Connect with us

News

US general condemns witch-hunt of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland left open to prosecution 

Published

on

General David Petraeus (pictured) will say it is appalling that troops who served in Northern Ireland remain exposed to the risk of prosecution decades on

General David Petraeus (pictured) will say it is appalling that troops who served in Northern Ireland remain exposed to the risk of prosecution decades on

General David Petraeus (pictured) will say it is appalling that troops who served in Northern Ireland remain exposed to the risk of prosecution decades on

A former US general today blasts Britain’s ‘unfair’ legal witch-hunt against soldiers and veterans.

General David Petraeus, who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, will say it is appalling that troops who served in Northern Ireland remain exposed to the risk of prosecution decades on.

His intervention comes in a report by a think-tank resisting the ‘judicialisation’ of war. General Petraeus wrote: ‘British soldiers are increasingly subject to a different legal regime than are their American counterparts.’ 

The former CIA chief said the extension of the European Convention on Human Rights to the battlefield had made ‘extensive litigation against British soldiers inevitable’, adding: ‘This, in turn, risks promoting a culture of risk aversion in the ranks.

‘The unfair pursuit of British soldiers and veterans in the aftermath of operations is particularly concerning. This has caused enormous stress and anxiety on those who are caught up in investigations, sometimes years or even decades after their combat service.

Boris Johnson (pictured) last night vowed to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans

Boris Johnson (pictured) last night vowed to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans

Boris Johnson (pictured) last night vowed to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans

‘The extent to which those who served decades ago in Northern Ireland, including the highly distinguished soldier-scholar General Sir Frank Kitson, remain exposed to legal risk is striking and appalling.

‘This is not only unfair to those who have served and sacrificed for their country, it also gravely undermines the morale of those serving now and raises an unnecessary concern for potential recruits.’

Professor Richard Ekins and Julie Marionneau, who wrote the Policy Exchange report, say ministers must maintain the policy of derogating from the ECHR in future battles, as promised by the Tory party.

The pair also argue that the Human Rights Act must be amended.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

This isn’t a short-term solution. It’s early retirement

Published

on

By

Pictured: Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017

Pictured: Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017

Pictured: Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace – and on the other side of the world.

At issue was not the responses to the question of whether the monarchy was fit for purpose, though it was telling that Jeremy Corbyn‘s answer – ‘needs a bit of improvement’ – got a much warmer studio reaction than Boris Johnson‘s line about the monarchy being ‘beyond reproach’.

What really set off alarms across the Royal Household – and in Auckland, where the Prince of Wales was continuing his tour of New Zealand – was the simple fact that the monarchy was surfacing as a general election issue at all.

Throughout the Queen’s reign, it has been a cast-iron rule that the Royal Family keep their heads down during election campaigns.

They can go about their business but they must avoid making headlines until the polls have closed and a winner can be summoned to the Palace.

That is how democracy works under a constitutional monarchy.

It is the reason why the Queen apologised to the then prime minister, John Major, when the breakdown of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York gatecrashed the general election campaign in 1992 – the year the Queen called her ‘annus horribilis’.

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Some Labour campaigners still cite all that deflected media coverage as a factor in Neil Kinnock’s narrow defeat. That, however, was nothing compared to the detonation after Saturday night’s BBC2 Newsnight interview in which the Duke of York attempted to explain his friendship with a convicted paedophile – and precipitated one of the gravest royal crises of the Queen’s reign.

As a result, the election has now been relegated to the ‘…and in other news’ section of most bulletins.

Tuesday’s Johnson v Corbyn TV debate simply brought matters to a head.

The headlines had been dreadful for days. The corrosive effect of sponsors – including the royal accountants, KPMG – abandoning the duke’s cherished Pitch@Palace business initiative was just the start.

Far more wounding was the news that certain royal patronages were considering cutting their royal links.

It is patronages that underpin the royal role of those members of the Royal Family who are not in the direct line of succession. For the duke, they were his entire raison d’etre.

I understand that there was particular dismay when it emerged that the list of wavering charities included the Outward Bound Trust.

This was a much-loved patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh, a stalwart of the organisation since 1953, the year of the Coronation.

On Prince Philip’s watch, the trust has expanded to more than 30 countries.

The Duke of York became involved 20 years ago as chair of the trustees and succeeded his father as patron eight months ago. His daughter, Princess Beatrice, sits on the board. For a charity so close to royal hearts to consider severing its royal links was profoundly worrying.

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

Tuesday’s election debate, then, was the final straw.

Although the Duke of York’s statement suggests that his retreat from the public stage has been his own idea, the decision had already been reached in telephone discussions between the Queen and the Prince of Wales. 

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of the Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team.

It has also been reported that the Queen had been assured by him afterwards that the interview had been a great success.

The reality, I understand, is somewhat different.

Palace officials have made clear that while the Queen was made ‘aware’ of the impending interview, she did not approve it. By then, it was too late.

As for Prince Charles, he knew nothing about it. ‘Don’t imagine that she is fooled by any of this,’ says one insider.

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen's decision to grant 'permission' for the duke to step aside from public duties, writes Robert Hardman

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen's decision to grant 'permission' for the duke to step aside from public duties, writes Robert Hardman

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen’s decision to grant ‘permission’ for the duke to step aside from public duties, writes Robert Hardman

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of Andrew’s Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

During the fallout which has followed, the monarch and the heir to the throne have been in close two-way communication about the potential damage to the institution.

I also understand that the Duke of Cambridge has been more than a mere spectator. ‘Don’t forget he has a long-term stake in this too,’ says one friend of the family.

It will have been immensely painful for the Queen to thrash this all out with the Duke of York during the meeting in her study at Buckingham Palace yesterday. But neither she nor he had any choice.

In as much as a member of the Royal Family can resign, that was the only course left open to him.

The duke will still be welcome at anything constituting a ‘family’ occasion – including appearances on the Palace balcony.

We can expect to see him with other members of the family walking to church on Christmas Day. However, there can be no further solo engagements. Nor will he be expected at next month’s Palace reception for Nato heads of state.

Regular interaction with his 230 charities and military units will now cease. These patronages are now ‘mothballed’.

He is not abandoning them. Nor will these charities feel obliged to abandon him or remove him from the letterhead. Despite the noise of recent days, many of these organisations remain loyal and supportive of a patron who has been a diligent supporter of their work over many years.

On the basis that everyone is innocent until proved guilty, some will simply leave things as they are and see how events unfold.

What is clear, however, is that this is not a short-term solution while things ‘die down’. Until there is some sort of legal resolution, this is early retirement.

Palace officials understand the importance of getting a grip – and of being seen to get a grip – on the helm after the most turbulent royal year in more than two decades. Quite apart from family dramas – notably the obvious unhappiness of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in adapting to their new royal roles – the Queen has been embroiled in a serious constitutional crisis in recent months.

The ease with which the Queen was prevailed upon to grant an illegal prorogation of Parliament while at Balmoral in September left the monarchy looking ineffectual. 

Though the monarch was, of course, constitutionally obliged to abide by Boris Johnson’s formal request, some legal experts have suggested that, in years gone by, the Royal Household would have put up more of a fight and asked more questions.

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen’s decision to grant ‘permission’ for the duke to step aside from public duties. And after the events of recent months, the Queen will be in no hurry to seek the Prime Minister’s advice on the matter, either. ‘This decision has been entirely internal,’ says one source.

However, once the election is over and the future occupancy of No 10 has been resolved, the Queen will feel obliged, once again, to apologise for the fact that a member of the family has shunted an election off the front pages.

That it was the same member of the family as last time, 27 years ago, will not be lost on anyone.

Continue Reading

News

Australia’s bushfire crisis reaches new terrifying heights as Victoria issues a CODE RED alert

Published

on

By

Australia’s bushfire crisis has reached new terrifying levels with multiple state’s bracing for some of the most dangerous conditions this year. 

A Code Red fire danger has been issued in Victoria for the first time in a decade – signalling the worst possible bushfire conditions.

Residents in the state’s north are being told their houses are not built to withstand the conditions and they should get to major cities if they can. 

Officials are warning the conditions in Victoria are as bad as Black Saturday when 173 people were burned to death in 2009. 

Conditions in New South Wales are also expected to get worse, with lightening strikes and hot easterly winds tipped to ignite more fires.

Most of the east coast is under severe or very high fire danger ratings, with more than 50 fires burning across NSW of which 20 remain uncontained. 

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

Officials are warning the conditions in Victoria are as bad as Black Saturday when 173 people were burned to death in 2009

Officials are warning the conditions in Victoria are as bad as Black Saturday when 173 people were burned to death in 2009

Officials are warning the conditions in Victoria are as bad as Black Saturday when 173 people were burned to death in 2009

Sydneysiders woke up once again to thick smoke blanketing the city after northerly winds blew smog from a huge fire at Gospers Mountain in the Hawkesbury region.

The Rural Fire Service is controlling the fire, which covers more than 160,000 hectares.

‘Heavy smoke is again affecting large parts of New South Wales,’ the RFS said.

‘If you’re easily affected by smoke, take precautions such as staying indoors, avoiding exercise and using reliever medicine.’

A severe fire danger rating is in place for 10 areas, including Illawarra-Shoalhaven. The entirety of the state’s south is under “very high” or “severe” fire danger as hot winds blow in from South Australia.

‘Another difficult day for firefighters, for people in these at-risk areas,’ Rural Fire Service NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.

But, after a fortnight of serious fires, he’s hopeful conditions will improve in coming days.

‘Hopefully, once we turn the corner on today there’ll be an easing of conditions more broadly across the state,’ he said.

Catastrophic warnings are in place for parts of Western Australia (red) with severe (orange) and very high (yellow) warnings in place for parts of the coastline

Catastrophic warnings are in place for parts of Western Australia (red) with severe (orange) and very high (yellow) warnings in place for parts of the coastline

Catastrophic warnings are in place for parts of Western Australia (red) with severe (orange) and very high (yellow) warnings in place for parts of the coastline 

'Heavy smoke is again affecting large parts of New South Wales,' the RFS said this morning. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

'Heavy smoke is again affecting large parts of New South Wales,' the RFS said this morning. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

‘Heavy smoke is again affecting large parts of New South Wales,’ the RFS said this morning. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

Winds of up to 60km/h are forecast across the southern border region which could present challenges if there are new fires, Mr Fitzsimmons said.

It’s hoped north-easterly winds along the coast will help stop fires spreading and support firefighters in their bid to protect properties through backburning, which will continue on Thursday.

Thick smoke was also causing problems for those in Adelaide as a westerly wind change had pushed smoke from the Yorketown bushfire on Yorke Peninsula into the city.

Residents in  Coobowie and Wool Bay, South Australia, have been told to leave as the blaze in Edithburgh moves north-easterly – threatening homes and lives.

The Rural Fire Service is controlling a fire north of Sydney, which covers more than 160,000 hectares. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

The Rural Fire Service is controlling a fire north of Sydney, which covers more than 160,000 hectares. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

The Rural Fire Service is controlling a fire north of Sydney, which covers more than 160,000 hectares. Pictured: Smoke over Sydney

The worst conditions are expected in Victoria’s north where the mercury is expected to linger above 40C on Thursday.

While conditions will be milder in the rest of the state, fire danger ratings are listed as severe or very high, while temperatures are close to all-time November highs, with Melbourne forecast at 39C. 

Victoria has a total fire ban in place across the state and has declared Code Red conditions. 

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp has urged for Victorians to be prepared for fire and know where to get information from. 

‘Given fires could start and move quickly, you won’t always receive a warning or be told what to do if a fire starts.’

Sydney has woken up to a thick blanket of smoke covering the city for the second time this week. Pictured: The smoke on Tuesday

All public parks in the Code Red areas will be closed, and some schools and early childhood centres will be closed.

‘Homes are not built to withstand the types of fires we may see on a Code Red day and you don’t want to be caught travelling through areas on fire at the last minute if you wait and see,’ CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said.

Much of coastal South Australia has also been placed under catastrophic fire danger ratings – including the Eyre Peninsula, the west coast and the Mount Lofty Ranges east of the state capital. 

The loss of property was yet to be confirmed but there were reports at least two houses had been destroyed in an area home to about 1000 people. 

In the latest emergency warning, the Country Fire Service urged everyone in Yorketown to take shelter as it was no longer safe to leave.

The hot temperatures will be accompanied by strong winds and possible dust haze, increasing the fire danger 

This fire was burning in a northwesterly direction towards Waterloo Bay and Wattle Point.

Tasmania is also bracing for the state’s dangerous conditions, with dry winds and hot temperatures forecast.

The fire danger over much of the state’s south and east on Thursday is considered severe, the third-highest of six ratings.

Temperatures are forecast to peak in the mid-30s in parts, with Hobart expected to reach 30C.

Tasmania Fire Service Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt said crews are on stand-by in the worst conditions of the bushfire season to date.

A 24-hour total fire ban for the island’s south and north is in place from 2am.

Dry winds of 60-70km/h are forecast, but relief is expected on Thursday afternoon when a cold front crosses the state.

Wildfires in October threatened shack communities in the Central Highlands, prompting authorities to declare the start of the bushfire season. 

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect the Colo Heights Public School from being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect the Colo Heights Public School from being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers protect the Colo Heights Public School from being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, Tuesday

This map shows how the Air Quality in Sydney deteriorated overnight as the smoke blew over - with the red parts worst affected

This map shows how the Air Quality in Sydney deteriorated overnight as the smoke blew over - with the red parts worst affected

This map shows how the Air Quality in Sydney deteriorated overnight as the smoke blew over – with the red parts worst affected

Firefighters are facing weeks of testing conditions, with no forecast of significant rain until January. 

Six lives and 577 homes have been lost this fire season, the RFS has declared, with more than 420 homes lost in the past fortnight.

NSW Police told reporters on Wednesday that legal action had been taken against 54 people since August for bushfire-related offences.

Along with possible bushfires, the National Asthma Council Australia has forecast Thursday’s pollen count as ‘extreme’.

The alert coincides with the third anniversary of the epidemic thunderstorm asthma event, which claimed 10 lives on November 21, 2016.

‘Today’s anniversary is a reminder that the risk is real. Any serious asthma attack can be life-threatening and have devastating consequences,’ NAC chief executive Siobhan Brophy said.

‘People do not need to be in the immediate area of a fire to suffer from the effect of smoke on their lungs. Wherever smoke haze is visible, it is a threat to those with asthma.’ 

AUSTRALIA’S SCORCHING WEEK 

 SYDNEY

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Smoke haze. Min 18 – Max 29

Friday: Mostly sunny. Min 21 – Max 26

Saturday: Possible shower. Min 18 – Max 26

Sunday: Showers Min: 18 – Max 23

BRISBANE

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Min 20 – Max 29

Friday: Mostly sunny. Min 19 – Max 29

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 19 – Max 29

Sunday: Mostly sunny Min: 19 – Max 29

MELBOURNE

Thursday: Afternoon cool change. Windy. Min 25 – Max 39

Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 12 – Max 20

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 10 – Max 23

Sunday: Sunny. Min 10 – Max 22

ADELAIDE

Thursday: Early morning cool change. Min 22 – Max 25

Friday: Mostly sunny. Min 11 – Max 22

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 – Max 23

Sunday: Sunny: Min 10 – Max 26

HOBART

Thursday: Hot. Shower or two later. Min 16 – Max 30

Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 9 – Max 22

Saturday: Shower or two. Min 10 – Max 21

Sunday: Partly cloudy Min: 9 –  Max: 24

PERTH

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Min 10 – Max 23

Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 – Max 26

Saturday: Sunny. Min 15 – Max 30

Sunday: Sunny Min: 16 – max: 29

DARWIN 

Thursday: Possible shower or storm. Min 27 – Max 35

Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 27 – Max 35

Saturday: Shower or two. Possible storm. Min 26 – Max 34

Sunday: Showers Min: 23 – Max 33

CANBERRA 

Thursday: Hot and sunny. Min 11 Max 39

Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 18 – Max 33

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 14 – Max 32 

Sunday: Partly cloudy Min: 11 – Max 33

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Patient dog lets a young aspiring cowboy in New Mexico practice lassoing and calf roping on him 

Published

on

By

A young cowboy from New Mexico practiced his lassoing skills on his very patient dog Fred on November 11. 

Chell Price recorded the moment her 10-year-old son, Haize, was working on his roping craftsmanship in what appears to be their home in the city of Cuervo. 

Price told Storyful: ‘They are best friends! Fred pouts until Haize gets home from school!’

A very tolerant dog named Fred (left) let his 10-year-old owner (right) practice his rodeo techniques on him in a viral video

A very tolerant dog named Fred (left) let his 10-year-old owner (right) practice his rodeo techniques on him in a viral video

A very tolerant dog named Fred (left) let his 10-year-old owner (right) practice his rodeo techniques on him in a viral video 

Footage shows young cowboy, Haize (right), swinging a colorful lasso before tossing it onto Fred (left)

Footage shows young cowboy, Haize (right), swinging a colorful lasso before tossing it onto Fred (left)

Footage shows young cowboy, Haize (right), swinging a colorful lasso before tossing it onto Fred (left) 

In the video, Haize can be seen swinging a bright colored lasso while Fred rests  calmly on the floor. 

Haize then flings the rope across the room until it fits over Fred’s head and the small rodeo star rushes over to his pet. 

Using technique common to calf roping, Haize briefly lifts Fred into the air before placing on him on his side 

Then, he uses a separate rope to bind three of Fred’s feet together, while Fred indulges his owner’s play and lies completely composed. 

After roping Fred, Haize gives his dog lots of love and calls him ‘a good boy.’

Price says that Haize and Fred do more than pretend calf roping, like playing football or hide-and-seek. 

Price: 'They are best friends! Fred pouts until Haize gets home from school!'

Price: 'They are best friends! Fred pouts until Haize gets home from school!'

Price: ‘They are best friends! Fred pouts until Haize gets home from school!’ 

Haize uses skills common in calf roping to briefly tie Fred's paws together with a separate rope

Haize uses skills common in calf roping to briefly tie Fred's paws together with a separate rope

Haize uses skills common in calf roping to briefly tie Fred’s paws together with a separate rope 

All the while, Fred stays composed and calmly watches as his owner finishes the rodeo technique

All the while, Fred stays composed and calmly watches as his owner finishes the rodeo technique

All the while, Fred stays composed and calmly watches as his owner finishes the rodeo technique 

Pictured: Haize calling Fred 'a good boy' and petting his stomach after finishing his calf roping practice

Pictured: Haize calling Fred 'a good boy' and petting his stomach after finishing his calf roping practice

Pictured: Haize calling Fred ‘a good boy’ and petting his stomach after finishing his calf roping practice 

The video was originally posted to Price’s Facebook page where it is getting lots of attention from users, many of which have called the moment adorable. 

One woman said: ‘This is the cutest thing ever!’

‘Still laughing, I wonder how many times this sweet dog put up with this nonsense. Good relationship between man and dog,’ one man said.  

‘This is fantastic,’ one user said,’Super creative way to get some practice in!’ 

Other users were less than thrilled by the video, saying such actions could hurt the Fred. 

‘Just because an animal allows it doesn’t mean it’s not animal abuse…animals aren’t here for your entertainment,’ one woman said.  

Another said: ‘…This is how [dog] bites happen and innocent dogs get put down because of ignorant owners.’

The video has more than 12,000 shares, 2,300 comments and 2,600 likes.   

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 DiazHub.