The Round-Up: The Right to Be Forgotten

“The ‘right to be forgotten’ was established in the CJEU’s 2014 ‘Google Spain’ ruling. It applies to information which is no longer relevant or in the public interest, but which disproportionately impacts on the individual. In addition to requiring a balance of Article 8 (the right to private life) and Article 10 (the right to freedom of expression) of the ECHR, three further Charter rights were in play: the protection of personal data, the freedom to conduct a business, and the right to an effective remedy.”

UK Human Rights Blog

The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman. Image Credit: Guardian.

NT 1 & NT 2 v Google LLC:A businessman has succeeded in a landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ action against Google, resulting in an order for the de-listing of search results relating to his spent conviction. Warby J heard the cases of two anonymous businessmen (NT1 and NT2), both with spent convictions, and upheld the latter’s claim. Each made further claims of misuse of private information: again, NT2’s claim was found to succeed.

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#Israeli Media Alarmed Over #Russia’s #S-300 Supply to #Syria

Israeli Media Alarmed Over Russia’s S-300 Supply to Syria | SPUTNIK | 15 April 2018

US, UK, France Strike Syria With Over 100 Missiles in Response to Alleged Chemical Attack (53)

The statement, made by the Russian Defense Ministry, that Moscow might reconsider a sale of the S-300 systems to Damascus following the US and allied airstrike, has raised concern among Israeli analysts and journalists, who are concerned over possible threats it may pose to the Jewish state.


The Jerusalem Post has warned that “Israel’s air superiority is at risk of being challenged in one of the most difficult” areas if Russia decides to sell Syria more advanced air defense systems. The newspaper has voiced fears that the Israeli pilots might get killed if Damascus had its hands on more effective missiles.  The unit in question is the S-300, a Russian long range surface-to-air missile system, developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles. The system is one the most advanced weapons in its class.

Analyst from I24 news broadcaster Ron Ben-Yishai backs these concerns, saying that the Jewish state would have to take “cautionary and preventive measures not yet taken so far.”

Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said that Russia might consider selling the S-300 systems to Damascus shortly after US-led strikes on April 14.

Moscow had already decided against selling them to Damascus, Syria some time ago due to “the pressing request of some of our Western partners.” But as the General stated, taking the latest events into the account, Russia can consider the question not only for Syria, but for other states.

READ MORE: Israel is Not a Player in Syrian Tensions — Research Fellow

According to the media, the more up-to-date S-300 systems could be a needed upgrade for Syrian air defense, which now consists of Soviet-era weapons. According to the JP, the most advanced Russian system Damascus possesses is a short range set Pantsir S-1, able to shoot down drones and missiles in Syrian airspace.

Israeli Attacks on Syria

Since 2013, Israel has confirmed hitting about 100 targets in Syria, while many more strikes have also been reported to have been launched by the Jewish state forces, who later denied it. Some targets were in the Syrian-Israeli border area in the Golan Heights. Two-thirds of the region, internationally recognized as Syrian territory, was annexed by Israel in the 80s and remains disputed. The eastern Golan Heights, which are in Syrian hands, has become the target of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, as well as Daesh* militants and other Syrian opposition forces.

However, Israel has targeted locations and alleged Hezbollah weapons convoys in the capital province and other regions. In 2017 Israel bombed a military airport near Damacus. A Syrian official then told Sputnik that it was done “to encourage and support terrorists”.  On February 10, 2018, in retaliation for an alleged Iranian drone incursion over Israeli territory, the IDF launched an airstrike against its positions on Syria’s territory, costing them one of their jets. The loss of an aircraft over Syrian territory prompted another attack against the country, claiming lives of between 6 and 10 soldiers, according to various sources, and damaging 12 sites.

Russian Missiles for another Israeli Rival

In 2016, Russia delivered a S-300 to another Israeli rival power in the Middle East and an ally to the Syrian government, Iran. The $800-million Moscow-Tehran deal to deliver Russian-made S-300 air defense systems to Iran was initially signed in 2007; however, it had been suspended due to the adoption of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran in mid-2010. In April 2015, Russia resumed the talks on the S-300 deliveries following an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

In 2016, the Russian special presidential envoy to Afghanistan said Tehran also showed interest in deliveries of Russian S-400 air defense systems, but the two countries were not currently holding any negotiations on the topic. The S-400 is Russia’s next-generation air defense system. It carries three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range.


Lawmaker: Russia Should Sell S-300 Air Defense Systems to Iran, N. Korea, Syria
Russia-Made S-300 Plays Important Role in Iran’s Security – Defense Minister
NATO Will ‘Drag Serbia Into Major Fight’ Over Possible S-300 Deliveries
Russia’s S-300 Missile System Deliveries to Iran a Sign of Mutual Trust
Israel’s Netanyahu Expresses ‘Total Support’ for Syria Strikes
‘Ongoing Israeli Op to Fight Against Iran and Hezbollah in Syria’ – Researcher
Why Israeli Attack on Syrian Airbase, Alleged Douma Attack Fall Within One Trend
air defensemissileairstrikeS-300 air defense systemS-400Syria crisisIranIsraelSyriaRussiaGolan Heights
S-300 Favorite surface-to-air missile systems during a bilateral drill of air defense and aviation forces of the Western Military District

Forget #WW3: What We Just Saw Happen In #Syria Is The Extent Of #Western Power

Forget WW3: What We Just Saw Happen In Syria Is The Extent Of Western Power | Niall Bradley | | 14 April 2018

It’s a sad day for the US, Britain, France and Israel. Their proxy terror war in Syria is lost, and this latest maneuver was a desperate attempt to save face.

‘Shock-and-awe’, it most certainly was not, but it was nevertheless illegal and reckless. The US, UK and France jointly produced a ‘show of force‘ in Syria last night after a tense week in which Western threats of bombing Syria as ‘punishment’ for its government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in Douma left many wondering how Russia would respond, and whether that would spark off ‘WW3’.

This time around, the declared mission was to “take out Assad’s chemical research infrastructure,” a military strike that amounted to 103 cruise missiles – almost twice as many as the 59 the US fired at Shayrat airbase almost exactly one year ago – targeting mostly empty buildings and airfields on the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo. Among the targets, however, were also alleged “chemical weapons sites in areas around Damascus and Aleppo”. Forgive me for nitpicking, but doesn’t that mean that FUKUS (France, UK, US) used missiles to explode chemical weapons sites in residential areas in Syria in order to make sure that Assad cannot use those chemical weapons against civilians, for example, by exploding them in residential areas?

dancing airstrike damascus

© FB / Rosa Guimarães
Photo of Damascenes dancing this morning following the Syrian military’s successful repulsion of an attempted Western bombardment

Anyway, Syrian media is reporting that just three people were injured. Russia claims that it did not even bother to activate its own anti-aircraft/missile systems in Tartus and Latakia, although they did mention that, since 2016, they have been upgrading and modernizing older Syrian systems.

Highlighting the limited extent of US capability in the region, Defense Secretary Mattis announced today that this operation was a “one time shot.” The Syrian and Iranian governments of course condemned this as a “barbaric” and “criminal” violation of Syria’s sovereignty that would only embolden the remaining terrorists there – which it will – while Putin described it as “an aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.

The British government stated that its airstrikes were carried out by four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s, which launched ‘Storm Shadow’ missiles at a former missile base 15 miles west of the city of Homs. Why did they target that site? Because, they said, the Syrian government keeps a stockpile of chemical weapons “precursors” there, which could of course be any multiple-purpose chemicals. Another of the destroyed targets was a ‘scientific research center’ outside Damascus,afacility that housed civilian educational and scientific laboratories. Anything, it would seem, that could be associated with ‘chemicals’ was fair game.

The Western Coalition of the Dubious is hyping up the operation as a successful show of force. France released videos of the jets’ takeoff, and the UK released video of their jets’ prep work. They all insist Assad’s guilt is “beyond doubt” (Macron), that the attack was “right and legal” (May).

The fact that last night’s airstrikes occurred just hours before OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) investigators weredue to arrive at the scene of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, near Damascus, also speaks to the West’s desperation. Rather than wait to hear news from those inspectors that would likely indicate or prove that no such chemical attack had occurred there last week, the Americans, French and British raced to ‘spend’ their ‘justification’ for military action before the cheque bounced. The investigators have now reached Damascus, and if they’re allowed to actually do their work properly, they will discover what their organization certified four years agothe Syrian government has neither ‘stockpiles’ nor ‘production facilities’ of chemical weapons.

The Russian Ministry of Defense says that 71 of these missiles were shot down by Syrian anti-missile defenses. The Russian MoD also made a point of stating that the Syrian anti-missile defenses used (S-120, S-200, BuK) were “Cold War era“. All in all, the ‘precision’ attack on three ‘chemical weapons’ facilities was a farce. Syrians were dancing on the streets of Damascus this morning, even as their city’s air defence systems launched missiles to meet one of Trump’s shiny, “smart” Tomahawks:

This round of airstrikes now marks two successive incidents in the space of one year in which a contrived ‘chemical attack’ false-flag event in Syria has sparked howling in the Western media about ‘chemical weapons’, Trump and other Western leaders promising hell to pay, and NATO forces subsequently launching what amounts to token airstrikes.

Like last year, both Russia and Syria were informed of the airstrikes – although not the exact targets – in advance. This time, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, said that the US did not “do any coordination with the Russians on the strikes, nor did we pre-notify them,” while also stating that the Pentagon “specifically identified targets” to “mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved.” To whatever extent ‘deconfliction’ took place, the message was implicitly communicated by the West’s limited choice and scope of military action.

Echoing George W Bush’s premature statement about the Iraq invasion in 2003, Trump declared ‘Mission Accomplished!’, praised the “perfectly executed strike” and thanked the UK for its “wisdom and the power of their fine military.” A perfect counter to such bluff and bluster, and the impotency of the West’s airstrikes, was a video posted on President Assad’s Twitter account of him nonchalantly going to work this morning, as usual:

This video shows a successful intercept of one of Trump’s “smart” missiles:

Not so smart then.

In his televised speech announcing the airstrikes, Trump twice referred to WW1. I find it fitting that the US president’s speech-writers should frame this flaccid attack in the context of the ‘Great War’. Chemical weapons, though first used to deadly effect in that war by the German military, were substantially used by the British and French forces. Porton Down was established at that time, first as a testing facility, and remains today a major center for the production of chemical weapons. While its chemical weapons facilities in and around Salisbury are officially limited to the production of ‘non-lethal’ chemical weapons like ‘tear gas’, it is no coincidence that canisters of smoke bombs marked ‘Made in Salisbury, England’ were among the arsenals of weapons discovered by Syrian forces as they cleared terrorist enclaves in Ghouta last month.

canister salisbury ghouta syria

© Sputnik
‘Made in Salisbury, England’ – Canister found in the possession of terrorists in Ghouta last month.

But the larger point concerning WW1 as a frame of reference for this American-British-French assault on Syria is the fact that that war marked the beginning of those three countries’ domination of the Middle East – along with the bastard child they initially birthed during that war: Israel. As part of the primary goal of destroying German military and trade competitiveness with Anglo-American-French ‘management’ of the world, the Western Order was keen to cut off German and Russian ‘incursion’ into the oil-rich Middle East. And so they rallied the Arabs to rise up against Ottoman rule, then betrayed them mercilessly by carving the region into ‘protectorates’ we today call Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, etc. They have been playing one Middle Eastern country against another ever since. But now there’s a new sheriff in town, and this one plays fair: Russia has brought order to the region, heralding the end of the West’s domination there.

Trump concluded in his pre-bombing speech:

“What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murderer of innocent men, women and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed, in the long run, by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators.”

Wise words. Now if only the US establishment would apply them to itself.

The farce we witnessed in Syria last night is why this is not a ‘nuclear Armageddon’ scenario. Russia and the US (including all other parties in Syria) are conducting a dance of sorts there. Sure, it’s dangerous, and yes, it’s serious – people get killed after all – but the situation is nowhere near as literally existential for life on Earth as they make it out to be.

The bottom line for the US, UK and France is that they need to be SEEN to be powerful. Weapons manufacturers depend on it; their reputation as ‘leaders of the free World’ depends on it; and, most critically, petrodollar hegemony depends on it. The bottom line for Russia is, apparently, that it is content to cater to that need provided it is limited to just that – a DISPLAY of power.

Some are wondering why the Russians “didn’t do anything to stop this.” If the interception success rate was as good as claimed by the Russian MoD (and there is no reason to believe it wasn’t), then this points to the Russians having successfully upgraded those systems since arriving in Syria three years ago. In addition, the Russian MoD has in the past claimed that it has advisors and military personnel are embedded throughout Syria’s military infrastructure, and that all of Syria’s military activity is centrally coordinated from the Russian base in Latakia. And so, in effect, Russia ‘pretended’ that Syria alone defended itself from the Western powers.

There will be no regime change in Syria. There will be no ‘hot war’ between the US and Russia. The Western Alliance arguably lost this back in August 2013 when the first fake ‘Ghouta chemical weapons attack’ failed to galvanize sufficient confidence for ‘shock-and-awe’ in Syria. In the meantime, the Syrian government has become impenetrable to ‘decapitation from the air’, and Russia has acquired the might to neutralize the West’s doctrine of ‘might makes right’.

And the rest, as they say, is propaganda.


thorbiorn · about 11 hours ago

The attack on Syria also came after the resolution proposed by the US at the UNSC on April 10th which was vetoed by Russia while Bolivia voted no, and China abstained. The rest went along with the US proposal. As a result Russia was much maligned in the Western press, but what was said in the meeting?

The translation of the speeches at the meeting are available here [Link
Russia’s representative said among other things: “At every stage of our work on the American initiative we have insisted that the Secretary-General should select the staff for the investigative mechanism on the basis of the broadest possible geographic representation, with subsequent approval by the Security Council. Visits to the sites of the incidents and strict adherence to the principle of sequential actions while ensuring the preservation of the material evidence should be not optional but mandatory working principles. In a collective decision, the Security Council would determine who was responsible in any given case of the use of chemical weapons, based on reliable evidence that would leave no room for doubt about the correctness of the conclusions. There is nothing about this in the American draft resolution. The authors know that it goes against the Russian position and will not be adopted. But they are obstinately sticking to their line. […] The fact is that the authors of the draft resolution are motivated by completely different priorities. They have pinned their hopes on the assumption that the draft resolution will not be adopted. That is what they want , and it is something that they can bank along with the rest of their reasons justifying the use of force against Syria. For several days now, the Administration in Washington, D.C., has been keeping the international community in suspense while discussing the so-called important decisions being prepared. […]It is clear that Russia will once again be the target of the propaganda cannons. My American colleague will painstakingly enumerate the Russian vetoes on Syria. It is not impossible that she has taken upon herself a capitalist commitment to using the reckless policies of the United States to achieve some sort of personal record in that regard. We are using the veto to protect international law, peace and security and to ensure that the United States does not to drag the Security Council into its misadventures. The United States representative says that we are covering up for someone. Russia is in Syria at the invitation of its lawful Government in order to combat international terrorism, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, while the United States is covering up for militias and terrorists. ”

At yesterdays meeting at the Security Council, Russia made a proposal that only China and Bolivia supported, but the nations that abstained and even one that voted against, expressed varying degrees of disappointment with the three permanent members, F/UK/US, of the UNSC who had acted on their own. The words from the meeting will be out in a few days, and some of them might be worth putting through the amplifier, because they were very true.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
NATO reporting name: SA-22 “Greyhound”
MAKS Airshow 2013 (Ramenskoye Airport, Russia) (521-05).jpg

Pantsir-S1 on 8×8 Truck KAMAZ-6560 TLAR
Type Transportable gun/SAM system
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service 2012–present
Used by See list of operators
Wars Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
Production history
Designer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Designed 1994
Manufacturer Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant
Unit cost US$ 13.15[1]–14.67[2] million (export)
Produced 2008
No. built 200[3]
Variants Pantsir-S (prototype), Pantsir-S1, Pantsir-S1-O (or Pantsir-S1E), Pantsir-S2
Specifications (Pantsir-S1)
Crew 3

95Ya6 series (basic missile), 95YA6-2/M series missile-targets, 23Ya6 missile (Domestic) 57E6, 57E6-E (Enhanced) (Export only)
Two dual 2A38M 30 mm (1.2 in) autocannon guns

Pantsir-S1 (RussianПанцирь-С1NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound) is a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system produced by KBP of Tula, Russia. The system is a further development of 2K22 Tunguska (NATO reporting name: SA-19/SA-N-11) and represents the latest air defence technology by using phased array radars for both target acquisition and tracking.

The Pantsir-S1 was designed to provide point air defence of military/industrial/administrative installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs and to provide additional protection to air defence units from enemy air attacks employing precision munitions especially at the low to extremely low ranges.[4][5]

Syrian Ambassador quotes Orwell: ‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’

Fig Trees and Vineyards

Another Security Council meeting today…As before, the last speaker, once again, was Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari. Syria is not a Security Council member, but under the guidelines in place, whenever a country becomes the subject of a Security Council debate, its representative is recognized to speak.  In his remarks, Jaafari quoted the famous line from George Orwell regarding the revolutionary act of truth telling–and his speech was the best given by far. You can slide the pointer back and forth through the two-hour video, and you won’t find a more truth-packed set of comments (yes, the Russian ambassador’s speech was admirable, but did not contain the same level of hard-truth as Jaafari’s).

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Toward the Creation of a World Parliament: Strongly Recommended Reading  

Global Justice in the 21st Century

Toward the Creation of a World Parliament: Strongly Recommended Reading


This is a brief promotional comment to call attention to the publication of a truly outstanding contribution to creative and restorative world order thinking. The book is entitled A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21stCenturyby Jo Leinen and Andreas Bummel, translated from German by Ray Cunningham, and published in 2018 in Berlin under the imprint of Democracy Without Borders. The book is currently available for purchase from Amazon.


I hope at a later time to do a serious review of this urgent plea for what might be called ‘cosmopolitan rationalism,’ the undergirding of a populist movement dedicated to overcoming the menace of the war system and predatory capitalism, placing a great emphasis on the potential of institutional innovation beyond the level of the state, above all, through the establishment of a world parliament…

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“I completely forgot”

Surely ‘fairness’ requires that the birth parents should have been notified and joined as parties as this disastrous scenario unfolded – especially if they were only ruled out on a borderline pretext eg, potential emotional harm?


This is a successful appeal (indeed fairly unusually it was an appeal that by the time the Court of Appeal came to look at it, all four parties were in agreement should be granted) about a decision in the High Court to make a finding of sexual abuse against a child, T, who had just turned 16 when the High Court considered the case. T had been the subject of a Care Order and Placement Order when she was six, then placed for adoption.

(Bit nervous about this one, as I know that 75% of the silks in the case read the blog… and I have a mental crush on all three of them. And because I also have a lot of respect for the High Court Judge who gets monstered in the appeal judgment)

The adoption got into difficulties, and T went into respite care for a short time in May…

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“This judgment contains a detailed analysis of the law, including case law, in relation to matters such as issue estoppel, the principle in Henderson v Henderson and res judicata etc., and related matters.”

Kerry Underwood

Small new blog attaching judgment in  

Baxendale-Walker v APL Management Ltd [2018] EWHC 543 (Ch)

 This judgment contains a detailed analysis of the law, including case law, in relation to matters such as issue estoppel, the principle in Henderson v Henderson and res judicata etc., and related matters.

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Four curiosities in Yulia #Skripal’s ‘official’ statement – and their significance!

The statement released by the Metropolitan Police today on behalf of Yulia Skripal has been treated with extreme suspicion by social media users It contains a number of ‘curiosities’ that are fuelling public distrust among those who doubt its authenticity While not probative, these curiosities mean that Russian claims that Ms Skripal is under duress…

via Four curiosities in Yulia Skripal’s ‘official’ statement – and their significance — The SKWAWKBOX

Trump’s Bellicose Statements Regarding the Use of Nuclear Weapons: Seeking Clarity on U.S Position

Most readers, whatever their position on No First Use, will agree with the Los Angeles Times editorial board, which – though preferring a position of ambiguity – writes:

“We shudder to think about the human consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, even in self-defense, which is why we support arms-control agreements and efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. We also believe that, as a general matter, Congress needs to be more assertive in exercising oversight over the use of military force”.

Counter Information

Recently, Elizabeth Way, a member of WMCND referred to Donald Trump’s statement that he would stand by ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.

Global Research, April 11, 2018
Nuclear Industries 10 April 2018

Other listeners were not so sure. But In November, the Los Angeles Times editorial board, after expressing alarm at President  Trump’s bellicose statements and impulsive governing style, reminded readers that in a pre-election televised debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump said:

“I would certainly not do first strike. I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table.”

On the other hand, while disregarding the president’s off the cuff remarks about the button – a search finds (Non-Proliferation Review, 2/2018) that the United States has long embraced calculated ambiguity over the conditions under which it might use nuclear…

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As the West & the Russia/China Axis Lock Horns, Israel Will Have to Make Its Choice

One of the six former Mossad directors, Pardo said, in answer to the question, what, in your opinion, is the greatest threat to [Israeli] national security:

“[The greatest threat, is the] fact that between the sea and the Jordan [river], there is a nearly identical number of Jews and non-Jews. The central problem from 1967 until today is that Israel, across the entire breadth of its political establishment, hasn’t decided what country it wants to be. We are the only country in the world that hasn’t defined for itself what its borders are. All of the governments have fled from coping with the issue … If the State of Israel doesn’t decide what it wants, in the end there will be a single state between the sea and the Jordan. That is the end of the Zionist vision.”

Astute News

A recent cluster of unrelated events is bringing Israel to a point of inflection; or at least, to a moment of deep almost existential reflection – on this, the seventieth anniversary of its founding. The depth of this quite anxious introspection became explicit in a discussion (Hebrew original) hosted by Yediot Ahronoth, Israel’s widest circulation Hebrew newspaper, with six former heads of Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Service.

The most iconic irruption into this sombre mood was the statement in the Knesset (parliament) that the population between the Jordan and the sea, was exactly balanced at 6.5 million each, between Israelis and Palestinians. Of course, that demographic equality would occur at some point, everybody knew. It was not as such, then, a surprise; but it constituted a slap of reality, nonetheless. These figures were published by the IDF and are therefore difficult to contest. This moment of reality thus…

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