Western European News Digest
LaRouche 'Guns of August' Presented on Rome Television
On Aug. 5 the Rome-based regional television network "Teleambiente" broadcast a one-hour live interview on the latest LaRouche strategic interventions. Program host Peppe Vecchio opened the discussion referring to the ongoing tense debate over the role of the Banca d'Italia in financial affairs, and announced the latest interventions of LaRouche in the American political fight. The guests included Paolo Raimondi, president of the Movimento Solidarietà, Prof. Aldo Servidio, historian and author, and Fernando Iannaccone, technology expert and consultant.
Raimondi presented in detail Lyndon LaRouche's "Guns of August" analysis and campaign exposing Cheney's plan for the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. Reporting on the Wilson-Plame story, he invited the Italian Parliament to make public the report on the involvement of U.S. neo-con operative Michael Leeden and others, in the forgery of the Niger-uranium dossier, as a serious contribution to the "Impeach Cheney" campaign in the USA.
Also, in recent days the economic monthly Finanza Italiana published an article by Raimondi on the New Bretton Woods international fight, with the entire text of the Italian Parliament motion and with some quotes from Hon. Mario Lettieri's speech supporting LaRouche's proposal. A second article by Raimondi detailed the hedge funds collapse and other dramatic developments in the ongoing global financial crash.
British Manufactures Decline Four Months in a Row
Manufacturing contracted in the face of a decline in new orders, jobs, and stocks, according to the manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS). The PMI of activity in the UK manufacturing sector, showed a fall to 49.2 in July from 49.6 in June. Most analysts had predicted a rise to 50.0. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity; under 50 figure shows contraction. Manufacturing is 17% of the UK GDP.
Output prices have fallen at the fastest rate in two years, and employment in the sector declined for the fourth month in a row. Official figures showed last week that manufacturing is now in recession in the UK, since output has declined over two consecutive quarters.
London Bombing Investigation Stretches Police to Limit
Law enforcement in Britain, other than the search for the July 7 and July 21 bombers, including murder investigations, is falling by the wayside, according to the British media Aug. 3. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Blair is on holiday for the week, following the rest of his Cabinet, and the Parliament, which has recessed for an 80-day break.
Over 1,000 detectives are working 24 hours a day on the bombings, supported by thousands of other officers and support staff from virtually every section of the Metropolitan Police Force. Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has called this operation the force's "biggest operational challenge since the second world war." It is costing some 500,000 pounds a day.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who heads the serious and organized crime division covering murder, drugs and gun crime, said that work on some long-running murder investigations had "slowed to a trickle," and that he had been forced to "significantly defer" other big operations. Anti-drug operations and regular policing are also being affected. Ghaffur said he has lost 10% of his team, many of them specialists, to the anti-terror effort.
Ghaffur warned that in the long term, the "worst-case scenario" would be "if London does not have the ability to deal with serious and organized crime, then I think the impact on safety would be significant."
Another senior police officer, whose local force has been cut 15% by the terror mobilization, warned that: "We don't think we can sustain the demands of high-visibility policing, guarding mosques, manning endless cordons. Officers are working 12-hour days, we are way over budget, we are bursting at the seams."
Hate Crimes Rise Six-Fold Since July London Bombings
Since the July 7 terror bombings in London, there have been 269 religious hate crimes, compared with 40 in the same period of 2004. Most were "verbal abuse" and minor assaults, but mosques and property have also been damaged.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said he had never seen so much anger among young Muslims. The increased use of stop-and-search methods are having a big effect. Ghaffur said that "there is no doubt that incidents impacting on the Muslim community have increased.... It can lead to these communities completely retreating and not engaging at a time when we want their engagement and support."
The hate crimes are having a big impact, because London is one of the world's most international cities. Close to one-third of its population is foreign-born, and Britain as a whole has the highest rate of "inter-racial" marriages among the developed nations.
London Mayor: Illegal War in Iraq Feeds Terrorism
In a commentary in the Guardian Aug. 4, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone asserted that the unjustified war in Iraq has increased the terrorism threat, and said that Britain must withdraw from Iraq.
There is also public dissension in the Conservative (Tory) Party. Dominic Grieve, shadow attorney general, has said this week that the London suicide attacks are "totally explicable in terms of the level of anger" many Muslims feel about the world, including Iraq. Grieve was a strong critic of Blair going into the Iraq war. Tory backbencher, Gerald Howarth, has said that British-born Muslims who "don't give allegiance to this country" should "leave," even if they are British citizens.
New UK Intelligence Unit Involved in Brazilian's Death
The "special reconnaissance regiment," Britain's new special forces "intelligence unit," was deployed in the surveillance operation which led to the death of murdered innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22 in London, Guardian security editor Richard Norton-Taylor reported Aug. 4. The tragedy was the first deployment of the SRR, which is trained by the SAS.
The SRR, set up in April by former Defence Minister Geoff Hoon on the model of an undercover unit that operated in Northern Ireland, was engaged in "low-level intelligence behind the scenes" when de Menezes was shot, although there was "no direct military involvement in the shooting," according to Whitehall sources.
There were many strange aspects to the tracking and shooting down of de Menezes, including why he was targetted at all, and why he was allowed to board and ride a bus for two miles, when buses had been bombing targets.
Central Banker Who Introduced the Euro Dies
Willem Duisenberg, the Dutch central banker who oversaw the introduction of the euro as the first president of the European Central Bank was found dead on July 31, in a swimming pool in France. An autopsy reportedly indicated that he "died a natural death, due to drowning, after a cardiac problem." However, what kind of cardiac problem was involved is unspecified.