Norwegian govt wins partial victory in payment blocking suit

first_imgLegal & compliance Regions: Europe Nordics Norway 20th August 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Payments Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Legal & compliance Norwegian govt wins partial victory in payment blocking suit The Oslo District Court has ruled that the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Agriculture and Food does have the right to block payments to offshore igaming operators, and that the move does not contravene EU law.However the plaintiffs in the case, Entercash and the European Betting and Gaming Association (EGBA), could still prevail in a second hearing. This will examine whether the blocking measures constitute an illegal restriction on the provision of services within the European Economic Area (EEA).The case was split into two, with the first hearing examining two elements: whether payment blocking violates the European Union Payment Services Directive and whether the government lacks the legal authority to implement the ban.The court ruled that the block does not violate the EU Payment Services Directive, as member states may still apply national laws that “may affect the functioning of the common [payment] market.”“The State […] is acquitted in so far as the allegations are based on the assertion that the decisions are invalid because they lack internal legal authority and contravene the Payment Services Directive,”  District Court Judge Anne Cathrine Haug-Hustad said.The court also ruled that the Ministry did have the legal authority to block the payment services.“There is no doubt that the regulations, and thus the decision, are based on law,” Haug-Hustad continued. “The regulations are laid down on the basis of Section 2 of the Gambling Act, Section 11 of the Lottery Act and Section 3 of the Totalizator Act.”However, she added, the Norwegian government could not claim victory in the case due to the second hearing, which is yet to be scheduled. This will see the court ultimately rule on whether the payment blocking measures are suitable, necessary and consistent with rules governing the free movement of services within the EEA. As such EGBA and Entercash could still secure a significant victory through their legal action.“As a result, it is not possible now to determine whether any of the parties have ‘won the case’ or ‘been granted a significant claim’,” Haug-Hustad said.EGBA and Entercash filed the lawsuit against the Ministry in June this year, after efforts to block transactions between Norwegian banks and financial institutions and offshore gaming operators were stepped up. This comes as part of a wider enforcement drive by the Norwegian authorities to stamp out offshore activity to preserve the state-owned operator Norsk Tipping’s gambling monopoly. “In today’s digital age it is virtually impossible to enforce national borders on the internet but that’s what the Norwegian authorities are trying to do by introducing payment blockings for online betting,” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said at the time. “Rather than being a tool to benefit consumers, such restrictive measures are aimed at protecting the revenues of the state-owned monopoly by cutting off outside competition from reputable EU-licensed operators.“This is not only in breach of the EU’s internal market principles but out of step with the reality of a consumer-driven betting market, where players will inevitably search around the internet for value and choice in the games they play,” he added.Recent reports conducted by Oslo Economics have suggested that implementing a blanket ban on offshore operator advertising could cut broadcasters’ ad revenue by as much as NOK500m per year. However a report into the risks of opening up the market to foreign operators then concluded there was not enough evidence that such a move would benefit player protection efforts or raise additional funds for social causes through taxation. The Oslo District Court has ruled that the Norwegian government does have the right to block payments to offshore igaming operators, and that the move does not contravene EU law. However the plaintiffs in the case could still prevail in a second hearing dealing with the issue of whether the blocking measures constitute an illegal restriction on the provision of services within the European Economic Area. Email Addresslast_img read more

Wapic Insurance PLC ( Q32015 Interim Report

first_imgCoronation Insurance Plc ( listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Insurance sector has released it’s 2015 interim results for the third quarter.For more information about Coronation Insurance Plc ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Coronation Insurance Plc ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Coronation Insurance Plc (  2015 interim results for the third quarter.Company ProfileCoronation Insurance Plc is an insurance company in Nigeria licensed to underwrite all classes of life and non-life insurance for the personal, groups, commercial and industrial sectors. The company has operations in Nigeria and Ghana. General and personal insurance products cover motor, life, investment, yacht, marine and home insurance. Corporate insurance products cover general property insurance, automotive, marine, aviation, all risk, fire and special perils, goods-in-transit and guarantee and liability insurance for the oil and gas, hotel and restaurant, professional firms and associations, manufacturing, education, energy, telecommunication, financial services, trading, religious bodies, contractors, travel agent, real estate and transport sectors. Public sector clients include government ministries and departments, parastatals and agencies. Wapic Insurance Plc was founded in 1958. Its company head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Coronation Insurance Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

No savings at 40? I’d buy FTSE 100 dividend shares today after the stock market crash

first_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” See all posts by Peter Stephens Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. No savings at 40? I’d buy FTSE 100 dividend shares today after the stock market crash I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Addresscenter_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images. Peter Stephens | Sunday, 1st March, 2020 Starting to invest in the FTSE 100 today may not seem to be a sound idea. After all, the stock market has experienced a significant fall in recent weeks, which could continue in the near term.However, lower share prices mean more attractive valuations and higher dividend yields. Therefore, for someone aged 40, or anyone with a long time horizon, now could be an opportune moment to buy a diverse range of FTSE 100 stocks while they appear to offer favourable risk/reward ratios.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Long time horizonInvesting in the stock market is a relatively risky proposition, compared to other popular assets such as cash and bonds. The FTSE 100’s recent performance provides evidence of this, with the index falling by over 1,000 points in a matter of weeks, due to the risks posed by the spread of coronavirus.However, at 40, you’re likely to have a long time to wait until you choose to retire. In fact, you may have 25+ years until you stop working, which is likely to be more than sufficient for the stock market to recover from the current downturn. Evidence of this can be seen in the past performance of the index, with it having recovered from every one of its bear markets and corrections since its inception.Therefore, buying undervalued shares while they offer high yields today could lead to impressive returns in the long run, which improve your retirement prospects. With the FTSE 100 currently having a dividend yield of 5%, and its historical annualised total return at around 8% since its inception in 1984, its potential to boost your financial future seems to be high.Getting startedThanks to online sharedealing, buying FTSE 100 shares is far simpler and cheaper than many individuals realise. Opening a Stocks and Shares ISA could be a sound move, since it provides tax efficiency compared to a bog-standard sharedealing account. It also offers flexibility, in terms of withdrawals being available anytime without penalty, while it’s also cheap to administer.Buying a diverse range of shares could be a worthwhile move. Holding multiple stocks in your portfolio can reduce risk and mean you’re less dependent on a small number of businesses to fund your retirement. Should you have limited capital initially available to invest, buying a FTSE 100 tracker fund could be a logical first step. It provides exposure to all of the stocks in the index for a minimal cost.Maintaining your focusAlthough the stock market may fall further in the short run, and you could experience paper losses, in the long run it has recovery potential. The low valuations and high yields on offer could put you in a stronger position when it comes to building a retirement portfolio.Therefore, maintaining your focus on the long run, rather than worrying about the short term, may help you to capitalise on the FTSE 100’s attractive valuation at the present time. Peter Stephens has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.last_img read more

Throwback: Former Wallaby reflects on the greatness of superhuman Christian Cullen

first_imgThursday May 2, 2019 Throwback: Former Wallaby reflects on the greatness of superhuman Christian Cullen Sean Maloney picked the brain of former Wallabies second row Justin Harrison in the latest episode of The Rugby Nation, asking him to reflect on the brilliance of former All Black and Wellington fullback, Christian Cullen.ADVERTISEMENTKnown as the Paekakariki Express, Cullen’s 99 meter try for Wellington against the Waratahs in 1996 remains one of the best solo tries ever seen in provincial rugby.WATCH: Christian Cullen ripping through Scotland in 1996 He repeated those heroics for the All Blacks at Test level, terrorising defences, as Harrison testifies to. Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error News Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO Exeter vs Toulouse is off as a number of… 25 WEEKS AGO Danny Cipriani leaves Gloucester with immediate… 25 WEEKS AGO ‘Aphiwe can’t believe it. We were starting… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingDoctors Stunned: This Removes Wrinkles Like Crazy! (Try Tonight)Smart Life Reports10 Types of Women You Should Never MarryNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Osprey Nest / Jones Studio

first_imgCopyAbout this officeJones StudioOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHousesPuerto PeñascoMexicoPublished on January 20, 2011Cite: “Osprey Nest / Jones Studio” 20 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Read commentsBrowse the CatalogMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardWindowsMitrexSolar WindowAluminium CompositesTechnowoodHow to Design a Façade with AluProfile Vertical ProfilesBulbs / SpotsCocowebLighting – Compact Gallery White TracklightConcreteKrytonCrystalline Waterproofing – KIMSealantsEffisusCrossing Perforations on RoofsWall / Ceiling LightsLouis PoulsenLamp – LP RiplsTiles / Mosaic / GresiteMargresPorcelain Tiles – Linea CosmosWood Boards / HPL PanelsInvestwoodValchromat Panels for Interior DesignWindowspanoramah!®ah! MotorisationHingesSaliceHinges – PactaDrawers / Filing Cabinets / ShelvesBeneStorage Partition – PORTS StorageMore products »Read commentsSave世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream 2008 Mexico Houses Osprey Nest / Jones Studio Area:  5500 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Save this picture!© Robert Reck+ 17 Share “COPY” “COPY” Photographs ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Projects Architects: Jones Studio Area Area of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Osprey Nest / Jones StudioSave this projectSaveOsprey Nest / Jones Studio Photographs:  Robert ReckText description provided by the architects. Osprey Nest is located in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Designed to reflect its natural surroundings and culture, the home also explores shadows and materiality. More photographs and drawings of this residence by Jones Studio following the break.Save this picture!groundOsprey Nest is the expression of a return to fundamentals, the exploration and subsequent interpretation of what an architect has learned.  For example, the basic courtyard house is more about “finding” the secret garden than a program surrounding an outdoor space. It is about the lure of reflected light from an unseen source as it beckons one to enter. It is the untouchable sky made tangible by the context of a parapets edge.  The arch is used in the home as a space beyond an outline, the sunlight finds its dance partner, the brick finds its vault and the view thanks its gentle frame. Save this picture!© Robert ReckThe highest point of the beach house roof there is a ragged sculpture of glass and steel respecting the indigenous image of a vernacular construction.  This design decision was made to reflect the local bird life, the osprey.  Almost as large as an eagle, this majestic coastal bird builds its huge nest high in the local power poles. The nest is an architecture of scavenge material such as twigs, grass, string, rope, scraps of colorful fabric, strips of plastic all dangling randomly from the poles wooden cross members and sparkling glass insulators. The design also opted to leave the rebar exposed, as an obvious reference to local tradition as well as for the playfulness of the shadows.Save this picture!© Robert ReckProject gallerySee allShow lessDouble Infinity Exhibition / HHD_FUNArticlesRoll Play – Temporary Pavilion for The Sydney Architecture FestivalArticles Share CopyHouses•Puerto Peñasco, Mexico Year:  ArchDailylast_img read more

Shift Block / Kichi Architectural Design

first_imgPhotographs:  Ippei Shinzawa Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project “COPY” ArchDaily Houses Lead Architects: CopyHouses•Joso, Japan ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Naoyuki Kikkawa Japan Area:  99 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Shift Block / Kichi Architectural Design Shift Block / Kichi Architectural DesignSave this projectSaveShift Block / Kichi Architectural Design Year:  Architects: Kichi Architectural Design Area Area of this architecture project 2016 ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Manufacturers: YKK AP, DAINICHI GIKEN KOGYO CO., LTD, FUJIKAWA KENZAI KOGYO Save this picture!© Ippei Shinzawa+ 28 Share “COPY” Save this picture!© Ippei ShinzawaRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesAlucoilStructural Honeycomb Panels – LarcoreDoorsdormakabaEntrance Doors – Revolving Door 4000 SeriesDoorsC.R. LaurenceCRL-U.S. Aluminum Entice Series Entrance SystemStonesFranken-SchotterFlooring and Wall Tiles – Dietfurt LimestoneText description provided by the architects. The second floor part of this house is placed obliquely on the first floor part. The blank space made there gives luxury to space. The stairs climbing the space obliquely give excitement to the inhabitants.Save this picture!© Ippei ShinzawaSave this picture!Ground Floor PlanSave this picture!© Ippei ShinzawaSave this picture!Upper Floor PlanAlso, when approaching the entrance to a tunnel, you will feel like being inhaled. Looking at the exposed beams and pillars inside, you can understand that the structure of this building is wooden. Privacy-protected courtyard carries wind and sunlight through trees to Japanese rooms and living rooms.Save this picture!© Ippei ShinzawaProject gallerySee allShow lessR+E House / DP+HS ArchitectsSelected ProjectsAndrés Jaque: “Architecture Is Always Political”Interviews Share Projects Photographs CopyAbout this officeKichi Architectural DesignOfficeFollowProductsWoodConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesJosoJapanPublished on October 30, 2017Cite: “Shift Block / Kichi Architectural Design” 30 Oct 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogShowerhansgroheShowers – Croma SelectGlass3MGlass Finish – FASARA™ GradationPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Zenith® SeriesWall / Ceiling LightsCocowebLighting – Blackspot LED Barn LightUrban ApplicationsIsland Exterior FabricatorsPublic Safety Answering Center II Envelope SystemCeilingsSculptformTimber Batten Ceiling in All Souls ChapelHanging LampsLouis PoulsenLamp – PH 5 + PH 5 MiniGlazedGrespaniaWall Tiles – Porto PetroThermalSchöckInsulation – Isokorb® Concrete to SteelCeramicsTerrealTerracotta Baguettes in Vork CenterCompositesLamitechPlastic facades PanelexCarpetsHalcyon LakeCarpet – Nobsa GreyMore products »Save想阅读文章的中文版本吗?侧立块 Shift Block / Kichi Architectural Design是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my streamlast_img read more

Workwithus launches online marketplace for voluntary organisations

first_imgScottish voluntary sector portal workwithus has launched, a procurement resource to help match voluntary organisations with suppliers of relevant products and is “a selling and buying marketplace designed especially for charities and voluntary organisations to find a range of suitable products and services to buy.” Currently it lists suppliers in the categories of design & publishing, events management, training, business services, office & IT, utilities & telecoms, and miscellaneous.The online directory is designed to help Scotland’s 50,000 voluntary organisations locate and access the services of relevant commercial suppliers. Workwithus, published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVo), is encouraging companies to advertise their services and products to the “£2 billion [Scottish] Voluntary Sector.” They charge £100 a year, but will halve this in return for a link from the company’s site to the Workwithus site. Advertisement Howard Lake | 19 February 2004 | News Workwithus launches online marketplace for voluntary organisations AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving.center_img Tagged with: Consulting & Agencies Digital Finance Business to business sites have a tremendous potential to help reduce costs for charities, many of whose buying expertise is still not as developed as it could be. Currently, however, is simply a directory with no e-commerce element involved. Although the individual category listings are actually part of the site, they are not otherwise linked in to related content, as on UK Fundraising, on the portal.  26 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Win up to 10 laptops

first_img About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Win up to 10 laptops Microsoft is offering UK small businesses, which should include quite a few charities, the chance to win up to 10 Windows Vista laptops and the help of a Small Business Specialist to help overcome their challenges.To enter you simply have to tell Microsoft your biggest IT challenge in up to 50 words.The IT makeover is worth around £10,000.The competition closes on 19 December Tagged with: Technology AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis  18 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 20 November 2008 | Newslast_img read more

Youth projects to receive share of £7m from Youth Accelerator Fund

first_img The government has announced which organisations are to receive a share of its £7m Youth Accelerator Fund.The Youth Accelerator Fund was announced last October, and has been set up to address urgent needs in the youth sector and expand existing successful projects run by Sport England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and British Film Institute.Youth clubs and organisations in sport, arts, film and heritage will receive a share of the fund, to deliver a range of positive activities for young people to develop skills and contribute to their local communities.UK Youth, the membership organisation for youth clubs in the UK, will distribute £1.15 million to run a small grants programme to deliver extra sessions in youth clubs and youth groups across England.The following organisations will also receive funding:Sport England: £1.32 million to expand grassroots programmes and offer extra-curricular sport to young people in deprived areas.National Lottery Heritage Fund: £1.27 million to invest additional funding into ‘Kick the Dust’, a project for young people to enjoy, learn and lead heritage based activities in their communities.Arts Council England: £500,000 to expand their Youth Music programme, supporting music making for young people in challenging circumstances.British Film Institute: £155,000 to expand the weekly BFI Saturday Clubs to more areas of the country.Additionally, over £2 million of the funding will go towards setting up new Local Partnerships across the country, designed to effectively coordinate and sustain local youth activities. Areas will be encouraged to bid for a Local Partnership, that will bring together existing providers, statutory partners and the private sector to deliver programmes for young people.The investment follows the Chancellor’s announcement last year of a £500 million Youth Investment Fund for the five years from April 2020, to give young people somewhere to go, something positive to do and someone to speak to.Maddie Dinwoodie, Deputy CEO of UK Youth said:“We are delighted to be awarded £1.15 million of funding to distribute through grants to the UK Youth Movement in order to ensure youth services can reach more young people and provide additional activities.“Youth services are vital as they have transformational and lasting effects on young people’s wellbeing, social and employability skills. At UK Youth we are dedicated to ensuring that every young person can reach an accessible safe space in their community, where they can experience positive activities, develop skills and build relationships with trusted adults.” Advertisement AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Funding Youth  711 total views,  3 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Youth projects to receive share of £7m from Youth Accelerator Fund Melanie May | 3 February 2020 | News  710 total views,  2 views today Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director, Business Delivery at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:“This fantastic additional investment will build on the already strong partnerships that are flourishing through our Kick The Dust programme.  The collaboration we’re seeing through the Youth Accelerator Fund shows a really joined up approach across all the activities that, together, we know young people can benefit from.“The extra funding will mean more things happening in more places with more young people, showing how Government investment alongside National Lottery funding can really deliver positive outcomes for young people.   We’ve seen through our Kick The Dust projects how young people who might not feel heritage is for them can develop their skills, build their confidence whilst making a difference in their communities.” About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via read more

Syria, the Kurds and U.S. divide-and-conquer

first_imgFor the past six years, the United States, Israel, NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council have waged an unrelenting proxy war against the sovereign, secular state of Syria. The U.S.-funded Free Syrian Army, called “moderate rebels” in the corporate-owned media, fights openly alongside forces backed by U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey. These forces, really mercenaries or contras, which include the Islamic State, Jabhat Al-Nusra (al-Qaida in Syria), Jaysh al-Islam and others, are largely constituted of foreign fighters.There is one front in this proxy war, however, that should be included in an anti-imperialist analyses. It’s the front in the north contested by the Islamic State, Turkey, U.S. imperialism and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — the last groupa mainly includes Kurdish forces.The SDF’s largest fighting force is the YPG (the Kurdish acronym for the People’s Protection Units). The YPG is allied with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and both are allied with the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long fight for self-determination of the Kurdish region inside Turkish boundaries against the brutally oppressive Turkish state.In a sign of the contradictions inherent in U.S. imperialist policy toward Syria, on April 25 Turkish planes attacked units of the YPG in northern Syria, killing as many as 70 fighters. While U.S. diplomats said they raised concerns with NATO-ally Turkey regarding this strike, nothing concrete was done to stop future Turkish attacks against Kurdish fighters. (Reuters, April 25) This is one example in Washington’s long history of apparently backing one oppressed people and then turning on them.Many progressive people see the YPG, which is mostly made up of Kurdish fighters but includes other ethnic minorities as well as Western “foreign volunteers,” as representing the just struggle for Kurdish national liberation. Organized along democratic principles without a vertical chain of command, the forces of the YPG and their movement in northern Syria claim to model their “non-state” on anarchist, eco-socialist principles.The YPJ, the Women’s Protection Units, provide an active leadership role for women in their struggle.The Kurdish nationThe Kurds are a historically oppressed nation of 30 million to 35 million people. They are the world’s largest nation without a state. Most live in the contiguous, underdeveloped, mountainous region spanning four countries and speak their own language. About 14.5 million to 16 million Kurds live in Turkey, 6 million in Iran and 5 million to 6 million in Iraq. The 1.5 million to 2 million Kurds in Syria are the smallest grouping of this nation.During the Kurdish people’s fight for liberation from Turkey, Washington has supplied arms, logistical and satellite assistance, and political support for the Turkish ruling classes against the PKK, which the U.S. labels as “terrorist.” Yet in Syria, Washington has a cynical, opportunistic alliance with the YPG, using those forces to accomplish its aims of destroying the Syrian state.At times, the Syrian Democratic Forces/YPG have coordinated with the Syrian Arab Army in the fight against IS and other mercenary armies. However, SDF/YPG now operate in coordination with the U.S. military. Despite the SDF/YPG’s progressive principles and organizational structure, the Pentagon’s aim is to have it function as an effective proxy for the U.S. geopolitical goal of dismantling the Syrian state.It is not obvious what aggression the U.S. plans next for Syria after its deadly April 6 strike on the Sharyat airfield and the May 18 bombing of a Syrian government convoy. If Washington significantly steps up direct U.S. intervention, it will expect cooperation from the SDF in providing ground forces. The Pentagon has already been able to build two air bases in northeastern Syria in the past few months.Mercenaries and ‘invaders’Since at least two years ago, the U.S. has been sending special forces troops to northern Syria. As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stated since the U.S. sent several hundred more ground troops to Syria in the beginning of March, “All foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation … are invaders.” Assad, who is constantly demonized in the U.S. corporate media, is the democratically elected leader of the people of Syria.The YPG has been bolstered not only by U.S. special forces but also by foreign volunteers including people from the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries.Among them is Brace Belden, who had a Rolling Stone magazine centerfold feature on his role and inspired an upcoming Hollywood film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the “punk florist-turned-revolutionary.” Another volunteer is Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian-Israeli woman and former soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, and the first foreign volunteer in the Women’s Protection Units. These individuals violate Syrian sovereignty and package the  U.S. invasion of Syria as a progressive, “socialist” struggle against Islamic state fascism.Is U.S. planning to split up Syria?The Rand Corporation think tank has drawn up various “peace plans” throughout the war, detailing the U.S. and its allies’ latest plans for the partition of Syria. The most recent, dated this year, projects large swathes of Kurdish-administered territory extending about halfway to Raqqa in the south and almost to Manbij in the west, as well as a corner encompassing Azaz in northwestern Syria.Buffering these zones are “proposed international administration” zones, code words for NATO occupation and Turkish-controlled areas. Notably, these “Kurdish zones” in northeastern Syria encompass much of the country’s greatest natural wealth, including its largest oil reserves.If the U.S. aids the SDF to annex northeastern Syria, this will not lead to any meaningful form of Kurdish independence. Rather, it will mean the Kurdish forces will be subordinate to and will collaborate with the U.S., much as the Kurdish regime does inside Iraq. Meanwhile, the U.S. will destroy what remains of Syria and purge any progressive forces in the Kurdish movement.At this point, Washington sees the claims to a separate Kurdish region based out of northern Syria as fitting its goal of dividing Syria. With the Syrian state under siege, the attempt to create a Kurdish “autonomous” zone under U.S. guidance is in direct contradiction to the preservation of Syrian sovereignty in defense against imperialism. The U.S. has made this abundantly clear, saying that it plans to station its forces in Syria even once IS has been eliminated.Moreover, all of these events obscure the fact that the Syrian government and Kurdish groups have negotiated greater autonomy for the latter on their own terms before. If there is to be any change in the relationship between the Syrian state and its Kurdish inhabitants, it is clear that this change cannot be imposed by the imperialist powers. The U.S., NATO and their allies should have no say in this history.The imperialists in the U.S. and elsewhere have planned a grim end for Syria: the destruction of the sovereign secular state in favor of Balkanized ethnic enclaves in the manner of Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and any other state that has defied destruction and imperialist plundering since the fall of the Soviet Union. This includes the current aggression against Syria, Venezuela and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.There can be no genuine liberation for any peoples — Arab, Kurdish or otherwise — until imperialism is defeated in the region and the right of self-determination is fully realized and respected. Anti-war and other activists in the U.S. and NATO states must stand in full solidarity with the right of all nations to develop their collective livelihood, culture and economy without interference from imperialists.Hands off Syria! All mercenaries out of Syria! Uphold self-determination!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more