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Britain says ‘comfort letters’ to IRA suspects no longer valid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

Sep 2, 2014

British minister 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.

Sep 2, 2014

Britain rejects London mayor’s ‘Boris Island’ airport plan

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – A plan to build a major new
airport to the east of London was rejected by a
government-appointed commission on Tuesday, dealing a blow to
its high-profile backer, the city’s mayor Boris Johnson.

The Airports Commission said having dropped the idea of
building a costly new airport in the Thames Estuary, nicknamed
Boris Island, it would now decide by next year whether to expand
Heathrow airport to the west of London or Gatwick to the south.

Sep 1, 2014

Britain unveils powers to strip suspected Islamist fighters of passports

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday announced plans to strip suspected Islamist militants of their passports temporarily, to combat the threat posed by radicalized Britons returning from Syria and Iraq.

The proposals come days after Cameron raised Britain’s terrorism alert to its second-highest level, saying Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq posed the country’s greatest-ever security risk.

Aug 31, 2014

Scottish nationalist leader dismisses claim of sinister campaign tactics

LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of Scotland’s pro-independence campaign Alex Salmond on Sunday dismissed an accusation that grassroots supporters had used “organized street mobbery” to try to silence a series of street debates hosted by an opposition lawmaker.

The two sides in debate over Scotland’s future have been trading barbs ahead of a Sept. 18 vote on whether to become an independent state, or to keep the country’s 307-year-old union with England and Wales intact.

Aug 28, 2014

British PM Cameron suffers blow as lawmaker defects to anti-EU UKIP party

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a setback on Thursday when a lawmaker from his ruling Conservative party unexpectedly defected to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) party, which wants Britain to leave the European Union.

The move, by Douglas Carswell, a Eurosceptic, comes eight months before a national election in which UKIP threatens Cameron’s re-election chances. UKIP won May’s European elections in Britain after taking votes from the Conservatives.

Aug 28, 2014

Cameron suffers blow as MP defects to UKIP

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a setback on Thursday when a lawmaker from his ruling Conservative party unexpectedly defected to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) party, which wants Britain to leave the European Union.

The move, by Douglas Carswell, a Eurosceptic, comes eight months before a national election in which UKIP threatens Cameron’s re-election chances. UKIP won May’s European elections in Britain after taking votes from the Conservatives.

Aug 22, 2014

Pressure mounts on Europeans to take more action against Islamic State

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – European leaders face calls to take direct action against the Islamic State including in Syria after the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, but politicians are reluctant to take the lead after previous missteps in the region.

The release of a video this week showing Foley’s beheading by a black-clad Islamic State (IS) militant with a British accent has emerged as a possible game-changer in the fight against the jihadist group.