Brexit: MPs demand answers to justice concerns ahead of ‘meaningful vote’

first_imgThe House of Commons justice select committee, chaired by Conservative MP Bob Neill, has asked the Ministry of Justice to answer several questions about the implications of Brexit on the justice system by 10 December – the day before MPs vote on the deal Theresa May has agreed with EU leaders. Neill: downstream consequencesIn a letter to justice minister Lucy Frazer, Neill says the committee welcomes her statement about the priority she is giving to preparations for an EU exit but that members still have ‘a number of serious concerns’.Neill says there is ‘little detail or certainty’ about how civil judicial cooperation will be achieved from December 2020, after the transitional period ends. He says: ‘The draft political declaration states that “the parties will explore options for judicial cooperation in matrimonial, parental responsibility and other related matters”. So broad and unspecific a statement provides little comfort.’Fundamental questions raised by the Law Society, Bar Council and an expert in finance and capital markets at magic circle firm Clifford Chance remain: ‘Will submission to the jurisdiction of the English courts and enforceability of judgments remain the same before and after Brexit (including the implementation period)? What will be the impact on contractual continuity?’The committee is ‘disappointed’ with the progress made since March 2017, when the government was told that it should seek to maintain cooperation on criminal justice as closely as possible. MPs say ‘robust alternative arrangements’ to replace the loss of access to the European Arrest Warrant, the European Criminal Records Information System, and the Schengen Information System II after the transition period ends would have ‘serious downstream consequences’.Neill says his committee is ‘disappointed’ by the government’s decision not to publish a ‘no deal’ technical notice for criminal justice measures. It says it will keep a ‘very close eye’ on any MoJ guidance to justice agencies in the coming weeks.The committee also asks for the exact budget for the ministry’s Legal Services are GREAT campaign to highlight the benefits of the UK legal services sector. ‘Are you confident that the MoJ is spending enough resource and departmental time on this campaign?’ asks Neill.Today Neill said the signficant questions that remain put the global reputation of the legal services sector, its 300,000 jobs and £26bn contribution to the economy at risk: ‘I hope these issues are given high priority, and in view of the seriousness of the potential impact, have requested a swift response by December 10th – before the meaningful vote in parliament.’last_img read more

Dobrin Gonov: We offer a union of CSKA, even Ganchev can…

first_imgThe executive director of CSKA 1948 – Dobrin Gonov, again called for unification between the two Sofia teams, named CSKA. He even accepted as a possibility the owner of the club to be Grisha Ganchev.Here is what he said: “I have said many times that there is a way to become a union and I am proposing it now.Our owners are the fans, we started from the lowest level with the clear idea to follow the example of Rangers, Parma, Fiorentina. We walked the path from the lowest to the highest level. We have not taken foreign licenses, we have not renamed, we have not merged.You know the history of CSKA Sofia – we can not have a union with this team, but if the fans decide, they can become owners, to choose management. Even Mr. Ganchev can choose. But this will have nothing to do with Litex and will be a pure club. Then there can be a union “, the executive director was categorical during the presentation of Krassimir Balakov as a head coach of the team. Balakov as coach of CSKA 1948: Title? Why not, if we deserve it … I would take Levski as wellKrasi was introduced to the media todaylast_img read more

16th-century manual shows ‘rocket cat’ weaponry

first_imgPHILADELPHIA | You’re a 16th century German prince plotting to crush a peasant rebellion, or perhaps you’re leading an army against the Ottoman Empire or looking to settle the score with a rival nobleman. What’s a guy looking for a tactical edge to do?Bring on the rocket cats!Fanciful illustrations from a circa-1530 manual on artillery and siege warfare seem to show jet packs strapped to the backs of cats and doves, with the German-language text helpfully advising military commanders to use them to “set fire to a castle or city which you can’t get at otherwise.”Digitized by the University of Pennsylvania, the unusual, full-color illustrations recently caught the attention of an Australian book blog and then found their way to Penn researcher Mitch Fraas, who set out to unravel the mystery.“It clearly looks like there’s some sort of jet of fire coming out of a device strapped to these animals.”So were these unfortunate animals from the 1500s really wearing 20th-century technology?Fraas’ conclusion: No. Obviously.The treatise in question was written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne, who was believed to have fought in several skirmishes against the Turks in south-central Europe at a time when gunpowder was changing warfare.Circulated widely and illustrated by multiple artists, Helm’s manual is filled with all sorts of strange and terrible imagery, from bombs packed with shrapnel to missile-like explosive devices studded with spikes — and those weaponized cats and birds.According to Fraas’ translation, Helm explained how animals could be used to deliver incendiary devices: “Create a small sack like a fire-arrow . if you would like to get at a town or castle, seek to obtain a cat from that place. And bind the sack to the back of the cat, ignite it, let it glow well and thereafter let the cat go, so it runs to the nearest castle or town, and out of fear it thinks to hide itself where it ends up in barn hay or straw it will be ignited.”In other words, capture a cat from enemy territory, attach a bomb to its back, light the fuse and then hope it runs back home and starts a raging fire.Fraas said he could find no evidence that cats and birds were used in early modern warfare in the way prescribed by Helm.A good thing, too.“Sort of a harebrained scheme,” Fraas said. “It seems like a really terrible idea, and very unlikely the animals would run back to where they came from. More likely they’d set your own camp on fire.”Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more