British trade with the EU has collapsed

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In the first month after Brexit, Great Britain posted heavy foreign trade losses, collapsing by 41% in exports to the EU in January, coupled by a loss of 29% in imports. According to the British Statistical Authority, the foreign trade numbers are dramatically bad as the transition is problematic for many companies trading with the economic zone. It cited the export of fresh food such as fish to the EU which fell by two thirds in January. The new bureaucracy and the regulations brought about by Brexit are complex for many fishermen, noted the authority.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Teresa May Says Internet Must Now Be Regulated, Following Violent Muslim Attacks

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The British PM called the internet a safe space for ideas to breed, and, she said, we cannot allow that:

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.”

Therefore, and in the wake of the recent violent Muslim attacks in the UK, democratic governments should work together to “reduce the risks of extremism” by making new international agreements to regulate the internet, May said.

However, during the same speech, she noted that the three recent attacks were not linked by “common networks” but were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamic extremism.”

Coordinated Attacks in London

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The UK capital saw 3 notable attacks Saturday. including on London Bridge, at Borough Market, and at Vauxhall. London authorities are currently saying that the London Bridge and Borough Market are connected and are being treated as “terrorist” actions, but the Vauxhall is currently considered separate.

The attacks include a vehicle hitting pedestrians and stabbings.

There were fatalities in addition to many people being injured.

The use of vehicles as the weapon of choice for violent Muslim attackers in Europe is of a special concern as it doesn’t even require the special and somewhat technical knowledge and supplies as do explosives, the other go-to weapon.

The last big attack in London was a week and a half ago (May 23) at the Ariana Grande concert. England has been on “serious” threat level of an Islamist attack for a long time now, but after the concert bombing the threat level was raised to “critical” because authorities feared attacks on public and cultural sites may be imminent. It was then reduced to “serious” again.

UK security officials have spoken about the phenomena, and the general tone is that they already stop a lot of attacks each year, but they can’t stop them all.

UK: After Telling People There Are 3,000 Terrorists, Actually 23,000

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20,000 “subjects of interest” posing “residual risk” plus 3,000 judged to be a threat and currently under investigation or active monitoring. That’s the most recent piece of information given by UK’s security services.

Authorities had previously reported to the public a figure of 3,000.

The new information was released following the Manchester bombing, which security services said they were expecting and were just not able to prevent because “you can’t stop them all.”

Manchester Bombing Aftermath: Police and Special Forces Hunt Terrorist Group Active in Manchester

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The man who blew himself up and killed and injured dozens of others at the Ariana Grande concert this week was a 22-year-old British-born man of Libyan descent. He had recently returned from Libya.

Libyan authorities arrested family members of the man in that country, and UK police and special forces forced their way into residences in Manchester, making multiple arrests of family members and other relations.

Authorities have commented that the man was from Moss Side, Manchester, where they have thwarted a large number of recent attempts from the largely Muslim immigrant population (34% Muslim VS 36% Christian VS smaller numbers of other religious affiliations).

Authorities are of the opinion that the man was not alone, and may not have made the weapon himself. They consider another attack “imminent.”

The army was brought in to protect key landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abby, and Piccadilly Circus — a very rare occurrence.

British citizens expressed fear and a sense that Manchester “feels like a different place,” testimony to the success of the Islamic extremists involved, whose goal includes just that.

Theresa May’s ‘War on Terror’

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British media are referring to the UK PM’s recently toughened stance as her “war on terror,” using the same term used previously by President Bush and PM Blair.

The UK’s terrorist threat level has been “severe” for a long time now, but after the Manchester bombing May raised it to “critical,” concerned about another attack.

Although the UK is not as dangerous as mainland Europe due to residents having lesser connections to Islamic militant groups, UK security officials’ comments on Manchester were about only-a-matter-of-times and can’t-stop-them-alls. Security forces there prevents dozens of attacks per year, reportedly.

The change in tone comes at a time when May was being criticized for being too “weak and unstable.”

Explosions at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester

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Manchester Police Chief Ian Hopkins identified the suspected suicide bomber suspect as 22-year-old Salman Abed. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, although they do that with almost every attack.

Authorities have reported multiple fatalities and injuries.

Concert-goers were evacuated.

British authorities issued a serious threat level warning across the country, suspecting a possible second attack.

Leaked Doc Reveals UK Plans for Wider Internet Surveillance

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No more end-to-end encryption is one of the consequences of a new law proposed in a draft in the UK.

The authors of the draft want to force internet providers to monitor all communications in near realtime, as well as install backdoor equipment to break encryption, so providers can be required to turn over communications to authorities “in an intelligible form” (non-encrypted) within one working day.

In the UK, law already requires internet providers to store all browsing data for 1 year.

It isn’t yet known how the requirement for a backdoor will work, since many messaging and other apps use end-to-end encryption for security, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Wire, and iMessage, and these apps are based outside of the UK.

Ireland Most Affected by Brexit: More Than Any EU Country

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Ireland was projected to be the EU’s fastest growing economy in 2016. The European Commission put Ireland’s growth forecast for 2016 at almost 5%, to be followed by another 3.7 percent in 2017, well above the EU average of 1.6 percent, which is the same number Germany is expected to grow in 2016.

However, Brexit is affecting Ireland more than any other country. Former prime minister John Bruton called it “the most serious, difficult issue facing the country for 50 years.”

The cause is Ireland’s reliance on trade with the UK, which is the main buyer of Ireland’s services and second-biggest buyer of Ireland’s exports after the US. Around 40% of Irish food exports go to the UK, and this type of product — agricultural — is considered to be highly subject to the tariffs that could result from Brexit.

Economists are now warning of significant negative consequences for the Irish economy following Brexit. A top economist in Ireland, Eoin Fahy, referred to the consequences as “mind-boggling.”

There has also been concern among politicians and intellectuals in the country that Brexit will “reveal tensions between unionists and nationalists that were always there” and lead to a “hardened border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.