Aleppo Besieged Areas “A Livi...

Civilians living in besieged areas of Aleppo consider the situation to be a "living hell" as they are enduring lack of food and water. Humanitarian...

Italian Earthquake Damages Total Mo...

The August 24 earthquakes had damaged more than £3bn worth of properties in the town of Amatrice. The true total was still being assessed according to...

Donald Trump Does Not Promise Amnes...

For illegal Mexican immigrants, the US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump will not promise any amnesty, harming possible support from American Latino...

Idlib Bombing Leaves 22 Dead

Syrian warplanes had bombed the opposition-held Idlib province, killing at least 22 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Lon...

Aleppo Besieged Areas “A Living Hell”

Civilians living in besieged areas of Aleppo consider the situation to be a “living hell” as they are enduring lack of food and water.

Humanitarian missions found it difficult to find their way inside to provide aid to survivors of devastating air strikes from the Syrian regime. Meanwhile, rebel-held frontlines remained vulenrable to Russian air strikes overnight.

The attacks had allowed Syrian regime forces to occupy the north of the city.

“The army high command calls all armed fighters in the eastern neighbourhood of Aleppo to leave these neighbourhoods and let civilian residents live their normal lives,” said a statement, carried by state news agency Sana on Sunday.

Syrian government forces have been trying for months to recapture the city’s eastern half, which has long been a major opposition stronghold.

“I am deeply alarmed by the ferocious pummelling of eastern Aleppo city,” Mr O’Brien, UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement.

“Indiscriminate bombing and shelling continues in a shocking and unrelenting manner, killing and maiming civilians, subjecting them to a level of savagery that no human should have to endure.”

The healthcare system in eastern Aleppo had been “all but obliterated”, he added.

On Saturday, air strikes hit Aleppo’s main trauma M10 hospital for the third time in a matter of days, medical workers say.

“The hospital is now out of service completely,” radiologist Mohammad Abu Rajab was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Italian Earthquake Damages Total More Than £3bn

The August 24 earthquakes had damaged more than £3bn worth of properties in the town of Amatrice. The true total was still being assessed according to the Prime Minister.

The 6.2 magnitude earthquake had devastated mountain communities in central Italy. The earthquake lasted for three hours, leaving the town virtually reduced to rubble.

About 3,000 people were left homeless. Many were given shelter in tent encampments as aftershocks still moved around the area. Officials had vowed to move the people out of the camps as soon as possible.

“Our priority is to shut the tent camps. We hope it will happen as soon as possible, many will be leaving as early as this weekend,” said Fabrizio Curcio, the head of Italy’s civil protection department.

A prosecutor investigating the aftermath of the quake said shoddy cut-price renovations in breach of local building regulations could be partly to blame for the high death toll.

Reconstruction efforts after previous disasters have been marred by corruption and negligence. Officials this time have pledged to be transparent about the use of funds.

Donald Trump Does Not Promise Amnesty in Speech

For illegal Mexican immigrants, the US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump will not promise any amnesty, harming possible support from American Latinos in the country.

The statement during his Phoenix speech regarding immigrant policies cement his possibly-shifting immigration stance.

According to Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson “There’s no different message. He’s using different words to give us that message.”

Mr Trump promised that the Mexican border wall – the “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful” barrier would be built by his government once he steps in the White House.

Mr Trump had recently met with the Mexican President discussing the “wall” he proposed. Mr Trump had also claimed Mexico will pay for the wall to be built in full.

Mr Trump said that only after the wall is built and the concerns of American citizens are addressed will he begin considering the issue of amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the United States.

His speech also discussed the possible changing of entry procedures. Immigration levels will be reduced and most of such would be chosen on “merit, skill and proficiency.”

He also promised that anyone without legal papers and is arrested for any reason would be immediately deported to their home country regardless of the validity of the arrest.

Trump has also promised “extreme vetting” plans for immigrants from regions that impose a security risk in the United States including Syria, Libya and other conflicted countries.

Idlib Bombing Leaves 22 Dead

Syrian warplanes had bombed the opposition-held Idlib province, killing at least 22 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London.

Idlib, a province crucial to holding the nearby city and Syrian capital Aleppo, had fallen back to pro-government forces after Syrian opposition rebels had relinquished control.

About 26 air strikes had been counted across the province.

Idlib is one of the last strongholds of the Syrian Opposition group. Idlib has become a refuge for many who had tried to escape the violence in Aleppo.

In support of Syrian government forces, Moscow had sent its own air strikes against Syrian rebels for about a year.

Outside Idlib, Syrian rebels and regime forces fought in a major power plant in the Hama province. According to the Observatory, governmetn airstrikes and shelling on opposition areas in Aleppo city and surrounding countryside had killed about 40 civilians on Saturday.

State media and the Observatory said opposition shelling on government-held districts of Aleppo city killed nine civilians, including two children. State media said another 22 people were wounded. Fighting for the city has intensified this summer, after regime troops seized control of the last supply route into opposition-held areas in mid-July. After a nearly three-week siege, opposition forces took Ramussa on August 6, linking up with opposition-held neighborhoods

IS Leaders and Families Had Fled Mosul

Defence Minister Khalid al-Obeidi said that IS leaders and their families have sold their belongings and had secretly fled Mosul as Iraqi forces close into the city.

According to the Defence Minister, Iraqi forces are planning an assault on Mosul. Held by the Islamic State for two years, the final assault is still months away but will definitely happen.

“A number of the families… and leaders of [IS] in Mosul, they and their families sold their belongings and withdrew towards Syria,” whose border is west of the city, Obeidi told Iraqiya state television.

Al-Obeidi said the Mosul leaders plan to invade the Kurdish region in Iraq, which is at the northern and eastern side of Mosul.

Mosul is the last stronghold of the militant group in Iraq. If done carefully, the operation can avoid a humanitarian crisis similar to the Syrian civil war. The latter had seen many flee from their countries with many dead as no plans made for refugees had been made.

The Red Cross estimates that millions of Iraqis may be displaced in the coming months as the fight against the Islamic State continues.

Italy’s Banking Crisis Could Bring Down Eurozone

Writing for The Telegraph, Tim Wallace and Szu Ping Chan illustrate that the ‘le sofferenze’ or ‘the suffering’ have been ‘unwanted and ignored’ as theirs is a national problem left unsolved.

As bad debts drain banks of profits and economic growth not seeing the possibilities are damaging the entire country and it may seep throughout the entire Eurozone.

The £300bn worth of loans from Italy’s banks show borrowers unable to repay their debt with the amounts increasingly becoming expensive to resolve.

Banks are struggling to provide new credit to households and firms that need them in consequence.

According to the writers, the UK, Ireland and Spain — during similar times — would often ‘bite the bullet’ and ‘clean-up’ their banks. The writers highlighted this was not the case for Italy.

Italy’s government intended to have consumers pay the debts or have the investors, shareholders and bondholders. However, most bondholders are also households, who may have to pay more than they need to resolve the losses of the bank.

Banks have ignored the bad loans for so long, which had the country continue further until it hit the problem that the financial trouble grew bigger especially from 2010 to today.

Italian bank loans have turned expensive and impossible to resolve by 2013. Debt had soared in high rates of NPL from 16 to 20% increases.

If no compromise is reached between Rome, which wants to protect bondholders, and the EU, which wants to enforce the rules, it could even bring down the eurozone.

“This could be a bigger risk than Brexit,” says a lawyer who is close to the situation.

“The Greeks are desperate to be anchored into Europe, they are willing to suffer and suffer and suffer to stay in – I am not sure that Italy is willing to suffer.”


Carney Believes Brexit Can Cause Another Massive Interest Rate Cut

According to BoE Governor Mark Carney, the UK economy is showing signs of strain that may lead to another interest rate cut for the United Kingdom.

Carney said Brexit had initiated a broader picture of ‘economic post-traumatic stress disorder’ throughout the nation.

Carney said that the UK government’s contingency plan is working well so far while considering measures to safeguard financial stability.

He does not deny that the UK’s economic outlook has ‘deteriorated’ due to the huge uncertainty waiting the country in future.

The news of possible lower interest rates had reduced the yields on UK government bonds to record lows. Gilts have been having huge trouble with negative ratings. A gilt maturing in March is now trading at -0.003%. This means that investors pay the government and banks to safeguard their money.

“In my view, and I am not prejudging the views of the other independent MPC members, the economic outlook has deteriorated and some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer,” Carney said in the speech to bankers and business leaders.

“The committee will make an initial assessment on 14 July and a full assessment complete with a new forecast will follow in the August inflation report. In August, we will also discuss further the range of instruments at our disposal.”

Mateen Was A Regular In Nightclub Before Shooting.

Ty Smith, a survivor and regular of the Pulse club, said the shooter Omar Mateen was a regular in the club. He said that often Mateen spent his time alone drinking until he became intoxicated. This led to him to become rowdy and loud amongst the crowd.

Mr Smith said Mateen often talked about his father and that he had a wife and son.

Investigations showed that Mateen had a son. His wife was uncooperative with authorities regarding his death.

Mateen was gunned down by security personnel after he used a legally-purchased assault rifle to kill 50 clubgoers and injure about 53 more.

Another survivor, Kevin West, said Mateen had chatted him on a gay dating chat application. Other clubgoers said the shooter had made several advances towards other regulars in different gay dating apps to “hook up.”

The FBI is convinced that Mateen is strongly inspired by extremist beliefs but the facts have come short to establishing the killings were of a political nature.

Mateen’s spree is one of the biggest in American history.

Investigators believe Mateen’s radicalisation was due to available information about extremist ideologies in the Internet whereby he decided to act on such.

He had declared allegiance to IS upon his death.

Rome Asks Philanthropists to Develop Parts of Ancient Sites

The lack of funding and manpower along with lack of legislation has failed to protect and maintain the crumbling ancient sites of Rome. Now, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus and the aqueducts, sewage system and other parts of the Colosseum lay in ruins.

According to Roman Cultural Superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce, Rome needs more funding as it has about €12bn in debt to the world.

He said: “We need new strategic ideas. We have to create a link between the people living above the modern city and the ancient city that lies beneath them,” he said.

Rome Government Appointed- Mayor Francesco Paolo Tronca said Rome was still suffering from its malaise of corruption scandals involving the Mafia and its former officials. He said the citizens could hope for less to maintain the key tourist attractions and the heritage of the city.

“We need help to ensure Rome continues to be a reference point in terms of beauty for the whole world,” said Tronca, who was brought in after the former mayor Ignazio Marino quit over a minor expenses row unrelated to the broader corruption scandal.

Middle East Luxury Industries Lose Out To Oil And Tourism Slowdown

The slump in oil prices and tourism slowdown has affected sales in Riyadh’s own luxury industries.

According to analysts, the oil slump had made many local consumers afraid to spend money.

Crude prices had gone down to an all-time low due to global surplus. Consumers in the Middle East are holding their money as tourism has slowed.

Russian tourists, the majority of Saudi and the Middle East’s visitors, had arrived in the country in smaller numbers due to the economic sanctions that had also lowered oil prices in the country.

Middle-East luxury sales rose just 1 percent to 8.1 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in 2015, slowing from the region’s 4 percent gain in 2014, Bain estimates. A fifth of respondents in a survey of Persian Gulf countries published last month, said they cut luxury consumption in 2015, compared with 13 percent a year earlier.

In Saudi Arabia, cash withdrawals have declined for two straight months compared with the same period last year, according to central bank data. Combined with weak demands in Asia, the strong dollar and European terror attacks, luxury brands find difficulty in raising sales. The global luxury sector may expand about only 2 per cent in 2016, which is the weakest for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the bloc since 2009.

Restaurants In The UK To Stop Adding Discretionary Service Charges

Under new government plans to remind consumers they do not need to tip when eating out, restaurants could be stopped from adding discretionary service charges.

According to UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid, his department would be launching aconsultation on tipping amid customer concerns that restaurants are confusing customers about the charges and who receives their provided tips.

Restaurants in the United Kingdom usually add a 10 to 15 per cent service charge to their bills. Ministers find themselves troubled with “double tipping” because the customers did not think they had already paid a service charge before leaving cash for their waiter.

The consultation may force restaurants to make it clear to consumers that they do not have to pay the discretionary service charge. Another is to abolish the service charge completely.

According to Javid:

“The alternative would be to prevent businesses from suggesting any specific discretionary payments for service, e.g. 5, 10, 15 per cent.

“In other words, there would be no mention on the consumer’s bill of a suggested specific amount for a discretionary payment for service, other than that a discretionary service has not been added.

“The consumer may still decide to leave a discretionary payment for service without any prompt of a specific amount from the employer.

“Under this option, discretionary payments for service would become an ‘opt in’ decision for a better informed consumer, who would hold complete discretion towards making any such payment.”

Brazil’s Current Struggle Will Have Long-Term Political Reverberations

As the Brazilian Congress votes to impeach Brazilian Dilma Rousseff over charges of corruption, the effects of the current standoff could result to long-term political changes in Brazil.

Voting ended late on Sunday with Eduardo Cunha leading the congress. About 367 of the 513 deputies that backed impeachment, the outcome has yet to create violence and increasing trouble throughout the country.

However, the Workers party, in the lower house, mentioned that it would conceded defeat with 80 votes still left to be counted.

According to Leader Jose Guimaraes, “the fight is now in the courts, the street and the senate.

The conservative opposition had carefully secured its motion to remove the elected head of state less than halfway through Rousseff’s mandate.

Far-right deputy Jair Bosonaro had voted yes to support to Carols Brilhante Ustra, who is an ex-leader of the Doi-Codi torture unit during Brazil’s dictatorship era.

The voting has placed Dilma Rousseff in a troubled position. Her odds of survival looked slim and Brazil has turned against Rousseff. Experts said it didn’t happen in a crash.

Slowly, due to economic recession, political turmoil and the Petrobras scandal had seen her approval ratings fall. Even her mentor, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is under investigation in connection to the Petrobras scandal

The Europe’s Overweight In 2025 Would Be Britain

A large obesity research showed that Britain would be Europe’s “fattest man” if the government will not push to decrease consumption of sugary drinks and salty food and if Britons will not change their diets.

According to the Imperial College London’s researchers, a poor lifestyle for the UK’s working society coupled with dependence on statins and beta-blockers to lower blood pressure and cut cholesterol is encouraging bad eating habits leading to obesity.

Statins and beta-blockers, used by many overweight Britons, may not have any more effect as people become increasingly obese over time.

For the first time, the UK has more obese than underweight individuals.

Health experts are calling it a “health-time bomb” and consider obesity as a “national tragedy”.

Calls for further cuts on sugary drinks and salty food have been renewed.

According to Professor Majid Ezzati, the senior author of the research:

“This epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes.

“Our research has shown that over 40 years we have transitioned from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight.

“Obesity has reached crisis point. We need coordinated global initiatives – such as looking at the price of healthy food compared to unhealthy food, or taxing high sugar and highly processed foods – to tackle this crisis.

“Unless we make healthy food options like fresh fruits and vegetables affordable for everyone, and increase the price of unhealthy processed foods, the situation is unlikely to change.”

Mexico City Bans A Million Cars In Response To Pollution Alert

Mexico city authorities ban one million cars from its roads in response to a smog alert owed to high ozone levels twice above the imposed acceptable limits in the capital.

Mexico city’s pollution alert had stretched to three days since Monday. Officials told people on Wednesday to limit outdoor activities to avoid health complications.

Mexico city woke up to a muddy haze with a thick brown colour. According to Environment Secretary Alejandro Pacchiano, should conditions prove consistent, the government may suspend industrial activity in factories.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that about 1.1m cars in the valley of Mexico have been banned from being driven.

Sub-par vehicles that emit more smoke and chemicals have been ordered off the road for the third day.

Mosul Issues Warning Of Possible Mosul Dam Collapse

According to reports from the Iraqi Government, the possible collapse of the Mosul dam could kill 1.5 individuals from an ‘inland tidal wave’. The Government had announced contingency plans to help prevent huge casualties from the possible collapse of the Mosul dam.

Officials warned that Baghdad, Shirqat, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra, Balad and Dujail might be flooded once the dam breaks down.

The statement is an acknowledgement by the Iraqi Government of the danger posed by the dam. The brief capture of ISIS, the dam’s old age and poor state of repair will require an immediate repair to the dam.

Italian Contractor Engineering Firm TREVI is to make crucial repairs on the structure immediately.

Mosul itself could have 21m of water within hours of a breach. Downriver cities might face lower levels of flooding within two days.

The US Embassy in Baghdad had also warned US citizens of the danger of a possible dam collapse.

“We have no specific information that indicates when a breach might occur, but out of an abundance of caution, we would like to underscore that prompt evacuation offers the most effective tool to save the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people living in the most dangerous part of the flood path in the event of a breach,” the embassy said.

Fifth Anniversary Of Bahrain’s “Uprising” Delivered More Protests

Marking the fifth anniversary of the Bahrain uprising where many were arrested and reportedly tortured in Bahrain prisons, youth have been arrested in a fresh series of clashes.

The clashes served to commemorate the fifth year of the first uprising where police used harsh methods to bear down protesters.

Authorities overseeing recent clashes arrested individuals and minors for acts of sabotage and riots and having disrupted people’s interests.

The clashes happened in the Bahraini capital of Manama over the weekend. Police used tear gas and water cannons against youths who burned tyres and threw debris at police officers.

The protests depicted Shia Cleric Nimr al-Nimr, executed in Saudi Arabia in January. According to Sayed Alwadaei from the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, the situation on Sunday was similar to a state of martial law complete with “violence, arrests and tear gas.”

According to the government statement released by the Bahraini News Agency on Saturday, the Bahraini political and democratic development in the last 15 years was going smoothly. The statement said the newly-crowned King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah advanced these interests to reform the country.

“Newly established institutions including the independent Ombudsman – the first of its kind in the region – the National Institute for Human Rights, and the Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Rights Commission have enhanced independent oversight immeasurably, winning international awards in the process,” read the statement.

“The pace of progress cannot be slowed and will not be held back by groupings seeking to reject all attempts at political advance in favour of narrow, short-term interests.”


Kids Company Oversight Bars Trustees From Leading Future Charities

An MP Committee judged the oversight of former charity Kids Company was too weak. It was weak enough that the Charity Commission may consider barring its trustees from leading charities in the future.


According to Chairman of the House of Commons Public Administration Committee, the Kids Company blunder is a huge number of failures of governance and control at every level including all its trustees, auditors, inspectors, regulators and even government.

Chairman of the Trustees and Former BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob was condemned for his failures.

The charity suffered immense losses in finances with questionable numbers for clients. Favoured clients having more support than the others indicated favouritism and hints of corruption.

In November 2014, the charity turned away a donor who wished to give significant support that would help develop the charity’s infrastructure. This was during a time of a £4 million deficit. However, the charity judged the donor lacked ‘emotional authenticity’ and was not “genuinely philanthropic”.

Some workers reported “inappropriate relationships between key workers and clients”. Some untrained key workers lacked ideas about boundaries. Safegauarding practices had also been questioned by some workers in the last three years.

The Ofsted, the CQC or the local government, does not supervise Kids Company.

A BBC documentary would air on Wednesday to illustrate these issues.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases Plague Brazil

Health Minister Marcelo Castro Claims the Brazilian Health ministry had developed new testing kits that would help to quickly identify the three viruses brought by mosquitoes in Brazil.

Brazil is currently facing a large outbreak of Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. Zika is a disease linked to many birth defects in the country, including microencephaly common in poor north-eastern Brazilian states.

The development of the testing kits, according to Castro, would help researchers develop a vaccine as soon as possible.

Brazilian households are advised to clear stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

Brazil had seen fewer than 150 cases of microencephaly in 2014. From October 2015, microencephaly cases have sprung up by 3,530.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Friday alert advising pregnant women to avoid travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquito-borne diseases originate.

The travel alert applies to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Martinique, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

African Economic Predictions For 2016 As Per Journalists

African journalists send their letters to UK news network BBC. Columnists said that Islamist group conflicts, the upcoming African elections and stronger economic ties with China will dominate headlines and local discussions.

Filmmaker and Journalist Farai Sevenzo said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerian forces had driven the Islamist group Boko Haram away from the country and is now “a shadow of its former self”.

Buhari’s definition, according to Sevenzo, will only come as “a scant comfort to the people of the northeast.” However, thousands are still displaced, including the missing Chibok girls, which the government has yet to find.

Boko Haram is well-known for disrupting schools in different towns and villages in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, disrupting the education of millions of African children.

Meanwhile, elections in Gambia will see a war against witches if certain candidates win. Yaya Jammeh, who intends to declare the Gambian Republic an Islamic state in the proper sense, will cement his 22 years as leader if he wins the elections.

Zimbabwean Leader Robert Mugabe is to enter his 36th year as leader of Zimbabwe.

Harare, intends to forge stronger economic ties with China. The Chinese renminbi has become the currency of trade between the two countries. However the West is looking at the deal as enslaving Zimbabwe as a Chinese colony.

President Mugabe said he intends to “look East” to China for his economic policies.

Law Society Condemns Plan To Raise Small Claims Court For Personal Injury

Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to raise the small claims court’s compensation amount from £1000 to £5000 would allow the small claims process to handle all types of minor soft tissue injuries from car accidents. The UK Law Society slammed the proposal.

According to Law Society President Jonathan Smithers, it would only undermine victims from getting compensation from defending insurers, who have access to resources to obtain to legal advice.

He said:

“The Law Society is gravely concerned that these proposals will completely undermine the right of ordinary citizens to receive full and proper compensation from those that have injured them through negligence. These proposals will stop people obtaining legal advice for all personal injury claims below £5,000 and stop people claiming for often debilitating injuries arising from road traffic accidents if these injuries are considered minor.

“This is a fivefold increase in the present level of cases currently within the small claims procedure, benefiting those who have negligently harmed people and will result in more people trying to work their way through a complex court system without any legal advice. People recovering from their injuries will have to bring claims as litigants in person (without any legal advice) and this can be very unfair because those defending the claims can often afford to pay for legal advice. This therefore undermines ordinary people’s ability to access justice. Especially if defendants simply deny liability forcing people to fight through the courts without legal help.

“Personal injury claims, even lower value claims, can include serious injuries arising from the fault of an employer or other road traffic accidents where legal rights can be very complex and the injuries caused debilitating. A new limit of £5000 will mean personal injuries including facial scarring would be considered as ‘small claims’. This is totally unacceptable.