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Jul 7, 2015

Britain pays tribute to 7/7 victims 10 years after London bombings

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron led somber tributes on Tuesday as Britain commemorated the 10th anniversary of attacks that killed 56 people in London, the first suicide bombings by Islamist militants in western Europe.

Relatives of the victims, survivors, and senior politicians gathered to remember those killed in the July 7 2005 bombings with emotions still raw after a massacre in Tunisia last month, Britain’s worst loss of life in a militant assault since London.

Jul 6, 2015

Britain remembers 7/7 victims 10 years after London bombings

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will fall silent on Tuesday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of attacks targeting London public transport which killed 56 people, the first suicide bombings by Islamist militants in western Europe.

Relatives of the victims, survivors, royalty and senior politicians will gather to remember those killed in the July 7 2005 bombings with emotions still raw after a massacre in Tunisia last month, Britain’s worst loss of life in an incident involving militants since the London attacks.

Jul 6, 2015

Cameron’s fight against militancy leads to battle over freedoms

LONDON (Reuters) – A decade after four Britons in London carried out the first suicide bombings by Islamist militants in Western Europe, Britain is planning new anti-terror laws that critics say are an assault on freedoms and will not work.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government wants to ramp up powers this year to ban “extremist” groups, close mosques where radicals thrive, stop extremist broadcasts, and give police and intelligence services broader powers to monitor communications.

Jul 1, 2015

Sotheby’s sees record London contemporary art sale despite Bacon failure

LONDON (Reuters) – Andy Warhol’s “One Dollar”, the first in his dollar bill series, fetched 20.9 million pounds ($32.4 million) at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, the top-seller in what the auction house said was its highest ever total sales for an auction of contemporary art in London.

However, the auction’s star attraction, Francis Bacon’s “Study for a Pope I”, which had been estimated at 25 to 35 million pounds, went unsold after bids failed to reach the reserve price.

Jun 24, 2015

Queen Elizabeth might have to leave crumbling Buckingham Palace

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth might have to move out of Buckingham Palace for an extended period under plans being considered to allow builders to carry out millions of pounds of repairs to the crumbling building.

The 300-year-old palace needs about 150 million pounds ($240 million) worth of work to fix the roofs and replace old wiring, ancient decorating and dated plumbing, a royal source said on Wednesday.

Jun 23, 2015

Pakistani cleric launches anti-ISIS curriculum in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – A prominent Pakistani Islamic cleric launched a “counter-terrorism” curriculum in London on Tuesday, to rebut the message of militant groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) and stop young people becoming radicalized and heading to Syria.

Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, a politician, scholar and fiery orator, said he wanted his 900-page curriculum, containing theological and ideological arguments to undermine extremists, to be taught not just at mosques and Islamic institutions but at schools across Britain.

Jun 22, 2015

European police team to take on IS social media propaganda

LONDON (Reuters) – A Europe-wide police unit is to be set up next month with the aim of shutting down social media accounts used by key Islamic State (IS) militants to spread propaganda and recruit foreigners to their cause, Europol said on Monday.

The small police team will scour the internet and try to take down accounts of IS ringleaders within hours of being detected, in a bid to dent a propaganda machine which is reckoned to send out about 100,000 tweets a day.

Jun 19, 2015

English city stunned by family’s flight to join Islamic State

BRADFORD, England (Reuters) – Zahoor Ahmed shakes his head in disbelief as he surveys the back of a terraced house belonging to the family of the three Dawood sisters, believed to have traveled to Syria to join Islamic State militants and brought their nine children with them.

“Why would you go to Syria? I don’t understand it,” said Ahmed, 52, wearing traditional Muslim attire as he surveyed the unremarkable street in the northern English city of Bradford, where he said he had never encountered extremism.

Jun 12, 2015

British royals return to Runnymede, where Magna Carta sealed 800 years ago

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth will return on Monday to the setting where 800 years ago one of her predecessors accepted the Magna Carta, the English document that put limits on the power of the crown for the first time and laid the foundation for modern freedoms.

The Magna Carta, Latin for “Great Charter”, was ratified by King John of England in June 1215, at Runnymede, about 20 miles west of London, after an uprising by his barons. It established certain rights of the English people and placed the monarch under the rule of law.

Jun 11, 2015

UK terrorism law watchdog calls for major surveillance overhaul

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s terrorism law watchdog said on Thursday the legal framework underpinning security services’ ability to spy on the public’s communications was fragmented, undemocratic and “in the long run intolerable.”

David Anderson, Britain’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, said the framework overseeing the interception of emails, phone calls and online activity by police and spies needed a major overhaul, and that the government needed to spell out why the authorities were pressing for even more powers.