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A timely encounter!

Thanks to The Tablet for this story: “Pope Francis was being driven through St Peter’s Square when he spotted a group enthusiastically waving the Argentinian flag. Ordering the popemobile to stop, he chatted to his fellow countrymen and took some sips from the traditional cup of mate tea that they offered him. Afterwards, his security…

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Lessons from Egypt

Sisi Regime’sPublic Relations expenditure Ruth Michaelson in the Guardian, ‘…. While Egypt’s government has employed the Glover Park Group since 2013 to massage its image, in January Egypt’s General Intelligence Service hired Washington lobbyists Cassidy and Associates as well as the PR firm Weber Shandwick. Foreign Agent Registration Act filings show that the firms will…

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Right to Sue!

Asianimage.co.uk reports on the successful claim for damages made by Muhammad Ali Harrath, founder  of Islam Channel, over an article posted on a website operated by Stand For Peace Ltd, which contained the so-easily-made accusation these days –  supporting ‘terrorism’.  Perhaps shoddy journalism by SfP was to blame – relying on a partial reading of a piece in the…

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Extremists – what us?

Greece A woman has been injured by a parcel loaded with explosives that was posted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offices in Paris . . . The attack bore all the hallmarks of a Greek anarchist group known as the Conspiracy of Fire Cells (Synomosia Pyrinon Tis Fotias), which claimed responsibility for another package…

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Torture – a shared value?

                  Iain  Cobain in the Guardian, 15 March 2017, ‘. . .The operation, codenamed Aston, was considered something of a triumph for MI6 and British special forces . . . The two prisoners were held initially at a secret detention facility at Baghdad airport that British troops…

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Metrics of Domestic Security

Harriet Agelhorm  in the Independent (March 10, 2017), ‘A record number of  white people were arrested last year on suspicion of terrorism, amid a rise in far-right extremism. Official statistics show that 91 out of a total 260 people held on suspicion of terrorism offences were white – a rise of 20 from 2015 and the highest number since 2003.…

Quick to serve!

The Prime Minister has been rightly castigated for not being forthright in criticising Trump’s ban on nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry to the US for 90 days (Executive order, 27 January 2017). According to press reports, she may even have been informed about the country ban in advance of meeting President Trump.…

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Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole… a climate of suspicion permeates, with an impact on individual and collective behaviour. PREVENT and infringement of liberties, reported in the Guardian, 20 January 2017, ‘One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has warned students and staff…

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First World Corruption

Remember Halliburton’s role in Nigeria in the 1990s, when huge sums were funnelled to accounts of officials in order to obtain construction contracts? Now Richard Millard in the Daily Mail reports (16 January 2017) on the corrupt actions of a company closer to home, ‘Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay a record £671million to British, US and…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Samuel Osborne in the Independent, ‘George W Bush’s administration saw Iraq as “unfinished business” and had their “minds made up from day one,” a former CIA analyst has said . . . “You know, they had their minds made up from day one. And then after 9/11, that’s when the death warrant for Saddam Hussein was…