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MI5 Chief, Andrew Parker: Britain Facing ‘Worst Terror Threat’ I’ve Ever Seen In 34 Years

Francesca Gillett
a man wearing a suit and tie         © Provided by Independent Print Limited

The head of MI5 has said Britain is now facing the worst terror threat he has ever seen in his 34-year career.

Andrew Parker, director general of the security service, gave a rare public speech, calling the threat “multi-dimensional, evolving rapidly and operating at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before”.

Another 20 terrorist attacks on the UK were foiled over the past four years and “many more” were prevented, he said.

The intelligence chief said there has been a “dramatic upshift” this year, which resulted in the London and Manchester attacks which killed a total of 36 people.

a man wearing a suit and tie: andrewparkermi5-0.jpg      © Provided by Independent Print Limited andrewparkermi5-0.jpg  

Mr Parker added it’s impossible for MI5 to stop every attack, but that the service is identifying and disrupting threats all the time.

“In 2017, with all that has happened and much that has not, it is clear that we are contending with an intense UK terrorist threat from Islamist extremists,” Mr Parker told journalists in London.

“Twenty attacks in the UK have been foiled over the past four years,” he said. “Many more will have been prevented by the early interventions we and the police make. There have been a record number of terrorism-related arrests: 379 in the year to June.”

He said continental Europe has faced a similar surge, particularly in France, Belgium, Germany and Spain.

“The scale at which we are operating is greater than ever before,” he said.

Mr Parker said MI5 has more than 500 live investigations involving roughly 3,000 people known to be involved in extremist activities.

In addition, he said, more than 20,000 individuals have been scrutinized in the past for possible terror ties and there are undoubtedly “violent extremists” who have thus far not been detected by the Security Service.

The risk is further heightened by the possible return to Britain of citizens who joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, Mr Parker said.

He said MI5 is well-equipped to cope with the deepening threat, with its ranks set to grow from 4,000 to 5,000 over the next few years.

But he added: “Attacks will occur sometimes because this is a free society, a liberal democracy, and we do not monitor everybody all the time. “Nor would we want to live in a country that was like that.”

The director called on technology companies to work with the government on preventing their social media platforms from being used by extremists for communications that cannot be monitored.

When asked if Facebook and Google were doing enough on this front, Mr Parker declined to discuss specific companies.

He praised advancements in communications technology, but said an “unintended side effect” has been to make it easier for extremists to avoid legal monitoring by using apps, including many that provide encryption, to avoid detection. He said companies should to more to prevent this abuse of their communications systems.

“For the companies there must be an ethical responsibility,” Mr Parker said. “The way to move forward is in partnerships together.   (The Evening Standard)

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War With North Korea ‘Dangerous, Short-Sighted’, Says Hillary Clinton |RN

Former US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on Wednesday, said “cavalier” threats to start war on the Korean peninsula were “dangerous and short-sighted”.
Clinton, however, urged the US to get all parties to the negotiation table.
Clinton also called on China to take a “more out-front role” in enforcing sanctions against North Korea aimed at curbing its missile and nuclear development.
“There is no need for us to be bellicose and aggressive over North Korea,” Clinton told the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, stressing the need for more pressure on North Korea and diplomacy to bring Pyongyang to talks.
Tension between Pyongyang and Washington has soared following series of weapons tests by North Korea and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Picking fights with Kim Jong Un puts a smile on his face,” Clinton said, without mentioning Trump by name.
Clinton also indirectly referred to Trump’s social media comments on North Korea, saying, “the insults on Twitter have benefited North Korea, I don’t think they’ve benefited the United States”.
The war of words has seen Trump call the North Korean leader “little rocket man” on a suicide mission, and vow to destroy the country if it threatens the US or its allies.
In turn, the North called Trump “mentally deranged” and a “mad dog”.
Talks between the adversaries have long been urged by China in particular, but Washington and its ally, Japan have been reluctant while Pyongyang continues to pursue a goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile to hit the U.S.

On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan, said the U.S. did not rule out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea.
The situation on the Korean peninsula was now touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment”, North Korea’s Deputy UN Amb. Kim In Ryong had told a UN General Assembly committee, on Monday.
In Seoul, the vice foreign minister said South Korea was considering levying its own sanctions on the North, although no decision had yet been made. (NAN)

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North Korea ‘Preparing To Launch Another Ballistic Missile’ In Retaliation Over US Naval Drill

By Nicola Smith
                       © Provided by The Telegraph 

North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch another ballistic missile in retaliation for an upcoming joint naval drill by the US and South Korea, it emerged today.

The US Navy said on Friday that the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier will lead the drill in the coming week, as another show of force against dictator Kim Jong-un’s ongoing nuclear and weapons programme.

A riled Pyongyang immediately renewed its threat to fire missiles at the US Pacific territory of Guam, warning that “reckless moves” by the US would compel it to take action.

                               © Provided by The Telegraph

North Korea first threatened Guam in August after US President Donald Trump warned the pariah regime would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen”. Kim backed down temporarily but said he would watch for US provocation. Tensions have only escalated since.

A fresh missile test may also be on the cards. The Donga Ilbo daily, citing a government source, reported on Saturday that satellite images showed ballistic missiles mounted on launchers being transported out of hangars near Pyongyang and in the North Pyongan Province.

The source said US military officials believe the move could indicate preparation for a test launch of a missile comparable to the Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) or Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).

Another probability could be the testing of the new Hwasong-13 ICBM (solid engine) that has a longer maximum range than the Hwasong-14.

Initially, it was expected that North Korea would carry out a provocative test last Tuesday, to mark the anniversary of its ruling party’s foundation.

However, speculation is now rising that the deployment of the US carrier strike group and nuclear-powered submarine to the Korean Peninsula may provide a fresh trigger for action.

“The North may carry out a simultaneous launch of ICBM and IRBM within a few days, in protest against the US’s show of military might,” a source told the Donga Ilbo.

                      © Provided by The Telegraph

The USS Ronald Reagan will conduct the ten-day joint drills in waters east and west of South Korea. Starting on Monday, the exercise will check the allies “communications interoperability and partnership,” the US Navy’s 7th fleet said in a statement.

As many as 40 navy vessels, including the Aegis destroyer and attack helicopters, will be deployed.

Meanwhile, the USS Michigan, an 18,000-metric ton submarine, which arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on Friday, is also expected to join the exercise.

Although Washington and Seoul insist that regular joint drills are defensive in nature, North Korea considers them to be rehearsals for an invasion and has lashed out with weapons tests in the past.

The deployment comes at a time of heightened tension between the US and North Korea, with both President Trump and Kim Jong-un trading regular insults.

“The US military action hardens our determination that the US should be tamed with fire and lets us take our hand closer to the trigger for taking the toughest countermeasure,” said a North Korean foreign ministry official, reported by state-run news agency KCNA on Friday.   (The Telegraph)

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Brexit: Britain Gets ‘No Deal’ As Punishment For Leaving And Not The Reward |RN

jedwards@businessinsider.com (Jim Edwards)
    © Getty Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

* Many pro-Leave people believe “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

* They’re wrong: “No deal” is the worst-possible deal Britain could get.

* Article 50 is structured like a trap in order to deliver a “no deal” scenario to any country that dares to leave the EU.

* Theresa May and Philip Hammond seem to be belatedly waking up to the fact that threatening to walk away without a deal is a really bad idea.

LONDON — This week, Peter J. North, the editor of the Leave Alliance blog, outlined how fantastic he thinks post-Brexit Britain will be, once the UK finally gets out of the EU in 2019:

“We can the expect to see a major rationalisation of the NHS and what functions it will perform. It will be more of a skeleton service than ever. I expect they will have trouble staffing it. Economic conditions more than any immigration control will bring numbers down to a trickle.

“In every area of policy a lot of zombie projects will be culled and the things that survive on very slender justifications will fall. We can also expect banks to pull the plug in under-performing businesses. Unemployment will be back to where it was in the 80’s.

“… Anyone who considers themselves ‘Just about managing’ right now will look upon this time as carefree prosperity. There are going to be a lot of very p***** off people.

“… Effectively we are looking at a ten-year recession. Nothing ever experienced by those under 50.”

“Admittedly this is not the Brexit I was gunning for.”

Theresa May                © Provided by Business Insider UK Theresa May

He is still in favour of Brexit, he adds. “Admittedly this is not the Brexit I was gunning for. I wanted a negotiated settlement to maintain the single market so that we did not have to be substantially poorer.”

The problem is that, like a lot of Leavers, North wasn’t banking on the government choosing “no deal” — and thus no access to the Single Market — as its main strategy. In fact, until recently, “no deal” was regarded as the worst possible outcome for precisely the fears that North describes.

Yet in the last few months, “no deal” seems to be the government’s target policy.

Back in May, Theresa May fought the general election with a Conservative manifesto that said: “no deal is better than a bad deal” for the UK in the Brexit negotiations with the EU.

The idea behind that phrase is that during the Article 50 negotiations Britain’s chief weapon would be the prime minister’s ability to get up from the table and walk away as if this were the thing that Europe fears most.

What if all the planes stopped flying?

But as her chancellor, Philip Hammond, said yesterday, “no deal” is an empty threat: The uncertainty of Brexit is already dragging down the British economy, and “it is theoretically conceivable that in a ‘no deal’ scenario there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and the European Union on March 29th, 2019.”

He called that a “realistic worst-case scenario.”

Philip Hammond                  © Provided by Business Insider UK Philip Hammond

There are millions of hardcore Leavers out there who actually want this. They think “hard Brexit” is the best Brexit, and they are actively urging the government to leave with no deal. They think “no deal” is some sort of threat that the EU is trying to avoid.

Wrong.

“No deal” is not our backup threat to the EU. It’s the worst possible outcome for the UK.

No deal involves no access to the Single Market, tariffs and taxes on UK exports, restrictions on British people travelling and working in Europe, and major cross-national employers leaving Britain in order to maintain their ties to the much larger European market. There are almost no economic advantages to “no deal,” only the political advantage of not being bound by European law. (And even then, if we want to trade with Europe after Brexit, our exports will have to obey their laws.) It will shave several points off GDP growth, which right now is so weak that would mean a recession.

No deal is the bad deal.

It is the punishment Brexit. It is the deterrent to leaving, not the reward. “No deal” is what the EU wants “pour encourager les autres.”

“I think we should be aiming a tad higher than avoiding death”

May again referenced “no deal is better than a bad deal” in her Florence speech, in which she talked about “our preparations for our life outside the European Union – with or without what I hope will be a successful deal.” (Emphasis added.) But she went on to say, “Let us open our minds to the possibility. To a new era of cooperation and partnership between the United Kingdom and the European Union. And to a stronger, fairer, more prosperous future for us all. For that is the prize if we get this negotiation right.”

May was possibly hinting that she understands that “no deal is better than a bad deal” is like putting a gun to your head and shouting “stop or I’ll shoot!” The tactic is especially dumb when you understand that the Article 50 negotiation process is essentially structured like a trap, precisely in order to deliver a “no deal” scenario to any country that dares to leave the EU.

It will take several more months, and perhaps some grim job losses in Leave-voting constituencies, and among farmers, before Brexiteers realise just how wrong “no deal” can go.

Charlie Mullins, the extravagantly coiffed plumbing empire boss, said it best this week:

“The simple fact is that half a loaf is always better than starving to death, although personally, I think we should be aiming a tad higher than avoiding death.”

NOW SEE: Brexit blunder – how May walked straight into the EU’s Article 50 trap

                              © Business Insider

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Britain ‘Prepares For War With North Korea’ While ‘New Carrier Could Be Rushed Into Service’

By Telegraph Reporters
UK readies new carrier as it 'prepares for war with N Korea'   © Getty UK readies new carrier as it ‘prepares for war with N Korea’

Britain is reportedly preparing for the possibility of war breaking out with North Korea as concerns rise that another provocative missile test could trigger a military response by the US.

North Korea is being closely watched amid fears it could launch another long-range missile test on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party.

Bellicose rhetoric from Donald Trump has heightened tensions in the region in recent months, prompting British officials to draw up military plans for a response to a break out of hostilities, it was reported.

Among the plans disclosed by the Daily Mail is the deployment of the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, before it has undergone flight trials.

“We have plenty of ships to send… the Type-45 destroyers, the Type-23 frigates. Britain’s new aircraft carrier could be pressed into service early if things turn south,” a senior Whitehall source told the newspaper

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which arrived at its home in Portsmouth in August after extensive sea trials, is not due to enter service until 2020.

The possible move to deploy it ahead of schedule drew comparisons with the start of the Falklands War.

“In the Falklands, we had to react to an event and HMS Illustrious was accelerated to respond,” a Navy source told the Mail.

“This was a reaction to protect British territory, however. In this case [North Korea], the UK would be part of a united global coalition. We would see what support we could give.”

The US president hinted on Saturday at taking military action against Kim Jong-un’s regime, saying “only one thing will work” in dealing with the country.

The president has previously said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies from Pyongyang’s nuclear threats.

Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said last week that the UK should increase its military spending in the face of growing threats from states such as North Korea.

Last month, Sir Michael told the BBC that Britain was at risk from Pyongyang’’s long-range nuclear missile programme.

“The US is fully entitled to defend its own territory, to defend its bases and to look after its people, but this involves us, London is closer to North Korea and its missiles than Los Angeles,” he said.       (Telegraph)

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The Woman Behind Donald Trump’s Twitter Obsession Revealed |The Republican News

Karishma Sarkari
Ivana Trump                                                 Ivana Trump

 

President Trump’s tweets are the source of many late night TV monologues.

But it seems Donald Trump’s Twitter obsession is thanks to his first wife, Ivana Trump.

In an upcoming interview on CBS’s Sunday Morning, the 68-year-old tells journalist Jim Axelrod she gave him the idea of getting his message out using social media during the election.

“I said, ‘I think you should tweet. It’s a new way, a new technology.

“‘And if you want to get your words across rightly, without telling the New York Times, which is going to twist every single word of yours, this is how you get your message out’.”

When asked what she makes of the US President’s constant tweets and rants, which has drawn plenty of criticism from across the globe, Ivana says her ex-husband is on the money

                © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdDonald Trump’s Twitter obsession has been highly criticised by people from all across the globe. Image: Twitter

 

“Well, it’s a tweeting president. This is his new way, how to put the message across. And he’s right,” she told Axelrod.

On Thursday however, it came to light that the President may not, in fact, be the one posting his own tweets.

The theory ironically puts out on Twitter by political journalist Joe Perticone, shows Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino Jr posting a duplicate tweet, complete with the ‘FAKE NEWS’ hashtag.

Scavino, who has previously insisted the President tweets for himself, has since deleted the double up from his account, leaving just the version on Trump’s account.

Meanwhile, also during the interview to air this Sunday, Ivana revealed that like her daughter Ivanka Trump — an advisor to her father — she too has been offered a position by her ex, whom she still speaks to on a weekly basis.
 © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdIvana was the President’s first of three wives but the pair remain close and still speak once a week. Image: Getty

 

“I was just offered to be the American ambassador to the Czech Republic,” she said.

“Donald told me. He said, ‘Ivana if you want it, I give it to you. But I like my freedom.

“I like to do what I want to do, go wherever I want to go with whomever I want to go. And I can afford my lifestyle.”

Ivana reveals she turned down the role because she doesn’t want to say goodbye to spending winters in Miami and summers in St Tropez, or interrupt her jet-setting lifestyle.

© Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdThe 68-year-old revealed she has been offered a position by her ex-husband but turned it down to enjoy her jet-setting lifestyle. Image: AAP

(Source: 9Honey)

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France Passes Bill To Close Mosques Preaching Hatred |The Republican News

SONY DSC

France’s parliament has adopted an anti-terrorism bill that will bolster police surveillance powers and make it easier to close mosques suspected of preaching hatred.

Before the vote, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb described France as being “still in a state of war” as authorities struggle to deal with the threat posed by foreign jihadists and homegrown militants.

Since 2015 more than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks by assailants who pledged allegiance to, or were inspired by, Islamic State.

The latest attack took place on Sunday when suspected Islamist Ahmed Hanachi cried ‘Allahu akbar’ before fatally stabbing two women outside Marseille’s main train station.

Legislators in the lower house adopted the bill by a margin of 415 to 127.

“Lawmakers realise that today’s threat is serious and that we must protect ourselves against terrorists. This must be done in a way that balances security and freedom,” Collomb told reporters after the vote. “This text will help protect French people.”

Emergency powers that were put in place after the Bataclan theatre attack in November 2015 have already played a significant role in enabling intelligence agencies to disrupt plots, according to the French government.

The new legislation would see many of those emergency powers enshrined in law, with limited oversight from the judiciary.

The interior ministry, without approval from a judge, will be able to set up security zones when there is a threat.

Security forces will be able to restrict the movement of people and vehicles in and out of these zones.

They will also have the power to carry out searches inside theses zones.

The interior ministry will have more power to shut down mosques and other places of worship if intelligence agencies believe religious leaders are inciting violence in France or abroad or justifying acts of terrorism.

Police will also have greater powers to raid private property if they have judicial approval, and there will be an increased ability to impose restrictions on people’s movements, including via electronic surveillance tags if they are regarded as a threat to national security.

A parliamentary commission will now seek compromise on amendments put forward by the Senate and Assembly before a second reading and definitive vote, expected in mid-October.

President Emmanuel Macron, painted by rivals as weak on security during his election campaign, has already acted to bolster counter-terrorism efforts, creating a task force in June to improve coordination among France’s multiple intelligence agencies.

The anti-terrorism bill has met little resistance from the public, with people still on edge after the series of Islamist-related attacks, but rights campaigners say it will curb civil liberties.

“France has become so addicted to the state of emergency that it is now injecting several of these abusive measures into ordinary law,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

It added that French parliament members had chosen the politics of fear over the protection of hard-won civil liberties and urged parliament and the judiciary to closely monitor how the government uses its new power.

Nonetheless, some conservative opponents of Macron say the draft legislation, which is not as all-encompassing as the state of emergency currently allows, does not go far enough.

“We need to rearm the state,” right-wing lawmaker Eric Ciotti said in a radio interview before the vote. He called for authorities to have greater powers to expel foreigners who threaten public safety. (Mailonline)

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