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White Helmets Founder James Le Mesurier’s Death – Accident or Conspiracy?

Mirror News Desk



James Le Mesurier

Former British Army officer James Le Mesurier, who was the founder and CEO of May Day Rescue that founded and trained the Syrian White Helmets organization, was found dead in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday.

While confirming his death, the Turkish officials disclosed that Mesurier’s body was found near his home in the Beyoglu district by worshippers on their way to a mosque.

The White Helmets group confirmed the owner’s death on its Facebook page.

“The family of the Syrian Civil Defence extends its deepest condolences to his family, and we express our deepest sorrow and solidarity with his family, as it is our duty to commend his humanitarian efforts, which the Syrians will always remember,” the group said.

Launched during the Syrian Civil War, the White Helmets group also known as Syria Civil Defence, has played an important role following the prevailing war crisis.

The volunteers of the organisation aimed at evacuating civilians from danger areas, while providing essential medical service delivery to them. As of April 2018, the organisation claimed to have saved over 114,000 lives, suffering under attack from Syrian regime forces and their Russian and Iranian allies, with 204 White Helmet volunteers losing their lives in the process.

Asserting impartiality in the Syrian conflict is the main moto of the organisation, although it only operated in rebel-held areas.

Istanbul governor’s office said that “comprehensive administrative and judicial investigations into Le Mesurier’s death have been initiated”. Disclosing more about James Le Mesurier’s death, a Turkey-based news agency stated that police established that no one had entered or left his home at the time of the incident, and believe he may have fallen to his death.

During the investigation, Mesurier’s wife told the police that her husband had been taking medicine to treat “intense stress” although no further revelations have been achieved in the case.

Since its launch, the organisation was much criticised by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian-sponsored media organisations, which even accused Mesurier of being a spy.

The group was also criticised by the Iranian and Chinese news agency and its volunteers were banned from entering Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria.

James Le Mesurier’s death raises a big question on an individual’s security in Turkey. His friends and followers believe that Mesurier’s death was conspired by the ones, who hated the White Helmets organisation and its cause. Russia’s close involvement with Turkey and its hatred towards the organisation and its founder has brought it under the speculations of committing such a deed.

Well Russian intelligence’s presence in Turkey cannot be neglected and its improving relations with the NATO ally has given it a chance to operate more aggressively in Turkey. Though nothing as of now has been proved.

In the past, Russian killers have committed a series of assassinations in Turkey, killing men and refugees from other countries. 46-year-old Ruslan Israpilov, who was seeking refuge in Turkey, was killed by Russian killers in 2016. The members of the White Helmets organisation believe that Russia could be involved in James Le Mesurier’s death.


What Does Conservative Party’s Landslide Victory Mean for Brexit?

Mirror News Desk




On Friday, the Conservative Party won a majority of 365 seats in the UK’s general election. Led by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the victory marked party’s biggest election win in 30 years. Meanwhile, the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, failed and could only win 203 seats, marking their biggest defeat in elections since the 1930s.

The Prime Minister upon historic triumph thanked voters in the north of England for “breaking the voting habits of generations” to back the Conservatives.

Boris Johnson who won the House of Commons majority of 80, is also likely on course to get his Brexit deal passed, in what could also be another historic movement for the party.

Brexit has remained subject to intense criticism ever since the 2016 referendum saw majority votes in favour of leaving the European Union (EU). However, Labour Party’s debacle now leaves them with no choice, but to support the divorce agreement.

They had “changed the political landscape” and “changed the Conservative Party for the better”, Johnson said of the voters that have supported him. “Everything that we do, everything that I do as your prime minister, will be devoted to repaying that trust,” he added.

On the other hand, Jeremy Corbyn accepted the defeat and said, he had done everything he could have to get Labour into power. He added that the elections had been “taken over by Brexit,” the agenda rigorously championed by his political rival. The Labour leader is now expected to stand down “early next year”, after a successor was chosen by the party.

MPs will return to Westminster on Tuesday and begin the process of swearing in, before the Queen formally opens the House of Commons on Thursday.

What Next for UK and EU?

Boris Johnson has said that he would reintroduce his Withdrawal Agreement Bill to Parliament before Christmas. The move that is likely to see MPs begin the process of considering legislation, paving the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

However, the result of the UK general elections has shifted the emphasis of Brexit towards European Union more than Britain. According to the reports, the EU leaders are looking forward to request an extension to the transition period. The idea that states keeping the UK under Brussels regulations beyond 2020.

Presently, Boris Johnson has informed that he would not seek an extension beyond 11 months. But Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission’s president, said that negotiating the future terms in such a small amount of time would be a really difficult task.

Speaking on Friday, at the leaders’ summit in Brussels, she emphasized that the negotiations will have to prioritize issues and work accordingly. However, given Johnson’s track record with the EU, the way forward won’t be a walk in the park.

Also, though the divorce bill states that the transition period can be extended by “one or two years”, it can happen only if it is agreed before 1 July next year. Furthermore, in order to seek extension of the transition period, the prime minister would have to open negotiations regarding the extra amount that Britain will have to offer to the EU.

All is not over yet, even with Johnson’s historic triumph and soft Brexit likely to be delivered on or before 31 January. The combat between the UK and rest of the EU is yet to take centre stage.

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2019 General Elections: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Resigns upon Party’s Defeat

Mirror News Desk



2019 General Elections

The long awaited day for the 2019 general elections, meant to decide the fate of Brexit arrived in the country yesterday. As people went to the polls to vote for their respective candidates, the political leaders remained anxious about the outcome.

Some of the survey polls on the election day placed Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party while many others revealed the uncertainty of the voters to vote for the appropriate party.

The 2019 general elections night appeared to be extraordinary for Johnson and his party, as they succeeded in securing a huge majority.

Following the party’s crushing defeat in the elections, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn announced his plans to resign, stating that he would not lead the party into another general election. He further added, “I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.

“I will lead the party during that period to ensure that the discussion takes place as we move on into the future.”

Corbyn’s announcement seemed a plausible outcome to the Conservatives, who throughout their campaigning, remained focused on their pledge to “get Brexit done” and picked up dozens of seats through this aim.

The night of election appeared devastating for Labour Party as it lost heavily in the north of England. The scale of Labour’s defeat clearly depicted the fact that Corbyn’s urging to “shock the establishment” and “back change” had no effect on the voters.

The survey revealed that the voters intending to vote for the Labour Party did not seem very fond of its leader. 17 percent of the voters said that they would consider leaving the country, if Corbyn became the prime minister while almost one in seven (13 per cent) said they would consider selling financial investments.

In the past, many global powers openly warned against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and how his win in the elections could damage the UK’s relations with other countries post Brexit.  

At last, voter turnout that the Labours feared for so long hit the party, changing the full scenario of the 2019 general elections. Even though the Labour party decided to get the votes strategically by highlighting the party credentials on the health service, climate and other domestic issues, they failed in beating the Conservatives.

Voters that left early without casting their votes, due to long queues outside some of the polling stations, were entitled to apply for a ballot paper till 10pm yesterday. “Middle England” and regions, encompassing several mid-sized towns and cities such as Dover, Burton upon Trent, Watford and Worcester remained the key areas in deciding the outcome of 2019 general elections. 

Since the election has long been fought for on the social media, it has gained worldwide attention. The international leaders, eagerly waiting for the outcome of the elections appeared to have been at peace with Corbyn’s decision of resigning.

Defending the party, Corbyn’s allies put the blame of defeat on Brexit, the mainstream media, and disloyal centrist Labour MPs, while many others have portrayed Corbyn’s personal leadership and left-wing policy platform as the primary cause in the 2019 general elections.

Meanwhile, some of the Labour MPs are looking for possible replacements for Corbyn.  

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John McDonnell Makes Eleventh Hour Effort to Win General Elections

Mirror News Desk



John McDonnell

With only three days remaining for the general elections, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, is expected to announce the plans for the first 100 days of the Labour Party in his speech in London on Monday.

Nationalising water and energy companies within 100 days of taking office and establishing “governing boards” comprising workers, politicians, industry experts, and customers are some of the things plans Labour has planned to entice voters.

With such eye-grabbing plans for the Britons released just 72 hours before the general elections, it won’t be wrong to claim that the move from Labour Party is a last attempt to gain a stronghold in some areas of the UK or to completely reshape the results of upcoming elections.

Also, it won’t be wrong to claim that the announcement from Labour MP, John McDonnell is to retaliate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the first 100 days of the Tory government on Wednesday.

Only thing wrong with the Labour’s announcement is the timing. The release of plans just 72-hours prior to the elections does not provide enough time for people to contemplate and figure out if Tories are  better than Labour.

According to sources, John McDonnell will also announce the details of the party’s first budget. McDonnell will promise to “give everyone the option of participating in how their utilities are run”.

“In our first hundred days we will start the process of bringing water and energy into public ownership. We’ll set up boards to run them made up of you, the customer, and you, the worker, as well as representatives from local councils, metro mayors and others,” McDonnell will say.

“We’ll create new People’s Assemblies to hold these boards to account and give everyone the option of participating in how their utilities are run.”.

Another lag to hit the Labour campaign is when John McDonnell will be laying out the plans, Tory leader Johnson will be attempting to crack the “red wall” of Labour seats across the North of England to ensure that Tories secure a majority in the parliament.

Also, Johnson’s continuous rebuttal of Brexit checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland post-Brexit, since Corbyn released documents claiming checks on Northern Ireland,  is expected to hit snag to Labour’s 100-day plan.

During an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Johnson said, “[This deal] allows the whole of the UK to come out of the EU including Northern Ireland and the only checks that there would be, would be if something was coming from GB via Northern Ireland and was going on to the Republic, then there might be checks at the border into Northern Ireland.”

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Justice denied after teen girl faced sexual abuse in children’s home

Mirror News Desk



Justice denied after teen girl faced sexual abuse in children’s home

Intervention of children’s commissioner has been demanded regarding the case of a teen girl, who is an alleged victim of a series of misconduct at the hands of social workers, police and medical authorities.

A 16-year-old girl, whose identity has been kept anonymous, was over four years ago the youngest minor placed in England’s secure hospital. She was allegedly subjected to sexual abuse while in the shelter of children’s social care in Sheffield. The victim is currently placed in the seclusion unit of a psychiatric hospital.

Victim’s mother said she remains under a constant fear that someday she might hear that her daughter has been found dead. The teen-victim was taken into care as her mother was unable to deal with daughter’s behaviour. Since the mother was herself a victim of child sexual abuse, she could not afford her daughter to experience the same fate.

Campaigners have reportedly reached out Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, as they have struggled to help the victim and her family since a couple of years.

In a statement, outreach worker Kathryn Kelwick, who fought for the victims of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, said the teenager was “horrendously exploited” during her stay at a children’s home in Sheffield.

The evidence collected by Kelwick and victim’s family indicates that while living at the children’s home, she could easily move in and out as per her will, despite dropping hints of being sexually abused after her return.

Louise Haigh, the teenager’s MP, was updated on the victim’s case on a regular basis. She called the case as “deeply disturbing” and assured raising the issue on several occasions with senior officials at Sheffield social services. Alan Billings, the police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, has accounted teen girl’s sexual abuse as “a shocking and sad story”.

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Labour Leads in Promoting Climate Change Policies, FoE Survey Reveals

Mirror News Desk



Climate Change Policies

Once again, climate change policies appear to have influenced the wave of elections in the country. Since the ministers from both Conservative Party and Labour Party are preparing for the upcoming general elections, many organisations and firms are actively indulged in bringing the truth to light.

A survey from Friends of the Earth (FoE), an international network of environmental organizations in 74 countries, stated that the Labour Party has the strongest policies to protect nature and combat climate change.

The survey has warned that the opposition election pledges could narrowly beat the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, while leaving the ruling Conservative Party far behind. Aviation has become a key specific area for Labours, who have now announced plans to impose taxes on people who are frequent flyers, taking action against much tougher carbon targets.

Well, the calls of escalating tax on frequent flyers to control the soaring number of flights have been in trend for quite some time and the Labours, being wise-enough, have quickly added this on their election manifesto, backing move to levy taxes on the 15 percent of people who take 70 percent of flights.

Moreover, Labours stated that expansion at Heathrow would be cancelled if it was not consistent with climate targets. The party also has plans to divert funds from the road programme to public transports after winning the general elections.

While comparing the parties on 45 policy points, the FoE league table gave the Labour, Greens, Lib Dems, Conservatives, 33, 31, 30 and 5.5 scores respectively.

Throughout the year, the environmental policies have had a huge influence on citizens, many of whom actively participated in climate protests, initiated by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Not only in the UK, the protests spread throughout the world, with people demanding strict actions against factors promoting climate crisis, from their respective governments.

Reflecting upon the need of climate change policies, FoE spokesman Dave Timms said, “Environmental issues have been given greater priority in this election than ever before – and with the world in the midst of an ecological and climate crisis this must be the next government’s top priority.”

“Many of the policies that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Green Party have put forward are commensurate with, or striving to meet, the challenges we face.”

Timms even criticised the ruling government saying, “It is disappointing we have not seen the same urgency, ambition or consistency from the Conservative Party.”

The FoE survey has raised problems for the political leaders of different parties. The Greens, who have a central motive of working on the principles of green politics, such as social justice, environmentalism and nonviolence, while protecting the planet, have complained that the scoring includes only the commitments made in manifestos.

Upon the growing complaints by the Greens, the Labours have challenged the party by devoting its top manifesto section with climate change policies. But every new step comes with a challenge. Labours are now under pressure from trade unions to simultaneously safeguard the jobs in the industry.

With unknown future of deadlocked Brexit, the Labours if succeed in winning the 2019 general elections will have a lot to work upon besides fulfilling their environmental promises.

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