UK defends Ukraine refugee policy amid anger at slow pace
The British government is defending its Ukraine refugee policy despite figures indicating that only 12,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war have arrived in the U.K. The figure from the government includes 10,800 people who came to join family members in Britain, and just 1,200 under the Homes for Ukraine program set up to match refuges with volunteer hosts.
UK plan for tougher asylum-seeker rules draws criticism
The British government has announced plans to toughen immigration rules to make it harder for people who arrive by unauthorized routes such as small boats and truck stowaways to be given asylum. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool, File)LONDON – The British government said Wednesday it will toughen immigration rules to make it harder for people who arrive by unauthorized routes such as small boats and truck stowaways to be given asylum. In 2020, about 8,500 people arrived in Britain by crossing the Channel in small boats, and several died trying to make the journey. The U.K. government says 35,099 people made asylum applications in Britain in the year to March 2020. Since leaving the European Union, the U.K. no longer has a deal with its European neighbors to return people who have snuck across the Channel.
London police chief says she won't quit after vigil clashes
But the vigil ended with clashes between police and those attending, and many questioned whether the police force was too heavy-handed. Home Secretary Priti Patel said scenes from the vigil in south London were “upsetting." AdPolice were seen scuffling with some women at the event, and one woman was seen pinned to the ground by two officers. Everard, a marketing executive, was last seen walking home from a friend’s apartment in south London at about 10:30 p.m. on March 3. Her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Kent, more than 50 miles southeast of London, on Wednesday.
London police tactics at vigil for slain woman draw scrutiny
People gather, at the band stand in Clapham Common, in memory of Sarah Everard, after an official vigil was cancelled, in London, Saturday, March 13, 2021. A serving British police officer accused of the kidnap and murder of a woman in London has appeared in court for the first time. Wayne Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnapping and killing 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who went missing while walking home from a friends apartment in south London on March 3. Hundreds of people disregarded a judge's ruling and police requests by gathering at Clapham Common in honor of Sarah Everard, 33, who last was seen alive near the south London park on March 3. Demonstrators said they wanted to draw attention to the fear and danger many women see as a daily part of British life.
UK's official terror threat level lowered to 'substantial'
The U.K. government said Monday Feb. 8, 2021, that Britains official terrorism threat level has been lowered, to reflect the decreased threat of attacks in Europe. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, pool)LONDON – Britain’s official terrorism threat level has been lowered from “severe” to “substantial” because the tempo of attacks in Europe has lessened. In November, the threat level was raised to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, after deadly attacks in Austria and France. She said that despite the lowered level, “terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security.”The center, which was established in 2003, sets the threat level based on intelligence about international terrorism at home and overseas. AdThe U.K. level has been at severe most of the time since 2014, briefly rising to “critical” amid violent attacks in 2017.
France relaxes its ban on trucks entering from Britain
Quick tests will be accepted if they are able to detect the new virus variant, Djebbari said. The problem, he explained, is that the empty trucks sitting in England can’t reach the continent to pick up deliveries for Britain. The virus is blamed for 1.7 million deaths worldwide, including more than 68,000 in Britain, the second-highest death toll in Europe, behind Italy’s 69,000. Switzerland was one of the 40-odd countries to ban flights from Britain over the new variant. ___Angela Charlton in Paris, Jo Kearney in Dover, England, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.
UK police arrest man over IRA bombings of pubs in 1974
It is announced Wednesday Nov. 18, 2020, that police have arrested a 65-year old man in Northern Ireland in connection with the deaths of 21 people in the 1974 pub bombings in Birmingham, England. (AP Photo/Peter Kemp, FILE)LONDON – Police arrested a man Wednesday in Northern Ireland in connection with the 1974 bombings of two pubs that killed 21 people and injured more than 200 in Birmingham, England. West Midlands Police said officers from the West Midlands counterterrorism unit, working with colleagues from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, arrested a 65-year-old man at his home in Belfast. The man was arrested under the U.K.'s Terrorism Act, and his home was being searched, it added. The arrest came days before the 46th anniversary of the two Nov. 21, 1974 blasts that ripped apart the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs in the city of Birmingham.
UK raises terror threat level to severe after Europe attacks
LONDON – Britain raised its terror threat level to severe on Tuesday, its second-highest level, following recent attacks in Austria and France. The threat level of severe means an attack in the United Kingdom is considered highly likely. The level had previously been at substantial, meaning an attack is thought to be likely. Patel said the increased security alert is a “precautionary measure and is not based on any specific threat.’’The U.K. government's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which was established in June 2003, sets the terror level. The center assesses intelligence relating to international terrorism, at home and overseas, and sets threat levels and issues warnings of threats and other terror-related information.
4 dead, 15 rescued in English Channel migrant boat sinking
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)PARIS – At least four people, including two young children, died Tuesday when a boat carrying at least 19 migrants capsized off France while trying to cross the English Channel to Britain, French authorities said. Aid groups decried the deaths and called for more government help for struggling migrants, while British and French authorities expressed their condolences. French authorities reported four migrant deaths in total in small boats crossing the Channel over all of 2019. French maritime officials have rescued hundreds more in routine operations in the Channel, known for high winds, strong currents and heavy maritime traffic. She said 19 people had been confirmed aboard the boat, but the overall toll “is serious, and still uncertain.”Aid group Channel Rescue said in a statement that “This is a burgeoning humanitarian crisis ....
UK government says it will reform 'broken' asylum system
LONDON – Britain’s interior minister vowed Sunday to stop people entering the country clandestinely and to fix what she called a “broken” asylum system, echoing commitments that have been made and broken by U.K. governments for years. Opposition Labour Party immigration spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Conservatives were “devoid of compassion and competence” on immigration. Migrants have long used northern France as a launching point to reach Britain by stowing away in trucks or on ferries. Many appear to have turned to small boats organized by smugglers during the coronavirus pandemic because virus restrictions have reduced vehicle traffic between France and Britain. The government dismissed some of the more far-fetched claims, but Patel said she would “explore all practical measures and options to deter illegal migration.”
Shortage of COVID-19 testing hurts efforts to fight 2nd wave
Last weekend hospital leaders in three different cities raised concerns about testing, said Chris Hopson, the group's CEO. Authorities underestimated the speed at which more testing capacity would be needed, Bell said, warning that the problem could get worse. “I think what’s going wrong is the second wave,'' Bell told the BBC. “A month ago, they had spare capacity in testing —significant spare capacity — but I think what has been underestimated was the speed at which the second wave would arrive. More testing slots and home testing kits have been made available as demand rises, she said.
UK govt, Ben & Jerry's in spat over treatment of migrants
FILE - In this file dated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, British Home Secretary lawmaker Priti Patel, leaves 10 Downing Street in London. Relations between British government and ice cream maker Ben & Jerrys chilled Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 in a spat about the treatment of migrants. The Vermont-based dessert brand directed a tweet Monday at Britains interior minister, Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has vowed to stop asylum seekers crossing the English Channel from France to England in small boats. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)LONDON Relations between the British government and ice cream maker Ben & Jerrys chilled Wednesday in a spat over the treatment of migrants. Hundreds of people have made the dangerous crossing in the past weeks of calm summer weather.
UK flies air force plane over Channel amid migrant crossings
A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into the port city of Dover, southern England, Sunday Aug. 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire( /PA via AP)LONDON A Royal Air Force surveillance plane was flying over the English Channel on Monday as the British government sought to curb the number of people crossing from France in small boats. An inflatable dinghy carrying about 20 people was met by a U.K. Border Force boat on Monday and escorted to the port of Dover. Some have turned to small boats organized by people smugglers because coronavirus lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks. The British and French immigration ministers are due to hold talks on Tuesday about the Channel crossings.
UK names 'Channel threat commander' as boat crossings surge
Many migrants have used small craft during the recent hot calm weather to make the dangerous journey from northern France, to cross the busy shipping lanes of The Channel to reach Britain. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)LONDON The British government has appointed a former Royal Marine commando to try to stop people crossing the English Channel from France in small boats. Migrants have long used northern France as a launching point to reach Britain, either in trucks through the Channel tunnel or on ferries. Some have turned to small boats organized by smugglers because coronavirus lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks. Human rights groups have criticized the British governments harsh rhetoric and accused officials of trying to blame France for the rise in the number of boat crossings.
UK military asked to help stem Channel migrant crossings
A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Saturday Aug. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)Britains military said Saturday it has been asked by the government to help prevent people from reaching the U.K. from France in small boats, after a surge in the number of vessels making the dangerous journey. On Thursday, 235 people landed or were brought ashore from boats in the English Channel, a record number for a single day. Some have turned to small boats organized by smugglers because lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks. The number of migrants crossing the Channel is small compared to the number who try to reach southern European countries across the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
Twitter faces backlash over handling of anti-Semitic posts
LONDON Some Twitter users are staging a 48-hour boycott of the platform over its handling of a stream of anti-Semitic comments that were posted on British rapper Wileys social media accounts. The boycott, under the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, followed complaints that Twitter was too slow to remove offensive material. U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel has written to the social media companies demanding an explanation as to the speed of their response. Some of Wileys posts were visible for more than 12 hours before being removed. Twitter banned the grime artist for seven days after posts Friday and Saturday.
3 slain in stabbing at UK park; police say motive unclear
Several people were injured in a stabbing attack in the park on Saturday, and British media said police were treating it as terrorism-related. The local Thames Valley Police force tweeted that officers were called to the city's Forbury Gardens around 7 p.m. Airline worker Carlos Garcia Pascual was walking to his home near Forbury Gardens when emergency vehicles and police officers descended. Forbury Gardens is a peaceful place, a lot of families go there with their kids to play, picnics. To realize that happened in Forbury Gardens is really hard to believe.
As some nations open, UK to quarantine arrivals for 2 weeks
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has prompted a public display of appreciation for care workers. It is introducing its quarantine just as many other European countries are starting to open up again. Patel said that as transmission of the virus within the U.K. slows, the quarantine will help prevent imported cases and stop a devastating" second wave of the virus. There has been confusion about the U.K. policy, after the government initially said it would not apply to people arriving from France. France says it may quarantine people arriving from an area where the virus is circulating, but it has not published a list of targeted areas.
UK says immunity for US suspect in teen's death 'no longer pertinent'
Harry Dunn, 19, died in the accident while riding his motorbike, according to a statement from his(CNN) - The diplomatic immunity of the wife of an American diplomat who is the suspect in a fatal traffic collision that killed a British teenager "is no longer pertinent," the UK Foreign Secretary said Sunday. "The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent," UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a letter written to Dunn's family. The Foreign Secretary continued that "the UK government's position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs. Sacoolas' case, because she has returned home," he wrote. This could provide an opportunity for UK authorities to commence legal action with a view to extraditing Sacoolas back to the UK to face prosecution. "The Foreign Secretary has been working with his American counterparts and has been in touch with the US administration on this.
US, UK, Australia urge Facebook to halt plan to encrypt user messages
CNN imageMENLO PARK, Calif. - US Attorney General William Barr and senior government officials from the UK and Australia are formally asking Facebook to give up on its plan to encrypt user messages across its platforms. The encryption debate, which pits tech companies that want to ensure user communications are private and secure against law enforcement's desire to access such messages, is decades old. "We respect and support the role law enforcement has in keeping people safe," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN. "We strongly oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere." 'It would fundamentally compromise the security and privacy of encrypted communications on Facebook."
UK touts new plan to attract foreign scientists as Brexit looms
"We are today announcing...that we are changing the rules on immigration so as to make the UK even more open and even more welcoming to scientists around the world," Johnson said. Home Secretary Priti Patel said Thursday that the government plans to introduce a points-based immigration system "centered on what people will contribute" the UK in order to attract "gifted minds" who will "bolster the UK's standing as a hub for science and innovation." "We want Britain to be the most prosperous economy in Europe with an immigration system that attracts the brightest and best global talent. Our new fast-track visa route will be a key part of this - encouraging the world's top scientists and researchers to our shores," the Home Secretary added. The-CNN-Wire & 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company.