European News


‘Extreme surveillance’ becomes UK law with barely a whimper

yeah um

19th Nov 2016

A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12 months from inside parliament and barely any from outside.

The Investigatory Powers Act, passed on Thursday, legalises a whole range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US.

The security agencies and police began the year braced for at least some opposition, rehearsing arguments for the debate. In the end, faced with public apathy and an opposition in disarray, the government did not have to make a single substantial concession to the privacy lobby.

US whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies.”

Snowden in 2013 revealed the scale of mass surveillance – or bulk data collection as the security agencies prefer to describe it – by the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ, which work in tandem.

But, against a backdrop of fears of Islamist attacks, the privacy lobby has failed to make much headway. Even in Germany, with East Germany’s history of mass surveillance by the Stasi and where Snowden’s revelations produced the most outcry, the Bundestag recently passed legislation giving the intelligence agencies more surveillance powers.

The US passed a modest bill last year curtailing bulk phone data collection but the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election is potentially a major reverse for privacy advocates. On the campaign trail, Trump made comments that implied he would like to use the powers of the surveillance agencies against political opponents.

The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger, one of the leading voices against the investigatory powers bill, said: “We do have to worry about a UK Donald Trump. If we do end up with one, and that is not impossible, we have created the tools for repression. If Labour had backed us up, we could have made the bill better. We have ended up with a bad bill because they were all over the place.

“The real Donald Trump has access to all the data that the British spooks are gathering and we should be worried about that.”

The Investigatory Powers Act legalises powers that the security agencies and police had been using for years without making this clear to either the public or parliament. In October, the investigatory powers tribunal, the only court that hears complaints against MI6, MI5 and GCHQ, ruled that they had been unlawfully collecting massive volumes of confidential personal data without proper oversight for 17 years.

One of the negative aspects of the legislation is that it fails to provide adequate protection for journalists’ sources, which could discourage whistleblowing.

One of the few positives in the legislation is that it sets out clearly for the first time the surveillance powers available to the intelligence services and the police. It legalises hacking by the security agencies into computers and mobile phones and allows them access to masses of stored personal data, even if the person under scrutiny is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Privacy groups are challenging the surveillance powers in the European court of human rights and elsewhere.

Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, said: “The UK now has a surveillance law that is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy. The state has unprecedented powers to monitor and analyse UK citizens’ communications regardless of whether we are suspected of any criminal activity.”

Renate Samson, the chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “The passing of the investigatory powers bill has fundamentally changed the face of surveillance in this country. None of us online are now guaranteed the right to communicate privately and, most importantly, securely.”

Trump’s victory started speculation that, given his warm words for Vladimir Putin, he might do a deal with the Russian president to have Snowden sent back to the US where he faces a long jail sentence. Snowden has lived in Russia since leaking tens of thousands of documents to journalists in 2013.

But Bill Binney, a former member of the NSA who became a whistleblower, expressed scepticism: “I am not sure if the relationship a President Trump would have with President Putin would be bad for Snowden.

“In Russia, he would still be an asset that maybe Putin would use in bargaining with Trump. Otherwise, Snowden does have a large support network around the world plus in the US and Trump may not want to disturb that. Also, I think any move to get Snowden out of Russia and into US courts would also open up support for at least three other lawsuits against the US government’s unconstitutional surveillance.”

  • This article was amended on 19 November 2016. The act has not yet received royal assent, as stated in an earlier version.

 

source; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/19/extreme-surveillance-becomes-uk-law-with-barely-a-whimper

BBC Plan to Counter ‘Christian Bias’ Could Include Broadcasting Muslim Call to Prayer

15th Nov 2016

The BBC is determined to press ahead with plans to increase its coverage of more religions, and could even broadcast the Muslim call to Friday prayers, thanks to concerns from within the corporation that its religious broadcasting is too biased towards Christianity.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, director-general of the corporation, will invite religious leaders to take part in discussions on increasing multi-faith coverage, following the publication of a BBC report which claimed that there was currently a disproportionate amount of Christian coverage, compared with other faiths.

Lord Hall is also set to appoint a senior executive to the board of governors with a remit to draw up new programme ideas to complement the corporation’s current Christian output, The Times has reported. A BBC insider said that Lord Hall was determined to do more to more represent others.

“Faith is remarkably important. The BBC can and must do more to ensure that the important role faith plays is recognised and reflected in our programming,” a source said.

For years the BBC has come under fire for being biased against Christians and towards members of other faiths, Islam in particular.

A 2012 report by the New Culture Forum entitled ‘A Question of Attitude – the BBC and Bias Beyond News’ found that, while Christians were portrayed as laughable at best, violent extremists at worst by BBC programme-makers, the corporation went out of its way to paint Muslims, including Muslim extremists, in a moderate light.

In one example cited, a BBC drama depicted a peaceable Muslim being beheaded at the hands of Christian extremists.

The report noted: “It sometimes feels as if someone in the BBC has sent round a memo instructing programme makers to compensate for the negative publicity that inevitably attends the exposure of terrorist plots to murder large numbers of people by force-feeding the public whitewashed or positive images of Islam.

“Though no doubt well-meant, and carried out in the furtherance of community cohesion, this approach does not help moderate Muslims who have to contend with extremists, and risks nurturing suspicions of institutional bias.”

Religious leaders expected to be invited to the BBC’s discussions include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

Harun Khan, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), is also expected to attend as are Hindu and Sikh leaders.

Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB has suggested that the BBC could televise Friday prayers from a mosque, cover Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan, or show children attending Koranic lessons.

The move comes months after Aaqil Ahmed, former head of religion and ethics at the BBC, told a Commons committee that he had prepared a report for Lord Hall on the BBC’s religious output across TV and radio, which he claimed was biased toward Christianity.

“Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths,” he said.

In response, Christian group A Voice for Justice launched a petition calling for Aaqil Amhed “to be removed from office on the grounds of Islamic bias and clear disrespect for Christian belief.”

The petition text reasoned: “He has regularly commissioned documentaries displaying clear pro-Islamic bias, while calling into question fundamental tenets and teachings of Christianity, in such a way as to trivialise and undermine Christian faith.

“The UK is a Christian country […] our society [is] based upon Christian values.

“It is entirely right therefore that Christianity be given more airtime than the beliefs of minority groups, and that it should be treated with respect. In particular, Islam should not be singled out for special interest and presented as impliedly superior to Christianity.

“We therefore call on Lord Hall as Director General of the BBC to reject this misguided and overtly anti-Christian proposal, and for Aaqil Ahmed’s immediate removal from office.”

The petition has been signed by more than 13,000 people to date.

 

source; http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/11/14/bbc-plan-counter-christian-broadcast-muslim-prayer/

Sweden opens first atheist cemetery to cater to growing non-religious population

true-evolution

22nd Oct 2016

A graveyard free of any religious symbols has been opened in Sweden to cater to the country’s growing number of atheists.

Josef Erdem, a teacher from Borlänge in central Sweden, first proposed the idea because he wanted people to “decide for themselves what their graves should look like”.

He said he had grown up in Kurdistan and as a result his worldview had been shaped by having friends from all walks of life.

He sent in the formal application for the ground after negotiating with local representatives of the Church of Sweden.

The church will maintain the graveyard but that will be the extent of their involvement with the cemetery.

Mr Erdem told The Local: “People can decide for themselves what their graves should look like, but the cemetery will be free of all religious and nationalist symbols.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this, many of them religious, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

“In fact the reaction has been positive from religious and non-religious people alike across the country.”

He stressed that people of faith were welcome to be buried there as well so long as they accepted that they could not have the marks of their religion on their headstone.

The cemetery, which is close to the local church, is currently empty but several locals have expressed an interest in being buried there.

Local teacher Gunnar Lindgren told broadcaster SVT: “I don’t want a burial place with a stone that needs to be cared for. I also don’t want a church burial because I’m not a believer so this suits me”.

Sweden has the second-highest number of non-religious people as a percentage of its population of any country in the world, according to a 2015 survey by Gallup International and the WI Network of Market Research.

The study found that 76 percent of Swedish respondents said they were either “not religious” or a “convinced atheists”.

The only country to score higher was Communist-controlled China, where religion is officially frowned upon.

 

 

source:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-atheist-cemetery-opens-religion-church-of-sweden-a7371006.html

France bans the use of plastic crockery and cutlery to aid battle against climate change

suspicious

21st Sept 2016

Plastic crockery and cutlery is to be banned in France unless it is made from biologically sourced materials.

The law comes into force in 2020. It is part of a French environmental initiative called the Energy Transition for Green Growth, part of a package aimed at tackling climate change.

But, the Independent reported, the move faces a challenge from Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organisation representing European packaging manufacturers.

“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” said Eamonn Bates, secretary general of Pack2go Europe.

He said there was no proof that biologically sourced material was any more environmentally beneficial.

Mr Bates said the ban could make the litter problem worse because consumers would believe that packaging left in the countryside would be biodegradable.

The move against disposable cutlery and crockery is part of a growing trend to outlaw the use of plastic in several parts of the world.

Karnataka in India has banned the use of plastic across the entire state. San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags in 2007 and plastic water bottles on public properties in 2014. In Britain customers must pay 5p for each plastic bag.

 

 

source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/17/france-bans-the-use-of-plastic-crockery-and-cutlery-to-aid-battl/

Russian public doesn’t trust monitors to make elections fair

hunger games china
17th Sept 2016
Less than half of all Russians think that the presence of monitors can make elections more honest and transparent, with a third of respondents holding that external monitoring has no effect at all.

According to the latest research made by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center (VTSIOM) only 43 percent of Russians think that the presence of observers at elections make them fairer, down from 49 percent in 2011. Thirty-four percent of those polled said that monitors’ participation in elections process had no effect whatsoever on its fairness, also down from 36 percent five years ago.

The share of those who said that in their opinion monitors were actually making elections less fair increased from 5 percent in 2011 to 8 percent. Some 15 percent of respondents said they could not give a direct answer to the question, also up from 10 percent five years back.

When researchers asked Russians what, in their opinion, the main motivation was of those who work as elections monitors, 30 percent said it was just a way to earn money, but 19 percent said they were driven by their pursuit of justice and fairness. Six percent answered that this was a way to exercise ‘an active civil position’, 3 percent hold that people who perform these functions are forced to do so, while a further 3 percent referred to unidentified “own interests.” One percent of poll participants said that observers were just killing their spare time, another 1 percent named various “other reasons”. A sizable 41 percent answered that they had no idea why people were working as elections monitors.

Of those polled, 6 percent said that they had previously worked as elections monitors and 94 percent have never performed such a function. At the same time, 18 percent said they were ready to become monitors in some polls in the future, 8 percent also agreed to participate, but only on condition that their work was supported by the state and the community. Some 70 percent answered that they would turn down such proposal.

Russia is holding parliamentary elections on Sunday, as well as a set of regional polls in which citizens would elect several regional and municipal heads and legislatures.

The head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC), Ella Pamfilova, has previously urged all political parties to send their representatives to monitor the polls in order to prevent any violations. In the same statement she warned civil servants about criminal responsibility for meddling with the voting process.

In July, representatives of the CEC told reporters that they had signed bilateral agreements with 27 nations, allowing their representatives to conduct monitoring at the forthcoming polls. They also said that albeit the United States was not among these countries, but invitations could be extended to US citizens on a personal basis.

Separate invitations have been extended to representatives of several major international blocs, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

At the same time, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has been denied access to the State Duma elections because of the ongoing infringement of the rights of the Russian delegation in this group.

 

source: https://www.rt.com/politics/359191-public-in-russia-does-not/

Bayer to acquire Monsanto for $66B

MonsantoProtest

14th Sept 2016

By accepting Bayer’s offer, the largest cash acquisition proposal on record, Monsanto is set to give the German company a shot at grabbing the top spot in the fast-consolidating farm supplies industry, combining its crop science business with Monsanto’s strength in seeds.

Germany-based health and agricultural giant Bayer reached a deal to acquire seed and pesticide firm Monsanto for $66 billion in yet another jolt to a global agricultural sector that has been rocked by sluggish crop prices.

Bayer said Wednesday that it agreed to pay $128 per share in cash for St. Louis-based Monsanto after months of acquisition talks in which the pursuer sweetened its bid on multiple occasions.

Following a flurry of major deals in the ag sector, such as the tie-up of ag giants Dow Chemical and DuPont, regulatory scrutiny from the Obama administration and other governments could prove to be an obstacle for the Bayer-Monsanto accord.

But Bayer agreed to pay $2 billion if the deal collapses under anti-trust pressure, in what investors call a breakup fee. Bayer, which is financing the deal with a combination of its cash reserves and new debt, described the fee as reflective of “its confidence that it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.”

Monsanto shares (MON) rose 0.8% in pre-market trading to $106.90, falling well short of the deal price, possibly reflecting skepticism that the deal will be finalized.

The companies said they expect the deal to be finalized by the end of 2017.

“This represents a major step forward for our crop science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, who called the deal “a testament to everything we’ve achieved” and said it would create an “innovation engine.”

In 2015, the companies had combined revenue of 23 billion euros. They said they expect to save $1.5 billion in “synergies” within three years — a corporate term that typically includes cost costs and combined purchasing power.

The combined company’s seeds division and North American headquarters will be based in St. Louis. Its pesticide and crop science division will be based in Monheim, Germany. The company said it will also have “an important presence” in Durham, N.C., a digital farming business headquartered in San Francisco and many other operations.

Bayer said it’s too early to say whether job cuts will occur.

“Based on our preliminary analysis, and given the complementarity of the portfolios and geographic focus of both companies, we expect to maintain major sites in the U.S., as well as in Germany,” Bayer said.

 

 

source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/09/14/bayer-monsanto-acquisition/90346412/

U-turn over spit hood pilot after City Hall fears

spithood

8th Sept 2016

A plan to pilot the use of spit hoods by the Met Police has been abandoned after London’s mayor voiced concerns.

The mesh fabric hoods are placed over the heads of suspects to protect police officers from being spat at or bitten.

The restraining device was to be trialled at 32 custody suites across the capital from October.

Mayor Sadiq Khan responded after human rights groups including Liberty, Amnesty and Inquest said the hoods belonged in “horror stories”.

A City Hall spokesman told the BBC the mayor asked the Met to pause the pilot scheme to give him an opportunity to look at the detail and to consult with the wider public as well as the police themselves.

‘Spitting a real problem’

In a statement, the Met said: “The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) does not currently use spit guards, although their national use and development has been closely monitored for a number of years.

“There are now a number of forces where spit guards are used both operationally in response to incidents and in custody.

“The MPS has a duty of care to its officers and staff – the issue of spitting and biting is a real problem, particularly in a custody environment, and is a significant health risk.

“Over a number of years, the MPS has been looking at potential ways of minimising the threat this issue poses to officers and staff.

“One of the options that has been considered has been spit guards in custody suites.”

Earlier Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty, called the use of spit hoods “primitive, cruel and degrading ” adding their use would inspire “fear and anguish”.

“Police have the power to use force against citizens when they have to – using handcuffs, arm restraints, leg restraints, pepper spray, batons,” she said.

“The suggestion that officers need to be able to cover people’s faces and heads is as far-fetched as it is frightening.

“Spit hoods belong in horror stories, not on the streets of a civilised society – we urge the Met Police to think again.”

Image caption The spit hoods would be used in police custody suites

The Police Federation has called for the use of spit hoods to protect officers.

British Transport Police has used a hood 151 times since introducing them in June 2014.

The force is being investigated by the police watchdog over an incident where officers put a spit hood on a man at London Bridge in July.

Shamik Dutta, the solicitor representing the man who had the hood put on his head, said: “The application of a spit hood can be deeply distressing and humiliating, causing panic in the detained person.

“By obscuring someone’s face, the use of a spit hood can prevent witnesses, including police officers, from quickly identifying whether a person is suffering breathing difficulties, is choking or has suffered some other serious facial or head injury requiring immediate medical attention to avoid life-threatening consequences.”

‘Hand across mouth?’

Lord Adebowale, former chair of the commission on the Met Police’s response to mental health, said: “There is an awful trend of these devices being misused and being used in a way which tends to impact minority ethnic groups, those with mental health challenges, those with learning difficulties.”

He added he was concerned they could be used “in situations where the police may not be trained to deal with it”, leading to individuals being “forced into positions where breathing can be restrained”.

He also said it was a question of human dignity.

But former senior Met officer Hamish Brown, said: “What’s the other option? Putting a hand across someone’s mouth or a handkerchief in their mouth?

“It is pretty awful to have this, but unfortunately it’s the way society has gone. It is for the police to be sensible and use their discretion.”

A Met spokeswoman said officers would be trained to ensure use was proportionate, but added they were necessary “to meet the duty of care owed to officers when a detainee spits at or attempts to bite them”.

 

source:http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37292125

UK police will soon start bagging people’s heads during arrests

liberty and police

8th Sept 2016

Metropolitan Police officers will soon be able to use specially designed bags, known as spit hoods, to cover suspects’ heads during arrests and in police stations.

The mesh bags are used to restrain suspects and protect the police from those who might try to bite or spit at them. The Met insists the hoods prevents exposure to diseases and serious infection.

In a pilot scheme starting in October, 32 custody units will receive material and training on how to use the “spit guards.” Their application on any suspect will be recorded under “use of force.”

Spit hoods are not to be used on the streets initially, so as not to incense the public, but detail on their use after the pilot scheme expires has not been provided.

The measure has been controversial with human rights groups, which have deemed the use of spit hoods “an alarming development” and as “cruel and degrading.”

The device may breach suspects’ rights, with some police chiefs suggesting the hoods resemble the trappings adopted at Guantanamo Bay. Even the Met was once opposed to them.

“A spit hood is a primitive, cruel and degrading tool that inspires fear and anguish,” said Liberty director Martha Spurrier.

“We have seen many cases where the police use them unnecessarily and without justification, including on children and disabled people.

“Police have the power to use force against citizens when they have to – using handcuffs, arm restraints, leg restraints, pepper spray, batons. The suggestion that officers need to be able to cover people’s faces and heads is as far-fetched as it is frightening. Spit hoods belong in horror stories, not on the streets of a civilized society. We urge the Met police to think again.”

Deborah Coles from legal charity Inquest echoed the sentiment.

“This is an alarming development with seemingly no debate or consultation and will do nothing to assist police and community relations,” she said.

“The use of a hood as a piece of police equipment is frightening and raises real concerns about its potential for misuse against the most vulnerable and discriminated against sections of society.”

The Police Federation, however, thinks the measure is necessary to protect its rank-and-file officers.

The police union’s health and safety representative, Che Donald, said: “I’d rather take a punch to the face than be spat at.”

He told the Guardian newspaper: “We do not deal with the most savory people. Hepatitis is prevalent within the drug abuse community. I don’t see it as a use of force, it is a health and safety issue.”

The risk of the hoods to arrestees, however, has been described as high by police monitoring groups.

“Every new piece of kit is always justified on the grounds of officer safety,” Kevin Blowe from the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) told RT.

“Yet again, there is no regard to the long history of violently misusing equipment against people with mental health issues and those who are routinely targeted by the police, particularly young people from minority communities.

“This is how very vulnerable people have died in police custody in the past. It happened with the introduction of CS spray, positional restraint techniques and Tasers. Our concern is that it’s only a matter of time before spit hoods are a contributor to another grieving family’s search for answers about the death of a loved one.”

Human rights charity Amnesty International said in a statement: “Spit hoods can restrict breathing, create disorientation and can be dangerous and extremely distressing. Serious questions must be asked as to whether these restraints which have been criticized for breaching human rights guidelines should actually have a role in modern British policing.

“It beggars belief that the Met police would choose to introduce these restraints in their toolkit, particularly given that so many other major British police forces have chosen to outlaw them.”

Until recently only smaller forces and the British Transport Police (BTP) used spit hoods.

 

 

source;https://www.rt.com/uk/358397-police-spit-guard-bags/

Rutgers: to avoid microaggressions, only speak when ‘necessary’

language

1st sept 2016

Students in at least one Rutgers University residence hall are being encouraged to use only language that is “helpful” and “necessary” to avoid committing microaggressions.

The display, photos of which were obtained by Campus Reform, is titled “Language Matters: Think,” and was placed in the College Avenue Apartments by a resident assistant, according to a current resident of the building who does not wish to be identified.

Victims of microaggressions are “more at risk for illness & decreased immune system.”

Erected as part of the university’s “Language Matters” campaign, the bulletin board instructs students to ask themselves whether their choice of words is “true,” “helpful,” “inspiring,” “necessary,” and “kind” before speaking out, and also includes a list of potentially-offensive terms, such as “retarded” and “illegal aliens.”

The board warns students that failing to follow these guidelines could lead them to commit a microaggression, which include “microassaults,” “microinsults,” and “microinvalidations.”

Also included on the bulletin board is a flyer from the “Language Matters” campaign, an initiative launched by the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities some time during the 2015 fall semester.

The flyer, which was adapted from the University of Maryland’s “Inclusive Language Campaign,” lists various terms that some people might find offensive, presenting scenarios such as saying “he looks like a terrorist” to someone who is “a United States veteran;” using the phrase “that’s so ghetto” around someone who “grew up in poverty;” and commenting that an “exam just raped me” in the presence of “a survivor of sexual assault.”

The “Language Matters” website includes a presentation similar in nature to the flyer, outlining the “big impact” of “little things” and providing examples of the three types of microaggressions.

A microassault may include “avoiding someone,” for instance, while an example of a microinsult is telling someone they are strong for a girl. A microinvalidation, meanwhile, could involve asking an Asian or Latino person where they are from.

Simply avoiding offensive language, however, is not enough according to Rutgers, which claims that microaggressions can also be “nonverbal” and “environmental,” but fails to elaborate further.

the giver precision of language

Rutgers also has a Bias Prevention Education Team that handles reports of microaggressions and other “bias incidents,” which experienced a surge of reports after alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos visited campus last semester, the anonymous student claimed. Liberal students memorably protested the event by covering themselves in fake blood, but still complained vehemently that the university had tolerated what they deemed “hate speech.”

Rutgers president Robert Bachi defended Yiannopoulos’ right to speak on campus despite expressing views that may be considered offensive, but the “Language Matters” campaign contradicts that message through 60- to 90-minute workshops examining how “negatively charged words…create a damaging environment for all of society,” during which presenters seek “to demonstrate how microagressions hinder our ability to have a diverse and inclusive society/community.”

The bulletin board in the College Avenue Apartments building admits that so-called microaggressions are often unintentional, but preemptively rejects the notion that promoting inclusive language is “making a big deal out of nothing.”

micro agressions

According to the display, even though microaggressions are “not the same thing as hate crimes or overt bigotry,” they still affect victims “physically, emotionally, [and] behaviorally,” placing them “more at risk for illness & decreased immune system.”

Representatives for Rutgers are currently looking into the matter for Campus Reform, and have promised to provide additional details about the “Language Matters” bulletin board. This article will be updated once that information is received.
source: http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8081

Germans encouraged to stockpile food

storefood

23rd Aug 2016

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.

The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.

People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.

The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.

However, the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,” the paper cited the report as saying.

It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.

A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.

Germany’s Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.

 

 

source: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/europe/2016/08/23/germans-encouraged-to-stockpile-food.html?