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GRENFELL: Poor People Sacrificed on the Altar of ‘Regeneration’

‘David Lammy, MP for Tottenham (North London), believes that the Grenfell Tower fire should be considered “as a crime” and that prosecutions may be in order. He delivered an emotional speech to the House of Commons about a close friend and resident, 24 year old Khadija Saye, who perished in the building. Lammy described how “rich and powerful organisations get away with crimes.”

But will there really be any inquest or criminal prosecution?

The following segment is an interview with criminal defense lawyer and Human Rights Campaigner, Aamer Anwar, on the systematic corruption which should be exposed through a comprehensive criminal investigation into Grenfell Tower disaster.’

Source


Grenfell Tower: Thousands of residents could be evacuated from tower blocks across UK over safety risks

‘Thousands of people could be evacuated from tower blocks across the UK as checks continue for “combustible” cladding and internal safety risks following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

At least 34 buildings have failed tests in 17 local authority areas, including Manchester, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Hounslow, Brent and Camden, which was the first to evacuate residents.

The Department of Communities and Local Government said the number of affected towers could rise as assessments continue.’

Read more …

‘WHO has expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for making a “noble” donation to fight a cholera outbreak in Yemen, even though the kingdom itself is contributing to the spread of the illness in the neighboring country by bombing and blockading it.

Saudi Arabian Defense Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who initiated and is now overseeing his country’s intervention in Yemen, has ordered the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief) to contribute $66.7 million to fight cholera in a country that the Gulf kingdom has been bombing since March of 2015.

Cholera, which causes severe dysentery and vomiting, can develop in areas with poor sanitation. It is contracted by coming into contact with contaminated water sources.

Yemen, which has been torn apart by a civil war, continues to bleed from the Saudi-led bombardment. The conflict, now raging into its third year, has decimated the infrastructure and health facilities of the country, which has been described by the UN as the poorest in the Arab region.’

Read more: Saudi Arabia donates $66.7million to stop cholera crisis in Yemen as it continues to bomb & blockade it

‘The U.S. military and/or the CIA outsourced parts of their ongoing torture campaign in Yemen to the United Arab Emirates, reports AP. Some “interrogations” are done in the presence of U.S. personal and on U.S. ships:

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses.

At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the “grill,” and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away.’

Read more: U.S. Torture, A Saudi Coup And ISIS Crimes – ‘By, With And Through Allies’

‘The Israeli Defense Force has attacked two Syrian army tanks after a dozen spillover projectiles landed in the Israel-controlled part of the Golan Heights from Syrian territory.

The Israeli military said several projectiles fired from Syria “hit an open area” in the northern Golan Heights. No injuries were reported.

Calling the incident an “unacceptable violation of Israeli sovereignty,” IDF aircraft targeted the “origin of launches and two Syrian tanks”.

The Israeli army instructed farmers and civilians near the Quneitra border crossing into Syria to avoid open fields, the Jerusalem Post reports.

An IDF spokesperson told the news outlet that Israel’s retaliation came less than an hour after the spillover fire. The IDF reportedly stressed that it views Damascus as “ultimately responsible for what is happening in its territory.”’

Read more: Israeli warplanes target two Syrian tanks over spillover cross-border 

‘A Syrian military source says Israel’s airstrikes on the Golan Heights on Saturday coincided with a push by Nusra Front terrorists against army positions, which was aborted.

The Syrian army and allied forces repelled a massive assault by the terrorists near al-Baath City in southern Quneitra Province and inflicted heavy losses on them, Syria’s official SANA news agency quoted the source as saying Saturday.

As a counter-terrorism operation got underway, an Israeli warplane conducted air raids on a parking lot and a residential building in the same area, killing civilians and causing material damage, the source added.

The Israeli army claimed its strikes had targeted Syria’s military installations in response to an alleged firing of 10 projectiles from the Arab country at the occupied territories.’

Read more: Israel and al Nusra target Syria’s Golan simultaneously: Army source

‘The only word I find for it is cloddish. I refer to the latest CIA-instigated attempt to initiate regime change against outspoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The so-called ISIS terror attack in the minerals-rich southern Philippines island of Mindanao, a predominately Muslim part of the mostly Christian nation of 100 million people, took place literally in the midst of President Duterte’s talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Duterte Putin talks in turn followed Duterte’s attendance in Beijing on May 15 for the first New Silk Road or Belt Road Forum. America’s colonial asset since 1898 was clearly walking away from the Washington “reservation.”

The terrorist siege in Marawi City is blatantly a desperate Washington try to topple the very popular (80% popularity in polls) Duterte, who successfully won the Presidency last June over a US-backed Mar Roxas, a US-educated former Wall Street banker. Since taking office Duterte has made bold and quite courageous steps to steer the former US Colony towards a Eurasian alliance with China and Russia as his major supporters.’

Read more: ‘Regime Change’ in the Philippines? The CIA’s Cloddish ISIS Attack on Duterte

‘Over 100 people have burnt to death after an oil tanker overturned, spilling its payload onto a highway in the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur, local media report.

At least 123 people were killed according to Deputy Commissioner Rana Mohammad Saleem Abdul, as cited by Dawn.

At least another 100 people suffered severe burn wounds, according to the Express Tribune. They have been taken to two local hospitals in critical condition, Rescue 1122 Director General Dr. Rizwan Naseer told Geo TV Pakistan.

Army helicopters have been deployed to take the injured to hospital, according to Major General Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of Pakistan’s armed forces.’

WARNING – GRAPHIC VIDEO

Read more: 100+ people burn to death after oil tanker flips & explodes in Pakistan 

‘China and the United States have agreed efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula should be ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible,’ Chinese state media said on Saturday.

‘Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’ a consensus document released by the official Xinhua news agency said, reporting the results of high level talks in Washington this week.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Thursday that the United States pressed China to ramp up economic and political pressure on North Korea, during his meeting with top Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs.’

Read more: US and China agree to denuclearize North Korea and say efforts to rid Kim of nuclear weapons should be ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible’

‘Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain around the American embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, to register their disapproval of the US-built THAAD missile defense system in their country.

According to organizers, 3,000 people attended a march through the center of Seoul, holding signs that read ‘Koreans hate THAAD’ and ‘Yes to peace talks,’ as well as banners directed at US President Donald Trump.

“The deployment of THAAD, which is unnecessary for the defense of the Korean Peninsula, should be pulled back,” said one of the speakers at the rally, quoted by local news outlet Yonhap. “The South Korea-US summit to come next week should be a venue where the review of the THAAD deployment should be assured.”‘

Read more: ‘THAAD out, Peace in’: South Koreans protest US missile deployment ahead of Trump talks

‘South Korean President Moon Jae-in has invited North Korea, his country’s archenemy, to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, saying sports can serve as a peace maker and the invitation is thus aimed at easing incessant tensions between the two neighbors over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.

President Moon made the remarks at the opening of the 23rd edition of the World Taekwondo Championships in the southern county of Muju on Saturday, adding that he believed in the strength of sports, which had been “brokering peace.”

“If a North Korean delegation takes part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I believe it will greatly contribute to realizing the Olympic values, which are about bringing humanity together and promoting world peace,” he further said, according to a script of his comments released by the presidential Blue House.

Moon also took a step further and suggested that the two neighbors should pool their athletes to create joint teams for the games in order to achieve better performance.’

Read more: South Korea invites North to participate in 2018 Winter Olympics to boost peace

‘Israel is closing the bank accounts of Arab institutions in Jerusalem in an effort to displace Jerusalemites and force them out of the city, the Department of Jerusalem Affairs has said.

In a press release, the organisation said the Israeli occupation’s moves against social, cultural, educational, relief, housing, legal or engineering institutions were political and go hand in hand with the Israeli policy of collective punishment against the defenseless Palestinian civilians in order to Judaise the city by force.

Organisations had been told verbally seven months ago that their accounts could be closed however no paperwork was issued to confirm the action, the Director of the Yabous Cultural Centre, Rania Elias, told Quds Press.

“The bank specified an amount of money for us to deposit in the account and of course we did that. The bank was to be informed in the case that any sum was added to clarify the source of the funds. And this is what we have actually done,” Elias explained.’

Read more: Closing bank accounts: Israel’s new policy to displace Jerusalemites

 

‘The promotion of Conservative MP Alistair Burt to Minister for the Middle East within Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) demonstrates that the UK’s friendship with the Saudi-aligned Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will remain toxic.

Between May 2010 and October 2013, Burt was only an Under-Secretary of State at the FCO, with responsibility for “Counter Terrorism, Counter Proliferation, Counter Piracy, North America, Middle East and North Africa, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.” As of earlier this month, he is now a full minister of state, responsible solely for the Middle East; he also holds a second ministerial position at the Department for International Development.

As Under-Secretary, Burt had a long record of protecting the Bahrain-Britain intimate relationship. It was not just, as one activist put it, the usual “meaningless FCO shtick” in which he repeatedly claimed that progress was being made on reforms even when it patently wasn’t. It was a serious of smears, lies and fabrications which went above and beyond the call of duty. There is no reason to believe that his time as a full minister will be any different; in his time out of government office he engaged deeply with GCC lobbyists.’

Read more: Who does Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt really work for?

‘Two US E-4B aircraft, otherwise known as ‘Doomsday Planes’, which are designed to survive an electromagnetic shockwave in the event of war, were damaged and left grounded by a fast-moving tornado at an airbase in Nebraska, local media report.

A heavy storm packing driving rain, high winds, and two tornadoes ripped through the US Air Force’s Offutt base in Nebraska last weekend. The extent of the damage to the facility was reported by local media on Saturday.

Ten aircraft, including the two E-4B Nightwatchers, were damaged by the tornado, said Air Force Captain Mark Graff, as cited by Stars and Stripes.’

Read more: Heavy tornado cripples two US ‘Doomsday Planes’

‘France is to stop granting licences for oil and gas exploration as part of a transition towards environmentally-friendly energy being driven by Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Nicolas Hulot, the “ecological transition” minister said a law would be passed in the autumn.

“There will be no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons,” he told BFMTV.

The minister, previously famed in France for his environmental activism and nature documentaries, also outlined proposals to increase the taxation on diesel and to “make decisions faster” to curtail pollution.

Mr Macron said he was opposed to exploration for gas and favoured a ban on fracking during his election campaign, particularly in the overseas territory of French Guiana.’

Read more: France to ban all new oil and gas exploration in renewable energy drive

‘Parliament has suffered its biggest ever cyber attack as hackers launched a “sustained and determined” attempt to break into MPs email accounts.

The “brute force” assault lasted for more than 12 hours on Friday as unknown hackers repeatedly targeted “weak” passwords of politicians and aides.

Parliamentary officials were forced to lock MPs out of their own email accounts as they scrambled to minimise the damage from the incident.

The network affected is used by every MP including Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and her cabinet ministers for dealing with constituents.’

Read more: Blackmail fears after Parliament hit by ‘sustained and determined’ cyber attack leaving MPs unable to access their emails remotely

‘Innocent people, including human rights campaigners and a three-year-old girl, have been named on a blacklist of terrorists and criminals used by governments and major banks, it has been reported.

Greenpeace and Human Rights Watch were among the two million supposed “high risk” organisations and individuals on the database, which is compiled by media giant Thomson Reuters.

The watchlist, which also includes people who have been charged and cleared of terror offences, was accidentally leaked on a public internet server in 2014 and discovered by a computer security researcher last year.’

Read more: Toddler and human rights campaigners added to terror blacklist used by major banks

‘A school in London has come under fire after telling 60 teenage pupils to write their own suicide notes during an English class assignment.

The task was given as part of the year group’s studies on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which Lady Macbeth dies “by self and violent hands”.

Senior staff at Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke apologised for upsetting students, some of whom are said to have friends who have taken their own lives.

One mother said three of her daughter’s friends had killed themselves, and that her daughter was “very distressed” after being asked to write the note.

She said she complained to the school as soon as her daughter told her about the task.’

Read more: School forced to apologise after pupils told to write their own suicide notes

‘The Government is hiding a devastating report that shows rehabilitation courses taken by thousands of jailed rapists and paedophiles make them more dangerous once they are released.

According to the study, prisoners who take the courses are at least 25 per cent more likely to be convicted of further sex crimes than those who do not, suggesting that the sessions may have created hundreds of extra victims.

The controversial Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP), a six-month psychological group-therapy course, is believed to have cost taxpayers well over £100 million since it was set up in 1991.

Before the report was compiled, about 1,000 prisoners had been taking the ‘core’ programme at a cost of about £7 million a year, many at eight sex offender treatment ‘hubs’ – specialist jails where thousands of such criminals are concentrated.

The worst offenders went on to an ‘extended’ course, which was also found to make them more dangerous.’

Read more: The scandal of the sex crime ‘cure’ hubs: How minister buried report into £100million prison programme to treat paedophiles and rapists that INCREASED reoffending rates 

‘Hacking collective Anonymous claims US space agency NASA is about to announce the discovery of intelligent alien life.
“NASA says aliens are coming!” the group wrote on their website.

Anonymous’ claim is based on a number of recent NASA discoveries coupled with comments made by one of the agency’s spokesmen during a congressional hearing titled ‘Advances in the Search for Life,’ in April.

Professor Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, told the hearing that NASA’s recent advances, such as the discovery of hydrogen in Saturn’s moon Enceladus and the Hubble team’s promising results from the oceans of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, are promising signs that we’re closer than ever to discovering evidence of alien life.’

Read more: Anonymous believes NASA is poised to announce discovery of aliens 

‘Here on Techdirt we’ve written much about the way Western pharma companies fight for their “right” to charge unaffordable prices for medicines in emerging and developing economies. In particular, they routinely take governments and local generic suppliers to court in an attempt to shore up highly-profitable monopolies on life-saving drugs. But to be fair, it’s not only poorer people who are dying as a result of Big Pharma’s desire to maximize profits: Western drug companies are equally happy to charge even higher prices in richer countries — notably in the US. That’s old news. But there is a pharmaceutical saga unfolding that manages to combine all the worst aspects of this kind of behavior, and to throw in a few new ones.

It concerns something really exciting and important: a vaccine that shows great promise against the devastating Zika virus, which can cause microcephaly, blindness, deafness, and calcification of the brain in children whose mothers were infected during their pregnancy. If effective, such a vaccine could be a tremendous boon not just for developing countries, but for Western ones too, since the Zika virus has already begun to spread in the US, and Europe. The vaccine was developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, and the Department of the Army funded its development. Great news, you might think: the US public paid for it, so it’s only right that it should have low-cost access to it. Moreover, as an act of compassion — and to burnish its international image — the US could allow other countries to produce it cheaply too. But an article in The Nation reports that the US Army has other ideas:’

Read more: Why Is US Government Giving A Pharma Giant Exclusive Rights To A Zika Vaccine Whose Development Was Paid For By The US Public?

‘The European Union’s controversial trade deal with Canada is once again in doubt as a Spanish party votes against the agreement.

Earlier this month Spain was gripped by protests over the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and opposition continues.

The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) will withdraw its support for the deal in a shock U-turn.

PSOE only voted in favour of the treaty the day before officials announced they would oppose the deal amid pressure from the group’s Secretary General Pedro Sánchez and trade unions.’

Read more: EU-CETA agreement on verge of COLLAPSE: Spanish party in major U-turn shock

‘Are iPads, smartphones and Xboxes a form of digital drug? Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex exactly like cocaine.

The frontal cortex controls executive functioning, including impulse control. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex.

Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA calls screens “electronic cocaine” and Chinese researchers call them “digital heroin”. Even Dr. Andrew Doan, head of addiction research for the Pentagon and the U.S. Navy calls video games and screen technologies “digital pharmakeia” (Greek for drug).

No wonder parents have a hard time peeling kids away from their screens. Hundreds of clinical studies show that screens increase depression, anxiety and aggression and can even lead to psychotic-like features where the video gamer loses touch with reality.’

Read more: Digital Heroin: Screens Are Turning Kids Into Junkies

‘Dave Ashton was an IT consultant in the UK and Europe until 2010, when he was forced to retire due to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). He now spends his time advocating for safe technology, and the formal recognition of electrosensitivity as a bona-fide pathophysiological condition which, despite industry claims, is directly caused by the harmful electrosmog in our environment. [1]

Electrosmog is the invisible electromagnetic radiation resulting from the use of both wireless technology and mains electricity. The most common sources of wireless electrosmog are:’

Read more: Are You Impacted By Electrosmog?

‘Three nonprofit groups filed suit June 22 against Laurel, Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms, Inc. for falsely advertising products that contain a wide range of unnatural and in some cases prohibited substances, as “100% Natural.”

Substances include antibiotics, steroids, hormones and even a drug with hallucinogenic effects. The groups suing Sanderson are Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Center for Food Safety (CFS).

Sanderson Chicken claims its chicken is 100% natural or “nothing but chicken.” But recent testing conducted by the National Residue Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found 49 instances in which samples of Sanderson products tested positive for residues of synthetic drugs. Thirty-three percent of the 69 FSIS inspections, conducted in five states, uncovered residues no reasonable consumer would consider “natural.”‘

Read more: You May Be Eating Chicken Contaminated With a Hallucinogenic Drug

‘Worthington, Minnesota, resident Anthony Promvongsa, 21, had a run-in with an angry motorist as he drove through the streets of town last July 28. Promvongsa went on his way, but that agitated motorist—who turned out to be an off-duty cop—called on his colleagues to go after the young man, and this is what happened:

The cop doing the cursing, kicking, and punching in the video is Agent Joe Joswiak, a city of Worthington police officer and a member of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force.

“I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer,” Promvongsa said in a statement released Thursday by the ACLU. “I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack. I immediately pulled over for the Worthington squad car and before I knew what was happening, I was beat and ripped from my vehicle.’

Read more: Shocking Video Released of Minnesota Drug Task Force Cop Brutally Assaulting Motorist

‘When activist Sam Sinyangwe was awaiting a meeting with the governor’s office at the Louisiana state capitol building in Baton Rouge, he noticed something odd. A black man in a dark-blue jumpsuit was printing papers while a correctional guard—with a badge and gun—stood watching over him. The pair stood out against the white, middle-aged legislators populating the building.

Sinyangwe said he did not know exactly what he was looking at, until he saw another black man in the same dark-blue outfit serving food at the capitol building’s cafeteria. This time, Sinyangwe noticed that the man had a patch on his chest labeling him a prisoner of the Louisiana State Department of Corrections, complete with an identification number.

Sinyangwe realized that the server, the man printing papers and the other people working in the lunch line were all prisoners.’

Read more: ‘Modern-Day Slavery’: Many Southern States Have Prison Inmates Working in Governor’s Mansions and Capitol Buildings

‘Rebels with Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) group have freed two Dutch journalists snatched days ago in the country’s northeast, officials said Saturday.

Colombia’s ombudsman office, which handles human rights issues, wrote on Twitter that the rebel group freed reporter Derk Johannes Bolt, 62, and his cameraman Eugenio Ernest Marie Follender, 58, in a rural area of Norte de Santander State.

The office posted an accompanying photo showing the pair, pictured with some of the rebels, along with Colombian human rights officials.

The announcement came after rebels issued what turned out to be an erroneous announcement earlier Friday stating that the two men, who had been kidnapped on June 19, had been released.’

Read more: Colombian rebels free kidnapped Dutch journalists

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