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It is a crime to report on certain events in Great Britain. But one defiant journalist ignored the court imposed gag orders and reported anyway on three connected sex abuse trials involving dozens of defendants.

Police arrested Tommy Robinson outside the courthouse while he filmed using Facebook live. The courts had already delivered a suspended sentence to him for covering the second trial. Now they say he has breached the conditions of that suspended sentence and will be spending 13 months in prison.

In the space of the next few hours, a judge tried, convicted, and sentenced him to 13 months in jail — and also issued a gag order, demanding a total news blackout on the case in the British news media. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was immediately taken to Hull Prison.

What This is NOT About

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‘Stock markets from Tokyo to London collapsed on Friday as the UK’s major media networks projected a victory for the “Leave” campaign, with most votes counted in Britain’s referendum on European Union membership.

The British pound plunged 10 percent, the most since 1985, the euro fell the furthest since its introduction in 1999, while the Japanese yen had its biggest surge since 1998.

Asian stocks dropped by the most in five years. Japan’s Nikkei index closed over 8 percent in the red. China’s Shanghai composite was down almost 1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was losing over 4 percent before the closing bell.’

Read more: Global stocks plunge as UK votes for Brexit

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Simmering tensions between the Mitt Romney campaign and the travelling press corps accompanying him on his European trip, spilled over in Poland.

 

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The chief prosecutor has warned the surveillance society is threatening to ‘break the back of freedom’.

Sir Ken Macdonald, Director of Public Prosecutions, said the state was poised to take powers to keep information on everyone and ‘we might end up living with something we can’t bear.’

His message – delivered ten days before he steps down as head of the Crown Prosecution Service – was a parting shot at ministers who aim to make every phone call, email, test message and internet visit available to police and security services.

Sir Ken said: ‘We need to take very great care not to fall into a way of life in which freedom’s back is broken by the relentless pressure of a security state.’

An East German Stasi officer listens in on a couple in a scene from the Oscar-winning film The Lives Of Others

We’re watching you: An East German Stasi officer listens in on a couple in a scene from the Oscar-winning film The Lives Of Others

The warning comes amid growing public concern over state snooping.

Some 4.4million people – many of them non-criminals – are on a DNA database, CCTV cameras routinely film pedestrians and motorists and the Government continues to plan an ID card system.

Last week Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was accused of planning surveillance on a Big Brother scale when she announced moves to give police and security services access to all private electronic communications.

Sir Ken attacked the spread of surveillance in a CPS lecture. He said: ‘Let me in my final public speech as DPP repeat my call for levelheadedness and for legislative restraint in an age of dangerous movements.’

While technology had brought immeasurable benefits, Sir Ken added, it ‘also gives the state enormous powers of access to knowledge and information about each one of us and the ability to collect and store it at will. Every second of every day in everything we do.’

The DPP said: ‘Of course modern technology is of critical importance to the struggle against serious crime. Used wisely, it can protect us.

‘But we need to understand that decisions taken in the next few months and years about how the state may use these powers, and to what extent, are likely to be irreversible.

Enlarge   Face In The News Graphic.jpg
‘We should take very great care to imagine the world we are creating before we build it. We might end up living with something we can’t bear.’

Sir Ken said the best way to face down terrorist threats was to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law.

His period as DPP had seen a relentless struggle against terrorism and a conviction rate ‘unmatched in the fair trial world.’ It had been done ‘with full respect for our historical norms and our liberal constitution’.

He added: ‘It is difficult to see who will maintain a cool head if governments do not. Or who will protect our constitution if governments unwittingly disarm it.’

Tories praised the speech. Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: ‘Sir Ken has been at the forefront of our counterterrorism effort for several years, so he knows the security challenges we face.

‘This Government’s approach has all too often proved cavalier  –  unjustified powers, sprawling databases and excessive use of surveillance powers risk undermining both our security and our way of life.’

The Home Office said last night: ‘The Government agrees with the DPP that technology and communications data is critically important in tackling all forms of serious crime as well as in the fight against terrorism.

‘The Government also agrees that care is needed to agree what safeguards are needed, in addition to the many we have in place already, to provide a solid legal framework which protects civil liberties.

‘The Home Secretary made it very clear last week that the Government will consult widely with the public and all interested parties to set out emerging problems with technology, the important capability gaps that we need to address in collecting data and to look at the possible solutions.’

Sir Ken will be succeeded next month by human rights lawyer Keir Starmer.

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See Addendum: Ban is on Financials Only

MarketWatch is reporting Britain bans short-selling, citing ‘extreme’ market climate.

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Britain’s Financial Services Authority on Thursday announced the unprecedented move of banning short-selling and forbidding any increase in new positions. Also, disclosure will be required on all positions of more than 0.25% of a stock. The ban is due to remain in force until Jan. 16, but it will be reviewed in 30 days. “While we still regard short-selling as a legitimate investment technique in normal market conditions, the current extreme circumstances have given rise to disorderly markets. As a result, we have taken this decisive action, after careful consideration, to protect the fundamental integrity and quality of markets and to guard against further instability in the financial sector,” said Hecton Sants, chief executive of the FSA.

UK Poised To Crash

Banning short selling is an act of pure desperation guaranteed to fail. Short term, I do not know what the market will do, but if shorts are squeezed out an air pocket below will form just as happened in the US with share prices of Fannie Mae (FNM) Freddie Mac(FRE).

The simple fact of the matter is that short sellers add liquidity to the market. Barring bankruptcy, shorts have to cover at some point. Also short selling is a necessary function of market makers.

Finally, attempts to prop up the market simply will not work regardless of what government intervention there is. If by some miracle the market manages a sustained rally after this announcement, it will do so only because the market was ready to rally on its own accord.

I spoke about government intervention in earlier today in China, Russia Intervene In Equity Markets. Inquiring minds should take a look.

Addendum:

MarketWatch entered this correction

CORRECT: Britain bans short-selling of financial stocks

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Britain’s Financial Services Authority on Thursday banned short-selling of financial stocks and prohibited any increase in new bearish positions in the sector. Also, disclosure will be required on all positions of more than 0.25% of a stock. The regulator said it may extend the bank to other sectors. The ban is due to remain in force until Jan. 16, but it will be reviewed in 30 days. “While we still regard short-selling as a legitimate investment technique in normal market conditions, the current extreme circumstances have given rise to disorderly markets. As a result, we have taken this decisive action, after careful consideration, to protect the fundamental integrity and quality of markets and to guard against further instability in the financial sector,” said Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA. (Changes story to show ban is on financial stocks only for now)

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

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