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Posted by: Tom Morris
11/08/2017

 

Tensions between North Korea and the US continue to rise. Defence secretary James Mattis has commented that he hopes to solve the crisis through diplomacy as a war would be “catastrophic”. President Trump has said that North Korea should be “very, very nervous” in the instance of acting against the US and has threatened them with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen”. The relationship has become more strained in recent weeks after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles. This week Pyongyang announced that it was planning the fire of four missiles near the US territory of Guam, a small Pacific island where US strategic bombers and 160,000 US citizens are based. The UN Security Council has stepped in and agreed fresh sanctions against North Korea. The country’s closest ally, China, has used it’s Global Times newspaper to declare it would stay neutral during any attack on the US from North Korea; although if the attack comes from the US with the intention of forcing regime change, then China must intervene to prevent it. Meanwhile Australia has demonstrated its solidarity with the US, Prime Minister Turnbull said it would honour it’s commitment to the Anzus Treaty and come to America’s aid. (Source – BBC News)

Brexit will ensure that the Conservative Party never wins a majority again. Former party advisor James Chapman has declared that the “disaster” of Brexit will destroy the Tories chances of ever winning power again. He believes that angry voters will wreak their revenge on the Tories especially after May’s hard Brexit plan which will “take our economy off a cliff and make Black Wednesday look like a picnic.” Chapman, who was Chief of Staff to Brexit Secretary David Davis, revealed that two Cabinet Ministers are interested in his call for forming a new political party to fight the withdrawal from the EU. He however denied that George Osborne was behind the push for a new party. Brexit-backing Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, has poured cold water on Chapman’s suggestion that Cabinet minsters will quit to try and halt leaving the EU, claiming about 70% want Brexit delivered. (Source – The Independent)

Grenfell donations not reaching survivors. According to the Charity Commission over £18.9 million has been collected for the victims of the disaster in June, but only £2.8 million had been passed on to those who needed it. Three appeals from the Red Cross, Kensington and Chelsea Foundation and the Evening standard raised the majority of the money. David Holdsworth, the registrar of charities in England & Wales commented that it was unusual for the commission to get involved as a regulator but as the victim’s need was so urgent and the generosity of the public was so great, it was right to step in to ensure that the best interested of those affected was served. BMELawyers4Grenfell said they were appalled by the lack of transparency and accountability over funds raised so far and that complaints from the community were being ignored. The Red Cross said every penny raised by them would go to surviving victims. However some of the money has been passed onto to organisations responsible for distributing funds, but only a small fraction has actually been handed out by them. An audio recording online has revealed a Red Cross volunteer saying that survivors would probably not get any more compensation money beyond a series of relatively modest initial payments. (Source – The Guardian)

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