Campaigners are questioning the record of the retired judge who will lead the inquiry.
Thursday marked the latest setback for Grenfell Tower survivors and their families; a retired judge who campaigners accused of facilitating “social cleansing” has been appointed to lead the inquiry into the disaster that took their homes away.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick is a graduate of Christ’s College Cambridge and has a legal career spanning almost 50 years. He was “called to the bar” in 1969, and progressed to the High Court in 1995, receiving a knighthood in the process under John Major’s Conservative government. Having retired in 2016, Sir Martin will dust off his wig and lead the Grenfell inquiry.
With the official death toll standing at 80, and with 130 residents still thought to be missing, the desire for answers and culpability is overwhelming. Sir Martin’s record has caused a lot of concern for survivors and their prospects of being rehoused in their home borough. In November of 2014 he ruled that a single mother-of-five should be housed 50 miles from her home. Titina Nzolameso was made homeless when Westminster Council failed to provide her with temporary accommodation, and her children were subsequently taken from her care. The decision was ultimately overruled in 2015 by the Supreme Court, but obviously the decision isn’t inspiring huge confidence in the inquiry.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, has said that Qatar’s sovereignty must be respected, praising the Gulf country’s “restraint” in responding to a blockade imposed by Arab states amid the worst regional diplomatic crisis in years.
He made the comments on Tuesday in Doha during a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who, for his part, insisted that Qatar is looking to solve the dispute through dialogue, but without compromising on its independence.
AMERICAN PROGRESSIVES CAN’T ever match conservatives in displays of febrile patriotism, and for good reason. What Jesus told his followers about prayer is also good advice about loving a country: “Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.”
Moreover, anyone who’s spent five minutes thinking about human history knows how dangerously volatile nationalism is. This is especially important to keep in mind in a country that has used nuclear weapons and pondered whether to drop tungsten rods on our enemies from orbit.
Nonetheless, I believe it behooves all of us to consider and celebrate what is resplendent about the United States of America.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe recently won a major legal victory in federal court which may have the power to force the shutdown of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration failed to conduct an adequate environmental review of the pipeline, after President Trump ordered the Army Corps to fast-track and greenlight its approval. The judge requested additional briefings next week on whether the pipeline should be shut off until the completion of a full review of a potential oil spill’s impacts on fishing and hunting rights, as well as environmental justice. The pipeline faced months of massive resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, members of hundreds of other indigenous tribes from across the Americas, as well as non-Native allies. We speak with Standing Rock Sioux Chair Dave Archambault II and Nick Tilsen, executive director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.Democracy Now
North Korea claims to have conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) , a development that, if confirmed, could move the regime closer to being able to strike the US mainland and dramatically strengthen its hand in negotiations with Washington.
South Korean and Japanese officials said they were studying the data to confirm whether or not it was an ICBM, but analysts said it appeared the missile had the range to strike Alaska but not other parts of the continental US.
Later there were reports in the US that officials believe North Korea may have fired its first intercontinental missile, though there was no official public statement from the US about this.