Taliban’s New Acting Government Filled with Hard-Liners, No Women Is “Disappointing” as Protests Grow

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show in Kabul, where the Taliban has taken a major step in reestablishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by announcing its acting government. The new Cabinet does not include any women or any members of the former Afghan government. The new acting prime minister is Mohammad Hassan Akhund, who was a close aide to the Taliban founding leader Mohammad Omar. His deputy will be Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar. The new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is on the FBI’s most wanted list for a 2008 attack in Kabul that killed six…

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Sturgeon calls on UK government to do more to help Afghan refugees

Support us and go ad-freeScotland’s first minister has criticised the UK government for failing to do enough to help Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country. Abandoning the Afghans Following its defeat in Afghanistan, the UK government has announced plans to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans – particularly women and girls – with 5,000 arriving in the first 12 months. Nicola Sturgeon said more needs to be done to help and Scotland stands ready to play its part. She told the PA news agency: I don’t think the UK Government is doing enough or stepping up and meeting its responsibilities. Twenty-thousand (refugees) over what they’re describing as…

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Firms named and shamed over minimum wages, but government needs to do more

Support us and go ad-freeFootball clubs, retailers, hairdressers, and cleaning contractors are among 191 businesses “named and shamed” by the government for breaking the minimum wage law. Minimum respect A total of £2.1m was found to be owed to more than 34,000 workers following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs dating back to 2011. Named employers have been made to pay back what they owed and were fined an additional £3.2m. Businesses named by the government include retail giant John Lewis, which said it was “surprised and disappointed” to be on the list released by the Business Department. A John Lewis Partnership spokesman said: This was a…

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If the government doesn’t take action on the Cambo oil field its ‘climate credibility will go up in smoke’

Support us and go ad-freeBoth the UK and the Scottish governments are being urged to speak out against controversial plans to develop a new oilfield – with campaigners claiming an area of land larger than all of Scotland would be needed to counteract emissions from the proposed Cambo development. If given the go-ahead, the site, in the waters off Shetland, could yield as many as 255 million barrels of oil over its lifetime, environmental campaigners at Oxfam Scotland said. And they estimated that the 132 million tonnes of CO2 emissions that could be produced would require an area of land some 1.5 times the size of Scotland to…

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Tory government under fire for years-long delay in enforcing ivory trade ban

Support us and go ad-freeThe UK government proudly announced that one of “the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales” had become law in December 2018. It described the ban in the Ivory Act as “world-leading”. But two and a half years later, the act still hasn’t come into force. A group of NGOs recently wrote to the government over the unjustifiable delay. As they point out, other countries have since taken steps “to introduce domestic ivory trade bans”. So, rather than being a ‘world leader’ on the matter, the UK now risks lagging behind others in cracking down on the trade. The wrong kind of world leader The…

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Priti Patel wants jail sentences for people exposing government wrongdoing

Support us and go ad-freeThe National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned legislation proposed by home secretary Priti Patel. Her plan could see journalists, whistleblowers, and political activists jailed for several years. Should Patel have her way, it would affect every media outlet in the UK, seriously curbing press freedom. However, her proposal may prove technically unworkable. The proposal Patel’s proposal, Legislation to Counter State Threats (Hostile State Activity), is partly in response to the Law Commission document Protection of Official Data. BBC journalist John Simpson tweeted that the proposed legislation would basically criminalise journalists:   Priti Patel’s Home Office wants to make it a crime for journalists…

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Government accused of tearing apart mothers and children in its plans to build 500 new cells

Support us and go ad-freeCampaigners say plans for 500 extra prison places for women will ‘tear families apart‘ as they urge the government to reconsider. The Ministry of Justice announced in January that up to 500 new cells would be built in women’s prisons. Prison reform activists say the extra places, combined with plans to increase prosecutions, will incarcerate more women rather than focusing on prevention. Now representatives from 70 organisations have signed a joint letter to the secretary of state for justice and the lord chancellor expressing their “grave concern” with the plans. The proposals The Ministry of Justice announced the 500 new cells would be built…

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Class action launched against government over Northern Ireland Protocol

Support us and go ad-freeA class action has been launched against the government claiming post-Brexit Irish Sea trading arrangements infringe the economic rights of Northern Ireland citizens. The Northern Ireland Protocol’s terms have adversely affected some companies. If successful, the commercial litigation could pave the way for these companies to claim significant financial damages from the government. Brexit means legal action The legal move is different to separate legal challenges that have been mounted against the Protocol on constitutional grounds. The action names the Cabinet Office and attorney general as defendants. And it seeks a declaration from the High Court in London that provisions relating to the Protocol…

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An ex-UN investigator has written another damning report on the UK government

Support us and go ad-freeA report has raised human rights concerns regarding decades of failed government privatisation in the UK. A campaign group said it identified potentially ‘serious human rights breaches’. And one of its authors, former UN investigator Philip Alston, is no stranger to criticising UK political agendas. Indeed, it was Alston who wrote a damning report on poverty in the country in 2018. “Public Transport, Private Profit” Alston is the former special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. His 2018 report was scathing in its criticism of the UK government. Now, he’s helped put together another damning assessment. The new report is called Public Transport,…

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