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Scotland drops plan for immediate push for second independence vote
EDINBURGH Scotland’s devolved government has shelved its immediate plans to hold a second independence referendum until after the terms of Britain’s exit from the United Kingdom are clear, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday. The Scottish parliament in March backed Sturgeon’s bid to hold a new referendum in 2018 or early 2019, but British Prime Minister Theresa May had refused to enter into discussions on the proposal. “We will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately,” she said, adding that she would still aim to offer a new vote on secession after it was clear what Britain’s decision to leave the European Union meant. Scots voted against independence by 55 to 45 percent in 2014 but Sturgeon has argued the Brexit vote changed circumstances because Scots voted overwhelmingly against leaving the EU and they should not be dragged out against their will. However, she had been under pressure to put off a new referendum because of her party’s weak performance in a national election earlier this month. She told the Scottish assembly she had listened carefully to those who were concerned about Brexit but had not wanted another independence vote immediately. She said a choice […]
Lloyds fraud victims bemoan ‘pyrrhic victory’ as compensation scheme drags
By Andrew MacAskill and Lawrence White| LONDON LONDON Lloyds Banking Group is set to miss an end-June deadline for offering compensation to victims of one of Britain’s largest fraud cases, the latest delay in a decade-long struggle by business owners for redress. Two former bankers at Lloyds’ HBOS Reading business were among those jailed in February for their involvement in the scam, which affected 64 people, including Noel Edmonds, a TV presenter and former disc jockey. Lloyds set up a 100 million pound compensation scheme in April and set the end-June deadline for payment to victims hit by the fraud, which involved siphoning off money from struggling businesses. According to one source with knowledge of the matter, less than a fifth of the 64 victims have received compensation offers and only one has reached a settlement with the bank. Edmonds is seeking more than 70 million pounds in compensation for businesses he alleges were destroyed by the fraud. He has set up a website with an “honesty countdown” clock showing the time remaining for Lloyds to meet its self-imposed deadline. Lloyds on Tuesday said it now plans to make compensation offers to some customers by the end of June. Others […]
Hammond warns of “petty politics” threat to good Brexit deal
BERLIN Petty politics are the biggest threat to a good divorce deal between Britain and the European Union, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Tuesday, warning that a bad Brexit agreement could harm the economic interests of both sides. “I am confident that with the political will to put jobs and prosperity first we can achieve an early agreement on a transitional period,” Hammond said at an economic summit of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in Berlin. There was a risk “that somehow we allow petty politics to interfere with economic logic, and we end up with a suboptimal solution that fails to maximise our mutual benefit,” he said. Hammond said that the shift from industry to services in most major economies had led to the economic marginalisation of many people who now view globalisation as a threat. He urged G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg next week to work towards the liberalisation of trade in services. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Thomas Escritt)
UK says 95 buildings fail safety checks after London tower block fire
LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday Britain must hold a national investigation into exterior cladding used on high-rise buildings after all those checked after the deadly London tower block blaze this month failed safety tests. At least 79 people died when a fire that started in a fridge freezer engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block on June 14, trapping many inside their apartments as they slept. Police on Tuesday named a five-year-old boy as the youngest of the dead so far formally identified. The devastating inferno has raised concerns about the cladding used on the facades of buildings, mainly for insulation or to improve their appearance, prompting urgent safety tests to be carried out on similar tower blocks around the country. “Right now, we are at a position where 95 buildings in 32 local authority areas have now failed the tests and that remains a 100 percent failure rate,” May’s spokesman told reporters. “The prime minister said there would need to be a major national investigation into what had gone wrong when cladding which is failing the tests had been fitted on buildings across the country over a number of decades.” The Grenfell disaster, and May’s initially slow […]
Bank of England tightens credit rules for banks after Brexit resilience
By David Milliken and Huw Jones| LONDON LONDON The Bank of England tightened its controls on bank credit to more normal levels on Tuesday, deciding the risk had passed of a big hit to the economy and to lending after last year’s Brexit vote. The BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said British banks must now hold 5.7 billion pounds between them as an additional buffer against bad times, and that it will probably double that in November. After voters decided to leave the European Union a year ago, the FPC cut to zero a requirement that banks create an extra capital buffer as part of a broad range of stimulus measures to help the country cope with the shock. But the economy has performed more strongly than expected since the referendum, despite some recent signs of a slowdown. Some of the central banks’ interest rate setters now think it is time to raise its main interest rate. BoE Governor Mark Carney said the FPC’s action did not in itself imply that monetary policy was also about to tighten. “Monetary policy is the last line of defence to address financial stability issues,” Carney told a news conference. “In that regard, we […]
UK will continue funding EU nuclear fusion project if remains as host – government
The British government said on Tuesday it would continue to fund a collaborative nuclear fusion project with the European Union to 2020 if the bloc extends Britain’s contract to host the facility beyond 2018. The Joint European Torus (JET) project, located in southeast England at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, studies the potential of fusion power as a low-carbon energy source for future generations. It is currently the only operational fusion experiment which is capable of producing fusion energy and is collectively used by more than 40 European laboratories. Britain’s contract to maintain and run the JET project is managed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and is due to end in Dec. 2018. Britain’s decision to leave Euratom, the EU’s framework for nuclear energy safety and development, when it leaves the bloc, has raised concerns about future funding of collaborative nuclear research projects. The government said it was willing to underwrite its share of JET’s running costs until the end of 2020 if the EU extends Britain’s contract to host the facility. “The UK’s commitment to continue funding the facility will apply should the EU approve extending the UK’s contract to host the facility until 2020,” the government […]
Plunge in UK confidence hits Debenhams, adds to slowdown fears
By James Davey and William Schomberg| LONDON LONDON British consumer confidence plunged during the political crisis sparked by Prime Minister Theresa May’s election flop, hitting the sales of general retailers such as Debenhams (DEB.L) just as shoppers’ spending power is undermined by the pound’s fall. Two major surveys showed confidence among British consumers and retailers had fallen back to levels last seen in the wake of the shock 2016 Brexit vote which thrust Britain’s $2.5 trillion (1.96 trillion pounds) economy onto an uncertain path. Polling firm YouGov said it expected economic growth to fall sharply over the coming months while the Confederation of British Industry said retailers were downbeat about July. The tension could be felt on the high street, where the second-biggest department store group, Debenhams, warned that trading had turned volatile. “We have seen an increase in customer uncertainty caused by the overall environment and that has an impact on categories that are related to disposable income,” Chief Executive Sergio Bucher said, as clothes sales proved particularly weak. British consumers have been hit by a sharp rise in inflation, caused in large part by the fall in the value of the pound since Britain voted last June to […]
Uber wins right to contest English tests for London drivers
LONDON Uber said it had won the right to appeal against a court decision in favour of plans by a London regulator to impose new English reading and writing standards in a move which could deprive it of thousands of drivers. In March, the San Francisco-based firm, which allows people to book journeys on their smartphone, lost a court battle against Transport for London (TfL), the latest setback as the authorities crack down on the ride service. Uber has cited TfL data that the language rules, which would involve written tests, could mean about 33,000 private hire drivers out of a total of around 110,000 operating in London would be unable to renew their licences. Drivers applying for a new or renewed licence have until the end of September to prove they meet the more rigorous English language criteria, pushed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan partly in response to pressure from drivers of the city’s traditional black cabs who fear their business model is being undercut. Uber called for the proposals to be delayed until after court proceedings due next February at the very least. “We’re pleased to have secured this appeal to defend tens of thousands of drivers who […]
World’s first ATM machine turns to gold on 50th birthday
LONDON Five decades since it heralded a transformation in the way people obtained and used cash, the world’s first ATM was turned into gold for celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary. The brainchild of Scottish inventor Shepherd-Barron, the first ATM (automated teller machine) was opened on June 27, 1967 at a branch of Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, the first of six cash dispensers commissioned by the bank. English actor Reg Varney, who starred in the British TV comedy show “On The Buses”, was the first person to withdraw cash from the new machine. Now there are an estimated three million cash machines across the globe with some 70,000 cash machines in the UK alone which dispensed 175 billion pounds in 2016. The world’s most northerly machine is at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway and the most southerly located at the McMurdo station at the South Pole. To commemorate the anniversary, Barclays transformed the ATM at its Enfield branch into gold, added a commemorative plaque and placed a red carpet in front for its users. “Even though recent years have seen a huge uptake of digital banking and card payments, cash remains a crucial part of most people’s day-to-day lives,” said Raheel […]
Citi says May’s premiership is not sustainable, UK to have another election within a year
LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is not sustainable beyond a few months and there is likely to be another British national election within the next year, Citi said in a research note. “We continue to think that her premiership is not sustainable beyond a few months, perhaps a year at most, and will be under pressure in the face of contentious parliamentary votes from the very beginning,” Citi said. “Our base case remains that we will have a Conservative leadership contest followed by a new general election within the next 12 months,” the bank said. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)
Johnny Depp may face perjury charges, Australia’s deputy PM warns
The actor’s ex-managers allege he knew he was breaking the law when bringing his dogs into Australia.
US warns Syria over ‘potential’ plan for chemical attack
Syria is planning another chemical attack, the US says, warning it would pay a “heavy price”.
Trump causes ‘major’ shift in global view of US: Pew
The US president and his policies “are broadly unpopular around the globe”, a survey says.
China ‘asks India to withdraw troops’ from Nathu La pass
The area, the Nathu La pass, is used by Indians going for pilgrimages to religious sites in Tibet.
Brazil’s Michel Temer charged with corruption
Charges follow a recording in which Mr Temer seems to encourage payment of hush money.
‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli fraud trial opens in New York
The former pharmaceutical chief denies operating a Ponzi-like scheme that cheated investors.
Colombia’s Farc has completed disarmament, UN says
The transfer of the rebels’ personal weapons was a key condition in last year’s peace agreement.
Senate healthcare bill leaves 22m more without cover, CBO says
Millions of Americans could lose insurance under a Senate bill, a congressional report says.
Crowd catches girl after ride fall
A father describes the moment it happened at a Six Flags theme park in New York.
£100m from West to clean up Russian nuclear base
Western nations are giving Russia nearly £100m to clear up nuclear waste at Andreyeva Bay, a contaminated Cold War submarine base.
The robot that can pick up virtually any object
Scientists at UC Berkeley have created a robot that has learnt to pick up virtually any object.
The EU argues that the rights of the bloc’s citizens should not change as a result of Brexit.
Twenty years on, we review predictions for Hong Kong made when Britain handed the city over to China.
Trump travel ban injunction partly lifted by top US court
The US Supreme Court partly implements the travel and refugee bans pending a full review in October.
US senator to block arms sales to Gulf over Qatar crisis
Influential Republican Bob Corker wants to see a “path forward” to resolving the crisis in the Gulf.
Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube and Twitter form Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism
Today Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube and Twitter collectively announced a new partnership aimed at reducing the accessibility of internet services to terrorists. The new Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism adds structure to existing efforts by the companies to target and remove from major web platforms recruiting materials for terror groups. Read More
Canada nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer jailed for life for murders
A former Ontario nurse is sentenced to life in prison for killing eight elderly people in her care.
Painter Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed for paternity suit
A judge orders the exhumation of the painter’s body to obtain samples for a paternity suit.
Facebook brings new masks, filters and reactions to Messenger video chat
Facebook is bringing a ton of new filters, masks and video reactions to video chats in Messenger, aiming to deliver a more fun experience to younger users on the app and shore up the service against competing video chat apps. Read More
Nigerian president’s Eid speech in Hausa criticised
Greetings in a regional language have stirred rather than quelled rumours over the president’s health.
‘I’m not a bad guy’
El Hadji Diouf had a reputation for bad behaviour as a player, but tells BBC Sport’s Stanley Kwenda this was unfair.
Uptime, YouTube’s experimental app for watching videos with friends, opens to all
YouTube’s experimental app Uptime, which lets you watch videos with friends while reacting and commenting, has now opened up to all users. The app was first launched in March of this year, from Google’s internal incubator, Area 120, as a means of testing a more interactive and social way to watch YouTube. However, it initially required an invite to use it. That requirement was… Read More
Algerians champion traditional dress for Eid al-Fitr
An online campaign is urging Algerians to promote local fashion to mark the end of Ramadan.
South Africa prisoners entertained by ‘strippers’
Officials have confirmed photos of scantily dressed women were taken inside a Johannesburg jail.
Street named after footballer for a day
The Tottenham and Kenyan midfielder has a street named after him in Tanzania – but not for long.
Spain wildfires threaten Doñana nature reserve
About 2,000 people have been evacuated as the fires near the Unesco heritage site.
Blue shark spotted on holiday resort in Majorca
The shark was reportedly 8ft long and had to be put down after it was caught because of a head injury.
Retired UK ambulances saving lives in Syria
Volunteers from the ‘Unity Convoy’ have delivered 100 ambulances to the devastated country.
A decades-old murder and how a Supreme Court decision means freedom for one man, and life in prison for the other
The moment Colombia passenger boat sank
Several people died when a passenger boat sank on a reservoir near the town of Guatapé in north-western Colombia.
Australia wants Five Eyes to squeeze tech firms on encryption
The political rhetoric against strong encryption continues to crank up. Reuters reports today that Australia will be pushing for greater powers for countries to tackle the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorists and criminals at an upcoming meeting of ministers from the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence network. Read More
Quitting while they’re ahead
As Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis announces he is retiring, here are some other stars who quit being an actor.
YouTube’s mobile app will soon better display all video formats, add messaging
On the heels of a major redesign of its desktop site which delivered an overall cleaner look-and-feel and a “dark mode” for nighttime watching, YouTube this week announced it will soon roll out an update to its mobile app, as well. The new app will better support video shot in other formats and orientations, by dynamically adapting its player to whatever video you’re… Read More
Facebook expands its hate-fighting counterspeech initiative in Europe
Facebook has launched a third counterspeech initiative in Europe, partnering with the not-for-profit Institute for Strategic Dialogue for the launch of the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), which is aimed at tackling online extremism and hate speech. Read More
Crunch Report | Apple Rolls Out Early Version Of Its Safe Driving Feature
Today’s Stories Do Not Disturb While Driving feature rolls out in Apple’s newest iOS 11 beta Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users Tantan, China’s… Read More
Periscope vows fix for broadcasters mad that they forfeit tips by deleting replays
Periscope’s new Super Hearts tipping feature that launched yesterday quickly sparked a backlash from the creators it was designed to help earn money. Read More
Facebook equips admins to protect and analyze their Groups
Facebook sees Groups as the core of its push to “build community,” as Mark Zuckerberg detailed in his 6,000-word humanitarian manifesto. So today at its Communities Summit in Chicago, where it assembled 300 admins of top Groups, Facebook is making good on Zuckerberg’s promise to give admins more tools to manage their flocks. Read More
Facebook changes mission statement to ‘bring the world closer together’
“Making the world more open and connected” had one fundamental flaw: it didn’t push for any specific positive outcome from more connection. Technically, it could encompass digital voyeurism via the News Feed, trading in-person friendship for online acquaintanceship or the filter bubbles and echospheres that have further polarized the United States. Read More
Snapchat acquires social map app Zenly for $250M to $350M
Snapchat’s newest feature, Snap Map, is based on its latest acquisition, social mapping startup Zenly. TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has bought Zenly for between $250 million and $350 million in mostly cash and some stock in a deal that closed in late May. Snapchat will keep Zenly running independently, similar to how Facebook lets Instagram run independently. Read More
Periscope lets you buy and send Super Hearts that broadcasters can cash in
Periscope has a new revenue stream and a new way to attract the best live video content to its Twitter-owned app. Today Periscope launches Super Hearts — in-app purchase virtual goods that users buy for real money, send to creators as animated hearts that get them attention in the comment reel and that broadcasters can then redeem with Twitter for a monthly cash payout. Read More
Snapchat launches location-sharing feature Snap Map
Snapchat’s next big feature wants to get you to meet up with friends in real life rather than just watching each other’s lives on your phones. Snap Map lets you share your current location, which appears to friends on a map and updates when you open Snapchat. It’s rolling out today to all iOS and Android users globally. Read More
Pinterest’s camera search Lens gets a new look
Pinterest’s camera search tool, Lens, is getting a makeover today with some updated including the ability to zoom in and out and tap to focus, and making it easier to search with Lens from photos they’ve already taken. Lens is very much a move to try to collapse the distance between the experience within Pinterest the app (or site) and the real world. Users point their camera at… Read More
Russians build three-car fidget spinner
Motor enthusiasts attempt a motorised version of the cult toy, and very nearly succeed.
Twist is Slack without the annoying distractions
When Slack implemented threaded conversations, it seemed like the holy grail for internal communications. Slack finally lets you talk about multiple things in separate conversations. But Slack remains a real-time messaging service at heart, so threads don’t feel native. It works well for many teams, but some companies would prefer something a bit more asynchronous and focused. At the… Read More
Spotify now lets you build playlists with friends inside Messenger
Earlier this year, Spotify introduced a new Messenger bot that let users share song clips with friends. Today, the company is expanding on that bot’s functionality to now allow a group of friends to build a playlist together via Messenger – even if not everyone in the group is on Spotify. The feature, called simply Group Playlists for Messenger, is accessed through… Read More
Instagram Stories hits 250M daily users, adds Live video replays
Instagram Stories is widening its lead over Snapchat and rolling out new features to keep everyone shooting video. Instagram Stories now has 250 million daily active users. That compares to Snapchat’s total 166 million daily actives for its entire app and Instagram’s total 700 million monthly users. Read More
Phhhoto shutters app and pivots to photobooths, blaming Instagram
Animated GIF capture tool and social network Phhhoto is shutting down its app due to server costs becoming unsustainable after getting slammed with competition by Instagram’s copycat Boomerang. Phhhoto will pivot to focus on its parent company HYPNO’s original business — physical photobooths for events. Read More
Tumblr rolls out new content filtering tools with launch of ‘Safe Mode’
Tumblr this morning is rolling out a significant update to its content filtering system with the launch of a new “Safe Mode” for browsing content on its site. While the company already offered the ability to filter explicit content from its search results, Safe Mode goes a step further to also hide sensitive content in your Tumblr Dashboard. The Dashboard is Tumblr’s feed of… Read More
Skype outage causing connectivity issues, company says it’s a “global incident”
Microsoft’s recently updated communications app Skype has been suffering connectivity issues which began on Monday, June 19th, and are continuing today. After hours of downtime on Monday, the company confirmed the issue via a blog post and tweet, which stated that an incident was causing users to either lose connectivity to the application or lose their ability to send and receive… Read More
Don’t feed the trolls — tackle their abuse of platform power instead
In the ever accelerating social media feedback loops of the modern Internet age, ‘don’t feed the trolls’ is a phrase that appears to have fallen out of fashion, favor and collective memory. Read More
UK Conservative Party chairman says Brexit must be binding
LONDON Britain’s vote to leave the European Union must be binding, the chairman of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party said on Sunday, and the exit process will be started before the next general election. Patrick McLoughlin, who was made party chairman by new Prime Minister Theresa May last week, told the BBC’s Marr Show that the vote for Brexit meant Britain must now get control of its own borders and that immigration must be reduced. Asked about a report in the Observer newspaper that an “emergency brake” on the free movement of people was being discussed, which would allow Britain to keep access to the European single market, McLoughlin said: “Let us see.” “I’m quite clear that the referendum result is binding on parliament,” he said. Although May has vowed to press ahead with Brexit, supporters of remaining in the EU contend the referendum result is only advisory. At least seven lawsuits have been filed arguing that parliament must have the final decision on whether to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the two-year countdown to leave the bloc. May has indicated negotiations on an exit could not start this year. London’s High Court ruled last week that […]
UK seeks to assuage global worries over path to Brexit
CHENGDU, China Britain’s new finance minister Philip Hammond, under pressure from his peers from around the world, said on Sunday there could be more clarity later this year on how the country will exit the European Union. Several nations called on Britain during weekend talks on the world economy to explain how the politically fraught Brexit process will unfold in order to avoid adding a new drag on the long and slow recovery from the financial crisis. “It’s right at the top of the agenda here at the G20,” Hammond said at the end of the two-day meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies in the Chinese city of Chengdu. “It’s a new factor affecting the global economic outlook and it has increased the uncertainty which the world economy faces.” Britain was plunged into its biggest political crisis in decades by the June 23 Brexit vote and so far it has resisted calls from some other EU countries to trigger quickly the two-year process for negotiating its exit from the bloc. Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been in her job for less than two weeks, traveled to Germany and France last week to explain why she needed time […]
Conservative lawmaker Liam Fox to announce leadership bid on Thursday
LONDON Former British Defence Secretary Liam Fox will formally announce his bid to succeed Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday, he told radio station LBC on Wednesday. Asked whether he would be launching his bid on Thursday, he said: “I will.” Fox will become the second candidate to run for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party after Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb announced his candidacy earlier on Wednesday. Cameron announced last Friday that he would step down as leader following the country’s vote to leave the European Union. (Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)
‘For heaven’s sake man, go!’ PM Cameron tells Labour leader Corbyn
LONDON Prime Minister David Cameron, who promised to resign after Britain voted to leave the European Union, had some advice for his opposite number in the Labour Party on Wednesday: “For heaven’s sake man, go!” An overwhelming majority of Labour lawmakers passed a no confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday and almost all his senior policy team have withdrawn their support in protest at his leadership, but Corbyn has refused to step down. Cameron, speaking in parliament, said it was not in the national interest for Corbyn to remain in his post. “For heaven’s sake man, go,” Cameron said, drawing cheers from members of both parties. “It might be in my party’s interest for him to sit there, it’s not in the national interest.” Cameron’s unusually blunt comments illustrate the pressure Corbyn is under to quit after Britain voted to leave the EU following a campaign in which critics say Corbyn did not do enough to persuade voters to back ‘Remain’. Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said on BBC radio he thought Corbyn’s position was “untenable” while former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Sky TV: “I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is going to stay. I think he’s going […]
Sturgeon’s plea to stay in Europe rebuffed in Brussels
BRUSSELS Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon pleaded her case in Brussels on Wednesday for Scots to stay in the EU, showing how Britain’s vote to leave the bloc could splinter the United Kingdom. But she drew a rebuff from Spain and a mixed response from European officials. EU leaders met for the first time without Britain. Outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron flew home after briefing his 27 peers on Tuesday evening on last week’s referendum defeat. Sturgeon has said that Scotland, where voters backed staying in the EU by a near 2-1 majority, must not be dragged out of the EU against its will. She wants to negotiate directly with Brussels to protect the membership rights of Scots. But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, struggling to prevent the autonomous region of Catalonia from breaking away, said Madrid would oppose any EU negotiation with Scotland. “If the United Kingdom leaves, Scotland leaves,” he said after the first meeting of the 27 EU partners without a British representative. The 27 EU leaders sent a firm message to London that there would be “no negotiations of any kind” on future trade relations until the UK officially triggers the EU treaty’s exit clause. “This should […]
British expats flock to Brussels city halls to become Belgian
BRUSSELS Belgium is receiving hundreds of requests from British nationals keen to get Belgian citizenship following the decision of British voters in last Thursday’s referendum to back leaving the European Union, officials said. Nearly 24,000 British citizens live in Belgium, about a third of them in the capital Brussels, where many work for the EU institutions and for NATO which are based in the city. Dominique Dufourny, the mayor of the Ixelles borough of Brussels, said around 40 people had come to get the necessary documents in the last few days. “It doesn’t stop. Some have been queuing up for information since 7.30 this morning,” she said. Other Brussels boroughs speak of similar numbers of British citizens requesting information about becoming Belgians. About 50 requests have arrived on local government desks in the affluent suburbs of Uccle and Woluwe Saint Lambert. “Normally we rarely have anybody requesting information about citizenship,” a spokeswoman for Woluwe Saint Lambert said. “Since Friday there has been an explosion.” People are eligible for Belgian citizenship if they have lived and worked in the country for more than five years and can show a basic command of one of the country’s three official languages: Dutch, French […]
Rescuers trying to reach 20 children lost in Welsh mountains
LONDON Police said rescuers had found 20 schoolchildren who had become lost on Wednesday in the Brecon Beacons, a mountainous area in Wales. “We are pleased to confirm that following a search and rescue operation on the Brecon Beacons this afternoon, all 26 members of the party involved have been accounted for,” a police spokesman said. “It is also very pleasing that no one was injured, but as a precaution they are being taken to hospital to be checked.” (Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)
PM candidate Crabb says immigration is red line in Brexit talks
LONDON Britain must secure control over immigration in divorce negotiations with the European Union, Stephen Crabb, the first candidate to put himself forward to succeed David Cameron as British prime minister, said on Wednesday. Work and pensions minister Crabb, who supported Britain staying in the EU at last week’s vote, ruled out holding another referendum and said his Conservative Party and the country must now unite in focusing on negotiating the best Brexit deal. Cameron, who led the Remain campaign, announced his resignation after Britain voted by 52 to 48 percent to leave the bloc. A leadership contest within the ruling Conservative Party will take place to elect his successor by early September. Crabb, a lawmaker since 2005, said it was vital Britain sought as close an economic relationship with the EU as it had now but it was also clear immigration curbs would be needed. “The British people want control of immigration … For us, this is a red-line,” said Crabb, launching his leadership bid alongside business minister Sajid Javid who he said he would appoint as his finance minister if he won the top job. “Brexit needs to do what it says on the tin,” he said, adding […]
Britain’s future at stake in opposition turmoil over Brexit
LONDON In the global maelstrom created by Britain’s vote to the leave the European Union, turbulence within the opposition Labour Party looks like a ripple. But it could define the country for years to come. Jeremy Corbyn, the 67-year old activist behind a grassroots left-wing rebranding of Britain’s main opposition, is clinging on as party leader in the face of an attempt to oust him by his more centrist fellow Labour lawmakers. Three quarters of them backed a motion of no confidence on Tuesday, arguing that Corbyn’s lukewarm endorsement of the EU contributed to a vote to leave that has plunged the country into its worst crisis since World War Two. With Britain now poised to negotiate an exit far more painful than many voters anticipated, Corbyn’s critics say Labour needs to present a strong, united alternative to the ruling Conservative party’s ascendant eurosceptic right wing. Without that, they argue, Britain could lose the protections for workers, consumers and the environment within a free market afforded by the EU in a rush towards untrammelled corporate power, a reduced social safety net and international isolationism. Pro-Brexit Conservatives say that completely misrepresents their aims, emphasising a “one-nation” approach they say will balance […]
UK appoints interior ministry official to head EU divorce unit
LONDON Britain has appointed Oliver Robbins, a senior official at the interior ministry, to head the unit that will help negotiate an exit from the European Union. Robbins, Second Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, will move to his new role as head of the EU unit on July 4, the Cabinet Office said. “He will offer the very best advice and support to the government through these unprecedented times to ensure we secure the best possible deal for the UK,” Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood said. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)
UK car industry – demand not hit by Brexit vote yet, forecast unchanged
LONDON UK car dealerships saw the same number of customers over the weekend as before Britons voted for Brexit last week, Britain’s car industry association said on Wednesday, noting that it would not change its forecast for record sales this year. Car sales hit an all-time high of 2.63 million last year, boosted by cheap finance and easily available credit. The CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the pace of sales growth had slowed in recent months but that he was not immediately changing the forecast of about 2.7 million registrations in 2016. “I wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions on changing forecasts. In essence, the fundamentals of the market are still strong,” Mike Hawes told reporters at a briefing in London. “As I understand it, footfall in the dealerships over the weekend was pretty much where it should be despite three rugby test matches and six football matches which normally does have an impact.” At the same briefing, Jaguar Land Rover’s strategy director and Toyota’s Europe CEO said they saw no short-term changes to their investment plans, which are often made years in advance. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which said it was committed to its […]
Brexit: EU leaders meet without Cameron
EU leaders meet for the first time without British PM David Cameron to discuss plans for the UK’s exit from the bloc after last week’s vote.
Chagos islanders cannot return home, says Supreme Court
Former residents of the Chagos Islands who were forcibly removed from their homeland lose their appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court to return home.
Everest: Indian police couple’s summit claim investigated
Police investigate claims by two climbers who say they are India’s first couple to scale Mount Everest, after doubt is cast on photos of the ascent.
Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 41 dead and more than 230 hurt
A suicide bomb and gun attack at Istanbul airport kills 41 people, at least 13 of them foreign nationals, and injures more than 230.
Syria conflict: Rebels ‘move on IS-held town near Iraq border’
US-backed Syrian rebels say they are advancing on Albu Kamal, an eastern town on the border with Iraq held by so-called Islamic State.
Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore dies aged 84
Pioneering rock guitarist Scotty Moore, who was a member of Elvis Presley’s original band dies, aged 84.
Asia shares continue global rebound
Stock markets in Asia continue to rise, following gains seen in the US and Europe on Tuesday.
Scotland determined to stay in EU, Sturgeon says in Brussels
BRUSSELS Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday on a short-notice visit to Brussels that Scotland was intent on remaining in the European Union, despite last week’s British vote to quit the bloc. After meeting European Parliament President Martin Schulz, the pro-independence leader told reporters: “Scotland is determined to stay in the EU.” Schulz said he had “listened and learned”. (Reporting by Svebor Kranjc; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)
El Chapo: Mexico judge halts extradition to US
A judge in Mexico temporarily halts the extradition of the country’s most notorious drugs lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to the US.
Istanbul airport attack: Reporter describes departure lounge destruction
Reporter Hugh Sykes describes the scene as he walks through Istanbul airport following a gun and bomb attack.
S Korea, US and Japan in first ever joint missile drill
South Korea, the US and Japan conduct their first joint missile-tracking drill off Hawaii, a week after North Korea’s mid-range missile test.
Gay marriage in spotlight in Australia election
Same-sex marriage has become a front-page issue in the final days of Australia’s election campaign.
How Myanmar’s National Symphony Orchestra, once barely allowed to perform, is trying to win the hearts of its one-time military masters.
Being called a ‘bitch’
Why is Hillary Clinton so often associated with the word “bitch” – and how offensive is it?
Brexit: The divide between generations
Meet the Hannons, dealing with the family fallout from the Brexit vote
Maureen and Roger have waited 11 years to visit the place where their son Matthew died in Iraq, to lay a small cross there and to try to understand why he died.
A guide to Khoisan culture and language
The Khoisan are South Africa’s oldest inhabitants. The BBC spent the day with one of the group to learn more about their way of life.
Italian restoration workers at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem have uncovered a mosaic of an angel that was previously hidden beneath plaster.
Jean-Claude Juncker: ‘If you are out, you are out’
Jean-Claude Juncker has told the BBC that the UK has to face the consequences of leaving the EU.
Brussels ‘last supper’ marks UK Brexit
The BBC’s Laurence Peter is following all the latest developments at an EU crisis summit in Brussels after the UK voted last week to leave the 28-member bloc.
BBC journalist reports from Istanbul plane
A gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed at least 28 people and injured up to 60, with reports of at least one suicide bomber.
Justin Trudeau gets comic book treatment in Marvel tale
A cartoon depiction of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears on the cover of a new Marvel comic book coming out in August.
Reality Check: Have MEPs done ‘proper jobs’?
Nigel Farage says most MEPs have never done a ‘proper job’ in their lives. Is he right?
Twitter is putting together a team focused on VR and AR
Twitter is beginning to devote resources toward building out a dedicated VR/AR-focused team. The social media company has hired former Apple designer Alessandro Sabatelli to lead the initiative as Twitter’s Director of VR and AR, Will Mason over at UploadVR reports. Update: Twitter has confirmed the hire and said that the Augmented Reality team will be housed within the… Read More
Nasa tests its most powerful booster yet
Nasa has conducted a second round of test on a booster which is designed to send human beings deep into space.
Twitter targets smaller businesses with launch of Dashboard
Twitter — hot on the heels of the launch of its app for influencers, Twitter Engage — has today released yet another standalone application: Twitter Dashboard. The new service, available on both web and mobile, is aimed at businesses that want to use Twitter to connect with their customers. The app offers a suite of tools, including customized feeds of tweets, tools for… Read More
Pinterest is soon launching a way to search for products with your smartphone camera
Pinterest today has a new tool for finding things that you might want to buy — and they’ll be things you see in the real world. Here’s how it will work: go to Pinterest search and tap the visual search button, point your camera at anything you’re interested in, and it’ll automatically do a visual search for everything you see. Pinterest will populate the photo with… Read More
How To Fix Out The HBO GO Activation Problems On Android TV?
If you are getting the issue in activating HBO GO on your Android TV, then check out the facile steps to fix out the issues and give you error-free streaming. All HBOGO users, | read more