For the first time since before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Labour Party policies and trade unions are threatening Britain’s future as a pro-business, free-market economy, Chancellor George Osborne told business leaders on Friday.
Seven months ahead of the UK’s general election, Osborne said Britain is facing a stark choice between a Conservative government that supports businesses, or a Labour government that would pose a threat to the wealth-friendly environment build by the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition.
Osborne criticized trade unions and charities in his speech. “You have to get out there and put the business argument,” he told the audience at London’s Royal Albert Hall. “Because there are plenty of pressure groups, plenty of trade unions and plenty of charities and the like that will put the counter view.”
The United States will send 1,400 soldiers to West Africa by late October in efforts to contribute relief in the fight against the Ebola virus outbreak in the region, according to the Pentagon.
The troops will join about 200 US military personnel already there, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby announced earlier this week.
Half of the 1,400-troop deployment will consist of combat engineers who will be tasked with coordinating the construction of 17 Ebola treatment centers that will supply a total of 1,700 beds. Installations sending troops for this effort include the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Joint Task Force Carson at Fort Carson, Colorado, Stars and Stripesreported.
Britain may send troops to train Syrian rebels who are battling both Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL) militants, the Independent reports. This follows a similar abortive attempt in 2011.
The news comes as the Pentagon announced plans for a US-led campaign to train rebels, with the ambition of garnering support from the international community. To take on IS extremists, officials say an infantry of up to 15,000 fighters may be needed.
Jordan is considered a likely location for such training, as the UK already holds a base there at which it trains that country’s military. Peshmerga Kurdish fighters and the Free Syrian Army, which are seen as “moderate” Syrian opposition rebels, would be trained by CIA-funded security contractors.
Posted onOctober 3, 2014bylucas2012infos|Comments Off on UK Foreign Secretary: UK ‘Deplores’ Further Israeli Settlements In E. Jerusalem – 3 October 2014
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says he “deplores” Israel’s decision to claim more of the Occupied West Bank as territory to build settlements, a statement that may further tensions between the UK and Israel, frayed since Operation Protective Edge.
The Israeli government gave its final approval for the construction of 2,610 houses in Givat Hamatos, one of the most sensitive regions in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, moments before a crucial meeting between US president Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The British government had expressed its opposition to the move in September, but reiterated its statement on Friday, urging the country to reverse its decision.
Posted onOctober 3, 2014bylucas2012infos|Comments Off on Russia Completes Ratification Of Eurasian Economic Union, As Putin Signs Law – 3 October 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a historic treaty, committing Russia to an economic union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The Eurasian Economic Union will come into effect in January 2015.
Putin’s signature in the document puts the final dot in Russia’s ratification of the union which will be in place on January 1, 2015, as the other union states are expected to complete ratification in the next few days.
The economic union is the next step of integration within the Customs Union between the three countries. The agreement had previously been ratified by the Russian State Duma and the Federal Council of Russia.
Posted onOctober 3, 2014bylucas2012infos|Comments Off on EU OKs Facebook/WhatsApp Deal, Despite Threat Of American Telecoms Takeover – 3 October 2014
The European Commission has approved Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of the messaging service WhatsApp, despite fears the US giant social network will kill competition in the EU market.
The increasing influence of American competitors has been concerning Europe’s domestic telecom companies, which have taken a stand against the merger. European telecom operators lobbied against the idea and warned of the dangers of a behemoth creating an unfair advantage.
After its investigation the Commission found that Facebook and WhatsApp are “not close competitors” and therefore won’t eat up other telecoms’ business, the statement, released by the European Commission on Friday, said.
The UK would quit the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) under a re-elected Tory government unless the British parliament could flout the Court’s judgments at will, it emerged on Friday. The ECHR has protected Europeans’ rights for over 50 years.
Under the radical plans, a majority Tory government would terminate Britain’s allegiance to the Strasbourg-based court by granting Britain’s parliament the capacity to veto ECHR judgments.
The proposals were outlined in a strategy paper published by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on Friday, which stipulates Westminster should not be legally bound by ECHR rulings.