World News: Guardian Liberty Voice Daily Digest for July 10, 2014

World News The world news daily digest update from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 10, 2014 covers the first visit by the media into the former Taliban ruled Pakistan town called Miranshah, the arrest of the ninth neo-nazi lawmaker in Greece, and the passing of a new and highly invasive law in the United Kingdom.

Pakistan Military Escorts Media Into Abandoned Town in North Waziristan

Since the beginning of their offensive against militants three weeks ago, Pakistan’s military has taken the media to visit the ghost town of Miranshah, a former hotbed of Taliban activity. The town was abandoned in a hurry, with shops and bazaars staying open and not a single soul in town. In some of the shops around the ghost town, suicide jackets, weapons, and ammunition were on sale. The town of Miranshah was the headquarters for the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), as well as for other insurgent groups operating in the region. Last month, Pakistani military attacked the area, thus allowing many militants to escape. Inside the buildings, Pakistani military found evidence of the ruthless Taliban militants who inhabited the town. The town is full of areas where they trained suicide bombers, with the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of their operations. The town is full of buildings that were used for ammunition storage with words “Jihad, Jihad” scrawled across the wall. Major General, Zafarullah Khan, who is overseeing the operation called the city an epicenter of terrorism. According to the Pakistani government officials, roughly 800,000 people have fled North Waziristan. The largest military concern is that many of the extremists could hide amid the refugees and then re-emerge elsewhere in the country.

Greece Arrests Fascist Lawmaker

In another world news update, Greece has now jailed the ninth lawmaker in connection to the Nazi-inspired party commonly known as Golden Dawn. Ilias Kassidiaris, who is a prominent Golden Dawn lawmaker, now faces illegal firearms charges, which could carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Authorities in Athens found two shotguns in his house and described the weapons as modified. It is believed that Kassidiaris was planning to use the shotguns in criminal acts by the Golden Dawn. Ilias Kassidiaris denied the allegations, claiming that the firearms were legal. “For two hunting rifles, I am being accused of supplying arms to a criminal organization,” Kasidiaris said at the courthouse. “This accusation is ridiculous and my persecution is clearly political.” Since 2012, half of the 18 lawmakers elected from the slate of Golden Dawn candidates in the 2012 elections have now been jailed, including the current leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos. Since the arrest of Nikos Michaloliakos, Kasidiaris became the party’s main public figure.

United Kingdom Introduces Emergency Phone and Internet Data Laws

In Great Britain today, Prime Minister David Cameron received support from the three main parties for the highly unusual move of introducing enhanced emergency telephone and internet sureveillance. In a reaction to world news reports about increased criminal and terrorist activities around the world, Cameron announced that urgent action must be taken in order to protect the public. By passing the emergency phone and data laws, the U.K. government enables police and security services to have continued access to phone and internet records. While this move is regarded as being highly invasive, Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended the emergency law. “It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe. The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK,” said Cameron. Meanwhile, Clegg added that the emergency law is not an excuse to introduce new snooping laws. Meanwhile, some civil liberties campaigners warn this is an invasion of people’s privacy with terrorism used as an excuse.

World News Digest Commentary by Ivelina Kunina


BBC–Access to Ghost Town
BBC–Emergency Phone and Data Laws

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