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The Guardian looking at the second week of August 2022

August 08

Revealed: Force strip-searched 650 children in two-year period
Metropolitan police / Revealed: Force strip-searched 650 children in two-year period

The children’s commissioner for England has denounced the Metropolitan police’s record on child protection after new data revealed that 650 children were strip-searched over a two-year period and the majority were found to be innocent of the suspicions against them.

Dame Rachel de Souza said she was not convinced that the force was “consistently considering children’s welfare and wellbeing” after police data showed that in almost a quarter of cases (23%) an appropriate adult was not present during the search, despite this being a requirement under statutory guidance.

De Souza questioned how far this “intrusive and traumatising” practice was necessary after figures showed that in 53% of cases no further action was taken. “This low level of successful searches arguably indicates that this intrusive practice may well not be justified or necessary in all cases.”

Appropriate adults were often absent during the search, and the majority of children were innocent
Deborah Coles of Inquest said: “This report is about state-sanctioned child abuse operating outside the law. It also reveals racist and discriminatory policing and the dehumanising of black children.”

“The Met police continue to exacerbate the low confidence from the black community in the UK, and the new commissioner must admit the systemic nature of racism which manifests in the Met to ensure meaningful measures are developed to tackle the lack of trust and confidence.”

‘Zombie government’ / Labour attacks unanswered Whitehall consultations as Johnson returns from holiday
‘Tale of two labour markets’ / City workers get double-digit wage rises while lowest-paid see 1% increase
Judiciary / Leaked report suggests Dominic Raab trying to curb judges’ powers
Gaza / Truce takes effect between Israel and Islamic Jihad after days of fighting
What we know on day 166 of the invasion
At a glance / What we know on day 166 of the invasion
UN warns of possible ‘nuclear disaster’ after plant hit by shelling; ships carrying foodstuffs sail from Ukrainian ports
Russia / Country readies for southern offensive as alarm raised over shelling of nuclear plant
Wagner / Russia’s private military contractor comes out of the shadows in Ukraine war

Three billboards in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg shine a light on what was once one of Russia’s most shadowy organisations, the private military contractor Wagner.

“Motherland, Honour, Blood, Bravery. WAGNER”, one of the posters reads.

Another, which locals said first appeared on the outskirts of the country’s fourth largest city in early July, depicts three men in military uniform next to the words “”.

The billboards, which can be seen in several Russian cities, are part of Wagner’s efforts to recruit fighters to join its ranks in Ukraine.

Wagner is believed to have played a central part in the capture of Popasna in May and Lysychansk in June, two strategically important towns that Russia largely razed to the ground during their seizure of the eastern Luhansk region. On Wednesday, British intelligence said that Wagner played a role in the capture of the giant Vuhlehirsk power plant in Ukraine’s east.

As Wagner’s role in Ukraine grew, so did its public image at home.

Russian and Rwandan security forces in Bangui in Central African Republic in December 2020

Russian and Rwandan security forces in Bangui in Central African Republic in December 2020. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Amnesty International / Rights group regrets ‘distress’ caused by claims in Ukraine report

August 09

Former US president says FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home
Donald Trump / Former US president says FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home
Sources say the Monday morning search was part of an inquiry into missing White House records after Trump’s presidency

Federal investigators have seized documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to two sources familiar with the matter, the latest indication of a sharply intensifying criminal investigation by the US justice department into his affairs.

The FBI executed a search warrant at around 9am on Monday morning at Trump’s residence, the sources said, as part of an ongoing investigation examining the former president’s potentially unlawful removal and destruction of White House records after he left office last year.

Olivia Newton-John / Star of Grease dies aged 73
Conservative leadership / Liz Truss plans could cost £50bn a year, and will ‘fail to help poorest cope’

Liz Truss’s emergency tax and spending pledges could cost upwards of £50bn a year, with experts warning they will fail to help the worst-off deal with the rising cost of living.

Truss, the strong favourite to be the next prime minister, has promised to cancel the national insurance rise, scrap a planned increase in corporation tax, spend more on defence, and remove green levies on energy bills for households and businesses – all of which would cost billions. She has also suggested boosting freeports, which would entail tax cuts for business, and mooted an increase in the married tax allowance.

Heatwave / UK health agency issues new heat alert warning for England
Technology / Google hit by worldwide outage as users report search engine down
‘A battle in our souls’ / Women who fled Ukraine agonise over when to return
Zaporizhzhia / How dangerous is the situation at the nuclear plant?

August 10

Johnson ‘absolutely certain’ next PM will offer more help
Energy bills / Johnson ‘absolutely certain’ next PM will offer more help
PM makes unexpected intervention as Rishi Sunak criticises Liz Truss for refusal to commit to more handouts

Boris Johnson has waded into the Tory leadership row over energy costs by declaring he is “absolutely certain” his successor will offer further help to households, as annual bills were forecast to top £4,200 by January.

Johnson made an unexpected intervention on energy bills at a No 10 reception, as Liz Truss, the frontrunner to be the next prime minister, was accused by Rishi Sunak’s campaign of being divorced from reality over her refusal to commit to more “handouts”.

Donald Trump / FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago estate prompts anger from Republicans and 2024 speculation
Shockwaves spread across America in response to the news that the FBI had searched the private Florida residence of Donald Trump, a dramatic and unprecedented move that prompted threats of retaliation from the former US president and his allies.
‘This is about striking fear’ / China’s Taiwan drills the new normal, analysts say
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been conducting live-fire exercises and other drills in the seas around Taiwan’s main island for almost a week, in a purported response to the controversial visit to Taipei by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Emmett Till / Woman whose accusation led to lynching will not be charged
A grand jury in Mississippi has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir by the woman, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Serena Williams / Player announces she will retire from tennis after glittering career
Russian airbase on western coast damaged in explosions
Crimea / Russian airbase on western coast damaged in explosions

Multiple social media videos showed explosions and clouds emerging from the Saky military base in Novofedorivka on the western coast of Crimea on Tuesday afternoon, prompting questions about how a location more than 100 miles (160km) from the frontline could have been attacked. Later a senior Ukrainian official appeared to claim responsibility, without giving details.

August 11

Former PM says energy firms unable to offer lower bills should be temporarily re-nationalised
Gordon Brown / Former PM says energy firms unable to offer lower bills should be temporarily re-nationalised
Former PM calls for energy price cap to be scrapped and new lower prices renegotiated by government

Writing on the day after annual bills were forecast to top £4,200 by January, Brown said the government should “pause any further increase in the cap” and then negotiate separate company agreements to keep prices down after examining profit margins and available social tariffs.

Without urgent action, families are seeing nothing more than pain now and pain later.



There were two great lessons I learned right at the start of the last great economic crisis in 2008: never to be behind the curve but be ahead of events; and to get to the root of the problem. And it is not tax cuts or, as yet, a wage-price inflation spiral that are the most urgent priorities for action, but dealing with the soaring costs of fuel and food: the cause of half of our current inflation.

instead of allowing Ofgem to announce an increase on a scale that will send shock waves through every household, the government should pause any further increase in the cap; assess the actual costs of the energy supplies being sold to consumers by the major companies; and, after reviewing the profit margins, and examining how to make standing charges and social tariffs more progressive, negotiate separate company agreements to keep prices down. They should work with businesses to cut consumption, as is happening in France and Spain, which have imposed their own cap on energy prices, dictated more by what people can afford than the current wholesale gas price in the marketplace.

Islamic State / Suspect Aine Davis arrested in UK on terrorism charges

Aine DavisA man accused of being part of an Islamic State cell nicknamed the Beatles has been arrested on terror charges in the UK.

Aine Davis flew into Luton airport after his release from a jail in Ankara, Turkey, where he served a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for membership of the terrorist group.

The 38-year-old, from west London, was arrested at the airport by officers from the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command and taken to a police station in south London.

August 12

Water restrictions, fire risks and farming hardship
The impact of drought in England / Water restrictions, fire risks and farming hardship
Experts warn of current and future impact of drought as ministers are expected to make official declaration

Climate experts said the drought had been predicted for some time. Mike Rivington, a senior scientist at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, said: “The scale of heatwaves and droughts we’re currently experiencing has been projected by climate research for many years now. What we are seeing is a clear signal of what the future is going to be like.”

Nigel Arnell, a professor of climate system science at Reading University, said: “It’s incredibly unlikely that we will see major restrictions on water use in the UK. There are lots of things water companies can do before restricting a large number of users.”

Energy crisis / UK bills ‘set to cost two month’s wages’, ministers warned

Person checking electricity bill against meter readingMinisters have been warned that energy bills will cost more than two months’ wages next year unless new help is given to households, as the chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, told firms they must invest their “extraordinary” profits or face the threat of further taxation.

The TUC ramped up calls for the government to cancel the October energy price cap rise, saying the cost of living crisis this winter was an “emergency of pandemic scale”.

Donald Trump / FBI searched Mar-a-Lago home for classified nuclear weapons files – report
Hiking / Alfred Wainwright’s coast-to-coast walk to be made National Trail
NHS / Fears for patient data after ransomware attack on software supplier
UN nuclear watchdog warns of ‘grave hour’ amid fresh shelling of plant
Zaporizhzhia / UN nuclear watchdog warns of ‘grave hour’ amid fresh shelling of plant
Agency chief calls for immediate end to military activity around plant, saying further ‘deeply worrying’ incidents could lead to disaster
Satellite pictures / Destroyed Russian warplanes at Crimea airbase shown

August 13

Author stabbed onstage in New York remains on ventilator after surgery
Salman Rushdie / Author stabbed onstage in New York remains on ventilator after surgery
The Satanic Verses writer attacked at event in western New York, with police identifying suspect in custody as Hadi Matar
Trump raid / Potential violations of Espionage Act under investigation, warrant reveals

Donald Trump is under criminal investigation for potential violations of the Espionage Act and additional statutes relating to obstruction of justice and destroying federal government records, according to the search warrant executed by FBI agents at the former president’s home on Monday.

The search warrant – the contents of which were confirmed by the Guardian – shows the FBI was seeking evidence about whether the mishandling of classified documents by Trump, including some marked top secret, amounted to a violation of three criminal statutes.

Ukraine invasion
What happened in the Russia-Ukraine war this week? The must-read news and analysis
Catch up / What happened in the Russia-Ukraine war this week? The must-read news and analysis
Fears over escalating crisis at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; Russian airbase deep behind frontline in Crimea damaged; anger over Amnesty report
“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” António Guterres told a news conference in Japan on Monday after the shelling on Saturday damaged three radiation sensors.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the IAEA, Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, echoed the call for international inspectors and said Russian forces were attempting to cause electricity blackouts in southern Ukraine by shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant, which was captured by Russian forces in early March but is still run by Ukrainian technicians. However, Russia maintains that Ukrainian forces hit the site with a multiple rocket launcher. The head of Zaporizhzhia’s occupying authorities, Evgeniy Balitskyi, said Ukrainian forces had “decided to put the whole of Europe on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe” by shelling the plant, in Ukraine’s south-east.

At a glance / What we know on day 171 of the Russian invasion
Zaporizhzhia / Russia rejects UN calls for demilitarised zone around Ukraine nuclear plant

Russia has rejected calls from the UN for a demilitarised zone around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Moscow’s forces since early March and lies in a region of Ukraine that is set to become a new frontline of the war.

Russia’s permanent representative to the body, Vasily Nebenzya, told Interfax on Friday that Moscow must “protect” the Zaporizhzhia plant. A withdrawal of its troops would make the facility “vulnerable … to provocations and terrorist attacks”, he said.

Gas / UK fuel exports to Netherlands up by 67% in June, data shows

British exports of fossil fuels more than doubled in value in June compared with the same period last year, the latest trading data from HMRC shows.

More than £1bn of that went to the Netherlands, home to some of the continent’s biggest gas storage facilities.

The figures come as countries across Europe rush to bank energy supplies for the winter as Russia restricts flows of gas via its Nord Stream 1 pipeline in an apparent attempt to press them to drop their support for Ukraine.

Dutch natural gas storage facilities were filled to 50% of their capacity at the end of June, about two months earlier than normal. The filling of the facilities accelerated in May when the Dutch government offered a €400m (£339m) subsidy for gas companies to fill storage facilities during the summer season.

August 14

A two-day weekend just isn’t long enough, but I hope you’ve made the most of yours.

On Friday, it was announced eight areas across England are going through drought. For a notoriously damp island, this has understandably alarmed many. Instead of throwing in the towel however, these farmers decided to heal their soil through environmentally-friendly techniques. It won’t make it rain, but it is one thing that they have control over and can do to make a difference.

Nimo Omer
Assistant editor, First Edition

Author is off ventilator and able to talk, agent says
Salman Rushdie / Author is off ventilator and able to talk, agent says
Author seriously injured in New York stabbing remains in hospital, as Joe Biden praises his courage and suspect denies attempted murder
Russian soldiers at nuclear power plant will be targeted, says Ukraine president
Zaporizhzhia / Russian soldiers at nuclear power plant will be targeted, says Ukraine president
Volodymyr Zelenskiy vows attacks on troops based in Europe’s largest nuclear power station and those who fire upon the site

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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