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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,692

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Global figures including Pink Floyd star sign letter backing Craig Murray

Political Police action against Salmond supporters in Scotland

. .. In recent weeks vocal independence supporters and backers of the former First Minister Alex Salmond, specifically the former UK diplomat, human rights campaigner and journalist Craig Murray along with fellow journalist Mark Hirst, have been arrested and charged in relation to comments they made publicly during and following the trial of Mr Salmond. Other supporters of Mr Salmond have also been contacted by police and warned over online comments they made in the wake of the trial.

We are particularly concerned to note that the investigating police officers are the same detectives who led the investigation against Mr Salmond over a period of two years and at considerable cost to the public purse.

As you know, the prosecution following from that investigation, pursued again at considerable cost to the public purse, resulted in the acquittal of Mr Salmond on all charges and now raises the most serious questions about why that investigation and that prosecution were pursued.

Whilst we appreciate that you cannot be involved in individual cases you will undoubtedly be aware that complaints of alleged Contempt of Court were made against six other individual journalists widely regarded as being hostile in their reporting of Mr Salmond. No action by the Crown Office or Police Scotland has been taken against any of those individuals. This leaves the distinct impression that Police Scotland, at the direction of the Crown Office, is acting in a manner that is both biased and disproportionate...


Craig Murray earlier on this: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/05/authoritarianism-is-shoddy/

There is revolution in the air now, but history shows the old order will fight back

It is now certain. We will emerge from lockdown grieving for those lost and yearning for our previous lives, only to crash into a recession. As much as we dream of visiting our favourite cafe or pub, it’s not clear they will remain after the virus has run its course. Already reality heaves into view. The hospitality industry is being battered. One in four restaurants in the US is expected never to reopen. Amazon is finishing off the retail sector. Small businesses, cafes, online retailers and clothes designers are struggling. Loved and carefully nurtured ventures, operating on the thinnest of margins, are dying out. Every few days another one of them posts its goodbyes. We think of the world as how we left it. But that world is gone...

Even establishment bastions turned against the current political order. The Financial Times wrote that “radical reforms – reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades – will need to be put on the table”. Emily Maitlis looked straight at the BBC Newsnight camera and slated the inequalities of the pandemic. Rightwing governments in Britain and the US scrambled to pay people to stay at home. Surely, all these things point to a revolution... Some hold out for further changes, anticipating the introduction of low-carbon jobs to replace those lost, or a universal basic income, or rethinking the value of labour altogether...

In reality, the first thing that happens in a recession tends not to be radical reengineering of the economy. The first impulse is to make a quick calculation: who should be saved and who is dispensable. In the US after the 2008 crash, the banks were recapitalised and the economy stabilised, and 10 million Americans lost their homes. The only factor that mattered was how many people could be lost without disrupting the economy for everyone else. That question is already being asked with regard to the current lockdown. How many deaths can we afford before the economy suffers?...

In the final stages, policies to help the vulnerable launched at the start of the pandemic will be quietly jettisoned... After this will come the scapegoating of the vulnerable. Who took more than their share in furlough? Who wasn’t alert? A chorus of reactionary voices is already lining up for this task... History shows us that whatever horrors a crisis exposes, they can be covered up in the shattered aftermath. Yes, we must imagine the new world that needs to come out of this crisis: but it will not come to pass without a fight.


WHO Says Russia Now at Epicenter of Coronavirus Pandemic


The number of cases of coronavirus infection in Russia continues to rise approximately 10,000 each day. As a result, it now stands at 262,000. And today, the World Health Organization said that Russia, along with Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan is the epicenter of the epidemic (charter97.org/ru/news/2020/5/15/376582/).

But the number of reported deaths from the pandemic in Russia remains remarkably low, the result, doctors, demographers and journalists tell the Meduza news agency of directives to ascribe to other causes deaths from the coronavirus in order to make the Russian government look good (meduza.io/feature/2020/05/14/prosto-zapreschayut-umirat-ot-koronavirusa).

There is a growing sense in Russia that despite that effort, the pandemic has undercut Putin’s image as a strong man in charge and that he is now appearing on television before the population to try to reverse that (themoscowtimes.com/2020/05/14/as-the-coronavirus-contagion-grows-in-russia-putins-strongman-image-weakens-a70257 and mk.ru/politics/2020/05/15/putin-v-pryamom-efire-povysil-podpolkovnika-po-sluzhbe.html).

But if the deaths can be misassigned and thus hidden, other developments cannot. Ever more Russian firms are in trouble, with ten percent now on the brink of bankruptcy and 51 percent saying they will cease operation if the current limitation regime is not ended within a couple of months (interfax.ru/russia/708794)...


Interpol issues red notice for 'fugitive' Anne Sacoolas

An Interpol notice has been circulated worldwide making Anne Sacoolas in effect a fugitive from justice if she sets foot outside her native United States...

Radd Seiger, a lawyer for the Dunn family, said Northamptonshire police had confirmed that the Interpol notice had been issued, adding that this meant in the Foreign Office’s view she did not have diplomatic immunity at the time of her initial arrest. “Red notices would not be served on valid diplomats,” he said. “It means she would be arrested if she sought to leave the United States.” He continued: “It is time for her to come back to the UK and on behalf of the family I urge the authorities both in London and Washington to make that happen. It is time to do the right thing.” He said she would receive a fair trial in the UK...

A red notice has been described as an international wanted person’s notice but is not in itself an arrest warrant.. . It cannot compel the law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest someone who is the subject of a red notice. Each member country decides what legal value it gives to a red notice and the authority of their law enforcement officers to make arrests.


... The US State Department continues to insist that at the time of the accident, and for the duration of her time in the UK, Ms Sacoolas had immunity from criminal jurisdiction.


Five Eyes network contradicts theory Covid-19 leaked from lab

There is no current evidence to suggest that coronavirus leaked from a Chinese research laboratory, intelligence sources have told the Guardian, contradicting recent White House claims that there is growing proof this is how the pandemic began.

The sources also insisted that a “15-page dossier” highlighted by the Australian Daily Telegraph which accused China of a deadly cover up was not culled from intelligence from the Five Eyes network, an alliance between the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

British and other Five Eyes agencies do believe that Beijing has not necessarily been open about how coronavirus initially spread in Wuhan at the turn of the year. But they are nervous about getting involved in an escalating international situation.

On Sunday Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.” No evidence was offered by Pompeo to back up his assertion...


... Senior members of the Australian intelligence community told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a research document shared in political circles under the Five Eyes intelligence arrangement was mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering.

A 15-page "dossier" has been widely quoted by local and international media about China's alleged cover-up of the virus. Australian intelligence officials have since identified a research report which was based entirely on open source material. The officials said it was likely the reports were the same.

United States secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Sunday there is "enormous evidence" the coronavirus outbreak originated in the Chinese laboratory but did not provide any facts to back up his assertion. Mr Pompeo also said he agreed that the virus was not man-made.

Multiple senior intelligence sources who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in recent days have confirmed that Australia has still not been provided with any evidence that strongly suggests the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak...


Sacoolas case: Lawyer accuses UK foreign secretary of 'scandalous attempted cover up'

... Radd Seiger, representing the Dunn family, on Saturday accused Mr Raab of a “cover up” and claimed the foreign office was in breach of a court order by failing to hand over disclosure of documents for their judicial review claim by 4pm on Friday...

“His whole attitude throughout the case so far has been of a school yard bully, making threats to the parents of bankruptcy if they brought the case at all and attempting to harass them at every step along the way refusing to give them the information they are entitled to... He has hired four top barristers to run the case for him and there are numerous lawyers in the government legal department behind him too. Between them all, all they have managed to do so far is to conspire with him to engage in a scandalous attempted cover up of the truth, when the very opposite should be happening. It has been like trying to extract hen’s teeth.”.

The Foreign Office has strongly refuted the claim that there was a court order or deadline...

Mr Seiger also called on the Foreign Office to demand the return of Ms Sacoolas, who is alleged to have been a more senior spy than her husband and to have worked for the CIA...


Trump Contradicts US Intelligence; Says COVID-19 Came From Chinese Lab

Source: Voice Of America

... "It certainly is unusual, and reflects the politically charged nature of the topic as the Trump administration tries hard to deflect attention from its own performance during the pandemic," said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA officer who has been critical of the administration. "The statement appears to be a compromise that makes the IC [intelligence community] appear to be working objectively without pouring cold water on the White House's favorite rhetorical line about Chinese malfeasance," said Pillar, now with Georgetown University.

Others, however, see the statement as a smart move, given the onslaught of disinformation that has surrounded the pandemic.

"[It's] doubtful that this was spin or US disinformation," said Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff and former senior director of the White House Situation Room, who like Pillar has been critical of the White House's handling of intelligence matters. "I give the ODNI credit for stepping up to the plate to add some clarity to the situation."

The statement may also portend a greater public role for U.S. intelligence agencies going forward. "These are trying times," said Daniel Hoffman, a retired senior CIA officer. "There's a lot of disinformation, misinformation and ignorance."...

Read more: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/trump-contradicts-us-intelligence-says-covid-19-came-chinese-lab

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement on Thursday saying the U.S. intelligence community "concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified," but President Trump didn't seem aware of that assessment during a media briefing later in the day...

Trump wouldn't commit to agreeing with the statement. When pushed on why he felt confident the novel coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Trump vaguely said, "I can't tell you that, I'm not allowed to tell you that."

When asked again if he saw evidence that the lab was the origin of the virus, Trump claimed, "Yes, I have," and pivoted to criticizing the World Health Organization.

Earlier in the day, the New York Times reported that Trump administration officials, led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have pushed U.S. spy agencies to find evidence linking the coronavirus with the Wuhan lab...


U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic and he threatened new tariffs on Beijing, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak...

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a range of options against China were under discussion, but cautioned that efforts were in the early stages. Recommendations have not yet reached the level of Trump's top national security team or the president, one official told Reuters.

"There is a discussion as to how hard to hit China and how to calibrate it properly," one of the sources said as Washington walks a tightrope in its ties with Beijing while it imports personal protection equipment (PPE) from there and is wary of harming a sensitive trade deal.

Trump made clear, however, that his concerns about China's role in the origin and spread of the coronavirus were taking priority for now over his efforts to build on an initial trade agreement with Beijing that long dominated his dealings with the world's second-largest economy...


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