Bellingcat linked to Western special services, says Russian foreign minister

16 October 2018 — TASS

Lavrov recalled that the Western reporters “openly write about this”

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Bellingcat, a UK-based open source and social media investigation site, is linked to special services, which use it to “dump” information aimed to sway public opinion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in an interview with the Euronews channel.

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SYRIA EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Beeley Meets the White Helmets and Armed Group Leader in Daraa Al Balad

17 October 2018 — 21st CenturyWire

[This is a massive and comprehensive resource on the terrorist organisation, funded by the US and British imperialists, the so-called White Helmets. So large in fact, that just transposing to The New Dark Age, is too complicated due to format conversion, so I’ve decided to put up a section of it instead with a link through to the complete article. But this resource needs as wide a distribution as possible. I think it sets a benchmark for independent journalists investigating the machinations of the Empire. Read on . . . WB]

Leader of the White Helmet center in Daraa Al Balad, Abu Mohanad Al Mahamid talks to Vanessa Beeley on 20th September 2018. (Photo: Screenshot from video of interview)

Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire 

“If you shout at us we will cry, we are so sensitive” Abu Mohanad Al Mahamid told me on the 20th September 2018.  Al Mahamid is the leader of the still-functioning White Helmet center in Dara’a Al Balad to the south of Damascus in Syria. Al Mahamid had donned his white helmet for the camera before he spoke to us about the role of these White Helmets who had remained in Dara’a Al Balad, when other White Helmet members had boarded the buses for Idlib with Nusra Front or for Israel and Jordan as part of the special evacuation organised by the members of the US Coalition. 

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Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances By Finian Cunningham

17 October 2018 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow By Ben Trent

16 October 2018 — WSWS

In the latest quarterly report of NHS Improvement (NHSI), the combined forecast deficit of NHS trusts stands at a staggering £519 million.

NHSI is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as “independent providers” operating within the NHS. This figure has been deemed “unaffordable” by NHSI. Trusts across England were already at a total deficit of £814 million at the close of June, roughly £80 million worse than the same time last year.

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Chemical Weapons In Syria? BBC Panorama Relies On Questionable Research

16 October 2018 — Tim Hayward

This is a press release issued by the Global Network for Syria (Corresponding author Baroness Cox <carolinecox1@outlook.com>)

A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings.

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Police still not investigating Leave campaigns, citing ‘political sensitivities’

11 October 2018 — Open Democracy

James Cusick and Adam Ramsay

Exclusive: Months after Scotland Yard received ‘substantial’ evidence of potential criminality by pro-Leave groups, nothing has happened. Is the police probe destined for the political long-grass?

The Metropolitan Police has stalled the launch of any criminal investigation into three pro-Brexit campaigns – citing “political sensitivities”, openDemocracy can reveal today. Despite being handed their first dossier of evidence of potential crimes committed by pro-Leave groups over five months ago, the police force has made no progress nor logged a formal case into the activities of either Vote Leave, fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, or Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign bankrolled by Arron Banks.

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Grenfell Tower: Survivors and bereaved give evidence—“We will not be silenced anymore” By Paul Bond

13 October 2018 — WSWS

The official inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017, which claimed 72 lives, has been hearing testimony from survivors, relatives and the bereaved about the events of that night.

The Inquiry is separating evidence about the night’s events from submissions on wider issues concerning the responsibility for the fire of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO)—which managed the building on its behalf. These are scheduled for Phase Two of the Inquiry, which will not begin until after December.

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