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Glaxosmithkline defies activist Elliott to name boss of consumer arm

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Glaxosmithkline defies activist Elliott to name boss of consumer arm

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Glaxosmithkline defies activist ‘vulture fund’ Elliott and appoints a boss to run consumer arm ahead of its separation

Glaxosmithkline’s board has defied activist investor Elliott Management and pressed ahead with appointing a boss of the consumer arm ahead of its separation.

The pharmaceuticals company confirmed that Brian McNamara will stay in his role as head of the division when it is spun off and listed in its own right next year.

The announcement came despite a demand from Elliott for GSK to launch a six-month review of who should lead the division – as well as another review into who should lead the remaining pharmaceuticals and vaccine company.

Glaxosmithkline defies activist Elliott to name boss of consumer arm

Glaxosmithkline has confirmed that Brian McNamara will stay in his role as boss of the division when it is spun off and listed in its own right next year

That would effectively have required GSK boss Emma Walmsley to apply for her own job.

GSK chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds said: ‘We are delighted to announce Brian’s appointment to lead the proposed new consumer healthcare company, following a thorough process conducted by the board.’

GSK said the ‘extensive search and selection process’ had involved interviews with several external and internal candidates.

McNamara joined GSK from Novartis in 2015, where he was head of the over-the-counter drugs division.

Ahead of the separation of GSK’s consumer business, efforts are also under way to choose a separate chairman and board for the division. 

The chairman is expected to be in place before the end of the year. GSK’s consumer division boasts £10billion in annual sales and is expected to take a place in the FTSE 100 index on its own.

Last month GSK confirmed plans to give 80 per cent of shares in the newly listed business to current shareholders. The remaining 20 per cent will be sold off over time to raise cash.

However, Elliott criticised the plans and said an outright sale of consumer should be considered.

The US group also claimed the firm suffered from a lack of ‘credibility’ under Walmsley.

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Did the West ‘Bring War’ to Ukraine? One Expert Makes the Case

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Did the West ‘Bring War’ to Ukraine? One Expert Makes the Case
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center right, meets residents of Bucha, near Kyiv, after Russian troops’ killing of civilians there in March. Ukrainians polled express strong support for his stance on the war. (Ukraine Presidential Office)

The seven-month war in Ukraine, and the role of NATO, especially the Atlanticist powers, are fueled by an official western narrative that depicts the conflict as one between the plucky little Ukrainian David and the brutish Goliath that is Russia. The invasion is as unwarranted as it is vicious and provides justification for a current tally of $57 billion in lethal and non-lethal aid from the United States alone, with the United Kingdom at its side.

The western print and broadcast media feed the narrative with daily reports of heroic Ukrainian resistance and Russian setbacks, of invading forces targeting civilians and using a captured nuclear facility as an instrument of war. In this environment, the issue of how all this came about, the root causes of deadly conflict between two historically close neighbors, is in a state of deep freeze; but when the time comes for historical assessment Benjamin Abelow’s How the West Brought War to Ukraine will serve as an invaluable primer.

Abelow is both a researcher on international security and a medical professional, and his approach here is a clinical one.  While roundly condemning the invasion, he cites by way of context a litany of western insults to Russia over the past thirty years.  For those who have followed the trajectory of the war, these are familiar, but missing from the mainstream narrative: NATO expansion by 1000 miles to Russia’s borders, despite assurances to the contrary to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and culminating in the statement at the 2008 NATO conference in Bucharest that Ukraine and Georgia were on track for membership; unilateral US renunciation of the anti-ballistic missile and intermediate nuclear forces treaty, followed by placement of ‘defensive’ systems [capable of conversion to offensive mode] in eastern European NATO states; provocatively aggressive joint NATO military exercises on land and in the Black Sea.

Abelow cites a blue-ribbon group of diplomats, scholars, policy experts and senior military figures—including former US Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock, the distinguished US diplomat Chas Freeman, University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer, the British scholar Richard Sakwa and former US army colonel and Trump Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor, all deeply critical of the West’s role in the Ukraine conflict. Perhaps the best single illustration of expert condemnation came from George Kennan, the very architect of containment of the Soviet Union on NATO expansion: “a tragic mistake…..The beginning of a new cold war.’  at very least, NATO actions since the cold war’s end have given the lie to continuing and expanding the alliance as ‘a great zone of peace.”

The author then posits a “shoe on the other foot scenario”: How would we have reacted if the Soviet-led Warsaw pact had prevailed in the Cold War and had not only proceeded to embrace European NATO members but to establish a military presence in Canada and Mexico? This raises a related issue: the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 enshrined the Americas as an inviolable sphere of influence for the US, one that we have regularly invoked in military-political interventions in central and south America. Yet we have denied the right to such a strategic interest in its neighborhood to Russia; our justified self-interest is Russia’s menacing meddling.

Two chapters follow on the general theme of policy missteps [“Russophobia policymakers double down on past mistakes”]  this ‘who’s to blame” theme is basically an elaboration of what has gone before—the myopic failure by the US and its NATO allies to understand the depth of Russian animus over expansion, especially with respect to Ukraine and Georgia. The most revealing testimony to this effect comes from Fiona Hill, a national intelligence officer in 2008, later on senior director for Europe and Russia on President Trump’s national security council, who acknowledges “terrible mistakes.”  Here we may also add the warnings of the US ambassador to Russia at that time, William Burns, who spoke unambiguously of admission of Ukraine and Georgia as ‘the reddest of red lines [for Putin]……nyet means nyet.”

A major strength of Abelow’s argument is his treatment not only of the ongoing conflict but of the possible knock-on catastrophic consequences.  Most obviously, the current limited  proxy war with Russia in Ukraine may explode into a regional conflict or beyond.  Episodes such as the sinking of the Russian warship Moskva in the Black Sea with the loss of forty sailors, and the reported targeted killings of twelve Russian generals, on top of the copious flow of lethal and nonlethal aid from the us and its allies to the Ukrainian side—the us tally alone is $57 billion and counting—are plausible accelerants.

Abelow notes the contradiction in two stated objectives of us support for Ukraine: first, that of enabling Ukraine to mount a robust defense—a humanitarian intervention; second, and emphasized in repeated bulletins from the Biden administration, the intent to “cripple” Russia not only in the current conflict but in any future [unspecified] military adventurism.  This, far from offering protection to Ukraine, guarantees that the war will drag on, with ever greater levels of death and destruction.  It has also led to both Russia and the us on hair-trigger launch policy, raising the specter of two equally catastrophic “next steps”: a grievously wounded Russia lashing out – as Abelow notes, Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has threatened as much – or, accidental or inadvertent nuclear action by, for instance, computer error (false alarms have occurred before, in much less fraught times).

This compelling counter-narrative should surely stimulate further articulation of themes Abelow merely touches on.  To list just a few:  first, one tragic lesson of the war is that, for the present at least, Ukraine in nato is a chimera; Ukrainian President Zelenskiy recognized as much shortly after the invasion with his rueful reflection that “NATO let us down by not letting us in.”  Who knows what madness may yet reverse this, but the fact is that had one nato member leader—perhaps Macron—simply quashed the idea of Ukrainian membership the conflict might have been averted.  Second, Russia cannot help but associate American involvement in the war with the threat of regime change; consider events this century in Kiev, Tbilisi, Bishkek—not to mention Baghdad, Tripoli, and a clear intent in Damascus—along with statements from members of the us congress and the executive branch, and it is hardly fanciful to think of Moscow as the ultimate trophy, raising further the prospect of a preemptive response by Russia. Third, within Ukraine itself, why did Zelenskiy, like Poroschenko before him, do a volte face from an election pledge to pursue positive relations with Russia? Threats from domestic ultranationalist forces have been floated, and were there outside voices of discouragement?

Finally, there is a growing pile of evidence of censorship in the western media of any attempt to question the official narrative.  Why?  If it is as demonstrably accurate as claimed, why fear skeptical questioning?  The most recent instance of this is CBS news’s stifling of an investigative report into diversions of arms from western sources finding their way, not to the front lines in Ukraine, but to black markets in Europe and the Middle East.  As an ironic footnote to this, and for whatever reason, Abelow has learned that Amazon has uncharacteristically refused to allow him sponsored product advertisements on their platform—an important marketing tool given the immense volume of books.

Like the war itself, these questions will persist.  For now, the last word fittingly belongs to Benjamin Abelow: “False narratives lead to bad outcomes.”

Globetrotter________________

This article was produced by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord.

David C. Speedie, a board member of ACURA, was the former chair on International Peace and Security at Carnegie Corporation.

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NEWS

American Journalist Killed Near Kiev

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American Journalist Killed Near Kiev
Brent Renaud attends the 74th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015, in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The Videographer Brent Renaud, a well-known war journalist and a former New York Times correspondent, was shot dead on Sunday in Ukraine, near the capital Kiev, the regional police chief has reported. The newspaper has clarified that it hadn’t sent him on assignment.

The circumstances surrounding Renaud’s death are unclear, but Irpen, the scene of the incident, has seen heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in recent days.

The journalist “paid with his life for trying to highlight the aggressor’s ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness,” Andrey Nebytov wrote on Facebook, referring to the Russian military. In another post shortly afterwards, the police chief shared an image of a bloodied corpse with a bullet wound near the ear, presumably that of Renaud.

In addition to the 51-year-old reporter’s killing, two more correspondents were injured, Nebytov further claimed, adding that they were “rescued from the scene” and taken to a hospital in Kiev.

At the time of writing, the White House had not confirmed reports of Renaud’s death, and said it was consulting with the Ukrainians, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explained.

Renaud was a well-known war correspondent and had reported from conflict zones in the Middle East and Latin America. While he was identified in several reports as a New York Times correspondent, the newspaper on Sunday put out a statement saying that “he was not on assignment for any desk at the Times in Ukraine,” and that he “was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago.” Renaud had last worked for the New York Times in 2015.

Situated on the outskirts of Kiev, Irpen has been the scene of intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces for several days, and it is unclear how or even if Renaud got caught in the middle. Likewise, Nebytov is the only official to have blamed Russia for the shooting.

An unverified video shared by Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli purportedly shows one of Renaud’s companions, who identifies himself as “Juan,” lying on a hospital bed. “Juan” tells Camilli that the journalists were taken past a checkpoint by someone who offered them a ride, when their car was fired upon.

https://twitter.com/annalisacamilli/status/1502978846500573185?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1502978846500573185%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Frussia%2F551809-us-journalist-killed-kiev%2F

The Guardian named him as Juan Arredondo, a Colombian-American photographer. He can be seen in the video wearing a badge of the American Spanish-language network Telemundo, but the network has not yet commented on the incident.

According to the man, the driver turned around, but Renaud was shot in the neck and left behind as the man was taken to hospital, possibly in an ambulance. The man did not say who did the shooting, or whether their ride past the checkpoint was in a civilian or military vehicle.

It is unclear whether anyone else was injured, as Nebytov originally stated that “two more correspondents” had been hit, yet the man named only himself and Renaud as traveling in the vehicle.

Several international journalists were nearby at the time of the shooting, and Bild journalist Paul Ronzheimer shared footage apparently showing the man being evacuated on a stretcher by several men in Ukrainian military and emergency services uniforms.

____________

RT

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NEWS

MSNBC Deletes Tweet After ‘Inaccurate’ Hitler Comparison

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MSNBC Deletes Tweet After ‘Inaccurate’ Hitler Comparison
A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. AFP/Getty Images

MSNBC’s top-rated news program, The Rachel Maddow Show, had to delete a tweet and issue a correction after the Auschwitz Memorial pointed out that it contained a false claim about the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

The tweet in question, which was deleted late on Friday, included a quote from McFaul, a Stanford University professor in international studies and US ambassador to Moscow between 2012 and 2014, who had earlier appeared on the program.

While criticizing Moscow’s recent military attack on Ukraine, McFaul drew comparisons between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, with Hitler apparently coming off more favorably.

“One difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans, German-speaking people. Putin slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate,” McFaul said.

There were no quote marks to accompany the statement posted on the ‘Maddow Blog’ Twitter account, but the tweet included a video clip of McFaul making the comment.

The tweet remained on The Rachel Maddow Show’s page for hours and drew harsh reactions from many in the replies.

Eventually, the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland stepped in to set the record straight.

“On a factual note: Hitler did kill ethnic Germans & German-speaking people: those who opposed the Nazi regime, those who resisted, those who did not fit into the ‘Weltanschauung’ (world-view). He ordered the murder of people with different disabilities & finally the murder of German Jewry,” the institution wrote.

That comment prompted the show to delete the initial tweet and issue a correction. It acknowledged sharing “an inaccurate statement” and expressed regret over the blunder.

McFaul himself tweeted that he “deeply regrets” his comment and acknowledged that “German Jews were a vibrant part of the German population.”

He promised to “never make comparisons to Hitler again” and insisted he would focus only on Putin “the present evil” from now on.

__________

RT

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ENTERTAINMENT

Bob Dylan Book on ‘Modern Song’ to Come Out in November

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Bob Dylan Book on ‘Modern Song’ to Come Out in November
Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2012. Dylan has a new book coming out this fall, a collection of more than 60 essays about songs and songwriters he admires, from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello. The new book called “The Philosophy of Modern Song,” is scheduled for Nov. 8. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Bob Dylan has a new book coming out this fall, a collection of more than 60 essays about songs and songwriters he admires, from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello.

The new book, “The Philosophy of Modern Song,” is his first release of new material since the acclaimed memoir “Chronicles, Volume One” was published in 2004. “The Philosophy of Modern Song” is scheduled for Nov. 8.

“He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal,” according to an announcement issued Tuesday by Simon & Schuster. “And while they (the essays) are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem.”

The 80-year-old singer-songwriter won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 and has continued to tour and record, his most recent album, “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” was released in 2020.

_______

AP

 

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NEWS

Western Media Pull Out of Russia

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Western Media Pull Out of Russia
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). © Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Several Western news organizations halt operations after Moscow criminalized the spread of ‘fake news’

The BBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and Bloomberg have suspended operations in Russia after President Vladimir Putin enacted a law that makes the deliberate spread of disinformation punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

After the anti-fake news law was approved on Friday, CNN said it would “stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward.”

Bloomberg – the news agency founded and owned by US billionaire Michael Bloomberg – similarly said it would “temporarily suspend the work of its journalists inside Russia” and accused Moscow of criminalizing “independent reporting.” The New York-based outlet claimed that the crackdown on disinformation would make it “impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.”

Like Bloomberg, the UK state-funded BBC argued that the law “appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism,” and announced that its Russian-language coverage would continue only from outside Russia.

CNN Center in Atlanta. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News

CNN Center in Atlanta. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News

Spokespersons for ABC and CBS News announced that the networks would not broadcast from Russia while they “assess the situation,” with ABC News calling the legislation a “censorship law.”

The Washington Post responded to the introduction of the new law by removing authors’ names and other data from their Russia-originated publications.

Some internal news: In response to Putin’s threats against reporters in Russia, The Washington Post will remove bylines and datelines from stories produced by our journalists in Russia. Goal is to ensure staff’s safety,” Paul Farhi, one of its writers, said on Twitter, adding that he had “never seen anything like this” during his career.

An hour later, Farhi amended his last statement, recalling that, during the First Gulf War, Post reporter Caryle Murphy had got trapped in Kuwait and had therefore covered the Iraq invasion while in hiding.

Her stories were published w/o bylines, for obvious reasons. Caryle won a Pulitzer for her work,” Farhi said.

Those charged under the new media law could be imprisoned for up to 15 years if they are found guilty of knowingly and deliberately spreading false information about Russia’s conflict with Ukraine in a way that significantly damages national security. Anyone found guilty of defaming the Russian army could also receive a fine of up to $13,500 or three years in prison, while those who call for anti-Russian sanctions could receive fines of up to $5,000.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the State Duma, argued that the law was necessary “to protect our soldiers” and “protect the truth.”

“American social networks, controlled by Washington, launched an information war against Russia,” Volodin declared, adding, “It is necessary to make a decision to combat the spread of fake information.”

Moscow maintains its military offensive in Ukraine is a “special operation” aimed at the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of the country in the name of protecting the people of the two Donbass republics Russia recently recognized. Kiev said the attack was unprovoked, insisting it had not been seeking to retake Donetsk and Lugansk by force. The two republics split from Kiev back in 2014 in the aftermath of the Maidan coup, which ousted Ukraine’s government, with intermittent fighting continuing in the years since.

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Girlfriend’s ‘heart torn in two’ as ‘stuntman’ knifed to death while filming music video

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Girlfriend’s ‘heart torn in two’ as ‘stuntman’ knifed to death while filming music video

A stuntman’s girlfriend has revealed her heartbreak after he was knifed to death while filming a music video.

Devastated Seleka Gathercole said “my heart’s been torn in two” after her partner Shane Jerome, 23, was attacked during a music video shoot.

Shane had been on Brixton High Street shooting the rap video with Lamborghini sports cars, people in balaclavas and a quad bike before a confrontation between two groups broke out.

The victim was rushed towards an ambulance clutching his chest following the savage attack, horrified witnesses said.

Police said Shane was found suffering from a stab wound but a post-mortem examination will be conducted in due course.

Girlfriend’s ‘heart torn in two’ as ‘stuntman’ knifed to death while filming music video
Seleka Gathercole was left devastated after her partner was stabbed to death
(Image: facebook/seleka.gathercole.1)

Paramedics worked to save Jerome, from Thornton Heath, but he was pronounced dead at the scene half an hour later.

Grief-stricken Seleka said: “My heart’s completely torn in two.

“I will never ever ever get over the loss of you – you mean more to me than I could ever explain.”

The bloke’s devastated pals also paid tribute to “one of the best guys they knew”.

shane on motorbike
Shane’s motorbike was left abandoned at the scene
(Image: Snapchat)

Courtney Young wrote: “RIP Shane. I honestly can’t believe it.

“Life is too short, it’s always the least expected. Fly high friend.”

Rebecca Newell added: “Rest in perfect peace to one of the best guys I knew.

“Was always there just a phone call away, forever and always in my heart.”

crime scene brixton stabbing
Shane was stabbed to death outside London Underground station
(Image: Reach plc)

A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but was released with no further action.

Authorities have appealed for any information from people who were in the area at the time.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, leading the investigation said: “Brixton Road near to the tube station is a busy area of London and there were many people in the street, on buses and in cars yesterday evening.

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“We have spoken to a number of witnesses already and I am asking for anyone who was in the area and who may have seen anything, or have footage on their phone or dashcam, to please contact us.

“A young man has tragically lost his life in an attack on a busy high street, I am asking anyone with any information to call the police.”

They can be contacted via 101 quoting reference Cad 7056/21Jul, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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