Sir John Chilcot accuses Tony Blair of not being straight with the

first_imgSir John recalled his reaction on reading that: “You’re giving away far too much. You’re making a binding commitment by one sovereign government to another which you can’t fulfil. You’re not in a position to fulfil it. I mean he didn’t even know the legal position at that point.”Mr Blair said when the report was released that he took responsibility for shortcomings identified by Sir John’s report and felt “more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know” for the grief of those whose loved ones died.But he said he still believed he was right to remove Saddam and insisted that the inquiry’s findings should “lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit”.Blair may face private prosecutionOn Wednesday it emerged a former chief-of-staff of the Iraqi army is seeking to bring a private prosecution against Mr Blair over the war.General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat alleges Mr Blair committed “the crime of aggression” by invading Iraq.Alongside the former PM, the general has mounted a legal fight against two other key ministers at the time, then foreign secretary Jack Straw and then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.Westminster Magistrates’ Court refused to issue summonses in November citing immunity granted to former ministers. Asked whether Mr Blair gave the fullest version of events, Sir John replied: “I think it was from his perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful and I think that came out also in his press conference after the launch statement. A combination of still images from video shows former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at an inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq WarCredit:Reuters The general has applied to the High Court in London for permission to seek judicial review of the magistrates court decision. Sir John Chilcot has said he does not believe Tony Blair was “straight with the nation” about his decisions in the run-up to the Iraq War.The chairman of the public inquiry into the 2003 conflict said the former prime minister had been “emotionally truthful” in his account of events leading up to the war.In an interview with the BBC Sir John was then asked if Mr Blair was as truthful with him and the public as he should have been during the seven-year inquiry. A combination of still images from video shows former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at an inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Blair wanted to exert influence on AmericaSir John also discussed Mr Blair’s relationship with the then US president George W Bush in the build-up to the war.”Tony Blair made much of, at various points, the need to exert influence on American policy making,” he said.”To do that he said in terms at one point, ‘I have to accept their strategic objective, regime change, in order to exert influence.’ For what purpose? To get them to alter their policy? Of course not. So in effect it was a passive strategy. Just go along.”center_img “I think he was under very great emotional pressure during those sessions… he was suffering. He was deeply engaged. Now in that state of mind and mood you fall back on your instinctive skill and reaction, I think.” “You can make an argument around that, both ethical and – well, there is an ethical argument I think,” he added.A spokesman for Mr Blair told the BBC that “all these issues” had been dealt with.The Iraq Inquiry report said that war was launched on the basis of “flawed” intelligence at a time when dictator Saddam Hussein presented “no imminent threat” and diplomatic options for containing him had not been exhausted. The report did not support claimsthat Mr Blair agreed a deal “signed in blood” to topple Saddam at a key meeting with George Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in 2002. But it revealed that in July that year – eight months before Parliament approved military action – the PM committed himself in writing to backing the US president over Iraq, telling him: “I will be with you whatever.” He replied: “Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her.”I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.”Sir John said Mr Blair made the case for invasion “pinning it on my belief, not on the fact, what the assessed intelligence said.” Sir John Chilcott Sir John ChilcottCredit:Reuterslast_img read more

Swiss test wireless cameras to monitor newborns vital signs

(AFP) Swiss researchers said Monday they have developed a wireless camera system to monitor vital signs in premature babies, a move that could replace uncomfortable and highly inaccurate skin sensors.This handout picture taken and released by Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, on April 10, 2017 shows two scientists in a laboratory speaking to each other as they check the operation of cameras intended to monitor vital signs in premature babies. (Photo: AFP)The skin sensors currently used to monitor vital signs in babies born prematurely generate false alarms in up to 90 percent of cases, mainly set off by the baby’s movement.“This is a source of discomfort for the babies, because we have to check on them every time,” Jean-Claude Fauchere, a doctor at University Hospital Zurich’s neonatal clinic, explained in a statement.“It’s also a significant stress factor for nurses and a poor use of their time –- it distracts them from managing real emergencies and can affect quality of care,” he added.His hospital is preparing to begin tests of a new, contactless system created by researchers at the EPFL polytechnical university in Lausanne and at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, CSEM, in Neuchatel, the two schools said in a statement.Researchers elsewhere have also shown an interest in camera-based baby monitoring, including a British company, Oxehealth, which has run tests on newborns at a hospital in Oxford, England.The system devised in Switzerland should allow premature babies kept warm in neonatal incubators to be medically monitored using highly sensitive cameras that detect the newborn’s pulse by detecting and analysing its skin colour, which changes ever so slightly every time its heart beats.“Breathing is monitored by measuring movements of its thorax and shoulders. At night, infrared cameras take over, which means that monitoring can be carried out non-stop,” the statement said.The optical system was designed by CSEM researchers, who chose cameras sensitive enough to detect minute changes in skin colour, while the EPFL researchers designed algorithms to process the data in real time, it said.“We ran an initial study on a group of adults, where we looked at a defined patch of skin on their foreheads,” EPFL doctoral student Sibylle Fallet said in the statement.“With our algorithms we can track this area when the person moves, isolate the skin pixels and use minor changes in their colour to determine the pulse,” she said, adding that “the tests showed that the cameras produced practically the same results as conventional sensors.”Once the system has been extensively tested on premature babies, it could one day replace skin sensors altogether, the schools said.“In addition to cutting down on false alarms, it would also be more comfortable for the babies,” the statement said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related‘We need justice’ …family calls for independent probe into death of baby burnt at GPHCFebruary 21, 2019In “latest news”GPHC slapped with $20M lawsuit after baby falls from cotDecember 1, 2015In “Business”GPHC receives fetal monitors from Help the Kids OrganisationDecember 1, 2014In “Business” read more