The CIA and special operations forces from NATO members Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania are physically in Ukraine, helping direct the proxy war on Russia, according to a report in The New York Times. These Western forces are on the ground training and advising Ukrainian fighters, overseeing weapons shipments, and managing intelligence. At least 20 countries are part of a US Army-led coalition, guiding Ukraine in its fight against Russian troops. Some Ukrainian combatants are even using US flag patches on their equipment. This is all according to a June 25 report in The New York Times, titled “Commando Network Coordinates Flow of Weapons in Ukraine, Officials Say.” The Times is a de facto organ of the US government. Although technically private, the paper closely follows the line of the CIA and Pentagon.
Over the past few decades, Western countries—such as the United Kingdom, but more so the United States of America—have flouted international laws and failed to even try to uphold the high-minded principles of the charter. Most recently, the United States has attempted to muzzle the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it has pursued a perfectly reasonable investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan; and the United Kingdom has denied Venezuela its sovereign right to gold held in the Bank of England. In both cases, the United States and the UK have undermined the sovereignty of nations and mutilated international law. The lawlessness of the governments of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Donald Trump is better explored through their actual practices than through the high-minded speeches of their ambassadors to the United Nations.
The highly constructed drama around the alleged poisoning of a British double agent Skripal and his daughter has thus turned into a surreal play. The British government has so far given no evidence that the Skripal's were poisoned at all, or that they were poisoned by someone else. No detailed medical bulletin was published. The British accusations against Russia lets one assume that a suicide attempt has been excluded. Why? There is no independent evaluation of the alleged poison. The British government claims that its own chemical weapon laboratory at Porton Down, only a few miles from where the incident happened, has identified the poison as one of the 'Novichok' chemicals.
By Staff for the Manchester Evening News - Homeless activists have promised to set up a ‘community hub’ for rough sleepers after occupying an empty building in Manchester city centre. The homeless rights campaigners have vowed to remain in the vacant office block on Charlotte Street for ‘months’ after taking it over last night. They say they are occupying the building to set up a hub where homeless people can go to get food, shelter and help to find accommodation and work. Claiming the legal right to occupy the building under squatter’s rights, they say they have been forced to act as the council are not doing enough for the city’s homeless. They also claim that members of the fire service have been to the building to assess that it is safe for them to stay in.
By Staff for Veterans for Peace UK - On Friday 10 July 2015, three members of Veterans For Peace UK met in Trafalgar Square, London and walked down Whitehall towards the residence of the Prime Minister. Once at Downing Street the veterans lined up, faced the police barricades and made the following statements. “We are members of Veterans For Peace UK, an ex-services organisation of men and women who have served this country in every conflict since the second world war. We exist in the hope of convincing you that war is not the solution to the problems of the 21st century. We have come here today to hand back things, given to us as soldiers, that we no longer require or want.” Said Ben Griffin. “This is my Oath of Allegiance, it is something I had to recite in order to get the job as a soldier. At 15 years old I had little understanding of its true meaning. Now I fully understand the words, they have no meaning at all.” Said John Boulton who then discarded his Oath of Allegiance. “This is my Army hat, this was given to me as a sixteen year old boy. I reject militarism, I reject war. And it means nothing to me.” Said Kieran Devlin who then discarded his beret. The three veterans then walked away from Downing Street leaving the oaths, berets and medals lying scattered on the floor.
By Richard Norton-Taylor and Nicholas Watt in The Guardian - Boris Johnson has placed himself at the head of cross-party group, including a former Tory attorney general and a Labour leadership contender, who are calling on Barack Obama to secure the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in Guantánamo Bay. In an intervention timed to coincide with US Independence Day, six former cabinet ministers have joined leading writers, actors, directors, musicians to warn the White House that the continued detention of Aamer is undermining US standing in the world. The Saudi-born Aamer was seized by bounty hunters in Afghanistan and handed over to US forces in December 2001. Two months later, he was rendered to the US military prison on Cuba. US authorities have made it clear that they have no intention of charging him.
United Kingdom - It’s been an astonishing election, one that stumped the betting markets, gave victory to the Tories and left almost everyone else reeling and wondering, in the words of Dorothy Parker, “What fresh hell is this?” Amid the highest voter turnout since 1997, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party trounced the opposition to return with a majority 331 seats (out of 650). Ed Miliband (Labour) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) have now resigned as leaders of their parties. Unencumbered by the centrist Lib Dem coalition, the Tories will have free rein to advance their brutal politics of inequality. Cameron, an almost Monty Python-esque upper-class caricature, will lead Britain further down the murky path of austerity, privatization, increased surveillance and jingoism. The Tory electoral victory has, for now, annihilated multiparty politics and emboldened British nationalism to a dangerous degree.
Thousands of people flooded the streets of Bristol in an anti-austerity demonstration which was organised by a group of young yet determined women. A group of seven teenagers organised the march, which opposed the Government's austerity measures, on social media. Support grew rapidly for the group, which called itself Bristol Against Austerity, and evening thousands of people packed every corner of Park Street as the demonstration snaked round the city centre. Many of those who attended were angry, and the majority were young people bearing placards, who said they were disgusted at the Government's attitude to the NHS and welfare spending.
The anti-Conservative protesters, some holding placards reading "I pledge to resist" and "Stop the cuts", took part in the rally organised just a day into the new Parliament. Much of the protest was peaceful, with many attending calling for the introduction of proportional representation after the election results on Friday. A number pointed out that the Tories only won 37% of the vote, while minority parties like the Greens and UKIP came away with only one MP despite polling millions of votes between them. Police were pictured holding batons as they confronted the crowds and controlled what they called an "unplanned" demonstration. Scuffles broke out when the demonstrators, blaring hooters, banging pots and chanting obscenities, confronted lines of police outside the gate leading to the prime minister's Downing Street residence. At one point a bicycle was hurled at police.
More than 700 creative professionals living in the United Kingdom – including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others – have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects. Disclaimer: I have the privilege of being one of them. The announcement marks a significant step for the UK cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from UK artists, but the website and pledge bring together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort. Songwriter and children’s author Leon Rosselson, a signatory to the pledge, posted the video (see top of this post) of him performing the song “The Ballad of Rivka and Mohammed” as his statement. The full range of artists’ statements can be found on the pledge website.
LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state on Monday in a move which will not alter the government's stance on the issue, but which carries symbolic value for Palestinians in their pursuit of international recognition. Britain does not classify Palestine as a state, but says it could do so at any time if it believed it would help peace efforts between the Palestinians and Israel. Prime Minister David Cameron abstained from the vote, which was called by an opposition lawmaker, and Cameron's spokesman earlier said that foreign policy would not be affected whatever the outcome.
Politicians clashed over the NHS at a Scottish independence debate. “Yes” supporters say independence could save the health service from privatization, while “No” advocates say Scotland can’t afford it alone. Independence is needed to protect against a “nasty, competitive, profit-driven motive” towards the NHS, Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie said Thursday. Respect MP George Galloway, who is calling for a “No” vote, however, says there would not be an NHS without “a country big enough” to share resources. The debate was held at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena before an audience of around 7,500 young people, drawn from secondary schools across Scotland. The 18th September referendum will be the first time 16 and 17 year olds have been entitled to vote. Support for independence is highest among the younger population. Both sides in the referendum race hold strong emotional attachments to the NHS.