman’s fall “has yet to be determined”, and authorities are still investigating the incident. Suicide does not appear to be the cause of the diplomat’s death. Swiss authorities said they were in contact with the Iranian government about the fatal incident.
Rotten Apple: ‘New York as Dead as it Was a Year Ago’
Is it ever coming back?
Paul Joseph Watson
Unlike other areas of the country like Texas and Florida, New York appears to be trapped in a permanent state of lockdown malaise, with one observer noting how empty streets suggest the city is “seemingly as dead as it was a year ago.”
Reason host Nick Gillespie tweeted a video of morning rush hour traffic on The Bowery, a street located in a normally busy neighborhood in Manhattan.
Suffice to say, it’s not that busy.
“New York is seemingly as dead as it was a year ago,” commented Gillespie
Respondents blamed harsh coronavirus lockdown restrictions for the city’s decline.
“Everyone moved to Florida,” remarked one.
“It’s absolutely tragic what these morons have done to my beautiful city. It’s going to take years to recover from this,” commented another.
A survey conducted in September 2020 found that two in five New Yorkers wanted to leave the city, with the reasons cited being crime and public safety as well as the anemic post-COVID economic recovery.
Removal trucks became a common sight on the streets, with 2020 showing a 44% increase in home sales in the suburbs compared to the same time period in 2019 as people flee for bigger homes in safer areas.
Former hedge fund manager and entrepreneur James Altucher previously warned that the city was on its knees and that there were no signs of New York’s political leadership offering a way out of the malaise.
“We have something like 30 to 50 per cent of the restaurants in New York City are probably already out of business and they’re not coming back,” he pointed out.
Regular Black Lives Matter riots that include demonstrators telling white people to “get the fuck out of New York” also can’t be helping.
The trend of people fleeing big cities, largely as a result of the pandemic but also for other reasons, is mirrored in London, where 700,000 people left the English capital in 2020.
(TLB) published this article from Summit News as written by Paul Joseph Watson
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By Alan O’sullivan18:16, 08 Oct 2007 , updated 12:14, 10 Oct 2007
Bank customers who have had thousands of pounds stolen from their accounts have been refused compensation on the basis they did not safeguard their Pin – even though it can be easily bypassed by fraudsters.
Criminals can override a Pin by stealing a debit card, making a copy of it and overlaying a new Pin number onto the cloned card, termed a ‘Yescard’.
The problem is in addition to the flaw in the chip and Pin system highlighted last week by This is Money, which enables an undisclosed number of the nation’s 60,500 ATMs to pay out cash even if a withdrawal is made with a fake ‘cloned’ card.
Fraud experts have said the ‘Yescard’ deception is another loophole in the chip and Pin system, regarded as almost fraud-proof by banks and praised by the Government throughout the current National Fraud Prevention week.
The ‘Yescard’ is a practice used widely on the Continent, where chip and Pin cards have been in use for longer, and it is beginning to gain hold in the UK.
Fraudsters can make withdrawals on any cash machine or handheld card device that is working offline, or not connected to your bank. Such machines only verify transactions periodically with a bank’s electronic database as there is a charge for each verification or a slight time delay.
Despite this loophole for fraudsters, hundreds of bank customers are being declined compensation for fraudulent transactions as both the correct Pin and card appeared to have been used in the transaction.
As a result, they have been told by their bank that they have either carried out the transaction themselves or were negligent with their Pin by telling it to a third party or writing it down.
Loyal customers accused of fraud
Many victims have been loyal customers of their bank for decades and have never made a claim for fraud in the past, such as Iain Richardson, 44, an Oxford-based business manager for golf courses.
He had two debit cards stolen from his local gym on 23 August after his locker was forced open with a screwdriver. He immediately cancelled the cards but money had already been withdrawn from ATMs and directly over the counter at two local banks.
The fraudster had withdrawn £600 over-the-counter at Iain’s Halifax branch using a fraudulent signature as the bank does not have a chip and Pin system in place. Halifax immediately refunded the money once it was made aware of the situation.
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Banking rival NatWest delivered a different answer. At NatWest, £250 was withdrawn from a cash machine and a further £1,800 in an over-the-counter transaction using chip and Pin – but the bank refuses to refund the cash. This is despite the fact that it has forwarded CCTV footage of the criminals on to police.
Iain is furious at being labelled incompetent: ‘They said I was irresponsible with my Pin number, but I said there is no way that could have happened. I have had the same Pin for six years and haven’t written it down anywhere. I recited the 12-digit number on the card then and there, as well as the Pins to all of my debit and credit cards. I don’t forget things easily.
‘They said they would forward CCTV footage of the event to the police, but I won’t be compensated regardless of this because the criminal had my Pin number. But how could he have stolen it off me? Would someone break into another’s locker in the off-chance their Pin number was written somewhere in their wallet?’
He branded the way in which banks are accusing customers of fraud or incompetence without providing proof a disgrace and highlighted the unfair way the chip and Pin system is being used to move blame on to the customer even if they were not at fault.
Safety procedures not in place
A NatWest spokesperson said all its branches request ID before allowing any over-the-counter transactions; yet a brief This is Money survey of NatWest branches in Oxfordshire and Berkshire painted a different picture.
Iain’s local branch in Thame said they would generally ask for ID for an over-the-counter transaction if they did not know the customer. The Abingdon NatWest branch said it would require ID for withdrawals of £300 or more and the Newbury branch similiarly said they would not release any account funds without some recognised form of ID from customers.
However the NatWest branch in Sonning Common, Reading, said it would allow someone to withdraw £5,000 from an account without ID, as long as a chip and Pin were used.
How criminals access your money
A fraud expert at Cambridge University, Prof Ross Anderson, says there are various ways a Pin can be extracted from a chip and Pin card, but the ‘Yescard’ scam is the most widely used.
He said: ‘Your Pin is stored in the chip. It’s supposedly protected by logic that limits the number of attempts you can make to guess it. However, there have been repeated reports from credible witnesses of cards being used when the Pin could not have been compromised.
‘One possible modus operandi is the Yescard; a card to which you copy the details from a stolen card, but that will accept any Pin. These have been used in France and I’ve suspected for some time that they have been introduced in the UK.
‘There have been more technical tricks in the past to extract Pins from cards, but the Yescard is generally a more plausible hypothesis.’
The practice is becoming more widespread in Britain as the banking industry here tends to use cheaper ‘Static Data Authentication’ (SDA) cards, which are not detected by bank machines and terminals if they are offline. More complex, safer cards called ‘Dynamic Data Authentication’ (DDA) cards are used abroad.
In order to withdraw money over-the-counter from your bank, a fraudster would simply have to use a clone of your card in the hand-reader along with the new ‘replacement’ Pin and hope that they are not asked any security questions or to produce any identification.
Cards can be cloned using equipment that is readily available over the internet for £300-£400.
There are several other ways that a criminal can get hold of your Pin however, said fraud expert and author Edward Wilding: ‘shoulder surfing’ at ATMs, searching through your refuse, phishing and stealing your Pin while you are carrying out an online transaction.
Barclays and NatWest have moved to minimise the chances of online theft by introducing an online banking card reader. This hand-held unit reads your card, asks for your Pin and then provides you with another temporary Pin to use online, thereby lowering the chances of your genuine Pin being stolen.
Although overall fraud in the UK was down in the first six-months of this year, card ID theft and counterfeiting were markedly up on the same period last year. The latter resulted in £72m worth of fraud between January and June, up 37% on the first six months of last year.
Offices are empty, so why are we building Gotham City in London?
There is a surplus of office space in the capital; it’s crazy to put up more skyscrapers — but we are
Richard MorrisonThursday April 29 2021, 5.00pm, The Times
I am confused. Apparently 12,000 people are moving out of London every week. Many of those still in the capital are working from home, and experts predict that few of us will return to a five-day working week in a central London office. Just as well because many employers have already abolished our desks.
Yet developers and architects are still intent on building more and more high-rise towers in London. Neither Brexit nor Covid seems to have made any difference. And the City of London Corporation wants this madness to go on and on. That’s evident from the revised draft of City Plan 2036, published last month, which lays out the local authority’s 15-year aspirations for the Square Mile. Meanwhile, its planning committee keeps nodding.
London Firms Are Dumping Office Space as Workers Stay Home
16 September 2020…….
Tenants shed desks to cut costs, allow more home working
Amount of space for sublease has jumped 21% since June
London firms are ditching their unwanted office space at an even faster rate than in the financial crisis.
More than 1 million square feet (92,900 square meters) has become available for sublet since June, the equivalent of two Gherkin skyscrapers, according to research by real-estate data company CoStar Group Inc. Businesses are offering up the excess space as the pandemic keeps large swathes of employees working from home.
The trend is so far only limited to London: the city’s second-hand space surged by 21% in the period, compared with just a 1% increase for the rest of the U.K.
“The success of home working, coupled with ongoing concerns around public transport and coronavirus infections, has led many firms to reconsider their office space needs,” Mark Stansfield, head of U.K. analytics at CoStar, wrote in a note to clients. “Some of this impact is now being seen in the data.”
Surplus to Requirements
London’s businesses look to shed excess desk
While Londoners are steadily increasing their use of public transport after schools reopened, the number of subway commuters is still just a third of last year’s number, data compiled by transit manager Transport for London show. At the same time, U.K. coronavirus cases have been on the rise again.
Second-hand office space poses a threat to developers of new buildings, offering tenants seeking to move a cheaper alternative. While newly developed space that has yet to be leased in London remains relatively scarce, overall vacancy rates are increasing due to the buildings being offered up by companies that no longer need them.
Kurt and Kelly never knew that when their lives crossed at a truck stop life, as they knew it would change forever. As government operatives unknown to each other, they would discover the immense power of an advanced nation which, when out of control, can affect life, weather, the mental and physical well-being of people and nations, and all technological elements of the world. In the Old Testament scriptures, Ezekial said that this day would come. And sure enough, it has! Curt and Kelly step into World War III. While trying to stop it from destroying the world, they came across the HAARP program, something the world has never seen. HAARP would take the U.S. into a technological level beyond imagination and to a point of near-catastrophe. Can it be stopped once it is initiated? Only time will tell. Technology that exists now will bring you into the frightening reality of the power the U. S. has. Ezekial will take you where you may not want to go or may not want to know. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss!
Fans marched into pitch carrying multi colored flares.Threw flares toward Sky TV crew and even towards where Roy k. was preparing to commentate.They had to withdraw,a number of fans then went down towards dressing rooms!
They are now planning to prevent both teams leaving their arrival coaches!!
One (unconfirmed) report says Broadcasting cameras have been smashed?
The protest aimed at Man U American owners!!
this incident is still unpredictable……the match with Liverpool has not yet begun,and there is s further security breach and pitch invasion.
Manchester United’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon may be delayed after some individuals broke into the stadium and entered the pitch, with the team coach also being delayed from leaving the Lowry Hotel in the city centre.
At just past 2pm around 200 individual are believed to have made their way into the stadium, some carrying flares, with a corner flag being taken from the pitch and paraded outside. Images and videos of the protest also showed one person hanging off the crossbar of a goal.
Supporter unrest at the Glazers’ ownership has been further heightened after the club’s planned membership of the now defunct European Super League.
Iconic North London deli closes after 73 years due to pandemic leaving fans devastated
Harry Morgan has been a longstanding institution in St. John’s Wood
BY ELLA BENNETT
13:57, 29 APR 2021
A north London deli, famous for its salt beef sandwiches and chicken soup, has closed after more than 70 years of trading in St. John’s Wood.
It has been reported that the longstanding institution has been forced to close over disputes regarding rent and monies owed since the start of the pandemic.
“It’s not the first, it won’t be the last. Unless the government and landlords act fast, the death of our high streets is coming .. to us all.”
Another fan of the deli tweeted: “Harry Morgan’s deli, established in 1948 and currently owned by Alex Chesterman (founder of Zoopla, Cazoo and LoveFilm) in St Johns Wood, is shutting down due to a rent dispute.
“This is truly end days. Best chicken soup in North London.”
“Every time my parents visited me in London we’d head there for food, we all loved it. Such a shame,” said another disappointed customer.
While another said: “Man it’s going to be a bloodbath for independents over the next couple of months… lots of landlords refusing to negotiate.”
According to the manager of the deli, Antonio Franco, who has run the restaurant for the last decade, it is the unwillingness of the landlord to negotiate rent settlements over the pandemic that will force the business to close.
He told the JC that landlord, Trophaeum Asset Management, which owns 60 per cent of properties on St John’s Wood High Street, had refused to agree any compromise over their rent.
“We’re close to tears — we loved working here,” he said.
“We’ve been doing takeaway for much of the last year, but it’s just not enough to pay the whole rent and run the business.”
Matt Farrell of Trophaeum Asset Management confirmed that there had been negotiations between the parties, reports the JC: “We offered assistance by way of a rent freeze, but couldn’t find a way forward between us. They chose to close the business. It has been a difficult time for landlords as well — everyone is suffering.”
It has been reported that a spokesperson for entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, who owns the company, said: “I can confirm that Harry Morgan will be closing in its current location this week and may reopen in a new location in due course.”
Casting has been announced for Jeff Wayne’s musical version of H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds, which will embark on a UK tour next year.
Wayne will conduct the piece, which features the Black Smoke Band as well as the 36-piece ULLAdubULLA strings ensemble. The experience will also feature a giant 30-foot tall martian robot, armed with dual fire cannons, alongside a giant 100-foot wide CGI wall. Liam Neeson will also play The Journalist as a 3D holograph.
Touted as “The Life Begins Again Tour”, the piece will star Claire Richards making her debut as Beth, The Parson’s Wife, alongside Kevin Clifton as The Artilleryman. Callum O’Neil will also appear as Wells himself.
The show toured the UK in 2014 before playing the Dominion Theatre in February 2016. It toured again in 2018.
Jeff said: “Why are we calling this The Life Begins Again Tour? It’s certainly a name appropriate for the times we have been living through since the first lockdown in 2020, caused by the pandemic. But ironically, the title comes from a musical phrase in my original 1978 double-album just as Humanity learns that the Martians, with all their superior intelligence, incredible machines and weaponry, hadn’t foreseen one particular thing – the common cold, and the bacteria that caused it.
“And in a sneeze, they were gone! Now from all over Britain, mankind began returning to their homes. Life was beginning again. By 2014 I decided that original musical phrase should be expanded into a full song, performed by all the characters we have met along the way, and it has appeared in every tour and production since.”
The tour will open in Nottingham on 23 March 2022, before visiting Birmingham, Cardiff, Brighton, Bournemouth, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Hull, Liverpool, Newcastle and London.
By providing information about entertainment and cultural events on this site, WhatsOnStage.com shall not be deemed to endorse, recommend, approve and/or guarantee such events, or any facts, views, advice and/or information contained therein.
1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his underground bunker
HISTORY | This Day In History
THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 30 1945 Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his underground bunker.On April 30, 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich.
Since at least 1943, it was becoming increasingly clear that Germany would fold under the pressure of the Allied forces. In February of that year, the German 6th Army, lured deep into the Soviet Union, was annihilated at the Battle of Stalingrad, and German hopes for a sustained offensive on both fronts evaporated. Then, in June 1944, the Western Allied armies landed at Normandy, France, and began systematically to push the Germans back toward Berlin. By July 1944, several German military commanders acknowledged their imminent defeat and plotted to remove Hitler from power so as to negotiate a more favorable peace. Their attempts to assassinate Hitler failed, however, and in his reprisals, Hitler executed over 4,000 fellow countrymen.
In January 1945, facing a siege of Berlin by the Soviets, Hitler withdrew to his bunker to live out his final days. Located 55 feet under the chancellery, the shelter contained 18 rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. Though he was growing increasingly mad, Hitler continued to give orders and meet with such close subordinates as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and Josef Goebbels. He also married his long-time mistress Eva Braun just one day before his suicide.
In his last will and testament, Hitler appointed Admiral Karl Donitz as head of state and Goebbels as chancellor. He then retired to his private quarters with Braun, where (it’s alleged) he and Braun poisoned themselves and their dogs, before Hitler then also shot himself with his service pistol.
Hitler and Braun’s bodies were hastily cremated in the chancellery garden, as Soviet forces closed in on the building. When the Soviets reached the chancellery, they removed Hitler’s ashes, continually changing their location so as to prevent Hitler devotees from creating a memorial at his final resting place. Only eight days later, on May 8, 1945, the German forces issued an unconditional surrender, leaving Germany to be carved up by the four Allied powers.
Mourinho to Celtic confirmed! 1. He’s having an insane brawl with Gerrard will happen next season 2. Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in the background who no doubt told Mourinho to say he has always been a Celtic man, probably made a story for him to say to win over fans
April 28 1945 Benito Mussolini executed On April 28, 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland. The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet gov… read more Total Dictators
Greed, genocide, political manipulation and murder most foul—these dictators would stop at nothing to make sure their names went down in history as the greatest rulers to have ever lived
.Stream this episode on HISTORY Vault—the best destination for thousands of The HISTORY® Channel’s most fascinating series, documentaries and specials
Written by Wil Dubois — Updated on August 15, 2018
Happy Saturday! Welcome to Ask D’Mine, our weekly advice column hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and clinical diabetes educator Wil Dubois.
This week, Wil holds his nose while reflecting on… gas. Yep, those pungent bubbles that weave through your intestines and release with a surprising burst. Of course, Wil offers some insight on whether the whole diabetes card factors in.
Read on, Friends…. you may be surprised what you hear.
Martha, type 2 from Texas, writes: I almost died of embarrassment when my little daughter asked me, “Momma, is it your diabetes that makes you fart so much?” I have been having a lot of gas since I was diagnosed. Could this be caused by my diabetes?
Wil@Ask D’Mine answers: Gotta love kids. They really cut right to it, don’t they?
Luckily for you, when you enter Ask D’Mine you’re in an embarrassment-free zone where nothing is off-limits.
So let’s talk about farts and farting.
What is a fart? Medically referred to as flatulence (the white coat crowd can’t maintain any sense of dignity using the vernacular) a fart is nothing more than a combination of digestive gasses and air swallowed while eating, that finds its way back out of the human body through the anus. Simple enough, except for the fact that the process is often anything but silent and is frequently accompanied by a smell, officially called feculent, that no normal person enjoys.
Speaking of normal people, according to the Mayo Clinic, normal people have wind, break wind, toot, have or pass gas, suffer the vapors, cut the cheese, or let it rip several times per day.
And you thought fartology would be a stinker of a class to take in college.
The extensive Wikipedia entry on the subject quotes research stating that morning farts are higher in volume than farts later in the day. We are told that sounds, odors, and gas volume are highly variable from person to person, as well as from fart to fart emanating from the same person.
The fart toot is apparently caused by the vibration of the anal sphincters, and/or how tightly the buttocks are closed, as the wind is expelled. What’s in the wind? It’s as variable as the sounds and odors, but hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane are the most common elements in fart gas. The nasty odor comes from trace sulfur compounds, skatole, and mercaptans (the same stuff added to natural gas so you can smell a leak before your house blows up). And yes, there really are people who are apparently paid to study fart gas.
One more reason to be happy with whatever crappy job you may have now.😁
The gas itself comes from the breakdown of undigested foods (fermentation), malabsorption of—or intolerances to—certain foods, and to a lesser degree, swallowed air. Gas can also be a side effect of some common meds.
Wait a sec. How does one swallow air? According to the British National Health Service: By chewing gum, smoking, having loose-fitting dentures, or sucking on pen tops. I gotta admit that I’m a pipe smoker and a pen sucker, but no one has accused me of being an old fart (yet), so I guess my air intake is OK.
Oh and the Brits also point to scarfing your food down too quickly as a cause of gas. OK, I paraphrased that to translate it into American English. The Brits also look down their noses at so-called “fizzy drinks” as a source of excess digestive carbon dioxide, but admit that this sort of gas input is more likely to pass back up and out of the top of the digestive system as a belch, rather than to pass down and out the bottom as a fart.
Why do some foods digest poorly? A whole slew of side dishes contain large proportions of un-absorbable carbohydrates. These include the notorious bean, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, raisins, prunes, and—surprisingly—apples. Bran can be rough on the digestion, and as anyone who’s had diabetes for more than a few years knows, artificial sweeteners called sugar alcohols are epic windbreakers.
Abnormal farting is commonly treated by a change in diet—either increased fiber or a reduction (or elimination) of the “gassy” foods we talked about above. Other anti-fart approaches include antibiotics or probiotics, the digestive enzyme Beano, and antacids. On the technology front, I kid you not, it’s possible to buy underwear and pants with built-in activated-charcoal filters to mask the fart odor in the fart-prone. Check out the hard body hotties for both guys and gals (allegedly suffering from flatulence) at this website! It would almost be high-class porn if it weren’t for the whole farting thing. Oh, and be sure to check out their fart posture guide.
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But enough farting around. What’s the connection between farting and diabetes?
Not too much, actually. This is one of those few times in which diabetes, in and of itself, doesn’t seem to make a difference. Of course the diabetes complication gastroparesis can be a major fart generator, as gastroparesis basically messes up the entire digestive system. And high BG levels can lead to increased farting in some people because the excess sugar can fuel an over-growth in normal gut bacteria.
But while our diabetes may give us a free ride fart-wise, the same cannot be said for our medicine cabinets. The diabetes meds Glyset and Precose tend to be serious fart generators, so much so that they really aren’t used much in clinical practice. And the universal type 2 diabetes starter drug metformin can be a real gas, at least during the start-up phase. In most cases, farting is only an issue with metformin for a short time, but some people have chronic issues with it and need to find other treatments. Often, the extended release version of this pill will work for folks who can’t tolerate the “regular” formulation. Met farts are best avoided by slowly increasing the med dosing from 500 mg to the full dose over the period of one month, to let the body get adjusted to it.
Of course, we shouldn’t blow off the possibility that farting is a symptom of a more serious digestive disorder such as lactose intolerance, celiac, GERD, irritable bowl syndrome, or a peptic ulcer. So check in with your doc if you think you are farting more than you should be. The folks at Mayo say it’s time to see the doctor if your farting is “persistent or severe,” and especially if it’s accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, blood in the stool, or heartburn.
And lastly, we can’t leave this subject without addressing the unasked but burning question: Are farts flammable? Yes. Both methane and hydrogen are flammable so experts tell us that flatus can be ignited, although they declined to specify why anyone would want to do that. I’ve even read that there are more YouTube videos of this kind of action than you can count, but I haven’t personally checked on this for you. Hey, it’s early in the morning and I haven’t started my Ernest Hemingway drinking yet. Italian roast coffee and flaming fart videos are just not a combo I can stomach.
But that’s symbolic of the fact that some people (and cultures) are greatly embarrassed by farts; while other people (and cultures) find them a great source of humor.
I guess we’re a bit mixed in our country: You wouldn’t discuss farting at the country club, but you might post it on YouTube, and the prank fart simulator the Whoopee Cushion has been a best seller since it was introduced in the 1920s.
This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs, or partridges in pear trees. Bottom line: we are only a small part of your total prescription. You still need the professional advice, treatment, and care of a licensed medical professional.
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The effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq have been disputed. 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”.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.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.
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“ 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.”
Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, subsequently also resigned in protest, calling the effects of the sanctions a “true human tragedy”. Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, followed them.
Estimates of excess deaths during the sanctions vary widely, use different methodologies and cover different time-frames. 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. A 1995 Lancet estimate put the number of child deaths at 567,000, 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.” A 1999 UNICEF report found that 500,000 children died as a result of sanctions, but comprehensive surveys after 2003 failed to find such child mortality rates. A 2017 study in the British Medical Journal described “the rigging of the 1999 Unicef survey” as “an especially masterful fraud”. 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.
Oil for Food
Lifting of sanctions
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.
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. During its last decade, the regime of Saddam Hussein cut public health funding by 90 percent, contributing to a substantial deterioration in health care.
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. 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.” In the run-up to the Iraq War, some disputed the idea that excess mortality exceeded 500,000, because the Iraqi government had interfered with objective collection of statistics (independent experts were barred).
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, in war damage to infrastructure and in the relative ease with which smugglers evaded sanctions through the porous Northern borders. 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.
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, but argued that invading Iraq was better than continuing the sanctions regime, since “Each year of containment is a new Gulf War.” Former British Prime MinisterTony 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.”
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, Washington Times  according to Bill Gertz, and New York Times  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.
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; wrote “I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean”; and regretted coming “across as cold-blooded and cruel”. The segment won an Emmy Award. Albright’s “non-denial” was taken by sanctions opponents as confirmation of a high number of sanctions related casualties.
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.”  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.
It has been alleged that UNSCOM had been infiltrated by British and American spies for purposes other than determining if Iraq possessed WMDs. Former inspector Scott Ritter was a prominent source of these charges. 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”.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
In July 2016, the U.S. government released a document, compiled by Dana Lesemann and Michael Jacobson, 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.”
The Saudi government has long denied any connection. 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. 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“.
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”.
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.” 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.” The pilots made an emergency landing in Ohio since they were “so spooked by the Saudi passengers and their aggressive behavior.”
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.
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)
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
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.
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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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.
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.
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.”
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 informed person you know: 3 months for $5Subscribe
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?
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 informed person you know: 3 months for $5Subscribe
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.
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.
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, TheUses 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 Hood, Sleeping 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: Books, Culture, Fairy Tales
“I Shoot a Bunch of 3D Printed Guns – Do My Hands Survive?”
BY 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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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.
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.
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.
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Shoe Zone poised to shut 90 stores amid ‘antiquated’ business rates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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
After dire year England’s shops hope for end-of-lockdown shopping spree
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.
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.
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.
Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower claims Ukraine military shot down MH17 | Guyana Community Discussion Forums
Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower claims Ukraine military shot down MH17
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
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 |08.04.2021
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.
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 ha