Tag Archives: United Kingdom

After Years of Tireless Demands to End Carnage, Anti-War and Relief Groups Cautiously Welcome US Call for Yemen Ceasefire

After years-long efforts by human rights groups and lawmakers to end U.S. backing of the Saudis’ war in Yemen, the Trump administration follows the Koch brothers’ lead in calling for a ceasefire

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-31-2018

The market in Yemen that was destroyed by U.S.-made bombs on March 15. (Photo: Amal al-Yarisi/Human Rights Watch)

After years of working to call international attention to the death and destruction caused by Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed war in Yemen, human rights and anti-war groups expressed cautious optimism that the war-torn, impoverished country may see some relief in the coming weeks, following calls for a ceasefire by the Trump administration.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday both called for all participants in the war to come together for peace talks within the next 30 days, putting a stop to a conflict in which Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—with weapons, fuel, and tactical support from countries including the U.S. and U.K.—have killed 16,000 Yemeni civilians and displaced an estimated two million while leaving 22 million on the brink of famine. Continue reading

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With Deadline Approaching, 500+ European Lawmakers Tell Congress to Stop Trump From Ripping Up Iran Nuclear Deal

“The message to Trump/Pompeo/Bolton is clear: You do this and you’re on your own.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-19-2018

An Iranian man reads a copy of Iranian daily newspaper Arman with a picture of US President Donald Trump on its front page with the title in Persian that reads ‘Crazy Trump and logical JCPOA’ on display in Tehran, Iran. (Photo: EPA)

As analysts warn that U.S. President Donald Trump could be planning to abandon the Iran nuclear accord as early as next month—particularly with national security adviser and war “fanatic” John Bolton whispering in his ear—more than 500 parliamentarians from the U.K., France, and Germany published an open letter on Thursday calling on Congress do all it can to keep the agreement alive and “protect the fruits of successful diplomacy.”

“Together, Europeans and Americans have proved that a strong and united transatlantic partnership can bring about a coalition extending to Russia and China, endorsed by the international community,” the lawmakers write. “But this coalition is now at risk, as the U.S. government moves towards abandoning the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] without any evidence of Iran not fulfilling its obligations.” Continue reading

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New AUMF? Critics Warn Against Giving Trump—or Any President—Power to Wage War ‘Virtually Anywhere on the Planet’

The proposal follows Trump’s illegal weekend attack on Syria

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-16-2018

Protesters marched in New York City to oppose military action against Syria in 2013. (Photo: The All-Nite Images/Flickr/cc)

As the 17-year-old War on Terror rages on—and with the international community still reeling from the illegal missile strikes that the U.S., U.K., and France launched on Syria over the weekend—Congress is considering a measure that critics warn will expand the executive branch’s authority to wage war.

Some lawmakers have tried for years to replace the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that has been used (pdf) by three administrations to justify military actions across the globe. Now that President Donald Trump has repeatedly ignored reminders that only Congress can approve attacks not covered by the authorization, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) plan to introduce a new AUMF that could give even more war powers to the president.

Christopher Anders, deputy director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office, explained that under the proposed AUMF described in reports on Monday, Trump would essentially “get a blank check from Congress to go to war virtually anywhere on the planet.”

Outlining his concerns with various aspects of the proposal, Anders concludes it “would cause colossal harm to the Constitution’s checks and balances, would jeopardize civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad, and would lead to a breathtakingly broad expansion of war without meaningful oversight.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told NBC News that he worries “about an AUMF that is more permissive than what the president currently interprets his authority to be,” adding: “It’s gonna be hard for me to support something that has no sunset and no geographic limitation.”

Columbia Law School professor Matthew Waxman, a former national security official in the George W. Bush administration, said that an AUMF without an expiration date will bolster concerns among those who fear that greenlighting a new measure “entrenches an indefinite war.”

“The political reality, though, is that a much more restrictive AUMF won’t be possible anytime soon,” Waxman said, “and we’ll be engaged in an indefinite war either way.”

Reports about the new AUMF—which could be introduced as early as Monday—follow Kaine’s controversial comments to “CBS This Morning” earlier in the day.

While Kaine sharply criticized the attack on Syria as an “illegal military act,” the senator also said he would have “likely” supported it if Trump had asked for permission from Congress first.

Some lawmakers, such as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)—a long-time critic of the 2001 AUMF and the only member of Congress to vote against it—swiftly condemned Trump’s weekend attack, but many more were criticized for their apparent indifference or tempered responses to Trump’s unconstitutional act.

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‘Not One Day More’: Massive London Rally Says No to Austerity, Privatization

Jeremy Corbyn: “This is the age of imagination, this is the age in which we will achieve that decency and social justice that we all crave.”

By Common Dreams. Published 7-1-2017

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Parliament Square. Photo: UnitePolitics/Twitter

Tens of thousands marched through central London on Saturday to protest privatization and austerity that has led to cuts in spending for education and public services.

Many carried signs reading: “Austerity Kills,” “Cuts Cost Lives,” “Not One Day More,” and “Tories Out.”

After holding a minute’s silence in honor of the victims of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London, which killed at least 80 people, those in the crowd also staged a round of applause for the emergency services. Continue reading

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Following Attack, Corbyn Leads Call to Unveil Saudi Role in Fueling Extremism

“We have to get serious about cutting off the funding to these terror networks, including ISIS, here and in the Middle East,” Corbyn said

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-5-2017

Theresa May claimed selling arms to Saudi Arabia helps ‘keep people on the streets of Britain safe’, Screenshot: BBC

Two days following the terrorist attacks in London and three days before the culmination of what has become an unexpectedly competitive election, several U.K. political leaders are demanding that a government study reportedly implicating Saudi Arabia in the spread of violent extremism be made public.

“The inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups operating in the U.K. was commissioned by the former prime minister and is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis,” the Guardian recently reported. “However, 18 months later, the Home Office confirmed the report had not yet been completed and said it would not necessarily be published, calling the contents ‘very sensitive.'” Continue reading

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‘Fascist Rhetoric’ Becoming Commonplace in US and Europe: UN

Human rights chief’s warning comes as far-right Dutch politician favored to become Prime Minister is convicted of inciting discrimination

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-9-2016

People protest in the wake of Donald Trump's election. (Photo: Ben Alexander/flickr/cc)

People protest in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. (Photo: Ben Alexander/flickr/cc)

The “rhetoric of fascism” is on the rise in the U.S. and Europe, a United Nations official warned on Thursday, a disturbing trend that puts “unprecedented pressure” on human rights standards around the world.

“Anti-foreigner rhetoric full of unbridled vitriol and hatred is proliferating to a frightening degree, and is increasingly unchallenged,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. human rights chief. “The rhetoric of fascism is no longer confined to a secret underworld of fascists, meeting in ill-lit clubs or on the ‘Deep Net.’ It is becoming part of normal daily discourse.” Continue reading

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Refugees Welcome: Thousands March for ‘Humanity and Human Rights’ in UK

Amid global crises that have seen people forced from their homelands in unprecedented numbers, citizens call on UK government to open doors to those in need

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-17-2016

Photo: Refugee Action/Twitter

Photo: Refugee Action/Twitter

Pushing back against a tide of xenophobia which has gripped portions of Europe in recent years, thousands marched in central London on Saturday as they demanded the British government do more to help those forced from their homelands amid endless war in the Middle East and economic crises across Africa and beyond.

Under an overall message declaring “Refugees Welcome,” many of the estimated 30,000 people marching carried signs reading “We Stand with You”; “No to Islamophobia. No to war.”; “Safety is a human right”; and “No Human Being Is Illegal.” Continue reading

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How Europe Is Getting Rich by Fueling Its Own Terror Epidemic

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 8-3-2016 by The Anti-Media

Though Europe do not have the rates of gun violence the United States continues to grapple with, European governments have made over a billion euros by fueling gun violence in the Middle East and North Africa.

A report conducted by a team of reporters from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) found a group of European nations has been funneling arms into the Middle East region since 2012, making at least 1.2 billion euros in the process. Continue reading

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‘Divisive, Illiberal and Calculating’ Theresa May to be Crowned UK Prime Minister

“It is simply inconceivable that…May should be crowned prime minister without even having won an election in her own party, let alone the country”

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-11-2016

Theresa May could be appointed Prime Minister as soon as Thursday, the Guardian notes. (Photo: Surrey County Council News/flickr/cc)

Theresa May could be appointed Prime Minister as soon as Thursday, the Guardian notes. (Photo: Surrey County Council News/flickr/cc)

Conservative Party candidate Theresa May is set to be the new UK prime minister as her intra-party opponent, Andrea Leadsom, dropped out of the race on Monday in another post-Brexit political upheaval.

May received 199 votes from other Members of Parliament versus Leadsom’s 84 votes. The home office secretary is now expected to be formally confirmed by the Conservative Party board and the chairman of the Tory 1922 committee, clearing the way for her to be appointed prime minister by Tory MPs, who also have a majority in the House of Commons. Continue reading

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After Brexit, European Left Calls for ‘Massive Political Opposition’

‘What Europe needs more than ever to avoid a slide into a xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-24-2016

Photo: Amnesty international via Twitter

Photo: Amnesty international via Twitter

In the tumultuous aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the European left is responding with a mix of reason, measured reassurances, and righteous defiance.

Left Unity, a populist UK political party, released a statement early Friday morning that criticized the right-wing organizers of the Leave campaign and vowed to “step up the fight against neo-liberalism here—opposing all cuts, defending the NHS [National Health Service], fighting for decent housing—and across Europe.”

“In Brexit Britain, we still face austerity, poverty and extreme inequality: the rotten policies of our government are still here,” Left Unity’s executive committee said. “We deeply regret that the working people of Britain have been deceived and manipulated into believing that Brexit will bring about relief from the grinding austerity that is destroying lives and communities.” Continue reading

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