ISIS and Oil
The Telegraph has a story “Iraq oil bonanza reaps $1 million a day for Islamic State”
Islamic State jihadists are raising as much as $1 million a day from the sale of crude oil recovered from conquered oilfields in Iraq that is then smuggled on to Turkey and Iran.
Oil industry experts believe the group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Isis) is able to command $25 a barrel for crude its fighters are moving in tankers from the oil plains south of Mosul.
Middlemen based in the Kurdistan region of Iraq are able to turn a handsome profit on the supplies by selling its abroad for refining into the more valuable petroleum and diesel products.
Right to Die
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is supporting moves to legalise assisted dying, it has emerged. His intervention is a dramatic breach with the official line of the Church of England. It comes days before the House of Lords considers a Bill tabled by Lord Falconer allowing doctors to prescribe terminally ill patients a lethal dose of drugs.
Lord Carey argues that upholding the sanctity of human life without regard to suffering caused in the process could go against the spirit of Christian teaching. He will point to the fact that Christians already rely on the ethical principle of “double effect” to justify giving terminally ill patients doses of painkillers which will ultimately kill them.
The Independent reports on both Carey and Welby, revealing the latter’s opposing viewpoint.
Police and the Public
The Telegraph has an amazing report headed “Police officers must swear to be polite”
Police officers will face disciplinary action if they fail to be polite to the public in a bid to re-build trust under a new code of ethics, ministers will announce next week.
A 10-point code-of-ethics, which it is anticipated will be published next week, will require officers to treat the public and their colleagues with “courtesy and respect”.
Other parts of the code will advise officers against turning up for work “unfit or impaired for duty as a result of drinking alcohol”, using drugs and having sex while on duty.
Call us old-fashioned, but polite and respectable behaviour is what we have always expected from our police, although in many cases it has been sadly lacking in recent years.
The Guardian reports that “David Cameron to promote women and younger men in cabinet reshuffle”
David Cameron is planning to embark on the most far-reaching reconstruction of his government next week as he promotes a new generation of women and younger men in an attempt to present a youthful and modern face of the Tory party to Britain at next year’s general election.
A series of older men known as the “old lags” will be sacked – or will take matters into their own hands by announcing long-planned retirements – when the prime minister carries out his final planned cabinet reshuffle before the election. The most senior Tory cabinet ministers – George Osborne, William Hague and Theresa May – are expected to remain in place
James Kirkup of the Telegraph has an interesting take on the re-shuffle, also focusing on the UK’s next EU Commissioner with “Why David Cameron should send Theresa May to Brussels”
I shan’t reprise the debate about the need for a top-rank nominee in order to secure a good commission job for Britain. If you discount Andrew Lansley – as many now do – then David Lidington and David Willetts would both be good commissioners. But neither are full Cabinet ministers, and that would make it that little bit easier for President Juncker to give them lesser commission posts rather than, say, the plum Internal Markets job…
…What Mr Cameron needs is a hard-hitting Conservative heavyweight with a record of delivery. Someone who has the backing of the Tory Right. Someone who brooks no nonsense from bureaucrats or European politicos. If that person was a woman, that would be an added bonus too.
The Mirror also reports on the story, alleging it will be a move to the Right.
Israel and Gaza
The Guardian runs a piece “Israel continues Gaza bombardment, pushing death toll past 120” which seems to ignore the daily attacks on Israel.
Israel has vowed no easing of its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has killed at least 120 Palestinians, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. A charity for disabled people was reported to be among the latest targets struck as the Palestinians and their international supporters began drafting a UN resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire”…
…Israel says preparations are under way for a possible ground attack, with tanks and artillery massed along the border and 33,000 reservists mobilised out of 40,000 approved by the cabinet.
The Independent reports in much the same way.
John Harris of The Guardian argues that “The third Scotland won’t be denied – whatever the referendum result”
The session is titled Seven minutes to Yes. Seven supporters of the organisation Women for Independence take 420 seconds each to explain why they will be voting yes in September’s referendum, by talking not just about politics and ideals but about their own personal stories.
What follows is often very moving: accounts of nitty-gritty experience spanning two or three generations that dovetail into ideas of equality and social justice. One woman, Selma Rahman, reaches into her pockets for a pair of scissors and her Labour membership card, and then cuts up a symbol of at least three decades of loyalty – in protest, she says, at what she sees as Labour’s tolerance of the social model that has given us food banks. This is one of many reminders not just of the human foundations on which politics ought to be based but of the kind of raw humanity that is sorely lacking south of the border.
South of the border those who see Labour abandoning the working classes are turning to UKIP, but north of the border it seems there is another growing movement, albeit very socialist.
“Saving the Planet”
They are still at it, nanny state telling us that there is a global warming catastrophe coming, and that it is every citizen’s duty to do something about it, with this Daily Mail report: “Get rid of large TVs and fridges if you want to save the planet: Government report tells families to downsize”
Familes should buy smaller TVs and fridges to help save the environment, a government report has claimed. Ditching large televisions and fridge-freezers could save households up to £36 a year on bills, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change. It also suggested drying clothes outside between April and October instead of using a tumble-drier.
Cambridge Architectural Research and Loughborough University, commissioned by the Government, found that the environmental effects of buying larger appliances could not be offset by choosing ‘energy-efficient’ models.
A 52-inch TV with an A+ energy rating, for example, still uses more electricity than a 42-inch TV with a lower A rating. The researchers found that the typical family fridge has grown in volume by two-fifths since 1985, while the average television had grown by more than seven inches since 2004.
The Mail reports on the NHS Gastric Bands plan “Thousands more to get obesity ops on the NHS: NICE calls for huge increase in surgery – but even obesity charities condemn it”
Free weight-loss surgery could be offered to nearly a million diabetes patients. The health watchdog yesterday called for more obese people with the condition to be considered for a gastric band or bypass. At a stroke, NICE’s ruling doubles to 1.8million the numbers qualifying for taxpayer-funded surgery.
But campaigners said it was wrong to offer operations costing £5,000 when the NHS faces a £30billion deficit and NICE is denying cancer patients life-extending drugs. They warned the obese should instead be told to eat less and exercise more.
In our view, there should be no emotion in this decision, it is a simple cost-benefit analysis – what’s the case between a one-off £5,000 operation and the chances of reducing ongoing healthcare costs, in particular for diabetes caused by being overweight. Also, some people may be able to engage in employment instead of being on benefits because of being obese.
The Express reports that “Authorities ‘don’t have a clue’ how many ILLEGAL foreign drivers are on UK roads”
It is reckoned that 15,000 foreigners fail to register their vehicles – costing £3million a year in tax – but the RAC says the actual number is far more given that 2.5 million cars each year use Eurotunnel. Unregistered cars escape MoT tests, avoid speeding and parking fines, go uninsured and are so hard to trace they are used by criminals.
But although the UK Border Force logs cars on entry, the information is not given to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, nor to the police. Pete Williams, of the RAC, said: “It is beyond belief that in the 21st century Government agencies are not sharing information. We don’t have a clue about the true number of foreign cars in the UK.” This is likely to anger the millions of UK motorists who play by the rules and pay their way to use the roads.
On a different motoring tack the Mirror reports that David Cameron is fast-tracking legislation to enable “Formula 1 race on the streets of Britain’s cities edges”
Immigration and Benefits
The Express reports on the “Slovakian mother of 11 boasts of easy time on UK benefits: ‘We have a good life here’”
Katarina Cisarova says she has “everything she wants” since moving from her homeland to the UK seven years ago. The 43-year-old who lives in Rotherham, Yorks., has worked for just one month since arriving but still rakes in £430 a week in hand-outs. Her husband and 10 of her 11 children are also unemployed.
But, with her £22,340 annual income from handouts, she says her life is “very nice” – and she will never go back home. She said: “We have a good life here. We have everything that we want here. We didn’t have flats like this council house in Slovakia. We didn’t have electricity or radiators, we didn’t have anything! My country no have job, no food, nothing. I’m not going back, not ever. I like it here in England.”