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Posts tagged ‘Government of the United Kingdom’

How Staying Calm Keeps You Healthy.

Hand of God
Are you able to relax and let the hand of God give you rest?

You’ve probably noticed at least one of the countless “Keep Calm” posters that seem to be popping up all over social media sites bearing imperative phrases that are as cutesy and quaint as “Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake” and as instigative and contradictory as “Keep Calm and Punch People in the Face.”

A Google search will inform you that the original “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was created in 1939 by the British government just before World War II began with intentions to boost morale. The British public, having just been made aware of a prediction of mass air attacks on major cities, were encouraged to carry on with business as usual. (Easier said—despite the advantage of a delightful British accent—than done!) Keep calm and have a crumpet. Have a spot of tea. Don’t panic; just “carry on.”

More than 2.5 million copies of the poster were printed and set for distribution upon the invasion of Britain by Germany. Fortunately, this never occurred, and so the poster was never seen by the public—at least not until the year 2000, when a bookseller stumbled across a copy buried beneath a pile of books bought from an auction. Since then, the poster has been reissued by a number of companies promoting a wide range of products and also by individuals sharing their own unique brands of humor, motivation and stress management, as you saw in the aforementioned examples.

My favorite “Keep Calm” poster simply reads “Keep Calm and Keep Waiting on God.”  If King David were reigning today, I can imagine he’d have it framed and hanging in his living room (by a window overlooking green pastures and still waters, of course!) beside his book of Psalms, opened to the 130th, which reads:

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning” (vv. 5-6, NKJV).

There may not be much merit in eating a cupcake in an attempt to keep calm. One is certainly not made calm by punching people in the face. (One is usually incarcerated.) But continuing to wait on Godalways generates a sense of peace, an uncanny wave of calm that originates in our spirit and manifests itself in deep breaths of incomprehensible contentment.

This past weekend I heard a story of a few young brothers who were playing tag outside near a freshwater lake in Florida. The boys’ father had to go in the house to take a phone call, but before leaving, he sternly instructed the elder son to make sure the youngest—just 3 years old—didn’t get too near the water’s edge because he didn’t know how to swim.

No sooner did the man go inside than one of his sons cried out that his little brother was in the lake; he’d tried to tag one of his brothers who quickly evaded his touch, sending the younger one over the edge.

The father ran full speed across the pier and dove into the murky water. He spent a full 60 seconds swimming blindly, reaching out desperately for his little boy. He came up gasping for air and asked the others if they’d seen anything, any movement or air bubbles.

Nothing. All was smooth on the surface.

The father dove back down, this time frantically exploring the underside of the pier. Spreading his body out as far and wide as he could, hoping to feel the hand or foot of his drowning son, he crashed again and again against the wooden pillars. At last, after what seemed like an eternity within an airless, mud-colored cave, he felt his son’s tiny body wrapped tightly around one of the columns.

The father climbed his way out of the watery nightmare and carried his son to shore. After spitting up bit of water, the little boy was perfectly all right and eager to resume playtime with his brothers.

What struck me most about this story, more than the boy’s miraculous rescue after upwards of three minutes under water, was his response when his dad asked him why he was clinging to that pillar.

“Because,” the boy said, “I was just waiting for you to come get me.”

It was as simple as that. This helpless 3-year-old didn’t know much, but he knew the most important thing: He could count on his father. As long as he just kept calm and kept waiting, his dad would show up, scoop him up and carry him up and into the light.

This story is a beautiful parable demonstrating what it looks like to keep calm and keep waiting on God. How often in life are we that lost and imperiled child with deep waters swirling all around us and no way of escape? And how often do we just keep calm and wait for God to come and get us? Probably not nearly enough.

Isaiah 40:31 tells us that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, soar like eagles and run without growing weary. Science also confirms the importance of staying calm amidst stress and danger with numerous studies that show keeping one’s cool can reduce the risk of acquiring neurological illnesses in old age.

When we allow anxiety to have control over our thoughts, words and actions, the result can be catastrophic. An overload of stress means an overwhelmed nervous system. When your nervous system is stressed, panic attacks, nervous breakdowns, and depression are often the result. Be wary of “mild” stress, too. Headaches, stomach aches, and digestive disorders may not seem like a big deal, but they can lead to conditions that are much more devastating, such as heart attack and stroke due to high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.

Thankfully, there are proven ways to combat stress and wash away worries. Doctors suggest:

  • Exercising
  • Taking a vacation
  • Sleeping more
  • Listening to relaxing, soothing music
  • Reading
  • Do deep breathing and/or muscle relaxation exercises
  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Pray

Personally, I’d start with the last bullet point: pray. I will honestly confess that I don’t always bow my head when I feel stress coming on. Indeed, the enemy will do everything he can to distract and dissuade you and me from going before the Lord with our problems and fears; he doesn’t want us to wait for God but to toil to find our own solutions. Why? Because after millennia spent observing and afflicting followers of Christ, Satan knows we are most powerful when we’re on our knees, that we’re strongest when we’re staying still, holding fast to our faith in God like the little boy with the pillar.

When we take a moment to pray amid the chaos howling like a wicked wind and the worries filling our minds like a flood, we are given the strength to wait and to sing with David, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” We are given the faith to wait for our Abba Father to find us in life’s darkest moments, wrap His arms around us, and carry us to shore.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7, NLT).

Stay fit and stay faithful.


Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House’s Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness. Her popular website can be found at, and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Twitter. This article was originally posted to her blog.

Triumph of Public Protest: Jimoh Ibrahim Fails To Address Anti-Fraud Conference.


By SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters has learnt that troubled businessman Jimoh Ibrahim did not speak after all at the Conference on Corporate Fraud that was held this week in Lagos, Nigeria.

Organized by, the Nigeria Police Special Fraud Unit, the City of London Police, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, the conference became controversial after it was discovered it included Mr. Ibrahim as one of its 21 speakers for the event.  He was strategically placed to speak today at the closing event.

As has been previously reported by SaharaReporters, there was great public opposition to the invitation given to Mr. Ibrahim, who has featured prominently in the past few years in a variety of fraudulent activities that have sometimes led to the collapse of prime businesses. He is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as well as Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service.  Among the critics of his invitation were his former employees, and civil society and human rights groups, most prominently the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC).

CSNAC, an umbrella organization of over 150 civil society anti-corruption organizations, started a petition at in which it called for Jimoh Ibrahim’s removal from the conference.  It also petitioned the city of London Police and the British government to dissociate from Mr. Ibrahim given the allegations against him.

SaharaReporters learned that the Commissioner of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police, Tunde Ogunsakin, was responsible for inviting Mr. Ibrahim to the event, perhaps in an effort to launder the businessman’s image, but we were unable to reach him for comment regarding why Mr. Ibrahim did not speak at the conference today as scheduled.

Britain Ponders Wider Conspiracy After Terror Attack; Fears Copycats.

Image: Britain Ponders Wider Conspiracy After Terror Attack; Fears Copycats

Flowers are placed near the scene where Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed.

By Newsmax Wires

LONDON — Police investigating the murder of a soldier hacked to death on a busy London street were looking on Friday into whether the two suspected killers, British men of Nigerian descent, were part of a wider conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Britain is bracing for clashes with right-wing extremists and possible copycat terror attacks, adding some 1,200 police to potential trouble spots.

Images captured on video made for gruesome viewing — one man with bloodied hands and holding butcher’s knives angrily complained about the presence of British troops in foreign lands.

Terror analysts said Friday the publicity was intentioned to inspire copycat attacks and they are already seeing an increase in chatter calling for such attacks on extremist sites.

A British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation, confirmed the increase in chatter since Wednesday’s attack but said there were no specific or credible plots detected at this point.

The two suspects, aged 22 and 28, are under guard in hospitals after being shot and arrested by police following the murder of 25-year-old Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby on Wednesday in broad daylight. They have not yet been charged.

Detectives were also questioning another man and a woman, arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, as they tried to determine whether those responsible had links to militants in Britain or overseas.

“This is a large, complex and fast-moving investigation which continues to develop,” police said in a statement. “Many lines of inquiry are being followed by detectives, and the investigation is progressing well.”

One of the assailants, filmed justifying the killing as he stood near the body holding a knife and meat cleaver in bloodied hands, was named by acquaintances as 28-year-old Londoner Michael Adebolajo, a British-born convert to Islam.

Little is known so far about the other man.

The murder, just a month after the Boston Marathon bombing and the first Islamist killing in Britain since local suicide bombers killed 52 people in London in 2005, revived fears of “lone wolves” who may have had no direct contact with al-Qaida.

Police chiefs said they would have 1,200 extra officers on the streets in London overnight and at key locations such as religious venues and transport hubs.

“It will be assessed on a rolling basis depending on the picture. I’m sure there will be heightened numbers for a little while to come,” a spokesman said.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters the attackers were known to Britain’s MI5 internal security service, raising questions about whether it could have been prevented.

Adebolajo had handed out radical Islamist pamphlets, but neither was considered a serious threat, a government source said.

Another source close to the inquiry said the local backgrounds of the suspects in a multicultural metropolis — nearly 40 percent of Londoners were born abroad — and the simplicity of the attack made prevention difficult.

“Apart from being horribly barbaric, this was relatively straightforward to carry out,” the source said. “This was quite low-tech, and that is frankly pretty challenging.”

Anjem Choudary, one of Britain’s most recognized Islamist leaders, told Reuters Adebolajo was known to fellow Muslims as Mujahid — a name meaning ‘fighter’: “He used to attend a few demonstrations and activities that we used to have in the past.”

He added that he had not seen him for about two years: “He was peaceful, unassuming, and I don’t think there’s any reason to think he would do anything violent.”


The two men used a car to run down Drummer Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in southeast London and then attacked him with a meat cleaver and knives, witnesses said.

The pair told shocked bystanders they acted in revenge for British wars in Muslim countries.

“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day,” Adebolajo was filmed saying by an onlooker. “This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

Rigby, who had a two-year-old son, was not in uniform. The bandsman was working locally as an army recruiter.

“All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy was to be in the army,” his family said in a statement. “He wanted to live life and enjoy himself.”

In Nigeria, with a mixed Christian-Muslim population and where the authorities are battling an Islamist insurgency, a government source said there was no evidence the Woolwich suspects were linked to groups in west Africa.

British investigators are looking at information that at least one of the suspects may have had an interest in joining Somalia-based Islamist rebel group al Shabaab, which is allied to al Qaida, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Al Shabaab linked the attack to the Boston bombing and last year’s gun attacks in the southern French city of Toulouse.

“Toulouse, Boston, Woolwich  . . . Where next? You just have to grin and bear it, it’s inevitable. A case of the chickens coming home to roost!” the rebels said on Twitter.

Peter Clarke, who led the investigation into the 2005 bombings, popularly known as 7/7, said that if the Woolwich attackers did turn out to be acting alone, it showed the difficulty the security services faced in trying to stop them.

“An attack like this doesn’t need sophisticated fund raising and sophisticated communications or planning,” he told Reuters. “It can be organized and then actually delivered in a moment.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jonathan Condemns Terror Attack In Britain.

By SaharaReporters, New York

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the terrorist attack and killing of a British soldier, Fusiliers in the Woolwich area of London, United Kingdom; and strongly condemns this unfortunate incident.

Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment was savagely attacked and killed on an open street yesterday.

Sending his condolences to British Prime Minister David Cameron and the British people, Mr. Jonathan described the incident as a “senseless and barbaric act.”

He said that a terrorist attack anywhere is an attack on the way of life of all free nations and must be collectively condemned by all persons irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion.

“It is in this spirit that the Nigerian government is partnering with the British Government, as well as all other stakeholder sovereigns to stand up to and fight terrorism and extremism in whatever guise or pretense it chooses to present itself,” he said in a statement signed by a spokesman.

“President Jonathan recognizes that each environment presents its own unique challenges and peculiarities and [that while] actions taken by affected nations may differ, yet the resolve to confront and defeat this threat should never be in doubt.”

Taking the opportunity to comment on the challenge of Boko Haram, President Jonathan said that Nigerians are collectively resolute about the need to protect the freedoms that define our existence and inter-relationships at home and overseas.

“Our recent past tells us that when we pull together, this common enemy and threat will eventually be defeated,” the statement concluded.

UK, Lawyers for Kenya Torture Victims in Talks.

LONDON — Lawyers for Kenyans suing Britain over alleged torture during an anti-colonial uprising say they are negotiating with the British government over a possible settlement.

Law firm Leigh Day confirmed Monday that talks were taking place, but gave no other details, “due to the nature of the negotiations.”

The Foreign Office declined to comment on an ongoing legal case.

The case involves Kenyans who say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by officers acting for the British administration trying to suppress the “Mau Mau” rebellion in the 1950s.

In October, Britain’s High Court ruled that three elderly Kenyans could pursue claims for compensation.

The British government launched an appeal, although it did not dispute the claims of torture.

A settlement could bring payouts to thousands who allege similar abuse.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Fertility Watchdog Calls for Three-Parent Embryos.


The fertility watchdog has advised the British government to allow the creation of three-parent embryos, amid concerns about future genetically modified children.

The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) advised the government to allow a technique that would create babies with two genetic mothers and one genetic father.

But leading scientists and ethicists have warned about the potential to dehumanize and commodify relationships between children and parents.

Supporters claim the technique, which is currently illegal, could eliminate mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition passed from mother to child.

More than 40 ethicists from the UK and abroad, have written to The Times newspaper raising serious concerns about future genetic modification of children if the technique is made legal.

They said: “It would be the first time such intentional genetic modifications of children and their descendants were expressly permitted and would open the door to further genetic alterations of human beings with unforeseeable consequences.”

And 13 doctors and professors in the field of genetics or bioethics wrote to The Guardian newspaper warning that the move “risks dehumanising and commodifying relationships between children and their parents.”

They said: “In our view, the benefit for a relatively small number of women of being genetically related to their child does not nearly justify the potential health risks to the child and the deleterious consequences of inheritable human genetic engineering.”

The HFEA claim a consultation on three parent embryos was broadly supported by the public.

The HFEA advice has been passed onto ministers.

Making three-person IVF legal does not require a new act of Parliament, but would require a vote in both the Commons and the Lords.



Bashar al-Assad Uses Rare Interview to Insult the U.K.

Sky News/The Sunday Times

It’s unclear when the interview took place, but Assad spoke “frankly” with the Sunday Times recently (we presume). In the only clip of the interview available right now, Assad does not hold back his feelings for the U.K. government. “There’s no contact between Syria and Britain for a long time,” he said. “To be frank, Britain has played famously in our region an unconstructive role in different issues, for decades, some say for centuries.”

To Assad, the issue lies in Britain’s determination to support the Syrian rebels with weapons. The country is expected to announce arm supplies for rebel fighters before the start of the summer. the U.S. has so far refused to supply rebels with weapons, instead opting for $60 million in non-lethal aid. “How can we expect to ask Britain to play a role while it’s determined to militarise the problem? How can you ask them to play a role in making the situation better, more stable, how can we expect them to make the violence less when they want to send the military supply to the terrorist?” Assad asked.

To hear him tell it, the U.K. is the problem that needs changing, not Syria. Their attitude needs adjusting, at the very least. “I think they are working against us, and they are working against the interests of the UK itself,” he said. “This Government is acting in a naïve, confused, and unrealistic manner. If they want to play a role they have to change this, they have to act in a more reasonable and responsible way.” This is responsible, solid advice from the President of a country with an internal conflict that has killed an estimated 70,000 people.



Nigeria seeks Britain’s help to tackle oil crime network.

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has asked Britain for help to tackle a multi-million dollar oil theft business which is run by international crime syndicates, the country’s oil minister said on Tuesday.

Oil ‘bunkering’ — hacking into pipelines to steal crude then refining it or selling it abroad — is costing Nigeria a fifth of its two million barrels per day output, government and international oil companiessay.

“The products from bunkering are not sold in (West Africa), neither are the financial outputs … laundered in West African banks, they are ending up in far flung international fiscal institutions,” Diezani Alison-Madueke told an industry conference in Abuja.

“Mr president has begun to reach out with his colleagues around the world. A discussion was held with the prime minister of Great Britain on Monday a week ago and they are all coming on board to help sort out this particular menace.”

Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest foreign producer in Nigeria, has been lobbying the British government to help Nigeria to end bunkering, industry sources say.

Yet the complicity of security officials and politicians who profit from the practice may limit the impact international governments can have on ending the illegal industry.



Radical Islam cleric Abu Qatada wins appeal against deportation.

  • Abu Qatada has successfully appealed against his deportation from Britain (PA)

    Press Association – Abu Qatada has successfully appealed against his deportation from Britain (PA)

  • File picture shows radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada being driven away to jail from the High Court in London on April 17, 2012. British judges on Monday upheld an appeal by terror suspect Qatada against his extradition to Jordan, a decision immediately condemned by the government in LondonView PhotoFile picture shows radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada being driven away to jail from …

    Despite the Government declaring that it ‘strongly disagreed’ with the ruling, the Jordanian cleric has again avoided deportation after thwarting officials’ attempts to get him on a plane.

    Terror suspect Abu Qatada was dramatically allowed to stay in the UK today after winning an appeal against his extradition to Jordan.

The Islamist preacher, described as Osama bin Laden‘s right-hand man in Europe, won a legal victory in Central London today, in a deportation saga which has cost the UK government nearly £1m in legal fees.

Despite the Government declaring that it ‘strongly disagreed’ with the ruling, the Jordanian cleric has again avoided deportation after thwarting officials’ attempts to get him on a plane.

The decision will come as a huge blow to Home Secretary Theresa May, who is due to make a statement on the issue this afternoon.

Abu Qatada is facing a retrial on terror charges after he was convicted in his absence in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks.

The radical cleric’s lawyers won the right for him to stay on UK soil after successfully arguing that he won’t get a fair trial in his native Jordan.

Britain had moved to send him to Jordan after interior minister Theresa May was given assurances by the Jordanian authorities that no evidence gained through torture would be used against him in a retrial on his return.

A previous hearing on Qatada’s appeal had heard that his plea against deportation ‘bore all the hallmarks of a last-ditch argument’.

Home Secretary Theresa May was due to make an announcement on the appeal this afternoon (PA)

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission handed down its judgement on Qatada today shortly after noon, with the Home Office announcing straight away it was seeking leave to appeal the decision.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled earlier this year that the 51-year-old could not be deported while there was a “real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him”.

But when the British immigration commission heard Abu Qatada’s appeal last month its leader, senior judge John Mitting, said that some of the evidence against him was “extremely thin”.

The news of Qatada’s success prompted a flurry of outraged reaction, with many taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure that the radical cleric had won another legal battle against the Government.

Author and journalist Tony Parsons tweeted: “Bitterly ironic that Abu Qatada gets to stay in the UK the day after Remembrance Sunday – brave men fought for freedoms we have given away.”

Lord Sugar, meanwhile, posted to his 2.46m followers: “Abu Qatada wins appeal against deportation to Jordan for trial. Means he will claim benefits in UK. Will provide £1m house in Notting Hill.”

Abu Qatada has spent most of the last seven years in British jails and is being held in a high-security prison while he fights deportation.

In October Britain extradited another radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza, and four other terror suspects at the end of a long legal battle.

Yahoo! NewsBy Chris Parsons | Yahoo! News

Supreme Court accepts PPL appeal in British tax case.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider whether a is entitled to a tax credit when it pays a so-called “windfall tax” imposed by the United Kingdom.

At issue is a ruling against the U.S. energy company PPL Corp, which had taken a stake in Britain’sSouth Western Electricity Plc, among the companies included in a UK privatization of 32 companies in the 1980s and 1990s.

In reaction to a public backlash that the privatized companies had been sold too cheaply, the British government imposed one-time windfall taxes on those companies. This resulted in a liability of 90.4 million pounds (US$144.9 million) for South Western, according to court papers.

U.S. companies that had to pay the windfall tax sought foreign income tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service. But the IRS rejected their claims, saying the windfall taxes were based not on the British companies’ profits, which could be credited, but on their unrealized value, which could not.

Last December, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled against PPL and found that the windfall tax did not qualify for a credit.

A decision is expected by the end of June.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Howard Goller and Gerald E. McCormick)



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