Despite billions spent to eradicate opium crops in Afghanistan, the crop is more popular than ever there, leading many to wonder whether some U.S. forces may actually be encouraging its growth and the heroin it later becomes.
In July, the Centers for Disease Control warned of record-breaking numbers of heroin deaths in the United States. “Heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade,” the CDC reported.
In the same month, it was reported that opium production is stronger than ever in Afghanistan, which now produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of the plant that’s refined to create heroin. This rise in production would have been impossible prior to the U.S.-led invasion, and it comes despite some $8.4 billion spent in counternarcotics efforts by the U.S., specifically designated to wipe out opium production in Afghanistan.
Britain has no control over how the European Union (EU) spends UK taxpayers’ money at a time when Brussels is asking domestic governments to engage in austerity at home, a leading policy analyst has warned.
Business for Britain campaign director Robert Oxley sharply criticized the EU on Wednesday after it emerged Britons face an additional EU bill of £384 million (€519 million) in 2016.
National ministers across Europe had agreed upon a €142.1 billion EU budget for 2016 in July, slashing the European Commission’s (EC) proposal by €1.4 billion.
However, the European Parliament’s (EP) budget committee has hit back, moving to increase spending by €3 billion.
Survivors’ groups have criticised a “lack of progress” in the work of a public inquiry into historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland.
They said they felt let down by delays which looked ‘shambolic’ and suggested incompetence.
The inquiry, announced in December 2014, formally began its work on Thursday, although no panel members have been appointed.
It followed a series of disclosures of abuse in childcare institutions.
In May 2015, leading QC, Susan O’Brien was appointed to chair the inquiry, which will have statutory powers to compel witnesses to give evidence.
Although its work has officially started, no hearings are yet planned. Only a website has been launched.
Ms O’Brien QC said she would give full details of how the inquiry would operate once panel members had been appointed by the Scottish government.
A panel of academic and public sector experts are set to study a potential deployment of facial recognition technology by Leicestershire Police.
The study will form part of the new ethics committee’s duties.
Last month, senior police officials described the tech as significant a breakthrough for policing as the development of fingerprinting a century ago and, more recently, DNA coding.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, Leicestershire’s Chief Constable Simon Cole said the tech – a portable NeoFace surveillance solution made by NEC Corporation – could identify wanted criminals almost instantly.
There’s no doubting the magnitude of scientific evidence showing that the active form of vitamin D shuts down cancer cells. Higher levels of vitamin D are highly correlated with better chances of cancer survival and a new meta-analysis of existing data shows that increasing vitamin D status is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing lung cancer.
By Mickey Summers
Monday Sept 28th 2015, PRESS RELEASE
Survivors from the Nottinghamshire Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry group met with representatives of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse established under Judge Goddard to examine the extent to which state and non state institutions and authorities failed in their duty to protect children from harm. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how survivors were to be central in the outcomes of the Goddard Inquiry, to brief the central team on the landscape in Nottinghamshire and survivors concerns of the continued obstruction and deceptiveness of the authorities in seeking to minimise their responsibilities of decades of abuse of Children, and to establish the boundaries of the national inquiry with the possibility of a more specific local inquiry.
Survivors attending the meeting were able to air their general concerns with the conduct of the police operations Daybreak and Xeres which has still to see any prosecutions after 5 years of investigations despite an unprecedented level of survivors coming forward to give evidence, and their concerns with the apparent unwillingness of the City and Council authorities to engage survivors and opening themselves to public scrutiny with an independent local inquiry.
The discussions with the Goddard team, necessarily broad as they move forward, clearly gave much confidence to the survivors group of the determination of Goddard not only to deliver a cathartic experience and allow survivors to tell of their experiences, not only that Goddard was determined to ensure all necessary lessons are learnt and recommendations made to ensure that the institutional abuse of children can never again happen, but also that where there is evidence of failure by those that were supposed to protect the children, that they too will be exposed and bought to account.
In terms of the necessity of a local inquiry, it became clear that if Nottingham were to be selected as a ‘case study’ then there would be no need for anyone else to conduct alternative inquiries, as they were confident that the established lines of Inquiry would deliver the exposure here in Nottingham that survivors and whistleblowers have been seeking to achieve, and indeed the architecture of that local dimension to the inquisitorial aspects of Goddard could be used as the template for other areas considered for ‘case study’ status such as Islington.
There is clearly more to do, but survivors left the meeting knowing that Goddard will get to the truth and were prepared to listen to survivors. It is expected that greater clarity of the proposed regional truth sessions that will allow survivors to tell their stories will come late autumn, along with the confirmation or otherwise that Nottingham will be a case study and the mechanics of how that will operate.