The north needs more than to be ‘a new London’ | Sarah Longlands

After five years, the northern powerhouse has to move beyond its big-city thinking

It was in 2014 that the then chancellor, George Osborne, used the phrase “northern powerhouse” at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. His speech was set against a backdrop of steam-powered engines that had driven the Industrial Revolution in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But five years on, what exactly has been done to drive the north of England’s economy forward?

Certainly, as a slogan, the northern powerhouse has helped to put the north on the political map. And it has also provided a focus for the area to make the case for greater investment and devolution of powers. The phrase is powerful too because it invokes a visceral response, one of identity, innovation and dynamism, which speaks to northerners’ desire for a greater level of self-determination. We’ve seen this most recently in the #PowerUpTheNorth campaign, in which 33 newspapers across the region worked together to demand devolution of powers and resources to the north.

Many people living and working in the north are not seeing the benefits of increased productivity in their pockets

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Forget China – it’s America’s own economic system that’s broken | Robert Reich

US weakness is inbuilt – the big 500 companies owe loyalty only to themselves and the public is shut out from prosperity

Xi Jinping might possibly agree next weekend on further steps to bring down China’s trade imbalance with the US, giving Donald Trump a face-saving way of ending his trade war.

Related: Elizabeth Warren’s economic nationalism vision shows there’s a better way | Robert Reich

These giant corporations have no particular allegiance to America. Their only responsibility is to their shareholders

Related: The gig is up: America’s booming economy is built on hollow promises | Robert Reich

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

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Trump Ordered Secret Cyber Attacks On Iran As An “Alternative” To War Thursday Night

It’s been revealed that President Trump did order an attack on Iran – but not a military assault – instead, the US initiated a major cyber attack against an Iranian intelligence outfit the Pentagon believes was part of last week’s limpet mine incident involving two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. 

According to Yahoo Newswhich first broke the story – which was later confirmed Saturday evening by CNN and The Washington Post – the “retaliatory digital strike” was launched on Thursday evening just as the world was bracing itself for possible US airstrikes on Iran

On Thursday evening, U.S. Cyber Command launched a retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships, according to two former intelligence officials.

Image via FT.com

17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>The report relies on unnamed defense sources, which further added more details in a CNN follow-up, including that the group is tied to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and that the spy group had used unique software to track tankers that had been targeted in last week’s June 13 incident. 

17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>CNN reported as follows

USCC [U.S. Cyber Command] attacked the spy group, which has ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, after Iran attacked ships in the region, the officials said.

The US official added the strike targeted an Iranian spy group’s computer software that was used to track the tankers that were targeted in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>And the AP also noted that Thursday night’s cyber operation involved disabling computer systems which control Iran’s rocket and missile launchers, according to anonymous US officials. Trump was said to have ordered the cyber operations against IRGC computer systems as an alternative to starting an overt war. 

17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>”Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike,” according to the AP’s reporting.  

17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>The Pentagon has neither confirmed or denied the report; however, the Department of Homeland Security over the weekend said that cyber attacks from Iranian state-linked sources have increased dramatically in the past weeks as tensions have soared. 

The DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement Saturday that it “is aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activity directed at United States industries and government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies.”

    “We will continue to work with our intelligence community and cybersecurity partners to monitor Iranian cyber activity, share information, and take steps to keep America and our allies safe,” the DHS statement added.

    17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>The effectiveness of this latest alleged American cyber-attack is completely unknown at this point, and has not been confirmed by either the US or Iranian side.

    17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>Assuming it is indeed accurate, there’s little doubt this is a well-timed controlled and purposeful “leak” out of the Pentagon or White House designed to underscore the “tough” response to the Iranians out of Washington.