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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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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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IPOB: France Demands Evidence To Support Nigeria’s Claim |The Republican News

• We’re not aware of  FG’s request to ban group’s radio  – UK

By Emma Emeozor

France has denied knowledge of the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in its territory.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed told the press that the financial headquarters of IPOB is in France. “Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know, but you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents?”

But in a communiqué made available to Daily Sun yesterday, the French Embassy in Abuja expressed surprise over Mohammed’s statement.

The communiqué signed by the Embassy’s Press Officer, Ms Claude Abily read: “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made yesterday by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.

“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point. We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.

Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country.”

The United Kingdom High Commission in Abuja also responded to Daily Sun’s request for its reaction to Mohammed’s remarks regarding Radio Biafra operating from London. The minister had said the UK government was frustrating Nigeria’s effort to halt the operation of IPOB’s internal radio operating from London.

In its response, the High Commission said it was not aware of any representation from the Nigerian government about Radio Biafra.

The statement signed by the Press and Public Affairs Officer, Joe Abuku read:

“The UK is not aware of any representation from the Nigerian government about Radio Biafra. Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognizing that freedom of speech and expression carries responsibilities.”     (The Sun)

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President Buhari’s Complete Statement To United Nations General Assembly |RN

Nigerian President Buhari addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 72ND SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, IN NEW YORK, ON TUESDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2017

On behalf of my country, Nigeria, I congratulate you Mr President on your election and Mr Gutteres on his first General Assembly outing as our Secretary-General. I assure you both of my country’s solidarity and cooperation. You will indeed need the cooperation of all Member States as we are meeting during extra-ordinarily troubled and dangerous times. Let me also thank former Secretary-General Mr Ban ki-Moon for his service to the United Nations and wish him a peaceful retirement.

Mr President,

2. The previous year has witnessed many far-reaching developments. Some of the most significant events include the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and, of grave concern, the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Mr President,

3. I must also commend the UN’s role in helping to settle thousands of innocent civilians caught in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, we must collectively thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany under the commendable leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Governments of Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.

4. In an exemplary show of solidarity, the international community came together to my own region to assist the countries and communities in the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions to contain the threats posed by Al Qaida and Boko Haram.

5. We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs, and for pledging assistance to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Indeed, in Nigeria, we are providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions in internally displaced camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters.

6. In the last year, the international community came together to focus on the need for gender equality, youth empowerment, social inclusion, and the promotion of education, creativity and innovation. The frontiers of good governance, democracy including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law are expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.

7. Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken. Our regional organisation ECOWAS came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia – as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire.

8. Through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery. These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support. We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern-day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.

Mr President,

9. These cooperative efforts should be sustained. We must collectively devise strategies and mobilise the required responses to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, where there is insufficient resources and response capacity is weak.

10. This will require strong UN cooperation with regional organisations, such as the African Union, in conflict prevention and management. The UN should continue to take primary leadership of the maintenance of international peace and security by providing, in a predictable and sustainable manner, adequate funding and other enablers to regional initiatives and peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council.

Mr President,

11. New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts. For example, several UN Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis remain unimplemented. Meanwhile, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the blockade of Gaza continue.

12. Additionally, we are now confronted by the desperate human rights and humanitarian situation in Yemen and most tragically in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994.

13. The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what, from all indications is a state-backed programme of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the basis of ethnicity and religion. We fully endorse the call by the Secretary-General on the Government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity.

14. In all these crises, the primary victims are the people, the most vulnerable being women and children. That is why the theme of this session: Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet” is most apposite.

15. While the international community grapples to resolve these conflicts, we must be mindful and focus on the widening inequalities within societies, and the gap between the rich and the poor nations. These inequalities and gaps are part of the underlining root causes of competition for resources, frustration and anger leading to spiralling instability.

16. The most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea. Since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we have never come so close to the threat of nuclear war as we have now.

17. All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept a peaceful resolution of the crisis. As Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic and devastating human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined.

Mr President,

18. Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.

19. The crisis in the Korean peninsula underscores the urgency for all member states, guided by the spirit of enthroning a safer and more peaceful world, to ratify without delay the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which will be open for signature here tomorrow.

Mr President,

20. I end my remarks by reiterating Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the foundational principles and goals of the United Nations. Since our admission as a member state in 1960, we have always participated in all efforts to bring about global peace, security and development. Nigeria will continue to support the UN in all its efforts, including the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I thank you.

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Buhari Returns To London After UNGA, Return Date Is Unknown |The Republican News

 

Buhari-at-FEC

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

………Return date unknown

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The presidency has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will return to London after attending the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72), which opens on Tuesday, September 19.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement did not disclose the purpose of Buhari’s visit to London nor when he will return.

Adesina in the statement said: “President Buhari will transit through London on his way back to the country.”

Buhari returned to the country August 19th after spending over 100 days in London on medical vacation.

Meanwhile, the president who will be accompanied by the governors of Zamfara, Abdulazeez Yari, Ebonyi, Dave Umahi, and Ondo Rotimi Akeredolu, and key cabinet ministers, will depart the country on Sunday to join other world leaders at the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72).

The theme for this year’s Debate is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”

The Presidential Spokesman said the high point of the Buhari’s visit will be his participation in the General Debate during which he will deliver the country’s National Statement.

“President Buhari will join other world leaders at the welcoming reception to be hosted by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and also hold a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe.

“Equally, the Nigerian leader will hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States of America, along with other world leaders”, the statement read.

Adesina said, Nigeria will participate in high-level meetings on ‘Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Building Momentum for Change,’ the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a High-Level Event organized by the African Union under its Theme of the Year: ‘Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend: from Commitment to Action,’ among others.

He said at the events, “President Buhari and members of his delegation will strive to project Nigeria as a strong moral force and responsible member of the international community.

“Nigeria’s commitment to global peace, security and development will also be reaffirmed and where necessary, the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against corruption.

“Other priorities for the Nigerian delegation at UNGA 72 include strengthening human rights institutions; the rule of law; support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of terrorist acts and recent flooding, and mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

“The Nigerian delegation will also canvass the support of UN member states for the Buhari Administration’s efforts towards combatting illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development.” (The Sun)

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Nigerian Mother, Adeniji Faces Trial In UK For Modern Slavery |The Republican News

 

 

Afolake-Adeniji

Afolake Adeniji in court yesterday

 

•Tricked Nigerian girl, 13, into travelling to London

A Nigerian mother who allegedly tricked a Nigerian teen into flying to the United Kingdom to be her family’s slave under the pretence of a better life has claimed she was “part of the family.” 

Job Centre worker Afolake Adeniji, 50, arranged for Iyabo Prosper to relocate to London from her home in Nigeria back in 2003 when she was just 13, Southwark Crown Court heard, London Mail reported. Promised a better life and free education, she agreed to come and live with Adeniji, first in Beckton, east London, and then Chelmsford, Essex.

But the teenager was forced to wake up at 5.30am each morning to take care of Adeniji’s children, spending the rest of her day completing menial household chores, and only eating once the rest of the family had been served, jurors heard last week.

When pressed by prosecutors yesterday about what went on inside her home, Adeniji denied all of the allegations put to her, claiming Ms Prosper, now 27, was “making up stories.” “She was completely submissive to the defendant and her family and any confidence she had was lost and ebbed away,” said Ms Prosper’s lawyer, Irshad Sheikh.

“Effectively that was what she was living the life of domestic servitude. It soon became apparent that Iyabo had become miserable, had become extremely depressed, was having negative thoughts and suicidal ideas.”

Adeniji denies arranging or facilitating the travel of a person to the UK for exploitation and inflicting GBH, “namely post-traumatic stress disorder” upon Iyabo. Giving evidence Adeniji told Southwark Crown Court that Ms Prosper was “making up all these stories.”

Mr Sheikh said: “What I suggest is that Iyabo was brought here to this country to ‘help’ you and do the chores that she has mentioned.” “That is not correct,” Adeniji replied before the prosecutor followed up: “And that is what she did, I would suggest.” Adeniji answered: “I do not need her to help me. Everything was already in place before she arrived.”

She explained to jurors how she got to know Iyabo through her older brother, who worked at the home of Adeniji’s parents. Adeniji refused Mr Sheikh’s suggestion that he too was a “houseboy”, instead describing him as “like a son to my parents.”

“He was part of the extended family,” she added. Adeniji said Iyabo came to live “as part of my family” after her arrival from Nigeria. She said the teenager had her own bedroom and woke up “whenever she wants.”

Mr Sheikh asked: “So, she didn’t get into the routine of waking up at about 5.30am? She didn’t get into any routine like that at all?” Adeniji replied: “Iyabo is making up all these stories. It is not correct.”  Adeniji described all household chores being completed on Saturdays with all family members chipping in to help.

“My husband is an early riser, he will have hoovered the stairs and cleaned the sitting room,” she said. “By the time we woke up, whatever was left, washing the bathroom it could be me, Iyabo, it could be anybody, whatever was left we just took it because whatever needs to be done we just did it.”

Following her arrest in October 2014, Adeniji blasted the accusations as “untrue”, instead claiming that Ms Prosper was “part of a loving family” and “given financial and emotional support.”  Describing the time Ms Prosper eventually moved out, she added: “There was no fight. There was nothing.

“It was amicable when she left and she was coming back as she wished, not to help me.” She added: “I didn’t need anybody to help me do chores and look after the children. All I did was just to help Iyabo.”  Adeniji, of no fixed address but previously of Chelmsford, Essex, denies arranging or facilitating the travel to the UK of a person with a view to exploitation and inflicting GBH. The trial continues. (The Sun)

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North Korea Threatens UK With ‘A Miserable End’ Over Military Exercises |RN

By Julian Ryall

 

North Korea has warned that Britain “faces a miserable end” if it becomes involved in the joint US-South Korean military exercises presently taking place in the South.

British forces are not taking part in the present drills, although RAF Typhoons were involved in four days of exercises with their South Korean counterparts in November, while members of the Royal Tank Regiment also observed manoeuvres with South Korean units earlier in the year.

A statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday has denounced Washington and Seoul as “warmongers” for carrying out the “provocative Ulchi Freedom Guardian war exercises”.

FILE - In this May 10, 2016 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. South Korea's military says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016 into the sea.© (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File) FILE – In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. South Korea’s military…

The state-run media outlet dismissed South Korea’s insistence that the annual exercises are purely defensive and claimed: “Formations of strategic bombers loaded with nuclear bombs are always ready for sortie”.

“We solemnly warn not only the US and [the] puppet group but also satellites, including [the] UK and Australia, which are taking advantage of the present war manoeuvres against the North, that they would face a miserable end if they join in” the exercises, KCNA reported.The statement expanded the target of its threats to “satellite” nations, including Britain, ahead of Theresa May’s visit to Japan next week.

As well as trade, regional security will be high on the agenda for the three-day British mission to Japan and the prime minister is expected to condemn North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The most advanced missiles in North Korea’s armoury are estimated to have sufficient range to reach the UK.

Related: Kim Jong-un’s chemistry briefing – Provided by Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks on during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang: Kim Jong Un looks on during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science. The North Korean leader has ordered more solid-fuel rocket engines, state media reported on Wednesday, as he pursues nuclear and missile programs amid a standoff with Washington, but there were signs of tension easing.KCNA/via               Kim Jong Un’s chemistry briefing  

“The UK and our international partners are united in opposing and standing firm against the threat posed by North Korea”, said Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations.The UK voted on August 5 with all other members of the United Nations Security Council in favour of a new resolution against North Korea that includes provisions designed to restrict the regime’s access to the international financial system, cap the number of workers it sends abroad to earn hard currency and bans lucrative exports of coal, iron, iron ore, seafood and lead.

“This resolution will cut the resources that North Korea is abusing to fund its reckless and illegal pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes”, he said.

Earlier this month, North Korean state media condemned Britain and other nations that fought the Korean War under the banner of the UN as a “despicable burlesque of losers”. (The Telegraph)

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