UK Column News - 18th August 2023

Brian Gerrish, Mike Robinson and Vanessa Beeley with today's UK Column News.


Who Is Starting Wildfires?—Burn Back Better?

00:26 Real World News (Telegram): Video: Maui Wildfires and the Theft of Sacred Hawaiian Land

Dr. Kathy J. Forti (LinkedIn): What Really Happened on Maui—I Was There

Nick Sortor (Twitter): Reports of a 12-mile ‘media free zone’ around Lahaina

ABC7 Chicago: Maui's emergency services chief resigns after facing criticism for not activating sirens during fire

ThePostMillennial:  Hawaii governor says state is looking to 'acquire land' that was destroyed in fires

Govtech Events: Hawaii Digital Government Summit 2023 

IEEE SMC: The 2023 IEEE Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Conferences

Electric Power Research Institute (2016): JUMPSmartMaui Demonstration Project Phase 1 Assessment (PDF)

Wall Street Journal: Since Covid, Hawaii Home Sales Over $10 Million Have Grown Sixfold

CNN: Opinion: After ‘no comment,’ Biden’s response to Maui will be key 

Newsweek: Joe Biden Sending $700 to Maui Fire Victims Sparks Backlash: 'Insulting'

Euronews: 'Out of control' wildfires rage in Tenerife: Map of affected areas, evacuations and how to stay safe 

eSmartCity: Innovative Public Procurement and Smart Buildings will be the stars of the III Tenerife Smart Island

INtech Tenerife: Tenerife Smart Island. A Smart Tourist Destination

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

Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) are systems capable of discrete target selection that emit laser or Radio Frequency (RF) energy as the primary means to cause disruptive, damaging or destructive effects on equipment or facilities.

GOV.UK (2017): UK Innovation: Laser Weapon Contract Awarded 

the first laser weapons would come into service in the mid-2020s.


NATO Backtracks On Statement

19:07 The New Voice of Ukraine (via Yahoo!):  Ukraine could join NATO in return for ceding territory — alliance official

VG: Open to Ukraine ceding territory in exchange for NATO membership

TASS: Russian diplomat slams NATO official’s remark on Ukraine accession as bogus 

Defense Advancement: Kongsberg Delivering C-UAS Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

Kongsberg: International Fund for Ukraine orders multiple C-UAS air defence systems

AP News: Czechs ratify defense treaty with US that makes it easier to deploy US troops in Czech territory


From Ukraine, To Russia And China

23:59 TASS: MI6 prepares Ukrainian sabotage group for missions in Africa — source

Al Mayadeen English: UK MI6 to send 100 Ukrainian fighters to Africa to counter Russia

Rosatom: Plenary session "Nuclear Technologies for the Development of Africa" was held at the Second Summit Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum

Mongabay: CAPS, new gas megaproject, aims to power Central Africa, but at what cost, critics ask

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative


Child Abuse—BBC's Reflex Is Still To Cover Up

36:18 WhatDoTheyKnow: Failure to respond to news of child sex exploitation

WhatDoTheyKnow: Evidence to support statement about child sex exploitation 

WhatDoTheyKnow: Evidence to support Nazir Afzal's claim about a 2008 circular about CSE

WhatDoTheyKnow: Cover-up of Child Sex Exploitation by Sheffield City Council

UK Column finding: Questions to the BBC about the release of child abuse data under Freedom of Information Act are quickly passed to the BBC's legal team.

BBC: Dame Elan Closs Stephens DBE

WhatDoTheyKnow: Blocking of the flow of information concerning child sex exploitation

BBC: Prosecutor Nazir Afzal: I couldn't defend a rapist

Mark Braithwaite (YouTube): Nazir Afzal—Carolyn Quinn—The FULL Interview (19 October 2018)


UK Health Security Agency—Is It About Health At All?

46:13 GOV.UK: Letter from Maria Caulfield MP to Professor Dame Jenny Harries, UKHSA chief executive 

…and work with industry, in particular in the life sciences, to prevent and mitigate public health hazards through innovative approaches and collaboration such as with pharmaceutical companies on vaccine research and development of diagnostics

(Note) The Guardian: Former Covid medical officer Van-Tam takes role at vaccine maker Moderna


Who Is NextDoor, Down Under, In San Francisco?

38:41 Nextdoor: Made by your neighbours in London and San Francisco”

GOV.UK (Companies House): Nextdoor Europe UK Limited

Nextdoor: Board of Directors From Walmart to Venture Capital and RAND


Big Money In AI

53:01 GOV.UK: The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution

Computer Weekly: Government publishes baseline analysis of UK artificial intelligence sector as it pins hopes on future growth

“AI suppliers added £3.7bn in value to the UK economy and attracted nearly £19bn in private investment”

GOV.UK: Artificial Intelligence sector study 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE): Artificial intelligence technologies to speed up contouring in radiotherapy treatment planning


Keep-Cash Demand Gets A Petty PR Response

56:14 GOV.UK: Free access to cash protected