Donald Trump says US could re-enter Paris climate deal

6 days ago

In ITV interview US president also says he would take tougher stand on Brexit than Theresa May

Brain experimentations on primates are crucial, tell eminent scientists

27 days ago

Two nobel laureates among 400 scientists who sign letter rejecting claims that use of primates is no longer medically useful

More than 400 scientists including two Nobel laureates have signed a letter stating that brain experimentations on primates is vital to medical advances, in response to claims that they are cruel and no longer useful.

Last week, Sir David Attenborough and the primatologist Dame Jane Goodall called for an aim to the use of non-human primates in certain neuroscience experiments, telling medical progress in this area could now be made without the use of monkeys.

In a letter to the Guardian, scientists including the Nobel laureates Sir John Gurdon and Sir John Walker, repudiated this claim, arguing that primate research was still critical for developing therapies for dementia and other debilitating illnesses.

Neurodegenerative illness are a major and growing scourge of our ageing population, Walker told the Guardian. If we are to find ways for prevention and remedy, continued experimental access to primates under carefully controlled conditions is essential.

The latest round in the long-running debate on animal research was triggered by a research paper, which concluded that there was no longer any need for experimentations on primates involving movement restraint or fluid deprivation.

The review, by the campaign group Cruelty Free International( formerly the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection ), suggested the need for such experimentations had been superseded by modern brain imaging techniques, such as MRI, and by the ability to attain records from patients brains during surgery.

Speaking in support of the findings, Attenborough told the Independent: The recognition that apes, surely, and to an extent other primates, are so akin to ourselves, and can suffer so much, as we are capable of, has transformed our attitude, or should have transformed our posture, to using them for our own benefit.

Goodall, who has examined wild chimpanzees in Tanzania over fives decades, told: To restrict these primate relatives of ours to laboratory enclosures and subject them to experiments that are often distressing and painful is, in my opinion, morally wrong.

However, scientists conveyed their concern that the importance of primate research had been played down.

Sir Colin Blakemore, an eminent neuroscientist and signatory of the Guardian letter, told: In the past year alone, research on monkeys has helped efforts to create new inoculations and treatments for Ebola, Zika and Aids, to develop new cholesterol-reducing narcotics to prevent heart disease, and to design prosthetic devices for seriously disabled people. Somehow, we need to balance moral responsibility to human being against moral obligations to animals.

Roger Lemon, emeritus professor at University College London, said the CFI review appeared to place animal welfare above that of patients. The newspaper suggests that all the work done in primates could be done in seriously ill patients. It suggests that they dont have that much respect for ill people.

Research on primates accounts for less than 0.1% of all animal research in the UK and this figure has been following a downward tendency for the past few decades. In 2015, 3,612 procedures were carried out on primates, out of 4,142, 631 total procedures on all species( figures are given by procedure rather than by animal ).

The US National Institutes of Health announced last year that it would end the use of chimpanzees in medical research. Research on great apes( chimps, gorillas and orangutans) has been banned in the UK since the 1980 s, but other primates, such as marmosets and macaques continue to be used in neuroscience experimentations, including in the development of new drugs.

For instance, scientists at Kings College London estimate that around 80% of all drugs for the therapy of Parkinsons were originally tested at the marmoset laboratory there. But some research carried out on primates relates to more basic questions about the organisation of the brain, for instance, how memory or the visual system works.

Vicky Robinson, the chief executive of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research( NC3Rs) said that both sides of the debate had been disingenuous about the value of the work.

One over-exaggerates the state of the available alternatives and the other generalises the medical benefits that research use these animals has delivered, she told. It is time for a great deal more transparency from both sides. Anything else undermines the social sciences as well as downplaying the animal welfare concerns associated with such experiments.

Dr Katy Taylor, the director of science at Cruelty Free International, told: The employ of non-human primates in neuroscience experimentations is a hugely controversial area of research with profound ethical and moral fears. An increasing number within the scientific community topic the morality and value of subjecting monkeys to such substantial high levels of suffering suffering that can involves invasive brain surgery, water deprivation, physical coercion and physical restraint.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘ We didn’t recognise that he was dangerous ‘: our parent killed our mother and sister

28 days ago

Last summer, Lance Hart shot dead his wife, daughter and himself, four days after the family had left him. His sons talk candidly about life before and after

On a warm summer day last July, Claire Hart and her 19 -year-old daughter Charlotte went for an early morning swim at their local leisure centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire. It was a trip-up they made often, just a short drive from their home in the village of Moulton. Claires son Ryan had recently bought his mother a swimming pass as a present.

At 9am on 19 July, mom and daughter left the pond and built their route back across the car park to their blue Toyota Aygo. As they approached the car, a human crawled out from underneath it: Claires husband and Charlottes father, Lance Hart, whom the pair had left five days earlier. Now he held up a single-barrel shotgun and shooting Claire three times. He then reloaded the gun and shot his daughter, before turning the gun on himself.

Alex Marchant, a administrator at the sports centre, ran outside where reference is heard the first bang, guessing it was a vehicle backfiring. In the distance, he saw Lance with the gun in his hand. When he got to the car, he recognised Charlotte lying on the ground. In her final moments, as Merchant cradled her, she told him, It was my father who shot me.

Armed policemen arrived at the scene, where paramedics attempted to resurrect them, but it was too late: Lance was dead, and Claire and Charlotte had fatal injuries; neither could be saved.

In the confusion that followed, police set local schools on lockdown. Residents were advised to stay inside and lock their doorways. Spalding began to trend on Twitter, and people theorized whether there had been a terrorist attack.

Claire
Claire and Charlotte Hart at home in June 2015. Photograph: courtesy of Ryan Hart

Ryan and Luke Hart Claire and Lances sons, Charlottes older brothers were both working outside the country at the time, Ryan in Holland and Luke in Aberdeen. But the same BBC breaking news alert popped up on both their telephones: Shooting in Spalding, the notification read. They both tried to call Claire and Charlotte, but neither answered their telephones. The two brothers started to worry: only days before, they had both helped their mom and sister move out, after a lifetime of emotional abuse and psychological control. But surely Lance wouldnt do anything that would make the international news?

***

Ryan and Luke Hart sit cross-legged on the carpet in their living room in Spalding. Bella, their fluffy white labradoodle, is stretched across the sofa, while Indi, a black jack russell, sits by Ryans feet. The small, two-storey house sits on a quiet country road, with the brothers car parked outside.

This is the home they rented last summertime, a few weeks before Claire and Charlotte left the larger household home in Moulton. Their moms cutlery sits in a glass cabinet in the corner of the room next door, beside a bed the brothers couldnt fit up the stairs and have instead placed in what should be the dining room. Luke, 27, has been living here since last July. Ryan, 26, bides whenever hes home from his chore as an engineer in Qatar. But the house was never meant to be their home. The brethren belongings are stacked high against the walls in the living room, as if they have only just moved in and not had time to unpack.

Luke and Ryan have always been close. Both are engineers, vegans and Labour advocates, in a staunchly Conservative part of the country. Since last summer, the brothers say they have grown much closer. For years, they were protective of Charlotte and their mom; now, their lives depend on each other.

They recall the shock of the initial news. I looked at the BBC alert and guessed, What the hell is Spalding in the news for? Luke tells. Component of me knew, and at the same day part of me didnt believe anything. I ensure it, but then I felt like my life was a video game, like I had changed planets in that moment and abruptly nothing was real.

The police told the brothers not to read press coverage of the attack. Luke read nothing for months, but Ryan was able to avoid it for only a few days. He was shocked to find reports that were sympathetic towards his father. The Sun and Daily Telegraph quoted locals who described Lance as a nice guy, while the Daily Express reported that he was a DIY nut. The Daily Mail spoke to others who described Hart as always caring. In every report, there was speculation that the prospect of divorce drove Lance to murder, and little mention or description of Claire or Charlotte.

I was shocked at the ease with which others, sitting behind their desks, could explain our tragedy away within an afternoon, Ryan tells now. It was very difficult to read that they were sympathising with a human who caused Mum and Charlotte misery their entire lives. One novelist even dared use the word understandable to justify why they were murdered. This second Daily Mail article, a column by psychiatrist Max Pemberton, argued that a man killing his children is often a distorted act of love. The article was later removed from the site.

Youre reading it and thinking, This is bollocks, Ryan says. But you know people around the country are also reading it, and those notions are being driven into their minds. It strengthens in the abusers mind that what theyre doing is OK.

They kept saying this was a fund issue, Luke adds of the news narratives. It wasnt about fund. Thats what attained me really angry. Sometimes news is just entertainment. They couldnt have known its own history, but it was weird: in the absence of information, they chose the side of a terrorist who committed murder.

***

The Harts grew up in a big farmhouse in rural Cambridgeshire. When they first bought the house, it was so rundown that it needed knocking down and rebuilding, and the family lived for a year in a caravan on the driveway. The three children spend much of their time outside, climbing trees and wading through the waist-high grass. They played with the family animals: dogs, pigs, chickens, sheep, geese. Claire grew the familys food on a vegetable plot. We basically lived outside and off the land, Luke says.

The family moved to the village of Moulton in 2001, when Luke was offered a place at a nearby grammar school. Lance struggled to keep a job for longer than a few months there, before eventually finding work at a local builders merchant. Claire got a job behind the meat counter at the local Morrisons supermarket, a task she held until the attack. The household earned very little. We were one of those families where youd have to turn the sunlights off, or wear more clothes because you cant put the heating on, Ryan says.

The brethren describe Claire and Charlotte as selfless, caring people. They both loved animals and were obsessed with dogs. Charlotte also loved pony ride and volunteered with the elderly. She was sporty and adventurous, but also loved to sprawl out on the floor and play Call Of Duty. Claire had survived ovarian cancer when her children were in their early teens, and had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. But she found happiness in the family dogs, growing her own veggies, and mainly in her children: she would beam with pride when talking about them. Claire and Charlotte were almost like sisters: they would escape to Charlottes room together to do each others makeup and watch movies.

Like her brothers, Charlotte did well at school, and had been studying midwifery at Northampton University, where she played for the students union lacrosse team. She was a bright young lady with a keen sense of humour, though she had recently experienced severe depression and fell out of her course; she was due to start teacher training at Northampton in September.

Ryan
Ryan( on left ), Luke and Charlotte on holiday in Tenerife, in 2006. Photo: politenes of Ryan Hart

Their father took little interest in his children. He didnt attend school events or sports matches if they were honest, the rest of the family preferred it that way. Instead, Lance spent the majority of members of his time sitting in the corner of the living room, on his laptop. He gambled and made friends on messageboards and in chatrooms. He became obsessed with conspiracy theories, and would try to force-out his political opinions on the rest of the family.

He seemed to like his friends online a lot more than us, Luke tells. He didnt have a real world his whole world, 12 hours a day, was on his laptop. We were slowly becoming the enemy to his strange world. His hallucination became his addiction.

Around the time the family moved to Moulton, the brothers started becoming more aware of their parents controlling nature. They tell Lance became obsessed with the familys money, taking Claires wages and rationing them back to her. Nobody else was allowed access to the family bank account. There was little fund coming in, but even so Lance would treat himself to holidays, including a trip-up with a friend to Niagara Falls. He deemed the family puppies obedience developing 10, once a week too expensive and cancelled it. He spent 300 on an exercise bike he never used. At first, I believed the way he was with fund was his way of looking after the family, Luke tells. Soon, he realised it was being gambled with, and that it would always be off limits. Before we knew it, it was his fund and we werent allowed to touch it.

As Luke and Ryan grew up, Lances repressive nature became more obvious. Luke describes him as like a bored prison guard. He curtailed Claires access to a mobile phone and social media. Once the two brothers had gone to university( Ryan to Durham and Luke to Warwick ), they had to call their father and ask to be put through to their mother. When they were home, they recollect nights when Lance would drink a bottle of whisky and yell at Claire all night, preventing her from sleeping. Her multiple sclerosis was regularly triggered by his erratic behaviour, they believe; she would suffer serious attacks that lasted up to half an hour, the pain throbbing in her face. If she tried to meet friends from work, Lance would accuse her of being lesbian, or having an affair. He would guilt-trip her for weeks for expending 3 on a cup of coffee. She wanted to travel around Europe, but Lance concealed her passport. He refused to let her visit Ryan when he did a triathlon in Turkey, even though the only reason Ryan entered and trained for it was so his mother could come and watch him, and have a holiday.

While the children grew closer to Claire, Lance withdrew. He became angry and paranoid that his children werent like him, believing they were conspiring against him. It took very little to trigger an irrational reaction. Charlotte once forgot to fill up the kettle, Luke tells, and for three hours he was marching around the house, yelling at us about it. Even when we filled it, hed keep going, slamming the doors, calling at us.

Luke recalls that, when Claire told the children she had ovarian cancer, Lance huffed and puffed at the dinner table. He complained that such children didnt know what it was like for him to have a wife who had cancer.

He was always jealous if you were happy, Luke says, and if you were upset, he was jealous of your suffering. It was about inflicting his own emotional state upon us say, hed come back from work and he was happy, he would angrily force us to giggle and join in. He wouldnt even let us live an emotional life free from him.

Lance was not physically abusive largely, the brothers believe, because they all worked hard to orchestrate a calm atmosphere at home, and since they are gave in to his emotional demands. They didnt think of his behaviour as domestic violence cases, because they had only ever considered domestic violence to be a man making a woman. Lance didnt consider his actions to be abusive, either. Yes, we bickered, but it wasnt serious, he wrote in his suicide note. It was normal matrimony stuff. No violence. For some months, Claire had been maintaining a diary of everything Lance said and did, but didnt feeling she could take it to the police because there had been no physical harm.

We thought, Well, hes not drunk and beating us every weekend, were not failing at school, we dont have behavioural problems. Those were the signs I was looking for, Luke says. And because it hadnt happened, we didnt recognise our agony, or that he was dangerous. From the outside, we were three healthy, intelligent children. No one seemed concerned that much was incorrect, because we were doing so well.

The brothers and their mother “was talkin about a” leaving the family home, but hadnt the money to do it. So they decided to play the long game instead: to adapt to their parents irrational behaviour, keep their heads down and save money. We knew from a very young age we would leave, Luke tells. And I think he always knew that one day we would leave. We had to plan for 15 years in the future. Mum was ill and Charlotte was young. Half the reason I worked so hard at school and work was because I wasnt doing it just for me.

Ryan
Charlotte visiting Ryan when he was working in Australia. Photo: politenes of Ryan Hart

After Ryan graduated from university, their escape plan started to take shape. Last June, Claire told her husband she was going to leave him, but Lance attempted a reconciliation. Home from Holland for a week-long visit, Ryan remembers find his father change. It was creepy, watching him smile and act like he was nice. You could tell it was acting. But Ryan says it lasted only a day or two. Once she didnt fall for it, he turned evil. He threatened to burn down the house. He told Claire he would fabricate lies about their sons student loans to get them thrown into jail.

On Wednesday 13 July, Luke and Ryan travelled home to Spalding to help move their mother out, staying in a hotel for the night. At 8am the next morning, they picked up a removals van and drove it to the family home in Moulton. They knew Lance would be at work by the time they got there and texted Claire to say they had arrived. There was no answer. Lance had driven her to work against her wants, so they went to pick her up. Claire told them his behaviour had been especially bad that morning. They hurried to load the van, sweating in the heat: Lance was unpredictable, and they knew he could return at any moment. The dogs jumped in the van, and once they were all crammed inside, they drove to the rented house.

Everything felt uncomfortably different, Luke tells, but I afterwards recognised that the feeling was simply liberty. It was something Id never known or felt before. We felt reborn.

***

On 18 July, four days after Claire Hart moved out, Lance returned a rental vehicle he had been borrowing, on time, to avoid the late fee. He cooked himself a meal he described as his last supper. After he carried out his attack the following day, Lincolnshire police discovered a 12 -page suicide note he had saved on a USB stick left inside his auto, labelled To whom it may fear: I have just had my favourite meal, paella, and Im sitting in the sun with a glass of red wine, He attempted to justify himself, addressing Claire: You have created a screwed up mind Right or incorrect, I had to do this. You destroyed my life without giving me a chance, so I will destroy yours. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Karma is a bitch.

When Luke and Ryan returned to the family home after the attack, they found their parents to-do listing on the kitchen counter. It was so coldly ordinary, Luke tells. It included things like Buy a secondhand fridge, even though he only planned to use it for a few days.

Luke
Luke( on left) and Ryan now want to raise awareness of the intricacies of domestic violence. Photograph: Andrew Jackson for the Guardian

On Lance computer, they found evidence that he had begun to scheme the murders three weeks earlier, and not only over the four days since Claire had moved out, as the media had reported. He had recently searched for articles about all those people who murder their wives. One Google search read: how many men kill their wives. I think he wanted to feel he wasnt being different, and that other humen were like him, Ryan says.

What the brothers see as the normalisation of their fathers actions in the press concerns them. They have asked themselves: what if other humen search for articles about men who murder their wives? And what if they come across the sympathetic articles about Lance?

On the day of the two attacks, the police told the public that incidences such as these are incredibly rare. But just six weeks later, in County Caven, Ireland, a woman called Clodagh Hawe and her three children, Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan, were killed by Alan, her husband and the boys parent. And who knows, Luke says, that human in Ireland may have read one of the articles that described our papa as a nice guy.

It is merely in the past year that other pieces of their childhood have fallen into place, the brothers tell. When we moved from our first home, we were told it was because of my school, Luke tells. But family members subsequently told us it wasnt that they said he[ Lance] fell out with everyone, hid, and that he ran away from our old home. He couldnt maintain a chore in Cambridgeshire, socialise or fit in. A plenty of people we knew growing up there didnt even know wed left. At the funeral, some of them said, Where have you been for 15 years?

One family friend asked if Claire had been having an affair that might have triggered the attack, a topic that echoed some media reports. Others asked if it was because of fund, because Lance resented his children, or why Claire had bided for so long. After the initial shock, the brothers say they have grown weary of the victim-blaming that came from both the press and people they knew. The reality is, you cant stay and you cant leave, Luke tells. You have no alternatives. And it shouldnt be that the burden is on the main victims run for your lives to survive.

Claire
Celebrating Claires 50 th birthday in 2015. Photo: courtesy of Ryan Hart

What their father did was not unpredictable, random or unstoppable, Luke insists. It was part of a familiar pattern of male violence, carried out by a man with what Luke describes as traditional masculine opinions. Lance Hart was an ordinary man, who had no mental illness; he was like many other ordinary all those people who kill their families.

He didnt lose it, Luke tells. When we got to the house, there was a to-do listing, so he was functioning fine. And thats the problem there are many ordinary humen just like him. People feign it was random, because then they dont have to confront the difficult issues causing it: the route humen can behave and what they believe. He was willing to destroy the world before he changed his beliefs.

In April this year, on Ryans 26 th birthday, Luke posted on Facebook an emotional tribute to his strong little brother, mother and sister. Ryan had more often been on the receiving aim of his fathers anger, he wrote; he was also exactly the kind of man the world requires more of. The post has been shared more than 3,000 times and the brothers now want to raise awareness of the intricacies of domestic violence, an issue they say the British overlook as an awkward situation.

It seems like no one wants to do anything, Luke says. No one wants to say, This is going to happen again next week. If we dont[ talk about it ], other people in our situation wont assure the seriousness of it. He believes they would all have been better off without a parent. The central male figure in their lives was useless, controlling and arrogant, and the brothers say they now watch overtly masculine figures as pathetic. Our father had violated beliefs about fatherhood and being a man. Sometimes, girls worry, Oh, if most children doesnt have a father figure, who knows what will happen to him? Well, hell probably just turn out to be really nice, actually, he laughs.

For the last five to 10 years, I was trying to learn from him what not to do, Ryan adds. I based my decisions on watching what hed do, then Id do the opposite. But I hadnt realised he was any worse than other parents. I believed all men were like him.

They now want to live life the route Claire and Charlotte would have wanted them to. Their favourite thing is to walk Indi and Bella, because their fondest memories are of their mother and sister played with the dogs. They refuse to see Claire and Charlotte as victims. Vulnerable women and children are not treated as heroes, for standing up to their oppressors even when they are murdered, or given a national day of mourning, Luke says. But they should be.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Islamic State

1 month, 4 days ago

Notorious hate preacher faces up to 10 years in prison after swearing allegiance to Isis, it can now be revealed

Anjem Choudary, one of the most notorious detest evangelists living in Britain, is facing jail after being found guilty of supporting Islamic State.

Having avoided arrest for years despite his apparent pity for extremism and links to some of Britains most notorious terrorists, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey after jurors heard he had sworn an oath of allegiance to Isis.

The 49 -year-old, who has links to one of Lee Rigbys killers, Michael Adebolajo, and the Islamist militant Omar Bakri Muhammad, also exhorted adherents to support Isis in a series of talks broadcast on YouTube.

Who is Anjem Choudary ?

Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Rahman, 33, told their advocates to heed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader, who is also known as a caliph, and travel to Syria to support Isis or the caliphate, the court heard.

They were convicted in July but details of the trial, including the verdict, could not be reported until now.

Choudary and Rahman face up to 10 years in jail for inviting is supportive of a proscribed organisation. They will be sentenced on 6 September at the Old Bailey.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, said: These men have stayed merely within the law for many years, but there is no one within the counter-terrorism world that has any doubts of the influence that they have had, the abhor the government had spread and the person or persons that they have encouraged to join terrorist organisations.

Over and over again we have ensure people on trial for the most serious offences who have attended lectures or speeches given by these men. The oath of allegiance was a turning point for the police at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they supported Isis.

Haydon said 20 years worth of material was considered in the investigation, with 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data assessed.

It can now also be revealed that Choudary was encouraged to support Isis by a notorious British Isis fighter who fled to Syria while on police bail.

The court heard that shortly after Isis was proscribed as a terror group Choudary was in contact with an individual named as Subject A. It can now be exposed Subject A was Siddartha Dhar known on social media as Abu Rumaysah who was arrested alongside Choudary before he fled to Syria to fight with Isis while on police bail.

Dhar fostered Choudary to express support for Isis on social media. Following on from Dhars encouragement, both defendants constructed their position on the newly proclaimed caliphate clear in the oath of allegiance.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told: The prosecution case is that whichever name is used, the evidence is quite clear: when these defendants were inviting support for an Islamic state or caliphate they were referring to the one declared in Syria and its environs by Ibrahim[ Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi at the end of June 2014.

Terrorist organisations thrive and grow because people support them and that is something that this case is about. Do not confound that with the right of people to follow the religion of their choice or to proclaim support for a caliphate.

Choudary, who has a long history with groups involved in radical Islamist demoes, such as the now-banned al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK, denied he was inviting is supportive of Isis and claimed to be a lecturer in sharia law giving the Islamic perspective.

He began analyzing sharia law under Syrian-born Bakri Muhammad, a Salafi Islamist militant leader who formed al-Muhajiroun with the aim of promoting sharia in the 1990 s, the court heard.

Bakri Muhammad fled to Lebanon in 2005, where he was joined by Choudary for about 10 weeks. Bakri Muhammad was ultimately jailed in Lebanon for terror offences.

Anjem
Choudary leaves an Islam4UK press conference in London in January 2010 after different groups was banned from marching through Wootton Bassett to honour Muslims killed in the conflict in Afghanistan. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images

Choudary acknowledged he was media spokesman for Islam4UK during a time in which the controversial group put under incendiary statements calling for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque and Nelsons Column to be destroyed.

On the ninth anniversary of the London terror attacks 7 July 2014 Choudary and Rahman posted an oath of allegiance online under their kunyas or Islamic names, Abu Luqman, used by Choudary, and Abu Baraa, used by Rahman, on an radical website.

Between August and September 2014, Choudary and Rahman posted speeches on YouTube encouraging support for Isis.

An audio clip, lasting one hour and six minutes and uploaded to Choudarys YouTube channel on 9 September 2014, was played to jurors.

Titled How Muslims Assess the Legitimacy of the Caliphate, the speech was played over the image of a map of northern Africa, the Middle East , north-west Asia and southern Europe.

Choudary begins by setting out his views about the requirements of a legitimate Islamic caliphate, then explains why he sees Islamic State as meeting the criteria.

The lesson from this narration is that obedience to the caliph is an obligation, if they rule by the sharia. And to heed them obviously means they must be established, Choudary said.

He added: I would just say, uh you know, for people who want to live under sharia law, plainly this is a great thing, and for those people who tell we are promoting Isis, they are not even called Isis any more. Rather, you have an Islamic state where you have millions of people who are governed by the sharia law and I dont think it is against the law to go and live there and want to abide by sharia law.

The prosecution also played an older lecture were presented by Choudary in March 2013, which did not form part of the charge but was provided to the jury for background.

In the lecture, titled Duties of the Khilafah State, Choudary makes clear his passion for the process of creating a caliphate as well as his support for the military action of Islamic State.

He told: That is why the kuffar[ non-believers] are worried, my dear Muslims. When the Muslims of the subcontinent gather together. When the Taliban inshallah [ God willing] and the mujahideen take Afghanistan and then declare jihad against the mourtad of Zardini and his army of tawaghit , and when they annex and take India and they take Bangladesh and they take Indonesia, you have over a billion Muslims in the area.

We dont have any perimeters, my dear Muslims. It is about time we resumed conquering to the purposes of Allah.

Next time when your child is at school and the educator says what do you want when you grow up, what is your ambition ?, they should say to dominate the whole world by Islam, including Britain, that is my ambition.

The prosecution told the court that the defendants were acutely aware of the health risks criminal implications of being overt in their support for Isis.

Whittam told the court: The prosecution alleges that this led to great care in the way in which the defendants conveyed themselves publicly, particularly after Isil was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the home secretary.

Choudary also took to social media to express support for Isis, the court heard. In late July 2014, he engaged in a series of messages with others as to the authority for the declaration of Eid( the Islamic festival) coming from the office of the Islamic State.

Born in north London, he initially analyse medicine at Barts medical school before changing courses and enrolling at Guildford College of Law. He opened his own attorneys practise in his late 20 s but told the court that by that point he had become religious and his beliefs did not sit easily with certain aspects of the law.

Sue Hemming, Crown Prosecution Service( CPS) head of counter terrorism, said: These two men knowingly sought to legitimise a terrorist organisation and encouraged others to support it. They employed the power of social media to attempt to influence those who are susceptible to these types of messages, which might include the young or vulnerable.

Both humen were fully aware that Daesh is a proscribed terrorist group, the brutal activities they are carrying out and that what they were doing was illegal. Terrorism can have no place in our society and those that encourage others to join such organisations will be prosecuted.

British Muslims had complained about the media attention get paid to Choudary and the impression sometimes given to audiences that he was representative of British Islamic thought.

Miqdaad Versi, of the Muslim Council of Britain, told the Protector: Mr Anjem Choudary has long been condemned by Muslim organisations and Muslims across the country, who consider him and his support for Daesh[ Isis] to be despicable and contrary to the values of Islam and our nation.

Many Muslims have long been puzzled why this human was regularly approached by the media to give outrageous statements that inflamed Islamophobia. We hope the judgment serves as a lesson for anyone who follows this path of advocating detest and division.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

SAS deployed in Libya since start of year, says leaked memo

1 month, 13 days ago

King Abdullah of Jordan indicates US was briefed about plans for Jordanian special forces to operate alongside British

SAS forces have been deployed in Libya since the beginning of the year, according to a confidential briefing given to US congressional leaders by the monarch of Jordan.

A leaked memoranda indicates the US lawmakers were personally briefed by King Abdullah in January about plans for Jordans special forces to operate in the country alongside the British.

According to the notes of the session in the week of 11 January, seen by the Guardian, King Abdullah confirmed his countrys own special forces will be imbedded[ sic] with British SAS in Libya.

According to the memoranda, the ruler met with US congressional leaders including John McCain, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Also present was the House of Representatives speaker, Paul Ryan.

King Abdullah said UK special forces required his soldiers assistance when operating on the ground in north Africa, explaining Jordanian jargon is similar to Libyan slang.

The king also highlighted that British forces had helped in building up a mechanised brigade in southern Syria, headed by a local commandant and made up of tribal fighters, to combat Bashar al-Assads army, and that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go over the border to assault al-Shabaab in Somalia.

When contacted, the Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on special forces operations. None of the high-ranking US senators contacted by the Guardian responded to a request for interview.

However, one senate source corroborated US lawmakers met with the monarch in a private meeting in early January but refused to confirm what may or may not have been discussed.

Libyan
Libyan soldiers at a military outpost west of the city of Sirte, Isiss stronghold in the country. Photograph: Ismail Zetouni/ Reuters

The full passage of the briefing notes tells: On Libya His Majesty said he expects a spike in a couple of weeks and Jordanians will be imbedded[ sic] with British SAS, as Jordanian jargon is similar to Libyan slang.

The monarchs apparent openness with the US lawmakers is an indication of just how important an ally Jordan is to the US in the region. Since the 1950 s Washington has provided it with more than $15 bn( 10.5 bn) in economic and military aid.

However, the Jordanians had become frustrated over perceived US inaction over the Countries of the middle east in recent months. Five years of fighting in Syria have dramatically impacted on Jordan, which has absorbed more than 630,000 Syrian refugees, and the king has repeatedly called for decisive action to end the conflict.

He told those present: The problem is bigger than Isil[ Islamic State ], this is a third world war, this is Christians, Jews working with Muslims against outlaws.

The memo indicates that Abdullah also told US lawmakers 😛 TAGEND

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, believes in a revolutionary Islamic solution to the problems in the region and the fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook.

Intelligence agencies want to keep terrorist websites open so they can use them to track radicals and Google had told the Jordanian monarch they have 500 people working on this.

Israel seems the other way at the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra on its border with Syria because they regard them as an opposition to Hezbollah.

The king created particular concerns over al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia that has links with both Isis and al-Qaida.

Jordan is looking at al-Shabaab because no one was truly looking at the issue, and we cannot separate this issue, and the need to look at all the hotspots in the map, he said, adding: We have a rapid deployment force that will stand with the British and Kenya and is ready to go over the border[ into Somalia ].

Abdullah said we started with al-Shabaab, as they feed into Libya, which has descended into chaos since the subvert of Muammar Gaddafi by Nato forces.

Al-Shabaab
King Abdullah said his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go over the border to fighting al-Shabaab, seen here on procession in Mogadishu, Somalia. Photograph: Feisal Omar/ Reuters

In Britain, it is the Jordanian monarchs confirmation of the SAS operating with his forces in north Africa that will create eyebrows.

The issue of the oversight of the operations of British special forces has become a vexed matter in parliament. Earlier the coming week, David Cameron rejected a bellow from Angus Robertson, the Scottish National partys Westminster leader, for the SAS to be subject to parliamentary oversight, saying they were already subject to international law as everybody else is in our country but I do not propose to change the arrangements under which these incredibly brave humen work.

Crispin Blunt, the foreign affairs select committee chair, who has been concerned that parliament has been left in the dark about British involvement in Libya, told the Guardian he had known King Abdullah since they both served in the 13 th/ 18 th Royal Hussars.

King Abdullah devotes a level of insight that we dont get from our own governments, said Blunt. He has given presentations to parliamentarians behind closed doors in the past. We dont get that from our own ministers. When[ the foreign office minister] Tobias Ellwood told us about RAF flights over Libya these were plainly in support of special forces missions. But when we asked for details we were told the government doesnt comment on special forces.

There is a tendency for the British establishment to work out everything very carefully and then present it to parliament as a take it or leave it selection. And then pastors wonder why they have difficulties in parliament.

In March, intelligence analysts at Stratfor told UK special forces were already in Libya and escorting MI6 squads to meet with Libyan officials about furnishing weapons and training to the Syrian army and to militias against the Islamic State. The British air force basis Sentinel aircraft in Cyprus for surveillance missions around[ the Isis Libyan stronghold] Sirte as well.

Accusations that Camerons lax posture to Libya contributed to the countrys disastrous breakdown resurfaced after Barack Obama suggested in an interview with Atlantic publication this month that the chaos in north Africa was caused in part because the British “ministers ” was too distracted to oversee a smooth transformation to a new stable regime.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Rupert Cornwell obituary

1 month, 15 days ago

Elegantly witty foreign correspondent whose work was proof of the enduring magical of real reporting

Rupert Cornwell, who has died aged 71, was the most gifted of reporters on the foreign scene from Moscow to Washington and many places in between of the past 45 years. Writing for Reuters, the Financial Time and the Independent, he had a distinctive grandeur and ease, marinated with sharp wit. His long pieces were like a classic David Gower innings. As in print, so in life. His dialogue was very funny, very dry and gently subversive.

He was my great friend from student days and companion on the road. After Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read modern Greek, he promptly moved from ad, which he detested, to Reuters. Soon he was on the move, to Paris, Brussels and back to Paris again, where he jumped ship and joined the FT.

At Oxford he seemed somewhat detached. This may have had something to do with the very large darknes of his father, the sometime developer, gambler and convicted bankrupt Ronnie Cornwell better known to wider audiences in fictional form as Rick in several volumes by Ruperts half-brother, David, aka John le Carr. Rupert was the son of Ronnies second matrimony, to the formidable Jeanie Gronow( nee Neal ).

He was mad about sport I recall being dragged to watch Celtic contest the European Cup final with a lifelong passion, and love-hate, for the Arsenal. His occasional athletics writing was top-flight.

It was when he became Rome correspondent for the FT in the 1970 s that things actually took off. This was the heyday of the Mephistophelean eight-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti, the surge of Enrico Berlinguers communists, mafia wars in Palermo and Naples, and exotic soccer scandals. Ruperts reporting technique was a wonder to behold. He used to go into its term of office, slam the door, and build merely two or three telephone call, his fellow FT correspondent James Buxton recollected. Then, an hour or so later out he would come the most amazing, immaculate piece of transcript the subs never needed to touch it.

But this is just ridiculous, he would remark, using a favourite catchphrase. I entail, reporting Italy is just like eating too much chocolate cake. Time to move on. Before moving, he wrote his only volume, Gods Banker( 1983 ), a brisk essay on Roberto Calvi, the rascal financier who was saw hanging under Blackfriars Bridge, London, in June 1982. It dedicated a pacy account of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal that very nearly broke the Vaticans bank.

Ruperts next posting, to Bonn, demonstrated the least happy. He found the place and the story dull, and German the most challenging of all the languages he was to learn he subsequently acquired fluent Russian on the run in a matter of months. His wedding to the Italian interpreter Angela Doria, with whom he had a son, Sean, is broken, though they remained on good terms.

In 1986 he decided to join the newborn Independent as its Moscow correspondent. His writing, portion pin-sharp reporting and proportion sly commentary, has been the epitome of the Independent style. In its pages he became the chronicler of the end of the Soviet empire. Of Mikhail Gorbachev, he wrote: His supreme failing was not to understand that communism could not reform itself. The tragedy of Gorbachev was that he never intended to get rid of communism, but to adapt it to compete with the far richer west. And of the attempt to oust Gorbachev, so moribund had a once ruthless system become, however, that it couldnt even organise a coup.

He loved the sheer quirkiness of the Moscow scene the need to barter paper for secondhand books, the demolition of his elegant Italian suede coat by Moscow dry cleaners, taking a lip reader to a debate in the Duma and matching her account with the official report. He was accompanied by his new spouse, Susan Smith, a correspondent with Reuters, and their son, Stas. His Moscow file brought him foreign correspondent of the year in the What the Papers Say awardings in 1988.

From Moscow he transferred to Washington, where he had two stints as the Independent bureau chief. In between he worked in London as feature novelist and diplomatic correspondent. Among the forgotten gems of this time is the full-page obituary of Diana, Princess of Wales, that he had to pull together in a few hours. It is a masterpiece of social observation, complemented by a mildly subversive undertow. Perhaps she was a manipulator, a strange mixture of the trusting, the calculate and the flaky, but she was forgiven the bulk of her sins, he wrote in a concluding paragraph. Flaky? Golly, If Id written that just a day or two later, I would have been hanged from the nearest lamp-post, he confessed merely a few weeks ago.

In Washington, he regularly skewered the presidents and their dynasties. He disliked the Bush junior years, admired the aloof Obama not least for his writing in Dreams from My Father and writing up Trumpery seemed the call of destiny.

He loved the roaring of the greasepaint and smell of the crowd of athletic above all baseball. Twelve years ago he wrote of the American League Championship contest between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, and the long darknes of the Curse of the Bambino. In 1920 the Sox sold their star batter, Babe Ruth who had won the World Series for them in 1918 to the Yankees. And things ran severely for the Sox thereafter. Attempts to lift the curse spawned this paragraph: They have tried everything to exorcise it. They dredged a lake south of Boston where Ruths favourite piano is said to lie, they leave cans of beer on the gravestone at the Gate of Heaven cemetery 20 miles north of New York, where the famously bibulous slugger is buried.

And of course, there was Trump. In February Rupert choice the chaotic 80 -minute, stream-of-consciousness press conference as the cue to go in to bat for the MSM, the mainstream media. Its a tough chore, maintaining a focus on facts and truth, in the face of a mendacious propaganda barrage from a White House with indisputable authoritarian instincts. Reporting US politics now is about attempting transparency in what is the least transparent administration since Nixons day And the reviled MSM so far has hardly put a foot wrong.

Rupert carried on, acerbic and brilliant, through three years of cancer. In his languid, elegant style there was understated genius. His work is proof of the enduring magic of real reporting in the post-truth age.

A lot of Ruperts quiet feistiness came from and is in favour of his family: his wife, Susan, still pounding the Washington beat for Reuters, brother, David, and sister, the actor Charlotte Cornwell. They and his sons survive him.

Rupert Howard Cornwell, journalist, born 22 February 1946; died 31 March 2017

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘Shrouded in shame’: the young women on either side of Ireland’s abortion debate

1 month, 19 days ago

Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key

Rwanda’s new monarch named- a parent of two living on an estate near Manchester

1 month, 22 days ago

Emmanuel Bushayija, the nephew of the late exiled King Kigeli, named as king Yuhi VI by Kigelis chief courtier

It is not a typical royal residence but a terraced house on a quiet and somewhat dishevelled housing estate in Sale, Greater Manchester, is now the home of the new king of Rwanda.

Three months after the countrys previous exiled ruler King Kigeli died in relative poverty in the US aged 80, an official edict by his chief courtier has declared his nephew Emmanuel Bushayija a naturalised British citizen as his successor.

The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru hereby informs all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda that in keeping with the ancient custom, it has acclaimed His Royal Highness Prince Emmanuel Bushayija as the successor of his late majesty, the proclamation read.

In a video posted on Facebook, Boniface Benzinge, who describes himself as the deceased kings assistant and best friend, reads a statement over tinny piano music saying that Kigeli had named his brothers son as his successor in 2006 and that he wished the new king long life and success.

The
The house in Sale, Greater Manchester, where Emmanuel Bushayija lives. Photo: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Father of two Bushayija, or Yuhi VI as his new royal title has him, has so far keep silent about the proclamation. Answering the door of his neat and well maintain home on Wednesday morning, a family member said he was not in and would not be speaking to the press.

The Rwandan royal family was exiled in 1961, when Bushayija was a baby, and he was schooled in Uganda, where he subsequently worked for Pepsi. He moved back to Rwanda in 1994, before relocating to the UK in 2000.

He first lived in a council flat near Old Trafford, before moving to his current terraced home, which is owned by the Irwell Valley housing association. Company records show that he started a security company, Intersec Security, in 2013, which is registered to his home address but offer armed security for clients in Rwanda.

Wendy Otoo, 50, a foster carer who lives two doors down from the family, told Bushayija had mentioned his big news to her husband, but that she didnt think it would change much for the family.

Hes very laid back and humble, she said. Hes a lovely human. I look after my granddaughters full period and hes great with them. He always stops for a chat, so hes not very king-like. She added: Its funny because their own families are from Ghana on my Dads side, and my uncle there is a king.

The first Dola TopeAgboola, 43, heard about her royal neighbour was when a journalist knocked on her door on Wednesday morning. Its just amazing to be honest, she tells. Im going to be on the look out for him. I should get to know him.

Rwanda became a republic in January 1961 following a referendum, one and a half years before it gained independence from Belgian regulation. The outcome suggested that 80% of the public opposed the empire but King Kigeli claimed that the vote had been rigged.

In 2013, Washingtonian magazine determined Kigeli living in subsidised housing in Virginia, living off food stamps. He told the publication that Paul Kagame, chairperson of Rwanda and a fellow Tutsi, had permitted him to return to his home country but said that he could not resume the throne.

While alive, Kigeli spent much of his time attempting to preserve the traditions of the Rwandan monarchy, subsidising his small income with the sale of knighthoods, and hoping that his people would one day invite him back.

Following his death, a row broke out about where he should be laid to rest and a US court ruled in favour of relatives who wanted his body returned to Rwanda. Benzinge insisted that his friend would not have wanted to be buried in his home land as long as the current government administration that was hostile to his majesty in life was still in power.

Benzinges announcement that Bushayija is the new monarch has also been controversial. Pastor Ezra Mpyisi, a former consultant to the Rwandan king, told journalists in the countrys capital that he would not recognise the new king.

[ Benzinge] cannot name the new monarch because he is in no position to do so. He has no powers to do so because he is not part of the royal family or related to the king in any way, he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Hawking won the world’s respect- and gave disabled people like me hope | Frances Ryan

1 month, 24 days ago

Growing up disabled, I had few role models. But this brilliant, witty scientist helped change negative stereotypes, tells Guardian columnist Frances Ryan

As with most of the famous figures whose passing now makes us via a news alert on our phones, I never satisfied Stephen Hawking. In the vastness of the entire world, you could say I was one speck and he was another. And yet I thought of him as a continual presence in my life, who- perhaps paradoxically, in the light of his illness , not to mention of his work on time- would always be there, somehow.

Growing up incapacitated in Britain, I didn’t have many role models. There are hardly any statues of disabled leaders , no great lives with chronic disability documented in the history books. As a child, it’s easy to believe that disabled people have never genuinely existed, and that when they did, it was as cripples to be pitied or onus on society. In Hawking, we had a figure- brilliant, witty, kind- who confounded the negative stereotypes and the low expectations so often forced on those of us with a disability.

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Cosmology’s brightest star Stephen Hawking dies aged 76- video

He wasn’t without faults( accusations of sexism were notable ). He was also afforded possibilities- from wealth to healthcare to being non-disabled throughout school- that clearly enabled his success, opportunities too few young disabled people, facing cuts to multiple strands of support, enjoy today. But his groundbreaking research, as well as tireless commitment to the NHS and concern over Brexit, established him as someone who, though physically stripped of his voice, should be listened to.

In the hurry to eulogise a figure such as Hawking the risk is that the media coverage either fails to acknowledge his disability- and to dismiss him being a disabled person is as regressive as a white person saying they” don’t see colour”- or falls into condescending cliches and objectification. Within hours of the news of his death transgres, I considered headlines that reflected the( often well-intentioned) negative attitudes that so often plague discussions of disabled people: ones of “inspiration”, ” overcoming disability” and references to “tragedy”. BBC Radio 5 Live asked listeners if Hawking had “inspired” them- a question unlikely to be posed about non-disabled academics. The Daily Mail referred to his” total disability” while at the other aim of the spectrum, John Humphrys use Radio 4′ s tribute segment to ask:” Did the science community cut him a lot of slack because he was so desperately disabled ?”

Even the Guardian’s obituary mentioned how” despite his terrible physical circumstance, he almost always remained positive about life “, as if it was a surprise that a world-renowned scientist with a loving family could ever find happiness. Cartoonists illustrated him in heaven- a place Hawking did not believe existed- standing up, as if ultimately free from his wheelchair( an invention, much like his voice synthesiser, that actually empowered him to engage with society ). Even sentiments such as” He didn’t let his disability define him”- as Marsha de Cordova, darknes disabilities minister( and herself disabled) tweeted– verge on repeating the ingrained notion that disability is an inherently negative thing: a part of identity that, unlike race or sexuality, should be played down.

This is not to say that Hawking’s disability didn’t help shape him. The thought that he had a sharply limited life expectancy- it was originally believed he would die within two years of his motor neurone cancer diagnosis- by all accounts inspired Hawking to enjoy the present, and spurred on his hunger for scientific discovery. But to reduce a world-famous academic’s existence to one of misfortune and pluck respects neither the reality of a disabled life nor the love, success, witticism and fulfilment that clearly marked Hawking’s. It remind you of the countless “inspirational” memes and posters that throughout their own lives featured Hawking’s image- often using his body as inspiration for non-disabled people (” If he can succeed, so are you able !”) or criticising “lesser” disabled people (” The only disability is a bad attitude “). Hawking, like all of us, deserves more than lazy, ableist tropes.

Amid all the tributes to Hawking’s contribution to scientific discovery, I would like to remember what he contributed- perhaps unknowingly- to many disabled people: a sense of pride, encouragement and hope. This was a genius who gained the world’s respect from his wheelchair. Hawking’s achievements alone will not have begun to overrule deep-seated prejudice, but he has played a significant part in changing the misconceptions that still routinely mark too many disabled people’s lives. Hawking’s lesser-known lesson is one I hope others growing up disabled will be left with: we can all reach for the stars.

* Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Brexit ruling: senior Tories advise May to scrap article 50 appeal

2 months, 27 days ago

Letwin, Grieve and Garnier call for appeal against Brexit ruling to be dropped to avoid legal dangers and save hour and money

Senior Tories have exhorted Theresa May to scrap the governments appeal against a high court ruling which states that parliament must vote on leaving the EU.

Oliver Letwin, the former head of the governments Brexit preparations, has called on the prime minister to abandon its supreme court appeal over government decisions on article 50, existing mechanisms that triggers exit negotiations.

The former us attorney general Dominic Grieve and former solicitor-general Sir Edward Garnier also said May should avoid taking the lawsuit to the UKs highest court.

The three Conservatives, who all supported the remain campaign, said they wanted the process to start as soon as possible with a bill in parliament.

Garnier told BBC Radio 4s Today programme on Saturday: That route you avoid an unnecessary legal row, you avoid a lot of unnecessary expenditure, but you also avoid an opportunity for ill-motivated people to assault the judiciary, to misunderstand the motives of both parties to the lawsuit, and you provide certainty.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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