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first_imgCoordinated U.S.-Russian leadership is vital for this international effort because the two countries hold the largest nuclear stockpiles and are most experienced in dealing with nuclear security. This joint effort should promote and support enhanced intelligence and law enforcement by the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and international police organizations.English and Russian language versions of the complete report are available. Researchers from the United States and Russia issued a joint assessment Monday (June 6) on the global threat of nuclear terrorism, warning of a persistent danger that terrorists could obtain or make a nuclear device and use it with catastrophic consequences.The first joint threat assessment by experts from the world’s two major nuclear powers concludes: “If current approaches toward eliminating the threat are not replaced with a sense of urgency and resolve, the question will become not if but when, and on what scale, the first act of nuclear terrorism occurs.”The study recommends measures to tighten security over existing nuclear weapons and the nuclear materials that terrorists would need to make a crude nuclear bomb, along with expanded police and intelligence cooperation to interdict nuclear smuggling and stop terrorist plots. The report also calls for improved protection of nuclear facilities that might be sabotaged, and of radiological materials that might be used in a dirty bomb.The “The U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment on Nuclear Terrorism” report, released in Cambridge and in Moscow, results from a nearly yearlong partnership by authorities on nuclear security from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies in Moscow, a leading Russian research center.The lead U.S. and Russian authors are Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a senior fellow in the Belfer Center and a former director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Pavel S. Zolotarev, a retired army general who is deputy director of Moscow’s Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, and former head of the Information and Analysis Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense.“If you look at the U.S. and Russia together, we own about 90 percent of the problem — more of the weapons, less of the nuclear materials. So it’s only right that these two countries share their expertise and look hard at ways to work together to lower the risks,” said Mowatt-Larssen. “The United States and Russia have never produced a document that could be said to represent a common understanding of the nuclear terrorism threat. This can now be used as a basis for driving action in both governments.”“Russia and the United States have paid more attention to nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence,” Zolotarev said, “even though neither of our two countries has a political need to rely on mutual nuclear deterrence any longer. As a result, we pay insufficient attention to the threat of nuclear terrorism, which constitutes a more real threat than the enormous arsenals of nuclear weapons in both countries. The threat of nuclear terrorism is increasing. Our response should anticipate the dynamics of the threat rather than lag behind it.”The researchers’ joint assessment was reviewed and endorsed by a group of retired U.S. and Russian senior military and intelligence officers, led by Gen. Anatoliy S. Kulikov (a former interior minister) and Gen. Eugene E. Habiger (former head of the U.S. Strategic Command). This “Elbe Group” was established last October to create an informal communication channel on security issues of concern to both the United States and Russia.The joint threat assessment was coordinated by the Kennedy School’s U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, which is directed by William Tobey, a senior fellow in the Belfer Center and former top official in the National Nuclear Security Administration. The assessment project was supported by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit organization in Washington that works to reduce threats from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.“The joint threat assessment accomplishes something that so far governments have been unable to do: gauge the threat of nuclear terrorism from differing national perspectives, and thereby form the basis for effective action to defeat it,” said Tobey. “This will help to overcome the No. 1 barrier to improved nuclear security — complacency.”The assessment examines potential terrorist pathways to a nuclear attack, among them buying or stealing an existing weapon, or getting highly enriched uranium or plutonium and fashioning a crude nuclear bomb of their own, which the study warns is distressingly plausible.It also concludes that while the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden damages the groups’ capacity to carry out nuclear terrorism, surviving leaders retain nuclear terror ambitions.The joint report documents that al Qaeda has been working for years to acquire the materials and expertise needed to make a crude nuclear bomb, getting as far as carrying out explosive tests for their nuclear program in the Afghan desert. The report outlines the steps that terrorists could follow and envisions how such a terrorist plot might be structured — and how countries should work together to stop it.The study notes that, in addition to al Qaeda, terrorists from the North Caucasus region remain committed to carrying out catastrophic attacks, have carried out reconnaissance at nuclear weapons storage sites, have plotted to hijack a submarine with nuclear weapons on board, have planted radiological materials in Moscow, and have repeatedly threatened to attack nuclear power plants. These groups include factions in Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and elsewhere.Among the assessment’s recommendations:All stocks of nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium, and plutonium must be protected against all plausible terrorist and criminal threats, and the number of locations where these stocks exist must be reduced as much as practicable.last_img read more

first_img JAMES CALLAGHAN Played by Tony Ward Years as Prime Minister: 1976 to 1979 Here’s Wilson’s successor, a man whose name is regularly bandied about as Britain’s worst prime minister. (Some disagree.) Immediately, Callaghan had to deal with Britain’s trade unions and cut government spending. It went the exact opposite of well. His decision to halt union wage increases at five percent led to the Winter of Discontent of 1978-79, which “paralyzed hospital care, refuse collection, and other essential services,” according to The Encyclopedia Britannica. Even worse: in March 1979, Callaghan was issued a vote of no confidence by his own government, paving the way for an election against Margaret Thatcher. Take a wild guess how that went. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 28, 2015 ANTHONY EDEN Played by Michael Elwyn Years as Prime Minister: 1955 to 1957 Before he turned 40, Eden was a World War I veteran, parliament member, and the foreign secretary for Chamberlain. Eden served the latter role again under Churchill on two separate occasions until 1955. Tabbed as the Conservative Party’s new leader, Eden’s political rise crashed in 1956—and it involved foreign policy! Eden, along with France and Israel, used military force against Egypt’s General Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the Suez Canal. Just one problem: America wasn’t onboard. “Eden was left to face the humiliating fact that Britain was no longer a world power, and he was obliged to withdraw British forces,” according to the BBC. Oops! Predictably, Eden resigned in January 1957. The Audience HAROLD WILSON Played by Richard McCabe Years as Prime Minister: 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976 Wilson’s resignation in 1976 was a shock. Not only was he held in high regard—if you’re to believe Mirren, he was the Queen’s favorite—there was no Watergate or intern scandal hanging over his head. Wilson simply wanted to make room for the next wave. They had much to live up to. Under his watch, Wilson suspended the death penalty and legalized abortion (though under certain conditions). He also kept British troops out of the Vietnam War. “The immense popularity of Harold Wilson had been rooted in his plain style as well as in his flexible politics,” The New York Times observed in his 1995 obituary. Related Shows MARGARET THATCHER Played by Judith Ivey Years as Prime Minister: 1979 to 1990 Thatcher reversed the mess Callaghan left behind. Also, she was Britain’s first prime female minister, and the first elected to three terms. However, her historic reign was not all tea and crumpets. She led the British to victory in the Falklands War, but was nearly killed after the IRA planted a bomb at a Conservative Party conference. Her policies—including reforming trade unions and reducing social expenditures—helped lower inflation, but caused unemployment levels to skyrocket. And Thatcher actually resigned in the middle of her third term because her agenda (featuring the disastrous poll tax) clashed with fellow party members, who challenged her leadership. But when your life is turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep, you’ve done OK. JOHN MAJOR Played by Dylan Baker Years as Prime Minister: 1990 to 1997 Talk about a tough act to follow. Major, the son of an ex-circus performer, actually did an OK job succeeding Thatcher. (He was knighted, an honor not bestowed upon the hopeless—we think.) Under Major’s regime, there was a temporary cease-fire between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Island; plus, in the mid-1990s, unemployment and inflation decreased. Unfortunately, Major was never especially popular. Why? His first years in office occurred during an economic recession. Large tax increases did not endear Major to regular folk and neither did their perception of him as a “colorless and indecisive” leader. Ouch! Plus, the Conservative Party had been in power since 1979. Change was overdue. “It’s not you, it’s me” extends into politics! TONY BLAIR Played by Rufus Wright Years as Prime Minister: 1997 to 2007 This guy had a lot of firsts: At the age of 41, the whippersnapper became the youngest-ever leader of the Labour Party when John Smith suddenly died of a heart attack. Then at 43, he became the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, winning by the largest landslide in Labour Party history. Within months of taking office, Princess Diana died and as seen in Morgan’s movie The Queen (which won Mirren her Oscar), Blair famously helped the Royal Family navigate the stormy waters caused by their initial public reaction to the death of “The People’s Princess.” It wasn’t all smooth sailing for him though—in the first six years in office, Blair sent British troops to battle a whopping five times—the most of any prime minister to date. WINSTON CHURCHILL Played by Dakin Matthews Years as Prime Minister: 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955 Churchill is probably why the United Kingdom isn’t speaking German right now. During World War II, Churchill refused to follow former PM Neville Chamberlain’s accommodating attitude toward the Nazis. He got the political parties to work together and filled important positions with qualified hires. Most importantly, Churchill partnered with the United States and Soviet Union to defeat the Axis Powers, and even helped develop a strategy afterward. Still, the living icon—he was knighted and won a Nobel Prize for Literature—adored the far-younger queen. “I think my grandfather was platonically in love with her,” said Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames. “As a beautiful young woman she embodied all his romantic ideas of monarchy.” DAVID CAMERON Played by Rufus Wright Years as Prime Minister: 2010 to present Queen Elizabeth’s latest chat buddy initially brought youthful optimism to his leadership role. Cameron became Prime Minister at 43, the youngest to hold the position since 1812. “I want to switch on a whole new generation,” he told the BBC in 2005. During his regime, Cameron has promoted gay marriage and formed a pact with Liberal Democrats, leading to the first coalition government since World War II. Cameron has been confronted with a cold blast of political reality. Currently, he is under fire for not reducing immigration into the UK, a promise he made five years ago that he has not kept. View Comments Her Majesty has arrived! The Audience, Peter Morgan’s fictionalized account of Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly visits with her prime ministers, opens at the Schoenfeld Theater March 8 after a celebrated debut across the pond. Helen Mirren again portrays the monarch, this time holding court over a series of conversations with Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and more. Here’s a cheat sheet to give you a leg up on these royal sitdowns! GORDON BROWN Played by Rod McLachlan Years as Prime Minister: 2007 to 2010 Brown had the misfortune of being on board during the 2008 financial crisis leading to everything being not-so OK in the UK: massive unemployment, foreclosures, and a national budget deficit that would not go away. (Sound familiar, guys?) Brown might be forgiven for that, not so much the financial improprieties in Parliament and in his own cabinet. He certainly didn’t help matters by expensing 12,000 pounds in personal housecleaning and gardening services with parliamentary funds. His approval ratings dwindled. A change in power from the Labour Party to the Conservative Party, led to Brown’s 2010 resignation. QUEEN ELIZABETH II Played by Helen Mirren Prince Harry and William’s grandma was named queen after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. She was officially crowned on June 2, 1953, a few months after her 27th birthday. Queen Elizabeth’s job is very ceremonial: attending events, reading letters from citizens, meeting with various politicians and dignitaries, and discussing daily and future business. It’s basically like a less klutzy version of The Princess Diaries. Among those duties is meeting with the current prime minister every Wednesday. Do they talk about horses, the Queen’s passion? We don’t know. Records are not kept and neither party discloses details.last_img read more

first_imgManchester City’s grip on the Barclays Premier League title was loosened further after a controversial Glenn Murray goal put Crystal Palace on the way to a 2-1 victory. Press Association Joel Ward pumped the ball back into the danger area after City had cleared a corner, Joe Ledley flicked it on and Dann’s shot was blocked by Hart only for Murray to tap in the rebound. City furiously appealed for offside, claiming both Dann and Murray were beyond the last man, but the flag stayed down and skipper Vincent Kompany’s lengthy protests to referee Michael Oliver proved in vain. But if there were question marks about the first goal, there was nothing wrong with the second three minutes after the interval. Murray was barged over 25 yards out and Puncheon stepped up to curl a stunning free-kick over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Hart. City’s frustration grew when they had appeals for a penalty waved away after the ball appeared to strike Murray’s hand in the area. Toure’s ferocious curler 12 minutes from the end halved the deficit but they could not find an equaliser, with the final whistle sparking wild celebrations in south London – and probably parts of west London as well. So poor is their current form – three defeats in five matches – that City have suddenly found themselves as the team Liverpool and Tottenham will be eyeing up as they attempt to steal fourth spot and, unthinkably, deny them a Champions League place. By contrast it was another big scalp and a memorable night for Palace, whose revival under manager Alan Pardew shows no sign of letting up. The hosts gave City a warning that this would not be a routine assignment in the opening seconds when Martin Kelly whipped the ball in behind City’s defence. Puncheon slid in but could not get a touch and Wilfred Zaha, also at full stretch as he arrived at the far post, could only lift the ball over the top. It was a big chance and the miss almost proved costly when Sergio Aguero fashioned City’s first opportunity, racing onto Joe Hart’s long clearance and rounding Julian Speroni. With the angle too tight to shoot, Aguero squared the ball to David Silva but Palace keeper Speroni got back to deflect the shot over with his shoulder. Aguero took matters into his own hands moments later, shifting the ball to make space on the edge of the area and beating Speroni with his shot, only to see it come back off the foot of the post. With the pressure building a goal seemed inevitable, but when it came it went to Palace. Murray fired Palace ahead in the first half, despite both he and Scott Dann appearing to be offside, and Jason Puncheon crashed in a superb second to deal what looks to be a fatal blow to City’s already slim hopes of retaining their crown. The fading champions pulled one back through Yaya Toure but are now nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea, having slipped to fourth place following wins for Arsenal and Manchester United over Easter. last_img read more

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