Tag Archives: British

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit humiliation

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit humiliationIt was the worst defeat in modern British history, triggering political chaos that could lead to a disorderly exit from the EU.



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'Humiliated': World media react to British PM's Brexit defeat

'Humiliated': World media react to British PM's Brexit defeatBritain is in “uncharted waters” after Prime Minister Theresa May was “humiliated” by the “crushing defeat” of her Brexit deal in parliament, according to scathing reactions in the British and world press on Wednesday. “May’s Brexit deal dead as a dodo”, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper The Sun said, with a mock-up picture of the PM as the extinct flightless bird, under the front page headline “Brextinct”. The Daily Telegraph’s front page read: “A complete humiliation”.



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France hoping British politicians will approve Brexit deal

France hoping British politicians will approve Brexit dealFrance is hoping that members of Britain’s parliament will approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, an official at President Macron’s Elysee department said on Monday. Asked whether France would support an extension to the official deadline to Article 50 – regarding the timetable for Brexit – the official replied: “We would hope that the vote tomorrow is a favorable one.” “Afterwards, if that is not the case, it will be up to the United Kingdom to make a certain number of demands and proposals to the European Union,” added the official. The fate of Britain’s March 29 exit from the EU is deeply uncertain since parliament looks set to reject May’s deal on Tuesday.



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British tourists on board deadly bus crash in Cuba

British tourists on board deadly bus crash in CubaBritish pensioners on holiday in Cuba have been injured in a bus crash which killed seven, including four foreign tourists. The Via Azul coach was travelling between the small city of Baracoa, on the far eastern tip of the island, and the capital Havana when it overturned. Baracoa, an attractive coastal community where Christopher Columbus first set foot, is somewhat off the beaten track. However, its laid-back atmosphere and proximity to tropical rainforests, mountain hikes and waterfalls have seen it grow in popularity, especially for travellers seeking eco-tourism experiences and historical sites. Via Azul is a state-run company, normally known for being reliable and operating at high standards. Doctors in the town of Guantanamo treat a survivor of the crash A Frenchman, a German woman and two Argentine women were among the dead, along with three Cubans, Venceremos newspaper said. More than 30 people were injured. Three Cubans and two foreigners – 42-year-old Spaniard Felicita Hurtado and French woman Marline Alphonse, 63 – survived the crash, but were said to be in a serious condition. "Of the 40 passengers, 22 were foreigners from countries like Holland, England, France, Mexico and Canada," said Venceremos. The driver of the coach said he lost control on a wet road, claiming to have been driving slowly. However, witnesses said the driver had been attempting to overtake another vehicle when he found himself face to face with oncoming traffic, causing him to swerve off the road. Cuba’s roads vary enormously in repair, with some well maintained, but others in serious need of refurbishment. Traffic accidents are the fifth greatest cause of death in Cuba; in 2017 there were 11,187 road accidents in Cuba, which killed 750 people and left 7,999 injured. An ambulance takes away survivors Furthermore, vehicle standards vary significantly. The classic cars of the 1950s still ply the roads, but many are falling into disrepair and being replaced by new imports from China. In recent years Beijing has made significant inroads into the island, investing heavily in infrastructure and shipping in their own cars and buses – taking advantage of the US turning its back on Havana under president Donald Trump. His tightening of the trade embargo has made it harder to obtain essential parts for cars and machinery, which is testing Cuba’s famed inventiveness to the limits.



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Palestinian who murdered British woman jailed for 18 years

Palestinian who murdered British woman jailed for 18 yearsA mentally ill Palestinian man who stabbed a British woman to death near Jerusalem’s Old City was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday by an Israeli court. Hannah Bladon, 20, was stabbed to death on April 14, 2017, by Jamil Tamimi, a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem aged 57 at the time. Bladon, a student at Britain’s University of Birmingham, was in Jerusalem on a semester-long exchange programme at the Hebrew University.



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Two British soldiers seriously injured in Isil missile attack in Syria

Two British soldiers seriously injured in Isil missile attack in SyriaTwo British special forces soldiers have been seriously injured in a missile attack by Isil fighters in Syria. The two soldiers were injured in a missile attack by ISIS fighters near Deir Ezzor, in the east of the country, British special forces have been operating in the area alongside US special forces to combat the militant group.  The Telegraph understands the incident occurred on Friday morning, and that the soldiers were airlifted from the scene by US forces for medical treatment. Rudaw news, a Kurdish outlet, reported that the soldiers were at a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) base in the area when the attack took place. It was also reported that an SDF fighter was killed in the missile attack. An SDF official, said: "Due to a smart missile attack by ISIS, a fighter of the YPG was killed and another wounded, in addition to two British soldiers." A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "We do not comment on special forces operations". The attack comes a year after the death of an SAS solider in Syria. Sergeant Matt Tonroe was killed while embedded with US forces in Syria when they were caught by an explosion in March 2018.   US president Donald Trump said in December that he was withdrawing US troops from Syria, where he claimed Isis had been defeated.     Mr Trump said: "We have defeated Isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency." The move shocked US allies and American defence officials alike, with US defence secretary Jim Mattis and a top US official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk, resigning soon after. Analysts and military experts, who disagree with Mr Trump, have said the threat posed by Isis still remains.



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British SAS soldiers injured and ally killed by Isil missile in Syria

British SAS soldiers injured and ally killed by Isil missile in SyriaTwo British Special Forces soldiers have been seriously hurt with one suffering a throat injury after a missile attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in Syria. The attack was believed to have happened on Saturday morning near Deir Ezzor in the east of the country.   A Kurdish soldier fighting alongside the British forces was killed in the missile strike and five other British troops were injured. The most serious casualty, understood by the Telegraph to be from Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment based in Hereford, is thought to have been hit in the throat with shrapnel. British Special Forces are believed to be operating in the east of Syria alongside American troops and Kurdish fighters of the People’s Defence Unit (YPG), a mainly Kurdish militia fighting in Syria. US army vehicles supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, December 15, 2018. Credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP Kamiran Sadoun, a Syrian Kurdish journalist working for the Telegraph, spoke to injured fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift hospital at the al-Omar oil field in the evening of Saturday 5. "I was in the hospital when they brought three injured SDF fighters,” he said. “One was heavily injured and one of them was injured lightly and one of them was killed. "We asked them what happened. One said they were patrolling with the British, there were around 5-7 of them when the Isil thermal rocket – a guided missile – hit. Two or three of the British were heavily injured but all 5-7 of them were lightly injured." The attack occurred as allies and fighters in the region consider the impact of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the country. On December 19 Mr Trump stated that Isil had been defeated in Syria a and that troops would be coming home "now". Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. Credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP However, on Sunday John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser, confirmed reports that the withdrawal would be slower than the President suggested. He said Mr Trump was committed to defeating the remnants of Isil and “wants the caliphate destroyed”.  He also stated that the US withdrawal is conditional on Turkey agreeing not to target America’s Kurdish allies. Turkey must “meet the President’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” he said during a visit to Israel and Turkey. Also speaking on Sunday, Mr Trump denied the apparent volte-face: "We're going to be removing our troops. I never said we were doing it that quickly," he said. Emile Hokayem, Senior Research Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Isil would be emboldened by news of an American withdrawal, describing President Trump’s new Syria policy as “messy”. “One can debate the merits and wisdom of the long-term US presence in north-east Syria," he said, "but certainly the way it was announced and the chaos that followed – with the resignation of [Defence Secretary James] Mattis and [Syria Special Envoy Brett] McGurk – really played to the advantage of the adversaries of the US and the West. “The US has become overly ambitious [in recent years]. The presence in eastern Syria was supposed to check and kick out Iran [and] it was supposed to ensure the enduring defeat of Isil. “The goals kept growing and there was a massive mismatch between the risk appetite of the Pentagon and the resources applied. “US policy has been bankrupt for many years, starting under Obama. The US was always going to face this kind of dilemma, this is not a purely Trump administration crisis. “The key problem was how this was announced, how it countered all the statements of senior US officials. “Trump makes things worse, but he didn’t create those dilemmas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton as they meet on January 6, 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Getty Images Europe A security source told the Telegraph the attack on British and Kurdish forces shows that the war against Isil in Syria and Iraq is not over. “The enemy is still there and still active. Isil are not entirely defeated,” the source said. Although Britain operates in some parts of the world without US partners it is inconceivable British forces would continue to operate in Syria following a US withdrawal. The Telegraph understands that the tempo of operations has not diminished since Mr Trump’s decision and that US forces have not yet started disengaging from the region. The logistics of any withdrawal are likely to be hampered until the Spring by bad weather.   According to government statistics, RAF fighter jets and drones conducted 46 strikes against Isil targets in Syria in the first two weeks of December. The airstrikes helped expel Isil forces from the strategically important area of Hajin, near the Iraq border, described by the Ministry of Defence as “the terrorists last significant territory”. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, using an Arabic name for Isil, said: “The advance through Hajin is a huge milestone and shows that Daesh are being pushed further back into the shadows. “Make no mistake though, although this is another significant battle won, much hard work still lies ahead to ensure we win the war.”



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Reports: 2 British soldiers wounded in IS attack in Syria

Reports: 2 British soldiers wounded in IS attack in SyriaBEIRUT (AP) — A missile attack by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria killed at least one Kurdish fighter and wounded two British soldiers embedded with them, according to reports Sunday, amid fierce fighting in the strategic area near the Iraqi border.



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American held for spying is also British, Irish, Canadian

American held for spying is also British, Irish, CanadianMOSCOW (AP) — The American former Marine who is being held in Moscow on spying charges also holds British, Irish and Canadian citizenship, officials said. Britain's foreign secretary charged Friday that Russia is trying to use him as a pawn in its geopolitical games.



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Jeremy Hunt warns Russia not to play 'diplomatic chess games' over British man arrested for spying

Jeremy Hunt warns Russia not to play 'diplomatic chess games' over British man arrested for spyingBritish Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Russia on Friday against playing "diplomatic chess games" following the arrest of Paul Whelan, an ex-Marine with dual UK and US citizenship, on spying charges. Paul Whelan was formally charged on Thursday, and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. It was alleged that he had been handed a USB drive containing a secret list of Russian agents.  His case has been linked to that of Maria Butina, a Russian national convicted for seeking to influence US politics during the 2016 presidential election. "We don't agree with individuals being used in diplomatic chess games… We are all extremely worried about him and his family," Mr Hunt told the BBC in an interview. US officials in Moscow informed UK counterparts of Mr Whelan’s dual nationality status. The revelation will add to existing tensions between London and Moscow, after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury last March.   Mr Whelan, 48, was arrested for spying on December 28 at the Metropol hotel, yards from the Kremlin.  Outside of the Lefortovo detention centre in Moscow, where Paul Whelan is being held. His lawyer has meanwhile asked for bail Credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov Vladimir Zherebenkov, the ex-marine’s lawyer, told Interpol that he had appealed against the charges and had requested that Mr Whelan be released on bail. A decision is not expected soon.  According to the Associated Press, Mr Zherebenkov said he visited Mr Whelan on Wednesday and found him in a “in a good mood and cracks jokes”.  On the same day, the American ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, met Mr Whelan at Lefortovo prison, a former KGB facility, where he is being held.  Washington has pushed for an explanation to Mr Whelan’s detention. Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said he would demand his “immediate return” if the US found the detention was inappropriate.    Mr Whelan’s family has said that he was visiting Moscow for the wedding of a fellow former Marine, and that he had been to Russia “numerous times” since 2007.   He was born in Canada to British parents, and later moved to the US. His brother David Whelan said their family was from the West Midlands.     Russian authorities have given no further information about Whelan’s arrest.



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