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Metrics of Domestic Security

Mark Townsend et al in the Guardian (May 28, 2017), ‘Detectives [in the aftermath of the Manchester atrocity] are also analysing database algorithms designed to spot terrorist tradecraft and terabytes of chatter that record the various aliases and movements of “subjects of interest”. Much of this requires UK officials liaising bilaterally with European police forces…

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In these sceptered isles . . .

Every now and then, a scrutiny of the Catholic press provides indications of a super-sensitivity – but perhaps it is glib to dismiss these as a  post-Reformation sense of victimhood! For example, it is incredible that the first Catholic to hold the chair of divinity at the University of Cambridge since the bloody and dramatic events of the 16th Century,…

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Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Steve Kerensky in a letter to the Guardian, 19 April 2017 It is hard to see why Tariq Ali (Top 10 books about the Russian revolution, 12 April) still celebrates the epic scale of Lenin’s programme of rape, torture and murder. Just as hard to understand is that…

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The Begum of Bhopal: wise judgement

From a report appearing in the Azad of Lucknow, 20 March 1891 … in Bhopal a Hindu woman, who had an intimacy with a Musalman, appeared before the Qazi and expressed a desire for her conversion to the Muhammadan religion. The Qazi reported the matter through the Prime Minister to Her Highness the Begam, who…

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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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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…

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…