French Imams, Sellafield Dumping And Syria Round Up

So much to blog so little time to do it. I have been meaning to do a couple of posts and roundups, but never finally get round to finishing off. In the interim, this is a meagre effort.

Given the background to recent events, this visit was a very positive move:

“(JTA) — Dozens of imams have commemorated the Holocaust at a monument near Paris.

Monday’s event took place at Drancy, a suburb of the French capital where tens of thousands of Jews were confined in 1942 before being transported to extermination camps during the German Nazi occupation. The French paper Le Figaro called the event unprecedented.

France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, who also attended the cermony, said the imams’ presence there made for “a very strong image that speaks better than words and speeches,” according to the website of the French television station TF1. He added: “The world needs peace and harmony, people who engage in dialogue and listen.”

Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy and a veteran activist for dialogue between Muslims and Jews in France and against anti-Semitism, hosted the imams.

Le Figaro reported at least 100 imams were expected to arrive to Drancy. The event, according to the report, was the initiative of Chalghoumi and the French Jewish novelist Marek Halter.”

Despite six decades of experience, the management Sellafield (Windscale) do not really understand their duties and responsibilities. They have been dumping nuclear waste in landfill sites.

Even Centrica are walking away from these failures.

The tame Public Accounts Committee have criticised the inability to deal with nuclear waste:

“An enormous legacy of nuclear waste has been allowed to build up on the Sellafield site. Over decades, successive governments have failed to get to grips with this critical problem, to the point where the total lifetime cost of decommissioning the site has now reached £67.5 billion, and there’s no indication of when that cost will stop rising.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority believes that its decommissioning plan is credible but it has not been sufficiently tested and uncertainties remain – not least around what precisely is in the waste that lies in the legacy ponds and silos. “

The situation in Syria worsens by the day. The International Rescue Committee’s report made grim reading. Only recently some 800 people were killed in one week. Eight hundred.

Coverage in the Western media barely reflects the seriousness of the situation. Nearly 5,000 are estimated to be killed, every month in Syria. The Daily Beast’s coverage is better than most, but hardly what is needed.

In other news, Chris Huhme won’t be expelled from LibDems for bare faced lying.

Charley Windsor screws the workers.

The F-Word’s Caring and living in poverty is an absorbing piece. Robert Reich’s new documentary, Inequality for All, looks at the issues from an unconventional angle.

Finally, NBC reports on the full-on crisis in Syria:

“”This is a full-on crisis,” Adrian Edwards, spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing in Geneva. “There was a huge increase in January alone; we’re talking about a 25 percent increase in registered refugee numbers over a single month.”

Since the conflict began two years ago, more than 787,000 Syrians have registered as refugees or are awaiting processing in the region, mainly in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, he said.

In Syria, water shortages are worsening and supplies are sometimes contaminated, putting children at an increased risk of diseases, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday.”

Google’s Tax, Awful Pam Geller And The Census

Google didn’t pay a lot of tax last year, according to Mashable.

The truly awful Pam Geller, friend of the English Defence League, was on Russell Brand’s TV show and surprise, surprise she lied:

“BRANDX TRANSCRIPT.

Russell: “Do you believe President Obama supports jihad against America?”
Pamela: “Only in Libya. . . . [He’s] not pro-jihad.”

FACT CHECK. On her blog, Pamela has written that “one thing is for sure: [Barack] Hussein [Obama] is a muhammadan. He’s not insane ………..he wants jihad to win.”

The Daily Mail and Home County types are having a fit about the latest British census, whilst one family of scroungers are planning a slap up Christmas.

Ripped-Off Britons shows how UK national debt isn’t as big as the Tories make out.

Open democracy had a good report from Oliver Huitson, How the BBC betrayed the NHS: an exclusive report on two years of censorship and distortion.

British Royals Suck Up to Bahrain’s Despot

 

Never one to let human rights get the way of business and old pals Her Majesty’s Government, in the form of  Lilibet, has invited the King of Bahrain to lunch:

“The King of Bahrain, whose regime has been accused of brutally suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations, will have lunch with the Queen in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee.

The Middle East ruler is one of a number of foreign monarchs criticised for their human rights records or extravagant lifestyles who have been invited to dine with the British Royal Family.

Buckingham Palace has released a guest list for the Sovereign Monarchs lunch being held at Windsor Castle – the biggest gathering of foreign royals in the UK since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding last year.

Bahrain’s King Hamad Al-Khalifa has been condemned as a despot by former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane in the run up to the lunch.

The Labour MP said many would regret Foreign Secretary William Hague’s decision to approve the inclusion of the Middle East ruler. But the Foreign Office has stressed it is supporting Bahrain in its attempts to improve its human rights.

Guests from controversial regimes include Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Sheikh Nasser Mohamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait and Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Mr MacShane said: “Arab nations must let their citizens vote in free elections and let them speak without fear of arrest, torture or death.

“For too long we have turned a blind eye to the repression carried out under the rule of royals in Arabia.

“The FCO should protect the British Queen rather than expose her to having to dine with a despot.” “

Lest we forget, the Guardian’s page on Bahrain.

Meeting Bahrain’s hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.

AI’s page on Bahrain.

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