Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.


  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Roof Replacement Using Shingles

Roof Replacement Using Shingles


John Manto

If you are considering roof replacement, roof shingles are a beautiful option. These are rectangular shapes made of different types of materials laid over the roof. The shingles are laid on the roof from the bottom to the top edge of the roof. They are widely preferred in several western countries due to their classy and elegant look.

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Previously, there used to be under caps in each shingle, typically made of copper or lead which is now replaced by plastic for its benefits. These plastic caps are very useful in rainy season. Let us discuss the various types of shingles: Asphalt Shingle: The types of shingles are most popular due to tier reduced costs and easy installing process. However, they are most suitable for cold climate and regions. There are three types of asphalt shingles, organic, fiberglass or glass fiber. The organic shingles are made of waste paper, processed in various other chemicals to make it strong enough to resist algae and other damages. However, they have become very unpopular since their poor resistant quality against hurricane damage. The other two types of asphalt shingles are made of mats. They can resist fire very efficiently. Wood Shingle: Traditionally, the shingles were made of wood. In North America, these wooden shingles were most commonly used in the 17th, 18th and even 19th centuries. Although, 19th century came in with a difference of new architectural styles among previous wooden shingles styles. Wooden shingles became most popular their light weight and easy installation structure. The wood was available in abundance. Hence housing styles and decorations were not a surprise when suggested to be made of wood. Noticeably, these shingles have become less popular as they are not strong enough to cover various damages. For example, fire. Slate Shingle: A slate shingle is a heavier and better alternative for the roof when compared to other types of shingle materials. Slate shingles is not only durable; when it breaks it retains its own shape without getting damaged. Its high resistance to water increases its life and warranty. Roof replacement becomes rather easy as fixing these shingles is relatively an easy task.

This article about

roof shingles

is written by author R.Duncan who writes and contributes articles about making sure you choose the right

roof replacement

options for your home.

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2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre

Thursday, January 27, 2005

PORTO ALEGRE-RS, Brazil –The fifth World Social Forum (WSF) has kicked off in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. The Forum is back in its original home, Porto Alegre, after last year being held in Mumbai, India. The event was opened January 26, 2005 and it is scheduled to continue until January 31.

The World Social Forum is an annual meeting organized by left organizations, mainly from Brazil. It discuss strategies to fight back against the neo-liberalism, capitalism and imperialism. According to the organizers “The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where groups and movements of civil society opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism, but engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action.”

Just under 6000 different groups and organizations will participate in the six day event which joins discussions, protests and festivals.

Both the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez are to be guests at the forum; however the reception of the two leaders is set to be quite different. Da Silva (commonly referred to as Lula) has faced criticism from the leftists set to make up the majority of participants at the forum due to the allegedly weak results of the government social politics and the way the government conducts the Economy. This is in stark contrast to the reception that he received at the 2003 forum (also in Porto Alegre), where he was hailed as a hero.

Hugo Chávez on the other hand is set to receive a warmer welcome for enforcing a 2001 law allowing for the expropriation of idle agricultural land from large estates. However, the government of Venezuela has also received criticism for what some feel to be intimidation of journalists and other anti-democratic acts.

This year the event has been tarnished by the Brazilian journalist Políbio Braga, who alleges illicit negotiations between the World Social Forum and GP Equipamentos Elétricos Ltd, a Brazilian company contracted to work on the infrastructure for the forum. He also accuses the Brazilian government of trying to stop the police investigation into the matter.

In 2006 the forum is scheduled to be held in Venezuela and/or simultaneously in different cities around the world.

U.S. President Obama’s farewell address focuses on accomplishment

U.S. President Obama’s farewell address focuses on accomplishment
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Thursday, January 12, 2017

United States President Barack Obama gave his official farewell address on Tuesday night from McCormick Place in Chicago, reflecting on personal and national accomplishments. This is expected to be his last major speech before officially handing the reins to president-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

“Its why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan – and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.”

Obama’s speech was wide-ranging. He thanked his family and the nation, spoke of the need for unity, noted the country’s accomplishments and need for improvement in areas like education and civil rights, and spoke about the need for pride in U.S. accomplishments, citing milestones of U.S. history and of his presidency specifically. “It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan – and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.”

The president also addressed his country’s troubled history with race and racism, an issue many black citizens feel he has avoided. Despite this, Chauncy Devega of Salon described the president as “a role model of calm, cool reflective black masculinity: a man utterly at home in his own skin.” Obama described the concept of a post-racial U.S. “unrealistic” and particularly cited the need for reform in education and the criminal justice system and greater acceptance of scientific evidence, particularly evidence supporting action to counteract climate change.

However, publications including The Washington Post and Salon have given particular focus to another aspect of the president’s address: the country’s increasing political tensions and controversies involving access to news and information, both accurate and inaccurate. “We become so secure and our bubbles,” said Obama, “that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there,” calling this trend “a third threat to our democracy.”

The Washington Post characterized Obama’s comment, “If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves,” as a “not-so-subtle jab” at the campaign tactics of President-elect Donald Trump. The Telegraph describes Obama’s warnings about the need to protect democracy as “a thinly veiled slight to the divisive rhetoric of Donald Trump’s election campaign, which included attacks on Muslims, the disabled, women and immigrants.” The president went on to call on the public to “reject the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties that make us one America. We weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive […] We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others when we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt and when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them. It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy.”

Despite this, when the mention of Donald Trump brought boos from the crowd, Obama reiterated the importance of the long history of peaceful transfers of power from one president to the next: “No no no no no. […] I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.” However, this was not unaccompanied by a call to action. Near the end of the speech, he insisted citizens dissatisfied with elected officials should “lace up your shoes, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself.”

Overall, the departing president’s speech focused on accomplishment, echoing the “Yes we can” slogan from his 2008 campaign: “If I have told you eight years ago, that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history. If I had told you, that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9/11[…] If I had told you that we would win a marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another twenty million of our fellow citizens. If I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high. But that’s what we did.”

But when the crowd began shouting “Four more years! Four more years!” Obama, with a small laugh, answered, “I can’t do that.”

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Airplane in Nigeria crashes during mock rescue exercise

Airplane in Nigeria crashes during mock rescue exercise
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Nigerian airplane crashed in the city of Port Harcourt yesterday, resulting in several minor injuries.

The plane was supposed to be taking part in a mock rescue exercise, and was carrying 30 members from the National Emergency Management Agency and other emergency workers, when it slid off the runway and into some bushes after landing at Port Harcourt International Airport.

The rescue workers on the ground, intended to participate in the emergency drill, instead had to deal with a real emergency; however, only a few people on board the aircraft sustained minor wounds.

A spokeswoman for the police, Rita Inoma-Abbey, commented today that “[n]o life was lost, but the aircraft was severely damaged.”

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Yemen’s first-ever feature film to be screened at Cannes Festival

Yemen’s first-ever feature film to be screened at Cannes Festival
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Friday, May 6, 2005

The first ever feature-length film to be shot in Yemen will be screened, but will not compete for prizes, at this year’s international Cannes Film Festival. The 90-minute romantic drama by British-Yemeni film director, Bader Ben Hirsi, is titled A New Day in Old Sanaa’a.

“For the most people viewing this film, it will be the first time they ever see images of Yemen. The results will be a very positive message” which offers a “true and honest” portrait of life in Yemen, said a spokesman from the Yemeni Media Center in 2003, when the film was in the planning stage. The film will depict aspects that are “completely different from the negative image that most of the world has” of the Middle-Eastern Arab nation, said the spokesman.

Sana’a, where the capital of Yemen has been relocated since 1962, is known for its Muslim university and many mosques, as a center of Islamic culture. It was noted in medieval times as a beautiful and hospitable city, and was described by the 10th century Persian traveler Ahmad ibn Rustah as follows: “It is the city of Yemen — there not being found in the highland or the Tihama or the Hijaz a city greater, more populous or more prosperous, of more noble origin or more delicious food than it… with fine dwellings.”

The leading actor is Nabil Saber of Old Sana’a, and his co-star is the actress and make-up artist Julia Towns of London. The pair found real-life romance and exchanged wedding vows last year in London, after bowing to tradition and obtaining agreement from both their families.

The film, co-produced by the Yemen Media Center and Felix Films of London, is not yet 100% complete due to funding shortfall. There is planned to be a low-key showing to introduce the film at the Marché du Film (Film Market) portion of the Cannes Festival, but it is not eligible to compete for the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) due to its unfinished status. The official premiere is to be held this summer, with widespread promotion and showing in universities and art centers around the world.

Ben Hirsi commented on his film, “A New Day in Old Sana’a could be categorized as a romantic drama, showing a very real conflict between modern values and old, [but] is respectful of the strong morals of Yemen’s Islamic society. It does not contain such cinematic norms as profanity, graphic violence or sexually explicit content… As is true in modern-day Sana’a, however, traditional practices and concepts are tackled and confronted — topics such as love, caste, Yemeni marriage customs and the wearing of the veil are addressed in detail, and the inner turmoil that results from changing social values in a modernizing society forms a central theme of the story.”

File:Cannes FF Palace.jpeg

Cannes Festival Palace as of June 27, 2004. Courtesy of Filip Maljkovic
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On the campaign trail, March 2012

On the campaign trail, March 2012
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The following is the fifth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a politician from outside the fifty states receives significant mention as a potential Republican Party vice presidential nominee, Wikinews gets the reaction of three Democratic Party candidates after the party strips delegates from two of their fellow challengers, and a minor third party removes its presidential nominee for fraud.


  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Might the GOP VP nominee come from Puerto Rico?
  • 3 Democratic Party strips delegates
  • 4 Party removes presidential nominee
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
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Restore Your Ride The Right Way With Auto Repair In Papillion, Ne

Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Cars

byAlma Abell

When your car has been involved in a collision, it can be quite the disheartening situation. Here you are with a vehicle that is in desperate need of repair and you just do not know who you should trust to restore your ride to its former glory. In the city of Papillion, there are several great mechanics and body repair specialists that can help. If you are looking for auto repair in Papillion, NE, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. These two easy tips could make the difference between someone who can simply do the job and someone who will do it well.

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Be On the Lookout For Auto Repair with Certified Technicians

One of the best ways to make sure that you find the best auto repair in Papillion NE is to make sure you look for shops that employ certified technicians. There are many different companies who would be more than happy to help restore your car after a wreck, but only a few actually offer certified mechanics and auto body specialist. Look for their certifications as most who are will be proud to display their certifications in windows or in ads. If you do not see certifications, it never hurts to ask.

Modern Training Is Important

You may have been going to the same auto shop for years because it is the same guy you have always dealt with and he is familiar. However, it is always best to take your car to someone who is trained in all of the modern techniques of the trade. There are so many incredible innovations and advances in automotive technology that it would be a shame to not take advantage of the benefits that can be reaped with the right repair center.

With the right auto shop, there will be no need to worry that your car will never be what it was before the collision. They will work hard to restore your vehicle in a way that will never show evidence that anything happened. By following these two tips, you are sure to end up with a much better result.

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American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident

American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Monday, August 4, 2008

American Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in reported to be in serious condition but good spirits in a Tennessee hospital following a single car accident in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta. The 71-year-old actor was flown to the hospital by air ambulance with injuries to one arm.

Freeman, the Associated Press reports, “has a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage, but is in good spirits,” according to a statement from Donna Lee, Freeman’s publicist.

Reports say that Freeman was driving Demaris Meyer — the owner of the 1997 Nissan Maxima — when the car flipped over two or three times around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night. Meyer’s condition has not been released. Meyers is reported to be a 48 year old family friend visiting from Memphis.

According to reports, Freeman over-corrected the vehicle when he may have dozed and began to go off the highway, causing the car to flip two or three times before landing in a ditch. The accident occurred on Highway 32 just north of Ruleville, Mississippi not far from where Freeman currently resides.

Clay McFerrin, editor of the Sun Sentinel in Charleston, told the Associated Press he arrived at the accident scene soon after the accident. “They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle,” McFerrin told the Associated Press. “He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point.”

Freeman was one of the stars of the recent film The Dark Knight and is currently being treated at Memphis Regional Medical Center along with Meyer. Spokeswoman Kathy Stringer says that “Freeman is in a serious condition,” but did not comment further. The hospital, known locally as “The Med” is an acute care facility for up to 150 patients.

According to Sgt. Ben Williams of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, “there’s no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved” in causing the accident. He also said that both Freeman and Meyer were wearing their safety belts.

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Tony Blair tells Iraq Inquiry he would invade again

Tony Blair tells Iraq Inquiry he would invade again
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, appeared before the Iraq Inquiry today. He faced six hours of questioning, starting at 6:30 am, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London concerning his role in the 2003 Iraq invasion. During the inquiry, Blair stood by his decision to invade, saying he would make the same decision again.

This is the third time Blair has given evidence at an inquiry into the Iraq War, having already testified before the Hutton Inquiry and the Butler Review, as well as participating in an investigation by the Intelligence and Security Committee. The Hutton Inquiry found that the government did not “sex up” the dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The Butler Review uncovered “serious flaws” in pre-war intelligence, and this inquiry was set up by current prime minister Gordon Brown in order to “learn the lessons” of the war. Sir John Chilcott, the inquiry chairman, began by stressing that Blair was not “on trial”, but could be called back to give further evidence if necessary.

At the end of the session, Chilcott asked Blair if he had any regrets, to which Blair replied that he was “sorry” that it was “divisive”, but said that invading was the right thing to do since he believes “the world is a safer place as a result.” Blair said that the inquiry should ask the “2010 question”, which refers to the hypothetical position that the world would be in if Saddam Hussein were not removed from power. He said that “today we would have a situation where Iraq was competing with Iran […] in respect of support of terrorist groups”.

At the inquiry, the topics on which Blair was questioned included his reasons for invading Iraq.

At the time, he said that his reasons were based on a need to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction; however, interviews held later suggest that removing Saddam Hussein from power was his primary objective. Blair denies this, asserting that the need to dispose of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was the only reason for the United Kingdom’s participation in the invasion. He explained that, in an interview with Fern Britton, he “did not use the words regime change”, and, what he was trying to say was, “you would not describe the nature of the threat in the same way if you knew then what you knew now, that the intelligence on WMD had been shown to be wrong”.

He said, despite no weapons of mass destruction being found by UN weapons inspectors, he still believes that Saddam Hussein had the means to develop and deploy them; “[h]e had used them, he definitely had them […] and so in a sense it would have required quite strong evidence the other way to be doubting the fact that he had this programme […] The primary consideration for me was to send an absolutely powerful, clear and unremitting message that after September 11 if you were a regime engaged in WMD [weapons of mass destruction], you had to stop.”

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

He also said that weapons of mass destruction and regime change were not separate issues, but “conjoined”, since “brutal and oppressive” regimes with such weapons are a “bigger threat” than less hostile nations with the same weapons. He said that Hussein’s regime was hiding important information from UN weapons inspectors, and had “no intention” of complying with them. He asserted that he has “no regrets” about removing Hussein, “[a] monster and I believe he threatened not just the region but the world.”

There were also questions about why the UN weapons inspectors were not given more time in Iraq in March 2003. Blair responded by saying that it would have made very little difference, as Iraq had the knowledge and “intent” to rebuild its weapons program from scratch if it were dismantled. He was also asked whether he still believed that the war was morally justified. He said that he did. He also said that the war was required because more diplomatic solutions had already failed, and the “containment” of Hussein’s regime through diplomatic sanctions was “eroding” when the decision to invade was made.

I never regarded 11 September as an attack on America, I regarded it as an attack on us.

He also said that attitudes towards Saddam Hussein and the threat he presented “changed dramatically” after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. He said, “I never regarded 11 September as an attack on America, I regarded it as an attack on us.” He said that he believed terrorists would use biological and chemical weaponry, and also said, “if those people inspired by this religious fanaticism could have killed 30,000 they would have. My view was you could not take risks with this issue at all.”

He later said, “When I talked earlier about the calculus of risk changing after September 11 it’s really important I think to understand in so far as to understanding the decision I took, and frankly would take again. If there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction we should stop him. That was my view then. It’s my view now.”

He was also asked about his supposed commitment to George W. Bush that United Kingdom would join the United States in an Iraq war, which he is said to have made at Bush’s Crawford ranch in 2002. Blair stubbornly denied that this took place, saying that what was said is that Saddam Hussein had to be “dealt with”, and that “the method of doing that is open”. Instead, he says, his reasons for the invasion were moral.

The decision I had to take was … could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programme?

He also said, “This isn’t about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It’s a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam’s history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programmes or is that a risk that it would be irresponsible to take?”

He said of Bush: “I think what he took from that [the meeting] was exactly what he should have taken, which was if it came to military action because there was no way of dealing with this diplomatically, we would be with him.” He did admit, however, that—a year later, as the invasion approached—he had been offered a “way out” of the war, which he declined. He said of this, “I think President Bush at one point said, before the [House of Commons] debate, ‘Look if it’s too difficult for Britain, we understand’. I took the view very strongly then—and do now—that it was right for us to be with America, since we believed in this too.”

Another line of questioning focused on his 45-minute claim, which was included in the September 2002 dossier but redacted after the war. It states that Hussein was able to deploy nuclear weapons within 45 minutes of giving the order. This dossier also contained the words, “the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons”. However, the inquiry has revealed that there were certain caveats involved, so the claim was not—anti-war campaigners claim—”beyond doubt”, especially since senior civil servants have told the inquiry that intelligence suggested that Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction had been dismantled.

Blair said that it “would have been better if (newspaper) headlines about the ’45-minute claim’ had been corrected” to state—as he admits he should have made clear—that the claim referred to battlefield munitions, rather than to missiles. He says that, with the benefit of hindsight, he would have liked to have published the intelligence reports themselves, since they were “absolutely strong enough”. He did insist, however, that the intelligence that was available at the time put it “beyond doubt” that Iraq was continuing to develop weaponry. He added that “things obviously look quite different” after the war, since weapons of mass destruction were not found.

One of the main topics was the legality of the war. Earlier this week, a senior Foreign Office legal advisor claimed that the war would be illegal without a further United Nations Security Council resolution—which was not obtained. The attorney general at the time, Lord Peter Goldsmith, said that the cabinet refused to enter into a debate over the legality of the war, and that Blair had not received his advice that a further UN resolution would be needed warmly. He insists that he “desperately” tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problem until France and Russia “changed their position” and would not allow the passage of a further resolution.

Blair also said that he would not have invaded had Goldsmith said that it “could not be justified legally”, and explained Goldsmith’s change of mind by saying that the then attorney general “had to come to a conclusion”, and his conclusion was that the war was legal. He did not know why Goldsmith made this conclusion, but said he believes that it may be due to the fact that weapons inspectors “indicated that Saddam Hussein had not taken a final opportunity to comply” with the UN.

Questions were also asked on the government’s poor post-war planning, and claimed confusion about whether the US had a plan for Iraq after the war was over. Blair was drilled about the lack of priority that was given to the issue of post-war planning. He was also asked about the lack of equipment that British soldiers were given. This line of questioning was pursued in front of the families of some of the soldiers who died in Iraq—many of whom blame the poor equipment for the deaths of their relatives.

Should Tony Blair be considered a war criminal?
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The families of some of the 179 British soldiers killed in the Iraq war, along with around 200 anti-war protesters, held a demonstration calling for Blair to be declared a war criminal outside the centre in London’s City of Westminster. They chanted “Tony Blair, war criminal” as the former prime minister gave evidence inside. Blair was jeered by a member of the audience as he made his closing statement, and the families booed him, chanting “you are a liar” and “you are a murderer” as he left the centre.

In order to avoid the protesters, he arrived early and was escorted by security as he entered through the back door, with large numbers of police officers standing by. One of these protesters, Iraqi Saba Jaiwad, said, “The Iraqi people are having to live every day with aggression, division, and atrocities. Blair should not be here giving his excuses for the illegal war, he should be taken to The Hague to face criminal charges because he has committed crimes against the Iraqi people.”

Ahmed Rushdi, an Iraqi journalist, said that he was unsurprised by Blair’s defence of the invasion, because, “A liar is still a liar”. He also claimed that the war had done more harm than good, because, “Before 2003 there were problems with security, infrastructure and services, and people died because of the sanctions, but after 2003 there are major disasters. Major blasts have killed about 2,000 people up till now. After six years or seven years there is no success on the ground, in any aspect.”

Why did we participate in an illegal invasion of another country?

Current prime minister Gordon Brown, who set up the inquiry, said before Blair’s appearance that it was not a cause for concern. Anthony Seldon, Blair’s biographer, called the session “a pivotal day for him [Blair], for the British public and for Britain’s moral authority in the world”. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who opposes the war, said in Friday’s Daily Telegraph that it was “a pivotal moment in answering a question millions of British people are still asking themselves: Why did we participate in an illegal invasion of another country?” He called the invasion “subservience-by-default to the White House”, and questioned the “special relationship” between between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Vincent Moss, the political editor of the Sunday Mirror newspaper, criticised the inquiry for being too soft on Blair. He said, “A lot of ground wasn’t covered, and in my mind it wasn’t covered in enough detail, particularly the dodgy dossier in September 2002. There wasn’t very much interrogation on that, they pretty much accepted what Tony Blair said about the intelligence. We could have had an awful lot stronger questioning on that”.

It is feared by some senior Labour Party politicians that today’s events could ignite strong feelings about the issue in voters, and thereby damage the popularity of the party, which is already trailing behind the Conservative Party with a general election required in the first half of the year.

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