UK Column News - 17th January 2024

Brian Gerrish, Vanessa Beeley and Charles Malet with today's UK Column News.


Grant Shapps: UK Minister For War, With Whose Army?

00:30 Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (on X): 

Every day we’re seeing the tragic consequences of the more dangerous world we’re living in. How we respond will define our future. And the choice is clear. Just like our enemies, we must be prepared for a new era of confrontation.

GOV.UK: Defending Britain from a more dangerous world

GOV.UK: Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation 

GOV.UK: IFA035—Making Science Fiction a Reality: Future Directed Energy Weapons

RTX: Raytheon UK set to receive and integrate UK's first laser weapon system in October

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation: The Russian Defence Minister spoke at a meeting of the Federation Council [upper house of Russian Parliament]

The head of the military Department added that high-precision hypersonic aviation missile systems "Kinzhal" are on experimental combat duty. Flight and design tests of the naval hypersonic missile "Zircon" are being conducted. In December of last year, the first "Avangard" missile regiment and the "Peresvet" laser devices went on combat duty. The modernization of industrial production for the serial production of the "Sarmat" heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile has been completed.

OE Data Integration Network (ODIN): Peresvet Russian Mobile Laser System

The Peresvet combat laser can be successfully used against unmanned aerial vehicles. At the same time, its effectiveness directly depends on environmental conditions: in good weather, it works perfectly, but fog, rain, snow and other adverse weather events can interfere with the passage of the laser beam.

Express: Royal Navy crisis as £3bn warship's Red Sea mission scuppered by low staff numbers

UK Defence Journal: Britain has zero active naval supply ships for first time

Forces Network: Full List: Is Your Base Among Those Now Remaining Open?

The Times: Royal Navy forced to advertise for rear admiral on LinkedIn


Interesting And Terrible Times In The Middle East

14:03 Consortium News: Israel Dismisses Genocidal Intent as 'Random Assertions'

Law for Palestine: Law for Palestine Releases Database with 500+ Instances of Israeli Incitement to Genocide—Continuously Updated

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor: Israel not only prevents entry of aid into Gaza, but also kills those who try to receive it

Quds News Network (on X): The arming of settlers has been ongoing since October 7th of last year in the West Bank

A report by the Palestinian Prisoners Club has found that since October 7th, the IOF has abducted at least 5,980 Palestinians in the West Bank.

Middle East Eye: War on Gaza: Complaint filed alleging UK ministers' complicity in Israeli war crimes

Al Mayadeen English: South Africa to sue US, UK for complicity in Gaza genocide

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Andrew Bridgen MP (on X): 

An invitation arrived today to speak at this plush-sounding event in Davos on January 16th—the day I am due to lead a debate in the House of Commons about worrying trends in excess deaths.

Together (YouTube): "EXCESS DEATHS: Hidden Factors, Hidden Threats?"—"End of Life" Protocols Discussed

Together Declaration (Facebook): EXCESS DEATHS

In 2022, we witnessed nearly as many excess deaths across the UK as during the Blitz.

Forthcoming UK Column interview: Sam Nass: Thursday 18th January at 1pm

Stella Assange: Day X is here—Tuesday 20 February 2024, 8:30 am—Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, WC2A 2LL


Swiss Airspace Lockdown Over Davos + 5,000 Soldiers On Ground

23:44 WEF: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024

The Federal Council (The portal of the Swiss government):  World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 

We Don't Have Time's Davos Hub: Welcome to our digital hub for the World Economic Forum January 15–19, 2024

WEForum: Land Use: Managing the Trade-offs

WEForum: First Movers Coalition for Food

Food systems are responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions yet receive less than 4% of climate financing.

Schweizer Armee: Armed Forces and the environment

Schweizer Armee: Air2030—Protecting our airspace

Schweizer Armee: World Economic Forum (WEF)


Zelensky's Last Days In The Ukraine Bunker

29:22 World Economic Forum (YouTube): Special Address by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine

FRANCE 24 English (YouTube): Zelensky warns Davos that ‘predator’ Putin will pursue Ukraine invasion if fighting paused

The Kyiv Independent: Ukraine war latest: Military proposes to mobilize 450,000–500,000 new soldiers, Zelensky says

BBC: Sunak vows that Ukraine will never be alone as he pledges £2.5bn package


Further Escalations In The Middle East

36:08 Daily Star: Israeli Forces Drill for Lebanon Strike, General Affirms Combat-Readiness

We are more prepared than we have ever been [to fight Hezbollah] even as soon as tonight if we need to and we will continue to strengthen the readiness while assessments are going forward.

CBS News: New Jersey soldiers prepare for deployment to Syria and Iraq

Al Mayadeen English: Israeli media: Iranian ballistic missile crosses 1200 km in first

Al Mayadeen English: Four Mossad officials, Peshraw Dizayee among killed in Erbil

Al Mayadeen English: After ignoring warnings, Israel-bound Greek ship was targeted

The Cradle: Reviving ISIS: A US weapon against the Resistance Axis

More than six years after declaring victory over the terrorist organization, Iraqi intelligence reports now indicate that thousands of ISIS fighters are emerging unscathed, under the protection of US forces in two regions of western Iraq.


Democracy: How It Works In The English Family Courts

41:32 Courts and Tribunals Judiciary: Groundbreaking Family Court reporting pilot rolled out to sixteen more courts across England

Extending the reporting pilot to family courts across the country is a huge step in the judiciary’s ongoing work to increase transparency and improve public confidence and understanding of the family justice system. After a pioneering year of reporting from Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle journalists and legal bloggers will be allowed to report from a further sixteen courts.

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary: The Transparency Reporting Pilot

Forthcoming UK Column interview: Sam Nass: Thursday 18 January at 1 pm


Bird Flu And Seal Sampling

47:45 GOV.UK: Bird flu found in mammals in the sub-Antarctic for the first time

GOV.UK: Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance group (HAIRS) 

GOV.UK: Bird flu (avian influenza): latest situation in England

Animal and Plant Health Agency (Charles Malet’s FoI Request): How many cases of H5N1 have occurred in captive birds between 7 Nov 2022 and 26 Feb 2023?

EggInfo: UK Egg Industry Data

GOV.UK: Avian influenza (bird flu) vaccination

GOV.UK: UK study finds some seabirds may develop immunity to bird flu

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: Why bird flu vaccines need urgent R&D


Young Global Leader and Gates Scholar: Meet Lisa Witter

56:44 Apolitical: Our story

World Economic Forum (YouTube): Profiling a Young Global Leader—Lisa Witter

Apolitical Foundation: Board

Daniel Sachs Foundation (LinkedIn): Daniel Sachs Foundation's Post

Chevening: About Chevening