Italian police cook pasta for lonely couple after neighbours heard them crying

Officers cooked the meal for Jole, 84 and her husband Michele, 94, after responding to reports from neighbours who heard crying coming from the couple’s flat in Rome.

  • Rome police cook dinner for the couple at their home
    Emma Sword

    Last updated: 08 August 2016, 15:57 BST

    Police officers in Italy cooked dinner for a lonely elderly couple after they received reports of crying coming from their apartment in Rome.

    Officers went to the home of Jole, 84, and her 94-year-old husband Michele after receiving reports of hearing shouting and crying coming from inside their flat in the Appio area of the city.

    The officers found a couple who had not been victims of crime but who were simply lonely, the force wrote on their official Facebook page.

    Posting pictures of the couple on their official Facebook page, police in Rome said the pair, who have been married for 70 years, told officers they had not had any visitors for a long time and were simply lonely.

    Writing about the incident, police said on Facebook: “Jole and Michele they love each other. But when the loneliness is a burden on the heart, it may happen that they lose hope.

    “Can happen like this time that scream so loud in their despair that, in the end, somebody call the state police. There isn’t a crime. Jole and Michele are not victims of scams as often happens to the elderly and no burglar came in the house. There’s no one to save.

    “This time, for the boys there is a more difficult task to perform. There are two lonely souls to reassure.”

    While waiting for an ambulance to arrive to check the couple over, the officers prepared a hot meal using ingredients they found in the pantry.

    “While waiting for the ambulance to verify that the spouses are okay, they understand that just a little bit of warmth will bring peace to Jole and Michele. Ask for permission to access the pantry. Improvise a little dinner.

    “A bowl of pasta with butter and cheese. Nothing special. But with a precious ingredient: is there, inside, all their humanity.”

    People praised the actions of the police, while the post of the couple enjoying their pasta with the officers has been shared more than 20,000 times.

    Picture credit: Rome Police/Facebook

 

Phone Call Leaked! All USA People Need to See This! June 2016 New World Order Exposed !

Finally FOX News showing more PROOF and EVIDENCES for MARTIAL LAW and FEMA! Leak!! People of America urgent news!! Public utility! Update to JUNE 2016! Real Scenes! This video is very important! NEW EVIDENCES – NEW PROOF! All American people need to see this! GOV LEAKED! FEMA CAMPS and MARTIAL LAW are coming in 2016!! All Americans need to watch this!! Let’s Share… Share… this video must be shared with max number of people! make your part now, please share it! Because the Government Cover-up! Important: Before JUDGE, watch the whole video. MARTIAL LAW EMINENT APPROACH! MUST SEE!! URGENT VIDEO PUBLIC UTILITY! FEMA CAMPS IS REAL!! OBAMA IS LEAKED!

Phone call leaked! All USA people need to see this! JUNE 2016 NEW WORLD ORDER Exposed! pls share

Medicare Prescriptions Drop After Medical Marijuana Legalized

Big Pharma’s nightmare has come true as Americans are depending less on the pharmaceutical industry and more on medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription medication.

Marijuana is a natural plant that can’t be patented, unlike chemical-made synthetic tablets. Marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain, depression and anxiety. This may be why more are choosing to toke and smoke the herb and less are choosing to swallow pills.

Marijuana is not only a natural, safer alternative, but the prices for pharmaceutical drugs have sky rocketed. Now people are seeking an alternative to “modern medicine” in the form of cannabis.

Research shows states that legalized medical marijuana has caused a sharp decline in the purchasing of prescription meds. Using data on all prescriptions filed by Medicare D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, it was found that the use of prescription drugs was replaced with marijuana for health problems that marijuana could substitute for. For health problems where marijuana could not substitute, like blood-thinners, prescriptions didn’t drop.

“National overall reductions in Medicare program and enrollee spending which covers the cost of prescription medication.

When states implemented medical marijuana laws estimated to be $165.2 million per year in 2013.” – Researchers Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford

The study’s finding’s add more arguments to the debate about whether to legalize marijuana or not for medical purposes. Already 25 states and the nation’s capital have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. That list includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Other States have legalized medical marijuana for limited use including – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Two states –  Florida and Missouri – are expected to vote for medical marijuana legalization in November.

On one hand legalization would save an estimated $470 million in Medicare part D spending if widely available. On the other hand, Big Pharma would lose customers, and as said by George Carlin, they want customers — not cures.

Various drugs have adverse side effects, and some even include suicidal thoughts and death. Not one known death can be attributed to marijuana, and opioid dependency is being decreased by Marijuana.

But could there be benefits to using marijuana? It’s already been revealed that the age old myth that marijuana kills brain cells is indeed false.

The myth was due to experiments where scientist took chimpanzees, strapped them with a gas mask and pumped them full of smoke. The study forgot to take into account that they didn’t allow the chimpanzees to breathe. Which holding your breathe for too long can kill brain cells on it’s own, by not breathing and taking in no oxygen and just smoke this would definitely kill brain cells — but marijuana isn’t to blame.

In fact, according to researchers Marijuana might do the opposite and grow brain cells. Marijuana compounds may also protect the brain from developing the Alzheimer’s disease according to researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego. THC and other chemical compounds found in Marijuana remove amyloid beta proteins from the brain — which are toxins found in Alzheimer’s patients. The THC compounds also reduced cellular inflammation. What other health benefits lie ahead for cannabis users? Only time and more medical research will tell. But to reap its benefits we need to legalize marijuana as it’s still considered a schedule 1 drug by the federal government.

Horrifying moment a taxi driver is surrounded by riot cops and beaten with truncheons

Horrifying moment a taxi driver is surrounded by riot cops and beaten with truncheons on the floor… during a protest about police brutality in Zimbabwe

  • Violent clashes between Zimbabwean police and protesters resulted in 30 arrests as a riot broke out in Harare
  • Demonstrators forced to lie down in dusty roads and battered by truncheons as police use tear gas and dogs
  • Protest over a number of issues including economic hardship, police brutality and Robert Mugabe’s government
  • A journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks before taking their uniforms to wear them
  • Many rioters were young men who make a living from by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses
  • The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Violent clashes between Zimbabwean police and protesters resulted in 30 arrests as a riot broke out over economic hardship, police brutality and Robert Mugabe’s government.

Demonstrators were forced to lie down in the dusty roads as machine gun-wielding officers fired warning shots and rounded up civilians in Harare.

One taxi driver can be seen getting a savage beating from six riot cops, another man has his head stood on by an officer carrying a machine gun and bloodied protesters are pictured running from the mayhem.

As well as a number of economical and political issues affecting workers, the protest was ironically about police brutality in the country.

Savage:Taxi driver surrounded by six riot cops who kick him and beat him with truncheons as another demonstrator escapes the fracas

Savage:Taxi driver surrounded by six riot cops who kick him and beat him with truncheons as another demonstrator escapes the fracas

Down in the dirt: Four police officers in riot gear carrying guns as they force protesters to the ground in Harare

Down in the dirt: Four police officers in riot gear carrying guns as they force protesters to the ground in Harare

Blood on the streets: One protester is helped away from the riots while a child (far right) watches on in horror having been caught up in the action on the way to school 

Blood on the streets: One protester is helped away from the riots while a child (far right) watches on in horror having been caught up in the action on the way to school

Police fire tear gas and water cannons at protesters

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Smoking barrel: A Zimbabwean police officer fires a warning shot as the riot gathers pace in the capital

Smoking barrel: A Zimbabwean police officer fires a warning shot as the riot gathers pace in the capital

Brutal: A protester has his face shoved into the dirt by a machine gun-wielding police officers boot as one of his colleagues goes after another civilian with a truncheon

Brutal: A protester has his face shoved into the dirt by a machine gun-wielding police officers boot as one of his colleagues goes after another civilian with a truncheon

Police in Zimbabwe’s capital have fired tear gas, water cannons and warning shots during riots by minibus drivers and others protesting alleged police harassment.

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe.

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them.

The protesters blocked roads leading into the centre of the city on Monday, forcing many people to walk up to six miles (10km) to get to work.

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe

The violence in Harare, in which 30 people were arrested, came amid a surge in protests in recent weeks because of increasing economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by the government of President Robert Mugabe

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare's eastern suburbs

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare’s eastern suburbs

Rioters threw stones at police and vehicles, and some children on their way to school were caught up in the chaos.

Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in Harare’s eastern suburbs.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

Some police were seen firing live ammunition into the air to ward off the crowds. They also brought in police dogs.

The drivers’ grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes.

Police said they had reduced the number of roadblocks after complaints from parliamentarians, tourism operators and others.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

Many rioters were young men who cannot find regular employment and make a living from drivers by charging a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them. A demonstrator, not involved in the attack, can be seen carrying two sticks

An Associated Press journalist saw protesters severely beat two police officers with sticks, then take their uniforms and helmets and wear them. A demonstrator, not involved in the attack, can be seen carrying two sticks

Burning issue: Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations

Burning issue: Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations

Thirty people were arrested for inciting the protests, police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said.

“We have information and intelligence on the identities of some criminal elements who are behind the social unrest,” Ms Charamba said at a news conference.

Such acts of defiance and clashes with the police are rare in Zimbabwe, although the government deployed the army against 1998 riots over soaring food prices.

Mugabe, 92, has ruled the southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980, scoffing at frequent allegations of human rights violations.

Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent weeks.

On Friday, protesters burned a warehouse at Beitbridge, a busy border post between Zimbabwe and South Africa, over a Zimbabwean decision to ban a wide range of imports.

Seventeen people appeared in court on Sunday over the Beitbridge protests and were charged with public violence.

Separately, state hospital doctors and other government workers said they will strike over the government’s failure to pay their June salaries on time.

Down and out: Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent week

Down and out: Frustrations over rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, compounded by dissatisfaction over alleged government corruption and incompetence, have resulted in near-daily protests in recent week

Hands up: A protester is surrounded by three riot police officers as he cowers against a wall

Hands up: A protester is surrounded by three riot police officers as he cowers against a wall

Nowhere to go: The drivers' grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes

Nowhere to go: The drivers’ grievances stem from anger over numerous roadblocks that police sometimes set up in city streets, which drivers allege are to demand bribes

Grounded: Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago

Grounded: Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been pleading with Western countries to unlock financing for Zimbabwe in the form of loans that were halted close to two decades ago.

The financing dried up due to failure to repay debts as well as international sanctions imposed because of concerns over democratic rights.

Some recent political protests have been notable for their brazenness.

Police said they are looking for Lumumba William Matumanje, a former ruling party activist who used an obscenity to denigrate Mugabe while launching his own political party last week.

People have often been sent to jail for such conduct in Zimbabwe.

Last month, video footage showed an anti-government protester shouting in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Harare and haranguing police until they move in and drag him away.

The video shows a protest by activists angry at Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s alleged 18-month stay in a 400 US dollars (£300) a night hotel suite in the capital.

Activist Sten Zvorwadza was charged with threats to commit malicious damage to property and was freed on 200 US dollars (£150) bail.

The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says.

Rock bottom: The majority of Zimbabwe's citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Rock bottom: The majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens survive on just one US dollar (75p) a day, the official statistics agency says

Video: Zimbabwe police brutality exposed

In yet another horrific video that shows the brutality of Zimbabwean police, a woman is battered by a group of police officers while one of the cops – a senior officer – holds her child.

 

In the video- which has gone viral on social media – about a dozen truncheon-wielding officers stationed with a couple of service trucks are seen beating up unarmed civilians.

The video was captured from a police truck, apparently by another officer.

It is not clear where the video was captured as the country recently had several incidences of police confronting civilians and brutalising them during the various protests that took place.

 

7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Are you “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestine”? It isn’t even noon yet as I write this, and I’ve already been accused of being both.

These terms intrigue me because they directly speak to the doggedly tribal nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You don’t hear of too many other countries being universally spoken of this way. Why these two? Both Israelis and Palestinians are complex, with diverse histories and cultures, and two incredibly similar (if divisive) religions. To come down completely on the side of one or the other doesn’t seem rational to me.

It is telling that most Muslims around the world support Palestinians, and most Jews support Israel. This, of course, is natural — but it’s also problematic. It means that this is not about who’s right or wrong as much as which tribe or nation you are loyal to. It means that Palestinian supporters would be just as ardently pro-Israel if they were born in Israeli or Jewish families, and vice versa. It means that the principles that guide most people’s view of this conflict are largely accidents of birth — that however we intellectualize and analyze the components of the Middle East mess, it remains, at its core, a tribal conflict.

By definition, tribal conflicts thrive and survive when people take sides. Choosing sides in these kinds of conflicts fuels them further and deepens the polarization. And worst of all, you get blood on your hands.

So before picking a side in this latest Israeli-Palestine conflict, consider these 7 questions:

***

1. Why is everything so much worse when there are Jews involved?

Over 700 people have died in Gaza as of this writing. Muslims have woken up around the world. But is it really because of the numbers?

Bashar al-Assad has killed over 180,000 Syrians, mostly Muslim, in two years — more than the number killed in Palestine in two decades. Thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Syria have been killed by ISIS in the last two months. Tens of thousands have been killed by the Taliban. Half a million black Muslims were killed by Arab Muslims in Sudan. The list goes on.

But Gaza makes Muslims around the world, both Sunni and Shia, speak up in a way they never do otherwise. Up-to-date death counts and horrific pictures of the mangled corpses of Gazan children flood their social media timelines every day. If it was just about the numbers, wouldn’t the other conflicts take precedence? What is it about then?

If I were Assad or ISIS right now, I’d be thanking God I’m not Jewish.

Amazingly, many of the graphic images of dead children attributed to Israeli bombardment that are circulating online are from Syria, based on a BBC report. Many of the pictures you’re seeing are of children killed by Assad, who is supported by Iran, which also funds Hezbollah and Hamas. What could be more exploitative of dead children than attributing the pictures of innocents killed by your own supporters to your enemy simply because you weren’t paying enough attention when your own were killing your own?

This doesn’t, by any means, excuse the recklessness, negligence, and sometimesoutright cruelty of Israeli forces. But it clearly points to the likelihood that the Muslim world’s opposition to Israel isn’t just about the number of dead.

Here is a question for those who grew up in the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries like I did: if Israel withdrew from the occupied territories tomorrow, all in one go — and went back to the 1967 borders — and gave the Palestinians East Jerusalem — do you honestly think Hamas wouldn’t find something else to pick a fight about? Do you honestly think that this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are Jews? Do you recall what you watched and heard on public TV growing up in Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt?

Yes, there’s an unfair and illegal occupation there, and yes, it’s a human rights disaster. But it is also true that much of the other side is deeply driven by anti-Semitism. Anyone who has lived in the Arab/Muslim world for more than a few years knows that. It isn’t always a clean, one-or-the-other blame split in these situations like your Chomskys and Greenwalds would have you believe. It’s both.

***

2. Why does everyone keep saying this is not a religious conflict?

There are three pervasive myths that are widely circulated about the “roots” of the Middle East conflict:

Myth 1: Judaism has nothing to do with Zionism.
Myth 2: Islam has nothing to do with Jihadism or anti-Semitism.
Myth 3: This conflict has nothing to do with religion.

To the “I oppose Zionism, not Judaism!” crowd, is it mere coincidence that this passage from the Old Testament (emphasis added) describes so accurately what’s happening today?

“I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.” – Exodus 23:31-32

Or this one?

“See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers — to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — and to their descendants after them.” – Deuteronomy 1:8

There’s more: Genesis 15:18-21, and Numbers 34 for more detail on the borders. Zionism is not the “politicization” or “distortion” of Judaism. It is the revival of it.

And to the “This is not about Islam, it’s about politics!” crowd, is this verse from the Quran (emphasis added) meaningless?

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you—then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.” – Quran, 5:51

What about the numerous verses and hadith quoted in Hamas’ charter? And the famous hadith of the Gharqad tree explicitly commanding Muslims to kill Jews?

Please tell me — in light of these passages written centuries and millennia before the creation of Israel or the occupation — how can anyone conclude that religion isn’t at the root of this, or at least a key driving factor? You may roll your eyes at these verses, but they are taken very seriously by many of the players in this conflict, on both sides. Shouldn’t they be acknowledged and addressed? When is the last time you heard a good rational, secular argument supporting settlement expansion in the West Bank?

Denying religion’s role seems to be a way to be able to criticize the politics while remaining apologetically “respectful” of people’s beliefs for fear of “offending” them. But is this apologism and “respect” for inhuman ideas worth the deaths of human beings?

People have all kinds of beliefs — from insisting the Earth is flat to denying the Holocaust. You may respect their right to hold these beliefs, but you’re not obligated to respect the beliefs themselves. It’s 2014, and religions don’t need to be “respected” any more than any other political ideology or philosophical thought system. Human beings have rights. Ideas don’t. The oft-cited politics/religion dichotomy in Abrahamic religions is false and misleading. All of the Abrahamic religions are inherently political.

***

3. Why would Israel deliberately want to kill civilians?

This is the single most important issue that gets everyone riled up, and rightfully so.

Again, there is no justification for innocent Gazans dying. And there’s no excuse for Israel’s negligence in incidents like the killing of four children on a Gazan beach. But let’s back up and think about this for a minute.

Why on Earth would Israel deliberately want to kill civilians?

When civilians die, Israel looks like a monster. It draws the ire of even its closest allies. Horrific images of injured and dead innocents flood the media. Ever-growing anti-Israel protests are held everywhere from Norway to New York. And the relatively low number of Israeli casualties (we’ll get to that in a bit) repeatedly draws allegations of a “disproportionate” response. Most importantly, civilian deaths help Hamas immensely.

How can any of this possibly ever be in Israel’s interest?

If Israel wanted to kill civilians, it is terrible at it. ISIS killed more civilians in two days (700 plus) than Israel has in two weeks. Imagine if ISIS or Hamas had Israel’s weapons, army, air force, US support, and nuclear arsenal. Their enemies would’ve been annihilated long ago. If Israel truly wanted to destroy Gaza, it could do so within a day, right from the air. Why carry out a more painful, expensive ground incursion that risks the lives of its soldiers?

***

4. Does Hamas really use its own civilians as human shields?

Ask Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas how he feels about Hamas’ tactics.

“What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” he asks. “I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”

It isn’t just speculation anymore that Hamas puts its civilians in the line of fire.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri plainly admitted on Gazan national TV that thehuman shield strategy has proven “very effective.”

The UN relief organization UNRWA issued a furious condemnation of Hamas after discovering hidden rockets in not one, but two children’s schools in Gaza last week.

Hamas fires thousands of rockets into Israel, rarely killing any civilians or causing any serious damage. It launches them from densely populated areas, including hospitals and schools.

Why launch rockets without causing any real damage to the other side, inviting great damage to your own people, then putting your own civilians in the line of fire when the response comes? Even when the IDF warns civilians to evacuate their homes before a strike, why does Hamas tell them to stay put?

Because Hamas knows its cause is helped when Gazans die. If there is one thing that helps Hamas most — one thing that gives it any legitimacy — it is dead civilians. Rockets in schools. Hamas exploits the deaths of its children to gain the world’s sympathy. It uses them as a weapon.

You don’t have to like what Israel is doing to abhor Hamas. Arguably, Israel and Fatah are morally equivalent. Both have a lot of right on their side. Hamas, on the other hand, doesn’t have a shred of it.

***

5. Why are people asking for Israel to end the “occupation” in Gaza?

Because they have short memories.

In 2005, Israel ended the occupation in Gaza. It pulled out every last Israeli soldier. It dismantled every last settlement. Many Israeli settlers who refused to leave wereforcefully evicted from their homes, kicking and screaming.

This was a unilateral move by Israel, part of a disengagement plan intended toreduce friction between Israelis and Palestinians. It wasn’t perfect — Israel was still to control Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace — but considering the history of the region, it was a pretty significant first step.

After the evacuation, Israel opened up border crossings to facilitate commerce. The Palestinians were also given 3,000 greenhouses which had already been producing fruit and flowers for export for many years.

But Hamas chose not to invest in schools, trade, or infrastructure. Instead, it built an extensive network of tunnels to house thousands upon thousands of rockets and weapons, including newer, sophisticated ones from Iran and Syria. All the greenhouses were destroyed.

Hamas did not build any bomb shelters for its people. It did, however, build a fewfor its leaders to hide out in during airstrikes. Civilians are not given access to these shelters for precisely the same reason Hamas tells them to stay home when the bombs come.

Gaza was given a great opportunity in 2005 that Hamas squandered by transforming it into an anti-Israel weapons store instead of a thriving Palestinian state that, with time, may have served as a model for the future of the West Bank as well. If Fatah needed yet another reason to abhor Hamas, here it was.

***

6. Why are there so many more casualties in Gaza than in Israel?

The reason fewer Israeli civilians die is not because there are fewer rockets raining down on them. It’s because they are better protected by their government.

When Hamas’ missiles head towards Israel, sirens go off, the Iron Dome goes into effect, and civilians are rushed into bomb shelters. When Israeli missiles head towards Gaza, Hamas tells civilians to stay in their homes and face them.

While Israel’s government urges its civilians to get away from rockets targeted at them, Gaza’s government urges its civilians to get in front of missiles not targeted at them.

The popular explanation for this is that Hamas is poor and lacks the resources to protect its people like Israel does. The real reason, however, seems to have more to do with disordered priorities than deficient resources (see #5). This is about will, not ability. All those rockets, missiles, and tunnels aren’t cheap to build or acquire. But they are priorities. And it’s not like Palestinians don’t have a handful of oil-rich neighbors to help them the way Israel has the US.

The problem is, if civilian casualties in Gaza drop, Hamas loses the only weapon it has in its incredibly effective PR war. It is in Israel’s national interest to protect its civilians and minimize the deaths of those in Gaza. It is in Hamas’ interest to do exactly the opposite on both fronts.

***

7. If Hamas is so bad, why isn’t everyone pro-Israel in this conflict?

Because Israel’s flaws, while smaller in number, are massive in impact.

Many Israelis seem to have the same tribal mentality that their Palestinian counterparts do. They celebrate the bombing of Gaza the same way many Arabs celebrated 9/11. A UN report recently found that Israeli forces tortured Palestinian children and used them as human shields. They beat up teenagers. They are oftenreckless with their airstrikes. They have academics who explain how rape may be the only truly effective weapon against their enemy. And many of them callously and publicly revel in the deaths of innocent Palestinian children.

To be fair, these kinds of things do happen on both sides. They are an inevitable consequence of multiple generations raised to hate the other over the course of 65 plus years. To hold Israel up to a higher standard would mean approaching the Palestinians with the racism of lowered expectations.

However, if Israel holds itself to a higher standard like it claims — it needs to do much more to show it isn’t the same as the worst of its neighbors.

Israel is leading itself towards increasing international isolation and national suicide because of two things: 1. The occupation; and 2. Settlement expansion.

Settlement expansion is simply incomprehensible. No one really understands the point of it. Virtually every US administration — from Nixon to Bush to Obama — hasunequivocally opposed it. There is no justification for it except a Biblical one (see #2), which makes it slightly more difficult to see Israel’s motives as purely secular.

The occupation is more complicated. The late Christopher Hitchens was right when he said this about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories:

“In order for Israel to become part of the alliance against whatever we want to call it, religious barbarism, theocratic, possibly thermonuclear theocratic or nuclear theocratic aggression, it can’t, it’ll have to dispense with the occupation. It’s as simple as that.

It can be, you can think of it as a kind of European style, Western style country if you want, but it can’t govern other people against their will. It can’t continue to steal their land in the way that it does every day.And it’s unbelievably irresponsible of Israelis, knowing the position of the United States and its allies are in around the world, to continue to behave in this unconscionable way. And I’m afraid I know too much about the history of the conflict to think of Israel as just a tiny, little island surrounded by a sea of ravening wolves and so on. I mean, I know quite a lot about how that state was founded, and the amount of violence and dispossession that involved. And I’m a prisoner of that knowledge. I can’t un-know it.”

As seen with Gaza in 2005, unilateral disengagement is probably easier to talk about than actually carry out. But if it Israel doesn’t work harder towards a two-state (maybe three-state, thanks to Hamas) solution, it will eventually have to make that ugly choice between being a Jewish-majority state or a democracy.

It’s still too early to call Israel an apartheid state, but when John Kerry said Israelcould end up as one in the future, he wasn’t completely off the mark. It’s simple math. There are only a limited number of ways a bi-national Jewish state with a non-Jewish majority population can retain its Jewish identity. And none of them are pretty.

***

Let’s face it, the land belongs to both of them now. Israel was carved out of Palestine for Jews with help from the British in the late 1940s just like my own birthplace of Pakistan was carved out of India for Muslims around the same time. The process was painful, and displaced millions in both instances. But it’s been almost 70 years. There are now at least two or three generations of Israelis who were born and raised in this land, to whom it really is a home, and who are often held accountable and made to pay for for historical atrocities that are no fault of their own. They are programmed to oppose “the other” just as Palestinian children are. At its very core, this is a tribal religious conflict that will never be resolved unless people stop choosing sides.

So you really don’t have to choose between being “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestine.” If you support secularism, democracy, and a two-state solution — and you oppose Hamas, settlement expansion, and the occupation — you can be both.

If they keep asking you to pick a side after all of that, tell them you’re going with hummus.

TO THE STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE, A LETTER FROM AN ANGRY BLACK WOMAN

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A protest led by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2009. (Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda. It is thus high time to expose its agenda and lay bare some of the fallacies they peddle.

• If you seek to promulgate the legacy of early Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East, subjugated the indigenous peoples living in the region, and foisted upon them a life of persecution and degradation—you do not get to claim the title of “Freedom Fighter.”

• If you support a racist doctrine of Arab supremacism and wish (as a corollary of that doctrine) to destroy the Jewish state, you do not get to claim that the prejudices you peddle are forms of legitimate “resistance.”

• If your heroes are clerics who sit in Gaza plotting the genocide of a people; who place their children on rooftops in the hopes they will get blown to bits; who heap praises upon their fellow gang members when they succeed in murdering Jewish school boys and bombing places of activity where Jews congregate—you do not get to claim that you are some Apollonian advocate of human virtue. You are not.

• If your activities include grieving over the woefully incompetent performance by Hamas rocketeers and the subsequent millions of Jewish souls who are still alive—whose children were not murdered by their rockets; whose limbs were not torn from them; and whose disembowelment did not come into fruition—you do not get to claim that you stand for justice. You profess to be irreproachable. You are categorically not.

• If your idea of a righteous cause entails targeting and intimidating Jewish students on campus, arrogating their history of exile-and-return and fashioning it in your own likeness you do not get to claim that you do so in the name of civil liberty and freedom of expression.

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, traveling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews—and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities—and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

• You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Zionist.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist. We have fought too long and too hard to root out discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests import bigotry to America. Having suffered so greatly from such prejudice, we consider most repugnant the efforts by Arab states to use the economic power of their newly-acquired oil wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that have Jewish owners, directors, or executives, and to impose anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country.”

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed. So, you most certainly do not get to culturally appropriate my people’s history for your own. You do not have the right to invoke mypeople’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Your cause is the antithesis of freedom. It has cost hundreds of thousands of lives of both Arabs and Jews. It has separated these peoples, and has fomented animosity between them. It has led to heartache, torment, death and destruction.

It is of course your prerogative to continue to utilize platitudes for your cause. You are entirely within your rights to chant words like “equality” “justice” and “freedom fighter.”

You can keep using those words for as long as you like. But I do not think you know what they mean.

***

Chuka Umunna – Stop using antisemitism smears against Corbyn

Labour Jews to Chuka Umunna – Stop using antisemitism smears against Corbyn!

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Dear Chuka Umunna,

We write as Jews who are members of the Labour Party. Some of us are also members of Momentum. We were shocked to witness the cynical manner in which you weaponised false allegations of antisemitism to launch an attack on the leader of the Labour party and on Momentum at the session of the Home Affairs Committee on Monday July 4th.

Some of the comments made at the press conference launching the Chakrabarti inquiry on June 30 by Mr Wadsworth (not a representative of Momentum as you claimed) were rude and unwarranted, however there is no evidence they were motivated by antisemitism. Wadsworth was clearly angry that the Daily Telegraph journalist had shared one of his leaflets with Labour MP Ruth Smeeth. He makes no reference to Ms Smeeth’s religion and asserts he had no knowledge she was Jewish and there is no evidence that this is not true. We have searched assiduously, including scrutinising the video footage of the incident, but have found no evidence of antisemitism, as opposed to incivility, in his words or actions.

The questions about Mr Wadsworth had been asked and answered several times by the time you asked your questions. Quite evidently your questions were not designed to elicit information but to pursue an internal Labour Party vendetta in a public forum. This relentless concentration on a confection designed to damage the Labour Party inhibits proper discussion on an important report into how the Labour Party can be more effective in combatting all forms of racism including antisemitism.

In your questioning you repeatedly employed guilt by association. For instance, you made reference to David Watson’s case. This is still under investigation and, as your legal background should have informed you, the allegations against him currently remain untested and unproven. These are allegations that, had you performed due diligence before asking your questions, you would have known are based on flimsy, if not fabricated, evidence.

We have been quite unable to detect any hint of animosity towards Jews in any of Watson’s social media posts. His critique of Zionism is one that many Jews share, in particular that the political Zionism dominant in Israel today is a racist ideology, both discriminating against Palestinians and stereotyping Jews as incapable of living alongside non-Jews in diverse societies. To then suggest that anyone who shares a platform with Watson is implicitly condoning antisemitism, and further that Jeremy Corbyn is answerable for all events organised by Momentum, is absurd.

You cite the example of the Oxford University Labour Club, and claim that “time and time again in these incidents of activity” in which offence is caused “to and against Jewish people Momentum seems to pop up quite frequently”. Yet Baroness Royall found no evidence of institutional antisemitism in OULC, and reported on at least one case of serious false allegations of antisemitism which had been reported to the police.

We ask you to cease your relentless undermining of the Labour Party. It would be more appropriate for you to concentrate your considerable energy on working to unite the Party so that we can displace this destructive Tory Government as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Sue
Bard
Edinburgh East & Musselburgh
Graham
Bash
Hackney North
Haim
Bresheeth
Hornsey & Wood Green
Sylia
Cohen
Finchley & Golder’s Green
Ruth
Conlock
Manchester Withington
Judith
Cravitz
North Islington
Mike
Cushman
Streatham
Miriam
David
Islington North
Kenneth
Fryde
Cambridge
Alex J
Goldhill
Ealing Central & Acton
Tony
Greenstein
Brighton Kemptown
Mike
Howard
Hastings & Rye
Riva
Joffe
Holborn & St Pancras
Michael
Kalmanovitz
Hampstead & Kilburn
Shlomit
Ferguson
Enfield North
Arye
Finkle
Chipping Barnet
Abe
Hayeem
Harrow East
Rosamine
Hayeem
Harrow East
Richard
Kuper
Holborn & St Pancras.
Frank
Land
South West Devon
Stephanie
Lee
Gorton
Leah
Levane
Hastings & Rye
Rachel
Lever
Hastings & Rye
Yosefa
Loshitzky
Hornsey & Wood Green
Kay
Manasseh
Streatham
Miriam
Margolyes
Vauxhall
Stephen
Marks
Oxford
Karen
Merkel
East Ham
Diana
Neslen
Ilford South
Dr Brian
Robinson
Milton Keynes
Denise
Robson
Gateshead
Jonathan
Rosenhead
Hackney South & Shoreditch
Rina
Rosselson
Brent Central
Ian
Saville
Brent Central
Glyn
Secker
Dulwich & West Norwood
Roger
Silverman
West Ham
Vanessa
Stilwell
Dulwich & West Norwood
Stephen
Tiller
Hackney South & Shoreditch
Jackie
Walker
South Thanet
Sam
Weinstein
Hampstead & Kilburn
Naomi
Wimborne-Idrissi
Chingford & Woodford Green

One Month Before The Olympic Games in Rio, Everything Is A Disaster

There is always a panic about the state of affairs in the host city in the lead-up to the Olympics, but usually, fears start to abet closer to the Games.

In Rio, however, things are only getting worse. With only a month to go before the Opening Ceremony on August 5, an official state of emergency has been declared.

Vanessa Barber of the New York Times dubbed the Games an “unnatural disaster,” which might sound like an exaggeration, except that when acting state governor Francisco Dornelles announced a “state of public calamity” in Rio, he said that the crisis might lead to a “total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility, and environmental management.”

Related PostLess Than Six Months Out, The Rio Olympics Are A Mess

By officially declaring a state of emergency, the city is now able to receive emergency funding from the federal government, but only time will tell whether it’s all too little, too late.

Five months ago, the biggest concerns headed into the Games were the Zika virus, polluted waters, and unfinished venues. Now, not only have those problems not been solved, a host of other issues — such as a super bacteria, unpaid police officers, and a closed anti-doping facility — have been added into the mix.

Additionally, President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in May and thousands of families have lost their homes due to Olympic construction.

So as athletes spend the coming weeks trying to book their ticket to the Games and doing their last-minute training regimens, it’s important to take a closer look at the city that awaits them when they arrive.

Police Aren’t Getting Paid

Last week, athletes, tourists, and Rio residents were greeted at the Rio airport with a sign that read, “Welcome to Hell. Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”

That’s not exactly a message that inspires confidence.

Seen at the airport in Rio today: First responders welcome toutists. A sign of what’s to come during the Olympics?

Bailout money — approximately $850 million worth — is coming as a result of the state’s emergency status, and back pay will reportedly be distributed to the emergency personnel this week. But some officers are not optimistic that they will receive the support they need to keep up with the increase in tourists for the Games and the rising crime rates in the favelas, the Brazilian slums located in urban areas.

“We have a very common saying here in Brazil — ‘For the English to see,'” one officer in Rio told CNN. “I believe that the politicians here are doing everything for the English to see.”

Increased Crime Rates

Perhaps related to the lack of funds available, there have been numerous high-profile crime incidents in Rio in recent weeks.

Among those, an Australian Paralympic athlete was mugged at gun point; a German broadcasting truck filled with equipment was hijacked; mutilated body parts washed up on a beach near the Olympic volleyball venue; and there was a shootout to free a drug kingpin at the hospital that will service many of the tourists during the Games.

Safety should be a concern to everyone heading to Rio — according to Barber, 76 people have been hit by stray bullets in Rio so far this year, and 21 of them have died. Brazil is also facing an “epidemic” of anti-LGBT violence.

“[Violent crime] is the most serious issue in Rio and the state is doing a terrible, horrible job,”controversial Rio mayor Eduardo Paes told CNN. “It’s completely failing at its work of policing and taking care of people.”

However, Paes said that 85,000 officers from outside police forces, including the army and navy, will arrive in Rio in late July to work at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Police Brutality

Of course, the answer to an increase in crime is never as simple as “more policemen,” especially considering the history of police brutality in Rio. According to Amnesty International, there has been a 135 percent increase in the number of people killed by police officers in Rio in the run-up to the Games. In May, 40 people were killed by on-duty police officers. Last May, the number of fatalities was only 17.

Related PostPolice Brutality Has Surged In Brazil. It’s About To Get Even Worse.

“The soaring death count ahead of this major sporting event represents an epic failure on the part of the authorities to protect the most fundamental human right — the right to life,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International’s national office in Brazil.

“It is completely unacceptable that these numbers are increasing despite all the warnings and complaints of Rio inhabitants of the excessive use of force by police. The authorities must act immediately to rein in the worst excesses of the security forces, stem the cycle of violence, and ensure the right to life is assured.”

Most of the people impacted by police violence are young, black men from very poor communities in Rio, particularly the favelas.

The ‘Super Bacteria’

The pollution in Rio’s waterways has been a concern ever since an AP investigation last year found that Olympic athletes would be swimming and boating in waters that were up to 1.7 million times more hazardous than waters on a Southern California beach.

Now, mere weeks before the competitions begin, CNN reports that Brazilian scientists have discovered a “drug-resistant bacteria” that entered the city’s waterways “when sewage coming from local hospitals got channeled into the bay.”

“We are making this alert because, if athletes get infected there is a chance this bacteria is multi-resistant and the physicians should know about this,” lead researcher Renata Picao told CNN. However, Picao did not recommend moving the Games.

There has also been a recent oil slick in the Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the Games, which is turning white boats brown.

“The boats were completely brown,” Spanish sailor Jordi Xammar told the AP. “But the worst thing was we saw a lot of dead fish.”

Zika Virus

With all of the above controversies, the Zika virus has become somewhat of an afterthought. However, it is still something that is of great concern for athletes, tourists, and, most crucially, residents of Brazil.

In May, a professor warned in the Harvard Public Health Review that it was “socially irresponsible” for the Olympics to continue, and that because an estimated 500,000 people will come into Rio for the Games and there is still so much unknown about the Zika virus, the games could lead to a “foreseeable global catastrophe.”

Related PostDoctor Warns That Rio Olympics Could Lead To A ‘Global Catastrophe’

The mosquito-borne virus is particularly a concern for women who are pregnant or who are planning on becoming pregnant, but men who are planning families have also been instructed to be careful, since the disease can be transmitted sexually. Recently, MLB pitcher Francisco Rodriguez recounted his two-month battle with Zika, and described how much it zapped his energy and impacted his quality of life.

A few notable athletes, including seven male pro golfers, have withdrawn from the Games in partbecause of Zika.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) insists that as long as precautions are taken, such as mosquito repellent, athletes and tourists should feel confident going to Rio for the Games — with the exception of pregnant women. August is a part of Rio’s winter, so conditions are expected to be less hospitable to mosquitoes during the Olympics anyways.

But unfortunately, fear over the disease is still a factor for many — and it doesn’t help that so many of Rio’s hospitals have been shut down due to the financial crisis.

Welcome, we don’t have hospitals! – “Aviso” na estrada do Galeão. (Foto: Tiago Bla)

No Anti-Doping Lab

To top things off, the Rio anti-doping lab was shut down late last month.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) closed the lab down because of its “nonconformity” to international standards. The lab previously lost its accreditation in 2013 and spent $60 million to get re-certified. Many of those funds came from the government, despite the massive recession in Brazil.

According to the AP, the director of the laboratory, Marco Aurelio Klein, was fired after WADA closed the lab, and the new director, Rogerio Sampaio, is scheduled to meet with WADA in the upcoming weeks to try and get the lab reopened in time. However, in the likely case that Sampaio is not successful and the lab remains closed for the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have to choose a lab outside of Brazil to test the blood and urine samples collected at the Games. Currently, the IOC is considering labs in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Bogota, Havana, and Mexico City.

“The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide,” Olivier Niggli, WADA’s incoming director general, said. “This will ensure that there are no gaps in the anti-doping sample analysis procedures; and that, the integrity of the samples is fully maintained.”

But with the torch scheduled to be lit in just four weeks, nothing is certain.

The Latest: Envoy: Farage’s decision to quit ‘very cowardly’

Luxembourg’s foreign minister is describing Nigel Farage’s decision to quit as leader of the U.K. Independence Party as “very cowardly.”

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David C...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on June 24, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Farage’s announcement Monday made him the third major British political figure to say he is stepping aside rather than taking ownership of the country’s turbulent political future.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn was quoted Monday as telling German daily Tagesspiegel: “All of a sudden, politicians like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are withdrawing back into their snail shells.”

Asselborn added: “I hope this can be a lesson against falling for political opportunists like the (anti-migration) AfD in Germany or Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.”

___

1:10 p.m.

Police say a memorial to former Labour Party leader Michael Foot has been defaced with far-right graffiti.

Rob Souness of Devon and Cornwall Police says the force is investigating the “disgusting act of vandalism” to the stone memorial in Foot’s home town of Plymouth, southwest England. Foot, who died in 2010, led the left-of-center Labour Party between 1980 and 1983.

The monument was defaced with swastikas and the initials of the British National Party and English Defense League, both far-right groups.

Police have reported an increase in racially motivated hate crimes since Britain voted to leave the European Union in a June 23 referendum.

The current member of Parliament for Plymouth, Conservative Johnny Mercer tweeted: “Tragic. Unacceptable. Michael Foot was a proud son of Plymouth. This is not us, not Plymouth.”

___

11:45 a.m.

British Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has launched her bid to lead the Conservative Party, pitching herself as a passionately pro-“leave” candidate who can both unite a divided Britain and strike a good deal with the European Union.

Leadsom is one of the least-known among the five candidates to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, but she gained attention as one of the strongest voices for a vote to leave the EU in the referendum campaign.

She’s targeting her pitch at Conservatives who think the next prime minister must be someone from the winning side of the referendum. The front-runner, Home Secretary Theresa May, was on the losing “remain” side.

Leadsom, who went into politics after a career in financial services, says she would keep the negotiations on an exit deal with the 27 other EU countries as short as possible, because “neither we nor our European friends need prolonged uncertainty.”

And, unlike May, she says EU citizens living in Britain would be guaranteed the right to stay. She says “we must give them certainty. There is no way they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations.”

___

11:35 a.m.

A top law firm may institute a legal challenge to make certain that Britain’s Parliament votes on whether or not the U.K. should leave the European Union.

The law firm Mishcon de Reya argues that the referendum approving an exit from the EU was not legally binding.

The firm, acting on behalf of a group of anonymous clients, says that it is up to Parliament to have their say before the prime minister invokes Article 50, triggering the start of negotiations for a U.K. departure from the bloc.

While outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that it will be up to the next prime minister to enact Article 50, the law firm is adamant that Parliament must have its say first. It says that it would go to court without government assurances.

___

11:20 a.m.

British companies’ pension liabilities have jumped to a record high in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Consultancy Mercer said Monday that a survey of the 350 biggest listed U.K. companies shows their liabilities in defined benefit pension schemes jumped to 813 billion pounds ($1.08 trillion) by the end of June from 761 billion pounds a month earlier.

The worsening in the companies’ pension accounts is due to the fact that returns on investments like bonds have dropped since the vote. That is due to expectations that the economy will weaken and that the Bank of England will cut its benchmark rate further toward zero this summer.

While low rates can help the economy by making borrowing cheaper, they weigh on the growth of savings and pension funds. Low returns on savings and pension investments are a problem across Europe, where central banks have slashed rates to help the economy.

___

10:20 a.m.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage says he is resigning as the head of the party, arguing his political ambition to have Britain leave the European Union has now been achieved.

It is the second time Farage resigns as the leader of the party, but he says this time it is definite.

Farage said Monday he will retain his seat in the European Parliament to see out the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the EU following the country’s June 23 vote to leave the bloc.

___

9:45 a.m.

Britain’s Treasury chief plans to cut U.K. corporation tax to less than 15 percent to encourage companies to invest and ease business concerns about the country’s vote to leave the European Union.

Treasury chief George Osborne says the cut is meant to underscore that Britain is “still open for business,” despite the referendum results. A cut of about 5 percentage points brings Britain in line with Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate.

Osborne told the Financial Times it was time to “make the most of the hand we’ve been dealt.” He is urging the Bank of England to use its powers to avoid “a contraction of credit in the economy.”

Some businesses based in London are considering leaving for other cities like Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris to benefit from the large EU common market.

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, a European, right, and Union flag are displayed outside Europe House, the European Parliament's British ...

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, a European, right, and Union flag are displayed outside Europe House, the European Parliament’s British offices, in London. One week after Britain¿s vote to quit the EU sent markets into a tailspin, investors seem to be taking a more sanguine view of its eventual economic repercussions. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

FILE - A Tuesday, June 28, 2016 image from files showing the leader of the United Kingdom Independene Party, Nigel Farage, sitting next to a British flag dur...

FILE – A Tuesday, June 28, 2016 image from files showing the leader of the United Kingdom Independene Party, Nigel Farage, sitting next to a British flag during a special session of European Parliament in Brussels. Farage announced Monday, July 4, 2016 that he is resigning as leader of the party. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne prepares to lay a wealth at the Cenotaph in St Peter's Square, Manchester, England, where a commemoratio...

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne prepares to lay a wealth at the Cenotaph in St Peter’s Square, Manchester, England, where a commemoration is being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the World War I battle of the Somme Friday July 1, 2016. Uncertainty about the country’s future ties with the EU is weighing heavily on the British economy, prompting Treasury chief George Osborne to announce he was abandoning the government’s long-held goal of achieving a budget surplus by 2020. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cam...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on June 24, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom arrives to launch her campaign to be the party's new leader in London, Monday, July 4, ...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom arrives to launch her campaign to be the party’s new leader in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David C...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, launches her campaign in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on June 24, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, poses for photographers as she launches her campaign to be the party's new leader in ...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Andrea Leadsom, poses for photographers as she launches her campaign to be the party’s new leader in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on June 24, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom launches her campaign to be the party's new leader as their former leader from 2001 to ...

British ruling Conservative Party Member of Parliament Andrea Leadsom launches her campaign to be the party’s new leader as their former leader from 2001 to 2003 Iain Duncan Smith applauds in the foreground at right, in London, Monday, July 4, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on June 24, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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