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The royals mourn Prince Michael of Kent's son-in-law Thomas Kingston

A death has occurred at the age of 45 for Thomas Kingston, who was the spouse of Lady Gabriella Kingston and the son in law of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, according to an announcement made by Buckingham Palace.

He was discovered dead at a residence in Gloucestershire on Sunday evening, and emergency services were dispatched to the location where the body was discovered.

Not only were there no suspicious circumstances, but there was also no other person involved.

During this difficult time, King Charles and Queen Camilla have extended their "most heartfelt thoughts and prayers" to his family.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement that paid respect to Mr. Kingston. The statement was given by Lady Gabriella, Mr. Kingston's widow, and his family. The statement read, "Tom was an exceptional man who lit up the lives of all who knew him."

A "great shock to the whole family" was how the death was characterized by the individual.

It is planned to hold an inquest.

In addition to being the grandson of King George V and the first cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Michael of Kent, who is now 81 years old, is the father of Lady Gabriella. Prince Michael is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace stated that King Charles and Queen Camilla "join Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and all those who knew him in grieving a much-loved member of the family." The statement was made in reference to the late Prince Michael of Kent.

In 2019, Mr. Kingston, who is a director at the private equity firm Devonport Capital, tied the knot with Lady Gabriella at the St. George's Chapel located within Windsor Castle. Guests at the ceremony included Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and Prince Harry.

In the past, he had worked for the Diplomatic Missions Unit of the Foreign Office in Baghdad, which is the capital of Iraq. During his time there, he was involved in arranging the release of hostages.

In addition to being a writer, contributing editor, and singer-songwriter, his wife, Lady Gabriella, has previous experience working as a director of arts and travel programmes.

Despite the fact that Lady Gabriella is not a working member of the Royal Family, she and Mr. Kingston's family are receiving assistance from the Royal Family during this critical period.

During the funeral service for the late former King Constantine of Greece, which took place on Tuesday at St. George's Chapel, her parents, the Prince and Princess of Kent, were present by her side.

It is thought that Prince William's unexpected withdrawal from the funeral ceremony was not related to the news about Mr. Kingston. The reason for his withdrawal was a "personal matter" that was not mentioned.

The Gloucestershire Police Department reported that at 18:25 GMT on Sunday, they received a call from the ambulance service to respond to an address in the Cotswolds.

The law enforcement agency stated "The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner."


Új bejegyzés címe

According to the Pentagon, the United States and the United Kingdom have conducted four coordinated operations in which fighter planes have attacked 18 Houthi locations in Yemen.

The United States claims that the militant movement's storage facilities, drones, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter were the targets of Saturday's strikes.

The United Kingdom claims that its partners took action to "further degrade" the Houthi powers.

The crucial Red Sea trade route has been the target of persistent bombardment by the Houthis, who are backed by Iran.

In reaction to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, the Houthis, who govern massive portions of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, have begun attacking ships they accuse of having ties to Israel and the West.

The Red Sea is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, but now some of the largest shipping corporations are rerouting their routes, which is causing major disruption to global supply chains and driving up costs.

According to a joint statement from the Pentagon and Houthi, 18 Houthi targets were hit in eight different locations in Yemen on Saturday. These targets included underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, air defense systems, radars, a helicopter, and one-way attack unmanned aerial systems.

"These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, naval vessels, and the lives of innocent mariners in one of the world's most critical waterways."

The declaration stated that "the Houthis' now more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability, and demand an international response" .

"With support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand," the statement stated, adding that the strikes were carried out.

The United States "will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world's most critical waterways," US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized shortly after.

On a separate note, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated that "it is our duty to protect lives at sea and preserve freedom of navigation".

"That is why the Royal Air Force engaged in a fourth wave of precision strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen" .

Seven Houthi mobile anti-ship missiles were destroyed earlier in the day, according to the US military. The missiles were being prepped for strikes.

A cargo ship flying the flag of Belize but registered in the UK had its crew leave ship earlier this week after being targeted by missiles launched by the Houthis off the coast of Yemen.


Refinery loopholes allowing Russian oil to enter the UK, according to reports

Despite sanctions imposed due to the crisis in Ukraine, research indicates that the UK is still importing fuel made from Russian oil in the millions of barrels.

Products refined from Russian crude and supplied to the UK are made possible by a so-called "loophole" in the regulations of nations like India.

Critics argue that this undermines sanctions meant to restrict Russia's war financing, even though it is not illegal and does not infringe the UK's Russian oil restriction.

The British government has consistently disputed that any oil has been imported from Russia since 2022.

However, according to a representative, "rules of origin" set out by the international community state that crude oil is considered to have originated from the country that refines it for commercial purposes.

"Closing the gap"

A number of Western nations, including the United Kingdom, have banned the import of any oil or oil products produced in Russia in an effort to reduce the revenue that Moscow receives from fossil fuels.

However, according to two sources that were shared exclusively with the BBC, the criteria for refining allow products made from crude oil from Russia to reach the UK.

According to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), governments that have not imposed sanctions on Russia can lawfully purchase crude oil from the country and process it into refined goods like jet fuel and diesel. This "refining loophole" allows countries like India and China to do just that.

They subsequently ship those goods to places like the European Union and the United Kingdom.

According to Isaac Levi, head of CREA's Europe-Russia policy and energy analysis, "the issue with this loophole is that it increases the demand for Russian crude and enables higher sales in terms of volume and pushing up their price as well," meaning that more money goes into the Kremlin's coffers.

'Putin uses oil to fund troops'

Global Witness, an advocacy organization, predicted in a separate study that the United Kingdom bought over 5.2 million barrels of refined petroleum products made from crude oil imported from Russia in 2023.

According to the group's research, one out of every twenty flights in the UK used jet fuel, which accounted for the majority of the imported fuel (4.6 million barrels).

While "the UK government falls over itself to decry the war in Ukraine, it remains complicit in the sale of Russian oil by keeping this refining loophole open," stated Lela Stanley, campaign lead for the Ukraine team at Global Witness.

"Every single pound spent on Russian oil helps Putin pay for his brutal war," according to her.

The first twelve months of the Russian oil embargo, which began in December 2022, saw the United Kingdom buy oil products with a value of over £569 million, according to exclusive data supplied with the BBC by CREA.

According to both pieces of news, the so-called loophole sent over £100 million in tax money to the Kremlin.

They also mentioned that three oil refineries in India—Jamnagar, Vadinar, and New Mangalore—and nine others in various nations, including China, accounted for the majority of the imports.

Kpler, a data and analytics company, was the primary source for the majority of the estimations provided by CREA and Global Witness regarding oil shipments; Eurostat and other sources provided pricing data.

While acknowledging the difficulties and constraints of analyzing this type of transaction, CREA and Global Witness both stated that the two studies were predicated on assumptions.

Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, the International Energy Agency has shown that Russia has supplied more crude oil to India. Russia reduced the price of its oil to entice new buyers in reaction to sanctions.

Jet fuel and diesel from India have also increased in the UK's imports since the invasion.

When it comes to oil production, Russia ranks third globally. After being extracted from the soil, crude oil is sent to refineries to be transformed into a variety of goods, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and polymers.

Exports of this kind are vital to Russia's economy.

A number of sanctions have been imposed on Russia by Western partners. One of these is an oil price cap, which prohibits Moscow from receiving more than $60 per barrel of crude oil.

Following the International Monetary Fund's recent revision of Russia's economic growth prediction for 2024 from 1.1% to 2.6%, concerns have been raised regarding the severness of the measures.

The sanctioning countries have also felt the effects, with oil and gas prices skyrocketing as countries, particularly those in the EU, rushed to find alternatives to Russian supplies.

Effects of penalties

According to trade data from January of last year, the United Kingdom bought no fossil fuels from Russia, despite the fact that the country sent £4.5 billion worth of gas, oil, and coal to the UK in 2021.

There has been "no import of Russian oil and oil products into the UK" since sanctions went into force, according to a UK government official.

He added that as well as "providing proof that goods are not of Russian origin, importers must now include the country of last despatch to ensure oil from Russia is not being diverted through other countries" .

Russian crude oil refined in a country like India would be classified as Indian oil, according to Brian Mulier, co-head of the international commerce and customs group at law firm Bird & Bird. This is because of rules of origin.

"A change in origin is determined based on substantial processing," according to him. "Once Russian refined oil products are substantially processed off the water in a jurisdiction other than the Russian Federation, they are no longer considered to originate in the Russian Federation."

A source in the oil business elaborated by saying that the UK cannot produce its own fuel and must import it. Failing to import it from India might result in the country paying a premium price for diesel, which the government would then pass on to consumers.

Complete prohibition is not tough.

The economic advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleg Ustenko, urged Ukraine's Western partners to further tighten sanctions by banning all processed oil products made from Russian crude.

Russian funding must be immediately and completely severed. "We must ensure that they do not possess sufficient funds to sustain this brutal conflict against us," he declared.

These nations are actually our friends, therefore that's where it ought to be done. Our journey begins in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States. The United Kingdom might easily implement a ban of that kind.

Mr. Levi of CREA concurred that this course of action would seal the refining loophole.

"It is fair to say at least some of the refined products going into Europe are produced from Russian material," commented Matt Smith of Kpler, the research's main source, when asked whether it is feasible to determine which refined oil products are made from Russian material.

Thus, Indian oil products were "likely to have been refined from Russian crude," he claimed, and were being sent to the UK.

According to Mr. Smith, the issue was complicated, and the so-called loophole was weakening sanctions.

"It is impossible to extricate Russian crude or products created from Russian material from the global market," according to him. "Russia is also such a key player that the powers that be don't want to completely eradicate Russian supply from the global market because it would cause prices to spike."

In an effort to seal the refining gap, two US representatives—Lloyd Doggett and Joe Wilson—introduced a measure last year to prohibit fuel imports from refineries that use Russian crude oil.

The three oil refineries in India that the BBC contacted for comment remained silent.


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is facing a significant diplomatic controversy

Very few international relief organizations are able to continue their work in the rapidly developing wasteland that is Gaza. Among them is the United Nations.

After the establishment of Israel in 1948 forcibly removed 700,000 Palestinians from their homes or forced them to flee, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) began providing aid in 1949. Its operations extended to Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Several Western governments have suspended financing amid suspicions that some UNRWA staff were complicit in the 7 October attacks on Israel. As a result, the lifesaving aid that two million Gazans rely on could soon come to an end, according to the head of the agency.

However, there is much more to the mission than just running refugee shelters and distributing the limited supplies that Israel would accept. After years of violence, isolation, and poverty, UNRWA supplies essential infrastructure and everyday necessities that Gaza has desperately needed.

It produces the textbooks used by Palestinian students and operates medical and educational facilities, such as teacher training centers and around 300 elementary schools. Approximately 13,000 people are employed by it in Gaza alone. It has played a crucial role in humanitarian efforts in Gaza as the largest UN organization there.

Additionally, it has evolved into a political football that different factions have used to their advantage. Israel views it as further solidifying the Palestinians' position as refugees and fueling their aspirations for a right of return to the land they were forcibly displaced from in 1948 or in subsequent massacres.

Throughout the Arab-Israeli conflict, the plight of refugees has occupied centrality. A lot of Palestinians would love to go back to the land that was once Palestine—even though some of it is now in Israel. That assertion is denied by Israel, which has frequently criticized the UNRWA setup for allowing refugee status to be passed down through generations.

'Bigotry and hatred'

In addition, the Israeli government has long criticized the agency's curriculum and textbooks, claiming that they promote anti-Israel sentiment.

According to IMPACT-se, an Israeli watchdog group, UNRWA promoted "anti-Semitism, hatred, intolerance and lack of neutrality" in 2022 and taught students that Israel was trying to "erase Palestinian identity, steal and falsify Palestinian heritage, and erase the cultural heritage of Jerusalem."

There was what the EU deemed as "anti-Semitic material"—"including even incitement to violence"—in the textbooks. Removing such content should be a requirement for EU financing to the Palestinian Authority, according to the European Parliament's repeated calls. Reports on UNRWA's educational materials were deemed "inaccurate and misleading" according to the organization, which further clarified that the majority of the books in question were not really utilized in any of its schools.

The Trump administration, which has long been supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cut off all funding to UNRWA in 2018 due to what it deemed as the agency's "irredeemably flawed" operations.

The organization is once again in what might be a major crisis, this time with major ramifications for the 5.3 million Palestinian refugees that are registered with it, as a number of Western nations have frozen their financing. Contributing almost $340 million (£268 million) in 2022, the United States is its largest donor and one of the nations making the choice. Next on the list is Germany, which has similarly frozen its funding and sent $162 million that year.

Various UN agencies have long been accused by Israel of antisemitism, prejudice, and other serious crimes. Now, the administration is using this chance to strengthen its case and change the subject away from the conflict in Gaza, which is drawing more and more condemnation both domestically and internationally.

This is an opportunity for Israel's Western friends to demonstrate empathy and solidarity with the Jewish state while simultaneously increasing the pressure on the Iranian regime to stop the onslaught.

The White House National Security Adviser, John Kirby, was careful to clarify that the actions of a small number of employees "should not impugn the entire agency"—an organization that, he said, had "helped save literally thousands of lives in Gaza"—even though he had temporarily frozen the funds. Their work is crucial.

Who will be allowed to pick up the pieces of a devastated land if the United Nations isn't? Israel's foreign minister has called UNRWA "the civilian arm of Hamas" and stated that it shouldn't have any involvement in post-conflict Gaza.!!-%22A-m%C3%A9h%C3%A9sz%22-TELJES-FILM-MAGYARUL-VIDEA-id5953284-id668399359?country=us!!-%22Im%C3%A1dlak-ut%C3%A1lni%22-TELJES-FILM-MAGYARUL-VIDEA-id5953284-id668400375?country=us


Minister of Singapore Iswaran is accused in a rare case of corruption

It is a rare occurrence that has stunned a nation that takes great pride in its impeccable governance that a cabinet minister in Singapore has been charged with corruption.

"Obtaining gratification as a public servant" was one of the 27 accusations that Subramaniam Iswaran pleaded not guilty to against him.

It was around the time when the Formula One Grand Prix made its glittering debut in the city-state of Singapore that he is known for supervising the tourism business in Singapore.

On Thursday, Mr. Iswaran resigned from his position in the cabinet.

There has been a significant amount of coverage in Singapore's media over the allegations of corruption.

The charges that he was given more than S$160,000 ($119,145; £93,850) worth of flights, hotel stays, and Grand Prix tickets in exchange for advancing the commercial interests of property billionaire Ong Beng Seng were revealed in charge sheets that were released by the prosecution.

A further accusation against him is that he was given tickets to West End musicals as well as football events.

Together with Mr. Ong, who played a significant role in bringing the Formula One event to Singapore in 2008, Mr. Iswaran was taken into custody in the previous year. Mr. Ong was named in each and every one of Mr. Iswaran's allegations, and he was depicted as the party that allegedly offered the bribes.

In a letter that he sent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday, Mr. Iswaran stated, "I reject the charges and am innocent."

Along with the announcement of his resignation, he also stated that he would return his pay and allowances, which he had received since the beginning of the investigation into his case in July of last year.

When Mr. Iswaran was detained, he was placed on leave of absence; yet, he continued to receive a monthly salary of S$8,500 before his arrest. Additionally, he was getting a monthly stipend of more than S$15,000 due to his position as an M.P.

With a starting salary of more than S$45,000 a month, Singapore's ministers are among the highest-paid in the world. Singapore's MPs are among the highest-paid in the world. Leaders have defended this by claiming that it will be effective in fighting corruption.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Iswaran has served as a director in a number of significant businesses. He is a veteran of the People's Action Party (PAP), which is currently in power.

During his time in government, he served in a variety of functions, including the prime minister's office, the ministry of home affairs, the ministry of communications, and most recently, the ministry of transportation.

His rise to notoriety, however, occurred over the lengthy period of time that he served at the ministry of trade and industry. In the latter part of the 2000s and throughout the 2010s, Mr. Iswaran was instrumental in the development of Singapore's tourism scene.

It was at this time that the government invested a significant amount of resources and actively sought billions of dollars in foreign investment in order to construct casinos, hotels, tourist attractions, and events such as the Formula One race.

He was a well-known figure on the podium, where he frequently presented trophies to drivers in the midst of jubilant sprays of champagne or champagne.

It is one of a number of embarrassing political scandals that have shaken the PAP, which has long boasted of its strong stance against corruption and immoral behavior. The case against him is one of these scandals.

This situation has been handled "rigorously" by the government of Singapore, according to the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee, who stated on Thursday that he has accepted Mr. Iswaran's resignation.

I am resolute in my commitment to protect the integrity of both the party and the administration, as well as our reputation for being honest and having no corrupting influence. Nothing less is acceptable to Singaporeans," he stated.

The most recent instance of a minister being subjected to an investigation for corruption occurred in 1986, when Teh Cheang Wan, the minister of national development, was probed for receiving bribes. He ended his own life long before he was brought to justice.





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