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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange files latest appeal in bid to stop extradition to United States 27 Aug 22

Julian Assange’s legal team has filed an appeal to Britain’s High Court in an effort to thwart his extradition to the United States to face espionage charges.

Key points:

  • The appeal argues that Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions and for protected speech
  • Assange has been in custody since his was arrested in April 2019 and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London
  • He is facing 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse in the United States

British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder in June after he was denied an appeal in the Supreme Court appeal back in March.

A public relations firm representing Assange said in a statement that the respondents to the appeal were Ms Patel and the government of the United States.

Lawyers for Assange will argue that he is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions and for protected speech, and that the extradition request violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and international law as it relates to what it calls political offences.

His lawyers will also argue that the US Government “misrepresented the core facts of the case” to the British courts and that the extradition request “constitute an abuse of process”.

“The Perfected Grounds of Appeal contain the arguments on which Julian Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of 4 January 2021 and introduces significant new evidence that has developed since that ruling,” the statement read.

That January 2021 ruling saw Judge Baraister refuse the US Government’s extradition request on the basis that of Assange’s mental condition and the risk of suicide if he were held in a maximum-security prison.

But Judge Baraister rejected nearly all of the arguments put forward by Assange’s lawyers at the time, including that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he would not receive a fair trial in the US.

In December 2021 the US Government won an appeal against that decision in the UK’s High Court, with Judge Timothy Holroyde finding that the US had given assurances to the UK about Assange’s detention, including about his treatment in the US prison system and that the US would allow him to be transferred to Australia to serve any prison sentence.

Assange’s latest appeal also argues Ms Patel “erred in her decision to approve the extradition order on grounds of specialty” because the extradition request violated the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

US authorities have accused the 51-year-old of conspiring to hack government computers and of violating an espionage law in connection with the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks in 2010-2011.

Assange is facing up to 175 years in prison over the 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over the leaks, but the US government has said that a sentence of between three and six years was more likely.

Stella Assange, Assange’s wife, said the pursuit of her husband was “criminal abuse”.

“Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged, proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse,” she said in a statement.

“The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal.”


August 28, 2022 Posted by | legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Commemorate August 29: International Day against Nuclear Tests 

Jerusalem Post, By IVO SLAUS, AUGUST 29, 2022, At the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the UN declared August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, universally adopted in 2009. While many of those discussing the possible use of nuclear weapons, including Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), Tactical Nuclear Weapons, and Nuclear Utilization Target Selection (NUTS), and are modernizing and “improving” their nuclear capacity, most of them know almost nothing about nuclear warfare and its consequences for humankind.

In contrast, the people of Kazakhstan and their leaders have witnessed many nuclear tests carried out at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site for 40 years (1949-1989). From Pervaya Molniya (first lightning) on August 29, 1949, there were 456 tests at Semipalatinsk, 340 underground, and 116 above ground. Kazakhstan and its 1.5 million citizens have suffered from all the negative consequences of nuclear tests. Early death, lifelong debilitating illnesses, and horrific birth defects, including “jelly babies” – children born without limbs. 

With good reason, Kazakhstan signed and ratified the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and was among the original 50 states party to the treaty. On its independence day, Kazakhstan inherited 1,400 Soviet nuclear warheads, and quickly relinquished them, emphasizing that security is better achieved through disarmament and negotiation.

Kazakhstan also initiated a global moment of silence to honor all victims of nuclear weapons testing – at 11:05 Kazakhstan time on August 29. At 11:05 a.m. the clock shows V, standing for victory. 

The elimination of nuclear weapons is truly a victory for humankind. On July 9, 1955, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, signed by 11 outstanding scientists, was issued stressing, “Here is the problem we present to you, stark, dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race or shall mankind renounce war?… Remember your humanity and forget the rest!”

………………………..  we were never as close to doomsday as we are today. Expressed by the doomsday clock, introduced in 1947 and put at seven minutes to midnight, which symbolizes the human-made catastrophe, the doomsday clock since 2020 is at 100 seconds and most likely will deteriorate. The recent conflicts in Europe and Asia will probably abbreviate it further………………………more

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 186 of the invasion

Radiation fears over Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant linger amid accusations from Moscow and Kyiv of more shelling near the site Nadeem Badshah with agencies, Mon 29 Aug 2022 

  • Concern about the potential for a radiation leak at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is persisting. Ukraine’s state energy operator has warned there are “risks of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive substances” at the Russian-occupied plant. Authorities were distributing iodine tablets to residents who live near the plant in case of radiation exposure.
  • Russia and Ukraine traded fresh accusations of each other shelling the area around the nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, on Saturday. Moscow’s troops have “repeatedly shelled” the site of the plant over the past day, the Ukrainian state nuclear company, Energoatom, said. Russia’s defence ministry has claimed Ukraine’s troops “shelled the territory of the station three times” in the past day.
  • The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is trying to negotiate access to the plant for an urgent inspection mission “to help stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation there”. Energoatom head Petro Kotin told the Guardian a visit could come before the end of the month, but Ukrainian energy minister Lana Zerkal told a local radio station she was not convinced Russia was negotiating in good faith.
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has issued a statement marking Ukraine’s Aviation Day, in which he pledged that Kyiv’s troops would “destroy the occupiers’ potential step by step”. The Ukrainian president vowed that the Russian “invaders will die like dew on the sun”.
  • Russia has probably increased the intensity of its attacks in the Donetsk area of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region over the past five days, according to British intelligence. Pro-Russia separatists have most likely made progress towards the centre of Pisky village, near Donetsk airport, but Russian forces overall have secured few territorial gains, the latest report from the UK Ministry of Defence says.
  • Russia has blocked an agreement at the UN aimed at bolstering the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The failure to agree to a joint statement, due to Moscow’s objection to a clause about control over the Zaporizhzhia plant, is the latest blow to hopes of maintaining an arms control regime and keeping a lid on a rekindled arms race.
  • Ukrainian sailors will be allowed to leave the country for work, Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers has said. The prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said men of draft age employed as crew members would be allowed to leave the country so long as they had permission from their local conscription offices to cross the border.
  • Britain’s defence ministry has said it is giving six underwater drones to Ukraine to help clear its coastline of mines and make grain shipments safer. In addition, dozens of Ukrainian navy personnel will be taught to use the drones over the coming months, the ministry said.
  • Kazakhstan, a neighbour and ally of Russia, has suspended all arms exports for a year, its government said, amid the conflict in Ukraine and western sanctions against Moscow.
  • Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed to protect the airspace of their Nato ally Slovakia, as it upgrades its air force from legacy Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters to a new batch of F-16 jets from the US.
  • The EU is set to suspend its visa travel agreement with Russia this week, The Financial Times reports. The plan to freeze a 2007 deal will make it harder and more expensive for Russians to get Schengen-area documents, the FT reports. It comes after some eastern member states threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists, with other countries calling for collective action to stop ordinary Russians from travelling to the EU on tourist visas. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has previously called for a complete ban.
  • Russia claims it has hit workshops at the Motor Sich factory in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine. The facility is where helicopters for the Ukrainian air force are being repaired, the defence ministry said. But Ukrainian officials later said the hit resulted significant civilian damages, damaging nine multi-storey buildings and 40 private homes.
  • A Russian missile has struck military infrastructure in Rivne oblast in northern Ukraine. Reports so far are that there were no casualties, and that the missiles came from just over the border from Belarus.
  • The United States called out Russia’s “cynical obstructionism” after Moscow remained the sole holdout in blocking the adoption of a joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation following lengthy negotiations at the United Nations. The 191 signatories review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty every five years, which aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. But on Friday, Russia prevented the declaration’s adoption, saying it took issue with “political” aspects of the text.
  • It is unclear whether Russia will try to boost its armed forces by recruiting more volunteer “contract” soldiers or by lifting annual targets for conscriptions, British intelligence says. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree this week to increase the size of the armed forces from 1.9 million to 2.04 million in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its sixth month. The latest UK Ministry of Defence briefing says that under the Russian legislation now in place, the decree is unlikely to make “substantive progress” towards increasing Russia’s combat power.
  • Two people were killed when Russia fired on Bakhmut, the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on Saturday. The eastern city is a significant target for Russian and separatist forces seeking to take control of the parts of Donetsk they don’t hold. Associated Press also reported local government officials as saying that in the Black Sea region of Mykolaiv, one person was killed and another wounded in Russian firing.
  • On the opposite shore from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the towns of Nikopol and Marhanets were hit by shells on Saturday afternoon and evening, Nikopol’s mayor, Yevhen Yevtushenko, said on Telegram.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The cost of Ukraine’s de-Russification

 the burgeoning de-Russification in Ukraine is one of the issues that needs a cool-headed examination. The process of removing Russian cultural and linguistic influence from the country is not an easy — or necessarily equitable — thing to do, when around a quarter of Ukrainians still identify as Russian speakers.

The country’s insistence on its right to exist as separate from Russia is understandable, but expunging Russian cultural and linguistic influence risks future trouble.

Politico. BY JAMIE DETTMER, AUGUST 29, 2022

Wars transform nations and people — leaving them, whether victorious or vanquished, “all changed, changed utterly,” as Irish writer W.B. Yeats noted.

Yeats was writing about the armed insurrection against British rule in Ireland during April 1916. The uprising had lasted just six days, but Ireland would never be the same.

Ukraine’s ongoing epic defense of its national identity, territorial integrity and sovereignty has already lasted six months, and there is no end in sight. It has left widespread devastation, with towns and buildings wrecked, families traumatized and uprooted, livelihoods upended and lives lost and mourned.

But there’s another transformation underway — and it’s in Ukrainian hearts.

Being told endlessly that they don’t exist has led to the understandable Ukrainian reaction of insisting on their existence, and their right to exist as separate from Russia. This is leading them to try and expunge Russian cultural and linguistic influence on their country. But how they do so, and to what degree, is fraught with future danger.

In a March 2014 speech marking the annexation of Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared that Russians and Ukrainians “are one people. Kiev is the mother of Russian cities. Ancient Rus’ is our common source and we cannot live without each other.”

But, although the two nations are ensnared by history, the full-scale war he launched in February has only demonstrated the opposite, and has made it much more difficult for them to live with each other.

Indeed, for a nation that Putin has argued doesn’t exist, Ukraine has been kicking up a storm, and is now taking the fight well behind military frontlines, brazenly crossing the border into Russia and occupied Crimea, disrupting Russian supply lines and logistics, leaving the Kremlin to fall back on preposterous lies to explain explosions witnessed by vacationing Russians…………………

Ukrainians’ firmer sense of nationhood and identity, fueled by fury at what is befalling them, risks becoming less inclusive and more Russian-hating. How could it be otherwise?

…………….  the burgeoning de-Russification in Ukraine is one of the issues that needs a cool-headed examination. The process of removing Russian cultural and linguistic influence from the country is not an easy — or necessarily equitable — thing to do, when around a quarter of Ukrainians still identify as Russian speakers.

……………………………… In January, Human Rights Watch also raised concerns about the lack of protections for Russian speakers in a new state language law that entered into force this year. The law requires print media outlets registered in Ukraine to publish only in the Ukrainian language, or to provide an accompanying Ukrainian version, or equivalent in content, volume and method of print, when publishing in another language. But while exceptions were made for other minority languages, such as English and official European Union languages, there were none provided for Russian.

………………….. in June, the Ukrainian parliament passed a set of new laws banning the distribution of Russian books printed overseas, and the playing or performance of Russian music by post-Soviet era artists, further seeking to distance the country from Russian culture.

But through the often tragic twists and turns of Ukraine’s tangled history, and the cultural imperialism of Russian czars and communist autocrats, Ukrainian and Russian culture are inextricably linked and have contributed to each other’s shaping — for good or ill.

…………………. there are risks in rejecting all things Russian……………..

In his independence day speech this week, Zelenskyy vowed Kyiv’s forces will retake Russian-occupied Crimea. But if that day comes, how will Kyiv approach de-Russification? Will it still insist on the use of the Ukrainian language in most aspects of public life on a peninsula where 65 percent of the population are ethnic Russian?

As Ukraine goes about trying to win this war, it also needs to think about how it will win the peace.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | culture and arts, politics, social effects, Ukraine | Leave a comment

It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear fleet – French energy expert.

 EDF: “It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear
fleet which is weakening us more and more”, warns an expert. Yves Marignac
pleads among other things for a diversification of our electrical system
and a control of our electricity consumption, but also the development of
renewable energies.

 France Info 25th Aug 2022

August 28, 2022 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Chinese people are not enthusiastic about the nuclear industry

From a comment by Terry Southard 26 Aug 22

China is now, the world’s biggest economy.  China has a large, educated middle class and large employed, informed, working class. Most chines have little respect for Americans, in theUSA or Americans, that visit China.

At least a half million Chinese, rose up against two  proposed  nuclear power plants   and, a  plutonium reprocessing plant in the in  Jiangsu region, of china  post-fukushima, in 2016.  Thousands of Chinese took to the streets, in two separate cities, in China,  to protest new  proposed reactors and a used nuclear fuel plutonium processing plant, in their region in 2016.

The central government in Bejing, backed down, and stopped the plutonium plant and reactors in those two regions in china.

There simply aren’t enough Chinese students rushing to enrol into nuclear engineering courses, to produce the workforce for an expanded nuclear program.7 China’s ambitious nuclear expansion plans would require at least 50,000 students to be trained by 2030, but barely a few hundred students raise their hands each year.8 The shortage of trained nuclear technicians and engineers has already led to safety incidents.8

By contrast, in 2015, China invested five times more in renewables than nuclear power.4 Those nuclear projects will take many years to complete, whereas renewables are deployed and put to immediate use. Moreover, China’s nuclear investments may have an uncertain future and may meet the same fate as their renowned ghost cities. Significant Chinese street protests against nuclear, in 2013 and 2015, indicate a growing groundswell of discontent.9,10

China halts work on $15 billion nuclear waste project after protest

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop the Extradition! #FreeAssangeNOW

Julian Assange Files his Perfected Grounds of Appeal

Crowdfunder, Today, 26 August 2022, Julian Assange is filing his Perfected Grounds of Appeal before the High Court of Justice Administrative Court. The Respondents are the Government of the United States and the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal contain the arguments on which Julian Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of 4 January 2021, and introduces significant new evidence that has developed since that ruling.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the United States Government include the following points:

  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions (s.81(a) of the Extradition Act);
  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted for protected speech (Article 10)
  • The request itself violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and International law because it is for political offences;
  • The US Government has misrepresented the core facts of the case to the British courts; and
  • The extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) include arguments that Home Secretary Priti Patel erred in her decision to approve the extradition order on grounds of specialty and because the request itself violates Article 4 of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

“Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse. The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal,” said Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange.

Background:……………………………………… more

August 28, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear: EDF extends the shutdown of four reactors for several weeks. (Translation)

The energy company announced on Thursday that reactors 1, 3 and 4 of the Cattenom power plant, as well as reactor 1 of Penly, will only be reconnected to the electricity network between November and January. An announcement related to the stress corrosion problem detected since last fall on several units.

By Les Echos

Posted on August 25, 2022 at 5:55 PMUpdated on August 25, 2022 at 6:04 p.m.

France will have to do without at least four nuclear reactors until the beginning of winter. This Thursday, EDF announced the extension, for several weeks, of the shutdown of units affected by the problem of stress corrosion detected for the first time in the fall of 2021.

According to the new provisional timetable published by the energy company, reactors 1 and 4 of the Cattenom power plant, in Moselle, will be reconnected to the electricity network  on November 1 and 14 respectively . Reactor number 3 will resume service on December 11, while unit number 1 of the Penly power plant (Seine-Maritime) will not be reconnected until January 23……… (subscribers only)

August 28, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France, safety | Leave a comment

Ukraine and the Politics of Permanent War

Permanent war requires permanent censorship.

Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions. 

Chris Hedges, 29 Aug 22. No one, including the most bullish supporters of Ukraine, expect the nation’s war with Russia to end soon. The fighting has been reduced to artillery duels across hundreds of miles of front lines and creeping advances and retreats. Ukraine, like Afghanistan, will bleed for a very long time. This is by design.

On August 24, the Biden administration announced yet another massive military aid package to Ukraine worth nearly $3 billion. It will take months, and in some cases years, for this military equipment to reach Ukraine. In another sign that Washington assumes the conflict will be a long war of attrition it will give a name to the U.S. military assistance mission in Ukraine and make it a separate command overseen by a two- or three-star general.

 Since August 2021, Biden has approved more than $8 billion in weapons transfers from existing stockpiles, known as drawdowns, to be shipped to Ukraine, which do not require Congressional approval.

Including humanitarian assistance, replenishing depleting U.S. weapons stocks and expanding U.S. troop presence in Europe, Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s February 24 invasion.

War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts. 

The militarists who have waged permanent war costing trillions of dollars over the past two decades have invested heavily in controlling the public narrative. The enemy, whether Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, is always the epitome of evil, the new Hitler. Those we support are always heroic defenders of liberty and democracy. Anyone who questions the righteousness of the cause is accused of being an agent of a foreign power and a traitor.

The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions. 

In the face of this barrage, no dissent is permitted. CBS News caved to pressure and retracted its documentary which charged that only 30 percent of arms shipped to Ukraine were making it to the front lines, with the rest siphoned off to the black market, a finding that was separately reported upon by U.S. journalist Lindsey Snell. CNN has acknowledged there is no oversight of weapons once they arrive in Ukraine, long considered the most corrupt country in Europe. According to a poll of executives responsible for tackling fraud, completed by Ernst & Young in 2018, Ukraine was ranked the ninth-most corrupt nation from 53 surveyed.

There is little ostensible reason for censoring critics of the war in Ukraine. The U.S. is not at war with Russia. No U.S. troops are fighting in Ukraine. Criticism of the war in Ukraine does not jeopardize our national security. There are no long-standing cultural and historical ties to Ukraine, as there are to Great Britain. But if permanent war, with potentially tenuous public support, is the primary objective, censorship makes sense.

War is the primary business of the U.S. empire and the bedrock of the U.S. economy. The two ruling political parties slavishly perpetuate permanent war,………………………………………………

An organization like NewsGuard, which has been rating what it says are trustworthy and untrustworthy sites based on their reporting on Ukraine, is one of the many indoctrination tools of the war industry. Sites that raise what are deemed “false” assertions about Ukraine, including that there was a U.S.-backed coup in 2014 and neo-Nazi forces are part of Ukraine’s military and power structure, are tagged as unreliable. Consortium NewsDaily KosMint Press and Grayzone have been given a red warning label. Sites that do not raise these issues, such as CNN, receive the “green” rating” for truth and credibility.  (NewsGuard, after being heavily criticized for giving Fox News a green rating of approval in July revised its rating for Fox News and MSNBC, giving them red labels.) 

The ratings are arbitrary. The Daily Caller, which published fake naked pictures of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was given a green rating, along with a media outlet owned and operated by The Heritage Foundation. NewsGuard gives WikiLeaks a red label for “failing” to publish retractions despite admitting that all of the information WikiLeaks has published thus far is accurate. …………..

NewsGuard, established in 2018, “partners” with the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as corporations such as Microsoft. Its advisory board includes the former Director of the CIA and NSA, Gen. Michael Hayden; the first U.S. Homeland Security director Tom Ridge and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former secretary general of NATO………………………………

As the persecution of Julian Assange illustrates, the throttling of press freedom is bipartisan. This assault on truth leaves a population unmoored. It feeds wild conspiracy theories. It shreds the credibility of the ruling class. It empowers demagogues. It creates an information desert, one where truth and lies are indistinguishable. It frog-marches us towards tyranny. This censorship only serves the interests of the militarists who, as Karl Liebknecht reminded his fellow Germans in World War I, are the enemy within.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | media, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anti-radiation-sickness pills given out amid shelling near Ukrainian nuclear station

Fears of a potential leak at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has
prompted authorities to hand out anti-radiation sickness tablets, as
Russia and Ukraine blame each other . Ukraine said Russian forces fired on areas just across
the river from the plant, while Russia claimed Ukrainian shells hit a
building where nuclear fuel is stored.

Authorities were distributing iodine
tablets to residents who live near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, in
southeastern Ukraine, on Saturday in case of radiation exposure, which can
cause health problems. Much of the concern centres on the cooling systems
for the plant’s nuclear reactors.

 ITV 28th Aug 2022

August 28, 2022 Posted by | health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Boris Johnson plans to sign off on new £30bn nuclear plant in his final week in power.

  • He is hoping to push through the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station
  • The new nuclear power station is expected to cost up to £30billion to build


Boris Johnson will call for a massive increase in Britain’s domestic energy production this week, as he signs off on funding for a new nuclear power station.

The Prime Minister is expected to use his final speech in office to insist that a lasting solution to the current energy crisis must include a massive scaling up of the UK’s domestic energy resources.

He is also hoping to push through a decision on funding for the planned new Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, which would help guarantee Britain’s energy security.

Ministers have agreed in principle to sign off on the Sizewell C plant, which is expected to cost up to £30billion to build.

Whitehall sources suggested that both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have been consulted on the deal, which is expected to involve the Government taking a 20 per cent stake costing up to £6billion.

Final negotiations are continuing with French power firm EDF, which will operate the plant.

But Mr Johnson hopes to give the green light this week as a statement of intent on his plan to build one nuclear power station a year…………………………………………….

The result of the Tory leadership contest will be announced on 5 September and Mr Johnson is expected to leave office the following day.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

The Saudi path to nuclear weapons — Beyond Nuclear International

Is Riyadh preparing to build the bomb?

The Saudi path to nuclear weapons — Beyond Nuclear International Kingdom’s pursuit of nuclear power development should set off alarm bells
By Henry Sokolski, 328 Aug 22,

Iran’s nuclear program, oil, and human rights dominated Biden’s much-anticipated first presidential trip to the Middle East earlier this month. But there is one topic President Biden chose not to showcase during his visit with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud—the Kingdom’s most recent interest in nuclear energy—and the nuclear weapons proliferation concerns that come with it.

Only weeks before Biden’s visit, Riyadh invited South Korea, Russia, and China to bid on the construction of two large power reactors. On that bid, Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) is the most likely winner. KEPCO has already built four reactors for Riyadh’s neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, and is the only vendor to bring a power reactor of its own design online in the Middle East. South Korea also is the only government to provide reliable, generous financing, free of political strings—something neither Moscow nor Beijing can credibly claim.

And then, there’s this: Any Korean sale would be covered by a generous 2011 South Korean nuclear cooperative agreement with Riyadh that explicitly authorizes the Saudis to enrich any uranium it might receive from Seoul. Under the agreement, Riyadh could enrich this material by up to 20 percent, without having to secure Seoul’s prior consent.

That should set off alarm bells.

Do the Saudis want a bomb? 

In 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced that “if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” As if to prove the point, late in 2020, word leaked that the Saudis have been working secretly with the Chinese to mine and process Saudi uranium ore. These are steps toward enriching uranium—and a possible nuclear weapon program.

Unlike the Emirates, which legally renounced enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel to separate plutonium, the Kingdom insists on retaining its “right” to enrich. Also, unlike most members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Saudi Arabia refuses to allow intrusive inspections that might help the IAEA find covert nuclear weapons-related activities, if they exist, under a nuclear inspections addendum known as the Additional Protocol.

Saudi Arabia’s enrichment program and refusal to adopt the Additional Protocol, doubled with a possible permissive South Korean reactor sale, could spell trouble. South Korea currently makes its nuclear fuel assemblies using imported uranium, which mainly comes from Australia. This ore is controlled by Australia’s uranium export policy, which requires that the uranium be monitored by the IAEA and that materials derived from it not be retransferred to a third country without first securing Australia’s consent. Yet, if Seoul decides to pass Australian uranium on to Riyadh, the Saudis are free to enrich it up to 20 percent at any time without having to secure anyone’s approval. In addition, Riyadh could proceed to enrich this material without having to agree to intrusive IAEA inspections under the Additional Protocol, making it easier for Riyadh to enrich beyond 20 percent uranium 235 without anyone knowing.

Can Washington block the reactor export? 

In Washington, the US nuclear industry understandably is miffed that Riyadh excluded Westinghouse from bidding on the Saudi reactors. Meanwhile, State Department officials say that KEPCO can’t sell Riyadh its APR-1400 reactor because it incorporates US nuclear technology that is property of Westinghouse………………………………..

Does the Republic of Korea need Washington’s blessing to begin enriching uranium itself or to transfer enrichment technology to other countries, such as Saudi Arabia?

The short answer is no…………………………..

 how committed is the Biden Administration to prevent Saudi Arabia from enriching uranium and reprocessing spent reactor fuel? …………………….more

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Liz Truss commits to keeping Trident nuclear weapons on the Clyde, despite Scottish opposition to them

The National, By Judith Duffy 28 Aug 22,

TORY leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has vowed to push ahead with renewing Trident if she wins the keys to Downing Street, as part of plans to “protect the UK”.

The Foreign Secretary has already pledged to boost defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030 – a promise her rival Rishi Sunak has refused to match because he says he does not believe in “arbitrary targets” when it comes to security.

The Truss campaign has now set out her plan to “protect the UK”, including a “full renewal” of the ­nuclear deterrent, an update to the Government’s Integrated Review, and strengthened support for ­intelligence services………………………………..

The SNP have long committed to the removal of Trident nuclear ­missiles after independence.

The White Paper on ­independence published ahead of the 2014 ­independence referendum, promised the “speediest safe withdrawal of ­nuclear weapons from Scotland”.

In May, Nicola Sturgeon said it was her “expectation and hope” that ­Trident would be removed from the Faslane naval base on the Clyde in the first Holyrood term after a Yes vote.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China deploys ships and jets near Taiwan — Taipei

The move comes hours after US warships sailed past the self-governed island 28 Aug22,

A sizable group of Chinese military vessels and aircraft has been detected around Taiwan amid heightened tensions in the region, the self-governed island’s Defense Ministry claimed on Sunday.

According to the ministry, eight Chinese Navy vessels and 23 aircraft were detected in Taiwan’s vicinity. Ten planes, it stated, “had flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” which in practice serves as an unofficial barrier between mainland China and the island.

The Taiwanese military added that local combat air patrol has been given relevant instructions, and that Beijing’s activities are being closely monitored.

The apparent Chinese deployment comes a day after the US sent two warships to the Taiwan Strait, in what the Navy called a “routine” transit mission, meant to “demonstrate the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Beijing responded by putting its military on high alert and signaling its readiness “to stop any provocations in a timely manner.” Earlier, China also castigated the US, branding it “the destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” 

Tensions in the region have been running high since the controversial visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei in early August, which sent relations between Washington and Beijing into a tailspin and triggered a flurry of Chinese military activity in the area. At the time, Chinese Defense Ministry said it had conducted drills simulating a “blockade” of the island, as well as amphibious assaults and the striking of ground targets. 

Beijing considers the self-governing island its own territory, and views visits by high-ranking US officials as attacks on its sovereignty and a violation of the ‘One China’ principle. The Taiwan Strait, which separates the self-governed island from mainland China, has been a source of military tension since 1949, when Chinese nationalists fled to the island after losing the Civil War to the Communists.

August 28, 2022 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The murder of Daria Dugina- by a Ukrainian neo-Nazi operative?

Nicolas Cinquini

senior intelligence analyst in the field of security risk management, I am a former lieutenant detective and intelligence officer within French State agencies, 24 Aug 22

Around 9:35 pm, on August 20, 2022, an explosion blows up in Moscow suburb the usual car of Alexandr Dugin, that his daughter, Daria Platonova, is driving alone. The 29-year-old woman is killed

Likely the intended target, her father was traveling in another car. On social networks, the Ukrainian nationalists are celebrating the attack. At 12:12 am, time in Paris, 1:12 am in Moscow, Eliot Higgins bullies on Twitter the father of the victim

43-year-old British national Higgins is a blogger and the founder of Bellingcat, the worst example of what the nerds are calling pompously open source intelligence (OSINT). Their analysis do not need to be reliable, they are supporting a political agenda in post-truth Western societies. That work is public and propaganda. Bellingcat is collaborating with atlanticist think tanks and Western intelligence agencies. Higgins and his fellows are morbid russophobic maniacs.

While Ukraine is losing the war on the battlefield, NATO is assessing an asymmetric strategy : threat of a nuclear catastrophe in Energodar, sabotages in Crimea and likely, political assassinations in Russia, which are terrorism.

60-year-old Aleksandr Dugin is a philosopher, was a dissident during the 80s in Soviet Union. In 1993, he co-founded the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), a scholarly mix of far-right and far-left, which opposed later Vladimir Putin -when Dugin had already left in 1998-, was suspected of preparing an armed uprising, was banned in 2007 as an extremist organization. He was the deputy head of the department of sociology of international relations at Moscow State University from 2009 to 2014, was finally not appointed head, while he was denouncing Maidan as a US coup and was calling for a Russian military involvement in Donbass. He has predicted that in Ukraine, the US would fight until the last Ukrainian. Some Ukrainians are fan of Dugin and Kiev democracy is cracking down on them. He is expressing his will to challenge the atlanticist empire, is pleading for eurasianism as a balance. Dugin is on a US sanctions list since 2014.

His daughter Daria was a journalist and an activist, on a US sanctions list since March 2022. She has written that the massacre in Bucha was staged. I am partly supporting this clear reality, think that the special purpose formations of the Ukrainian national police have also slaughtered collaborationists there.

On August 21, in a murder case so far, the investigators are still working on the site of the attack. In a criminal investigation, the first 48 hours are decisive, deserve a special attention. Little sleep for the detectives

In the afternoon, the authorities state

it has already been established that an explosive device was planted under the bottom of the car on the driver’s side

The understanding of the bomb will be a major step. Was it automatic, remotely controlled ? In the second hypothesis, the perpetrators would have finally decided themselves or received the order to trigger the explosion, despite Alexander Dugin was not onboard.

Spokeswoman of the Russian defense ministry, Maria Zakharova states

Russian law enforcement agencies are investigating the death of Daria Dugina. If the Ukrainian trace is confirmed – and this version was voiced by the head of the DPR Denis Pushilin, and it must be verified by the competent authorities – then we should talk about the policy of state terrorism implemented by the Kyiv regime. There have been plenty of facts accumulated over the years : from political calls for violence to the leadership and participation of Ukrainian state structures in crimes. We are waiting for the results of the investigation

Funny effect in Ukraine, where August 24 is also the day of independence since 1991. Media report that from August 22 to 26, all employees of the government neighborhood in Kiev have been recommended to work from home. I guess COVID is not the issue. Strikes on decision centers are feared and in the evening, large traffic jams appear at the exits of Kiev.

47-year-old Ilya Ponomarev is a wealthy businessman, whose political identity is winding, between communism, pan-slavism and social democracy, likely ambitious and opportunist. Then member of the State Duma, he opposed in 2014 the annexation of Crimea. He is living in exile between California and Kiev. Ukrainian nationalist, fan of historical Nazi leader Stepan Bandera, former president Petro Poroshenko has granted him the Ukrainian nationality in 2019. About 24 hours after the assassination of Daria Platonova, Ponomarev publishes a statement on his YouTube channel, February Morning, takes credit for the attack, on behalf of a so-called [Russian] national republican army (NRA). He states that Daria was indeed the target

As a clue of his intellectual integrity, I notice in his statement that Ponomarev is regarding the Ukrainian war crime in Yelenovka as a Russian attack. With so few scruples, he may be the optimal puppet for NATO and Ukrainian special operations in Russia.

………………………………………… 43-year-old Ukrainian national Natalia Shaban has entered Russia in July, rented an apartment in the victim’s building. She has attended the event where the bomb has been fixed under the victim’s car. After the assassination, she has left for Estonia, a NATO country. Last but not the least, while she is traveling with her 12-year-old daughter, Shaban is a Ukrainian operative, State security agency (SBU) or military intelligence (GUR)

Here is her card of the Ukrainian national guard, Nazi Azov regiment. Her call sign is Vovk [on original]

As a senior intelligence analyst in security risk management, I am watching for six months the Ukrainian PSYOPs and false flag crimes. No surprise, the Ukrainian authorities are denying that new terrorist action, their involvement in the assassination of Daria Platonova. They are denying summarily and do not risk to discuss the facts. No surprise, the US State Department and British media are supporting the Ukrainian deny. The Western communication is story-telling and disinformation.

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights believes that those responsible for murder of journalist Daria Dugina should be brought to justice. I agree, extrajudicial denazification should be an ultimate solution, if countries prevent the suspect from appearing before a Russian court.

………….. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that Natalia Shaban / Vovk entered Russia in July with a Kazakh passport under the false identity of Yulia Zayko, born on December 26, 1980………………

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment