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Nov 3, 2014

British schoolboy jailed for stabbing teacher to death in class

LONDON (Reuters) – A teenage British schoolboy was jailed for at least 20 years on Monday after pleading guilty to stabbing to death a teacher he had developed a hatred of in front of horrified pupils during a lesson at a college in northern England.

William Cornick, then aged 15, murdered Ann Maguire, 61, in April in what was believed to be the first killing of a British teacher by a student in almost 20 years, sending shockwaves around the country where violent school incidents are rare.

Nov 3, 2014

UK has ‘once in generation’ chance to expose child abuse – Theresa May

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has a “once in a generation” chance to expose the state failures that allowed widespread child sex abuse to occur, although finding an acceptable figure to head a major public inquiry will be difficult, the government said on Monday.

In recent years, Britain has been left shell-shocked by a series of horrific revelations about decades of nationwide sex abuse, with perpetrators ranging from well-known celebrities to gangs of taxi drivers preying on vulnerable young girls.

Nov 3, 2014

Branson denies ignoring safety concerns over Virgin spacecraft

LONDON (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson rejected on Monday media suggestions that he had ignored safety warnings about his Virgin Galactic spaceship before it crashed during a test flight.

One pilot died and the other was badly injured last Friday when SpaceShipTwo crashed in California’s Mojave Desert. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading an investigation into the cause of the accident.

Oct 31, 2014

UK child sex abuse inquiry in chaos as second head quits

LONDON (Reuters) – A major public inquiry into the British state’s failure to stop decades of child sex abuse, and whether political figures tried to cover it up, was in chaos on Friday after the second head of the investigation quit before it has even started work.

The decision by Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, to step down is a major embarrassment for Prime Minister David Cameron’s government which has promised the inquiry would leave “no stone unturned” to find the truth about widespread claims of organised sex abuse.

Oct 30, 2014

Ex-Libyan rebel leader allowed to sue Britain over torture claim

LONDON (Reuters) – A former Libyan Islamist commander won the legal right to sue Britain for damages over the years of torture he says he suffered at the hands of Muammar Gaddafi’s henchmen after being illegally handed to Libya by British and U.S. spies.

The ruling on Thursday by the Court of Appeal in London could open the way for litigation against the British government in similar torture or rendition cases.

Oct 23, 2014

Islamist preacher rejects link to Ottawa shootings, warns of threat to Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s most high-profile Islamist preacher rejected suggestions on Thursday he had influenced the man believed to have shot dead a soldier in Ottawa, but warned there could be similar attacks in Britain from angry radicalized Muslims.

Canadian police are investigating a man named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Muslim convert, as a possible suspect in the shootings around Canada’s parliament building on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Oct 21, 2014

Outgoing UK spy chief rejects mass surveillance claims

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The outgoing head of Britain’s
eavesdropping agency GCHQ issued a stout defence on Tuesday of
the work of his spies who have faced criticism following
revelations by Edward Snowden, saying they would rather quit
than carry out mass surveillance.

Privacy groups and some lawmakers accused GCHQ of the
widespread illegal monitoring of electronic communications after
Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, leaked documents
in June last year disclosing details of its activities and those
of its U.S. counterpart the National Security Agency (NSA).

Oct 16, 2014

Britain warns of ‘exceptionally high’ level of anti-terrorism activity

LONDON (Reuters) – British police are carrying out security investigations at an “exceptionally high” pace not seen in years to disrupt potentially deadly plots directed from abroad, notably Syria, the country’s top counter-terrorism officer said on Friday.

Mark Rowley, Britain’s national policing spokesman for counter-terrorism, said the police had made 218 arrests so far this year while dozens of vulnerable people were also being referred to de-radicalisation programs.

Oct 14, 2014

British ex-PM Blair may have been terrorism target, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) – A man charged in Britain with terrorism offences at a trial so sensitive that prosecutors sought to have it heard entirely in secret might have been planning an attack on ex-prime minister Tony Blair, a court heard on Tuesday.

Erol Incedal, 26, was arrested in October last year with another man, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadja, who last week admitted possessing a bomb-making document on a memory card, prosecutor Richard Whittam said.

Oct 13, 2014

Insight – Why Britain is still losing its fight against radicalisation

LONDON (Reuters) – Mizanur Rahman laughs when he recalls the de-radicalisation programme he was sent on in 2008 after he was released from a British jail where he had served two years for inciting violence against British and American troops.

“I’d go there, I’d sign my name, play pool with some other radicals that I was in prison with and I’d go home,” said Rahman, arrested again last month on suspicion of terrorism offences. He denies wrongdoing and has not been charged.