Archive | July 4, 2015

Nuclear Sarcophagus in Marshall Islands is Leaking*

Nuclear Sarcophagus in Marshall Islands is Leaking*

By Coleen Jose, Kim Wall and Jan Hendrik Hinzel

Black seabirds circle high above the giant concrete dome that rises from a tangle of green vines just a few paces from the lapping waves of the Pacific. Half buried in the sand, the vast structure looks like a downed UFO.

At the summit, figures carved into the weathered concrete state only the year of construction: 1979. Officially, this vast structure is known as the Runit Dome. Locals call it The Tomb.

Below the 18-inch concrete cap rests the United States’ cold war legacy to this remote corner of the Pacific Ocean: 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris left behind after 12 years of nuclear tests.

Brackish water pools around the edge of the dome, where sections of concrete have started to crack away. Underground, radioactive waste has already started to leach out of the crater: according to a 2013 report by the US Department of Energy, soil around the dome is already more contaminated than its contents.

Now locals, scientists and environmental activists fear that a storm surge, typhoon or other cataclysmic event brought on by climate change could tear the concrete mantel wide open, releasing its contents into the Pacific Ocean.

“Runit Dome represents a tragic confluence of nuclear testing and climate change,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, who visited the dome in 2010.

“It resulted from US nuclear testing and the leaving behind of large quantities of plutonium,” he said.

“Now it has been gradually submerged as result of sea level rise from greenhouse gas emissions by industrial countries led by the United States.”

Enewetak Atoll, and the much better-known Bikini Atoll, were the main sites of the United States Pacific Proving Grounds, the setting for dozens of atomic explosions during the early years of the cold war.

The remote islands – roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii – were deemed sufficiently distant from major population centres and shipping lanes, and in 1948, the local population of Micronesian fishermen and subsistence farmers were evacuated to another atoll 200 km away.

In total, 67 nuclear and atmospheric bombs were detonated on Enewetak and Bikini between 1946 and 1958 – an explosive yield equivalent to 1.6 Hiroshima bombs detonated every day over the course of 12 years.

The detonations blanketed the islands with irradiated debris, including Plutonium-239, the fissile isotope used in nuclear warheads, which has a half-life of 24,000 years.

Detonation of the nuclear device during Operation Ivy in the Marshall Islands in 1951. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

Detonation of the nuclear device during Operation Ivy in the Marshall Islands in 1951. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

When the testing came to an end, the US Defence Nuclear Agency (DNA – later the DoE) carried out an eight-year cleanup, but Congress refused to fund a comprehensive decontamination programme to make the entire atoll fit for human settlement again.

The DNA’s preferred option – deep ocean dumping – was prohibited by international treaties and hazardous waste regulations, and there was little appetite for transporting the irradiated refuse back to the US.

In the end, US servicemen simply scraped off the islands’ contaminated topsoil and mixed it with radioactive debris. The resulting radioactive slurry was then dumped in an unlined 350-foot crater on Runit Island’s northern tip, and sealed under 358 concrete panels.

But the dome was never meant to last. According to the World Health Organization, the $218m plan was designed as temporary fix: a way to store contaminated material until a permanent decontamination plan was devised.

Meanwhile, only three of the atoll’s 40 islands were cleaned up, but not Enjebi, where half of Enewetak’s population had traditionally lived. And as costs spiralled, resettlement efforts of the northern part of the atoll stalled indefinitely.

Nevertheless, in 1980, as the Americans prepared their own departure, the dri-Enewetak (“people of Enewetak”) were allowed to return to the atoll after 33 years.

Three years later, the Marshall Islands signed a compact of free association with the US, granting its people certain privileges, but not full citizenship.

The deal also settled of “all claims, past, present and future” related to the US Nuclear Testing Program – and left the Runit Dome under the responsibility of the Marshallese government.

Today, the US government insists that it has honoured all its obligations, and that the jurisdiction for the dome and its toxic contents lies with the Marshall Islands.

The Marshallese, meanwhile, say that a country with a population of 53,000 people and a GDP of $190m – most of it from US aid programs – is simply incapable of dealing with the potential radioactive catastrophe left behind by the Americans.

Bravo Crater at Bikini Atoll, site of the 1954 hydrogen explosion where the island of Nam was destroyed. Photograph: Alamy

Bravo Crater at Bikini Atoll, site of the 1954 hydrogen explosion where the island of Nam was destroyed. Photograph: Alamy

“It’s clear as day that the local government will neither have the expertise or funds to fix the problem if it needs a particular fix,” said Riyad Mucadam, climate adviser to the office of the Marshallese president.

Today, Runit – the setting for JG Ballard’s short story Terminal Beach – is still uninhabited, but it receives regular stream of visitors heading from neighbouring islands to its abundant fishing grounds or searching for scrap metal to salvage.

Approaching the island by boat across from the vast, shallow lagoon – the world’s second largest – the concrete structure is barely visible among the scrubby trees.

Three decades after the Americans’ departure, abandoned bunkers dot the shoreline, and electric cables encased in black rubber snake across the sand.

Nowhere on the beaches or the dome itself is there a warning to stay away – or even an indication of radioactivity.

Enewetak’s senator Jack Ading, who lives in Majuro 600 miles away, doesn’t believe his home atoll is safe: resettlement efforts in Rongelap and Bikini atolls, also affected by testing, had to be aborted in the 1970s due to lingering contamination, despite safety assurances by the US.

“Just close it off,” said Ading, who has called for armed guards to be stationed on the site – or at the very least the construction of a fence.

If they |the US government] can spend billions of dollars on wars like Iraq, I’m sure they can spend $10,000 for a fence. It’s a small island. Make it permanent for people not to visit Runit Dome and the surrounding area, ever.”

Locals say they know there is “poison” on the island – there is no Marshallese word for contamination – but say that Runit offers one of the few sources of income on the impoverished atol.

The US has yet to fully compensate the dri-Enewetak for the irreversible damage to their homeland, a total amounting to roughly $244m as appraised by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal, which was established by the US Congress in 1988 to adjudicate claims for compensation for health effects from the testing.

Traditional livelihoods were destroyed by the testing: the US Department of Energy bans the export of fish and copra – dried coconut flesh used for its oil – on the grounds of lingering contamination.

Nowadays, the atoll’s growing population survives on a depleted trust fund from the Compact of Free Association with the US, but payouts come to just $100 per person, according to locals.

Many locals are deeply in debt, and dependent on a supplemental food program funded by the US Department of Agriculture, which delivers shipments of process foods such as Spam, flour and canned goods. The destruction a centuries-old lifestyle have lead to both a diabetes epidemic and regular bouts of starvation on the island.

The Lady E, a vessel that transports supplemental food from the capital to Enewetak, now hosts people who migrate in and out of the atoll. Photograph: Coleen Jose/Coleen Jose

The Lady E, a vessel that transports supplemental food from the capital to Enewetak, now hosts people who migrate in and out of the atoll. Photograph: Coleen Jose/Coleen Jose

Those who can afford it have taken advantage of the Compact’s visaless travel benefits and migrated to Hawaii.

“Enewetak has no money. What will people do to make money?” asked Rosemary Amitok, who lives with her husband Hemy on the atoll’s largest island.

The couple eke out a living by scavenging for scrap copper on Runit and other islands on the atoll. For weeks at a time, they camp out in a makeshift tent on the island while Hemy digs for cables and other metal debris.

The sell the salvage for a dollar or two per pound to a Chinese merchant who runs Enewetak’s only store and exports the metal, along with sea shells and sea cucumbers to Fujian in China.

Other – and more worrying – traces of Enewetak’s history have also reached China: according to a 2014 study published in Environmental Science & Technology, plutonium isotopes from the nuclear tests have been found as far a the Pearl River Estuary in Guangdong province.

Many people in Enewetak fear that one day the dome will break open, further spreading highly radioactive debris.

As catastrophic weather events become more frequent, recent studies – including 2013 study of the Runit Dome’s structural integrity carried out by the DoE – have warned that typhoons could destroy or damage the cement panels, or inundate the island.

A 2013 report commissioned by the US Department of Energy to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory acknowledged that radioactive materials are already leaching out of the dome, but downplays the possibility of serious environmental damage or health risks.

“The waste within the dome is at least contained. There aren’t too many concerns for the Runit Dome to pose a threat to local people,” said Terry Hamilton, the scientific director for the Marshall Islands Program of the DoE-commissioned Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Hamilton said that cracks in the concrete were merely the result of long-term drying and shrinkage, but said the DoE was planning to carry out cosmetic repairs in order to restore public confidence.

The DoE insists Enewetak is safe for human settlement today, and says it monitors local residents, groundwater, crops and marine life for radiation. Separate checkups are carried out on those suspected of digging for scrap metal.

Though Enewetak is not allowed to sell its copra and fish, Hamilton insists the produce would satisfy safety standards on the international market.

But locals complain that basic information – including results of their own tests for exposure to plutonium – is not readily accessible to them.

Independent scientists say that salvaging Runit’s scrap metal may expose locals to much higher risks.

“Those guys are digging in the dirt breathing in stuff in hot spots. That has to be hundreds of thousands times higher doses of potential health effects than swimming,” said Ken Buessler, a senior scientist and marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who visited Runit and gathered samples of sediment in the lagoon earlier this year.

In 2012, Barack Obama signed legislation directing the DoE to monitor the groundwater beneath the dome, conduct a visual study of its exterior and submit reports determining whether contamination in the dome poses a health risk to the dri-Enewetak.

In an emailed response to questions, US ambassador to the Marshall Islands Thomas Armbruster said that a recent meeting between the US, the DoE and the Marshall Islands government was “one of the best ever”.

The minister himself remembers that encounter differently.

Tony De Brum was nine years old and living on the atoll of Likiep, when he witnessed the blinding flash, thunderous roar and blood-red skies of Castle Bravo, the most powerful hydrogen bomb ever detonated by the US, which was tested at Bikini Atoll on 1 March 1954.

Now the Marshall Islands minister of foreign affairs, he has since emerged as a voice for small island nations in international climate negotiations and leading advocate on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. De Brum is spearheading an ambitious lawsuit against the world’s nuclear powers, including the US, at the International Court of Justice.

“We asked the Americans, are you going to put a sign on the dome that says ‘Don’t come here because you might get exposed’?” he said.

“Our president asked: ‘Are you going to put a sign up so that the birds and turtles also understand?’”

The US has never formally apologized to the Marshall Islands for turning it into an atomic testing ground. When the UN special rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste, Calin Georgescu, visited the Marshall Islands in 2012 he criticized the US, remarking that the islanders feel like ‘nomads’ in their own country. Nuclear testing, he said, “left a legacy of distrust in the hearts and minds of the Marshallese”.

“Why Enewetak?” asked Ading, Enewetak’s exiled senator during an interview in the nation’s capital. “Every day, I have that same question. Why not go to some other atoll in the world? Or why not do it in Nevada, their backyard? I know why. Because they don’t want the burden of having nuclear waste in their backyard. They want the nuclear waste hundreds of thousands miles away. That’s why they picked the Marshall Islands.”

The least they could’ve done is correct their mistakes.”


Related Topics:

US Vaporized and Experimented on the Indigenous of Marshall Islands*

Nuclear Tests: South Pacific Islands to Sue France for $1billion*

Japan: Why Going Nuclear is a No, No!

Nature’s Response to Japan’s Nuclear Reactor Restart

45,000 Protest Japan’s Nuclear Restart*

Nuclear Realities!

Even the Jellyfish Don’t Like Nuclear Plants!

Location of 5,000 U.S. Nuclear Facilities

U.S. Nuclear Threat and a Failed Assassination*

The Mob Secretly Dumping Nuclear Waste across Italy and Africa*

Yeah.. Dumping nuclear waste on Indigenous Australian Land Would Increase their Living Standards*

Occupy World: India’s Nuclear Plant

U.S. Bishops Find Iran has No Nuclear Proliferation*

One Country that does not Cheat: Netanyahu said He fears Iran will Honour Nuclear Deal*

Israel Considering Leaving UN Human Rights Council after Gaza Report*

Israel Considering Leaving UN Human Rights Council after Gaza Report*

By Sydney Barakat

Gaza-Rafah Border2Just days after the U.N. released its “Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—during a closed meeting of Israeli officials— remarked that “Israel is considering whether or not to stay in the Human Rights Council in light of the recent UN Gaza report.”

Flight or fight? It appears that because the report took a critical stance in questioning Israel’s motives and actions during last summer’s 51-day-bombardment of Gaza and the West Bank, Netanyahu is more willing to bow out altogether than to confront the issues detailed in the report head-on.

Some crucial findings: Since Operation Protective Edge, Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have maintained the same assertion— that Israel did everything in its power to avoid hitting Palestinian civilians and that it went above and beyond the standards of international humanitarian law. The U.N, report contradicts that very claim and others—in its principal findings and conclusions.

It states, “In Gaza, as Palestinians struggled to find ways to save their own lives and those of their families, they were confronted with intense attacks, with no way of knowing which locations would be hit and which might be considered safe.” Additionally,

“Regarding precautions, the Israel Defense Forces stated repeatedly that its measures were more stringent than those required by international humanitarian law.[1] In many incidents, however, the weapons used, the timing of attacks, and the fact that the targets were located in densely populated areas indicate that the Israel Defense Forces may not have done everything feasible to avoid or limit civilian casualties.” And finally,

The limited effectiveness of the above-mentioned precautionary measures must have become abundantly clear in the early days of the operation, given that many buildings were destroyed, together with their inhabitants. The apparent lack of steps to re-examine these measures in the light of the mounting civilian toll suggests that Israel did not comply with its obligation to take all feasible precautions before the attacks.”

12390-chuckman-netanyahu-speaksongazaoperationFurther, the report criticizes Israel over its lack of credibility in self-conducted investigations:

“Moreover, the investigations process followed by the Israel Defense Forces focuses on possible individual criminal responsibility at the level of the soldier on the battlefield. Even where the behaviour of soldiers and low-ranking officers during hostilities has come into question, however, this has rarely resulted in criminal investigations.” Ultimately, this shows that even in committing violations on an independent level, Israel grants the members of its military force the utmost impunity.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire: Despite the unfortunate fact that the majority of Americans sympathize with Israel, anyone who is willing to apply even a minimal degree of logic can see that Israel is desperately trying to sweep the crimes that it’s committed under the rug—and Netanyahu’s potential backing out of the U.N. Human Rights Council should undoubtedly set off your internal “smoke-detector.”


Related Topics:

Were the Three Settler Kidnappings an Israeli “False Flag” Operation?*

Behind the False Flag: Israel’s After Gaza’s Natural Gas*

Former Israeli Combat Soldier’s Life Threatened for Speaking the Truth*

While Waging War on Gaza Israel Expands Settlement Construction on West Bank and Jerusalem*

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

North Cyprus Declares Three Days Mourning for Gaza*

Irish Shops Urged to Remove Produce from Israel*

DEBKA Report: Saudi, Egypt and Israel Orchestrated Palestinian Holocaust*

Israel’s ‘Eid Gift to Palestinians*

From Gaza: I’m a Human Being, Not a Human Shield*

Pentagon Rushes Ammunition to Israel*

Operation Protective Edge: UK Approved £7m Israeli Arms Sales, Why?

Over 100 Gaza Civilians Killed When Missing IDF Soldier Died in Battle*

Military Expert: Israel is Using Three Internationally Banned Weapons*

From the Apartheid South to the Apartheid North: Solidarity of the Spirit with Palestine*

Operation Protective Edge: Life without Water and Electricity*

Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*

Israel Continues to Break Terms of Ceasefire*

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

Global #GazaDayofRage as Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*

Evidence Immaterial: Netanyahu’s wants to be Added to the Bush-Blair Club of War Criminals*

Death Ray Unleashed on Gaza*

There’s a Truce on, so Do Everything Else, but Don’t Kill Palestinians*

The Butcher of Khuza’a*

Members of Israel’s NSA Refuse To Collect Information on Palestinians*

Turkish Medical Delegation Treating Gaza’s War Casualties*

Not in our Name: 225 Jewish Survivors of Nazi Genocide Condemn Israel*

US Pressuring ICC Not to Open War Crimes Probe Against Israel*

Former Israeli Attorney: Israel Staged the Ceasefire Breach*

Calls to Prosecute Foreigners Who Volunteered for Operation Protective Edge*

Israel Prevents Release of Palestinian Tax Revenues*

Israel Laying Claim to the West Bank*

U.K.-based Israeli-owned Drone Factory Faced Forced Shutdown*

Israeli Corporal Imprisoned for Publicly Saying the Occupation of Gaza Corrupts Israel*

Israel Tried by Film Maker Ken Loach, Rock MusicianRoger Waters and Michael Mansfield QC*

Israel: Operation Brother’s Keeper*

New born Removed from British Mother in Spanish Hospital that Claims it isn’t hers*

New born Removed from British Mother in Spanish Hospital that Claims it isn’t hers*

By Tom Powell

A heartbroken British mother claims her new-born girl has been ‘taken’ from her by a Spanish hospital. 

It came after a doctor bizarrely decided it wasn’t her baby, despite the hospital confirming she had given birth.

The dental nurse, who was in Spain with her mother and three-year-old child, has spent two weeks pleading with the authorities to give her new-born back.

Stacey Cottle outside the hospital Comarcal de la Axarquia. COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN

The shocking chain of events unfolded after Stacie Cottle, 27, arrived in Malaga on June 1.

She stayed in several hotels while looking for accommodation for her mother Veronica to rent in the area longer term.

The shocking chain of events unfolded after Stacie Cottle, 27, arrived in Malaga on June 1.

But the night after signing a rental contract on a house in Arenas, in the Axarquia region, Cottle’s waters unexpectedly broke two weeks early at 1:30AM.

Half an hour later in the two-bedroom house, a baby girl was born, triggering a series of events which turned the family’s Spanish dream into a nightmare.

Cottle, from East London, took baby Anzelika to the Hospital Comarcal de la Axarquia, in popular seaside resort Torre del Mar, a day later.

However, upon inspection the paediatrician immediately proposed the baby did not in fact belong to her, and had been born 3-5 days previously.

“She said ‘it was impossible’,” Cottle, who previously worked at a private dental clinic, told the Olive Press.

“I felt so helpless, I couldn’t believe what they were saying.”

She and her mother promptly left, upset and confused, to return to the new house. But within an hour the police were knocking on the door, asking Veronica, Stacie, her two-year-old daughter Anabella and baby to return to the hospital for tests.

Upon arrival, baby Anzelika was separated from her mother and placed in the neonatal ward, where she still lies separated from her family over two weeks later.

A doctor who performed a medical examination concluded that Cottle had indeed given birth, but, incredibly, not to the baby she brought to the hospital.

The extraordinary case has been handed over to Velez-Malaga courts and the national police, who are currently waiting on the results of DNA tests before taking further action.

Meanwhile Cottle and family remain in limbo, she has been discharged from the hospital but refuses to leave while her healthy baby remains alone inside.

The hospital she hasn’t left for over two weeks. COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN

“I am treated like a criminal here, they think I stole my baby and everywhere I go in the hospital people are looking at me and talking about me,” said Cottle, whose father has a PHD from the University of Oxford.

“This has been extremely hard on my two-year-old, who is not allowed on the floor Anzelika is on and she has been asking for me and the baby, who she hasn’t seen since the day she was born.

“It’s such a confusing time for all of us, I even brought the placenta to the hospital, which I understand has now been destroyed.

“I also gave them all my maternity documents and now I don’t know where they are either, the language barrier is making it so difficult and I am very isolated.”

“They were asking me if I was from Senegal despite the fact we all have British passports,” she added.

Staff at the hospital however denied any possibility the situation was linked to the fact Cottle is mixed race, or that it was related to the area’s problem with immigrants crossing over from Africa.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with the immigration problem. She is a tourist and that is the only thing which has made it more complicated with regard to paperwork,” said a hospital spokesperson, after numerous requests for comment from the Olive Press.

“She is not being treated like a criminal, everyone is just doing their job and the DNA tests are a formality.

“Nobody in this hospital knows when the results will be back.”

Cottle is only allowed to breastfeed the child once every three hours under doctor’s orders.

She has been advised to speak to a lawyer by the British Consul, but she cannot do so without leaving the hospital, and she refuses to leave her baby there alone at all times of day.

Her mother, who came to Spain with the intention of working as an English teacher after a career teaching in England, is currently still looking for affordable legal help.

As the baby has not been registered as a UK citizen within ten days of its birth, it may take up to a year now before the family can return.

What’s more, after the landlord witnessed them being taken by police on their first night in the new apartment, he decided to evict them.

“I was so excited to start a life here, but not now. We haven’t left this hospital for 15 days,” Cottle’s mother Veronica told the Olive Press.

Thompson is separated from the baby’s father, who the Olive Press understands is aware of the birth but not of the associated troubles.

Spanish social services confirmed they were aware of the case but could not legally comment, while the British consulate in Madrid confirmed it had been in contact with Cottle and had recommended lawyers for her to speak to.

The paediatrician who first claimed the baby is not Cottle’s was not available for comment.


By Iona Napier (Reporter) – PUBLISHED – 8 Jul, 2015

Olive Press reporter Iona Napier with Stacie and Anzelika

A 7am start sees me blazing down the motorway with a pint of coffee in hand.

If I am nervous about negotiating with officials, it is nothing on how Stacie is feeling.

It is a painful wrench indeed for her to leave the hospital where her baby is being held as a ward of court for the very first time since she arrived 21 days ago.

She arrives outside court where I have arranged a meeting to go through the case understandably looking wistful and nervous.

We arrive at the door of court number three to find a largely uninterested, unemotional court usher who I had spoken to the day before.

He drops in, almost as an aside, that the DNA results had actually come back, positive, the previous day positive.

It is amazing news for Stacie, who was told it could take months to sort out, and she is as surprised as I am that it has been announced in such a matter of fact way.

We do a double take, look at each other, and ask the usher to repeat himself, ‘is that definitely the case?’

He nods and says to come back later as the paperwork isn’t ready.

We leave the building and find a park where her three-year-old daughter Anabella can play and I can take Stacie’s mind off the drama.

She is soon dragging me back to the hospital so she can feed the baby and make sure that she is still there.

She is taking nothing as guaranteed after a three week ordeal where she has been treated like a ‘common criminal’ and forced to take a DNA test to prove that her baby is hers.

I wait outside and later go inside to get my head around what is going on, but few staff are interested in opening up.

With no news from the court and countless phone calls we decide to head back to the court before it closes and, to our dismay, the papers are being finalised.

At exactly 1:53pm, the paperwork is in her hand and I translate it telling her that the baby is indeed definitely hers and we head outside for a joyous photograph with her mum, Veronica, before hot-footing it to the hospital.

Rushing straight up to the neonatal ward, Stacie firstly puts Anzelika in a white dress before we are called upstairs to a meeting with the hospital directors.

By now it is 3:30pm and it is lunchtime in Spain so nobody is in a rush to do anything.

Luckily though, there are two women who talk us through the process and finally sanction Stacie to take her baby home.

There was no apology at any point, and no emotion, thanks or congratulations at any time.

Indeed, it felt like a simple formality of giving someone a vaccination form. End of story.

We run downstairs, pick up the baby, gather her belongings and leave the hospital.

We head into the Spanish sunshine where we are met by her mother and three-year-old who is meeting her sister for the very first time.

And the pictures, seen in the current issue of the Olive Press, are testament to this.

It is touching that an expat Brit outside the hospital comes over and wishes her well, insisting on giving her and the baby a kiss on the cheek.

I am only too happy to drive the family back to their rented home in the nearby hills where they welcomed me in and showed me the bed where the baby had been born.

Let us all pray that this episode doesn’t put this charming English family off Spain for life.

They would be a credit to this country and its diversity and we would hope the authorities can finally bring it upon themselves to apologize for what has been one of the most awful injustices that I have come across in my journalistic career so far.

Related Topics:

‘Phantom’ Pregnancy or a Stolen Baby!?*

JUDGE SLAMS Haringey Council over most shocking case ever – but family is destroyed anyhow

Born with Two Different Sets of DNA*

Male Fertility on the Decline in Spain

Moroccans Say No Royal Pardon for Spanish Elite Paedophile Network*

U.K. Pensions to Fund Budget Cuts*

U.K. Pensions to Fund Budget Cuts*

By Lana Clements

The Chancellor is to unleash around £12billion worth of spending cuts that were promised as part of the Conservative manifesto – and retirement perks are in the firing line.

Yesterday, a briefing paper on pension taxation was posted on the parliament website, which experts said increased the odds that the government is to make some brutal changes.

The Government is widely expected to cut relief available to the highest earners to £10,000 from £40,000 a year on a sliding scale.

But this could be just the tip of the iceberg, as Britain’s ageing population and the Government guarantees on state pensions is putting the UK on track to spend more on welfare by 2019.

Experts fear that the tax relief on the 25 per cent lump sum of pension savings that can be taken from the age of 55 could be reduced or dropped altogether.

Some critics also think that the government could move to a flat-rate of pension tax-relief of 30 per cent to make the system easier to understand.

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The UK’s pension system is still very much a work in progress and with so many radical changes already underway, further reform is inevitable.

“For the sake of all investors, young and old, modest or wealthy, we would like to see a system of pension taxation which encourages saving and investing and which rewards people for taking responsibility for their own retirement.

“We need to see a stable, long-term settlement which helps the UK to build good levels of retirement savings.

“Our great concern is that the government will simply cap tax breaks for higher earners. This would do nothing for the vast majority of the population except make the pension system marginally more complicated than it already is.”

The change would cost someone earning £210,000 or more £13,500 in lost tax relief, according to Hargreaves Lansdown.

Experts have urged those who could be affected to act now while the perk is still available.


Related Topics:

Eugenics: UN “Death Targets” include the Elderly*

IMF Eyes on Pensions and Your Savings Account

Not Only French Workers Protest Attacks on Pensions*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

By Ahmed Hagagy, Hadeel al Sayegh

Kuwaiti Sunni and Shiite worshipers perform Friday prayers together in an act of solidarity at Kuwait’s Sunni Grand Mosque in Kuwait City on July 3, 2015. Yasser Al-ZayyatAFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims prayed for national unity at Kuwait’s grand mosque on Friday, vowing to block any attempt to stir sectarian division a week after an Islamic State staged the country’s deadliest militant attack.

The Sunni group, which sees Shi’ites as heretics and wants to expel them from the Arabian peninsula, claimed responsibility for a June 26 suicide bombing on a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait City that killed 27 and wounded more than 200.

Shi’ite member of parliament Adnan Abdulsamad told Reuters Islamic State were “fools” for thinking they could destabilize Kuwait and the attack had only made Kuwaitis more determined to promote solidarity.

“This prayer is a prayer of unity,” he said.

“This heinous crime only brings us further strength and tolerance. Thank God it made our enemies fools. Were they under the illusion that with this crime they would create discord?”

Although a strategic minnow, Kuwait is an oil power and a supporter of U.S.-backed efforts to fight ISIS, providing intelligence, funding and the use of airfields for a Western-Arab coalition fighting the hardline militants

Relations have traditionally been good between the 70 percent of Kuwait’s 1.4 million citizens who are Sunni and the Shi’ites who make up 30 percent, but regional rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran has caused some strains.

“Keep our nation safe and protect us from sedition,” said Sunni imam Waleed al Ali, reciting a prayer for a congregation that included the emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al Sabah.

Kuwait has detained 90 people in connection with the bombing, closed a charity for alleged militant ties in raising funds for Syrians and its parliament passed a law making it mandatory that authorities keep a record of all residents’ DNA.

Kuwait’s interior minister said on Tuesday the Gulf Arab country was at war with Islamist militants and would strike out at cells still believed to be on its soil.

The attack was carried out by a Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa, a man in his early 20s from Saudi Arabia, where Sunnis form the vast majority and showed ISIS making good on a threat to step up violence in the holy fasting month of Ramadhan.

Source *

Related Topics:

Fasting for Change

Lebanese Shia, Sunnis Unite Against Sectarian Strife*

The Multinational Ramadhan Assault*

How the British Empire aka New World Order Sowed Seeds of Destruction towards Islam*

Top 10 Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism*

The Relentless Jewish Campaign against Islam*

Consciousness Science Kept Hidden*

Consciousness Science Kept Hidden*

Relate Topics:

Global Awakening Challenges US Dominance

Your Advanced Intelligence…

The Rose Within…

The Tale of Negativity

The Student and the Atheist Professor

Giving Birth to Unconditional Love

“You Choose!”

Physics of Tawhid: A Quantum View of the World

Iceland: New Constitution Created By the People for the People

Libya: How to Reverse a Revolution

Laughter the Best Medicine in Depressing Times

The Gift (Sunnah) of a Smile

Aligning with the Universal Changes: Your Mind

Biology Proves Our Thoughts Create our Well-Being!

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

A Request!

The Power of Joy!

The Sacred Geometry of Our Lives

I Am Spongy Bob!

Beings of Frequency

Asleep or Awake!?

Who Owns Your Body?‏

War on Faith and Family Continues

Deleting Religious Thinking: A Governmental Agenda*

The Last Illusion

Alchemy of the Heart

The Healing Frequency, and the Frequency of Disharmony

The Unity of “I”

We Are All One (Tawhid)

Rockefeller Music Project in the War on Consciousness*

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

American College of Paediatricians Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage was a ‘A Tragic Day for America’s Children’*

Sex Education, the Key to Social Engineering*

Diet and the Sacrifice of Child Potential!

Social Engineering and an Inconvenient Tooth

Globalized Education and One World Government