Socialist Worker

Britain backs war crimes in Yemen after 32 killed in raid

Issue No. 2692

Opposing Britains backing for Saudi Arabias war in Yemen

Opposing Britain's backing for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen (Pic: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr)


Saudi Arabian airstrikes killed at least 32 civilians last Saturday in brutal revenge for a military setback.

This latest horror in the five-year war was carried out by the Saudi forces that are backed by Britain and the US.

It followed the shooting down of a Saudi Tornado jet aircraft by Houthi rebels the day before.

Those targeted by the Saudi airstrike included children who had gathered around the wreckage of the aircraft as well as families in nearby homes.

Medical teams said it was hard to reach the dozens

of wounded people as Saudi jets continued to circle the area, threatening a “double tap” strike against first responders.

Since the war began in March 2015, an estimated 100,000 Yemenis have been killed.

Saudi bombings, including against homes, hospitals, schools, buses and weddings, are responsible for two thirds of Yemen’s civilian casualties.

Around ten million Yemenis are living on the brink of famine.

Starved

The aid group Save the Children estimated that at least 75,000 Yemeni children under the age of five have starved to death since the war began.

Britain has continued to supply equipment for the Saudi war machine.

But in June last year the Court of Appeal ruled that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen are unlawful.

The court said it was “irrational and therefore unlawful” for the government to have granted licences without making any assessment as to whether violations of international humanitarian law had taken place.

As a result the government has too retake all decisions to export arms to Saudi in accordance with the law.

But eight months later this process has not been completed.

On 16 January the government confirmed that there is still a licence for arms firm Raytheon UK to export to Saudi Arabia.


Just who did pay for Johnson’s holiday?

A wealthy tycoon has denied he paid for Boris Johnson’s £15,000 New Year jaunt to the Caribbean. Johnson declared the freebie trip in the latest Commons register of interests.

But David Ross insisted he didn’t actually pay for the villa, he just helped arrange it with a phone call.

That suggests that the prime minister’s declaration was inaccurate, which could earn him a serious reprimand from parliament. Though the last three times he got his register of interests wrong nothing happened.

The private holiday lasted from Boxing Day to 5 January according to the register entry, with the villa reportedly including three staff members.

The prime minister listed the excursion as a “benefit in kind” from David Ross. “Accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000.”


Why did Andrew befriend another billionaire rapist?

Prince Andrew brazenly “groped girls’ during parties while staying at child abuser Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.

Denise George, attorney general of the US Virgin Islands, said staff reported that Andrew made no attempt to hide his antics on the disgraced financier’s private Caribbean island.

George is taking legal action against the dead paedophile’s estate in a bid to stop his lawyers from “hiding” his assets and “covering up” his crimes.

Meanwhile a class action lawsuit claims that Peter Nygard lured “young, impressionable, and often impoverished children and women” to his Bahamas property with cash payments and promises of modelling opportunities, only to then “assault, rape, and sodomize them”.

He also was a friend of Prince Andrew who once stayed on the island.


New business secretary gets climate conference

Alok Sharma is the new business secretary and COP26 president. Sharma will oversee the climate conference in Glasgow later this year

As international development secretary, Sharma announced that Britain will partner with Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda to design a new facility to support a range of “environmentally-friendly” infrastructure projects. Around £2 billion in energy deals were agreed.

But 90 percent were for fossil fuels.

In parliament he only voted positively on two out of 13 climate-related votes.

Having originally claimed that “Heathrow would inflict huge damage to the environment and to the quality of life of millions of people.”

He has since welcomed the expansion, claiming that it would help to “drive the nation’s economic powerhouse”.


The chancellor is a banker

Who is Rishi Sunak? The new Tory chancellor went to illustrious private school Winchester College before studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford and then gaining an MBA from Stanford University.

It was there he met his wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of billionaire NR Narayana Murthy.

Sunak worked in the City for Goldman Sachs and then for the hedge fund TCI Fund Management.

Quite how much he made out of the financial crisis is unknown. He left in November 2009 to join other former colleagues at new hedge fund firm Theleme Partners

Sunak was also a director of investment firm Catamaran Ventures owned by his father in law.


Expensive wallpaper under threat at palace

Imagine having wallpaper as rare as the 19th-century Chinese wallpaper which adorns the Yellow Drawing Room in the Buckingham Palace.

It is currently being removed piece by piece amid fears that vibrations from nearby renovations would damage it.

It was hung in the drawing room after queen Mary discovered it in a cupboard at Brighton Pavilion.

 


Loadsa money for parliament furniture

Furniture worth almost £28,000 has been purchased by parliamentary authorities for an atrium in Portcullis House, it has emerged. New sofas, chairs and tables appeared in the Westminster office building on Monday morning.


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