These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
UK arms sales to rogue regimes continue
Britain is continuing to sell arms to what have been described as the rogue regimes of the Middle East. It is selling the arms under an opaque licensing system. According to a report, an increasing number of military consignments are being sold under the Open Individual Export License, or OIEL, after quiet government encouragement in 2015, despite criticism from British MPs. Under these licenses, numerous consignments can be exported to one destination under a single license for up to five years after initial scrutiny. They are supposed to be “less sensitive goods;” but campaigners say this vague requirement is often flouted.
Poland in crisis mode
The recent developments in Poland have shown how the country is already moving to the brink of a serious political crisis. It may be no surprise that the developments in Poland have already drawn reactions from the European Union and elsewhere. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party is already under European Union scrutiny for policies that the opposition says are anti-democratic. Earlier this month, Poland’s former prime minister, Donald Tusk, surprised many by saying that the country had as much power as Germany to end the European Union. Tusk, who is the president of the European Council, also accused the ruling PiS Party of sending negative signals to Brussels. He warned that this could undermine Poland’s credibility in the EU.
Fake news on Syria
Western media outlets launched a full-scale media campaign a couple of weeks ago as the Syrian army was poised to liberate Aleppo, the war-torn country’s second largest city. The eastern part of the city fell to anti-government militants, among them al-Qaeda-affiliated groups such as Jebhat al-Nusra, four years ago. But ironically enough, Western mainstream media and the supporters of the militant groups, including the US, turned a blind eye to the presence of the terrorists in the city and instead launched a media hype about what they called war crimes by the Syrian government.