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  • 'Barley key to refreshing flavour of beer'

    28.11.2017 | After red wine, beer is believed to be the drink of choice for feeling relaxed. But what makes a perfectly flavoured pint? For some it is the hops, others say it is the water, or yeast. But the science of beer has just added a flavour to the mash — barley.The study published in the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists showed that barley varieties do contribute to flavours of beer above and beyond the malting process.And in addition to genetics, environment of the place where barley is grown — what the wine industry calls terroir — also plays a part, according to the study.The discovery follows a five-year study involving researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, England alongside colleagues in the US. Until now it was a widely-held brewing trade opinion that it was the malting process not the barley that contributed to the flavour and aroma of beer.“The malting process directly impacts the wider profiles of flavour — how you get a pale ale, lager, or a porter — but what this study shows is that subtle flavour profile of the barley variety selected carries through that process,” said Matthew Moscou, one of the authors of the study from The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich.The researchers set out to test the theory that barley cultivar and the place it is grown can affect beer flavour.First, they selected two barley cultivars — Full Pint and Golden Promise – which have entirely different flavour profiles when used to brew beer.The cultivars were crossed and modern breeding techniques used to create a population of 200 lines of barley to observe useful field traits.To test the hypothesis that “terroir” applied to barley flavour, they grew populations across three sites in Oregon in the US.The barley was harvested micro-malted and micro-brewed using a customised scientific approach that ensured consistency between batches.Around 150 beers were prepared for sensory testing using a trained panel — people with sensitive palates employed by the brewing industry who know how to differentiate between a flavour wheel of 10 descriptors.The descriptors were — cereal, colour, floral, fruit, grass, honey, malt, sweet, toasted and toffee.These qualitative tests on the beers and control beers were used to understand how genes, location, and the malting process influenced flavour.DNA analysis showed genes in varieties associated with flavour and genes associated with malting suitability were in separate parts of the barley genome.The study concluded that barley varieties make different contributions to beer flavour and their growing environment can have an effect. 

  • Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of 'Freedom of Oxford' honour

    28.11.2017 | Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the "Freedom of Oxford" award by the city's council, over her failure to speak out on abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya.In a unanimous decision on Monday evening, Oxford City Council voted to strip the Burmese State Counsellor of the award she received in 1997 and collected personally in 2012, after 15 years under house arrest."It was right to give the Freedom of the City to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1997 in recognition of her long struggle for democracy and her personal links to Oxford," the cross-party motion read.But, according to the motion, she had not responded to the council's letter calling on her to "do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country".More than 600,000 members of the largely-Muslim Rohingya ethnic group have fled to Bangladesh, after Myanmar's military launched a campaign ostensibly aimed at eradicating Rohingya armed groups.Those who have fled describe a campaign of killing, rape, and destruction, accounts that have been backed by human rights groups and journalists working in the region.Aung San Suu Kyi has yet to recognise that atrocities are taking place and has not spoken out against the Burmese military.Labour party councillor Mary Clarkson said the City of Oxford would not turn a "blind eye" to the ongoing violence in Myanmar."The burning of [Rohingya] villages has been independently confirmed by satellite images, and the UN has called the situation 'a textbook example of genocide', yet Aung San Suu Kyi has denied any ethnic cleansing and dismissed numerous claims of sexual violence against Rohingya women as 'fake rape'." 

  • London buses to be powered by coffee

    20.11.2017 | A biofuel created by blending oil extracted from coffee waste with diesel is to be added to the public transport fuel supply.Technology firm bio-bean says it has produced enough coffee oil to power one bus for a year.Transport for London (TfL) has increasingly turned to using biofuels to reduce transport emissions.Biofuel made using waste products such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing is already used in many of the capital's 9,500 buses.However, this is thought to be the first time a coffee-derived biofuel has been added to London's public transport system.Londoners create 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste a year, according to bio-bean.The company takes the used grounds from coffee shops and instant coffee factories, and extracts oil from it in its factory.This is then processed into a blended B20 biofuel.Buses can be powered using the fuel without the need for modification.The firm believes it would take just over 2.55 million cups of coffee to create the enough biofuel to run a London bus for a year once the oil has been blended with diesel.Six-thousand litres of coffee oil have been produced so far."It's a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource," bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said.

  • Queen Elizabeth appoints 1st woman in 650 years to top job in Houses of Parliament

    18.11.2017 | British Queen Elizabeth II approved Friday the appointment of Sarah Clarke as the new Black Rod in the House of Lords, a job held by 60 men since it was created in 1361.Clarke will formally take on the duties early next year, succeeding David Leakey, the current Black Rod who leaves the post at the end of this year.Black Rod is the only job in the world where the holder gets paid for having a door slammed in their face.As the Black Rod, one of Clarke's duties will be to summon MPs from the House of Commons to the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen. By tradition, as a way to protect its independence, the MPs slam the door in the face of the Black Rod. The ceremonial ritual is captured on the live coverage of the opening ceremony.Clarke is currently responsible for the organization of the annual Wimbledon tennis championships. She had previously held roles at four Olympic Games, the London Marathon and UK Sport.As the first woman to be appointed to the role of Black Rod in its 650-year history, Clarke will be known as the Lady Usher of the Black Rod. Black Rod is appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of a selection panel chaired by the Lord Speaker."Black Rod is a senior official who, as well as their famous role in summoning the House of Commons to hear the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, heads a department that includes the Yeoman Usher and the House of Lords Doorkeepers," said a spokesman at the House of Lords.Clarke said: "I am both deeply honored and delighted to be invited to take up the role of Black Rod.""Over many years I have been fortunate to work at the heart of some of the world's most complex events and institutions. The House of Lords is a place where the smallest detail is as important as the big picture and the depth of heritage and tradition is second to none," said Clarke.Lord Fowler, speaker of the House of Lords said: "As the first woman to take on the role, this is a historic moment for the House."

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  • 'Barley key to refreshing flavour of beer'
    'Barley key to refreshing flavour of beer'

    28.11.2017 |After red wine, beer is believed to be the drink of choice for feeling relaxed. But what makes a perfectly flavoured pint? For some it is the hops, others say it is the water, or yeast. But the science of beer has just added a flavour to the mash — barley.The study published in the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists showed that barley varieties do contribute to flavours of beer above and beyond the malting process.And in addition to genetics, environment of the place where barley is grown — what the wine industry calls terroir — also plays a part, according to the study.The discovery follows a five-year study involving researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, England alongside colleagues in the US. Until now it was a widely-held brewing trade opinion that it was the malting process not the barley that contributed to the flavour and aroma of beer.“The malting process directly impacts the wider profiles of flavour — how you get a pale ale, lager, or a porter — but what this study shows is that subtle flavour profile of the barley variety selected carries through that process,” said Matthew Moscou, one of the authors of the study from The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich.The researchers set out to test the theory that barley cultivar and the place it is grown can affect beer flavour.First, they selected two barley cultivars — Full Pint and Golden Promise – which have entirely different flavour profiles when used to brew beer.The cultivars were crossed and modern breeding techniques used to create a population of 200 lines of barley to observe useful field traits.To test the hypothesis that “terroir” applied to barley flavour, they grew populations across three sites in Oregon in the US.The barley was harvested micro-malted and micro-brewed using a customised scientific approach that ensured consistency between batches.Around 150 beers were prepared for sensory testing using a trained panel — people with sensitive palates employed by the brewing industry who know how to differentiate between a flavour wheel of 10 descriptors.The descriptors were — cereal, colour, floral, fruit, grass, honey, malt, sweet, toasted and toffee.These qualitative tests on the beers and control beers were used to understand how genes, location, and the malting process influenced flavour.DNA analysis showed genes in varieties associated with flavour and genes associated with malting suitability were in separate parts of the barley genome.The study concluded that barley varieties make different contributions to beer flavour and their growing environment can have an effect. 

  • Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of 'Freedom of Oxford' honour
    Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of 'Freedom of Oxford' honour

    28.11.2017 |Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the "Freedom of Oxford" award by the city's council, over her failure to speak out on abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya.In a unanimous decision on Monday evening, Oxford City Council voted to strip the Burmese State Counsellor of the award she received in 1997 and collected personally in 2012, after 15 years under house arrest."It was right to give the Freedom of the City to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1997 in recognition of her long struggle for democracy and her personal links to Oxford," the cross-party motion read.But, according to the motion, she had not responded to the council's letter calling on her to "do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country".More than 600,000 members of the largely-Muslim Rohingya ethnic group have fled to Bangladesh, after Myanmar's military launched a campaign ostensibly aimed at eradicating Rohingya armed groups.Those who have fled describe a campaign of killing, rape, and destruction, accounts that have been backed by human rights groups and journalists working in the region.Aung San Suu Kyi has yet to recognise that atrocities are taking place and has not spoken out against the Burmese military.Labour party councillor Mary Clarkson said the City of Oxford would not turn a "blind eye" to the ongoing violence in Myanmar."The burning of [Rohingya] villages has been independently confirmed by satellite images, and the UN has called the situation 'a textbook example of genocide', yet Aung San Suu Kyi has denied any ethnic cleansing and dismissed numerous claims of sexual violence against Rohingya women as 'fake rape'." 

  • London buses to be powered by coffee
    London buses to be powered by coffee

    20.11.2017 |A biofuel created by blending oil extracted from coffee waste with diesel is to be added to the public transport fuel supply.Technology firm bio-bean says it has produced enough coffee oil to power one bus for a year.Transport for London (TfL) has increasingly turned to using biofuels to reduce transport emissions.Biofuel made using waste products such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing is already used in many of the capital's 9,500 buses.However, this is thought to be the first time a coffee-derived biofuel has been added to London's public transport system.Londoners create 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste a year, according to bio-bean.The company takes the used grounds from coffee shops and instant coffee factories, and extracts oil from it in its factory.This is then processed into a blended B20 biofuel.Buses can be powered using the fuel without the need for modification.The firm believes it would take just over 2.55 million cups of coffee to create the enough biofuel to run a London bus for a year once the oil has been blended with diesel.Six-thousand litres of coffee oil have been produced so far."It's a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource," bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said.

  • Queen Elizabeth appoints 1st woman in 650 years to top job in Houses of Parliament
    Queen Elizabeth appoints 1st woman in 650 years to top job in Houses of Parliament

    18.11.2017 |British Queen Elizabeth II approved Friday the appointment of Sarah Clarke as the new Black Rod in the House of Lords, a job held by 60 men since it was created in 1361.Clarke will formally take on the duties early next year, succeeding David Leakey, the current Black Rod who leaves the post at the end of this year.Black Rod is the only job in the world where the holder gets paid for having a door slammed in their face.As the Black Rod, one of Clarke's duties will be to summon MPs from the House of Commons to the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen. By tradition, as a way to protect its independence, the MPs slam the door in the face of the Black Rod. The ceremonial ritual is captured on the live coverage of the opening ceremony.Clarke is currently responsible for the organization of the annual Wimbledon tennis championships. She had previously held roles at four Olympic Games, the London Marathon and UK Sport.As the first woman to be appointed to the role of Black Rod in its 650-year history, Clarke will be known as the Lady Usher of the Black Rod. Black Rod is appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of a selection panel chaired by the Lord Speaker."Black Rod is a senior official who, as well as their famous role in summoning the House of Commons to hear the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, heads a department that includes the Yeoman Usher and the House of Lords Doorkeepers," said a spokesman at the House of Lords.Clarke said: "I am both deeply honored and delighted to be invited to take up the role of Black Rod.""Over many years I have been fortunate to work at the heart of some of the world's most complex events and institutions. The House of Lords is a place where the smallest detail is as important as the big picture and the depth of heritage and tradition is second to none," said Clarke.Lord Fowler, speaker of the House of Lords said: "As the first woman to take on the role, this is a historic moment for the House."

  • 'Russian Twitter accounts meddled in 2016 Brexit vote'
    'Russian Twitter accounts meddled in 2016 Brexit vote'

    16.11.2017 |In a startling revelation, a group of data scientists has found 156,252 Russian accounts on Twitter which mentioned #Brexit and posted nearly 45,000 messages related to the EU referendum in the 48 hours around the vote. According to a report in The Times on Thursday, “Russian Twitter accounts posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in 48 hours during last year’s referendum in an apparently co-ordinated attempt to sow discord”. According to data scientists from Swansea University in Wales and the University of California, Berkeley, over 150,000 Russian accounts who were posting about the Ukrainian conflict swiftly started tweeting about Brexit in days leading up to the 2016 vote. “From posting fewer than 1,000 tweets a day before June 13, the accounts — many of which are virulently pro-Putin — posted 39,000 tweets on June 23-24,” the report said. Tho Pham, one of the report authors, confirmed to TechCrunch that the majority of those Brexit tweets were posted on June 24, 2016, the day after the vote. “During the Referendum day, there is a sign that bots attempted to spread more leave messages with positive sentiment as the number of leave tweets with positive sentiment increased dramatically on that day,” the research said. “Furthermore, before the Referendum Day, among those humans’ retweets from bots, tweets by the Leave side accounted for about 50 percent of retweets while only nearly 20 percent of retweets had pro-remain content,” it added. According to researchers, similar trend was observed for the US Election sample. “Before the Election Day, about 80 percent of retweets were in favour of (Donald) Trump while only 20 percent of retweets were supporting (Hillary) Clinton,” the research paper noted. The data scientists used Twitter’s API to obtain relevant datasets of tweets to analyse and reach the conclusion. They found a clear difference in the volume of Russian-related tweets between Brexit sample and US Election sample. “For the Referendum, the massive number of Russian-related tweets were only created few days before the voting day, reached its peak during the voting and result days then dropped immediately afterwards,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, Russian-related tweets existed both before and after the US Election Day,” they added. More interestingly, the team observed that the influence of pro-leave bots was stronger than the influence of pro-remain bots. “Similarly, pro-Trump bots are more influential than pro-Clinton bots. Thus, to some degree, the use of social bots might drive the outcomes of Brexit and the US Election,” the researchers added. Political events like the Brexit Referendum and the US Presidential Election — have observed the use of social bots in spreading fake news and misinformation. “This, coupled by the echo chambers nature of social media, might lead to the case that bots could shape public opinions in negative ways. If so, policy-makers should consider mechanisms to prevent abuse of bots in the future,” the paper said. Facebook, Twitter and Google are facing intense fake news scrutiny after disclosing the details about the presence of Russian political ads, tweets and posts on their platforms during the presidential election in 2016.

  • Smart Roads Could Power Street Lamps, Electric Cars
    Smart Roads Could Power Street Lamps, Electric Cars

    19.09.2017 |Researchers in Britain are working on smart materials that when embedded in road surfaces would be able to harvest and convert vehicle vibration into electrical energy to power street lamps or electric vehicle charging points.The research project aims to design and optimise energy recovery of around one to two megawatts per kilometre under ‘normal’ traffic volumes — which is around 2,000 to 3,000 cars an hour.This amount of energy, when stored, is the amount needed to power between 2,000 and 4,000 street lamps.The researchers said they were working on smart materials such as ‘piezolectric’ ceramics for the project.“This research is about helping to produce the next generation of smart road surfaces,” said lead researcher Mohamed Saafi, Professor at Lancaster University.“We will be developing new materials to take advantage of the piezoelectric effect where passing vehicles cause stress on the road surface, producing voltage. The materials will need to withstand high strengths, and provide a good balance between cost and the energy they produce,” Saafi said in a statement released by the university.“The system we develop will then convert this mechanical energy into electric energy to power things such as street lamps, traffic lights and electric car charging points. It could also be used to provide other smart street benefits, such as real-time traffic volume monitoring,” he added.The researchers believe that besides providing environmental benefits, the project would also help deliver significant cost savings for taxpayers.

  • Tube attack: British terrorism threat level lowered
    Tube attack: British terrorism threat level lowered

    18.09.2017 |British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that Britain’s terrorism threat level has been lowered from “critical” to “severe” after being raised to the highest possible in the wake of the Friday explosion at a subway station in west London.Rudd made the statement on Sunday after British police arrested two suspects in connection of the explosion in a packed rush-hour carriage on Friday at Parsons Green subway station, The level of “critical”, the highest of the five levels used to describe the threat, means a further terrorist attack may be imminent. The level of “severe” is the second highest level.The threat level system, introduced on August 1, 2000, is based on available intelligence, terrorist capability, terrorist intention and timescale. The two suspects—one is 18 and the other is 21 --  were arrested by British police on Saturday.Thirty people were injured in the explosion, none of them seriously, in the wake of the subway blast, prompting the police to stage a massive hunt for those who are responsible for the fifth terrorist attack in the country over the past six months.Previous attacks in London this year at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Finsbury Park as well as a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed dozens of people and injured more than 150.

  • Explosion reported on London Tube train
    Explosion reported on London Tube train

    15.09.2017 |Police say they're dealing with reports of an explosion on a London Underground train.Ambulance crews are also at the Parsons Green District Line station in west London.Pictures appeared to show an explosion in a bucket towards the rear of a train - news agencies are sharing this picture from social media but it's not confirmed to be linked to the incident as yet.Media technology consultant Richard Aylmer-Hall, 53, was sitting on the District Line train bound for central London when panic unfolded at around 8.20am.He said he saw several people injured, having apparently been trampled as they tried to escape.He said: *I was blissfully reading my paper and listening to a podcast and suddenly the whole world charged past me down the platform, down the Tube.*``I was on the Tube, we had just stopped at Parsons Green, I was on my way up from Wimbledon towards Paddington and suddenly there was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming.``There was a woman on the platform who said she had seen a bag, a flash and a bang, so obviously something had gone off.``It was an absolutely packed, rush-hour District Line train from Wimbledon to Edgware Road.``I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets.Transport for London said it is ``investigating an incident at Parsons Green'' and urged customers travelling between Wimbledon and Earls Court to use alternative routes.We would advise people to avoid the areaNatasha Wills, of London Ambulance Service said: ``We were called at 8.20am to reports of an incident at Parsons Green underground station.``We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team, with the first of our medics arriving in under five minutes.``Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries. More information will follow when we have it.'London Fire Brigade said they were called to the incident at 8.21am on Friday

  • London to banish winter blues with biggest ever light show
    London to banish winter blues with biggest ever light show

    21.07.2017 | More than 40 installations are to light up London in one of the biggest ever light shows, Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday.Streets, buildings and public spaces will be illuminated during the Lumiere London festival which is expected to attract millions of visitors to the British capital next January.The event takes place between January 18 and 21 in what Khan says will be a chance for people across the world to see London in a new light.More than 40 British and international artists will transform London and offer new perspectives on the capital's iconic architecture, streets and landmarks.Building on the phenomenal success of Lumiere London 2016, festival destinations will include King's Cross, London's West End, including Carnaby, Regent Street, Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Piccadilly, St James's, Fitzrovia and Westminster. Works will be exhibited on both sides of the River Thames, with Covent Garden, Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo added as new destinations for 2018.Mayor Khan said: "Lumiere London 2018 will be bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before, with even more areas of the city involved and even more people expected to visit this incredible festival. "Lumiere London 2018 shows that London is open to people from across the world and open to creativity and ideas, and open for business. There's no better way to banish the January blues -- so get ready to take to the streets and marvel at a dazzling array of incredible artwork and installations."Lumiere London in 2016 attracted more than 1.3 million visitors to London at a time when the city is usually quiet following the Christmas break.

  • 255 survived Grenfell Tower fire: London police
    255 survived Grenfell Tower fire: London police

    11.07.2017 | A total of 255 people survived the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London on June 14 in which at least 80 people were killed, police said.London's Metropolitan Police on Monday said "extensive investigations" led them to conclude 350 people should have been in the Kensington tower block building at the time of the fire, The statement, however, was challenged by claims that officials were covering up the real number of the casualties.Last month, Labour Member of Parliament (MP) David Lammy also told media that he was "sympathetic" to the view that the number of dead was being covered up.The British government has promised not to conduct immigration checks on survivors and those coming forward with information in a bid to aid the investigation. 

  • London mayor urged not to renew Uber's license
    London mayor urged not to renew Uber's license

    08.07.2017 |London Mayor Sadiq Khan is facing calls to ensure the license of car hailing app Uber is not renewed.The London Assembly has expressed extreme concerns about the effects of Uber on private hire taxi operators, black cabs and even their own drivers, A motion unanimously agreed by the Greater London Assembly on Thursday also calls on the London Mayor to limit the number of private hire taxi licenses in the capital.Assembly member David Kurten, who launched the moves at the meeting, said: "The mayor pledged in his election campaign to revoke Uber's license if there was poor practice, as he would not compromise on Londoners' safety.""One year on from his election he has renewed Uber's operating license despite grave concerns about Uber's working practices, driver safety, increased allegations of sexual assaults by Uber drivers, tax avoidance and the potential quagmire of alleged corruption between Uber's previous bosses and members of David Cameron's administration," said the lawmaker.Kurten believes Uber should not be given more chances, saying: "It is time to pull the plug on Uber in London unless it does something dramatic about its working practices."Another assembly member, Navin Shah, holds similar point of view, saying "Unless Uber begins to demonstrate better working practice, TfL (Transport for London) shouldn't be renewing its license in the autumn. In the meantime, the government must respond to the Mayor's request for a cap on private hire vehicles so their increasing numbers on London's roads can be adequately managed."TfL, which is chaired by Khan, renewed Uber's Operating License in London for a period of four months from May 2017 to September 2017. 

  • British PM wins confidence vote in Parliament
    British PM wins confidence vote in Parliament

    30.06.2017 | British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won a confidence vote in parliament winning approval for the government program outlined last week by Queen Elizabeth II.The narrow result on Thursday -- 323 votes to 309 -- showed that support from the Democratic Union Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) had been crucial in the voting. It was the first major test for May since this month's snap general election when she lost her overall majority.The Conservatives have 318 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons, eight short of what is needed for a guaranteed majority, To prop up her minority government, May struck a deal with the DUP and its 10 MPs at Westminster, but at a price. She had to agreed to a funding package worth a billion pounds for projects in Northern Ireland.Earlier in a day, the main opposition Labour party made a number of attempts to test May's power in the House of Commons, adding to a day of high tension at Westminster.They put forward two amendments, but lost -- one of them by just 26 votes.May's government had faced potential defeat in one amendment put forward by Labour MP Stella Creasy over access to abortions for women from Northern Ireland. Creasy wanted MPs to vote on giving women from across the Irish Sea the right to abortions on the British mainland, funded by the National Health Service (NHS). Currently, women have to pay around $1,200 for an abortion.Another amendment to the Queen's Speech debate, by Labour MP Chuka Umunna, called for continued single market and customs union membership of the European Union after Brexit, but it was defeated by a vote of 322 votes to 101.Later, it was revealed that a number of front bench opposition shadow ministers had backed Umunna, leading political commentators at Westminster to predict that around six people would be be fired by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

  • British PM outlines 9-point plan for EU nationals post-Brexit
    British PM outlines 9-point plan for EU nationals post-Brexit

    27.06.2017 |British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined a nine-point plan stating the rights of more than 3 million European Union (EU) citizens to remain in Britain after Brexit.Telling MPs in a House of Commons debate that her post-Brexit proposals were a fair and serious offer, May said on Monday that under the plan no EU citizen in Britain lawfully will have to leave when the country finally ends its membership of the EU in about two years, She said any EU citizen in Britain with five years' continual residence at a specified cut off point will be able to stay with settled status and be treated as if they are British citizens in regard to healthcare, education, benefits and pensions.Those without five years' residence arriving before the cut-off date will be able to stay until they have five years' residence and can then apply for settled status.May added that the cut-off date will be the subject of discussions, but will be no earlier than March 29 2017 and no later than March 29 2019, the date Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.The plan will also mean no families will be split up, with measures to allow dependents to apply for settled status, she said, adding that there will be no "cliff edge" by introducing a two-year grace period to allow people to regularize their status.The policy unveiled by May will mean all 3 million EU citizens resident in Britain will have to apply for a settled status identity card.

  • British Parliament hit by cyber-attack
    British Parliament hit by cyber-attack

    25.06.2017 | The British Parliament has been hit by a cyber-attack, officials at Westminster said.The "sustained" hack began on Friday night, prompting officials to disable remote access to the emails of MPs, peers and their staff as a safeguard, The parliamentary authorities said hackers had mounted a "determined attack" on all user accounts "in an attempt to identify weak passwords".A spokeswoman said they were investigating and liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre.She said: "We have discovered unauthorised attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users.""Parliament has robust measures in place to protect all of our accounts and systems, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect and secure our network."As a precaution we have temporarily restricted remote access to the network."IT services on the parliamentary estate are working normally and a message sent to MPs urges them to remain "extra vigilant".But a number of MPs have confirmed to the BBC they are not able to access their parliamentary email accounts outside of the Westminster estate.It comes just over a month after 48 of England's NHS trusts were hit by a cyber-attack.The latest attack was publicly revealed by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard on Twitter who had also asked his followers to send any "urgent messages" to him by text.Henry Smith, Tory MP for Crawley, tweeted: "Sorry no parliamentary email access today - we're under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, (Vladimir) Putin or a kid in his mom's basement or something..."The government's National Security Strategy said in 2015 that the threat from cyber-attacks from both organised crime and foreign intelligence agencies was one of the "most significant risks to UK interests".The National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of intelligence agency GCHQ, started its operations in October last year.The National Crime Agency said it was working with the NCSC but the centre was "leading the operational response".

  • Plan unveiled to reduce London's dependency on cars
    Plan unveiled to reduce London's dependency on cars

    22.06.2017 | London Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled plans that would see 80 per cent of travelling in the British capital is to be made by public transport, walking or cycling.The radical plan aims to reduce car usage in the capital by 3 million every day, Khan also set an ambition to ensure for 70 per cent of all Londoners live within 400 metres of a high quality, safe cycle route.New developments in London will also be designed around a "Healthy Streets" initiative to directly promoting walking, cycling and greater use of public transport.Khan on Wednesday said not having to use a car in London must be the "affordable, safest and most convenient option for residents of the capital."The proposals are outlined in the first draft of Khan's new Transport Strategy.The mayor's target is to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport to 80 per cent of their journeys by 2041. Currently 64 per cent of people in London use those modes of transport.Khan said with London's population set to expand from 8.7 million to 10.5 million over the next 25 years, it will generate more than five million additional trips each day across the transport network.A key focus of the Mayor' Healthy Streets Approach, aims to see Londoners doing at least the 20 minutes of active travel each day to help them stay healthy.

  • Death toll from London blaze may never be known
    Death toll from London blaze may never be known

    21.06.2017 |The death toll from the horrific tower block blaze in London may never be known because some of the apartments in the building may have been irregularly sublet, according to a lawyer.At least 79 people lost their lives due to the blaze that destroyed the 24-story tower block in the Kensington district of the city last week, according to the London Metropolitan Police.The police said the death toll was expected to rise, However, Victoria Vasey, director of the North Kensington Law Centre, told the media that because of the irregular property tenancies in the building, it was impossible to accurately know how many people were in the building at the time of the blaze."A lot of people were irregular in their tenancies and some were subletting. Some of them were illegal sub-tenancies," Vasey said.The apartments in the building were rented to families and people nominated by local authority the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) as part of its legal obligations to provide housing.The rents of the tenancies were below market levels. Some tenants may have sublet their tenancies illegally to make money.The weekly Tuesday meeting of the government cabinet discussed the continued response to the fire and aid for survivors.The MP for the area, Emma Dent-Coad, told the media that survivors of the blaze had been sleeping in cars and in parks because they don't know where to go and they aren't being looked after.The response in the wake of the fire has been strongly criticized by politic and the media. The British government has replaced the area Council with a panel formed by charities and other municipal bodies in London. 

  • Vehicle strikes pedestr in London, several injured
    Vehicle strikes pedestr in London, several injured

    19.06.2017 | Several persons have been injured after a van struck a crowd of pedestr near a north London mosque in what police have called a "major incident", media reports said.One person was arrested following the incident near Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road,"There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene. There has been one person arrested," police said in a statement.The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said a van "intentionally" ran over worshippers. Many of the victims are believed to have just left evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast.The London Ambulance Service was responding to the incident. London Ambulance Service deputy director of operations Kevin Bate said: "We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene."An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by car," he added.

  • London attackers planned to use lorry: Police
    London attackers planned to use lorry: Police

    10.06.2017 |The terrorists involved in the London Bridge attack that killed eight, had tried to hire a seven-and-a-half tonne lorry to carry out the brutality, police said.However the three men failed to provide payment details and the vehicle was not picked up, prompting them to use a smaller van instead, The men then drove into pedestr on the bridge before stabbing people at the nearby Borough Market on the night of June 3.Police said the men tied 30cm pink ceramic knives to their wrists and had petrol bombs in the van.Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba have been named as the attackers, who were all shot dead.Scotland Yard wants more witnesses to come forward and is also appealing to companies who hire out vans to report any suspicious activity, the BBC report said.On Friday night, a 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorists acts, after carrying out a raid in Ilford, east London.In the early hours of Saturday, the police arrested another man, 28, at a residential address in Barking, also on suspicion of preparing terrorists acts.In its most detailed description of the attack yet, the Metropolitan Police said the men had also rented a flat in Barking, east London, to use as a safe house.Inside, they found a copy of the Quran opened at a page describing martyrdom.They also discovered equipment for making petrol bombs, plastic bottles and duct tape for constructing fake suicide bomb belts, and an ID card for Redouane.The investigation has concluded that 27-year-old Butt was the ringleader. He is thought to have driven the van, with Redouane and Zaghba in the back.

  • Three terror suspects arrested in London
    Three terror suspects arrested in London

    08.06.2017 | Three terror suspects were arrested in London but this was not connected to the June 1 attack in the UK capital that left eight people dead, the police said on Thursday.The Metropolitan Police said two men, aged 34 and 37, were arrested in the neighbourhood of Newham and a third, aged 22, was detained in nearby Waltham Forest, "All three were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism offences," the Met Police said in a statement.The arrests were made on Wednesday night and searches were ongoing at the properties.UK security was on high alert following the attack at London Bridge, in which eight people were killed and over 50 others injured when three assailants mowed down pedestr on the bridge and then launched a stabbing rampage at the nearby Borough Market.Security measures were heightened on Thursday as millions headed out to vote in the general election.

  • Irish police arrest 2nd man linked with London attacker
    Irish police arrest 2nd man linked with London attacker

    07.06.2017 |The Irish police have arrested a second man who had connection with Rachid Redouane, one of the three London attackers who killed seven and injured dozens on the London Bridge on Saturday evening.The man in his 30s was arrested on Tuesday evening from Wexford city following a search of an apartment there, the police said.Earlier on Tuesday, another man, originally from Morocco, was arrested in Limerick city, but he was released by afternoon, Xinhua news agency reported.Both men were still being probed for theft and fraud. They were suspected of using documents and personal, public service numbers that might have links to the London attacker Redouane.Redouane, 30, is of Moroccan and Libyan descent. He was identified after a documentation check in Britain found he had lived in south Dublin for some time.An identity card, issued by Irish immigration authorities, was found after he was shot dead. He married a British woman in Ireland in 2011 before moving back to Britain, according to Ireland's national broadcaster RTE.Under the European Union treaties, Ireland grants working visas to people outside the EU who are in a relationship with an EU citizen, which appears to have been the case in this instance.The couple returned to Ireland for a short time in 2016 before separating. Redouane was not previously known to police and had not come to their attention in relation to any crime or security issues, according to the Irish police. Ireland has condemned the London attacks, describing the assaults as "sheer madness", and said they would continue to work closely with Britain on security matters and prevention of crime as far as possible.Currently, the threat assessment level in Ireland is moderate, meaning an attack is possible but unlikely. 

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