Corbyn and Labour
The Telegraph reports that Britain poised for Syria air strikes after Labour revolt against Jeremy Corbyn
Up to 60 Labour MPs could back military intervention in Syria in defiance of Jeremy Corbyn on the basis of a UN resolution calling for “combat by all means” to be used to wipe out Isil. Britain is poised to join air strikes against Isil in Syria after senior Labour MPs publicly defied Jeremy Corbyn and pledged cross-party support for international action in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, welcomed a UN security council resolution – passed on Friday night – calling for “combat by all means” to be used to wipe out Isil. The resolution was passed unanimously at the UN last night.
David Cameron called the unanimous UN decision an “important moment”. He said he would build the case for air strikes in Syria, adding that Britain “cannot expect others to shoulder the burdens and risks of protecting this country”.
And the Telegraph goes onto taking on of its customary pot-shots against Corbyn (he’s replaced Farage as their #1 target) with and opinion piece: “Jeremy Corbyn has presided over Labour’s worst week ever. Until next week”
The Labour Party has just had its worst week ever. Worst week ever, that is, since last week. And worst week ever, probably, until next week.
A crisis reveals all your weaknesses. Disrupting the normal run of events, it demands quick responses which themselves, in turn, rely on sound judgment. Leadership is tested – and the public see in an instant whether you are up to it… (describe recent crises)
And Jeremy Corbyn? He showed once more that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Asked about whether the police and security forces should have a shoot-to-kill policy, Corbyn struck precisely the wrong note. He could have supported existing policy in use of lethal force. He could have said he trusted the police in these difficult times. Instead he hesitated – clearly realising that his actual views were deeply unpopular ones – and half-heartedly described shoot to kill as “dangerous and counterproductive”. It was as bloodless a statement as has ever been made after a massacre.
Britain and Terrorism
The Daily Mail reports on ISIS’s chilling new tactic: Terror group tells British-based fanatics to stay hidden in the UK and wait until they get a signal to attack
British jihadis are being ordered by Islamic State to forget travelling to Syria, remain in the UK and wait for a signal to attack. Days before the Paris massacre, UK-based jihadis were being told of plans for imminent attacks in both France and Britain, messages seen by the Mail Investigations Unit suggest. They are being advised not to risk travelling to Syria but to stay hidden in Britain until ISIS commanders give ‘the signal’ to strike.
The orders, sent over the past few days on encrypted messaging sites, are almost impossible to verify. But security sources confirmed they are seeing a shift in ISIS tactics. The warnings will add to growing fears of attacks in the UK following the Paris massacre eight days ago in which 130 people were killed. The Mail Investigations Unit has been shown messages sent to a radicalised individual in the UK over the past two weeks encouraging would-be fighters to launch terror attacks in Britain.
Russia and Terrorism
The Independent leads with a headline “Russian missile fired at Isis inscribed with ‘That’s for Paris’”
Russian airmen have inscribed ‘That’s for Paris’ on the side of one of the bombs they plan to use against Isis in Syria. A picture of the bomb was shared from the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in the UK. Over the last month, the Russian military has conducted bombing missions in Syria and fired multiple cruise missiles at the Isis stronghold of Raqqa.
Russia has vowed to escalate its military campaign against Isis in Syria after it confirmed the Metrojet airliner which crashed in the Sinai, killing 224 passengers, was brought down by a bomb. However, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has previously criticised the strikes, saying they may have killed “several hundred” civilians.
The Guardian reports on the Mali attack: more than 20 dead after terrorist raid on Bamako hotel
A terror attack at a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital has left at least 21 people dead, including two militants, and highlighted the world’s growing vulnerability to extremist violence.
Less than a week after the Paris gun and suicide bomb attacks in which 130 people were killed, a group of heavily armed and seemingly well-trained gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.
They drove unchallenged into an inner compound, detonated grenades, opened fire at security guards and then took hostage about 170 people –among them diplomats, a celebrated Guinean singer and air crew from France and Turkey, as well as Indian and Chinese nationals. Three Chinese, one American and one Belgian were among the dead.
The Guardian reports that “Brussels put on high alert as Belgian authorities warn attack ‘imminent’”
Brussels was put on its highest alert level on Saturday as Belgian officials warned the public to avoid crowds because of a “serious and imminent” threat of an attack. The level four threat was declared following a meeting of top ministers, police and security services.
“The advice for the population is to avoid places where a lot of people come together like shopping centres, concerts, events or public transport stations wherever possible,” a spokesman for the government’s crisis centre said.
The level for the whole country was raised a week ago following the Paris attacks to level three out of four, implying a “possible or probable” threat. Previously only certain sites, such as the US embassy, were at level three.
Belgium, and its capital in particular, have been at the centre of investigations into the Paris attacks after it emerged that two of the suicide bombers had been living in the country. Three people detained in Brussels are facing terrorism charges.
Osborne and Conservatives
The Independent reports that the charts that show George Osborne’s hopes of becoming Tory leader are fading
George Osborne’s hopes of succeeding David Cameron as the next Tory leader have been dashed, according to a new poll that shows Boris Johnson and Theresa May ahead of the Chancellor among Conservative supporters. The Mayor of London now leads among Conservative voters and the general public, with the Home Secretary second in both categories.
An Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard found that Mr Johnson is the favourite candidate for leader among a third of Conservative supporters, a quarter back Ms May, while the number of Tories who prefer Mr Osborne has slumped to 23 per cent, slipping from first to third in the space of six weeks.
Boris is now the favourite among Tory voters. And Boris remains the favourite among the public as a whole.
Greece, Refugees and Terrorism
The Mail tells us that Fingerprints now reveal that TWO of the Paris suicide bombers had entered Europe through Greece a month before the attacks
Fingerprints have revealed that two of the Stade de France suicide bombers had entered Europe through Greece last month. The France v Germany friendly international football match was abandoned after three jihadists blew themselves up outside the ground, as part of a number of attacks in Paris which killed 130 people. Two of the bombers were Ahmed al Mohammad and Bilal Hafdi. The third person has not been identified.
At least one suicide bomber had a ticket to the Stade de France and wanted to enter the stadium before exploding, but was rejected by a security officer. Thousands of fans ran onto the pitch at the country’s national stadium after the explosions went off. It has now emerged that two of the ISIS militants were checked by Greek authorities on October 3, according to prosecutors in the French capital.
In the Telegraph, Andrew Lilico asks “Could pension fund management be the next big mis-selling scandal?”
In finance, when discussing what is called “asset management” (think of things like pension funds and unit trusts), it is normal to distinguish between two main ways these assets are managed.
Most assets are managed “actively”. This means there are people (or computer programs) whose job it is to decide when and what to buy and sell, and they trade in and out of the market based on analysis or instinct so as to try to achieve the best returns they can whilst taking no more risk than intended. More than three quarters of the assets managed by UK funds are actively managed.
The other way assets are managed is called “passive” management. The best-known types of passively managed fund is a stock market “tracker” fund, whereby the money in the fund is invested so that its value tracks a stock market index such as the FTSE 100. One can think of such a fund as invested in the stock market in the 100 stocks that make up the FTSE 100, in proportion to their weights in that index. So the value of the fund goes up and down exactly in line with the index – it “tracks” it.
UK Terrorism Scares
The Express reports that a Jewish school EVACUATED and bomb squad sent in as faith leader warns Jews of terror risk
A British religious leader has warned Jews to be “extra vigilant” in light of the Paris terror attacks after the primary school incident. A bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion at the Tiferes Yisroel Jewish Boarding School in Gateshead when a suspicious package was found just outside the student’s dormitories.
Police have since released a photo of the ‘package’ which has been declared safe. One eyewitness said: “The alarm was raised after a ‘specially placed’ suitcase was found behind the dormitories of a Jewish boarding school.” Police had earlier cordoned off Gladstone Terrace, in Bensham, Gateshead, when the suitcase was found at the rear of the school.
The school also sent children and staff home and neighbours in nearby homes were escorted from their houses after the package. Police have since allowed people back into the roads surrounding the school following the explosion.
They also report about explosion in Enfield as bomb squad called to suspect device – 2nd London alert in 24 hrs
Police were called to Enfield, north London, at 8.30am this morning to reports of an abandoned “briefcase” outside a cafe in the town centre. Officers sealed off the high street after the suspect package was found outside Cafe Nero in Church Street. The Met confirmed a controlled explosion had taken place but officers were later “stood down” as it was found not to have been a bomb.
Judith and Brian Cornfoot, managers of the local market, said it was “very worrying”. The couple told the Enfield Independent: “It seems like you can’t go anywhere any more without something like this. “People are very concerned, we have had quite a few elderly people come up to us and ask what is happening.”
Grey Zones and Terrorism
Jonathan Freedland has an opinion piece in The Guardian: “Let’s deny Isis its binary struggle – and celebrate the grey zone”
The grey zone is where I want to live. Islamic State hates it, that place between black and white, where nothing is ever either/or and everything is a bit of both. Those who have studied the organisation tell us “the grey zone” – Isis’s phrase – is high on the would-be warriors’ to-eradicate list, along with all those other aspects of our world that so terrify them: women, statues of the past, the pleasures of the present.
Specifically, the grey zone refers to the sphere of coexistence where Muslim and non-Muslim might live together. That’s anathema to the frightened young men of Isis, who yearn for a world divided on binary lines, with room for only two categories – them and the infidel. Such a world would be as clean and neat as computer code, with Isis the ones and the rest of us reduced to zeros.
Andrew Neil and Terrorism
The Independent references Andrew Neil’s welcome outburst on “This Week” with “Andrew Neil delivers ‘best opening message ever’ to ‘jihadist losers’ about futility of Isis terror attacks”
Andrew Neil delivered what some declared to be his finest opening monologue to date on the BBC1 show The Week on Thursday in response to the Paris terror attacks. Neil followed the example set by British satirist John Oliver by highlighting Paris’ unparalleled culture and warning Isis it stands no chance of destroying such an impressive civilisation.
` While Oliver opened his monologue on Last Week Tonight by describing the militant terror group as “gigantic f**king assholes”, Neil dismissed the terrorists as “a bunch of loser jihadists [who] slaughtered a bunch of innocents in Paris to prove the future belongs to them, rather than a civilisation like France”.
In his rousing message, he listed the artists and theorists who shaped French culture and who continue to overshadow the terror group’s savage and regressive beliefs and acts.
SBS and Terrorism
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the Royal Navy and is the crack unit that attracts many Royal Marines, like the SAS does the Paras. Its teams have similar training to the SAS but they do extra training for amphibious, underwater and river assaults against terrorists and enemy forces.
The SBS play a huge role in spying on targets from close targets, gathering intelligence close to enemy or positions, calling in air strikes and launching quick and devastating attacks. They go back to the Second World War when commandos played an essential role in attacking German forces deep behind enemy lines.
In the 1940s they were known as he Special Boat Section in 1940 before being renamed the Special Boat Squadron after the Second World War and the Special Boat Service in the 1980s. There are four SBS squadrons and their headquarters is based close to the coast in the South West in the UK.