UK

  • Prince Harry petitions UK government to provide security, says he’s not safe there
    London [UK] (ANI): Prince Harry has said that his family is unsafe in England and has threatened to take legal action against the British government if it does not provide security for him while he is there.According to Page Six, Harry claimed he offered to pay for the arrangement. He stepped down from his royal duties in 2020 and moved to North America with his family amid tensions with Buckingham Palace. The Duke of Sussex pays for a private security team, but lawyers claim more protection is needed in his homeland, as his family “has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats,” according to a statement.Lawyers put the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court on notice in September that his legal team will seek a judicial review if the government does not provide security for the prince, wife Meghan Markle, and children Archie and Lilibet, sources said.“The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer,” the statement read.Prince Harry’s security “was compromised due to the absence of police protection” during his last visit to the UK in July, lawyers said, as per Page Six. (Image source: Instagram)
  • Boris Johnson’s office apologizes to Queen Elizabeth for holding parties on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral
    London [UK] (ANI): UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office on Friday apologized to the royal family for holding staff parties in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral last year, when COVID-19 rules barred indoor socializing.“It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and Number 10 has apologized to the Palace,” Xinhua News Agency reported quoting a spokesperson for British Prime Minister on Friday. This came as reports about a string of lockdown-breaching gatherings organized by Downing Street officials over the past two years have enraged the British public and threatened Johnson’s premiership.On Wednesday Johnson apologized for attending a Downing Street garden party during the country’s first lockdown in 2020.At the weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons (lower house of the British Parliament), Johnson admitted that he attended the gathering in the back garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020.The prime minister conceded: “With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.”Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, raged against Johnson’s “ridiculous” apology, saying the prime minister’s excuse that he “did not realize he was at a party” was “offensive” to the British public.Starmer urged Johnson to “do the decent thing and resign.”In response, Johnson insisted that everyone should wait until the inquiry by Sue Gray, the senior […]
  • British Prince Andrew stripped of military honours over sex assault accusations
    London [UK] (ANI): Soon after a New York judge gave the green light to a civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that Britain’s Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17, the Queen’s stripped The Duke of York of his military ranks and royal patronage.The Duke of York will defend the sex assault case as a private citizen. British Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, is stripped of his military ranks and royal patronage after facing sex assault accusations, according to the press service of Buckingham Palace.“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” The Royal Family said in a statement on Thursday.“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the statement added.It came after human rights activist Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan and accused Prince Andrew of raping her when she was 17 years old. However, Prince Andrew has denied the allegations, reported CNN.The New York judge on Wednesday ruled against the motion by Andrew’s legal team to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre. She alleged that she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to perform sex acts with the prince at the age of 17. Andrew has vigorously denied those claims, […]
  • UK to kick-off negotiations for Free Trade Agreement with India
    London: (ANI): The UK and India will launch negotiations on an ambitious Free Trade Agreement at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, said Britain’s Department for International Trade on Wednesday (local time). Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal will meet UK’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan here to formally start talks on a deal that could create huge benefits for both countries, said the UK Department for International Trade in a press release on Wednesday (local time).The agreement will create huge benefits for both countries and could boost our total trade by up to euro 28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages by up to euro 3 billion across the UK, the release added. Trevelyan is in New Delhi to officially launch negotiations on a new ambitious free trade deal with the world’s biggest democracy. The UK wants an agreement that slashes barriers to doing business and trading with India’s euro 2 trillion economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky. “A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the statement on Wednesday. “As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country,” he added. A deal […]
  • UK high court allows Uyghur advocacy group to proceed with forced labour case
    London [UK] (ANI): The High Court of England and Wales on Wednesday allowed Uyghur rights advocacy group to proceed with a forced labour case against UK authorities for permitting the importation of cotton goods produced with Uyghur forced labour in China.The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) of Munich, Germany, and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) had registered a case against states and actors involved in human rights violations, alleging that cotton goods produced by Uyghurs in detention camps in Xinjiang are entering the UK, reported Radio Free Asia. Roseanne Gerin, writing in Radio Free Asia said that rights groups also argued that a 19th-century law prohibiting the importation of prison-made goods is being violated by the purchase of cotton goods produced by forced labour.GLAN said a court win would set a “world-first precedent” by confirming that the UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act — originally targeting money laundering and other illegal activities of organized crime — also applies to proceeds companies accumulate from so-called atrocity crimes, GLAN’s statement said.Witness statements, leaked government documents, satellite imagery, a secret memorandum from within the textile industry, and documents that the Chinese government has attempted to remove from the internet will prove the case, GLAN said in a statement.“All evidence points to cotton made using forced labour coming into the UK from the Uyghur region, East Turkestan,” Siobhan Allen, a GLAN legal officer, said in a statement.“Living in a […]
  • UK-based NGO expresses concern over humanitarian crisis affecting Afghan children
    Kabul [Afghanistan] (ANI): UK-based international NGO “Save the Children” has expressed grave concern over the humanitarian crisis affecting Afghan children and said the cold weather has greatly increased problems for the young in the country.Save the Children said that millions are hungry, out of school, displaced, and face the threat of cold weather. They need urgent humanitarian assistance, Tolo News reported citing the organisation’s statement. “Families at the moment are struggling to eat. Nearly five million children are one step away from famine, so it is absolutely critical that the international community continue to support Afghanistan,” said Kristiana Marton, an officer at Save the Children.Ahmad Hussain, 11, is one of millions of Afghan children who is working to afford food for his 11-member family. He said that poverty forced him to leave school.“I was in school, but I left it after my father lost his job. Every day, I earn about 50 to 60 afghani,” Ahmad Hussain told Tolo News. “I polish shoes to find the money to buy bread for my family; in these cold days, few people come,” said Kaihan.Afghanistan has been in turmoil since the Taliban took control of the war-torn nation in mid-August.Moreover, the humanitarian crisis has spiked since international aid has dried up. (Image source: Instagram)
  • Windsor Castle to become no-fly zone over concerns for Queen’s safety
    London [UK] (ANI/Sputnik): Windsor Castle, the official royal residence of British monarchs, will become a no-fly zone due to the concerns for the safety of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s media reported on Sunday.The decision on the security measure was taken after an attacker armed with a crossbow entered the castle’s grounds at the end of December, threatening to kill the Queen, according to the Sun. From January 27, planes and unmanned aerial vehicles will be prohibited from flying over the residence at an altitude of 2,500 feet, the news said. Under the order, flying within 1.4 miles from the castle walls will be deemed a crime, the Sun noted.The UK civil aviation authority said the ban was in the public interest.The compliance with the decree will be monitored by air traffic control, and in the event of a violation fighters will be dispatched to escort the plane that enters the zone and does not respond to radio warnings. The police guarding the castle will also receive more powers to take down illegal drones. (Image source: Unsplash)
  • Voices in the UK grow louder to revoke Blair’s knighthood
    London [UK]: Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are coming together to join the call to strip former prime minister Tony Blair of his recently awarded knighthood for his role in Iraq war.An online petition was set up in response to Blair’s knighthood with the oldest and most senior British order of chivalry- Knight Companion of the Noblest Order of the Garter in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s honours list. As of Wednesday, there were a total of 700,000 signatures on the online petition. The opinion poll, published by UK polling company YouGov, revealed 63 per cent of Britons are opposed to Blair being knighted. The survey was based on responses from 2,441 Britons. It suggested that most Labour Party voters voted against the move.The petition says Blair is “the least deserving person of any public honour”. It calls for Blair to be held accountable for “war crimes”, reported Aljazeera.It added, “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society. He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts,”Blair, an ex-Labour Party leader served as UK’s Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. He has been facing criticism from UK people for his role in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, reported Aljazeera.The 2003 Invasion of Iraq followed the removal […]
  • India welcomes Joint Statement by US, UK, Russia, France and China, aimed at preventing nuclear war and arms race
    New Delhi [India]: India on Friday welcomed the Joint Statement on preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms race which was given by the leaders of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States on Monday.“We welcome the Joint Statement this week, which reaffirms the importance of addressing nuclear threats, and underscores the desire to work towards creating a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all.”, said Bagchi in a statement. Bagchi cleared India’s stance on the No First Use posture and the non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states.“As a responsible nuclear weapon state, India has a doctrine of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence based on a No First Use posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. India remains committed to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament”, he said in a statement.He added that India’s resolution at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) stands for steps to reduce the risk of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons and India will continue to contribute to global nuclear disarmament.“India will continue to contribute further to the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.”, said the statement.”, said the statement.Earlier, the leaders of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States on Monday (local time) reiterated their commitment to de-targeting and reaffirmed that […]
  • UK COVID-19 cases top 14 million
    London [UK]: Britain reported another 179,756 COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 14,015,065, according to official figures released Thursday.The country also reported a further 231 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 149,515, with 17,988 COVID-19 patients still in hospital. New data revealed that the epicentre of the current COVID outbreak in Britain has moved from London to the North West of England.Figures from the UK Health Security Agency’s latest surveillance report also showed a sharp rise in hospital admissions in older people, especially those aged over 85.British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that more than 20 National Health Service (NHS) trusts have now declared a critical incident.“There are 137 trusts, there are 24 which are critical. It is not entirely unusual for hospitals to go critical over the winter, often with things like the flu pandemic, but there are very real pressures which I absolutely recognise,” he told Sky News.He added that an additional 5,000 doctors and 10,000 more nurses are in place across the country compared to last year.Meanwhile, an estimated 1.3 million people in Britain were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of December 6, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.The figure, which only accounts for the four weeks to December 6, represents 2 per cent of the country’s entire population.The […]
  • UK reports over 190,000 daily COVID-19 cases
    London [UK]: Britain reported 194,747 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 13,835,334, according to official figures released Wednesday.The country also reported a further 334 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 149,284, with 17,276 COVID-19 patients still in hospital. Meanwhile, an estimated one in 15 people in England had COVID in the week up to Dec. 31 last year, the equivalent to 3,270,800 people, the British Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.The figure for the week ending December 31 was up from 2.3 million in the week to December 23. It marked the highest number since comparable figures began in autumn 2020.Earlier Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson led a cabinet meeting where he recommended sticking with England’s Plan B, which includes work-from-home guidance and mandatory face masks in most public indoor venues.The move came despite the record infection numbers and increasing pressure on hospitals, with several National Health Service (NHS) trusts declaring critical incidents.The prime minister’s official spokesman said there are more than 20 such incidents at the moment.Also, people in England who test positive on a lateral flow device will no longer need a follow-up PCR to begin their isolation period if they do not have symptoms, the UK Health Security Agency has confirmed.It’s also been announced that pre-departure testing will no longer be […]
  • UK logs over 2,00,000 daily COVID-19 cases for first time since start of pandemic
    London [UK]: The United Kingdom has reported 218,724 COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period, exceeding 200,000 daily cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Xinhua News Agency reported citing official figures on Tuesday.According to the news agency, this brought the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 13,641,520. The country also reported a further 48 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 148,941, with 14,126 COVID-19 patients still in hospital, as per the official release cited by Xinhua News Agency.Earlier on Tuesday, British Health Secretary told Sky News that there’s nothing in data at this point that suggests that Britain needs to move away from Plan B, which includes guidance to work from home and mandatory face masks in most public indoor venues.The British government is not planning to cut the isolation period from seven days to five days, as the United States has done, he said.More than 90 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and around 82 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures cited by Xinhua News Agency.