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Sajid Javid announces overhaul of espionage and treason laws

New bill needed to tackle hostile activity by Russia and others, says home secretaryHostile state actors – spies, assassins or hackers directed by the government of another country – are to be targeted by refreshed espionage and treason laws, the home secretary has announced.In a speech to security officials in central London, Sajid Javid revealed plans to publish a new espionage bill to tackle increased hostile state activity from the countries including but not limited to Russia. Continue read...
Tags: Politics, Russia, Boko Haram, Africa, UK News, World news, Syria, Middle East and North Africa, UK security and counter-terrorism, Data and computer security, Counter-terrorism policy, MI5, MI6, Espionage, Sajid Javid, Huawei


British nationals to be banned from parts of Syria under new law

Those who enter or remain in Idlib or north-east could face 10 years in jail, Sajid Javid to warnBritish nationals are to be banned from entering or remaining in parts of conflict-stricken Syria in the first use of a controversial new power.The home secretary, Sajid Javid, will reveal on Monday how he expects the law, which makes it a criminal offence to enter or remain in a “designated area” overseas, to be used. Continue reading...
Tags: Politics, Islamic State, UK News, World news, Syria, Middle East and North Africa, UK security and counter-terrorism, Counter-terrorism policy, Sajid Javid


Corbyn and Blair – a tale of two treacheries? | Letters

Readers take sides on Gary Younge’s argument that people who stuck with Labour over the Iraq war should not now abandon it over BrexitI agree with the point Gary Younge is making (Don’t give up on Labour now. It’s been much worse than this, 17 May). For those lifelong Labour voters who have stuck with the party through thick and thin, Brexit is perhaps an unexpected tipping point.I am not a lifelong voter, and in fact I left the Labour party when Tony Blair became leader. This was initially more...
Tags: Politics, Iraq, European Union, UK News, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Labour, Tony Blair, European elections, Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, European parliamentary elections 2019


Old grudges, new weapons… is the US on the brink of war with Iran?

While American hawks talk up an ‘imminent’ threat from Tehran with no hard evidence, echoing the start of the Iraq conflict, hardliners are in the ascendant in IranFor better or worse, America remains the world’s leading military superpower. In Washington last week, a familiar row erupted over how best that power should be used. Past targets have included Soviet Russia, al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Today the international bogeyman topping the White House’s to-do list is Ir...
Tags: Washington, White House, Iraq, Russia, US, America, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Iran, Afghanistan, Middle East and North Africa, Hassan Rouhani, Christian, Cia, Tehran


John Bolton: the man driving the US towards war … any war

Donald Trump’s national security adviser is stoking tensions with North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, in line with decades of taking the most hawkish position on any given issueThe US is now engaged in three major confrontations around the world that have the potential to degrade into war. And in the driving seat on all three fronts is John Bolton, one of the most fervent believers in American military might ever to work in the White House. Related: Elizabeth Warren announces plan to protect abor...
Tags: North Korea, White House, Elizabeth Warren, US, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Iran, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, US politics, Venezuela, Donald Trump, John Bolton, North Korea Iran, Trump Administration


UK advises dual nationals against all travel to Iran

Foreign Office tightens advice after jailing of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Aras AmiriThe UK has upgraded its travel advice to British-Iranian dual nationals, for the first time advising against all travel to Iran.The advice also urges Iranian nationals living in the UK to exercise caution if they decide to travel to Iran. Continue reading...
Tags: Politics, UK, UK News, World news, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Foreign Office, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe


Iran tells Middle East militias: prepare for proxy war

Exclusive: Top military leader delivers message at Baghdad meeting as tensions riseIran’s most prominent military leader has recently met Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for proxy war”, the Guardian has learned.Two senior intelligence sources said that Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s powerful Quds force, summoned the militias under Tehran’s influence three weeks ago, amid a heightened state of tension in the region. The move to mobilise Iran’s regional allies is understood...
Tags: Politics, UK, Washington, Iraq, US, UK News, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Guardian, Jeremy Hunt, Tehran


Aras Amiri is Iran’s latest state-sponsored hostage. Britain must act | Richard Ratcliffe

The British Council employee’s arrest mirrors my wife’s ordeal. Iran must be stopped from holding innocent people as leverageThis week Aras Amiri from north London was convicted and sentenced in Iran to 10 years in prison for organising Iranian cultural events in the UK for the British Council.It brought back memories of the sentencing of my wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on similar charges in 2016 – and the tearful weeks failing to make sense of it all. Aras’s case has many similarities to Naza...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, UK News, World news, Iran, Britain, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Jeremy Hunt, Aras, British Council, Nazanin, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Richard Ratcliffe, Aras Amiri


Iran has jailed another woman, like my wife. We need coordinated action | Richard Ratcliffe

The arrest of Aras Amiri mirrors my wife’s ordeal. Iran can no longer be allowed to hold innocent people as leverageThis week Aras Amiri from north London was convicted and sentenced in Iran to 10 years in prison for organising Iranian cultural events in the UK for the British Council.It brought back memories of the sentencing of my wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on similar charges in 2016 – and the tearful weeks failing to make sense of it all. Aras’s case has many similarities to Nazanin’s: bo...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, UK News, World news, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Jeremy Hunt, Aras, Nazanin, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Richard Ratcliffe, Aras Amiri


Iran has jailed another British Iranian, like my wife. We need coordinated action | Richard Ratcliffe

The arrest of Aras Amiri mirrors my wife’s ordeal. Iran can no longer be allowed to hold innocent people as leverageThis week Aras Amiri from north London was convicted and sentenced in Iran to 10 years in prison for organising Iranian cultural events in the UK for the British Council.It brought back memories of the sentencing of my wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on similar charges in 2016 – and the tearful weeks failing to make sense of it all. Aras’s case has many similarities to Nazanin’s: bo...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, UK News, World news, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Jeremy Hunt, Aras, Nazanin, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Richard Ratcliffe, Aras Amiri


The Guardian view on prosecuting war crimes: no one is above the law | Editorial

The new defence secretary ought to understand that the rule of law can only be upheld by observing itThe limelight was always going to be on Penny Mordaunt as defence secretary. A Brexiter accused by the last prime minister of lying to win, she is now touted as Theresa May’s emotionally intelligent successor. She did nothing to dispel such speculation with a speech on Wednesday, promising to protect soldiers from “lawfare” – a pejorative term coined to describe the use of a country’s legal syste...
Tags: Politics, Human Rights, Children, Law, Iraq, Society, UK News, World news, Afghanistan, Military, Middle East and North Africa, Theresa May, South and Central Asia, Ministry Of Defence, British Army, War Crimes


No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Deputy commander of anti-Isis coalition rebuts White House justification for sending troopsThe top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region.Maj Gen Christopher Ghika, who is a deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition conducting counter-terrorist operations against Isis in Iraq and Syria, was repea...
Tags: Isis, White House, Islamic State, Iraq, US, UK News, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Iran, Syria, Military, Middle East and North Africa, British Army, Christopher Ghika


No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Deputy commander of anti-Isis coalition rebuts White House justification for sending troopsThe top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region.Maj Gen Christopher Ghika, who is a deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition conducting counter-terrorist operations against Isis in Iraq and Syria, was repea...
Tags: Isis, White House, Islamic State, Iraq, US, UK News, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Iran, Syria, Military, Middle East and North Africa, British Army, Christopher Ghika


We lost faith in joint efforts to halt wars. Result? Ask Syria...

Once the great powers worked together. Now nationalist strongmen dominate the agendaSuggestions that the war in Syria is winding down must sound like a sick joke to the people of Ras al-Ain. Their village, in north-western Idlib province, was targeted in an air raid last week. Five residents were killed, including three children, and at least 20 others were injured.A local man, Hussein al-Sheikh, described to Al Jazeera reporter Farah Najjar how a building collapsed as the children ran for cover...
Tags: Politics, World news, Syria, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, United Nations


Khalifa Haftar can still be part of future Libya government, says Hunt

Foreign secretary says UK not ruling out role for warlord despite his attack on capital The UK is not ruling out the warlord Khalifa Haftar from a role in a future Libyan government despite his attack on the capital, the British foreign secretary has said as he reiterated calls for a ceasefire.Jeremy Hunt told the Guardian: “We do not agree with what Haftar is doing. We do not think it is possible for Haftar to achieve a military victory, and as a government he will not be seen as legitimate by...
Tags: Politics, UK, Africa, UK News, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Libya, Jeremy Hunt, Foreign, Hunt, Khalifa Haftar, Haftar


Saudi Arabia’s sudden interest in Sudan is not about friendship. It is about fear | Nesrine Malik

In the uprising against Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, the Saudi royal family see a portent of their own demiseIn the days following the Yom Kippur war, after the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, agreed to a ceasefire and subsequent peace treaty with Israel, he faced questions at home about his climbdown. When confronted on his capitulation, he is reported to have said that he was prepared for battle with Israel but not with America. On the third day of the war, President Nixon had authorised Operatio...
Tags: Politics, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Israel, America, World news, United States, Middle East and North Africa, New York Times, United Arab Emirates, Omar al Bashir, Sudan, Libya, Cairo, Nixon, Nesrine Malik


The silence on Christian persecution is because of trade, not political correctness | Andrew Brown

Jeremy Hunt’s mission is noble but hollow – after all, his government does business with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and ChinaThe foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been denouncing the persecution of Christians around the world in advance of a report he has commissioned from the Bishop of Truro. It’s true, and important, that Christians are being persecuted in large numbers, especially in the Middle East, and that this has been largely ignored by the British media for decades. But there is something ve...
Tags: Politics, Saudi Arabia, China, Africa, Religion, World news, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, Middle East, Christianity, Jeremy Hunt, Hunt, Andrew Brown, Saudi Arabia Egypt


It’s hard for us on the Israeli left – liberal antisemitism makes it worse | Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Careless UK and US liberals keep giving Netanyahu the opportunity to say that any criticism is driven by hatred of JewsThe New York Times apologised this week for a cartoon published recently in its international edition. The drawing was of a blind Donald Trump, wearing a skullcap, led by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was depicted as a dog wearing a star of David collar. The cartoon evoked caricatures of evil Jews misleading blind nations, of a kind popular in the German med...
Tags: Politics, UK, Media, Israel, Religion, US, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Judaism, Labour, New York Times, Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Corbyn, Netanyahu, Antisemitism


White House considers move to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group

Sarah Sanders says ‘designation working its way through internal process’ after Trump personally lobbied by Egypt president SisiThe White House has confirmed it is considering the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, after Donald Trump was personally lobbied by Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.The official designation of the Islamist movement as terrorist would have far-reaching effects, sanctioning companies and individuals who had any interactions with the g...
Tags: White House, Africa, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, Donald Trump, Muslim Brotherhood, Trump, Abdel Fatah al Sisi, Sarah Sanders, SisiThe White House


Jeremy Hunt hosts talks in effort to save Yemen peace process

UK foreign secretary meets Saudi and Emirati ministers as Houthi redeployment faltersJeremy Hunt will make a fresh effort to keep the embers of the Yemen peace process alive as he comes under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to declare that the Houthis have failed to abide by commitments to redeploy their forces from the port city of Hodeida in line with agreements reached in December.The UK foreign secretary is hosting the Saudi and Emirati foreign ministers in London on ...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, Saudi Arabia, US, UK News, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Jeremy Hunt, Yemen, Emirati, Hodeida, David Satterfield


The Guardian view on Libya: this crisis is international | Editorial

Khalifa Haftar’s foreign backers have egged him on – and civilians are paying the priceThe warlord Khalifa Haftar, who controls eastern Libya, has never disguised his ambitions. Once one of Muammar Gaddafi’s generals, he returned from exile in the US when the dictator fell in 2011, attempted to launch a coup three years later, repeatedly declared his intention to take Tripoli and has said that his country may not be ready for democracy.So the professions of shock from his backers when he mounted...
Tags: Europe, Politics, France, Saudi Arabia, Africa, US, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, Foreign Policy, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, Un


Oil prices expected to spike in summer as US toughens stance on Iran sanctions

News of US ending exemptions to Iran’s oil sanctions triggered surge in oil prices, as Americans prepare for summer road tripsThe summer driving season may just have gotten more expensive.US and global crude oil prices are near six-month highs as the White House said Monday it would not extend exemptions to Iran’s oil sanctions that were set to end in May. The news triggered an immediate spike in oil prices and comes as gasoline demand seasonally rises as Americans prepare for summer road trips...
Tags: Business, Saudi Arabia, White House, Oil, US, World news, Commodities, US news, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, US politics, Trump Administration


UK condemns Saudi Arabia over 'repulsive' mass executions

Foreign Office minister criticises country’s human rights after 37 people killedBritain has issued its sharpest condemnation of the direction of Saudi Arabian human rights policy, describing its mass executions as “repulsive” and “utterly unacceptable in the modern world”.The remarks came after further details emerged of the Saudi government’s execution on Tuesday of 37 people, including three who were minors at the time of their alleged offence. Continue reading...
Tags: Politics, UK, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia, UK News, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Capital punishment, Foreign Office, Alan Duncan


UK spent £11m of public money fighting Libya rendition case

Figures show vast sums spent resisting apology demands over rendition of Libyan dissidentsThe government spent more than £11m of public funds resisting demands for an apology, compensation and prosecutions over MI6’s 2004 rendition of the Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Boudchar.The colossal sum involved has been revealed for the first time through a freedom of information request that exposes the vast amounts ministers and official were prepared to pay out at a time whe...
Tags: Politics, UK, Africa, UK News, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Libya, MI6, Rendition, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Fatima Boudchar


Trump's Iran terrorist designation is designed to lock in endless enmity | Trita Parsi

Branding the Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists serves Israel and Saudi Arabia’s interests but makes an Obama-style rapprochement by a future president more difficultWith the stroke of a pen, the Donald Trump administration declared more than 11 million Iranians – nearly one-seventh of the country’s population – terrorists. The unprecedented move to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization has rightfully raised concerns that the John Bolton-Mike Pompeo wi...
Tags: Obama, Saudi Arabia, White House, Israel, US, US foreign policy, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Middle East, Tehran, Donald Trump, Trump, Revolutionary Guards Corps, Trita Parsi, Revolutionary Guard Corps, John Bolton Mike Pompeo


End Bahrain’s persecution of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei and his family | Letters

NGO representatives, lawyers and a cross-party group of parliamentarians call on the British government to act in defence of the UK-based human rights activistWe write to express our deep concern for the family of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD). Mr Alwadaei was granted refugee status in the UK in 2012 in recognition of the dangers he faced in Bahrain. While in London, Mr Alwadaei has continued to fight for the rights of torture victims and...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, Human Rights, Protest, Law, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, United Nations, Bahrain, NGO, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy BIRD, Alwadaei


Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both declare Israeli election victory – video

Benjamin Netanyahu was on track on Wednesday morning to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, despite his Likud party winning the same number of seats as the party of his main rival. With 97% of votes counted, both Likud and the Blue and White party, led by the former army general Benny Gantz, had won 35 seats in the 120-seat parliament, the Knesset. However, results showed Netanyahu would be in a much better position to form a majority governing coalition made up of nationalist, far-r...
Tags: Politics, Israel, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu, White Party, Netanyahu, Knesset, Likud, Gantz, Benny Gantz


Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both declare Israeli election win – video

With the final votes still being counted, both Benjamin Netanyahu's rightwing Likud and Benny Gantz's more centrist Blue and White party have declared victory. Both are currently tied at 35 seats, which is far below the 60 seats required for a majority in the Knesset. But Likud's right-wing coalition partner options are stronger than the left-wing allies available for the Blue and White party, which gives Likud and Netanyahu a slight advantage in the negotiations to come over the next few days.I...
Tags: Politics, Israel, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Knesset, Likud, Benny Gantz


Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz declare Israeli election win – video

With the final votes still being counted, both Benjamin Netanyahu's rightwing Likud and Benny Gantz's more centrist Blue and White party have declared victory. Both are currently tied at 35 seats, which is far below the 60 seats required for a majority in the Knesset. But Likud's right-wing coalition partner options are stronger than the left-wing allies available for the Blue and White party, which gives Likud and Netanyahu a slight advantage in the negotiations to come over the next few days.I...
Tags: Politics, Israel, World news, Middle East and North Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Knesset, Likud, Benny Gantz


Libya crisis: UK officials anxious as blame is laid at doors of Gulf allies

There will be deep unease in Foreign Office over role of Saudi Arabia and UAEBlame for the renewed Libyan crisis has been laid at the doors of some of Britain’s closest allies in the Gulf, highlighting again how the UK’s commercial interests so often trump its political priorities in the Middle East.In exchanges in the UK parliament, the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, traced the crisis to Nato’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, an intervention described even by the government m...
Tags: Politics, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Africa, UK News, World news, Britain, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign Policy, Nato, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, Emily Thornberry



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