Tag Archives: War and riots

Milestone of the unwanted virus: British civilians who died are now at the height of World War II | Instant News

There were 100,000 people killed – out of a population of 67 million. In the US, the country hardest hit by the virus, more than 420,000 have died out of a population of 330 million.

One hundred thousand dead. For perspective: That’s just over 3,000 more than witnessing England’s lone World Cup win in 1966 at Wembley Stadium when The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon” topped the pop charts. And more than 30,000 spectators who gathered two decades later at the same famous venue for the Live Aid concert.

Here are some of Britain’s struggles with civilian deaths during World War II and since.


In World War II, threats to Britain existed. During the 1940-1941 German Blitz, bombs rained down on London and other strategic cities. The disobedience, resilience and fortitude of the population during these months was known as “Spirit Blitz”.

This has been invoked during a series of crises over the years by the British government and politicians of various lines. The current crop, led by Winston Churchill-loving Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has used that as a mindset to combat the coronavirus crisis.

But folklore about that zeal is built on a healthy dose of propaganda to keep the British on their toes in their darkest hours. There is no 24/7 cable TV news detailing deaths, infections and scams, nor is there any social media peddling a conspiracy theory that the virus is all a hoax. However, there was disproportionate suffering at the time, as there is now, from those less fortunate in life to begin with.

Endurance has survived; What other options are there? But the only defiance that anyone but frontline workers has shown in 2021 appears to be primarily those of those who violate the lockdown guidelines, which they see as a violation of their personal freedom – thus jeopardizing the health of others.


“It’s far from me to paint a picture of a bright future. Indeed, I don’t think we should be justified in using anything but the darkest tones and colors while our people … are going through a dark and deadly valley, Wartime Leader. Churchill said at the time.

Such an image could resonate in the British Isles today as it battles a deadly wave of coronavirus mutations, placing the sacred National Health Service under the most severe stress since its founding in 1948.

In the final phase of the war from 1944-1945, the Nazi rocket campaign, particularly the V2, was deployed to its dire effect, with east and south London receiving the burdens of bombardment and death as they did during the Blitz. Thousands of civilians in residential communities died as a result of these V2 rocket attacks.


There have been other moments of the UK’s recent national trauma, particularly from the 1970s to before the pre-pandemic period. It is mainly based on attacks on civilians in the center of a large city.

There was an Irish Republican Army mainland campaign in response to the British Army’s military operations in Northern Ireland. It targets people in pubs, parks and shopping areas as well as government and representative buildings. Death is in the dozen.

The Pan Am 103 bombing over the Scottish town of Lockerbie a few days before Christmas 1988, by Libyan agents, claimed more than 40 British lives in the air and on the ground, as well as 190 Americans and victims from many other countries.

The second deadliest extremist attack came after Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ill-fated decision to join the war and the US-led occupation of Iraq. Local extremists inspired by al-Qaida attacked London’s transportation system on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people.

Islamic State group-inspired attacks in recent years claimed dozens of lives at several London locations as well as at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017. ISIS was conquered in Iraq and Syria, and a spate of attacks abated in Britain’s Brexit, divisive and angry though most bloodless, then engulfed and divided the nation.

Then came the pandemic.


Tamer Fakahany is AP’s deputy director for global news coordination and has helped direct international coverage for AP for 18 years. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tamerfakahany


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New laws crack down on shell companies to fight corruption | Instant News

MIAMI – During his years as a federal prosecutor in New York, Daniel R. Alonso led a team that had to search through a maze of anonymously owned corporate entities to uncover criminal activity.

“It took all kinds of shoe leather investigations to identify who was really behind this shell company,” recalls Alonso. “You have to call bank records and attorneys, as well as human sources, and even then you often get stuck.”

Now, thanks to overhauling US money laundering laws, finding results from foreign bribery, drug trafficking and funding for terrorists can be as easy as a few button presses.

The new law quietly passed by Congress last month after a decade of fighting is the most widespread banking reform of its kind since the entry into force of the Patriot Act, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

For the first time, shell companies will be asked to name their owners or face harsh penalties and imprisonment. The information will be stored in confidential databases that can be accessed by federal law enforcement and shared with banks that are often unwitting accomplices of international corruption.

“It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if this law changed the game in some serious way,” said Alonso, who is now in private practice advising clients on corruption and anti-foreign money laundering issues.

This was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, in 2010 and initially faced opposition from bureaucratic-worrying banks and business groups as well as states like Delaware and Wyoming, which rake in significant revenue from registrations every year in the US from nearly 2 million companies and limited liability companies. .

But a series of international financial scandals involving soccer’s governing body FIFA and Malaysia’s development bank 1MDB, as well as the leak of the so-called Panama Papers, have finally tempered criticism by revealing the important role played by secret shell companies in hiding sales proceeds. from illicit activity.

The US financial system – the largest and most stable in the world – has long been a dirty money magnet. But tools to prevent abuse by criminals cannot keep up with technology and the proliferation of instant online transactions across borders.

The new law seeks to strengthen controls by creating a registry maintained by the Treasury that will contain the names of the real owners of both domestic and foreign shell companies doing business in the US.

Creating a shell company in a state like Delaware requires a little more than a $ 90 fee payment and a one-page letter listing the name of the entity, PO Box, and registered agents who are often law firms dedicated to churning out large numbers of companies. The real owners are rarely registered, their identities hidden under the subsidiary network. But once created, the entity can be used to purchase legitimate assets, such as real estate, using illicit funds that are clandestinely transferred to US bank accounts.

One Delaware-based company, Essential Consultants LLC, was used by Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to conceal a secret payment of money to porn star Stormy Daniels. Others registered in the state have been linked to Venezuela’s corrupt military officers, drug-trafficking guerrillas from Colombia and former Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.

“Congress is too late to recognize that secrecy is alive and well in the United States,” said David P. Weber, a former US Treasury investigator who was one of two experts who reviewed the Panama Papers prior to publication. He is now professor of forensic accounting at Salisbury University in Maryland. “Kleptocrats and corrupt foreign officials don’t need secret bank accounts in Switzerland. They are here. “

Not overly lauded, the law also dramatically expanded the rewards for whistleblowers. In particular, individuals who submit evidence of financial irregularities are entitled to receive up to 30% of the money seized by the Ministry of Finance or the Department of Justice if their information leads to successful law enforcement action. Previously, awards were capped at $ 150,000.

“This could be a secret sauce,” said Michael Nadler, a retired federal prosecutor in Miami who has recently filed charges against dozens of corrupt Venezuelan officials. “This has the potential to arm low-ranking company officials who have access to sensitive client information and see criminal behavior.”

The Ministry of Justice will also have expanded powers to prosecute foreign bank account records if they suspect criminal activity. And the law also extends control over the trade in high-value antiques. Expensive artwork – a vehicle often used to hide the proceeds of corruption – could also be brought within the scope of anti-money laundering laws pending studies that the government has to produce in one year.

While it may take some time for the impact of the law to be felt, experts believe it will distance the US from some of the dirty money from overseas that has driven up real estate prices in major cities such as New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

But no one expected crime and corruption to stop. One of the legal flaws, said former Treasury Department investigator Weber, was that it would push crime further into the dark, away from the US to less reputable jurisdictions where secrecy remained.

“In many ways,” he said, “it’s like a million dollar game.”


Follow Goodman on Twitter: @APJoshGoodman


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Swiss probe knife attack injures 2 possible terrorism | World | Instant News

GENEVA (AP) – Swiss authorities are investigating a possible “terrorist” attack that stabbed two women at a department store in the southern city of Lugano, where a suspect has been arrested. Police said the women’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Swiss federal police said on their Twitter feed that the attack “possibly terrorist motivations” took place in the Italian-speaking city of Lugano on Tuesday afternoon, and federal prosecutors are investigating.

The federal prosecutor’s office said that “suspected terrorist attacks against several people in a department store” had taken place.

Police in the southern Ticino region, including Lugano, said a 28-year-old Swiss national living in the Lugano area allegedly attacked two women, injuring one in the neck with a sharp weapon.

In a statement, Ticino police said one of the victims was seriously injured but not life-threatening, while the other had minor injuries.

Catherine Maret, spokeswoman for the federal police, said the suspect was “known to the police” and “has recently appeared in a police investigation into terrorism” – specifically jihadism. He declined to comment further.

He declined to comment on Swiss media reports showing that the attacker chanted “Allahu Akbar” – God is great – during the incident.

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Italy, France consider notifying Tunisian migrant vessels | World | Instant News

Lamorgese said he and Darmarin discussed a plan that would involve deploying “naval or air assets that can alert Tunisian authorities to eventual departure” and help them intercept boats, “in their autonomy that we don’t want to violate.”

Under the plan, there will only be a warning that we will provide Tunisian authorities to make it easier to track ships departing from the region to reach the Italian coast, the Italian minister said. consider the Tunisian government collaboration. “

After his morning meeting in Rome, Darmarin said he would head to Tunisia, Algeria and the island nation of Malta to discuss issues of migration and terrorism.

“France and Italy must show a similar position to combat clandestine immigration at the European level,” he said.

Darmarin was asked whether after the recent terror attacks in France, the French government should adopt laws such as the USA Patriot Act which was introduced after the September 11, 2001 attacks to increase efforts to detect and prevent terrorism.

“More than the Patriot Act, what is needed is a European Act,” Darmarin replied. “France alone cannot oppose Islamist policies.”

Tunisia is one of the few countries that has a repatriation agreement with Italy. But with thousands of Tunisian citizens arriving by sea recently and fewer than 100 migrants driven back to the North African country by air each week, priority is given to individuals believed to be dangerous. There was no indication Nice striker Ibrahim Issaoui, 21, was a threat, said Lamorgese.


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German Defense Minister: US withdrawal plan ‘regrettable’ | Government & Politics | Instant News

The reaction of the German government so far against the US decision has been restrained. However, Rolf Muetzenich, a senior figure in the governing junior coalition party, the center-left Social Democratic, suggested that “arms cooperation must be evaluated in a new perspective.”

Muetzenich, head of the party’s parliamentary group, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that “disorder and pressure” cannot be “the basis for working together in partnerships.”

His comments have drawn criticism from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party. MP Roderich Kiesewetter told the dpa news agency that “so far there has not been an adequate and affordable substitute” in Europe for US defense industry’s high-tech products. He argues that there are also checks and balances on Trump in the US

Another MP, Henning Otte, said Social Democrats should not speak of “further alienation in the alliance.”

Part of the plan announced by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper included moving the headquarters of the US European Command to Mons, Belgium from Stuttgart, Germany. Esper said the Pentagon would also move the US African Command out of the German city.

The African Command said in a statement on Friday that it had “been told to plan to move” and had begun to do so, although adding that “it would likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and make decisions.”


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