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PM urged to accept lone Syrian children
« Reply #120 on: May 05, 2016, 01:00:17 AM »

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PM urged to accept lone Syrian children

Syrian conflict: David Cameron urged to accept lone children



   
   

       
  •    
    4 May 2016


  •            
  • From the section UK



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Child refugee from Syria at a camp in TurkeyImage copyright
                 Getty Images
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Millions of people have been displaced by the conflict
               

           

The government is coming under increasing pressure to accept 3,000 child refugees from the Syrian war who have made it into Europe unaccompanied.

A group of former Jewish refugees who came to the UK in the "Kindertransport" rescue efforts of the 1930s have urged the PM to "demonstrate compassion".

Ministers argue that offering sanctuary to lone children could result in more falling into the hands of traffickers.

MPs will vote on the issue next week, with ministers facing possible defeat.

In a letter to David Cameron, Sir Erich Reich, chairman of Kindertransport-Association of Jewish Refugees, called on the PM to do more to help "the most vulnerable victims" of the Syrian conflict.

He said it was "incumbent on us to provide sanctuary to those in need".


Analysis

Political correspondent Ross Hawkins

Conservative rebels are increasingly confident the government will accept more unaccompanied child refugees. One former cabinet minister told me ministers would probably make concessions, adding: "If we fall from the moral high ground into a ditch it doesn't do us much good."

                                                                                                   

A government source said there was a mood for compromise before Monday's vote. But the last thing ministers want is an announcement that smacks of a complete U-turn.

A widely-discussed idea would see the authorities accept more lone refugee children who have family in the UK under existing rules; only a tiny number have come in on this basis. It isn't yet clear though how many more could be swiftly located and helped.

What matters now is not simply whether the government shifts its line - that looks highly likely - but how many more lone children it accepts. Even rebellious Tories certain the government will retreat are unsure by how far.


The government has said it will accept up to 3,000 refugees, mostly vulnerable children, from the Middle East and North Africa by 2020.

In September 2015 the government said the UK will accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years.

But critics say the moves will do nothing to help the thousands of unaccompanied refugee children who have made it to Europe, but are at risk of trafficking and abuse.

Ministers in turn argue that accepting such children could encourage more families to put their children at risk by sending them to Europe alone.

Chancellor George Osborne said discussions were under way about what more could be done to help unaccompanied children.

"Britain has always been a home to the vulnerable and we've always done what we need to do to help people who are fleeing persecution, that's why we are taking people from the refugee camps as a result of this terrible Syrian civil war. 

"And we're working with others, with charities, with other political parties talking to people about what we can do to help the unaccompanied children as well - where we're already providing financial support. 

"So we're in those discussions and those discussions will go on and you'll hear what we've got to say in due course."

Last week MPs voted against an attempt to force the government to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the UK, but the issue is set to return to the Commons.

In his letter, Sir Erich, who was among thousands of Jewish children rescued from Nazi Germany, said he had learned of the rejection of the resettlement proposal "with great sadness".

He added: "I strongly urge you and your colleagues to reconsider how we can intervene to help some of the most vulnerable victims of an internecine conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions.

"The echoes of the past haunt many of my fellow Kinder and I whose fate similarly rested with members of the British parliament.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AFP/Getty
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The issue is set to return to the Commons next week
               

           

"I feel it is incumbent on us to once again demonstrate our compassion and human-kindness to provide sanctuary to those in need."

Downing Street has said it will take into account what it called the "strong views" that had been expressed.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs her party's refugee taskforce, will fly to Greece later to look at the issue first hand.


                                                                                               

Source: PM urged to accept lone Syrian children







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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #121 on: May 05, 2016, 01:53:19 AM »
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BT to invest £6bn in faster services
« Reply #122 on: May 06, 2016, 01:00:19 AM »
BT to invest £6bn in faster services

BT to invest £6bn in faster broadband and mobile services



   
   

       
  •    
    5 May 2016


  •            
  • From the section Business



   

                                                                                                   

               
                BT Centre on Newgate Street, LondonImage copyright
                 BT
               
           

           
       

BT Group has outlined plans to invest £6bn over the next three years in faster broadband and mobile services.

It plans to offer what it describes as "ultrafast" broadband to 12 million premises by 2020.

The company also reported a 15% rise in annual profits to £3.03bn, helped by stronger demand for broadband and TV services.

Total sales rose 6% to almost £19bn, which includes £1.06bn contribution from mobile operator EE.

Faster broadband

Under the investment plan, a minimum of 10 million homes and businesses will receive access to BT's ultrafast broadband service, and the company has an "ambition" to reach 12 million.

Most will receive that via BT's G.fast technology, which is currently capable of speeds of 300Mbps (megabits-per-second), but will be capable of speeds of up to 500Mbps, BT says.

On average UK households received speeds of 29Mbps last year, according to regulator Ofcom.

That would make the new service more than enough for households who want fast broadband to stream movies and play online games.

                                                                                                   

"Customers want their broadband to be affordable as well as fast and we will be able to do that using G.fast," said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.

BT also plans to invest in its mobile phone network EE, so it can offer fast 4G coverage to 95% of the country by 2020.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 EE
               
           

           
       

Regulator hint

BT said its £6bn investment plan is "subject to regulatory certainty".

According to analysts, BT is indicating that it can only make big investments in infrastructure if it knows that its business can operate without major interference from its regulator Ofcom.

That includes remaining in charge of Openreach, which operates the fibres, wires and cables that connect the country.

Rivals complain that ownership of that Openreach gives BT an unfair advantage and want the unit to be split from BT Group.

So far Ofcom has shied away from that move.

Sky was unimpressed by BT's investment plan, arguing that the G.fast technology, which BT is planning to expand, uses old copper wires. Sky says BT should be investing in the faster fibre network.

"Despite BT's claims, it is clearer than ever that their plans for fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband will bypass almost every existing UK home," said Andrew Griffith, chief financial officer at Sky.

"This limited ambition has been dragged out of BT by the threat of regulatory action, demonstrating once again why an independent Openreach, free to raise its own long-term capital, is the best way for the UK to get the fibre network it needs," he added.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AP
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    2 million watched the first leg of the Europa League match between Liverpool and Manchester United
               

           

Sports impact

BT's results were boosted by a strong year for BT Consumer, which supplies broadband, telephone and TV services. Sales were up 7% to £4.6bn for the year.

The number of customers for its TV service jumped by 28% to 1.5 million.

BT said audiences for its sports coverage - where it has made massive investment - were up 45%, which it attributed to its live coverage of Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches.

The first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United in the last 16 of the Europa League was watched by a peak of 2 million viewers, BT said.

BT also shares coverage of the FA Cup with the BBC and has a package of Premier League matches.

While BT is unlikely to recoup the investment in football simply in terms of subscriptions to its TV service and through advertising, analysts say that by offering live sport BT can make its broadband and phone services more attractive in a competitive market place.

"If TV enables BT to achieve a market share in telecoms services significantly higher than it would otherwise have been, the high cost of its TV investments may well prove justified," said Ian Watt, principal consultant at Ovum.

EE deal

The deal to buy the EE mobile network was cleared in January and BT said the integration of EE was "going well".

"We now see the opportunity to deliver more synergies than we originally expected, and at a lower cost," said Mr Patterson.

Analysts says the combination has potential.

"The deal with EE provides BT access to over 30 million mobile customers [to whom] it can sell broadband and TV services to," said Laith Khalaf, Senior Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.

"This provides significant growth potential, though both Sky and Virgin will want to challenge BT in this market," Mr Khalaf added.

BT plans to hire 1,000 new engineers this year as part of an effort to improve customer service.

And it will continue to return customer services to the UK and by March 2017 says it will handle 90% of calls by UK-based staff.


                                                                                               

Source: BT to invest £6bn in faster services







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'Boaty' ship named after Attenborough
« Reply #123 on: May 07, 2016, 01:00:13 AM »
'Boaty' ship named after Attenborough

'Boaty McBoatface' polar ship named after Attenborough



   
   

       
  •    
    6 May 2016


  •            
  • From the section UK



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Artist's impression of shipImage copyright
                 NERC
               
           

           
       

The UK's new polar research ship is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, after Boaty McBoatface previously topped a public vote.

The £200m vessel will be named after the world-renowned naturalist and broadcaster, Science Minister Jo Johnson confirmed.

The move, coming days before Sir David turns 90, will recognise his "legacy in British broadcasting", he said.

Sir David said he was "truly honoured" by the decision.

He said that he hoped "everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship's progress as it explores our polar regions".

"I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

While the ship will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of the remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty in recognition of the vote.

'Inspirational names'

A website inviting suggestions to name the ship had attracted huge interest, with "Boaty McBoatface" being the big favourite.

                                                                                                   

But Mr Johnson said there were "more suitable names" for the vessel.

He said: "The public provided some truly inspirational and creative names, and while it was a difficult decision I'm delighted that our state-of-the-art polar research ship will be named after one of the nation's most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists.

"This vessel will carry the Attenborough name for decades to come, as it fulfils its mission to explore the oceans and put Britain at the forefront of efforts to preserve our precious marine environment."

Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have said they want to discuss whether the public engagement project around the search for a name has been a success or a failure.

Nicola Blackwood, committee chair, said she wanted to explore whether the process was a "triumph of public engagement or a PR disaster".


                                                                                               

Source: 'Boaty' ship named after Attenborough







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Labour's Sadiq Khan is new London Mayor
« Reply #124 on: May 08, 2016, 01:00:13 AM »
Labour's Sadiq Khan is new London Mayor

Elections: Labour's Sadiq Khan elected London mayor



   
   

       


   

                                                                                                   

           

   
Media captionSadiq Khan 'deeply humbled' by London Mayor win

Sadiq Khan has been elected the new Mayor of London - boosting Labour after it slumped in Scotland's elections.

Mr Khan is the city's first Muslim mayor, after beating Tory Zac Goldsmith by 1,310,143 votes to 994,614.

The result bolsters leader Jeremy Corbyn after Labour was beaten into third in Scotland by the Tories and lost some English councillors.

In Scotland, the SNP said it would form a minority government after winning its third election in a row.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is celebrating what she said was an "emphatic" victory, her first as party leader, after the SNP emerged as the largest party at Holyrood with 63 seats, ahead of the Conservatives on 31 and Labour on 24.

But she played down talk of another independence referendum after falling short by two seats of an overall majority.

In Wales, Labour remains as the largest party, with 29 out of 60 seats, but was denied a majority as Plaid Cymru and UKIP both made notable gains. Counting is continuing in Northern Ireland.


           

   
Media captionJeremy Corbyn said Labour "hung on" and "grew support in a lot of places” across England.

Mr Khan's victory - which gave him the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history - ends eight years of Conservative control of City Hall. The former Labour MP and minister, 45, becomes London's third mayor after Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.

                                                                                                   

In his victory speech, Mr Khan referred to his humble origins on a council estate and said he had never imagined that "someone like me could be elected as mayor of London," promising to be a mayor "for all Londoners".

He said the campaign had not been without controversy, but added: "I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear".

He added that the "politics of fear is not welcome in our city".

Campaign conduct

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said questions were now focusing on the tone of the Conservative campaign, which was criticised by some within the party and Labour for accusing Mr Khan of sharing a platform with Islamist extremists.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon - who said during the election campaign that Mr Khan was unfit to be mayor - said it was legitimate to put a candidate under scrutiny.


           

   
Media captionMichael Fallon was asked whether he trusted Sadiq Khan with the safety of Londoners

"Both candidates were asked questions about their backgrounds, their personalities, their judgements, the people they associate with. That's the nature of our democracy and the rough and tumble of politics," he told BBC Radio 4 Today.

Mr Fallon repeatedly declined to say whether he thought Mr Khan was a security risk to London, instead saying: "London is safe with a Conservative government working with the new mayor of London."

Asked if that would require a lot of work, he replied: "Yes, of course it does."


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Mr Goldsmith's sister Jemima has criticised how his campaign was run, while former Conservative Cabinet minister Baroness Warsi called it an "appalling dog whistle campaign".

Ms Goldsmith tweeted: "Sad that Zac's campaign did not reflect who I know him to be - an eco friendly, independent-minded politician with integrity."


           

   
Media captionZac Goldsmith says he is disappointed with the result, but paid tribute to Sadiq Khan

She also congratulated Mr Khan, calling him a "great example to young Muslims".

David Cameron's former director of strategy Steve Hilton described the Goldsmith campaign as "really weird," claiming it had brought back the "nasty party label to the Conservative Party".


Who is Sadiq Khan?


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AP
               
           

           
       

The new mayor did not have a privileged start in life. He was one of eight children born to Pakistani immigrants, a bus driver and a seamstress, on a south London housing estate.

From an early age, he showed a firm resolve to defy the odds in order to win success for himself and the causes important to him.

That resolve has won him the biggest personal mandate in the UK, a job with wide-ranging powers over London and with enormous emotional significance for him.

Some question whether he has the experience or record of good judgement necessary for the role.

He insists he is there to represent all Londoners and to tackle inequality in the capital, and now he has the chance to prove it.

The Sadiq Khan story


Outgoing mayor Boris Johnson said: "Many congratulations to Sadiq on securing a huge mandate to do the best job in British politics. I wish him every possible success and will be calling him in the morning.

"I have also been in touch with Zac and thanked him for his heroic efforts to carry the Conservative banner in our city, in spite of the strong headwinds he faced at this stage in the political cycle."

'Fair for all'

A Labour victory in the capital was seen as a minimum expectation if Mr Corbyn was to avoid a full-blown leadership crisis after the party suffered one of its worst ever results in Scotland - losing 13 seats and being pushed into third place by the resurgent Scottish Conservatives.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led congratulations on Twitter using the hashtag YesWeKhan and telling the new mayor: "Can't wait to work with you to create a London that is fair for all".

Speaking before Mr Khan's victory, Mr Corbyn talked up Labour's performance in Thursday's elections, saying it had defied predictions by retaining control of councils in the south of England such as Southampton, Hastings, Crawley and Norwich.

Mr Khan distanced himself from Mr Corbyn during the campaign, pledging to freeze fares on the capital's transport network and build more affordable housing, but also promising to champion business and cut taxes on enterprise.


           

   
Media captionSNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has spoken of an "emphatic" victory for her party in the Scottish Parliament elections.

"All across England last night we were getting predictions that we were going to lose councils," he said on a visit to Sheffield. "We didn't. We hung on and we grew support in a lot of places."

Allies of Mr Corbyn have called on critics within the party to rally round the leader, Shadow chancellor John McDonnell urging an end to "carping" and shadow environmental minister Clive Lewis said they should "put up or shut up".

But former shadow minister Michael Dugher said Labour was "not on a trajectory to victory" in the next general election, scheduled for 2020, while former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie said Labour should have done much better. 

In other election developments:

Labour's vote share is down about 6% on average on 2012  - the last time these seats in England were contested - with 24 fewer councillors. But its share is up 4% on the general election in key wards, with the Conservatives down by a similar amount.

On the basis of Friday's results, the BBC is calculating that Labour would have got a 31% projected share of the national vote, slightly higher than expected, with the Conservatives on 30%, the Lib Dems on 15% and UKIP on 12%.

In Scotland, Labour gained one seat from the SNP - Edinburgh Southern - but failed to take other targets and was beaten into third place by the Conservatives - a result that would have been unthinkable in the past.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP had a "clear and unequivocal" mandate and would govern on its own rather than in alliance with other parties.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    UKIP's Neil Hamilton is returning to elected office for the first time in nearly 20 years
               

           

On the question of a future vote on independence, she said the SNP would make "its case with passion, with patience but will always respect the opinion of the people".

But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who said any prospect of the issue being reopened in the next five years had been "utterly shredded" by the SNP's failure to win a majority.

UKIP breakthrough

In Wales, Labour's vote is down by eight points overall, the Conservative vote is down by three points, while Plaid Cymru is up by two points.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood celebrated a famous victory after she took the seat of Rhondda from Labour in its south Wales heartlands. The Lib Dem Welsh leader Kirsty Williams resigned after her party was reduced to one seat in the Welsh Assembly.

But the biggest story of the night in Wales was the performance of UKIP, which saw its vote increase by 12 points and saw seven candidates elected.

Thursday's polls were the single largest test of political opinion before the next general election, which is scheduled for 2020, with 43 million people entitled to take part.

In total, 2,747 seats in English councils - spanning metropolitan boroughs, unitary authorities and district councils - were up for grabs.

David Cameron said the party's second place in Scotland and its showing in England, where it took control of Peterborough Council and won council seats in key Westminster marginals such as Dudley and Nuneaton, represented a good result for a party which had been in government for six years.


What's still to come (all timings are estimates)


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

Saturday 7 May

14:00 Results from five remaining councils in England

16:00 Result of Bristol Mayoral contest

Result of elections to Northern Ireland Assembly expected

Sunday 8 May

16:00 Result of elections to Bristol Council (final council in England to declare)

Results of Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Wales


                                                                                               

Source: Labour's Sadiq Khan is new London Mayor







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N Korea 'sets limit on nuclear use'
« Reply #125 on: May 09, 2016, 01:00:05 AM »
N Korea 'sets limit on nuclear use'

North Korea 'will not use nuclear weapons' unless threatened



   
   

       
  •    
    8 May 2016


  •            
  • From the section Asia



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Kim Jong-un speaking from a lecturnImage copyright
                 Reuters
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    North Korea's leader said his country would act responsibly
               

           

The leader of North Korea has said the country will not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is threatened, state media report.

North Korea first tested nuclear weapons in 2006, after withdrawing from an international treaty.

It has made repeated threats of nuclear strikes against South Korea and the US.

But Kim Jong-un reportedly told the Workers' Party Congress in Pyongyang that he is willing to normalise ties with previously hostile countries.

A BBC correspondent in North Korea says Mr Kim tends to send mixed messages and movement observed at the country's nuclear site is consistent with preparations for another nuclear test.

Read more on North Korea:


           

   
Media captionBBC correspondent John Sudworth is reprimanded - apparently for cropping a photo of the North Korean leader

State media quoted Mr Kim as saying there should be more talks with South Korea to build trust and understanding.

And he said the country would "faithfully fulfil its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearisation".


Analysis: By Stephen Evans, BBC News, Pyongyang

The speech is long on rhetoric and short on detail. It describes the aims but not the means of achieving them - the desired destination but not the route.

                                                                                                   

For example, it quotes Kim Jong-un as wanting to "build an economically powerful state and to develop the people's economy". Whether that means allowing more private businesses and going down the Chinese route to economic development is completely unclear. There is no indication that North Korea's leader has opted for that.

There is also ambiguity in his announcement about nuclear weapons. How, his opponents might ask, does he define the "encroachment of sovereignty"? Is he saying that a nuclear North Korea would only strike if attacked or might it be something less than that? It is not clear.

The paper quotes Kim Jong-un talking about peace: "It is our Party's goal to build a peaceful world free from war and it is the constant stand of our Party and the DPRK [North Korean] government to struggle for regional and global peace and security".

There may be some scepticism about this last sentiment in Washington.


The meeting is the first congress of North Korea's ruling party since 1980.

Mr Kim is the supreme leader of North Korea.

The KCNA news agency reported him as saying: "As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our Republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes."

He said the government would "improve and normalise the relations with those countries which respect the sovereignty of the DPRK and are friendly towards it, though they had been hostile toward it in the past".

North Korea withdrew from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 2003 and started testing nuclear weapons three years later.

International sanctions on the country were tightened in March this year after it claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb and launched a missile into space.

They include export bans on materials used in nuclear and military production as well as restrictions on luxury goods and banking.


                                                                                               

Source: N Korea 'sets limit on nuclear use'







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TJ

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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #126 on: May 09, 2016, 01:16:59 AM »
Setting limit on Killing people

Ahh that is good - and thanks for the reassurance

At lesat we will not suffer the after  Affects of nuclear fall out

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Platini resigns as football ban reduced
« Reply #127 on: May 10, 2016, 01:00:05 AM »
Platini resigns as football ban reduced

Michel Platini played 72 times for France, scoring 41 goals, and was regarded as one of the best players in the world at the time

Uefa president Michel Platini has resigned from European football's governing body after failing to have a six-year ban from football overturned.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel reduced the ban to four years on Monday.

Following the judgement, the 60-year-old said he was stepping down.

Platini and former Fifa counterpart Sepp Blatter, were last year found guilty of ethics breaches over a $2m (£1.3m) "disloyal payment".

More to follow.


Source: Platini resigns as football ban reduced







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