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Protests Against Militarization of London for the Olympic Games

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London Olympic Missile
London Stadium

Nearly Six sites in east London have been identified for the deployment of supersonic surface to air Rapier and Starstreak missiles, these missiles are capable of shooting down an air borne target within the range of nearly 7 KM (approx. 4 miles).
The unusual thing in this news is the installation of missiles in the residential area on the rooftop of the occupied homes. Ten soldiers will operate the weapons at all times, possibly with armed police protection. The property owners defended their decision of allowing the ministry of defence to place missiles on the rooftop by making it an issue of national security. However, Some residents fear that the super sonic missiles which would be fitted on the water tower could itself become the target of the extremists or terrorists thus risking the lives of many residents.
Residents of Bow Quarter Estate are challenging the deal between the property owner company and the Ministry of Defence to install surface-to-air missiles to guard against potential airborne terrorist attacks. Many lawyers and legal agencies have opened up to help such residents with full support providing them the toll free 0800 numbers uk service.
Normally all the cities prepare themselves to face the worst in the situation of any terrorist attack, however London is all set to get fortified and militarized to an extent which was seen only during second world war. During the Olympics, London will have more soldiers on the streets than at any time since the Second World War and that there will be more armed personnel patrolling the capital than the entire number of British troops serving in Afghanistan. Which is way too large than what was in the Beijing Olympics.
Militarization of London to this extent could be justified since NATO and other western powers which includes Britain have been involved in various military interventions in Middle East since last few years. Resulting into rising threats against London’s security. But conducting games, which is a source of entertainment, in such a tight environment doesn’t solve the purpose of holding games.
“We have appointed lawyers with a view to make a legal challenge to the management company’s decision to allow the MoD to install the rockets here,” said Brian Whelan, a resident to the Guardian. “They didn’t consult with us and they have neglected their duty to ask the residents’ opinions about this.”
Further he told another news journal London Evening Standard, “The Ministry of Defence have tried to claim that I am a lone nutter, but I am not alone. There are a lot of people opposed to this. We will protest and if it gets to it we will ring our buildings and take to the streets to stop them.”
Other than Bow Area, sites where missiles hosting is planned are Blackheath Common, the Lea Valley Reservoir, Oxleas Wood, Barn Hill in Epping Forest, and a playground in Waltham Forest.
Founder of the Stop the Olympic Missile campaign Chris Nineham, told Russia Today that there had been no consultation from the Ministry of Defence or the Government with locals.
He said that a meeting of local residents on May 31st voted unanimously that the missile plans were not sensible. Nineham believes that the government should not be able to dictate to local residents and is hoping that their campaign will see a reversal of the proposal. He added that if the government did not back down there were two legal challenges already in place.
According to Nineham, a senior source in the military said there was no credible intelligence of a terrorist attack on the games. Nineham said that in his opinion such a large scale deployment of force does not make London safer but instead encourages a reaction from those elements of world society who have a grievance with UK foreign policy.
Nineham added “it’s surreal, the games are talked about as if they have some strange military dimension to them and we’re losing sight that they are first and foremost a sporting event.”
However, Ministry of Defence maintained that “All legal requirements for the deployment of the equipment will be met.”
The idea is to prevent London Olympics from any September 11 style attack. For this, beside having Surface to Air missile installations, ministry of defence is planning to have the Royal Air Force to keep an eagle eye on all aircraft movements over most of southeast England in a major security alert to run from July 16 through August 15. Also, military snipers will be deployed in helicopters to shoot pilots of low-flying aircraft that might be involved in terrorist attacks.
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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Europe

Brexit: Three Logistics Concerns for Businesses

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After the vote on 23rd June 2016, for many businesses, it seemed there was ample time to prepare for Brexit. However, the UK is now one year away from leaving the EU and naturally, many business owners are becoming increasingly concerned about its impact.

A recent study showed that 94% of UK SMEs feel that the government is failing to listen to their Brexit concerns. There are also fears that HMRC’s new customs system will not be ready by the Brexit deadline.

For businesses, it is clear that there remains a lot of uncertainty about Brexit, including what trades deals may be formed and how they will affect British businesses. This is particularly true for logistics, where these three concerns are growing.

Cost Implications

For many companies, their number one concern is cost. In order to offset, businesses facing an increase in operating and logistics costs may have to pass this onto their customers, resulting in higher product prices – this is especially worrying for logistics companies like Tuffnells. This could result in a lower sales volume, making a dent in their bottom line.

This additional spend could come from several areas, including:

  • Taxes and tariffs: after leaving the single market, exporting or importing goods may be subject to new charges and restrictions, which could result in higher logistics costs
  • Fuel: The exchange rate of the pound dropped after the Brexit vote and it could fluctuate further after the deadline, resulting in increased fuel and transport prices

Business Systems

Coming out of the EU’s single market – where British businesses currently trade tax-free – presents more issues than cost alone. This includes implementing new business systems.

While HMRC are putting their own customs systems in place, businesses also face the same challenge. Staff will require training on new tariffs and customs, logistics procedures will have to be revised, and businesses will have to find systems and methods to deal with these new processes. All of this will eat into business hours and cost companies further money.

Border Controls

The introduction of new border controls will have several affects on British businesses, including cost, delays and further administrative processes. But leaving the EU will limit companies in another way: freedom of movement.

Pre-Brexit, EU workers had the freedom to move and work in any member state, but this will no longer apply to the UK. This means hiring workers from within the EU could be more difficult, time-consuming and expensive. With many British companies hiring migrant drivers to cover the UK shortage, this could severely impact transport.

The announcement of Brexit brought about uncertainty among UK businesses. Unfortunately, only speculation is possible until all trade deals have been announced and Brexit takes effect in 2019. However, if businesses prepare in these areas, it could help to minimise impact.

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Business

The Future of the UK Used Car Market

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It is an intriguing time in the UK auto market in 2018 with a range of political, economic and social factors influencing the industry. New car sales continue to fall for the 11th consecutive month with diesel taking the brunt of the slide. It is thought that this decline is due to the uncertainty over the Government’s clean air plans (including the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel), but also the economic climate and uncertainty over Brexit.

Sale of AFVs

Although new car sales continue to fall overall, there is evidence that the 2040 ban is influencing consumers with the sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rising steadily over the last 11 months, including a 7.2% rise in February compared to last year. Although this is unable to offset the free-falling diesel sector, it does show that motorists are beginning to prepare for the green car revolution. Motorists are also aware that there are many incentives for making the switch, plus there is now a wide range of excellent electric cars on the market.

Used Car Market

So, what does all this mean for used car dealerships? Sales have managed to maintain stability amidst the turbulence in the industry with a drop of just 1.1% in 2017 compared to 2016. This was largely thanks to the sale of used electric cars, which saw an increase of a staggering 77.1% in 2017. Hybrids were also up 22.2%. This goes to show that motorists are preparing for the future and still have the need to change automobiles, with the used car market being a much safer place to do this as it is a much smaller investment.

The Future

It is easy to see reputable used car dealerships like Shelbourne Motors performing well in 2018 and beyond as more and more second-hand electric cars become available. An increasing number of cities are imposing their own bans ahead of the 2040 ban, plus it is expected that there will be more clarity on the ban and the electric vehicle infrastructure will continue to grow. Additionally, the landscape of a post-Brexit UK will be clearer soon and this could encourage motorists to shop in the used car market.

The future of the used car market in the UK looks healthy despite the fact that there has been a great deal of uncertainty in the UK over the past year. Provided that dealerships are able to provide motorists with a range of second-hand electric automobiles, it is easy to see motorists opting to buy used as opposed to new as this can allow for big savings which is important in the current economic climate. The green car revolution is fully underway and this is what has managed to keep the used car market afloat during a challenging period.

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Environment

All Steam Ahead as Europe Goes Green

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Red, amber, green: and Europe is off on its big green venture. Yep, it’s true, Europe is finally on the right track in regards to future-proofing against climate change. To see just how it is doing this and what it is doing in regards to this, make sure to read on.

The abolition of fossil fuels by 2050

Some of Europe’s biggest countries are seeking to go fossil fuel free by 2050, and it’s brilliant. Denmark, a country widely regarded as being a leader in the struggle for a green future, is one such country seeking to do this. Yes, it might be ambitious. And yes, Danish officials openly admit that it is an ambitious venture. But, this old Nordic country is going full steam ahead with its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ enterprise anyway in the hopes that within 32 years the whole country will be completely dependant on things that do not hurt our world. In fact, Denmark is even seeking to go one step further and go completely cashless. Well done, Denmark!

Cities are building green infrastructures

It appears that many European cities have seen the light in regards to what they need to do to save our planet and are now building green infrastructures to hold themselves up in the future. Yep, many cities around this famous old continent are changing the habit of a lifetime and going against a grain that has been in place for thousands upon thousands of years by swapping out their old, harmful infrastructures and ushering in new, safer ones to replace them. Bratislava, Slovakia is one such example: it has had a complete overhaul of its transport system and only runs low-emission buses, tree planting has become a serious occupation, roofs around the city have been made green and rainwater retention facilities have popped up everywhere. Yep, the Slovakian capital really has built a green infrastructure, despite a tight budget, and many other European cities are following suit.

Many big cities are clambering for green funding

Speaking of tight budgets, there seemingly is one across the whole of Europe when it comes to going green because many cities within the continent are having to clamber for funding in regards to it. But, thankfully, having to do all of this isn’t stopping these cities from doing so and going as green as they can. Yep, cities across the European continent are using a combination of EEA grants, municipal funding, crowdfunding and green bonds in order to go green: Copenhagen has done so and used its funding to upgrade is floodwater management and lighting systems to make them more eco-friendly, Paris has done so and used its funding to plant in excess of 20,000 trees and Essen, Germany has done so and used its funding to be named European Green Capital for 2017.

So, as you can see, the historic old continent of Europe is more than willing to embrace the future and, more specifically, the future needs of our planet. Let’s just hope that the rest of the world and its leaders *cough* Trump *cough* follow suit before it’s all too late.

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