Tag: uk

Conn Hallinan’s 2016 ‘Are You Serious?’ Awards

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This year’s lowlights from world politics, the culture wars, and the military-industrial complex.

Each year Conn Hallinan gives awards to individuals, companies, and governments that make reading the news a daily adventure. Here are the awards for 2016.

The Golden Lemon Award had a number of strong contenders in 2016, including:

General Atomics for its MQ-9 Reaper armed drone, which has a faulty starter-generator that routinely shorts out the aircraft. So far, no one can figure out why. Some 20 were either destroyed or sustained major damage last year. The Reapers costs $64 million apiece.
Panavia Aircraft Company’s $25 billion Tornado fighter-bomber that can’t fly at night because the cockpit lights blind the pilot. A runner up here is the German arms company Heckler & Koch, whose G-36 assault rifle can’t shoot straight when the weather is hot.
The British company BAE’s $1.26 billion Type 45 destroyer that breaks down “whenever we try to do too much with them,” a Royal Navy officer told the Financial Times. Engaging in combat, he said, would be “catastrophic.”

Saudi Arabia Admits to Using UK-Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen

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One of the West’s key allies in the Middle East has admitted to what it calls “limited use” of UK-manufactured cluster bombs in Yemen. These types of munitions are banned under international law.

When a cluster bomb explodes, it releases several smaller projectiles which allows the damage to spread to a larger area– potentially putting civilian lives at risk. These sub-munitions can also essentially become landmines. Cluster bombs were banned under international law in 2010– a treaty Britain signed upon its creation in 2008. However, Saudi Arabia and most of their coalition partners– including the United States– have not signed this same treaty.

UK Gov’t to Continue Funding Palestinian Authority With Health, Education Aid

The British Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it will continue to provide funding to aid the Palestinian Authority (PA), but a series of “critical changes” will be made in order to ensure value for money.

The money will be funded by the taxpayer and its objective is to help “maintain stability, provide vital services and build and strengthen the institutions needed for a viable two-state solution.”