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Sep 28, 2014

Europe schism haunts British PM Cameron as pre-election battle drums begin

BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The British
Conservative party’s schism over Europe marred Prime Minister
David Cameron’s last major party conference before a 2015
election, overshadowing his party’s attempt to pitch a growing
economy and lower welfare spending to voters.

The defection of a second Conservative lawmaker to the
anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party on the eve of the
conference ratcheted up the pressure on Cameron to take a
tougher line on Europe, immigration and welfare less than eight
months before a national election in May.

Sep 26, 2014

British parliament set to approve air strikes against IS in Iraq

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron urged lawmakers on Friday to vote in favour of Britain joining U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, hours ahead of a crunch parliamentary vote he is expected to win.

Approval would mean Britain embarking on its first military campaign since it launched air strikes in 2011 against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, seeing it join a coalition that includes the United States, France and Middle Eastern allies.

Sep 25, 2014

UK parliament set to approve Iraq air strikes against Islamic State

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to win approval from parliament to join U.S.-led air strikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq at a specially convened session on Friday.

A coalition including the United States and Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has already started bombing Islamic State targets both in Iraq and Syria. France has also taken part in the strikes on the insurgents in Iraq, although so far not in Syria.

Sep 25, 2014

Ryder Cup rivalry with U.S. prompts UKIP’s Farage to back Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – When it comes to golf, Nigel Farage loves Europe.

In a cheeky video appeal ahead of golf’s biggest grudge match, the head of Britain’s anti-European Union UKIP party implored EU citizens to raise the battle cry for Europe against their cousins in the United States.

“I’m Nigel Farage and I love Europe – No I really do. The wine, the food, the excellent transport systems, the clogs and the greatest golfers in the world,” Farage said in a mock party political broadcast posted online.

Sep 24, 2014

New York mayor hails Labour leader Miliband as next PM

MANCHESTER England (Reuters) – Bill de Blasio, New York’s Democrat mayor, endorsed Britain’s harried Labour Party leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday, calling him an extraordinary politician on course to win “a great victory” at a national election next year.

Speaking at Labour’s annual conference, the last before the election in May, de Blasio praised the British politician’s speech a day earlier even though media and some Labour activists said it had fallen flat.

Sep 24, 2014

New York mayor hails Britain’s Labour leader Miliband as next PM

MANCHESTER England (Reuters) – Bill de Blasio, New York’s Democrat mayor, endorsed Britain’s harried opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday, calling him an extraordinary politician on course to win “a great victory” at a national election next year.

Speaking at Labour’s annual conference, the last before the election in May, de Blasio praised the British politician’s speech a day earlier even though media and some Labour activists said it had fallen flat.

Sep 17, 2014

Eyeing ‘fatal blow’ against IS, Britain lays ground to join U.S. air strikes

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government is preparing the ground to join the United States in launching air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, but is moving cautiously to ensure it avoids a parliamentary defeat and acts as part of a regional coalition.

Britain was quick to join U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq a decade ago. But a war-weary public and parliament’s rejection last year of air strikes on Syria have made Prime Minister David Cameron wary.

Sep 4, 2014

UK opposition leader to Scots: Spurn a breakaway because PM Cameron is on way out

LONDON (Reuters) – Ed Miliband, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, will tell Scots on Thursday to reject independence in a referendum later this month, promising he will win a national election next year and give them the change they crave.

Seeking to tap into a dislike of Prime Minister David Cameron’s right-leaning Conservative party in Scotland, where it has just one of 59 UK parliamentary seats, Miliband will say Cameron is set to lose a May 2015 election and that his own left-leaning party will give Scotland new powers and policies.

Sep 3, 2014

Britain says ‘comfort letters’ to IRA suspects no longer valid

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Wednesday that letters issued to Irish nationalist militants telling them they were no long wanted by police should no longer be relied upon as a guarantee of immunity from prosecution.

As part of a 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence over Britain’s rule of Northern Ireland, around 200 suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) received ‘comfort letters’ saying they were no longer considered ‘wanted’ by police.

Sep 2, 2014

Theresa May accuses officials of ‘dereliction of duty’ in child abuse scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s interior minister on Tuesday accused local authorities in the English town of Rotherham of a “complete dereliction of duty” for the way they responded to the sexual exploitation of at least 1,400 children by men of mostly Pakistani heritage.

Speaking in parliament, Home Secretary Theresa May said the government was considering investigating the local council in the northern English town, and specifically whether “institutionalised political correctness” – or a fear of being branded racist – was to blame for the cases being mishandled.